The Canadian government is scheduled to release new security legislation on Friday that would grant even more power to its police and domestic security agencies. This proposal comes in response to a string of "lone wolf" shootings of soldiers in Canada last October.
Several human rights groups are celebrating a major victory against the Five Eyes, an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US, as the UK surveillance tribunal ruled on 6 February that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) acted unlawfully in accessing millions of private communications collected by the National Security Agency (NSA) up until December 2014.
The decision marks the first time that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), the only UK court empowered to oversee GCHQ, the domestic security agency MI5 and the foreign intelligence service MI6, has ever ruled against the intelligence and security services in its fifteen-year history. The case was only possible thanks to the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden whose leaked documents provided the facts needed to challenge the long-standing intelligence sharing relationship.
Since its launch on 16 February 2015, over 25 000 people have joined an international campaign to try to learn whether Britain’s intelligence agency, GCHQ, illegally spied on them.
This opportunity is possible thanks to court victory in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), a secret court set up to hear complaints against the British Security Services. As previously reported in the EDRi-gram, Privacy International won the first-ever case against GCHQ in the Tribunal, which ruled that the agency acted unlawfully in accessing millions of private communications collected by the US National Security Agency (NSA), up until December 2014.
Because of this victory, now anyone in the world can try to ask if their records, as collected by the NSA, were part of those communications unlawfully shared with GCHQ. We feel the public has a right to know if they were spied on illegally, and Privacy International wants to help make that as easy as possible.
On 19 February 2015, the Danish government presented a 12-point plan for new anti-terror initiatives in response to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris and the shooting incident in Copenhagen on 14 February. This will become the third major anti-terror package since 2001 to be presented to the Danish Parliament.
The focus of the plan is on surveillance measures in Denmark and abroad through increased budgets, new IT-systems, and new powers for the intelligence services, the Danish Defence Intelligence Services (DDIS) and the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET), which is part of the Danish police.
The most controversial element is targeted surveillance and eavesdropping of communications of Danish citizens abroad. This will be done by DDIS without a court order.
On December 5, the Article 29 Working Party published a Working Document on surveillance, electronic communications and national security. The Working Document is specifically intended to address data protection issues arising out of the Snowden revelations that began in 2013 and the bulk data collection activities of various intelligence and security agencies. The Working Document examines the boundaries between the concepts of privacy and national security, and emphasizes the importance of privacy as a fundamental right in the EU. The Working Document concludes that the activities of intelligence and security agencies should not always fall within the scope of the national security exemption under EU data protection law, and that where the meaning of the term “national security” is unclear, the exemption should be construed narrowly.
Britain’s laws governing the intelligence agencies and mass surveillance require a total overhaul to make them more transparent, comprehensible and up to date, the intelligence and security committee of parliament (ISC) has said in a landmark report prompted by the revelations of Edward Snowden, the former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor.