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GCHQ faces legal action over mass surveillance

Today Big Brother Watch, working with the Open Rights Group, English PEN and German internet activist Constanze Kurz, has announced legal papers have been filed alleging that GCHQ has illegally intruded on the privacy of millions of British and European citizens.

We allege that by collecting vast amounts of data leaving or entering the UK, including the content of emails and social media messages, the UK’s spy agency has acted illegally.

A dedicated website – Privacy not Prism – has been set up to fund the legal action.

The laws governing how internet data is accessed were written when barely anyone had broadband access and were intended to cover old fashioned copper telephone lines. Parliament did not envisage or intend those laws to permit scooping up details of every communication we send, including content, so it’s absolutely right that GCHQ is held accountable in the courts for its actions.

These concerns have also been raised by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, who questioned if the legal framework is adequate.

When details recently emerged in the media about the Prism and Tempora programmes, codenames for previously secret online surveillance operations, it was revealed that GCHQ has the capacity to collect more than 21 petabytes of data a day – equivalent to sending all the information in all the books in the British Library 192 times every 24 hours. The disclosures have raised serious parliamentary concerns both in Britain and at the EU level.

Deighton Pierce Glynn solicitors represent the applicants, instructing Helen Mountfield QC of Matrix Chambers and Tom Hickman and Ravi Mehta of Blackstone Chambers.

 

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in CCDP, Civil Liberties, Communications Data Bill, Data Protection, Europe, Featured, International, Internet freedom, Legal Action

12 Responses to GCHQ faces legal action over mass surveillance

  1. Pingback: Wonks Take Spooks to Court - Guy Fawkes' blog

  2. Pingback: GCHQ faces legal action over mass surveillance --via Big Brother Watch - Techbeast.net

  3. Pete

    Keep fighting the good fight!

  4. Pingback: Just who has your data? | B.A.T. '66

  5. John

    If this case succeeds, which in my opinion it should, then it will set a precedent around the world. I made a donation and will be following your progress.

  6. Pingback: Fighting Spies: Public Services in Europe Keep Moving to Free/Open Source Software | Techrights

  7. Anonymous

    3 Comments here, yet I only see one? strange?

  8. Robert

    You’ve got my support all the way. It’s getting more and more ridiculous and infuriating how our right to privacy is being eroded. In a supposedly free country.

    The govt needs to be held accountable for this.

    Also you just know from past experience that they’re too incompetent to keep this data secure.

  9. Andrew Paul

    Hope these scum are held accountable. So now they want to sensor our free press over a few journos listening to a few voicemails??yet these scum can do all this to everyone and not face any punishment?? makes me sick. I’m still using TOR so its not been cracked yet…at lease i hope not…little 80mg TOR defeats the Billions of £ and $ at gchq and nsa, find it hard to belive but i’d be loving it if TOR has really resisted these scum attacks.

  10. Luke

    Keep fighting! If decent, ordinary people can be spied on like this then Democracy is dead. Why do they need all this info.? And why are they keeping it? Suppose for a minute that this mass surveillance turns up a lead on a “Terrorist” (we only have the spies & Government’s word that that is what they are, & we know what their word is worth!) looking through all that stored data for links is going to be like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. This about civil control & manipulation (much like organised religion has been used in the past). Never stop fighting for your freedom & your rights!

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  12. Anonymous

    They spy on WikiLeaks visitors too.

    Wild West style spying has to end.

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