Her Majesty’s Government snooping update

Challenges continue against the UK government’s mass interception programme, originally revealed by Edward Snowden. The European Court of Human Rights has found it contrary to rights to privacy, and freedom of expression. The new Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA) allows the Secretary of State alone to issue ‘warrants’ for deep data-mining (even by other nations’ governments) of any website and anyone’s online activity, journalists included. Judicial Commissioners may then review the process, possibly later, and a single Investigatory Powers Commissioner has ‘oversight’. These ‘safeguards’, the EU Court says, fall far short of what’s necessary.

Unfortunately, the UK intelligence-sharing set-up with the USA and other allied states was approved by the Court. Why? Because the government apparently disclosed during proceedings a two-page note on intelligence-sharing, off the record, with no heading, no author, and no indication of whether it was a policy or a summary!

Webarchitects are following this with interest. A fairly easy-to-understand explanation is online at Privacy International.

Written by Jonathan