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British data collection regime violates human rights

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "ECOTERRA Intl." <office at ecoterra-international.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2018 16:13:48 +0300
Subject: [NATURAL_DEFENCE] British data collection regime violates human rights
To: MAILHUB <mailhub at ecoterra.net>

- and like always: Africa, Asia and South-America are the guinea-pig turfs.
*The Anglo-American, Russian and Chinese strife for global dominance is
obvious also in cyberspace*

ACCESS NOW <accessnow.org> commented: We told you how the *"Five Eyes"
nations* plan to compel access to our encrypted communications
and *undermine our security globally*, despite the fact that the
surveillance arsenal for these countries is already vast and â?? as Edward
Snowden revealed â?? largely unchecked. Now, thanks to a coalition of 14
human rights groups, privacy organizations, and journalists, we have
much better news: the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that
parts of the U.K.'s surveillance regime violate the fundamental rights
to privacy and free expression.

*GCHQ data collection regime violated human rights, court rules*

*Surveillance system revealed by Snowden breached right to privacy,
Strasbourg judges say

*By Owen Bowcott <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/owenbowcott> -
Legal affairs correspondent - @owenbowcott
<https://twitter.com/owenbowcott> -13 Sep 2018

*PICTURE: **The GCHQ building in Cheltenham.*
Photograph: GCHQ/PA

GCHQâ??s methods for bulk interception of online communications violated
privacy and failed to provide sufficient surveillance safeguards, the
European court of human rights
<https://www.theguardian.com/law/european-court-of-human-rights> has ruled.

But the ECHR found that GCHQâ??s regime for sharing sensitive digital
intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal, and it explicitly
confirmed that bulk interception with tighter safeguards was permissible.

The ruling, which follows Edward Snowdenâ??s whistleblowing revelations
<https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/edward-snowden>, is a comprehensive
assessment by the ECHR of interception operations carried out until
recently by UK intelligence agencies.

The legal claims, which had already been heard by the UKâ??s investigatory
powers tribunal, were brought by a coalition of 14 human rights groups
and privacy organisations including Amnesty International, Liberty,
Privacy <https://www.theguardian.com/world/privacy> International and
Big Brother Watch, as well as journalists.
The case concerned the interception regime previously operated by GCHQ
<https://www.theguardian.com/uk/gchq>. Updated regulations are coming
into force under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. The ECHR did not
examine this legislation, which already faces fresh legal challenges.

The judges considered three aspects of digital surveillance: bulk
interception of communications, intelligence sharing, and obtaining
communications data from service providers.

By a majority of five to two votes, the Strasbourg judges found that
GCHQâ??s bulk interception regime violated article 8 of the European
convention on human rights, which guarantees privacy, because there were
said to be insufficient safeguards, and rules governing the selection of
â??related communications dataâ?? were deemed to be inadequate.

The regime used by the UK government for sharing intelligence with
foreign governments did not violate either article 8 or article 10,
which guarantees freedom of speech. Not was there any evidence, the
judges said, to suggest that the intelligence services were abusing
their powers.

The legal challenge was triggered by revelations made by Snowden in
2013, which showed GCHQ was secretly intercepting, processing and
storing data about millions of peopleâ??s private communications, even
when those people were of no intelligence interest. In one of the
operations, called Tempora, the eavesdropping agency tapped into cables
and communication networks to obtain huge volumes of internet data.

Snowden praised the judgment, saying governments had been pursued
through the courts for five years. â??Today, we won,â?? he tweeted.

*The ECHR judgment notes: â??The United Kingdom authorities have neither
confirmed nor denied the existence of â?¦ Tempora.â?? *

In accompanying notes to the main judgment, which runs to more than 500
paragraphs, the court said it recognised the severity of the threats of
terrorism, online sexual abuse and other crimes faced by European
states. Advancements in technology had made it easier for terrorists and
criminals to evade detection on the internet, the judges acknowledged.

Bulk interception regimes can be legal if countries deem them to be
necessary in the interests of national security but certain minimum
safeguards are required.

Those safeguards include that the law must indicate â??the nature of
offences which may give rise to an interception order; a definition of
the categories of people liable to have their communications
intercepted; a limit on the duration of interception; the procedure to
be followed for examining, using and storing the data obtained; the
precautions to be taken when communicating the data to other parties;
and the circumstances in which intercepted data may or must be erased or

The judgment was critical of interception warrants obtained under
section 8(4) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. Such
warrants do not need to name or describe the person subject to
interception or the premises involved.

The judges added: â??It would be wrong automatically to assume that bulk
interception constitutes a greater intrusion into the private life of an
individual than targeted interception, which by its very nature is more
likely to result in the acquisition and examination of a large volume of
his or her communications.â??

A government spokesperson said: â??The Investigatory Powers Act 2016
replaced large parts of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which
was the subject of this challenge.

â??This includes the introduction of a â??double lockâ?? which requires
warrants for the use of these powers to be authorised by a secretary of
state and approved by a judge. An investigatory powers commissioner has
also been created to ensure robust independent oversight of how these
powers are used. The government will give careful consideration to the
courtâ??s findings.â??

Megan Goulding, a lawyer for Liberty, said: â??This is a major victory for
the rights and freedom of people in the UK. It shows that there is â?? and
should be â?? a limit to the extent that states can spy on their citizens.â??

Lucy Claridge, of Amnesty International, said: â??Todayâ??s ruling
represents a significant step forward in the protection of privacy and
freedom of expression worldwide. It sends a strong message to the UK
government that its use of extensive surveillance powers is abusive and
runs against the very principles that it claims to be defending.â??

Dan Carey, of Deighton Pierce Glynn, who represented some of applicants,
said: â??The court has put down a marker that the UK government does not
have a free hand with the publicâ??s communications and that in several
key respects the UKâ??s laws and surveillance practices have failed. In
particular, there needs to be much greater control over the search terms
that the government is using to sift our communications.â??

Jim Killock, the executive director of Open Rights Group, said: â??Since
we brought this case in 2013, the UK has actually increased its powers
to indiscriminately surveil our communications whether or not we are
suspected of any criminal activity. â??

Rachel Oldroyd, of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which raised
free speech concerns, said: â??*The freedom of the press is a vital
cornerstone of democracy and journalists must be able to protect their
sources.* We are particularly concerned about the chilling effect that
the threat of state surveillance has on whistleblowers who want to
expose wrongdoing, and this ruling will force our government to put
safeguards in place.â??

*READ also:*
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*Landmark US Court Decision Rules that Privacy Under the Fourth
Amendment Applies to Smart Meters*
The Seventh US Circuit Court handed down a landmark opinion that the
Fourth Amendment protects energy-consumption data collected by smart
meters, because that data reveals intimate details about personal
activities in the home that would be unavailable to the government
without a physical search.

*Are You Confused About 5G, The Militaryâ??s Microwave Weapon? *

*5G Explained By Researcher Arthur Firstenberg: Be Forewarned

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