Mass surveillance programs do not violate human rights, UK tribunal rules

The case will be appealed at the European Court of Human Rights

Internet mass surveillance programs are lawful and do not violate human rights, a U.K. tribunal has ruled.

The U.K.'s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) made the ruling in a case that rights groups brought against the U.K. government over alleged mass surveillance on U.K. citizens via programs run by the British intelligence agency GCHQ and the U.S. National Security Agency. Both programs were brought to light in documents leaked by Edward Snowden last year.

However, those programs are legal under the 14-year-old Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which regulates the U.K. government's surveillance powers, the Tribunal ruled Friday.

"The 'Snowden revelations' in particular have led to the impression voiced in some quarters that the law in some way permits the Intelligence Services carte blanche to do what they will. We are satisfied this is not the case," the IPT said in its Friday ruling, which was published by complainant Privacy International.

However, the tribunal, which was set up in 2000 to deal with complaints relating to the use of covert techniques, did ask for more comments about whether receiving bulk intercepted material from foreign intelligence agencies such as the NSA would be legal.

Not satisfied with the outcome, Privacy International and its co-claimant, Bytes for All, will lodge an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, challenging the Tribunal's finding that mass surveillance could comply with Britain's human rights.

In addition, the groups will also ask the European Court of Human Rights to scrutinize GCHQ's actions against Britain's human rights obligations to respect citizens' rights to privacy and freedom of expression, enshrined in Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, they said.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags privacylegalCivil lawsuits

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?