Legal Analysis Requested By Members Of Parliament Says GCHQ Surveillance Is Illegal Too
from the well,-look-at-that... dept
But now, similar to the recent PCLOB report in the US, a legal analysis of the GCHQ, written at the request of a bunch of Members of Parliament, has argued that much of what GCHQ is doing is illegal under UK law:
In a 32-page opinion, the leading public law barrister Jemima Stratford QC raises a series of concerns about the legality and proportionality of GCHQ's work, and the lack of safeguards for protecting privacy.There's a lot more in the report, described at that Guardian link above, which is well worth reading. It makes you wonder how much longer the UK government can pretend that everything is perfectly fine with the GCHQ's activities.
It makes clear the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa), the British law used to sanction much of GCHQ's activity, has been left behind by advances in technology. The advice warns:
- Ripa does not allow mass interception of contents of communications between two people in the UK, even if messages are routed via a transatlantic cable.
- The interception of bulk metadata – such as phone numbers and email addresses – is a "disproportionate interference" with Article 8 of the ECHR.
- The current framework for the retention, use and destruction of metadata is inadequate and likely to be unlawful.
- If the government knows it is transferring data that may be used for drone strikes against non-combatants in countries such as Yemen and Pakistan, that is probably unlawful.
- The power given to ministers to sanction GCHQ's interception of messages abroad "is very probably unlawful".