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Tribunal rules that GCHQ mass surveillance is not illegal

Posted by Kevin on December 6, 2014

When British jurisprudence is caught between a rock (the wishes of government) and a hard place (the law), it resorts to some wonderful contortions to escape. The rock is immovable; but luckily the law is malleable — and with one deft twist the beaks are free. Privacy International (PI) and others had sought a ruling […]

Money and Power: the motivations of surveillance

Posted by Kevin on November 2, 2014

When we go shopping, would we accept someone with a notebook following our every footstep and making notes on where we stop at every counter in every shop, what we buy and when? And if we challenged that stalker, would we accept the argument that he is doing it for our own good so that […]

Arguments as circular as the GCHQ building

Posted by Kevin on October 28, 2014

A complaint by Privacy International against the six undersea fibre optic cable companies, including BT and Vodafone, that facilitate GCHQ’s mass surveillance practices has been rejected by the UK agency charged with ensuring corporate compliance with human rights obligations, after the companies refused to reveal the extent of their cooperation with GCHQ. Let’s see if […]

GCHQ on trial and DRIP emergency data retention bill

Posted by Kevin on July 16, 2014

Coincidence? Only if the tooth fairy is real. In the same week in which Privacy International and other civil liberties groups are trying to force the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) to declare GCHQ internet spying activities illegal, prime minister Cameron is trying to force through parliament emergency new powers (DRIP) to make such activities legal. […]

Privacy International and GCHQ go head to head next week

Posted by Kevin on July 10, 2014

A new statement from Privacy International points out that from Monday 14 to Friday 18 next week, its action laid before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) challenging the legality of GCHQ surveillance (the Tempora program) will come to a head: Privacy International, along with Amnesty International, Liberty, the American Civil Liberties Union, Pakistani organisation Bytes […]

Yes, GCHQ really does collect the content of British communications

Posted by Kevin on June 17, 2014

You have to wonder why Cameron tried to force through the Communications Data Bill (you may remember, that was the one called the ‘Snoopers’ Charter’) when the Snowden files revealed that GCHQ was already doing pretty much everything the new law would allow them – that is, snooping on everyone in the UK (that’s you […]

Don’t Spy On Us – a day of action

Posted by Kevin on June 2, 2014

A ticket only event hosted by the Don’t Spy On Us campaign at the Shoreditch Town Hall this coming Saturday is already sold out. It’s a day of action to mark the anniversary of Edward Snowden’s first leaked documents. The Don’t Spy On Us campaign, which includes Privacy International, Liberty, Article 19, Open Rights Group, […]

Privacy International’s new complaint against GCHQ is like pissing in the wind

Posted by Kevin on May 16, 2014

Fresh from its success against HMRC, Privacy International (PI) is now taking on GCHQ. It announced Tuesday that it has “filed a legal complaint demanding an end to the unlawful hacking being carried out by GCHQ which, in partnership with the NSA, is infecting potentially millions of computer and mobile devices around the world with […]

HMRC ordered by the judge to think again about withholding information from Privacy International

Posted by Kevin on May 13, 2014

Privacy International has been attempting to get blood from a stone; otherwise known as getting information out of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. It has wanted to know if Gamma International is being investigated for potential breach of UK export controls. Gamma International, you may recall, is the company behind the FinFisher surveillance malware. FinFisher […]