Home Office told to disclose advice behind decision on intercept evidence – The Guardian

‘The Home Office has been ordered to release secret legal advice justifying its decision to prevent intercept evidence being used in criminal trials. The ruling by an information tribunal could shine a light on the way intelligence agencies gather and store material as well as on their relationship with law enforcement organisations. The appeal for the advice to be disclosed was made by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law which submitted a Freedom of Information request to uncover the reasoning behind a 2009 report, entitled “Intercept as Evidence”.’

Full story

The Guardian, 16th October 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Commission criticised for withholding information on UK internet surveillance – OUT-LAW.com

Posted October 13th, 2014 in disclosure, documents, EC law, intelligence services, internet, news, ombudsmen by sally

‘The European Commission must publish documents containing information about the UK’s communications surveillance operations or “properly justify” its reasons not to do so, an EU watchdog has said.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 10th October 2014

Source: www.out-law.com

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National Crime Agency director general: UK snooping powers are too weak – The Guardian

‘Britons must accept a greater loss of digital freedoms in return for greater safety from serious criminals and terrorists in the internet age, according to the country’s top law enforcement officer.’

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The Guardian, 7th October 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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European court to investigate laws allowing GCHQ to snoop on journalists – The Guardian

Posted September 16th, 2014 in declarations of incompatibility, human rights, intelligence services, media, news by tracey

‘The European court of human rights (ECHR) is to investigate British laws that allow GCHQ and police to secretly snoop on journalists. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has gone straight to Strasbourg in a bid to get a finding that domestic law is incompatible with provisions in European law which give journalists the right to keep sources confidential from police and others.’

Full story

The Guardian, 15th September 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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DRIP – Data Retention Regulations come into force – Panopticon

‘The introduction of the controversial draft Data Retention Regulations 2014 has already been discussed by my colleague Robin Hopkins in his excellent post last month. The Regulations now have the force of law, having come into force on 31 July 2014 – see the Regulations here. In his post, Robin made the point that, following the judgment in Digital Rights Ireland, there were two methods for curtailing the infringement of privacy rights presupposed by the existing communications data retention (CDR) regime: either cut back on the data retention requirements provided for under the legislation, so as generally to limit the potential for interference with privacy rights, or introduce more robust safeguards with a view to ensuring that any interference with privacy rights is proportionate and otherwise justified. The Government, which has evidently opted for the latter approach in the new Regulations, will now need to persuade a somewhat sceptical public that the safeguards which have been adopted in the legislation strike the right balance as between the protection of privacy rights on the one hand and the imperative to support criminal law enforcement functions on the other.’

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Panopticon, 5th August 2014

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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The death of privacy – The Guardian

‘Google knows what you’re looking for. Facebook knows what you like. Sharing is the norm, and secrecy is out. But what is the psychological and cultural fallout from the end of privacy?’

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The Guardian, 3rd August 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Government wants impunity from UK courts over torture, judges told – The Guardian

Posted July 22nd, 2014 in immunity, intelligence services, news, rendition, torture by sally

‘The government is determined to prevent ministers and officials from being accountable to the courts for colluding in wrongdoing abroad even if it involves torture, three of the country’s most senior judges were warned on Monday.’

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The Guardian, 21st July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Abdul Hakim Belhaj rendition damages case at Appeal Court – BBC News

Posted July 21st, 2014 in appeals, intelligence services, Libya, news, rendition, torture by sally

‘A damages action brought against the UK over a 2004 rendition case involving a Libyan politician and his wife is being heard at the Court of Appeal later.’

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BBC News, 21st July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Data Retention & Investigatory Powers Bill receives Royal Assent – Home Office

‘Legislation to ensure UK law enforcement and intelligence agencies continue to have access to the vital evidence and information they need to investigate criminal activity, prevent terrorism and protect the public has today (Thursday 17 July) received Royal Assent.’

Full press release

Home Office, 17th July 2014

Source: www.gov.uk/home-office

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Terrorism laws watchdog issues warning over security services scrutiny – The Guardian

‘David Anderson says privacy and civil liberties board that is planned to replace his job must have unfettered access.’

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The Guardian, 17th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Emergency surveillance bill clears Commons – The Guardian

‘Controversial emergency surveillance legislation has cleared the Commons after an extended sitting and angry exchanges alleging an abuse of parliament.’

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The Guardian, 16th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Tom Hickman on the DRIP Bill: Plugging Gaps in Surveillance Laws or Authorising the Unlawful? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The unveiling last Thursday of a a draft bill on surveillance powers that is to be rushed through Parliament brought to mind the story of the Dutch boy who finds a hole in a dyke on his way to school and puts his finger in it to plug the leak until help arrives to shore it up. The legislation is said to be necessary to plug what the Government regards as holes in the regime of surveillance and investigatory powers pending a full review. The fact that the bill is titled the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill – the “DRIP” bill – may mean I am not the first person to draw the analogy. But the analogy may not be entirely apt. An examination of the DRIP Bill reveals that it is not addressing little holes in the regime but in fact profoundly important and substantial issues.’

Full text

UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th July 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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NSA surveillance data: UK access to information faces legal challenge – The Guardian

‘The biggest domestic legal challenge to UK intelligence agencies accessing the mass data harvested by the US National Security Agency (NSA) begins on Monday, and may be one reason behind the government’s decision to introduce emergency surveillance laws into parliament next week, campaigners have suggested.’

Full story

The Guardian, 11th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Tribunal to hear legal challenge to GCHQ surveillance claims – BBC News

‘A tribunal is to hear a legal challenge by civil liberty groups against the alleged use of mass surveillance programmes by UK intelligence services.’

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BBC News, 14th July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Ministers push for new legislation to track phone usage – The Guardian

‘Ministers are poised to pass emergency laws to require phone companies to log records of phone calls, texts and internet usage, but Labour and Liberal Democrats are warning that they will not allow any new law to become a backdoor route to reinstating a wider “snooper’s charter”.’

Full story

The Guardian, 6th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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ISPs take legal action against GCHQ – BBC News

Posted July 2nd, 2014 in complaints, intelligence services, interception, internet, news, privacy by sally

‘Seven internet service providers have filed a legal complaint against the UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ.’

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BBC News, 2nd July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Britain’s intelligence agencies are told to make privacy invasion assessment – The Guardian

Posted June 27th, 2014 in detention, intelligence services, news, privacy by tracey

‘Britain’s security and intelligence agencies should consider how far they are invading people’s privacy when they seek permission for intrusive surveillance, their government-appointed watchdog has recommended.’

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The Guardian, 26th June 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Theresa May pushes for greater surveillance powers – BBC News

Posted June 25th, 2014 in electronic mail, intelligence services, internet, news, police by sally

‘Theresa May is continuing to push for a change in the law to give police and security services the power to access email and social media.’

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BBC News, 25th June 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Government’s defence of surveillance unconvincing, says ex-watchdog – The Guardian

Posted June 19th, 2014 in intelligence services, interception, internet, news, privacy by sally

‘The government’s arguments for justifying the mass monitoring of the internet are “unconvincing” and based on exploiting “loopholes” in legislation, the former chief surveillance inspector has said.

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The Guardian, 18th June 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Mass surveillance of social media is permitted by law, says top UK official – The Guardian

‘Mass surveillance of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and even Google searches, is permissible because these are “external communications”, according to the government’s most senior security official.’

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The Guardian, 17th June 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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