NGOs challenge UK and US mass surveillance in human rights court

ComputerWeekly.com published an article titled, “NGOs challenge UK and US mass surveillance in human rights court.” The article reads in part as follows;

“Ten human rights organisations from the UK, the US, Canada, Ireland and Hungary are challenging the lawfulness of mass surveillance by the UK and US governments in the European Court of Human Rights.

Privacy International and nine other human rights organisations have filed submissions to the court, in Strasbourg, in the first case to challenge the legality of surveillance programmes revealed by Edward Snowden.

The action follows a ruling by the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal in June 2015 that the UK government had conducted unlawful surveillance of two non-government organisations, Amnesty International and the Legal Resources Centre.

The case will challenge the legality of mass surveillance conducted by the UK intelligence agencies directly, and the ability of UK intelligence agencies to bypass privacy safeguards by accessing emails, web browsing data and phone records collected and stored by the US National Security Agency.

“For years, the UK government has been secretly intercepting enormous volumes of internet traffic flowing across its borders,” said Caroline Wilson Palow, general counsel at Privacy International. “At the same time, it had, and still has, access to similarly vast troves of information intercepted by the US government.”

According to documents filed in court, the UK claims the right to intercept in bulk any communications that cross the UK, from UK citizens and foreign nationals, and asserts an “almost unfettered” right to communications obtained by the US and other countries.”

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