UK Secret Services Illegally Spied on Populace
The UK’s intelligence services have unlawfully engaged in mass surveillance of the populous for over a decade, hiding their activity from the public, a top court has ruled.
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal – a special court set up to deal with complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ – ruled that the secret and illegal collection of bulk data was done without adequate safeguards or supervision.
Collection of Bulk Communications Data (BCD) – the "who, where, when and what" of phone and online communications – and Bulk Personal Datasets (BPD), which may include other details such as medical and tax records, failed to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
The news comes as the House of Lords debates the controversial Investigatory Powers Bill or “Snoopers’ Charter,” which seeks to enshrine powers of mass surveillance in law for the first time.
The analysis of metadata is just as intrusive as the analysis of content from web pages or social media. It may appear innocuous but it has the potential to expose the life histories of individuals over time, both personally and professionally.