Hearing Begins in New Surveillance Litigation against UK Security Services

The claim brought by Liberty, the British civil liberties’ organisation, against Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the Security Intelligence Services and the Security Service has started today, July 14. The claim is being heard before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in London.

The claim relates to the Respondents’ use of 2 programs: first, Prism, the NSA programme by which information was obtained from service providers and used; and, second, Tempora, apparently a GCHQ program which intercepts communications entering and leaving the UK through fibre optic cables. Liberty alleges, re Prism, that the Respondents acted unlawfully by receiving information from the NSA, in violation of Liberty’s rights under Article 8 and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (i.e., the rights to privacy and freedom of expression). Re Tempora, Liberty alleges that the Respondents acted unlawfully by intercepting the content of its communications, again contrary to its Article 8 and 10 rights and contrary to certain provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The full Grounds of Claim can be read here.

 

About the Author(s)

Shaheed Fatima Q.C.

Queen's Counsel Barrister practicing at Blackstone Chambers