14:55 GMT +321 October 2018
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    Surveillance

    Human Rights Group Hails Huge Response Against UK Spy Program

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    Human rights groups have hailed a major victory after more than 25,000 people signed up to a campaign backing a law case over the UK's intelligence agency GCHQ's mass surveillance programs.

    Privacy International launched a campaign in February to allow people to sign up for a formal request to find out if GCHQ has illegally spied on them.

    The campaign follows a ruling that found GCHQ had gathered communications data in breach of articles eight and ten of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Article eight refers to the right to respect for private and family life and article ten protects freedom of expression.

    The fact that more than 25,000 people have come forward to sign up to say they believe their personal data has been snooped on by GCHQ is significant. Privacy International intends to collate the inquiries from around the world and submit them to the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal. 

    Strength of Public Opinion

    Eric King, Deputy Director at Privacy International told Sputnik on Friday:

    "We're extremely pleased with the reaction and amazed that so many people feel so strongly about this issue and will continue to campaign for GCHQ to demanding that they finally come clean on unlawful surveillance."

    The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), ruled in February 2015 that: "the regime governing the soliciting, receiving, storing and transmitting by UK authorities of private communications of individuals located in the UK, which have been obtained by US authorities pursuant to Prism and/or Upstream, contravened Articles 8 or 10 ECHR."

    Those who have been found to have been illegally spied on can seek the deletion of their records, including emails, phone records, and Internet communications. Given the mass surveillance capabilities of the NSA and GCHQ, and that the agencies "share by default" the information they collect, an unlimited number of people could have been affected by the unlawful spying
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    Related:

    Spotlight on Privacy: More Encryption and Anonymity Needed, Says UN Report
    Human Rights Groups Say New EU Law Destroys Data Protection
    Report: UK Spy Agency Mass Surveillance 'Undemocratic'
    Tags:
    domestic spying, encryption, snooping, data collection, human rights, surveillance, privacy, Internet, Liberty and Privacy International, British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Europe, United Kingdom
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