07:10 GMT14 June 2021
Listen Live
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL
    0 13

    In the world of massive data interception, the Wilson Doctrine cannot protect UK lawmakers from eavesdropping, a lawyer said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The long-standing Wilson Doctrine protecting UK lawmakers from intelligence eavesdropping could not survive in the era of massive data interception by the government, a prominent UK lawyer said Friday.

    In 1966, then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Harold Wilson established a convention banning police or intelligence agencies from wiretapping elected members of parliament or members of the House of Lords. Wilson guaranteed that the doctrine could be changed if necessary for the protection of the UK national security.

    The doctrine does not seem to be legally binding and does not impose restraints on the agencies as it "simply cannot work sensibly", James Eadie, from Queen's Counsel, was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

    On Monday, three prominent British politicians challenged the government surveillance practices in court, alleging that UK authorities had been illegally spying on its lawmakers. The hearing followed early-July revelations regarding the monitoring of calls between parliamentarians and prisoners.

    The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which was hearing the complaint, was unable to immediately rule if the Wilson Doctrine had force, the Guardian reported. The IPT added that intelligence services' internal policies did not oblige them to inform the government about intercepting data.

    The practice of collecting personal data by US and UK intelligence agencies was exposed in documents published online by US whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.


    Nothing Off Limits: UK Politicians Take Govt to Court Over Mass Spying
    US, UK Spy Agencies Look Into Breaching Anti-Virus Software to Track Users
    Human Rights Group Hails Huge Response Against UK Spy Program
    eavesdropping, Wilson Doctrine, James Eadie, Britain
    Community standardsDiscussion