Privacy group sues UK government over surveillance programs

The spying programs are seemingly operating outside the law, Privacy International said

By , IDG News Service |  Government

Tempora was purportedly authorized under certificated warrants issued under RIPA that do not have to name or describe any one person or a single set of premises as the subject of the interception, according to Privacy International. The certificates are renewed on a rolling basis by the Secretary of State for the U.K. Home Office, and do not require judicial authorization or approval of warrants or certificates.

The effect of Tempora is that all communications using fiber-optic cables are subject to the risk of interception, search and storage, putting at risk of interception all Internet and telephone users in the U.K. and other parts of the world, Privacy International said in the complaint.

The privacy group has asked the tribunal for a declaration that Tempora is in violation of various regulations including RIPA and the European Convention on Human Rights. It has also asked for an order to destroy all unlawfully obtained material. The complaint also cites rights to privacy and freedom of expression in ECHR to ask the tribunal for a declaration against the Secretary of State for not ensuring that there is in place a legal regime governing the soliciting, receiving, storing and transmitting by U.K. authorities of private communications of individuals located in the U.K. which have been obtained by US authorities.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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