Mass surveillance carried out by British intelligence agency GCHQ violated the European Convention on Human Rights, a court in Europe ruled Thursday.Judges from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, voted 5 to 2 that some aspects of the UK’s surveillance activities violated people’s right to a private life. These included indiscriminate “population-level” data collection, a lack of oversight in the collection process and the lack of safeguards to prevent the abuse of collected data.One activity the court decided wasn’t illegal, however, was GCHQ’s policy of sharing sensitive data with foreign governments.In its judgment, the court expressed particular concern over the ability of intelligence services to search and examine data that identifies senders and recipients of messages “apparently without restriction”. The scope for unrestricted snooping “could be capable of painting an intimate picture of a person” through mapping of social networks and communication patterns, browsing and location tracking, and understanding who a person is interacting with, it said. The UK’s bulk interception of data came to light in 2013 as part of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about US and UK intelligence operations. Snowden revealed a number of GCHQ spying programs, including “Tempora,” which stored all internet traffic… Read full this story
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