First Report Of UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy Condemns UK Investigatory Powers Bill

In his first report to the UN Human Rights Council (the main UN human rights political body composed of 47 states from around the world), the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy has offered a scathing critique on the UK Investigatory Powers Bill. In particular the Rapporteur noted how bulk surveillance powers, including bulk hacking, are disproportionate and violate the right to privacy as established by human rights courts. The Rapporteur noted that the powers proposed in the Investigatory Powers Bill “run counter” to the findings of the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and to recent judgements of the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.  

Echoing the concerns of many privacy activists, including Privacy International, the Rapporteur raised serious questions about the precedent the IP Bill could set for the enjoyment of the right to privacy across the world.  He recommended the UK Government refrain from "taking disproportionate measures which may have negative ramifications far beyond the shores of the United Kingdom."

The Special Rapporteur will present his report, which covers a range of issues and includes his plan of action for his mandate, to the Council tomorrow morning in an open meeting, which will be live streamed. The live stream with be available here.

Privacy International will be delivering an oral statement to the Council and the statement is available here.

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