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United Kingdom

In the media
Publisher: 
The Intercept
Publication date: 
18-Feb-2014
Author(s): 
Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher
Original story link: 

But privacy advocates question such assurances. “How could targeting an entire website’s user base be necessary or proportionate?” says Gus Hosein, executive director of the London-based human rights group Privacy International. “These are innocent people who are turned into suspects based on their reading habits. Surely becoming a target of a state’s intelligence and security apparatus should require more than a mere click on a link.”

Countries: 
In the media
Publisher: 
Computer Weekly
Publication date: 
07-Feb-2014
Author(s): 
Warwick Ashford
Original story link: 

Liberty, Big Brother Watch and Privacy International have described the inquiry as “deeply flawed” in an open letter to the ISC with copies to the prime minister and his deputy.

Countries: 
In the media
Publisher: 
BBC World Service
Publication date: 
28-Feb-2014
Original story link: 

Gus Hosein and Anna Crowe speak with BBC World Service on the past, and future, of privacy.

Countries: 
In the media
Publisher: 
Wired UK
Publication date: 
14-Feb-2014
Author(s): 
Katie Collins
Original story link: 

"While the IPT has a history of siding with Government, today the Tribunal expressed well-founded scepticism of several of the government's positions, which were built upon continued refusals to acknowledge the existence of the Tempora programme, despite the reams of material to the contrary that are now in the public domain.

"The Government's continuing insistence on neither confirming nor denying Tempora borders on the absurd and blocks us from having a full and robust debate about whether such mass surveillance is lawful."

Countries: 
In the media
Publisher: 
The Guardian
Publication date: 
14-Feb-2014
Author(s): 
Owen Bowcott
Original story link: 

Privacy International said : "All internet and telephone communications, without meaningful limits, are being collected, stored and analysed by the security and intelligence services, regardless of any grounds for suspicion. This raises important issues of law and principle."

Countries: 
In the media
Publisher: 
Zeit Online
Publication date: 
02-Mar-2014
Author(s): 
Jennifer Stange
Original story link: 

Laut Privacy International ist Deutschland nach den USA und Großbritannien der drittgrößte Exporteur dieser Technologie weltweit. Neben Asien wächst vor allem in den arabischen Staaten die Nachfrage.

Blog
Edin Omanovic's picture

Political activist and university lecturer Tadesse Kersmo believed that he was free from intrusive surveillance when he was granted political asylum in the UK. Instead, he was likely subject to more surveillance than ever. His case underlines the borderless nature of advanced surveillance technologies and why it represents such a massive problem.

In the past, those fleeing conflict or persecution could reasonably expect a degree of respite if they managed to escape their circumstances. However, the nature of modern surveillance and its ability to facilitate oppression has changed this. When it comes to surveillance, familiar concepts of borders and nation states are becoming increasingly irrelevant. For refugees, this has grave implications.

Press release

In response to the ruling against David Miranda over his detention at Heathrow, Privacy International Executive Director Dr. Gus Hosein said:

Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000 is a law intended to fight terrorism, and was not drafted to target people like David Miranda. In this instance however the government used it to seize the devices of journalists to intimidate and obstruct the reporting of mass and unlawful surveillance practices of the British government. To equate journalism with espionage, as the government has, is truly shameful.

What this case has shown is that the Government will work to bend the confines of the law to suit their purposes, but alarmingly they will bend logic to do so as well. They have included remarkable claims about the nature of the Snowden disclosures, developed theories of a Russian conspiracy, and made unverifiable claims that the disclosures threaten national security. We are disappointed that the court did not check these wild allegations, and instead questioned the ability of journalists to understand the ramifications of their stories.

Blog
Caroline Wilson Palow's picture

Post updated on 14 April to reflect response from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Would you like to read the current international agreements establishing the intelligence sharing arrangements that underpin the work of the NSA and GCHQ? The rules that govern massive, coordinated communications surveillance operations, hacking, and the exploitation of networks and devices in the name of national security and the public interest?

What about the guidelines that set the boundaries of what certain cooperating intelligence agencies can and cannot do to the citizens of their own countries, and to foreigners?

Well, you can’t.

Blog
Alinda Vermeer's picture

After suffering years of persistent harassment, violence, and surveillance at the hands of his oppressive government, Tadesse Kersmo had enough. Tired of living under constant monitoring, Tadesse and his wife escaped Ethiopia, where they had been politically active for years, and were granted asylum in the United Kingdom in 2009.

It was only a few years later that they discovered that this escape was an illusion, and that they had been followed from Ethiopia to England. He may have left his country, but Tadesse was still a target.

He wasn’t followed physically, however - the surveillance was much more clandestine. Tadesse appears to have been tracked through his computer via a Trojan that is part of a commercial intrusion kit called FinFisher.

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