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Bulk Personal Datasets Challenge
Privacy International v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs et al. (Bulk Personal Datasets & Bulk Communications Data challenge)
This is a legal challenge in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, about whether the acquisition, use, retention, disclosure, storage and deletion of Bulk Personal Datasets (“BPD”) and Bulk Communications Data (“BCD”) is in accordance with the law and necessary and proportionate. Bulk Personal Datasets were first avowed on 12 March 2015 in the Intelligence and Security Committee report and Bulk Communications Data in November 2015 on publication of the draft Investigatory Powers Bill.
Below you can find links to skeleton arguments, documents and a summary of the case to date. The case is ongoing.
Reference: Case No. IPT/15/110/CH
Venue: Investigatory Powers Tribunal
Judgment 17 October 2016: UKIPTrib 15_110-CH
Skeleton arguments for all hearings for Claimant and Respondents can be accessed here.
Disclosure & documents Part 2:
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, having delivered its judgment in relation to the domestic and ECHR law issues, in judgment dated 17 October 2016, proceeds in relation to the remaining issues to be determined:
- 1. Searches;
- 2. Transfer by the Respondents of BPD and/or BCD to other bodies including foreign partners and other UK Law Enforcement Agencies;
- 3. EU law issues.
Documents relevant to the above can be accessed here.
Privacy International in August 2014 filed a legal challenge in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. Detailed grounds were filed on 10 September 2015 and re-amended on 8 January 2016 following disclosures regarding the use of section 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 to include a challenge to the use of section 94 of the Telecommunications Act.
The Respondents provided an amended response on 19 February 2016 which provides detail on the use of section 94 and significant avowals relating to the use of section 94 by GCHQ and the Security Service to acquire Bulk Communications Data since 1998 and 2005 respectively.
Disclosure of policies and guidance in existence since 2005 includes substantial additional avowals and detail about acquisition, use and so on of Bulk Personal Datasets and Bulk Communications data.
The first substantive hearing in the case took place in July 2016 and partial judgment was promulgated in October 2016. BCD collection commenced in March 1998 was unlawful until avowed in November 2015. BPD commenced around 2006 was found unlawful until avowed March 2015. It found that everyone’s communications data had been collected unlawfully, in secret and without adequate safeguards until November 2015.
A further hearing is scheduled in June 2017 about i) whether sharing or granting access to ‘Bulk Communications Data’ and ‘Bulk Personal Datasets’ with foreign intelligence agencies and UK law enforcement agencies is lawful; and ii) whether the collection, retention and use of these datasets is lawful under EU law. One further hearing will also take place in July 2017 to cover a handful of additional issues raised by subsequent disclosure in the case.
DOCUMENTS: First Hearing
- Requests for further information
Through Requests for Further Information, details about the operation of the secret regimes have been brought to light.
- A detailed Request for Further Information was sent on 8 January 2016.
- Response to the Claimant’s Request for Further Information
In April 2016 PI received:
- 1. The Respondents’ Closed Response to the Claimant’s Request for Further Information and Disclosure
- 2. The Closed Response of the Respondents annex with opened up text
In July 2016 there were further Requests for Information and Responses
- 3. Claimant’s supplemental request for further information and disclosure
- 4. Respondents’ response to Claimant’s request for further information on oversight by IOCCO and IOC
- 5. Respondents’ amended response to the Claimant’s supplemental request for further information and disclosure
Exhibits to Respondents’ witness statements are listed here.
Other documents and disclosure
- 8. Orders
- 9. IOCCO correspondence disclosed 17.05.2016
- 10. Letter GLD to Bhatt Murphy 11.04.2016
- 11. Home Office correspondence disclosed 29.06.2016
- 12. Various further documentation disclosed 15.07.2016
- 12.1 Document provided in response to request 7 – IOCCO inspection reports 2011 – 2015
- 12.2 Documentation provided in response to request 8
- 12.3 Documentation provided in response to request 10
- 12.4 Documentation provided in response to request 28
- 12.5 Documentation provided in response to request 29
- 12.6 Documentation provided in response to request 52
- 12.7 Documentation provided in response to request 97
- 12.8 GCHQ file notes
- 12.9 Review of Agency Handling of Bulk Personal data
- 13. Policies, procedures and safeguards operated by the Respondents since June 2014. We have listed these documents here.
- 14. Historical documents including policies and procedures dating from June 2005 to May 2014. We have listed these documents here.
- 15. Respondents’ closed response and exhibits. We have listed these exhibits here.
- 16. International Telephone Access Code Section 94 direction
- 17. Section 94 direction
Comments & Blogs
- Blog at the time we filed the legal complaint : https://www.privacyinternational.org/node/594
- The Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office (IOCCO) new report questions lawfulness of the use of secret Section 94 powers for mass surveillance: https://www.privacyinternational.org/node/890
- New document reveals that GCHQ and MI5 stretched the law to breaking point: https://www.privacyinternational.org/node/872
- The steady drip of the erosion of privacy: https://www.privacyinternational.org/node/854