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British wiretapping is being prosecuted by a European court

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A tablet was unveiled at a ceremony at British Intelligence in London 2019.  Stock photo.

Photo: Frank Austin / AB / DT

A tablet was unveiled at a ceremony at British Intelligence in London 2019. Stock photo.

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The European Court of Justice has ruled that the GCHQ, a British intelligence agency, violated the European Convention on Human Rights by collecting its mass information.

The case is being pursued by human rights groups who have argued that monitoring is neither necessary nor proportionate and that there is a lack of transparency in the plan. The British government believes that it plays an important role in identifying threats to national security.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that mass surveillance does not violate the European Convention – but that wiretapping should be subject to more regulation and review than what happened in the United Kingdom. The court points out that approval for wiretapping must be granted by an independent body, not the government.

The United Kingdom is guilty of violating Article 8 of the European Convention on Privacy. Violations have been made against Section 10 of the Right to Freedom of Expression, among other things, when there is insufficient security for secret press items, the court said.

In 2013, American whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that US and British intelligence were engaged in extensive surveillance that began after the 9/11 attacks.

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