25/05/2021

The Guardian

ECHR rules GCHQ's mass surveillance violated right to privacy

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that GCHQ's bulk interception of online communications violated the right to privacy and that the regime for the collection of data was "not in accordance with the law." In its ruling, the court said the GCHQ must implement "end-to-end safeguards" to minimise "the risk of the bulk interception power being abused."  However, the ECHR said that the existence of the surveillance programme did not violate the European convention on human rights or that the regime for sharing sensitive digital intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal. Responding to the judgement, the Open Rights Group said, "the Court has recognised that Bulk Interception is an especially intrusive power, and that 'end-to-end safeguards' are needed to ensure abuse does not occur."

Additional commentary of the legal ruling is available from 11KBW and Mischon de Reya. Meanwhile, The Guardian writes about how the court ruling against GCHQ is just the latest battle in the fight for privacy.

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