European Court Ordered British Ministers to Provide Answers on Mass Surveillance Programs - BestCyberNews: Online News Presenter in the present world

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European Court Ordered British Ministers to Provide Answers on Mass Surveillance Programs

The court in Strasbourg has ordered British ministers to provide submissions on mass surveillance programs by the UK’s spy agency GCHQ's secret activities went against the European convention on human rights.


According to RT, On Septermber few European civil rights groups filed a case against Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at the European Court of Human Rights over its surveillance.


The case refers to two surveillance programs by the domestic spying agency, Prism and Tempora. The campaigners, who teamed up under the umbrella title of Privacy Not Prism, claimed that GCHQ has "illegally intruded on the privacy of millions of British and European citizens.”

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered the British government to provide their submissions by May, and the campaigners expect the court to make a ruling before the end of the year.

According to the lawyer for the groups, the ECHR has acted "remarkably quickly" communicating the case to the British government.

"It has also acted decisively by requiring the government to explain how the UK's surveillance practices and oversight mechanisms comply with the right to privacy. This gives hope the ECHR will require reform if the government continues to insist that nothing is wrong," Daniel Carey told the Guardian.

GCHQ and British ministers have insisted that none of their intelligence programs violated privacy laws and human rights.

According to GCHQ, all of its work is "carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence Services commissioners and the parliamentary intelligence and security committee."

Foreign Secretary William Hague has continuously dismissed allegations that GCHQ breached the law, saying law-biding citizens have no reason whatsover to be alarmed.

"If we could tell the whole world and the whole country how we do this business, I think people would be enormously reassured by it and they would see that the law-abiding citizen has nothing to worry about," he said in June.

"If we did that, it would defeat the objective - this is secret work, it is secret intelligence, it is secret for a reason, and a reason that is to do with protecting all the people of this country," Mr Hague explained.

Last week a joint investigation conducted by the UK's Guardian newspaper and Channel 4 News, and based on the new documents leaked by Snowden, revealed that the NSA created a secret system called Dishfire to collect hundreds of millions of text messages a day. 

The documents showed that GCHQ had used the NSA database to search the metadata of "untargeted and unwarranted" communications of people in the UK. 



Author Venkatesh Yalagandula Follow us Google + and Facebook and Twitter

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