Posts Tagged ‘ECHR’

Theresa May wants the UK to quit the European Convention on Human Rights.

Any questions?


UK security agencies unlawfully collected data for 17 years, court rules Investigatory powers tribunal says secret collection of citizens’ personal data breached human rights law

The judges said both the collection and holding of personal data breached people’s right to privacy. The judges said both the collection and holding of personal data breached people’s right to privacy.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/17/uk-security-agencies-unlawfully-collected-data-for-decade

British security agencies have secretly and unlawfully collected massive volumes of confidential personal data, including financial information, on citizens for more than a decade, top judges have ruled. The investigatory powers tribunal, which is the only court that hears complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, said the security services operated secret regimes to collect vast amounts of personal communications data, tracking individual phone and web use and large datasets of confidential personal information, without adequate safeguards or supervision for more than 10 years. The ruling said the regime governing the collection of bulk communications data (BCD) – the who, where, when and what of personal phone and web communications – failed to comply with article 8 protecting the right to privacy of the European convention of human rights (ECHR) between 1998, when it started, and 4 November 2015, when it was made public. It said the holding of bulk personal datasets (BPD) – which might include medical and tax records, individual biographical details, commercial and financial activities, communications and travel data – also failed to comply with article 8 for the decade it was in operation until its public avowal in March 2015.

“The BPD regime failed to comply with the ECHR principles which we have above set out throughout the period prior to its avowal in March 2015. The BCD regime failed to comply with such principles in the period prior to its avowal in November 2015, and the institution of a more adequate system of supervision as at the same date,”

the ruling concluded. The House of Lords is debating the final stages of the investigatory powers bill – the snooper’s charter – which will put mass digital surveillance activities on a clear legal footing for the first time since the disclosure by Edward Snowden of the extent of state surveillance in 2013. Chaired by Mr Justice Burton, the IPT ruling revealed that security agency staff had been sent internal warnings not to use the databases containing the vast collections of information to search for or access details “about other members of staff, neighbours, friends, acquaintances, family members and public figures”. It also revealed concerns within the security agencies about the secretive nature of their bulk data collection activities.

In February 2010, a Mr Hannigan, then of the Cabinet Office, wrote:

“It is difficult to assess the extent to which the public is aware of agencies’ holding and exploiting in-house personal bulk datasets, including data on individuals of no intelligence interest … Although existing legislation allows companies and UK government departments to share personal data with the agencies if necessary in the interests of national security, the extent to which this sharing takes place may not be evident to the public.”

The campaign group Privacy International said the ruling showed that despite this warning internal oversight failed to prevent the highly sensitive databases being treated like Facebook to check on birthdays, and “very worryingly” on family members for “personal reasons”.

The IPT ruling included the disclosure from an unpublished 2010 MI5 policy statement that the BPDs included material on the nation’s personal financial activities. “The fact that the service holds bulk financial, albeit anonymised, data is assessed to be a high corporate risk, since there is no public expectation that the service will hold or have access to this data in bulk. Were it to become widely known that the service held this data, the media response would most likely be unfavourable and probably inaccurate,” it said.

The legal challenge centred on the acquisition, use, retention and disclosure by the security services of BCD under section 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 and the use of BPDs under a variety of legal powers. The tribunal noted the highly secretive nature of the communications data regime, saying “it seems difficult to conclude that the use of BCD was foreseeable by the public when it was not explained to parliament”.

Mark Scott, of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, who was instructed by Privacy International in the legal challenge, said: “This judgment confirms that for over a decade UK security services unlawfully concealed both the extent of their surveillance capabilities and that innocent people across the country have been spied upon.”

Millie Graham Wood, legal officer at Privacy International, said:

“[The ruling is] a long overdue indictment of UK surveillance agencies riding roughshod over our democracy and secretly spying on a massive scale.”

She said the use of BCD carried huge risks. “It facilitates the almost instantaneous cataloguing of entire populations’ personal data. It is unacceptable that it is only through litigation by a charity that we have learnt the extent of these powers and how they are used.

“The public and parliament deserve an explanation as to why everyone’s data was collected for over a decade without oversight in place and confirmation that unlawfully obtained personal data will be destroyed.”

Privacy International said the judgment did not specify whether the unlawfully obtained, sensitive personal data would be deleted.

A government spokesperson said the ruling showed that the regimes used to hold and collect data since March and November 2015 respectively were legal.

“The powers available to the security and intelligence agencies play a vital role in protecting the UK and its citizens. We are therefore pleased the tribunal has confirmed the current lawfulness of the existing bulk communications data and bulk personal dataset regimes.

“Through the investigatory powers bill, the government is committed to providing greater transparency and stronger safeguards for all of the bulk powers available to the agencies.”

A further hearing of the case is scheduled for December to consider a number of outstanding issues.

Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said the ruling showed “mass spying on the British people should be replaced with targeted surveillance of specific individuals suspected of wrongdoing”.

He added:

“Allowing the state to collect endless amounts of personal data is not just a gross invasion of privacy, it is a waste of precious resources. Every pound the government spends monitoring people’s emails, text messages and calls is a pound taken away from community policing.”

 

 

The Tories, under an unelected Prime Minister without a mandate, Theresa May, have today normalised xenophobia and Fascism in Britain.

See: http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2016/10/05/the-tories-have-finally-become-ukip

Don’t worry re: the announcement by Amber Rudd that foreign workers should be registered/listed. It’s not like its without harmless precedent is it? (jk!)

Ref: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/04/jeremy-hunt-nhs-doctors-theresa-may-conservative-conference-live/

Himmler and foreign workers.jpg

Amber Rudd revealed that companies could be forced to publish the proportion of “international” staff on their books in a move which would effectively “name and shame” businesses which “are failing to take on British workers” in here words.

This decision by the Tories is utterly abhorrent and has echoes from history that I find chilling. CuBNHtnXgAAijp-.jpg

IMHO, Employers must decide to refuse to comply with this crypto-fascism. She has adopted the manifesto of the BNP!
If you’re in any doubt as to where on the political spectrum Theresa May’s ideas fall, here’s French National Front Marine Le Pen giving them her seal of approval!

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What particularly sent a shiver down my spine was as May announced she would derogate the British military forces from the ECHR, the European convention on Human Rights, seeing the reaction of the Tory conference, rabidly clapping and cheering, the loudest cheer at Conservative Party Conference 2016 was to May slamming Human Rights lawyers for trying to expose potential war crimes!

This writer thinks derogations from the ECHR (which is nothing to do with Brexit from the EU but is commonly assumed to be by Brexit voters) will make the UK look like hypocrites on the World stage in it’s (self assumed) role as World’s Policeman.

May is only doing this because the MoD has been forced to settle hundreds of cases of abuse and mistreatment on the battlefield that we, the UK, as arbiters of Human Rights in the “Free World” should be trying to eradicate, not permit.

UK armed forces will still be subject to the Laws of Armed Conflict, the Geneva Conventions and UK Service Law, as I’m sure you know?

But none of those treaties and conventions stopped guys like Sgt Andrew Blackman committing war crimes in the battle field of Afghanistan (convicted of murder and imprisoned in 2015 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34267936).

What is genuinely concerning me most, is the way the Tories rabidly greeted the announcement and so, the way the sentiment that many will draw from it, especially as the “Overton Window” of media and political argument has shifted so far to the Right in the UK.

Oh, and by the way. I’m an ordinary working class person from a long line of ordinary working class people… and I HATE when politicians use the phrase “ordinary working class people”!


This was Jeremy Corbyn’s angry response to Theresa May’s speech.

“Conservative Party leaders have sunk to a new low this week as they fan the flames of xenophobia and hatred in our communities and try to blame foreigners for their own failures.

Drawing up lists of foreign workers won’t stop unscrupulous employers undercutting wages in Britain.
Shutting the door to international students won’t pay young people’s tuition fee debts,
and ditching doctors from abroad won’t cut NHS waiting lists.

The Conservatives will instead foster division and discrimination in our workplaces and communities.
Once again, they are making false promises on immigration they can’t deliver. Instead of turning people against each other, ministers should take action now to deal with the real impact of migration.

They should stop the abuse of migrant labour to undercut pay and conditions, which would reduce numbers.

They should support communities with high levels of migration and they should set out a positive agenda for fair migration rules as part of the Brexit negotiations for a new relationship with the European Union.”


Theresa May has been accused of “pure nationalism”

Theresa May has been accused of “pure nationalism” as members of the public began a backlash against parts of her closing speech at the Tory conference.

Mrs May sparked controversy when she said; “if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere” during an attack on international corporations.

It came as the Prime Minister declared “change” was needed as she pledged to transform Britain in the wake of the Brexit vote.

But her comments were described as “pure undisguised nationalism” as critics queued up on social media to attack her over the “divisive” comments.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-may-sparks-twitter-backlash-over-citizen-of-the-world-remark-in-conservative-party-a3361701.html

Well, Sorry, Terroriser May!
I’m a homo-sapiens, resident of a planet called ‘Earth’ also known to its inhabitants as the “World”. And this world wasn’t created with notional boundaries.
Boundaries were imposed by other controlling hominids!


TheresaMay is selling bombs to Saudi Arabia who are committing War Crimes in Yemen & supporting al-Qaeda & ISIL/Daesh terrorists in Syria pic.twitter.com/Txs9RyDyhX