Special UK court to hear state surveillance complaints - report
MOSCOW, July 14 (RAPSI) – This week Britain’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which deals with public complaints about unreasonable official snooping, will hear the first of this year’s series of legal complaints on the alleged surveillance by state security agencies, The Financial Times writes.
The complaint was filed by human rights groups and its arguments are based on the revelations about state surveillance made by US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden to The Washington Post and The Guardian in June 2013. The secret surveillance systems involved in the case are known as Prism and Tempora.
The rights groups Liberty and Privacy International claim that Tempora violated Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. They want the tribunal to declare that the alleged surveillance was unlawful.
The hearing will be held partially behind closed doors. A ruling is expected later this year.
The tribunal will hear a similar complaint in the fall. It was filed by lawyers on behalf of two members of the UK Green party, who claim that their conversations could be intercepted by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). At a preliminary hearing before the tribunal, the lawyers cited the “Wilson doctrine,” which is a public policy principle whereby MPs and peers are not subject to electronic surveillance by the security services.
The two MPs said in written arguments that following Snowden’s revelations, the Wilson doctrine “has been undermined by modern mass surveillance practices.”
UK authorities have neither confirmed nor denied the existence of Tempora.