UK Intelligence Agencies

Press release

PI issues the following statement in relation to the European Court of Human Rights decision handed down on 3 September 2020. 

News & Analysis

Privacy International (PI) and Liberty have filed on Friday, 31 January 2020, a complaint with the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), the judicial body that oversees the intelligence agencies, against MI5 in relation to how they handle vast troves of personal data.

News & Analysis
*Photo by Michelle Ding on Unsplash Pat Finucane was killed in Belfast in 1989. As he and his family ate Sunday dinner, loyalist paramilitaries broke in and shot Pat, a high profile solicitor, in front of his wife and children. The Report of the Patrick Finucane Review in 2012 expressed “significant
Long Read
*Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash The British government needs to provide assurances that MI5’s secret policy does not authorise people to commit serious human rights violations or cover up of such crimes Privacy International, along Reprieve, the Committee on the Administration of Justice, and
Long Read
Six years after NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents providing details about how states' mass surveillance programmes function, two states – the UK and South Africa – publicly admit using bulk interception capabilities. Both governments have been conducting bulk interception of internet
News & Analysis
One of the UK’s largest telecommunications operators, BT, has said to Privacy International that a report claiming it “co-produces malware” with a surveillance company for the GCHQ is inaccurate – but hasn’t said why or given any more details. The accusation was made by C5IS – a shadowy online
News & Analysis
Privacy International has joined a global coalition of privacy campaigners, tech companies, and technology experts to respond to proposals by British intelligence chiefs aimed at allowing them access to encrypted messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Signal. If implemented, the proposals would allow
Press release
We found this image here The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) today held that, for a sustained period, successive Foreign Secretaries wrongly gave GCHQ unfettered discretion to collect vast quantities of personal customer information from telecommunications companies. The judgment exposes: · the
Press release
Hearing: Cross examination of senior GCHQ official about Intelligence Agencies’ use of massive databases of information about everyone in the UK When: Monday 26 February 2018, 3.15pm Where: Royal Courts of Justice, Court 28, Strand, London WC2A 2LL Summary This is the first time GCHQ have given open
Press release
Key points Privacy International has obtained previously unseen government documents that reveal British spy agency GCHQ collects social media information on potentially millions of people. GCHQ collected and accesses this information by gaining access to private companies’ databases. Letters
Press release
In today’s latest hearing in our ongoing legal challenge against the collection of massive troves of our personal data by the UK intelligence agencies, shocking new evidence has emerged about GCHQ’s attempts to yet again avoid proper independent scrutiny for its deeply intrusive surveillance
Press release
Tomorrow, on 26 July, the main hearing will begin in Privacy International's legal challenge against MI6, MI5, and GCHQ's collection of bulk communications data and bulk personal datasets. Previously secret documents will be made public at the hearing, and Privacy International will brief attending
Press release
Privacy International releases previously confidential correspondence between lawyers for MI5 and GCHQ and the former Interception of Communications Commissioner, highlighting problems with the relationship between the two bodies The correspondences show a lack of meaningful oversight and restraint
News & Analysis
Thank you to those of you who joined our campaign, 'Did GCHQ Illegally Spy on You?'. If you made a claim to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) - the court that hears claims about surveillance by public bodies, including the intelligence agencies - to find out if GCHQ has illegally obtained your
Press release
In response to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) ruling today that GCHQ's hacking is lawful, we have issued the following press statement: "We are disappointed by the IPT’s judgment today, which has found Government hacking lawful based on a broad interpretation of a law dating back to 1994
Long Read
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (“IPT”) today held that GCHQ hacking of computers, mobile devices and networks is lawful, wherever it occurs around the world. We are disappointed that the IPT has not upheld our complaint and we will be challenging its findings. Our complaint is the first UK legal
Press release
Documents released today confirm GCHQ, the UK intelligence agency, is hacking computers in the United Kingdom without individual warrants. The documents contain previously unknown details and defenses of GCHQ's use of "thematic warrants" to hack. The legal challenge in which these documents are
Press release
Human Rights Watch and three individuals have today lodged a legal challenge to establish whether their communications were part of those unlawfully shared between the US National Security Agency (NSA) and UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Despite billions of records being shared
Press release
A new report released today by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) highlights key technical blind spots in current GCHQ oversight and calls for a new, comprehensive and clear legal framework governing British intelligence agencies' surveillance capability. The report panel, which included
Press release
The UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) today notified the ten NGO claimants in a legal challenge against GCHQ mass surveillance practices that the Tribunal had mistakenly omitted information about unlawful GCHQ actives in their judgment from ten days ago . In an email to the claimants
Press release
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) today revealed that the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spied on two international human rights organisations, failed to follow ITS own secret procedures and acted unlawfully. The targeted NGOs are the South African Legal Resources Centre (LRC
Press release
The Government has quietly ushered through legislation amending the anti-hacking laws to exempt GCHQ from prosecution. Privacy International and other parties were notified of this just hours prior to a hearing of their claim against GCHQ's illegal hacking operations in the Investigatory Powers
Press release
The UK Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee's report provides a long-awaited official confirmation that the British government is engaging in mass surveillance of communications. Far from allaying the public's concerns, the ISC's report should trouble every single person who uses a
Press release
Privacy International today has launched a platform and campaign to allow anyone in the world to request whether Britain’s intelligence agency GCHQ has illegally spied on them. The platform and campaign has been developed in response to a recent court ruling that GCHQ unlawfully obtained millions of
News & Analysis
Privacy International, Bytes for All and other human rights groups are celebrating a major victory against the Five Eyes today as the UK surveillance tribunal rules that GCHQ acted unlawfully in accessing millions of private communications collected by the NSA up until December 2014. Today’s
Long Read
As Privacy International celebrates Friday's victory against Britain’s security services - the first such victory this century - we cannot help but feel the success is bittersweet. After all, we may have convinced the Investigatory Powers Tribunal that GCHQ was acting unlawfully in accessing NSA
Press release
British intelligence services acted unlawfully in accessing millions of people’s personal communications collected by the NSA, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled today. The decision marks the first time that the Tribunal, the only UK court empowered to oversee GHCQ, MI5 and MI6, has ever ruled
Press release
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) today followed its previous judgments in finding that UK security services may in principle carry out mass surveillance of all fibre optic cables entering or leaving the UK under RIPA, the 2000 law that pre-dates the modern internet. In summary, the Tribunal
News & Analysis
In the last two days multiple security vendors, newspapers and experts have weighed in on the existence of the “Regin" malware, among the most sophisticated ever discovered, and its possible origins at GCHQ and the NSA. The Intercept has now confirmed Regin was the malware found on infected internal
Press release
Britain's intelligence services do not need a warrant to receive unlimited bulk intelligence from the NSA and other foreign agencies, and can keep this data on a massive searchable database for up to two years, according to secret internal policies revealed today by human rights organisations
News & Analysis
From Monday 14 to Friday 18 July, the British intelligence agencies and the Ministers responsible for them will be under the spotlight in an historic case to determine whether GCHQ's mass communications surveillance activities are a violation of Britain's human rights obligations. Privacy
News & Analysis
We have learnt a lot in the last year about the dirty games GCHQ and NSA are playing to infiltrate the networks, tools and technologies we all use to communicate. This includes forcing companies to handover their customers’ data under secret orders, and secretly tapping fibre optic cablesbetween the
News & Analysis
While the initial disclosures by Edward Snowden revealed how US authorities are conducting mass surveillance on the world's communications, further reporting by the Guardian newspaper uncovered that UK intelligence services were just as involved in this global spying apparatus. Faced with the
Press release
Privacy International today filed a legal complaint demanding an end to the unlawful hacking being carried out by GCHQ which, in partnership with the NSA, is infecting potentially millions of computer and mobile devices around the world with malicious software that gives them the ability to sweep up
Long Read
Today, Privacy International lodged a legal challenge to GCHQ's extensive and intrusive hacking of personal computers and devices. Below, we answer a few questions about the law underlying our complaint, and why it matters. Is hacking legal? As a result of the Snowden revelations, we have learned
Long Read
Britain's spy agency, GCHQ, is secretly conducting mass surveillance by tapping fibre optic cables, giving it access to huge amounts of data on both innocent citizens and targeted suspects, according to a report in the Guardian. Mass, indiscriminate surveillance of this kind goes against an
Long Read
Spy agencies have long sought to turn the technologies that improve all our lives against us. From some of the very first forms of remote communications such as telegraph cables, to modern-day means like Skype: if the spies can exploit it, they will. And, as we’ve learnt over the last few months