BRUSSELS-British intelligence services breached people's basic right to privacy with a mass surveillance operation that was brought to light by the whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on September 13.
The judgement is not a complete win for the pro-privacy side, however: The Court also ruled that the United Kingdom government's regime for intelligence sharing with foreign governments was not in violation of Article 8 nor Article 10 of the Convention on Human Rights, and that the procedure for challenging the surveillance measures was not in breach of the right to a fair trial nor the Article on prohibition of discrimination.
The court further ruled that the faults with the rules on bulk interception of communications and with the acquisition of communications data also represented a breach of Article 10 of the Convention, which concern the freedom of expression, because of how the provisions could undermine the confidentiality of journalistic material or journalists' sources.
It said it was not persuaded that the collection of this information was less intrusive than the acquisition of content, pointing out that content might be encrypted or, if decrypted, might reveal nothing of note.
It noted that European Union law required that any regime allowing access to data held by communications service providers had to be limited to the goal of combating "serious crime", and that access be subject to prior review by a court or independent administrative body.
"First, the lack of oversight of the entire selection process, including the selection of bearers for interception, the selectors and search criteria for filtering intercepted communications, and the selection of material for examination by an analyst". The court said it is "satisfied" that British intelligence services take their human rights convention obligations seriously "and are not abusing their powers".
Europe's human rights court on Thursday published what could be a landmark ruling on the legality of mass surveillance.
Documents outed by the NSA whistleblower revealed that GCHQ was conducting "population-scale" interception through the use of three programmes: Tempora, a bulk data store of all internet traffic; Karma Police a catalogue including "a web browsing profile for every visible user on the internet"; and Black Hole, a repository of over one trillion events including internet histories, email and instant messenger records, search engine queries and social media activity.
Hurricane Florence Rocks Wooden Pier in Nags Head
They were the first known deaths attributed to Tropical Storm Florence, which was a Category 1 hurricane when it struck the city. Gradual weakening is expected throughout the day Friday, with significant weakening predicted over the weekend.
Everything you need to know about Hurricane Florence
Friday , then stall over the Wilmington region, dumping up to 35 inches of rain and prompting worry of "extreme" flash flooding. The Union Point Park Complex is seen flooded as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina , on Thursday.
Ryan Thomas gets choked up watching Big Brother footage
After the event, Ofcom received thousands of complaints urging to get Roxanne kicked off the show . Discussing a playful anecdote from the house, Kirstie joked that Ryan tried to sleep in her bed.
The groups pursued the case because they believe they were targeted for government surveillance.
The court's decision does not prohibit governments from sharing information with other countries, because there was no evidence that part had been abused.
Following the Snowden revelations, the rules were replaced in November 2016 by the Investigatory Powers Act, a new law that effectively puts mass surveillance powers on a statutory footing.
"The government will give careful consideration to the court's findings".
"This judgment is a vital step towards protecting millions of law-abiding citizens from unjustified intrusion".
"This includes the introduction of a "double lock" which requires warrants for the use of these powers to be authorized by a Secretary of State and approved by a judge".
"An Investigatory Powers Commissioner has also been created to ensure robust independent oversight of how these powers are used".