UK Special Court Declares GCHQ Data Collection Program was Deficient

Published On: Feb. 09, 2015

Last Updated: Oct. 05, 2020

The U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (“IPT”) found that a collection program the UK used for seven years was lacking in transparency and violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”) until recent disclosures were made explaining the program. The disclosures, made in connection with the matter pending before the court, elucidated a collection program to obtain intelligence information from the U.S.’s Prism and Upstream collection programs. Notably, the IPT generally found that because of the safeguards in RIPA and use of RIPA warrants in connection with requesting data from the U.S., the program itself did not run afoul of the ECHR. The IPT stated the GCHQ is now compliant with the law. Privacy groups, who brought the case and pushed for the disclosures, have said that they plan to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.