UK surveillance 'violates press freedom,' ECHR rules


Mass surveillance and interception of online communications by the UK government violates the right to privacy and freedom of the press, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on September 13.

Intercepting journalists’ communications was found to breach safeguards for journalists, limit their freedoms and reduce the ability to properly protect their sources, the Strasbourg court said. It was ruling in a four-year case brought by the London-based Bureau for Investigative Journalism.

Data collection by GCHQ, the government’s communications agency, was also found to be unlawful for failing to uphold surveillance safeguards in a wider case brought by 14 human rights groups and privacy organizations. This was taken after Edward Snowden revealed mass surveillance by GCHQ and other agencies in 2013.

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