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Guardian: Court rules DRIPA surveillance legislation passed last year is unlawful

Posted by Soledad Vega on Fri, 07/17/2015 - 09:28

At last some postive news from the UK regarding surveillance!

Article by Owen Bowcott for the Guardian

The high court has found that emergency surveillance legislation introduced by the coalition government last year is unlawful.

A judicial challenge by the Labour MP Tom Watson and the Conservative MP David Davis has overturned the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (Dripa) 2014. The judges ruled that data retention powers in the legislation were inconsistent with EU laws.

The government has been ordered to pass new legislation that must come into effect by the end of next March. The MPs said the judgment underlined the need for prior authorisation by a judge before police or intelligence agencies are permitted to access retained data.

The Home Office, however, said it would appeal against the ruling which, it warned, may result in data that could save lives being lost to police and investigators.

In their challenge, Davis and Watson argued that the law allowed the police and security services to spy on citizens without proper safeguards.

They argued that the legislation was incompatible with article eight of the European convention on human rights, the right to respect for private and family life, and articles seven and eight of the EU charter of fundamental rights, respect for private and family life and protection of personal data.

The MPs complained that use of communications data was not limited to cases involving serious crime, that individual notices of data retention were kept secret and that no provision was made for those under obligation of professional confidentiality, in particular lawyers and journalists. Nor, they argued, were there adequate safeguards against communications data leaving the European Union.

- Read more at the Guardian