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TOPIC: Liberty battles to stop ‘illegal’ state snooping

Liberty battles to stop ‘illegal’ state snooping 28 Feb 2018 08:07 #6340

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Human Rights Group heads to High Court for landmark bid to halt ‘intrusive’ Investigatory Power Act

THE TORIES’ latest snooper's charter, allowing the bulk collection of personal data on such spurious grounds as “protecting public health,” is illegal and must be scrapped, the High Court heard today.

The Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) authorises web and phone companies to retain communications that provide a “comprehensive and intimate portrait of a person’s private life” for access by the police and security agencies.

Civil rights group Liberty is bringing a crowd-funded legal challenge to the legality of the Act's data retention powers, arguing that they permit “significant intrusion” into British citizens’ rights to a private life and freedom of expression.

It is also contesting three other parts of the IPA covering bulk hacking powers, bulk interception of the content of communications and the creation of bulk personal datasets in a case that will be heard at a later date.

Liberty is asking the High Court to disapply the “unlawful” retention powers, including those allowing the retention of and access to data for non-serious criminal investigations, where retention and access is not subject to review and where it is for the purposes of “protecting public health,” “assessing or collecting any tax” or maintaining “financial stability.”

The human rights group is also seeking safeguards for legal professional privilege, which protects communications between lawyers and their clients, and for questions of European law to be referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

IPA originated in the Home Office when Theresa May was in charge and became law in November 2016.

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