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British intelligence is involved in PRISM, says Liberty

And they've been snooping our emails
Tue Jun 25 2013, 10:51

CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP Liberty claims deep relationships exist between the British intelligence services and their US counterparts that indicate PRISM involvement this side of the pond.

Liberty said it has issued a legal claim against the intelligence services over their "suspected involvement in the PRISM and Project Tempora privacy scandal".

The rights group said that since news of PRISM broke, concerns have spread across the internet about who might be affected. It is sure that it, its emails and its staff communications have been subjected to surveillance, and described such actions as illegal.

"Those demanding the Snoopers' Charter seem to have been indulging in out-of-control snooping even without it - exploiting legal loopholes and help from Uncle Sam," said Liberty legal director James Welch.

"No-one suggests a completely unpoliced internet but those in power cannot swap targeted investigations for endless monitoring of the entire globe."

The human rights organisation will ask an investigatory powers tribunal to consider whether British intelligence services have bypassed the acknowledged UK legal processes involved in the accessing of personal material, and have jumped straight into inboxes.

GCHQ told The INQUIRER that it did not have specific comment on the Liberty issue, but instead reiterated its mantra on sticking within the law. “All GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that its activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Intelligence and Security Committee,” it noted.

The UK is starting to look a bit lonely in Europe, where a lot of other countries including the European Union have spoken out against the communications dragnet.

"The respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law are the foundations of the EU-US relationship," said European Union (EU) justice commissioner Viviane Reding.

"The rights of EU citizens can be but undermined by US companies which give priority to US laws over EU fundamental rights." µ


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