U.K. Surveillance Powers Are 'Illegal', Rules E.U.'s Highest Court

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The European Union's highest court has ruled that the "general and indiscriminate retention" of electronic communications by governments is illegal, in a direct challenge to the U.K.'s recently passed Investigatory Powers Act, the so-called "Snooper's Charter" (via The Guardian).

The U.K. bill requires that internet service providers retain a record of all websites visited by citizens for 12 months at a time, but today's decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg ruled that the collection of data in such a manner puts citizens under "constant surveillance" and enables governments to draw "very precise conclusions" about their private lives.

The European Court of Justice
The interference by national legislation that provides for the retention of traffic data and location data with that right must therefore be considered to be particularly serious. The fact that the data is retained without the users of electronic communications services being informed of the fact is likely to cause the persons concerned to feel that their private lives are the subject of constant surveillance. Consequently, only the objective of fighting serious crime is capable of justifying such interference.
It's unclear at this point whether the ruling can be used to overturn the United Kingdom's surveillance laws. The U.K.'s Home Office has said it will appeal the ruling, which could eventually prove academic once the country has withdrawn from the E.U. and the ECJ loses judicial authority over the U.K.

Martha Spurrier, director of the human rights group Liberty, said the ruling "upholds the rights of ordinary British people not to have their personal lives spied on without good reason or an independent warrant."
The government must now make urgent changes to the Investigatory Powers Act to comply with this. This is the first serious post-referendum test for our government's commitment to protecting human rights and the rule of law. The UK may have voted to leave the EU - but we didn't vote to abandon our rights and freedoms."
Apple has long opposed the U.K.'s Investigatory Powers bill, which originally required companies to build anti-encryption backdoors into their software, before an amendment to the wording meant that companies aren't required to do so when a government agency requests it, unless taking such an action "is technically feasible and not unduly expensive". The exact definition of those terms are set to be left to the decision-making of a British judge on a case-by-case basis.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: U.K. Surveillance Powers Are 'Illegal', Rules E.U.'s Highest Court
 

Chrjy

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2010
794
1,147
UK
This is clearly wrong and an invasion of privacy....having said that I think all our privacy went down the toilet a long time ago now we are in an internet age. Anyone who thinks different is very optimistic ;-)
 

robeddie

Suspended
Jul 21, 2003
1,777
1,732
Atlanta
Yep, hate to be dramatic and jump on the bandwagon here but it certainly feels like the notion of a right to privacy is under attack more than ever these days.

But all these oversharing tools on facebook and everywhere else probably dont give a damn.
 
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niun

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2015
686
1,011
Never mind, not long now and we can introduce it anyway once we've left the dictatorship EU.

With all the terrorists being harboured in the UK this is a good idea. No one moans about being filmed several times a day by CCTV.

No doubt the remoaners will complain.....
Yeah, a dictatorship that actually looks out for Human rights violations.. Fancy that..
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2012
1,053
1,821
Interstellar
Sometimes I f**king hate this stupid country and it's ridiculous government. I didn't vote for Brexit and I didn't vote for Theresa May...what part of this is democracy?
Erm the former? I didn't vote for brexit either, but to call brexit undemocratic is slightly moronic. A free democratic vote was carried out and the leavers won?
 

robeddie

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Jul 21, 2003
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Never mind, not long now and we can introduce it anyway once we've left the dictatorship EU.

With all the terrorists being harboured in the UK this is a good idea. No one moans about being filmed several times a day by CCTV.

No doubt the remoaners will complain.....
So this is how it works, put some fear into peole and they'll throw away their rights at the blink of an eye. Again, not trying to get cliche here, but tens of thousands of people fought and died to protect those rights (think WW2) and now, since youre a little nervous about terrorists, you want to throw away what they fought so hard for.
Your great grandparents are probably rolling over in their graves right now.
 
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LV426

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2013
951
423
Long-time EU hater and now Brexit Minister David Davis was the main character in bringing this to court. How deliciously ironic that the institution he is trying so hard to dismantle has come to the aid of the UK and rapped our knuckles for overstepping the mark on privacy. He must be feeling like a right fecking hypocritical idiot now.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
2,374
11,185
Scotland
Erm the former? I didn't vote for brexit either, but to call brexit undemocratic is slightly moronic. A free democratic vote was carried out and the leavers won?
Yes, in the referendum the Leave side won. However, the current polls are mixed, with some suggesting that the number of people wishing to stay is more than those wishing to leave, and others suggesting the opposite. This is such a massive change, not only in regard to economic circumstances, but as well to citizens' rights, that I would have thought it should have required at least a plurality of the people eligible to vote. But alas, those Tories really bolluxed things up by not specifying exactly how the referendum result would be treated. What a fiasco.
 

mateytate

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2014
140
141
Sometimes I f**king hate this stupid country and it's ridiculous government. I didn't vote for Brexit and I didn't vote for Theresa May...what part of this is democracy?
Ummm... what part of this is democracy? The part where there was a referendum that gave everyone a vote. Just because it didn't go your way it doesn't mean it's not democracy. That is democracy.
 

mkeeley

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2007
444
878
This wasn't a judgement on the new law it was a judgement on the outgoing 2014 Dirpa (Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act). Of course it may well have a knock on effect.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
2,374
11,185
Scotland
Long-time EU hater and now Brexit Minister David Davis was the main character in bringing this to court. How deliciously ironic that the institution he is trying so hard to dismantle has come to the aid of the UK and rapped our knuckles for overstepping the mark on privacy. He must be feeling like a right fecking hypocritical idiot now.
And to think I already paid for a years' worth of VPN access.... :confused:
 

mkeeley

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2007
444
878
Yes, in the referendum the Leave side won. However, the current polls are mixed, with some suggesting that the number of people wishing to stay is more than those wishing to leave, and others suggesting the opposite. This is such a massive change, not only in regard to economic circumstances, but as well to citizens' rights, that I would have thought it should have required at least a plurality of the people eligible to vote. But alas, those Tories really bolluxed things up by not specifying exactly how the referendum result would be treated. What a fiasco.
When will the remoaners give it a rest? Still don't think May even wants out and it will be a wishy washy exit not what we voted for but that will be the end of them.
[doublepost=1482325408][/doublepost]
Ummm... what part of this is democracy? The part where there was a referendum that gave everyone a vote. Just because it didn't go your way it doesn't mean it's not democracy. That is democracy.
They only believe in democracy if it agrees with their ideals.
 

niun

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2015
686
1,011
When will the remoaners give it a rest? Still don't think May even wants out and it will be a wishy washy exit not what we voted for but that will be the end of them.
What did you vote for exactly?

£350 million a week going to the NHS?
Border Control?
Not having to pay any cash to the EU?
A few less immigrants taking all the jobs that nobody wanted to do in the first place?

All of that was complete bollox.
 

sp3k0psv3t

macrumors regular
Jun 3, 2013
165
149
Miami, FL
Being an American, and living stateside, I don't have a direct dealing with this issue at hand per se, but I do find it interesting that so many are OK with the massive CCTV surveillance implementation within the U.K. where virtually EVERY move u make is recorded 24 hours a day but not ok with this. I understand the mass collection of all electronic data from all citizens is a breach of certain civil liberties yes, but I also understand the issue with the large amount of terrorist activities that are conducted within the EU as well as the large influx of both terrorists and terrorist indoctrination groups working within the border that pose a much larger threat to the safety of all.

It for sure is a delicate balance of freedom of rights and personal security in which I don't think there can ever be one without the other. Sadly, the evidence points to more needing to be done to protect the citizens and how can that be done without collecting, analyzing, and acting upon actionable intel that would not have been present without programs like this?

Again, this is just MY opinion and personal feeling of the issues and matter at hand.

And as a military veteran, I personally do not feel that this action is a contradiction for the freedoms I fought to protect as a solider of the ended goal is to protect the nation. The trade off of more privacy for citizens doing nothing wrong in an attempt to identify threats to national and sovereign security is an acceptable trade off for me. Not saying this opinion is right or wrong, just mine ;)

Be safe.



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USVet
 
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