back to article spied on human rights warriors at Amnesty International

The British government has admitted that its spook agency GCHQ spied on Amnesty International, according to campaigners at the human rights group. Amnesty said on Wednesday that it had received an email from the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) – the organization responsible for policing the UK's surveillance of its own …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A case of misplaced expectations

    I frankly do not understand how an organization involved with Human Rights is failing to understand that the current government wants to join Belarus by being the second country in Europe to officially disregard the EHR Convention.

    A government with such ideas of human rights _WILL_ perceive anyone involved in their promotion worldwide as a subversive scum and will treat them as such. Which it did and which it does. Why is this suddenly "surprising"?

    1. Otto is a bear.

      Re: A case of misplaced expectations

      Have to agree, though it shouldn't be us doing it, you can bet that all the governments they are truly annoying are spying on them as well.

      But then again, in the world Amnesty work in, they are open to infiltration as much as the next NGO, and perhaps our government is watching for that as much as anything else.

      Don't forget Amnesty my embarrass western democracies, but their use outweighs their annoyances.

  2. PleebSmash
    Big Brother

    costing lives, confusing lives

    The claim that people will die because of this snooping is believable compared to the tripe the US and UK governments regularly roll out.

    However one factor may lower the body count: because of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal's little "accident" 10 days ago, the corrected record may reach less people. Some probably tuned out when they heard it was an Egyptian and a South African organization being spied on.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Bet this claim won't end up in the Sunday Times.

    Unlike the claim Edward Snowden (while working for the NSA) managed to get hold of the MI6 list of officers and assets not working at British Embassies.

    Difference is this one is probably true, given the UK governments "friends" in The War On Terror (TM).

  4. Gray

    All properly redacted, of course ...

    to protect the identities of the NSA-CIA-FBI-ETC plants and infiltrators among Amnesty International members and leadership.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All properly redacted, of course ...

      They are all known from the Office of Personnel database theft anyway. Your point?

  5. Wolfclaw


    UKGOV should be ashamed of themselves, who do they think they are North Korea ?

    GCHQ have been found to be doing something illegal and UKGOV change the rules to protect them.

    Cameron is a muppet and shown to be an inept a-hole when dealing with the EU ( Fuhrer Merkel ).

    He has yellow stripe down his back, as wide as the M6 and only interested in keeping himself the the Tories in power.

    And don't even get me started on Theresa "Crocodile Tears" May, a woman with a barely working brain cell.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Disgusting

      This is sadly not new. Some years ago, they were shown to have infiltrated that bastion of terrorism, the Green Party. Now I think wind turbines are as stupid just like most other people who have heard of nuclear power, but spying on our political parties on behalf of the New Labour (this happened under Blair, iirc), is not democratic behaviour.

    2. PleebSmash
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Disgusting

      It is very hard for the Tribunal to remember the names of two organizations.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disgusting

      "UKGOV should be ashamed of themselves, who do they think they are North Korea"

      Please note that undermining traditional British values such as government authorised, approved, or acknowledged spying by the government agencies (legal, illegal and / or otherwise) as well as making ill-founded comparisons to regimes such as North Korea, has recently been classified as an act of terror and punishable by 25 years of hard labour (camp Aberystwyth).

      So, when you exercise your democratically guaranteed freedom of speech - please choose your comparisons wisely, for your own sake.

      Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

      YOUR GOV

    4. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Disgusting

      @Wolfclaw. Downvoted for unnecessary Godwin-ing.

  6. Yugguy

    All governments do this

    I'm not saying it's right but it's the way of the world.

    1. PleebSmash
      Big Brother

      Re: All governments do this

      We hear this meme over and over again, as if it should be accepted.

      Is Amnesty International a foreign government? No.

      Was it even suspected of a crime? No.

      Now we are supposed to accept that the NSA/GCHQ can spy on foreign governments and every citizen of every other government on the world. And when they can't legally spy on their own citizens, they just swap info like it's baseball cards.

      How about no. At the very least, try to defund these activities.

      1. Yugguy

        Re: All governments do this

        What part of "I'M NOT SAYING ITS RIGHT" do you not understand? Don't colour my statement with YOUR assumptions.

        Of course it isn't right, but it is not surprising.

  7. msknight

    My head hurts...

    So these are claims that governments who claim that unauthorised disclosure costs lives, cost lives by snooping on those trying to save lives, thus preventing those who could save lives, from coming forward because it could risk their own lives.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Big Brother

      Re: My head hurts...

      Please attend your mandatory DoubleThink classes, Prole. DoublePlus Good!

  8. Valeyard


    Everyone in the GCHQ, NSA etc should be sacked and fresh people brought in, they've been working in isolation with only each other with the same views for company for so long that they're bouncing the same views back at each other, escalating things to one-up each other and things start seeming like good ideas when they went out of control a long time ago

    they need an outsider to say "woah there, i forgot about you eager little nanobots and now there's grey goo everywhere", the culture is screwed and they need sensible people put in to replace them and theresa may needs to be hanged for treason

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More police state

    Oppressive police state tactics

    Because it's an oppressive police state

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: More police state

      For certain values of oppression... First they came for the foreigners, then they came for the NGO's.

  10. phuzz Silver badge

    At Last!

    At last the government are finally Doing Something to protect us all from these dangerous subversives at Amnesty International!

    If they were allowed to continue their work advocating on behalf of the less well off I might end up actually feeling empathy for another human being!

    Hopefully next the government will turn their attention to the NHS, I hear they give drugs to children!

  11. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    It's worse than you think

    No doubt they are spying on all of us here too. After all, we have at various times poked holes through all their claims. I expect we are on their delightfully named 'Domestic Extremist' list and they have us tagged right down to every minor traffic infraction, parking ticket etc.

    That's not the really bad news though. Think about it. How come we haven't 'disappeared' off the net? It can only be that for all our observations, letters to MPs and membership of subversive organisations (Woodland Trust) They don't consider us a threat.

    That thought makes me intensely sad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's worse than you think

      They're not spying on me. I'm anonymous* -------->

      *No, not that "Anonymous" ...oh hell!


      In seriousness though, I think we're probably a rather useful barometer with which to gage what's "washing" and what won't. In an extremely important sector. Doubtless they could pull the plug on us, either individually or en masse, the instant the liability exceeded the usefulness. That thought makes me a sad minion too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's worse than you think

        Bugger. Too late to put the wayward "u" into gauge. May as well stick me on the "idiot speller" list too.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are bears catholic?

    Oh come on! They'd have to be very naive not to think they would be spied on or have various governments try to infiltrate them.

    Still, I supposed another way of looking at it is that they're trying to score points now they have proof with their faked indignation at the "revelation".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are bears catholic?

      "<name of nation> spied on <name of international group>"

      Are there any combinations of the first and second variable that are not plausible?

  13. CYMinCA


    when dictatorship rises out of democracy it first presents itself as a protector - Plato

    Seems like another quote says we are doomed to repeat history's mistakes despite warnings

  14. Chris G Silver badge

    GCHQ and friends

    Are obliged to investigate and spy on :

    Terrorists and subversives.

    Anyone who could be a terrorist or subversive.

    Anyone who knows a terrorist or subversive.

    Anyone who could know a terrorist or subversive.

    Anyone who knows what terrorists and subversives do.

    Anyone who has heard of Terrorists, terrorism and subversion.

    Anyone who has had a news delivery system mentioning terrorism, terrorists or subversion.

    Anyone who is currently alive or has been recently.

    Thank God for GCHQ I say!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We all know this is going on. My question is, why does the mainstream media including the BBC never challenge these disingenuous fux when they spout off about only using the spying apparatus to catch T's???

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why...

      The Labour government fell out with the BBC in 2003 when the BBC outed said government's lies about the contents of Dr David Christopher Kelly CMG's report into the (lack of) "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, which it was using as an excuse to start a war. The Labour Party was further irritated later in 2003 by the BBC's coverage of the sudden, bizarre and disturbing death of one Dr David Kelly CMG RIP. The final straw came early in 2004: The Labour party was displeased once more by the BBC's coverage of Labour's subsequent manoeuvres to gloss over some of the crimes of the treasonous warmongering administration, particularly the BBC's coverage of The Hutton Whitewash. Unwilling to tolerate further journalism dissent, the BBC was publicly decapitated by the Labour government in January 2004 and has staggered on as an obedient government zombie ever since.

      A brief outline of the abolition of public service broadcasting in the UK (obviously with some obvious omissions: some of the more damning key events like the directors being summoned to the lair of Mandelson appear to have already dutifully vanished from history) can be found here:

      On Thu 5th May 2005 the British public re-elected the Labour party.

  16. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    and what on earth are AI doing using email (or even computers!) for sensitive messages?

  17. Arachnoid

    Stella Rimington.......

    Quite clearly stated in her bio of her post as the spy industry head spook that they [the spies] did not blow with the wind of elected political parties.They even kept information back from the leaders of the time if it was deemed not to be of relavence to the partys stance.

    So in effect they seem to act autonomously not at the whim of the leading party nor it seems under much of its control either.

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