back to article UK's surveillance regime challenged in landmark European court hearing

The UK's surveillance laws have been put under the spotlight today as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) heard legal complaints against the government's spying powers. The landmark hearing in Strasbourg is the first time the court has been asked to rule on the legality of the UK's surveillance laws. It is part of an …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and to think some people thought Brexit was about immigration, money and self control for the benefit of the people.

    It will be interesting to see the outcome of this and what influence the government have on the EU if any. Personally I think they will force the government to have independent oversight but then how would the government create an independent oversight mechanism on itself that could stand up to scrutiny? They wouldn't and even if they did it would be scrapped in 2019.

    1. RJG

      For the umpteenth tme.

      This is the European Court of Human Rights.

      It has absolutely nothing to do with the EU.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah I know but do they know?

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Yes, they do.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Do they though? We voted to leave Europe and take back control so it's not a long stretch of the imagination to consider them withdrawing from the ECHR as well under that pretence.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. JimmyPage

    ... and ... ?

    The UK - like every other country in the world - has a proven track record of ignoring judgements it doesn't like whilst simultaneously wringing it's hands over (say) smoking bans and metrication saying "we had to do it, or the nasty man will be cross".

    This will change nothing - whatever the verdict,

  3. Rono666

    Voting for shit will get you shit. When did anyone give the power to snoop on anyone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I believe that it was (in the modern era) one Queen Elizabeth who first set up a really far reaching secret service for snooping. All the rest of the snooping is modeled on that example.

      So blame her.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The BBC has just done a good three part series on Elisabeth's spy masters, the political intrigues leading to the succession of James I/VI - and Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot.

        Available for about 14 days on iPlayer. Geographic restrictions.

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge


          I saw the last episode and it looked well produced, but there were aspects that made be doubt its historical accuracy.

          I'm not a historian but I think the conversation between Guy Fawkes and King James was longer/more detailed than in the show, and I think the issue of torture and its application was not a "done thing" at the time, instead they had to get the King's permission and he gave it but with the proviso they started with the "gentler" torture and "so on until the worst", but in fact they did not much the first day beyond questioning him then went straight for it and put him on the rack and broke him physically & mentally on the 2nd day or later, though the degraded post-torture confessional signature of Guy Fawkes was a realistic reflection on the brutality of his treatment. Also he did jump (or was allowed to jump?) at the execution but it broke his neck so he was dead before any attempt to disembowel him. Unlike the other poor buggers who did get the hung, drawn & quartered treatment.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re:Available for about 14 days on iPlayer. Geographic restrictions.

          get_iplayer + VPN

  4. Woodnag Silver badge

    ECHR 1581

    The European Court of Human Rights held in 2008 that UK holding DNA samples of individuals arrested but not convicted is unlawful. HMG has farted arround ever since with consultations etc.

    Per wikipedia: According to The Independent on 27 July 2011, the UK government "has indicated that destroying the DNA of the innocent would be impossible because the records are mixed up in batches alongside the DNA of the guilty."

    So UK government has essentially ignored the ECHR ruling.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: ECHR 1581

      "So UK government has essentially ignored the ECHR ruling"

      Well until Brexit and they no longer are allowed to handle EU citizen's data and companies complain about lost profits. That might be heard, even though actual British citizens being screwed over is ignored...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ECHR 1581

      Deleting DNA from the national database wasn't a problem for one Damien Green in 2009.

      Funny that.

      Yes, that Damien Green.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Re: Where Are The Complaints Against IPA ?

      There was a successfull challenge to DRIPA 2014, that lead to the gov having to draft the IPA, there is a current challenge to IPA going through the legal system, a Judicial review has already been granted.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So (according to the IPA) it's legal to slurp as Snowden let everyone know it's happengin?

    Are you f**king kidding me?

    This has nothing to do "security," and everything to do with "Give me 6 lines from an honest man, and I'll find something with which to hang him."

    The data fetishists "Need to know" (your business) trumps everything else.

    It's not a sane policy. It's a personality disorder.

    They do it because the technology allows it to be done at a price you (the taxpayers) can pay.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: So (according to the IPA) it's legal to slurp as Snowden let everyone know it's happengin?

      Not... quite.

      According to the tribunal's ruling, the Tempora program could be legal, in principle, if the government fessed up to it. (Because it's important that the rules governing these things be public, that's why.) But since they hadn't fessed up to it, at the time the ruling was delivered, it couldn't be ruled legal - only "potentially legal".

      Got that?

      But Snowden didn't make it legal - only HMG could do that. I haven't been able to find out when, if ever, HMG has officially confirmed the program's existence.

  7. Am I Paranoid Enough?
    Black Helicopters

    You can leave if you don't like it!

    Any suggestions?

    For the government members wanting to strip our remain privacy away, of course... not me.

    Even the ONS wants to join in the fun..

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    watches the watchers?

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: who

      I dunno... Coastguard?

    2. JimmyPage

      Re: watches the watchers?

      Wrong question. It's

      who pays the watchers ?

      Qui poenas custodes, if my rusty Latin serves ....

  9. kbb

    Simple solution

    Have a referendum and go with the will of the people.

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