MI5 must obtain Snoop’s permission after legal defeat of “Landmark”


MI5, MI6, and GCHQ are probably “advanced” from judges before accessing communication data from communication providers of those investigating after a “breakthrough” case in the London High Court. Independent approval is required.

Liberty, a British civil rights campaign group, has launched a legal challenge to the powers used by security agencies during criminal investigations.

Sir Rabinder Singh and Judge David Holgate ruled on Friday after considering Liberty’s challenge to aspects of the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act.

Liberty’s lawyer, Megan Goulding, said: The court agreed that security services are too easy to get our data. In future crime investigations, MI5, MI6, and GCHQ will need to obtain independent approval before accessing communication data. “

A Liberty spokeswoman said: Investigatory Powers ActAlso known as the Snoopers Charter, this charter provides state agencies with access to our personal and personal information, whether or not we are suspected of cheating. Data that can be accessed under the law includes phone records, text messages, location history, and Internet browsing history. “

“The court has determined that there are not enough safeguards within the law when it comes to security services that capture people’s personal data,” she added.

The ruling did not clarify from whom they needed to obtain “independent approval”, but Liberty said it was probably a judge or Communication data certificate authority (OCDA).

2015 Bulk Data Access Revelation

In 2015, two years after William Snowden revealed that US agencies were collecting all phone details, “British security and intelligence practices regarding the acquisition and use of large amounts of communication data. Has been announced. ” According to Congressional intelligence and security committees.

Campaign group, Privacy InternationalComplained to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) and challenged the legality of what they considered a “trawl net.”

The IPT ruled in July 2021 that the section of the 1984 Telecommunications Act that allows such free access does not comply with EU law, but the Minister of the Interior said it was “in the interests of national security. “Necessary for” and “proportional to what was requested”. To be achieved. “

Judges in the High Court rejected the claim, and Liberty needs security services to act like police, which require permission from the judge to obtain permission to eavesdrop on an investigation warrant or personal phone. It says that it means.

The judge said: “I don’t know the logical or practical reason that security agencies and intelligence agencies should not be subject to the same legal system as police if they act for normal criminal purposes. Generally, they are in the field of national security. The mere fact of being active is not enough for this purpose. “

A government spokesman told The Epoch Times in an email:

He added: “The UK has one of the most robust and transparent monitoring regimes to protect personal data and privacy anywhere in the world. The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 sets strict requirements for necessity and proportionality. It is a major international law that not only includes, but also provides independent oversight with other important safeguards to prevent abuse. “

Chris Summers


Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a particular interest in crime, police and law, covering stories from a wide range of countries.