19 October 2016
"This is the first time we've seen what is being done with the data; it
seems they have been using it to find out people's birthdays and their
finances," Yair Cohen, a social media lawyer told Sputnik.
The case against GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 was brought to court by Privacy International, which has called the judgement "highly significant."
"The key aspect is that [the security services] were operating these regimes without the public knowing, but also without parliament knowing. When you have regimes that obtain vast quantities of bulk data without anybody knowing, without any adequate oversight, it leaves the regime open to misuse," Privacy International's legal officer, Millie Graham Wood told Sputnik on the day of the ruling, Monday (October 17).
The ruling made by the IPT, said some data collection did not comply with the
European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). However, it added that sufficient
statutory supervision was implemented in 2015, which allows the spying
agencies to continue collecting data due to the small tweaks in the law.
The mass collection of swathes of UK citizens' data was initially revealed by
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and exposed the practices of GCHQ which were
to infiltrate Internet cables and cellphone communication channels to build
profiles of people.
"Sometimes, security issues are brought to our attention as and when we
find out about breaches, but there's very much a 'well it doesn't affect me'
and 'I don't care much about it,' [attitude] which I find rather surprising,"