UK Sued for Violating Privacy Laws

09 July 2013 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

Privacy International sued the UK government for violating the privacy of citizens using “servers of global internet companies located in the US such as Google, Facebook or Yahoo.” Computerworld reported that “the expansive spying regime is seemingly operated outside of the rule of law, lacks any accountability, and is neither necessary nor proportionate.”

Privacy International’s suit was filed on July 8, 2013 with two claims:

Firstly, for the failure to have a publicly accessible legal framework in which communications data of those located in the UK is accessed after obtained and passed on by the US National Security Agency through the Prism programme.

Secondly, for the indiscriminate interception and storing of huge amounts of data via tapping undersea fibre optic cables through the Tempora programme.

The relief that Privacy International seeks in its lawsuit are for the following orders:

(i) A declaration that the Secretary of State for the Foreign Office and/or the Secretary of State for the Home office have unlawfully failed to ensure that there is in place a regime which complies with Article 8 and 10 ECHR governing the soliciting, receiving, storing and transmitting by UK authorities of private communications of individuals located in the UK which have been obtained by US authorities.

(ii) A declaration that the soliciting, receipt, storage and transmission of such information by the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and/or GCHQ is unlawful.

(iii) An order that the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and/or GCHQ will not solicit, receive, store or transmit such information unless and until such activities are governed by a legal regime which satisfies ECHR Art 8 and 10 and will destroy any material unlawfully obtained.

(iv) A declaration that the Tempora operation under which there is blanket interception, search and storage of data passing through fibre optic cables is unlawful and contrary to Article 8 ECHR, Article 14 ECHR, RIPA 2000 and Article 12 TFEU and an order requiring the destruction of any unlawfully obtained material.

(v) An injunction restraining further unlawful conduct.

Interesting turn of events since the EU claims jurisdiction over Google’s servers in the US, and that the UK, and five other EU States, claims that Google’s Privacy Policy violates EU Privacy laws.
 

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Authors

Related Services

Insights