This undated GCHQ spreadshhet clarifies how the agency categorises different aspects of intercepted communications: see the Intercept article Profiled: From Radio to Porn, British Spies Track Web Users’ Online Identities, 25 September 2015.
This undated GCHQ presentation includes, in its speakers notes, the statements that “We have a light oversight regime compared to [the] US” and “judicial oversight… [is] the main issue for us”: see the Intercept article Profiled: From Radio to Porn, British Spies Track Web Users’ Online Identities, 25 September 2015.
To coincide with the release of Laura Poitras’ film CitizenFour, which documents the causes, motivations and consequences of Edward Snowden’s momentous act of whistleblowing, Edward Snowden gave a number of new interviews and video appearances in the US and UK.
These undated heat maps show the number of pieces of communications data the NSA gathers per country in a particular 30 day period, divided into telephony (DNR) and internet (DNI) metadata. Details in the second map refer to a period in January 2013 and third to a period ending in February the same year: see the Guardian article Boundless Informant: the NSA’s secret tool to track global surveillance data, 11 June 2013, the Der Spiegel article How the NSA Targets Germany and Europe, 1 July 2013, the O Globo article Espionagem dos EUA se espalhou pela América Latina, 9 July 2013, the book No Place To Hide, 13 May 2014 and the Der Spiegel article Spying Together: Germany’s Deep Cooperation with the NSA, 18 June 2014.
UK MPs have been told that, not only is the legal regime governing GCHQ likely to be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, many of the agency’s activities are illegal even by current domestic standards.
Jemima Stratford QC and Tim Johnston were asked to prepare the opinion for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Drones. While APPGs have no formal powers within the UK political system some – like the APPG on Extraordinary Rendition – have done important investigatory work in areas where formal oversight has been lacking.
While legislative proposals based on this opinion have already been tabled, its primary importance is likely to be its foreshadowing of issues the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) could adjudicate on this year in the case Big Brother Watch v United Kingdom. In the past, the Strasbourg court has played a decisive role in forcing changes to UK surveillance practices and it has never before been asked to consider the legality of mass surveillance.