Hot! British Court Strikes Down Surveillance Law

The UK high court has ruled that emergency surveillance legislation, introduced under the UK coalition government, is unlawful, reports the Guardian.

Labor politician Tom Watson and Conservative politician David Davis posed a judicial challenge, which has now been upheld by judges who found that the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 is “inconsistent with European Union law.”

Image Credit: Ben Sutherland (Flickr)

London’s Royal Court of Justice. Image Credit: Ben Sutherland (Flickr)

The act states that Internet and phone companies are required to keep records of communications for a year. It also states how police and intelligence may use this data.

Both argued that the current law allowed the police and security services to spy on citizens without sufficient privacy boundaries in place. They said that this went against article eight of the European convention on human rights (the right to respect for private and family life) plus articles seven and eight of the EU charter of fundamental rights (respect for private and family life and protection of personal data.)

Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Collins agreed. They have declared section 1 of the act “does not lay down clear and precise rules providing for access to and use of communications data.” They ruled that the order should be suspended until after 31 March 2016 “to give parliament the opportunity to put matters right”.

Read the full story at the Guardian.

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