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GCHQ has been unlawfully spying on Amnesty International

The judicial body for the UK government Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) made an error in its GCHQ investigation. Instead of spying on Egyptian NGO, the surveillance department had been spying on Amnesty International.

In a short email to the human rights organisation, IPT confirmed the GCHQ had unlawfully intercepted and stored communications by Amnesty International.

It is a rather shocking reveal by IPT, considering it had no follow up comments on the investigation, instead using a private email. Thankfully, Amnesty International has released the information on The Huffington Post.

Amnesty International claims it has tried to contact the IPT for more information, but has so far been put in the dark. The lack of oversight on the surveillance department, alongside the lack of places to complain about overzealous government surveillance, means the organisation is in an awkward place where it cannot do much to fight against the GCHQ or learn what communications have been stored.

The GCHQ seems to lack any oversight at all, attacking allied corporations like Belgian telecommunications firm Belgacom and Dutch SIM maker Gemalto, along with attacks on human rights activists and organisations.

Even more worrying is the lack of conversation on surveillance coming from Parliament, instead we have home secretary Theresa May trying to push the Snooper’s Charter once again, along with prime minister David Cameron claiming anyone that encryption should be illegal.

It is starting to become more than ironic, seeing the government spew out claims that we are not safe and feeding the terrorists tools, yet this same government takes pride in hacking human rights organisations and companies that make us safer.

Hopefully, the European Union or United Nations will get involved to promote encryption and anti-surveillance, but we cannot see either being potent enough to stop the toxic attacks from the GCHQ—which seems free from any criticism or investigation.

Source: The Huffington Post

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.