UK Government Spying on Egyptian Human Rights Group Exposed

UK Government Spying on Egyptian Human Rights Group Exposed

Britain's Britain's GCHQ

Following revelations that UK intelligence agency GCHQ had spied on Egyptian NGO Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a judgement by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal has ruled that parts of the covert surveillance were illegal.

The ruling is the first time a court has revealed that British intelligence agencies have been spying on foreign NGOs and human rights groups. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal is a UK court which investigates and determines complaints of unlawful use of surveillance by public authorities.

According to the ruling, whilst the initial interception of EIPR correspondence was lawful, the extended retaining and examination of email communications was a violation of the agency’s internal procedures. It remains unclear why communications were intercepted.

“Email communications….were lawfully and proportionally intercepted and accessed” stated the report in reference to EIPR, “however the time limit for retention permitted under the internal policies of GCHQ….was overlooked in regard to the product of that interception.”

The tribunal made the same conclusion with regards to the agency’s surveillance of the South African Legal Resources Centre – South Africa’s largest public interest and human rights law clinic.

“We are concerned that steps should be taken to ensure that neither of the breaches of procedure referred to in this determination occurs again,” stated the IPT ruling. “The tribunal makes it clear that it will be making a closed report to the Prime Minister.”

The case against GCHQ follows revelations made by US whistleblower Edward Snowden, which showed that the US agency, the NSA, and its UK counterpart GCHQ had been spying on the internet communications of millions of people worldwide.

The case was brought by several organisations, including Privacy International, Amnesty International, Liberty and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The tribunal however made “no determination” on claims brought by these NGOs, suggesting that either their communications were not intercepted, or that they were intercepted by legal means.

37 Killed in Terror Attack on Hotels in Tunisia
Deadly Bombing Strikes Mosque in Kuwait During Ramadan

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • Mohamed Ghazi

    I’m not surprised at all.

  • Minymina

    No surprise there. Egyptian NGO’s fund terror groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. GCHQ and the NSA are well aware of this. This is why you SJW’s need to shut the f**k up and let the big boys handle the situation instead of constantly bitching about the “crackdown” in Egypt.


Dalia is an Egyptian writer and journalist. Currently, she is particularly interested in raising awareness about the historical and current labour and feminist movements in the Arab world.

More in News


Egypt Court Releases Mother of Suez FGM Victim, Postpones Trial to November

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016
John Kerry

US Shifts Over $100 Million of Aid Away From Egypt

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016

Egypt’s Mediation Efforts Secure Evacuations, Delivery of Humanitarian Aid, Says Foreign Ministry

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016
A worker sells subsidized food commodities at a government-run supermarket in Cairo, Egypt, Feb.14, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt to Consider Boosting Subsidies to Shield Low-Income Citizens from Hardships of Economic Reform

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2016
An Egyptian supporter waves a national flag during the World Cup qualifying playoff second leg soccer match, at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Egypt to Reopen Stadiums to Soccer Fans for World Cup Qualifier

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2016
Egypt's military prepares ahead of new operations against militants in Sinai

43 Terrorists Killed in Egypt Military Operations

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2016
Archive photo

Police Conscript Shoots Dead Police Officer in Egypt Following Quarrel

Egyptian StreetsOctober 18, 2016
The Great Pyramid of Giza (Pyramid of Khufu)

Scans Uncover ‘Cavities’ in Egypt’s Great Pyramid

Egyptian StreetsOctober 18, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.