News

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


News
@daliaeldaba

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

Three Egyptian Women Join L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship Program

Nour EltiganiNovember 20, 2018

Egyptian MP Drafts New Law to Regulate Outdoor Advertising

Nour EltiganiNovember 19, 2018

Naguib Mahfouz’s Newly Discovered Stories to be Published This December

Mirna AbdulaalNovember 19, 2018

Egypt’s Unemployment Rate Down to 10 Percent in Q3 of 2018

Egyptian StreetsNovember 16, 2018

Egypt ‘Appreciates’ and ‘Trusts’ Final Saudi Investigation into Khashoggi Killing

Egyptian StreetsNovember 16, 2018

Archaeological Mission Unearths Ancient Pregnant Woman Burial

Egyptian StreetsNovember 14, 2018

Egyptian MP to Submit Bill Omitting Religion from National IDs to Parliament

Egyptian StreetsNovember 12, 2018

British Parliament Encourages Lifting the Travel Ban Imposed on Sharm El Sheikh

Nour EltiganiNovember 11, 2018
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.

© 2017 Egyptian Streets. All Rights Reserved.