Press release: UK intelligence agency admits unlawfully spying on Privacy International | Privacy International
Thames House, Offices of MI5. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
MI5 collected Privacy International’s private data and examined it
GCHQ, MI5, and MI6 unlawfully collected data relating to UK charity Privacy International
Privacy International has written to the UK’s Home Secretary demanding action against spy agencies
Disclosures come less than a fortnight after UK laws on mass surveillance ruled unlawful at European Court of Human Rights
The UK’s domestic-facing intelligence agency, MI5, today admitted that it captured and read Privacy International’s private data as part of its Bulk Communications Data (BCD) and Bulk Personal Datasets (BPD) programmes, which hoover up massive amounts of the public’s data. In further startling legal disclosures, all three of the UK’s primary intelligence agencies - GCHQ, MI5, and MI6 - also admitted that they unlawfully gathered data about Privacy International or its staff.
The intelligence agencies have repeatedly denied that their BPD and BCD programmes are tantamount to mass surveillance of people not suspected of any wrongdoing. Documents published today demonstrate that Privacy International, an international NGO, has been caught up in MI5’s investigations because its data was part of the UK intelligence agencies vast databases.
These revelations came during the course of Privacy International’s challenge to the BPD and BCD powers, which is currently pending before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), a court which is set up to hear claims against the UK intelligence services. The IPT is required to inquire into any unlawful activity by the UK intelligence agencies, and to provide a summary of such activity to any claimant that comes before it.