The UK spy agency GCHQ says it doesn't need a warrant to intercept and store all UK social media traffic, search history and webmail because it is headed offshore, so it's "foreign communications". It had kept this interpretation of English and Welsh law a secret until now, and only revealed it after a protracted legal battle with the excellent people at Privacy International and six other civil liberties groups, including Amnesty International, and ACLU.
Mr Farr did not reveal the extent to which GCHQ uses its power to intercept external communications.
In a statement, GCHQ said all its work "is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate".
But civil liberty groups were outraged by the revelations.
James Welch, legal director of human rights group Liberty, said: "The security services consider that they're entitled to read, listen and analyse all our communications on Facebook, Google and other US-based platforms.
"If there was any remaining doubt that our snooping laws need a radical overhaul there can be no longer."
Meanwhile Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International said the revelation showed that spy agencies operated under their own laws.
"Intelligence agencies cannot be considered accountable to parliament and to the public they serve when their actions are obfuscated through secret interpretations of Byzantine laws."
Google and Facebook can be legally intercepted, says UK spy boss
The cable industry lobby has petitioned the FCC, asking it to ban states from investigating and taking action on deceptive advertising claims about broadband speed — seeking an end to actions like last year’s New York State Attorney General’s investigation into Time-Warner’s lies about its broadband offerings.
The NSO Group is an Israeli firm that describes itself as a “cyber warfare” company, dealing exclusively to governments, including the famously corrupt and dysfunctional government of Mexico. The NSO Group is presently for sale, with a $1 billion pricetag.
Dozens of the richest executives in China have disappeared under mysterious circumstances and are assumed to be in police detention as the country pursues an aggressive anti-corruption agenda.
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]