A Secret Policy Lets the UK Suck Up Any Bulk NSA Data It Wants

Illustration for article titled A Secret Policy Lets the UK Suck Up Any Bulk NSA Data It Wants

As if having all that public data squirrelled away by the NSA wasn't bad enough, a new report by Liberty UK reveals that Britain's intelligence services can take any of it, whenever it wants, without a warrant.

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In fact, the investigation reveals that the country's Government Communications Headquarters can take data from the U.S. and other countries, add it to large searchable databases and keep it there for up to 2 years. GCHQ was forced to reveal the agreement during legal proceedings.

The report also mentions that the UK can acquire data "through US corporate partnerships without having to obtain a warrant from the Secretary of State." The data taken by the UK includes both communications content and metadata.

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UK Government claims that the "mass surveillance practices and extensive exchange of surveillance material with the NSA are in accordance with the law" and are "compliant with the Human Rights Act." Somehow, we can't help but think that's not quite good enough. [Liberty]

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DISCUSSION

This makes legal sense, we can't spy on our own citizens, but there is nothing that keeps us from allowing a third party to spy on our citizens. It's wrong... but very clever twist of the law.