GCHQ's intelligence gathering practices, which include popping in on your webcam conversations and scanning the web connections of entire nations, do not violate the European Court of Human Rights' safeguards for privacy and free speech.

That's according to the UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal, whose judges have been looking into the methods used by the British spying department. While it doesn't give GCHQ a free pass to act however it pleases, it has found the way the spooks headquarters highlights targets and stores the data it collects is within reason.


Amnesty UK and Privacy International, among the civil rights groups that complained, instigating the investigation in the first place, aren't pleased. It will argue that the Tribunal heard GCHQ's arguments in closed hearings, and will be bringing the case to the European Court itself. They fear that the GCHQ is being allowed to police itself, with its own panel determining whether or not its actions are valid. [BBC]

Image by UK Ministry of Defence


This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.