Bulk communications data sharing with foreign agencies, law enforcement agencies, and contractors/researchers would be ECHR, art 8 compliant


The IPT today gave its  third judgment in a case brought by Privacy International concerning the intelligence agencies’ use of Bulk Communications Data and Bulk Personal Datasets.  This judgment dealt with five issues, including the delegation of the statutory powers of the Foreign Secretary under the Telecommunications Act 1984, s 94 and the lawfulness of the hypothetical sharing of bulk communications data/bulk personal data with foreign agencies, law enforcement agencies, and industry partners.

The IPT found that most of the s.94 orders made between November 2001 and November 2012 were not lawfully made under s.94. The Tribunal held, by a majority, that the safeguards in place rendered sharing with foreign agencies (assessed on the assumption that sharing had taken place) compliant with Article 8 ECHR. Two members of the Tribunal dissented on the issue of foreign sharing, for reasons provided in a CLOSED annex to the judgment. A copy of the judgment and a summary is available here. For press coverage from the Financial Times, please see here. 

Jonathan Glasson QC was instructed as Counsel to the Tribunal.