Investigatory Powers Tribunal rules that GCHQ hacking was legal


The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) has ruled that computer network exploitation (CNE), which can include remotely activating cameras and microphones on electronic devices without the owner’s knowledge, is legal. A panel of five members of the IPT ruled in favour with GCHQ and the Foreign Office, dismissing claims by campaign group Privacy International that the hacking operations were “too intrusive and broke European law”. For the first time during these hearings, GCHQ admitted to carrying out hacking in and outside the UK. The ruling has made it clear that the legal regime that GHQC used is not in violation of the human rights law and remained lawful and proportionate while protecting and safeguarding the British public and the privacy of individuals.

Jonathan Glasson QC was Counsel to the Tribunal.