British Spy Agencies Are Said to Assert Power to Intercept Web Traffic
Posted in: Surveillance & Privacy at 17/06/2014 19:38
In a broad legal rationale for collecting information from Internet use by its citizens, the British government has reportedly asserted the right to intercept communications that go through services like Facebook, Google and Twitter that are based in the United States or other foreign nations, even if they are between people in Britain.
The British position is described in a draft summary of a report to be released Tuesday by Privacy International and other advocacy groups. The summary, seen by The New York Times, says the findings are based on a government document that the groups obtained through a lawsuit.
Mass surveillance of social media is permitted by law, says top UK official
Mass surveillance of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and even Google searches, is permissible because these are "external communications", according to the government's most senior security official.
In the first detailed justification of the UK's online interception policy, Charles Farr, director general of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, has defended the way in which it sidesteps the need for individual search warrants.
Google and Facebook can be legally intercepted, says UK spy boss
UK intelligence service GCHQ can legally snoop on British use of Google, Facebook and web-based email without specific warrants because the firms are based abroad, the government has said.
Classed as "external communications", such activity can be covered by a broad warrant and intercepted without extra clearance, Spy boss Charles Farr said.