UK: Mass surveillance mandated in secret

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"There are 15 secret “directions” in force under the Telecommunications Act enabling the intelligence services to collect bulk data about online and phone traffic, a surveillance watchdog has revealed.

The number of orders imposed on telephone and internet companies under section 94 of the 1984 legislation has been published for the first time by the interception of communications commissioner’s office (IOCCO). The firms involved have not been identified.

A further eight directions have been made to provide for emergency services and to protect security personnel, according to a report on the operation of the rarely disclosed powers."

See: Fifteen secret warrants in force granting bulk data collection in UK (The Guardian, link)

And: Report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner: Review of directions given under section 94 of the Telecommunications Act (1984) (pdf): "The purposes of this review were:

  • to identify the extent to which the agencies and other public authorities use section 94 directions, in other words what has been done and by whom and for what purpose;
  • to assess what a comprehensive oversight and audit function of section 94 directions would look like; and
  • to assess whether the systems and procedures in place for section 94 directions are sufficient to comply with the legislation and any relevant policies."

    See also: Only 'tiny handful' of ministers knew of mass surveillance (Statewatch database)

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