U.K.’s ‘Snooper’s Charter’ Survives Privacy Court Challenge
(Bloomberg) -- The so-called Snooper’s Charter, which allows the U.K. government to access data from emails and mobile phones, survived a court challenge from a privacy group.
A pair of U.K. judges dismissed the lawsuit Monday, saying they weren’t persuaded that the legislation is incompatible with European Union rules. Judge Rabinder Singh said the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act included several “safeguards against the possible abuse of power."
Liberty, a civil rights group, said in the lawsuit that the law breaches citizens’ rights to privacy and free expression. The case centered on U.K. rules that allow the state to store “vast data sets” taken from electronic devices that mostly contain “information of no relevance to national security,” according to the campaign group.
Megan Goulding, an attorney for Liberty, said the judgment “allows the government to continue to spy on every one of us, violating our rights to privacy and free expression.” The group will appeal the ruling, she said.
The government said the powers are “of critical importance” to protect the public from terrorism, hostile state activity and serious and organized crime, and they “strike an appropriate balance between security and individual privacy,” according to its filings for the trial.
The Home Office declined to immediately comment after the ruling.
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