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United Kingdom The Courts

UK Government Surveillance Faces Legal Challenge.. In Secret Court 137

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the matters-of-state-security dept.
judgecorp writes "Privacy International is mounting a legal challenge against snooping by the UK government's intelligence agency GCHQ. But the case will be held in secret The group is challenging UK government access to Privacy, and the UK's own Tempora system, arguing that both allow 'indiscriminate' snooping because they operate in secrecy with a lack of legal oversight. All well and good — but the authorities have ruled that Privacy's challenge must be heard by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which hears cases in secret and is under no obligation to explain or justify its verdicts."
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UK Government Surveillance Faces Legal Challenge.. In Secret Court

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    This will all be overseen by the secret world government from their underground lair.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:07AM (#44222817)
    Wouldn't it be ironic if someone had a hidden camera in the secret court
  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:08AM (#44222825) Journal

    You need to find another way of neutralizing it.

  • Going nowhere (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:11AM (#44222829)

    We all know the rule of law has broken down completely. I admire their approach, but we need to be realistic. Its the end of the road for our current way of life.

    We're all just waiting for this to really kick in and its not going to be pretty when it does.

    • Re:Going nowhere (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cenan (1892902) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:25AM (#44222897)

      Defeatist attitude will certainly not help any of us one bit. If the current system is not working, one would think getting out of your seat and working for a replacement would be the obvious choice - leaning back on the couch is what got us in this mess to begin with.

      • by gmuslera (3436)

        Is about dynamics. Add heat to a system and you should think that particles should move faster, and even if some of them move slower, should be very few and not able to be noticed in the big trend. While you have a culture where the ultimate goods are money and power the trends just go in one direction. And the power is accumulated enough to reach the critical mass to avoid any kind of potential threat, with worldwide surveillance and more active methods [rt.com].

        Could be hope in changing the global culture, but th

    • We all know the rule of law has broken down completely. I admire their approach, but we need to be realistic. Its the end of the road for our current way of life.

      We're all just waiting for this to really kick in and its not going to be pretty when it does.

      Now, we don't know that the rule of law has truly broken down. We're just not allowed to see what the laws are.

      Today we're all into asymmetric warfare. Terrorists cannot muster large armies, so they sneak-attack civilians. Governments amass detailed and indiscriminate information on citizens, but object if anyone else is allowed any information.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The UK where Justice must never be seen, and preferably not done.

  • Oh well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by lxs (131946) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:13AM (#44222845)

    I guess that governments value their privacy as well.

    • by Fuzzums (250400)

      Like when the world is being spied upon. That is an American matter.
      But when you spy on diplomats. Suddenly Obama gets phone calls.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      a secret court that gives secret permissions investigating disputes in secret, and the issue is about other peoples secrets being violated by secret powers.
      it's getting pretty hard to argue that any democratic principles are being upheld...

      the problem is obviously that the secret organizations included in this could blackmail people in secret if they wanted to, they could do number of things in secret. even fabricate secrets in secret meetings, to demand secret actions. because of the total lack of transpar

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:23AM (#44222885)

    "The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. [...] there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it." - JFK

    • Jeesh! He dared to actually SAY that? No wonder he was shot...

      • If you read the complete original quote [wikiquote.org] it is clear that his meaning was more nuanced than it appears in those selected lines.

    • You left out some of that quote [wikiquote.org], including the clarifying sentence in the middle of the two you quoted, and a meaningful bit at the end:

      We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today

      And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.

      JFK wasn't stating there should be no secrets, but that keeping them should be well justified. I don't think his administration published American war plans, nuclear force readiness reports, or the encryption keys for military and diplomatic communications, for example.

      Too many people here are distorting history and mangling quotes to try to justify the extremist position

      • Quotes/sound bites are by their very nature distortions. However, they also distill the essence of a more nuanced but longer expression, or they aren't quotes, they're mis-quotes.

        there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it

        Or, if you prefer something pithier and more immediate:

        We have met the enemy and he is us - Pogo

        Which actually was used in reference to pollution in the particular book I have, although it applies well to many things, and I think actually was used more than once even in the original comic for different purposes.

        Any democracy that possesses an army is a paradox, because an

  • Star Chamber (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dido (9125) <dido@im[ ]ium.ph ['per' in gap]> on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:31AM (#44222923)

    Might as well reopen the Star Chamber [wikipedia.org] while they're at it.

  • by polar red (215081) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:35AM (#44222937)

    The revolution is coming. any day now. really. Yes. Now could be a good time. well ???

    • Too early. Give it a few years.

      We need more people in the countries' "middle management" to realize that it's time for a change. We want a GDR 1989, not a GDR 1953.

      • I'm surprised you are aiming so low. I would have thought you could have at least shot for the Federal Republic of Germany if you are going the German route.

        So, exactly which countries are you thinking about for revolution?

  • by khallow (566160) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:40AM (#44222955)
    Aside from the obvious abuse of power inherent in the absence of accountability of secret trials, there's the equally obvious problem of undocumented law and its considerable potential for abuse. Regulation is by definition documented. And one of the benefits of that is that one has some idea of the lines which shouldn't be crossed.

    Secret rulings by unaccountable courts mean secret laws which can then be selectively enforced by the only people who know the contents of those rulings, including their features and context. I think it should be a broad principle that such secret courts should never exist in a democratic society.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think it should be a broad principle that such secret courts should never exist in a democratic society.

      Another broad principle is that undocumented work shouldn't be paid for.

      If they can't prove that they didn't spend the time in an orgy of tea and cookies then it should be counted as vacation time.

  • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @04:03AM (#44223043) Homepage

    I think it was oh 8 months ago or so, I made a comment about how the UK was no longer adhering to the basic tenets of democracy and have basically thrown the shitter, and then burning it. I got modded down, flamed, and people said I was full of shit then. Yeah well, I guess I was right then as much as I was right now. Get's worse of course, that the UK is blocking people who might offend the "violent minority" and in turn speaking the truth isn't conducive to the public good.

  • by Ihlosi (895663) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @04:13AM (#44223073)
    ... where they hide the kangaroo really well?
  • by trydk (930014) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @04:38AM (#44223153)
    ... and Terry Gilliam's Brazil depicts a Utopia compared to today's standards.
    • The most oppressive and dangerous dystopia inhabited by most people here is the one between their ears.

  • UK government access to Privacy

    Should that be "access to PRISM"?

  • by Archtech (159117) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @07:42AM (#44223881)

    "Privacy's challenge must be heard by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which hears cases in secret and is under no obligation to explain or justify its verdicts."

    Otherwise known as "The Court of Star Chamber".

  • by tsa (15680)

    Isn't a secret court illegal?

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