Yawn, GCHQ has had the authority to monitor our communications for years. The UK has never had any sort of privacy in this regard. This isn't the US, we don't have half the protections against unlawful search and seizures as most people suppose. And even when the law is broken, juries have a tendency to ignore this using the truly brilliant theory that 'you must be guilty or you wouldn't be on trial'.
For all that people love to hate the US, and for all their own violations of what we consider decent, they do have significantly more in the way of civil rights than we do. That's not saying much of course.
We love to mock the lawsuit. But what we forget is this is a tool used to prevent government abuse as well as fill the wallets of the greedy.
We have no power to reverse a law if it violates our own constitution or bill of rights. Any attempt to do so would result in a new law making our arguments obsolete and the attempt at reversal illegal. That's because the UK is closer to a dictatorship than a democracy, just as the US is closer to a republic than a democracy. Our Prime Minister has more power to change and create law than any President.
Is that good or bad? I don't know, my guess is both. Bad when abused, good when something needs doing and doing fast.
But the idea that monitoring communications without warrants or oversight is new is absurd. It's always been done, and almost no jury in the country has seen fit to declare it illegal.
Personally I think listening in on your own people smacks of paranoia and speaks volumes about the government doing it. Normally we associate this behaviour with dictatorships, juntas and communist regimes. They're afraid their own people might rise up and overthrow them. Tell me that doesn't make you wonder why both the US and UK governments have the same paranoia.
They're more afraid of their own populations than any outside threat. Which is odd given the complacency in the voting both. Scream and shout all you like, but if you don't vote for someone that 'doesn't stand a chance' or for anyone that isn't the incumbent dick that supported these laws, and you're absolutely agreeing with the government's right to do these things.
The only power we have in the UK to change laws is to express our displeasure in an election. If we don't do that, we're agreeing with everything they do.