back to article High Court agrees to hear full legal challenge of Blighty's Snooper's Charter

Civil rights group Liberty has been granted permission to launch a full legal challenge at the UK government's bulk surveillance regime in the High Court. In a decision released today, the High Court of England and Wales said the group should be able to seek a full judicial review of the Investigatory Powers Act. Liberty has …

  1. Maelstorm Bronze badge
    Big Brother

    At least in the UK...

    At least in the UK, you can challenge mass surveillance. Here in the United States of America, fat chance. People have tried and have had their cases dismissed because of 'State Secrets Privilege' which caused necessary evidence to be withheld in court. There have been criminal convictions where the evidence used in the prosecution was withheld from the defense because it was 'classified,' which is a blatant violation of The Constitution. But of course, any dissident voices are routinely silenced so the public at large doesn't know what is going on.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_secrets_privilege

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: At least in the UK...

      At least in the UK, you can challenge mass surveillance.

      Oh, really?

      https://www.libertyhumanrights.org.uk/human-rights/justice-and-fair-trials/closed-courts-and-secret-evidence

      The reality is that for every rights violation deemed illegal by ECHR, Lords or the High Court the government puts in 2 more back. So any challenge is made while riding a Rossinant, with Sancho Pansa in tow and with a lance in hand.

      Just to be clear - there is absolutely nothing UK specific here. It is the state of affairs everywhere. In fact, I am not aware of a country where the state may not exercise this privilege one way or another by requesting a special court procedure and/or withholding parts of the evidence deemed classified.

      The state privilege is constantly abused and the activists constantly fight against the abuse. The actual place where the border stands at any given moment is the "democracy indicator" for that particular state.

      1. steelpillow Silver badge

        Re: At least in the UK...

        Nobody really understands the pros and cons of mass surveillance. Where do you draw the lines between publicly-available Internet stuff, commercially-sensitive Internet stuff, personal Internet stuff and private Internet stuff? Commerce, the right to privacy, and the national security we all pay taxes for, all have different ideas about where to draw those lines. Blink and the technology changes and the rules need to change with it. Don't expect politicians to keep up.

        The UK constitution has a reasonably robust series of checks and balances built in to try and work towards a sensible balance on such thorny issues. It's more than most countries' constitutions have, but there's no point in expecting miracles.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: At least in the UK...

          I think the line is "what would the Stasi do?"

          The UK is on the wrong side of that line.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: what would the Stasi do?

            You say Stasi, we say TERRORISM. And as we have the State behind us, we win, you lose. So... TERRORISM!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: what would the Stasi do?

              You seem to be proud that terrorism trumps freedom.

        2. SundogUK

          Re: At least in the UK...

          I'm not expecting miracles, I'm expecting the people we vote for to do what we want them to do.

          1. Sirius Lee

            Re: At least in the UK...

            Down voted because what you mean is you want them to do what you want them to do. How do you know what anyone else wants. You have no clue what I want.

          2. steelpillow Silver badge

            Re: At least in the UK...

            I'm not expecting miracles, I'm expecting the people we vote for to do what we want them to do.

            The difference being?

          3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

            Re: At least in the UK...

            I'm not expecting miracles, I'm expecting the people we vote for to do what we want them to do.

            Unfortunately it's not even as simple as that. Many of the voting public are afraid enough of terrorism etc that they are willing to allow these massive invasions of privacy. They'll speak of protecting us, say "if you have nothing to hide...", speak of protecting children from paedophiles. Basically they will buy all the bull the government use to sell this ****.

            So, they are doing what the voting public want, but only because they have tricked the voting public into wanting what the politicians wanted to do in the first place.

        3. BigSLitleP

          Re: At least in the UK...

          "Any nation that seeks to swap a little freedom for a little security will deserve neither and will lose both"

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gimp

    "develop a proportionate surveillance regime"

    Hahahahahahahahaha

    This s**t will continue until some of the data fetishist senior civil servants (who ensure that while the Ministers change the same old claims and lies keep being recycled) are flushed out and either leave their posts, or get arrested.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Give.

    Give until it hurts.

    Big Brother loves you.

    1. Tony Paulazzo

      Re: Give.

      You missed a bit:

      Give until it hurts, then keep giving - Big Brother loves you!

      George Orwell, 'If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.'

  4. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    Here's an idea ...

    how about we give them exactly what they want.

    I musty have Petabytes stashed on various defunct HDDs - so they can start with that.

    Plus all those useless 256Mb USB keys you got given at conferences, or on training courses.

    Then they can have all of my DVD backups - going back to 2002.

    Plus a drawerful of not-used-for-years mobile phones (most of which the PIN code has long been forgotten on).

    That's before we get to anything paper.

    I reckon my house alone would take them a few thousand man hours to find the square root of fuck al. Longer if they want to play RIPA-blink and see if a court thinks not remembering a 10 year PIN is good enough reason to not comply.

    If a few thousand people did that, it might stop them once and for all. Especially if the accompanying news reportage noted that if there was anything of value in the freely surrendered data and THEY MISSED IT with an atrocity ensuing ....

  5. Velv Silver badge
    Boffin

    critics have argued that the new law simply made a lot of what was previously going on under the radar more transparent – and so the material concerns about the lawfulness of the activities remain.

    Making it legal doesn’t necessarily make it right

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Henry VIII powers

    and secret laws are generally regarded as a bad thing.

    Especially in a so-called democracy.

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