back to article UK Supreme Court to probe British spy court's immunity from probing

Privacy International's years-long challenge against UK government hacking is headed to the nation's final court of appeal at the end of the year. The case, part of the privacy activists' ongoing legal battles over the UK's spy agencies' activities, focuses on the government's use of general warrants to hack computers and …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Taking back control

    Didn't an overwhelming majority of the British people just vote to remove any pesky judicial oversight of the sovereign state ?

    1. Queeg

      Re: Taking back control

      This has been a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of about a 1/3 of the Conservative Party.




      still waiting for that sarcasm icon El Reg

    2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Taking back control

      Come now, the overwhelming majority of British people haven't voted the same way on anything for a long time :)

      Neither side in brexit covered itself in glory, both where clearly full of shit. If I'd have known Cameron would resign if leave won, then I'd have been bloody tempted to vote that way.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: Taking back control

        While I appreciate your point, look who we got in his place!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Taking back control

      No, we voted to remove federal European oversight, a different matter altogether.

      P.s. comb your hair, you look a mess. Unless your phone's camera is just dirty...

    4. Mike Ozanne

      Re: Taking back control

      "Didn't an overwhelming majority of the British people just vote to remove any pesky judicial oversight of the sovereign state ?

      No, a slight majority voted in an advisory referendum voted to cease being members of the international treaty organisation called the European Union.

  2. Thrudd

    We are all equal under the law

    Some are just more equal than others.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      "We are all equal under the law

      Some are just more equal than others."

      That is the problem, the IPT is not, according to the government, under the law.

      That means anything the IPT says is OK, is OK, not the kind of thing one expects from a democracy, more like some dodgy dictatorship run by a leader with a name like Kim Jong Mei.

  3. K Silver badge

    Where can I make a donation?

    Happy to help chuck them a few quid... even if only buy a coffee before the court hearing!

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    This is probably something any spy agency wouldn't want to loose. Spying by nature is secretive. There's about to be a can of worms (or worse) about be opened if the activists win. On the other hand, the spies do need some control. Not an open and shut case and I'd sure hate to be a judge on this....

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      So they lose, everybody goes away feeling happy and the spies introduce new "double secret probation" for their operations

  5. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    In the light of Brexit...

    This is a critical issue in the light of Brexit, and the fact that the Prime Minister of the UKGBNI has made it clear that she wants the UK our of the (UK-founded) ECHR as well as the EU ECJ (the latter via Brexit).

    I refer, of course, not to the question of whether the IPT's decisions can be appealed, but whether the Parliament can enact a law preventing judicial appeal.

    For example, they could simplify the immigration removal system by legislating that immigration removal decisions shall be made by Home Office tribunals held in camera with no right to counsel, and that results of those tribunals would not appealable to any court.

    To date, that sort of shenanigan has been preventable by the ECJ and/or ECHR, but give Ms May categorically wants the UK not subject to their jurisdiction, who would protect us from a tyrannical government?

    [ I use the example of immigration because of the situation in the USA, with Trumps "animal" comments and ICE's admission that it invents allegations of gang membership in order to keep detainees detained, and the plan to build internment camps for kids and families... ]

    1. Long John Baldrick

      Re: In the light of Brexit...

      I know that you hate the man, but please put Trumps comments in the context of the speeach.

      First a quick background:

      From USA Today:

      “Street gang MS-13, infamous for vicious machete killings, is first to be declared an international criminal group.” That’s a headline from the Daily Mail in 2012.

      “The gratuitous acts of violence these now-convicted gang members committed were intended to spread fear.” That’s a description from acting U.S. Attorney John Horn about a 2015 murder conviction in Georgia.

      “Video of the mutilated bodies was sent to a girlfriend of one of the victims.” “She was walking home one evening with Nisa, a basketball teammate one day shy of her 16th birthday, when MS-13 members spotted them and attacked with a machete and baseball bats.” “A large butcher knife, a bloodstained baseball hat and three 9mm handguns were also found in the car.”

      Those are all different incidents. All MS-13.

      Trumps Comments: From

      SHERIFF MIMS: Thank you. There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.

      THE PRESIDENT: We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.

      MS13 is not what I want in my neighborhood. For that matter neither is Trump- security would be hellish. The problem precedes President and will exist long after he in no longer president. But that doesn't mean that they should be unopposed by the legal community.

    2. sprograms

      Re: In the light of Brexit...

      President Trump clearly and explicitly referred only to MS13 gang members as "animals." In view of the fact that the gang conducted some of the most horrendous rape-murder atrocities ever committed in my former home county, Fairfax, VA....and neighboring MD counties, I think he was guilty of understatement. The gang terrorizes their local high-schools, and only inducts thugs after they have committed a gruesome murder. The reality that most major press organizations falsified their reports by stating that he referred to all undocumented migrants as "animals" was yet another shocking revelation of bias above and beyond the usual.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    About f**king time this was challenged.

    Funny how that idea of "Taking back control works" isn't it?

    Conservative party. "We know we said we wanted Brexit so Parliament could 'take back control' but that doesn't actually mean they can control us as well."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: About f**king time this was challenged.

      "We know we said we wanted Brexit so Parliament could 'take back control' but that doesn't actually mean they can control us as well."

      I'm John Redwood and I approve this message.

      Hell, I wrote it. Little people shouldn't have rights.

  7. Wolfclaw

    Spying is needed, what we do object to is abuse by the state and it's agencies, without legal redress !

  8. phuzz Silver badge

    So, Scarlet Kim's parents were big fans of Cluedo then?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    revisionist history much?

    John Smith 19, some of the most draconian anti-voter legislation was forced through Parliament under the guidance and control of Tony Blair and his cronies - there is a reason they were called "Za-New Labour" and compared unfavourably to certain overseas dictatorships. Remind me please, why did they want to introduce ID cards? (or is it all sweetness and altruistic light when Labour do it, and only thoroughly evil and despicable when the Tories do it?)

    Plus, don't forget who changed the law so that the House of Lords can no longer block anything the Government decides to ram through - but how the only party to actually use his Parliament Act were... the Labour Government. That should tell you something about the UK political parties but it doesn't fit your agenda so you'll ignore it and simply pretend it never happened.

  10. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    What might happen...

    End of year - Privacy International win their case, making the IPT subject to judicial examination.

    Beginning of next year - new legislation is pushed through retrospectively legalising anything the IPT does...

  11. spearson

    Not even the Queen is safe from them

    Most curious. The law in question appears to allow the Investigatory Powers Tribunal to spy on the Queen and nobody can do anything about it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Firemans Blanket. The only way to ensure stability

    The trouble is that it is very difficult to know who works for whom. In the '50s it seems that the secret services had rather a lot of people working for the USSR. It took a couple of girls to bring down Macmillans government when they shared favours with a kgb agent and the Minister of defence. (One of them reckoned she "did it for a lark", probably, I hope, the most honest comment of the whole procedure). Then there was Chapman Pincher and Peter Wrights comments about the security services plotting to get rid of Wilson....I could go on, especially where Blair, Soros & co are concerned.

    I reckon stability is only achieved through the Firemans Blanket system where everyone pulls in a different direction so nobody gets too much power....some silly dope decides to cooperate with someone on the other side and the whole system gets out of control.

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