back to article Civil liberties groups take another swing at Brit snooping regime in Euro human rights court

The UK's mass surveillance regime is to be ruled upon by Europe's highest human rights court after civil liberties groups pushed back against a previous decision. A panel of five judges in the European Court of Human Rights' Grand Chamber announced today (PDF) that they had decided to hear a legal referral of a September 2018 …

  1. Wellyboot Silver badge

    Better get Skates on

    Announced today - that means they have 38 working days to make a decision that will have any jurisdiction.

    1. The Original Steve

      Re: Better get Skates on

      Wrong court matey.

      We're part of Europe regardless of this Brexit mess.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Better get Skates on

        You know that. I know that. But your average brexiter voter never understood that, and is likely to froth a bit when they work it out.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Better get Skates on

          Guess I'm not the average brexit voter, then. I've spent a lot of time explaining to people on these very forums that the ECHR and the CJEU are not the same thing, but a worrying number of people - no matter their views on leaving or staying - seem to persist in mixing them up.

          Though apparently I am thick enough to hit anon when I didn't mean to. Oh well.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Better get Skates on

            "the ECHR and the CJEU are not the same thing,"

            So, does this mean my ECDL will be void and I won't be allowed to use a computer any more?

            1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: John Brown

              It may have taken 11 years, but i've finally found someone else who was roped into getting that piece-of-shit LearnDirect qualification, that isn't worth the paper it's printed on, and clearly wasn't wrote by someone who had used a computer for more than a month.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Better get Skates on

          your average remoan voter never understood that

          Fixed that for you.

          1. Mooseman Bronze badge

            Re: Better get Skates on

            "your average remoan voter never understood that

            Fixed that for you."

            Brave enough to be anon while posting the same tired sad little insults. Don't like democracy? Then never vote again, never do anything but put your 100% support behind any government whether you voted for them or not. and above all never ever voice your opposition to anything that the party/whatever you didn't vote for does.

            1. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

              Re: Better get Skates on

              Mooseman, do you believe we need another referendum because the results of the first were flawed, or that those who voted Leave simply didn't understand the consequences of our actions?

              Because I am extremely offended by the number of people telling me why I voted when they have never met me, or spoken to me, or know anything about me. And when people say things like "the same tired sad little insults" when they have just done the same damn thing themselves.

              The majority of the population voted Leave. That was a People's Vote, where every vote did count and no amount of talking by politicians and those who voted Remain will change the fact that, on the day of the referendum, THE MAJORITY VOTED LEAVE.

              But according to most Remainers, and from your comments I am pretty confident you are one of them, I only voted Leave because I am an ignorant racist who hates all foreigners, can barely string 2 words together without needing help from someone from a higher social class than mine and that I believe lots of money will suddenly fall from the skies when we leave.

              Don't like democracy? Then pretend that black is white, the losing side wins and everything will be rosy if only the 'great unwashed' came to our senses and saw what a grand utopia we could live in if we gave up on Brexit and threw ourselves on the mercy of the Eurocrats.

              You don't seriously believe they would smile and nod happily if we stay, do you? Someone has to pay for all the extra work we have made them do, and they have to make sure nobody ever dares to think about leaving again because there are an increasing number of other nations whose voters are questioning the wisdom of letting the EU run everything - the Gillets Jaunes in France are probably the most obvious, and there's the Italians whose DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED government has been told to toe the line by Brussels, the Spanish, the Hungarians, the Greeks...

              1. H in The Hague Silver badge

                Re: Better get Skates on

                "voters are questioning the wisdom of letting the EU run everything - the Gillets Jaunes in France are probably the most obvious"

                Errmm, as far as I'm aware President Macron was democratically elected, and with a fair margin. However, the Gillets Jaunes are self-appointed activists - i.e. unelected. Furthermore they have been vandalising speed cameras used to enforce road safety legislation put in place through a democratic process. That makes the undemocratic and unaccountable.

                Furthermore the EU does not "run everything" and the UK government has form in gold-plating EU legislation.

                "the Italians whose DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED government has been told to toe the line by Brussels"

                The democratically determined rules of the EU club include not saddling your electorate (present or future) with excessive debt due to unsustainable spending. (Look what that did to Greece.) If they don't like those rules they can try Italexit, but that also means losing the benefits of being a member of that club.

                "threw ourselves on the mercy of the Eurocrats."

                Presumably that refers to civil servants - who are rather fewer in number in Brussels than in Whitehall.

              2. howieb2001

                Re: Better get Skates on

                "The majority of the population voted Leave."

                No the majority of those who cast a vote chose leave.

                1. M.V. Lipvig

                  Re: Better get Skates on

                  Those who don't vote agree to abide by the decision of those who do, and have zero right to complain about the outcome. I say that as one who does take the time to vote in every election, every time, and has for the last 30 years.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Better get Skates on

                "do you believe we need another referendum because the results of the first were flawed, or that those who voted Leave simply didn't understand the consequences of our actions?"

                Well, personally, I think the UK deserves a new vote because:

                A) People are allowed to change their minds

                B) There was a fuckload of lying to the people going on

                C) Racist fuckpantaloons should be set on fire, not have their malignant opinions catered to at all costs.

              4. M.V. Lipvig

                Re: Better get Skates on

                Wow, you described U.S. Democrats to a T. They are constantly telling non-Democrats that if they only understood the issues properly that they'd have voted Democrat. The other thing they like to say is we are voting against our own best interests, like I don't understand myself well enough to vote for my best interests. What they really mean is I voted against THEIR best interests.

              5. Mooseman Bronze badge

                Re: Better get Skates on

                @not.known@this.address

                No, you're wrong about so much. Were we to stay in the EU the world will now view us with great and justifiable suspicion, however we would still get trade and other benefits because we would still be in the EU.

                Of course not all leave voters are racists, but all the racists voted leave. I know quite a few leave voters and without exception they are neither old nor racist, but all of them have fallen prey to the endless anti eu bilge coming out of the media and government over the last few decades, to the point where they believe the fiction and call the facts "project fear" or "fake news", and join in the government minister-led nonsense of "we've had enough of experts", as if being uninformed and gullible were somehow to be applauded.

                As usual from a leave voter you spout the "don't like democracy" nonsense. Democracy means people can change their minds, you realise? No doubt you believe that the EU is undemocratic and passes endless laws over us, neither of which are faintly true, but there we have the crux of the problem - people who didn't give a monkeys about the eu for years are suddenly howling about democracy and sovereignty, while all they really care about is immigration; something that has never been out of our control yet successive governments have done precisely sod-all to curtail because we need foreign skilled works and foreign labour force. The joke will be on them, of course - once we have driven EU workers out with our lunatic government we will still need the workforce, and this time they will come from India. Still migrant workers, just a little too brown for a lot of leave voters.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Fixed that for you.

            I know I did.

            But what are you?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We're part of Europe

        er, well, about that... I was thinking... could we not just, like, stop being a part of Europe too?! I mean, given how crashingly successful we've been getting the best brexit deal EVER, splitting from Europe would be easy-peasy, a piece of cake (and we could eat it too, and some crumbs to the NHS, hurrah!). I say, why don't we dig a channel between us and the frenchies, and then, let's set sail!

        "Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:

        "Britons never will be slaves."

  2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    Well ...

    Good thing the UK is taking steps to escape the oppressive hand of the EU!

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Well ...

      I think you missed the <sarcasm> tag

      1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

        Re: Well ...

        I assumed it was suitably implied.

    2. revenant

      Re: Well ...

      Good thing or not, I believe the ECHR is distinct from the EU, so it would take a totally new effort to get out from under it - I doubt that would happen.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: Well ...

        All signatories of the European Convention on Human Rights are members of the ECHR. That includes Russia and Turkey, for what it's worth, which is apparently not much these days.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well ...

          "That includes Russia and Turkey, ”

          Turkey's participation'd be enough for many brexit-types to want to withdraw the UK from it. Just incase, in the future, Turkey imposed Sharia law on us. Or some other made-up bullshit story.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well ...

            "made-up bullshit story"

            That would be like the "made-up bullshit story" about the EU wanting an Army, amongst other made-up bullshit.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Well ...

              while the idea of an EU army is pretty hilarious, given how they've dismantled their national ones (ok, fair point, UK's no better), they are actually planning to build one. Army. EU army. Well, they've signed some papers to promise they would do that. In future. At some point. Once they sort out the paperwork on which tank and plane will and loo paper is the most cost-effective to implement across the board. Not being anti-EU in general, I imagine that the building of an EU army will begin from building a shiny, glass HQ in Brussels. Well, you've gotta plan it right, and shiny glass HQ in Brussels is bare essentials ;)

              1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

                Re: Well ...

                "I imagine that the building of an EU army will begin from building a shiny, glass HQ in Brussels."

                The Kortenberg building perhaps? Where the Common Security and Defence Policy is based? The one that deploys military forces on loan from EU countries? Think that's like 20 years old now.

                If NATO forces are being used, the EU won't interfere. It's only if NATO is not that the EU will send in the grunts.

                Part of the issue is that non-EU NATO members can effectively veto EU military operations, which rankles those people who are fussy about actual sovereignty*.

                So there exist an "EU army" already, it's mpre about redefining their role.

                "while the idea of an EU army is pretty hilarious, given how they've dismantled their national ones"

                I take it you didn't serve in Africa then. Plenty of French deployed in the global war on nouns. You can make all the jokes you like about googling French military victories, but when the shit hits the fan a Rafale is as good as the RAF.

                * if a very broad sense, sovereignty means you can collect tax, make and enforce laws, and conduct war in a fashion that is consider legal by all the other sovereign entities. These days it's countries and institutions, historically it's been individual people, kings,dukes, jarls etc

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Well ...

                The EU army would probably start as, say, armoured vehicles identified only by an EU flag as opposed to a Country of origin flag. Like this one, attacking French protestors a short while back (Twitter source)

                https://www.trendsmap.com/twitter/tweet/1071565516416811008

                Twitter and Google readily turn up pics of army vehicles with just an EU flag ID'ing them. But it probably doesn't mean anything so no worries

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Well ...

                Not so sure that the people posting pics on Twitter from the Gilets Jeune protests in France are finding the notion of a European Army "Hilarious", I've seen pics of armoured vehicles and soldiers who's only identifying mark is an EU flag. Not that the colour of the flag on the arm of the baton wielding thug is of prime consideration when you just lost an eye or consciousness. PS Only another 99 posts to go and I'll be able to post a link. In the meantime, Twitter & Google are your friend

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Well ...

        There's a Tory plan to rescind the Human Rights Act, and that means the European Charter of Human Rights won't be incorporated in British law, which means it'll take years and a lot of money to take things up to the European Court of Human Rights. But the UK won't have stopped recognising the Charter as that would look bad.

        Theresa May to consider axeing Human Rights Act after Brexit, minister reveals

        1. Tomato42 Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Well ...

          I am not even surprised...

          It's like they don't know that American Exceptionalism has "American" in it

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Well ...

            Pig-ignorant or troll? It's so hard to tell. But either one is a sad statement about humanity.

          2. Mooseman Bronze badge

            Re: Well ...

            "There's a Labour/Momentum plan to impose a single party state"

            I'm looking forward to any evidence of this claim. Sounds like the kind of thing we all ought to know about, can you post links, quotes, video evidence, reputable reporting of it? For such a massive statement there should be literally tons of evidence. No? Perhaps you're talking out of your arse then?

            1. Claverhouse Bronze badge

              Re: Well ...

              "There's a Labour/Momentum plan to impose a single party state"

              I'm looking forward to any evidence of this claim. Sounds like the kind of thing we all ought to know about, can you post links, quotes, video evidence, reputable reporting of it? For such a massive statement there should be literally tons of evidence. No? Perhaps you're talking out of your arse then?

              Do you not read the Daily Mail ?

              1. Evil Scot

                Re: Well ...

                Nah... Web browser flags it as fake news.

              2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                Re: Well ...

                Do you not read the Daily Mail ?

                I prefer to inflict brain-damage on myself via the application of too-much-gin. It doesn't leave the unpleasant taste in the mouth that the Daily Heil does.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well ...

            Fixed that for you != I made something up

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Don't panic. The HO will already have the next bill with some variation on Investigatory Powers in its title already to go to the printers bu the time a verdict is given. They probably have it ready now, just waiting for the dates to be added. Then we start all over again.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You've all been very naughty boys and girls

    Matron needs to know what you get up to!

    It's for your own good.

    1. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

      Re: You've all been very naughty boys and girls

      Given that Matron is just about to enact a law which will make grown adults in the UK have to either sign up to what amounts to a register of one-handed typists, or else buy access to a VPN service which terminates in a non-UK country, this mass surveillance may soon come to a screaming halt.

      It should be common knowledge that any source of information given to the UK government will be abused, and will in part be left unencrypted on a memory stick on a random commuter train somewhere. As such, I would predict that almost nobody with any sense will sign up for the UK's Proof of Age / w***ing list.

      So, a large part of the UK internet is going to go opaque soon as far as MI5 are concerned, and I have no doubt at all that quite a few MI5 operatives are quietly crying into their beers over this outrage; nobody ever thinks of the spies when these Great Cunning Plans are thought up.

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gimp

    Data fetishism

    It's not a sane policy. It's a personality disorder

    They want all data all the time. Forever

    They don't really know why. They just do.

    And they probably are a PPE graduate (but not always).

    1. Mooseman Bronze badge

      Re: Data fetishism

      The problem is they have already got more data than they know what to do with. The killers of Lee Rigby for example were not only known to the security forces but had their phone and emails recorded. The obsession with security as a tool for keeping tabs on the bulk of the population is getting out of hand - actual terrorists skirt around the problem, eg the Paris attackers who simply used SMS messages.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Gimp

        "The problem is they have already got more data than they know what to do with."

        For these people that is not a problem

        They simply don't care. Because...

        <gollum>

        We wants it.

        We wants it

        </gollum>

    2. Dr Don

      Re: Data fetishism

      They are a Geography graduate. This fact alone has reduced the standing of an Oxford degree in my

      opion.

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