THE HEARING into Privacy International’s challenge to the UK security services’ collection of bulk communications and personal data opened in London on Monday, and previously secret documents revealed for the first time the extent of government surveillance into ordinary citizens’ communications.
This follows a ‘dirt dump’ in April which showed that successive home secretaries have allowed this to carry on since at least 2005.
The documents provide evidence that MI5, MI6 and GCHQ collected data on every citizen in the UK, including location information, telephone numbers dialled and calls received, as well as metadata regarding time, date and duration of calls.
In addition, the security services are accused by Privacy International of collecting data in bulk via the internet, including browsing history, IP addresses visited, instant messaging data and operating systems. The bulk collection of personal information even includes physical post data.