UK spies using foreign loopholes to monitor Google, Facebook and Twitter users

Charles Farr, the Director General of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, revealed that spies could intercept British users’ Google searches, Facebook updates and Twitter posts when servers are located outside of the country.

The information came to light after Privacy International, Liberty, Amnesty International and a number of civil liberties organizations issued a legal challenge against GCHQ in an attempt to unravel the secrets of agency’s Tempora data-tapping program, which were revealed as part of Edward Snowden’s NSA document leaks.

British law states that agencies do not have the right to spy on internal communications. However, the same restrictions are not applicable for foreign transmissions. Farr argues that if a Briton was to perform a Google search on a server that is located outside of the UK, it would be classed as an “external communication.” Facebook updates and Twitter posts would likely fall under the same classification, although direct communications like emails may be protected, as the sender and the recipient both reside in the UK.

Worryingly, if content is deemed to be an external communication, UK law states that it can be searched, read and eavesdropped upon, regardless of whether the people involved were suspected of any wrongdoing. Farr’s statement notes that the UK has for “many years faced a serious threat from terrorism,” and that the sharing of data has led to the prevention of terrorist attacks and other serious crimes.

 

Source: Engadget - Read the full article here

Author: Daily Tech Whip

This article is part of our 'News Tiles' service. The site is currently in Beta. When it is fully operational you will be able to search through and arrange the 'Tiles' to display a keyword, product or technology over your chosen time period. For example you would be able to display all of the leading tech articles on the new Kindle Fire, in one spot in real time. You will also have access to our own original reporting and analysis as well as a polished place to post your own thoughts & reviews here, amongst the Daily Tech Whip Community. Please let us know if you have any feedback via the contact form or via Twitter. Don't forget to come back next week and see our full site and claim your name and your own free tech blog.

Share This Post On