Rights Group Urges Public to Find Out if GCHQ Spied on them

Rights group Privacy International has launched a new campaign designed to encourage members of the public to find out if they have been illegally spied on by British intelligence agency GCHQ.

The initiative came about after the group won a landmark case against GCHQ earlier this month.

The UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled that the spy agency acted unlawfully in accessing millions of private communications collected by the NSA up until December 2014.

As such, Privacy International is claiming that anyone in the world can legally demand to know if GCHQ illegally received personal information about them from the NSA and if so, seek to have it deleted.

The rights group explained the following:

“Chances are, at some point over the past decade, your communications were swept up by the U.S. National Security Agency. The NSA then shares information with the UK government's intelligence agency GCHQ by default. A recent court ruling found that this sharing was unlawful. But no one could find out if their records were collected and then illegally shared between these two agencies… until now …

Join our campaign by entering your details below to find out if GCHQ illegally spied on you, and confirm via the email we send you. We'll then go to court demanding that they finally come clean on unlawful surveillance.”

It remains to be seen, however, whether the tribunal will even be able to cope with the likely deluge of requests from the public.

Millions of people could be affected by the Prism and Upstream programs referenced in the tribunal ruling.

“We have known for some time that the NSA and GCHQ have been engaged in mass surveillance, but never before could anyone explicitly find out if their phone calls, emails, or location histories were unlawfully shared between the the US and UK,” said Privacy International deputy director, Eric King.

“The public have a right to know if they were illegally spied on, and GCHQ must come clean on whose records they hold that they should never have had in the first place.”

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