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U.K. Surveillance Violated Privacy Rights, Europe Court Says

  • European judges rule 5-2 against U.K. data interception
  • Case brought from 2013 by journalists, human-rights groups
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The European Court of Human Rights said that some U.K. surveillance programs, including the bulk interception of communications exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, violate rules that protect privacy and family life.

The seven judges at the Strasbourg, France-based court said in a 5-2 ruling that such interceptions violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which also deals with the privacy of communications. There was insufficient oversight of how information in the bulk scoop of data was intercepted and filtered, and the safeguards governing the selection of “related communications data” for examination were inadequate, the judges said in a statement published Thursday following their decision.