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Watchdog Welcomes EU Recognition of UK Mass Surveillance as Rights Violation

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Surveillance - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A prominent international watchdog has welcomed the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to recognize UK laws enabling mass surveillance as a violation of the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.

"Today’s ruling represents a significant step forward in the protection of privacy and freedom of expression worldwide. It sends a strong message to the UK Government that its use of extensive surveillance powers is abusive and runs against the very principles that it claims to be defending," Amnesty International’s Strategic Litigation Director Lucy Claridge said.

Surveillance - Sputnik International
Amnesty International Urges Strasbourg Court to 'End UK Gov't Mass Surveillance'
Earlier in the day, the ECHR ruled that the UK government had breached the right to privacy with its mass electronic surveillance program, which was exposed by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. The court assessed three aspects of digital surveillance, including the interception of communications, intelligence sharing and acquisition of communications data.

The case is based on three applications filed by a coalition of rights groups and organizations, including Amnesty International and Big Brother Watch, against the United Kingdom in September 2013, September 2014 and May 2015.

READ MORE: UN Team Investigates UK Human Rights Record, Mass Surveillance, Racial Profiling

These actions followed Snowden's revelations that the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was running an operation called Tempora that allowed it to tap into and store large volumes of data, including phone calls, messages and internet communication.

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