There’s now an easier way to discover whether the U.K. intelligence services illegally obtained your information from their U.S. colleagues — but you’ll have to tell a U.K. campaign group as well as the U.K. Government Communications Headquarters your details to find out.
Civil rights group Privacy International has launched a website to allow anyone in the world to ask whether GCHQ has illegally spied on them. If you’re curious to find out you can sign up by giving the group your name, email address and, optionally, your phone number, and granting its legal team permission to share the data with GCHQ and the U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal.
That tribunal ruled earlier this month that the sharing of mass surveillance data between U.S. and U.K. intelligence services was unlawful before December 2014, because the rules governing this data exchange were secret. This decision allows not only British citizens, but anyone in the world, to ask GCHQ if their records were unlawfully shared by the NSA, the group said.
It’s already possible to file a complaint directly with the tribunal by completing and returning a downloadable form. If the tribunal determines that someone’s communications were illegally shared with the British intelligence services, it informs the victim. If it finds it has insufficient information to make that determination, it can request more information. Those found to have been illegally spied on can seek the deletion of email messages, phone records, and Internet communications.