The Stack Archive

ISPs to take GCHQ to court over suspected attacks on international infrastructure

Wed 2 Jul 2014

Seven multi-national internet providers are to take legal action against the UK government’s monitoring post, GCHQ, following reports that the organisation has attacked and exploited network infrastructure for ‘mass surveillance.’

This is the first time that GCHQ has faced any such action and stems from complaints about articles published earlier in 2014 in Der Spiegel. The German publication claims that employees at a Belgian telecoms organisation have been targeted with malware. As the ISP’s complaints allege, these attacks are in breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, but also interfere with privacy rights of the employees under the European Convention on Human Rights.

In the light of the Snowden revelations, the use of spyware and malicious software by GCHQ “completely cripples our confidence in the internet economy and threatens the rights of all those who use it,” said Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International. “These unlawful activities […] must come to an end immediately.”

Jan Girlich, Chaos Computer Club (Europe’s largest association of hackers), also added: “Monitoring all communications secretively and without any effective control nor checks and balances breaks the foundations on which our modern democracies are based. We are heading towards a police state and the only way to stop this is to bring mass surveillance to an end.”


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