The British government must answer to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for the large-scale collection and search of data. According to the Court, the British must demonstrate that this is done within the law.
The overburdened European Court of Human Rights, where lawsuits can last many years, has identified a case against the British government brought by civil rights activists as a high-profile case, The Guardian writes. A ruling should be made this year.
The European Court wants to know whether the large-scale collection, analysis and storage of data, which the British secret service GCHQ appears to do, is in line with the law and necessary in a democratic society. It must also be demonstrated that the espionage programs do not conflict with a European treaty that forms the basis of the European Union.
According to the civil rights activists who filed the case, the GCHQ is breaking British law by spying on innocent visitors on a large scale. The British government denies that, saying that all secret service activities are within the framework of the law.