GCHQ Double Cross Violates Amnesty International
When a Western Civilization overthrow a regime they typically cite the tyrants lack of regard for human rights. Ironically, Amnesty International recently learned the GCHQ intercepted, stored and accessed its communications. Perhaps the spy organization merely seeks to protect us from the tyranny of political dissidents and human rights workers living in the third world?
The discovery comes after 18 months of litigation. Amnesty, along with nine other organizations, challenged the GCHQ’s denial of spying on human rights organizations.
“It’s outrageous that what has been often presented as being the domain of despotic rulers has been occurring on British soil, by the British government,” Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary general, said.
How can we be expected to carry out our crucial work around the world if human rights defenders and victims of abuses can now credibly believe their confidential correspondence with us is likely to end up in the hands of governments?
Their Fingers Were Crossed
The GCHQ gave no indication when or why Amnesty International was spied on. Shetty further revealed that if the GCHQ had followed its own internal protocols Amnesty may never have known it was the victim of espionage. Documents reveal the stolen communications were stored longer than they were allowed.
Amnesty International’s communications were harvested under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA S.5(4))of 2000. This information confirms the GCHQ acted unlawfully and violated Amnesty International’s rights. The misstep is another case of mass surveillance programs trampling the rights of the citizens they were created to protect.
Also Read: 42 Years Before Edward Snowden Leak Finishes
The outrage shared by Amnesty International is echoed in the Private Sector. Particularly among US-based hardware makers. With each document release revealing the extents shadowy spy programs are willing to go to collect data businesses are wondering how long it will take to repair their relationships with foreign customers.
Amnesty International was founded in 1961. It is the largest global human rights group in the world. Amnesty is not the only global non-governmental organization targeted by GCHQ and NSA spying troups. The United Nations development programme, Unicef in the UK, Médecins du Monde in France, as well as individuals from Spain and Israel with influence on state economics are all specific targets under the spying programs designed for monitoring terrorists.
Images from Shutterstock and Amnesty International.