High Court Rules Against Government Bulk Hacking
The High Court in the UK ruled against the intelligence agencies’ use of bulk hacking for domestic targets. Edward Snowden revealed the use of hacking to target large numbers of users simultaneously in 2014. In 2016, the Non-profit Privacy International challenged the practice in a secretive court for cases involving intelligence. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled on the side of Snowden in the original case.
On Friday, despite attempts to block the challenge to the ruling by the High Court, the court ruled in agreement with Privacy International. Law precedent protecting from property searching without lawful authority, even in cases of national security, was referred to in the ruling. Property in the modern age could be referred to as users’ digital lives according to Privacy International legal director, Caroline Wilson. General warrants do not apply to individuals, therefore widespread hacking on domestic individuals is not correct. The UK has a large interest in bulk surveillance as it seeks a decision from the EU on data handling that is vital to data flows post-Brexit.