cloudy
Tuesday February 9th, 2016 5:42PM

Rights groups say UK conducts mass cyber-snooping

By The Associated Press
LONDON (AP) -- Britain's top counterterrorism official says the country's espionage rules allow its electronic spy agency to routinely intercept online communications between Britons who use U.S.-based platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.<br /> <br /> A witness statement by Charles Farr, Britain's top counterterrorism official, made public Tuesday, said data sent on those services is classed as "external" rather than "internal" communications because the companies are based outside Britain.<br /> <br /> Britain's Home Office confirmed the document was genuine. It was written in response to a legal action by civil liberties groups who are seeking to curb cyber-spying, and was published by the groups on Tuesday.<br /> <br /> Britain's electronic intelligence agency, GCHQ, has broad powers to intercept communications outside the country, but needs a warrant and suspicion of wrongdoing to monitor Britons.<br /> <br /> In the document, Farr says some internal communications are intercepted under the external rules, but they "cannot be read, looked at or listened to" except in strictly limited circumstances.<br /> <br /> Civil liberties organizations say the rules are too vague and allow for mass surveillance.<br /> <br /> "The security services consider that they're entitled to read, listen and analyze all our communications on Facebook, Google and other U.S.-based platforms," said James Welch, legal director of Liberty - one of the groups involved in the legal action. "If there was any remaining doubt that our snooping laws need a radical overhaul there can be no longer."<br /> <br /> Farr said that emails sent between two people in Britain would usually be classed as internal even if they traveled by route outside the country. But Facebook and Twitter posts or Google searches that went to data centers outside the British Isles would fall under the external category.<br /> <br /> GCHQ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.<br /> <br /> Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of a program called PRISM giving the NSA access to Internet companies' customer data, and a British operation, TEMPORA, that allows GCHQ to harvest data from undersea cables. The extent and mechanics of the programs are not fully clear.<br /> <br /> Farr's document would not confirm or deny the existence of TEMPORA or say whether GCHQ had received information from PRISM.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 1 year ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 1 year ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 1 year ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 1 year ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 1 year ago )
More Georgians signing up for health insurance
A federal report says more Georgians have selected health insurance plans through a federally facilitated marketplace.
4:16PM ( 1 year ago )
Politics
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to help fight the Zika virus
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that spread it here and abroad, but says "there s...
10:40PM ( 19 hours ago )
Search for Missouri couple wanted for crimes across the South, including Ga., ends with one suspect dead and the other wounded
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
By The Associated Press
9:57PM ( 3 days ago )
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while, buoying consumers, frustrating oil producers
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while.That reality is wreaking havoc and causing uncertainty for some governments and businesses, while creating financial windfalls for others. Less expensive...
6:18PM ( 6 days ago )
Cruz (R) expected to claim conservative Iowa caucus victory, with Clinton (D) and Sanders (D) deadlocked among liberal vote
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz swept to victory in Iowa's Republican caucuses Monday, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were deadlocked in a tight race.
By The Associated Press
10:55PM ( 1 week ago )
America, its politics in flux as voting begins
On the eve of the first contest on the 2016 presidential election calendar, some voters are pushing for bolder, more uncompromising action, with an intensity that has shaken both the Republican and Democratic establishments.
By The Associated Press
9:00PM ( 1 week ago )