April 22, 2016

"The UK's intelligence agencies (MI5, MI6, and GCHQ) are spying on everything you do, and with only the flimsiest of safeguards in place to prevent abuse, according to more than a thousand pages of documents published today as a result of a lawsuit filed by Privacy International."

ars technica: The documents reveal the details of so-called "Bulk Personal Datasets," or BPDs, which can contain "hundreds to millions of records" on people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing. by J.M. Porup

'These records can be “anything from your private medical records, your correspondence with your doctor or lawyer, even what petitions you have signed, your financial data, and commercial activities,” Privacy International legal officer Millie Graham Wood said in a statement. "The information revealed by this disclosure shows the staggering extent to which the intelligence agencies hoover up our data."

'Nor, it seems, are BPDs only being used to investigate terrorism and serious crime; they can and are used to protect Britain’s “economic well-being”—including preventing pirate copies of Harry Potter books from leaking before their release date.

'BPDs are so powerful, in fact, that the normally toothless UK parliament watchdog that oversees intelligence gathering, the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), recommended in February that "Class Bulk Personal Dataset warrants are removed from the new legislation."

'These data sets are so large and collect so much information so indiscriminately that they even include information on dead people.'

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