UK smartphone spying case

GCHQ has reportedly been spying via smartphones.

The first legal challenge has been launched against alleged GCHQ snooping on UK smartphones.


The challenge makes allegations that the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters is routinely spying on smartphones in the country.

UK-based charity Privacy International filed the case to demand “an end to the unlawful hacking being carried out by GCHQ which, in partnership with the NSA”.

It is also claimed that GCHQ has potentially infected millions of computers and smartphones around the world with malware (malicious software).

This software could be used to extract information kept on devices – such as banking details and personal information – and access and extract photos, messages, track a user’s location and spy on calls and camera/microphone use.

The charity is arguing that UK Government practices are in violation of articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Article 8 of the ECHR Convention is concerned with the right to respect for privacy and family life, home and correspondence.

Article 10 provides the right to freedom of expression and information. This right includes the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information and ideas.

The activists are questioning whether GCHQ’s data collection is in accordance with EU law.

America’s NSA (National Security Agency) has also been heavily criticised for its data collection methods.

It was recently revealed that the NSA planned to secretly infect millions of devices with software that would extract information and send it back to the NSA, with GCHQ collaborating to develop these tools.

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