‘Five Eyes’ surveillance pact should be published, Strasbourg court told

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The secret “Five Eyes” treaty that authorises intelligence sharing between the UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand should be published, according to an appeal lodged on Tuesday at the European court of human rights.

The application by Privacy International (PI), which campaigns on issues of surveillance, to the Strasbourg court is the latest in a series of legal challenges following the revelations of the US whistleblower Edward Snowden aimed at forcing the government to disclose details of its surveillance policies.

The civil liberties group alleges that the UK is violating the right to access information by “refusing to disclose the documents that have an enormous impact on human rights in the UK and abroad”.

PI says that it has exhausted all domestic legal remedies because its freedom of information request for the document, detailing how the UK’s security services collaborate with the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US and other foreign intelligence agencies, met with outright refusal.

“The UK government’s GCHQ monitoring service invoked a blanket exemption that excuses it from any obligation to be transparent about its activities to the British public,” said PI.

Eric King, deputy director of PI, said: “More than a year after Snowden, the British government continues to dodge the question of just how integrated the operations of GCHQ and NSA truly..

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