Admitted: security agencies have been illegally intercepting privileged material for years

Amnesty International reports:

Responding to the government’s unprecedented admission today that its current policies and procedures for the handling of legally privileged material are unlawful, Amnesty International said the government had been caught red-handed…

The historic concession comes within weeks of a ruling, on Friday 6 February at the same court when Amnesty International and others won another historic victory when the same Tribunal rules that the USA and the UK’s intelligence sharing of communications surveillance had previously violated human rights law.

Today’s concession means that all the actions of the security services in obtaining and using legally privileged material are illegal and have been for at least the last 5 years [since January 2010].

Amnesty UK’s legal programme director Rachel Logan said:

“We are talking about nothing less than the violation of a fundamental principle of the rule of law – that communications between a lawyer and their client must be confidential.

“The government has been caught red-handed. The security agencies have been illegally intercepting privileged material and are continuing to do so – this could mean they’ve been spying on the very people challenging them in court.

“This is the second time in as many weeks that government spies have been rumbled breaking the law.”

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