Information Technology Law Reports Volume 17 Issue 2


This issue of Information Technology Law Reports contains two cases. The first,  Privacy International v (1) The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2) The Government Communications Headquarters, emphasised again the difficulties faced in challenging state activity where surveillance is concerned. The case highlights the extent of GCHQ’s surveillance capabilities and the implications for the rule of law and the separation of powers. Significantly, this was the first time GCHQ admitted to carrying out surveillance activities in the United Kingdom and overseas. The Equipment Interference Code emerged as a result of these proceedings. The second case, AY (A Child by her Friend) v Facebook (Ireland) Ltd and Others, concerned indecent digital images. Facebook applied to strike out AY’s case on the basis that it had an unanswerable case that it had acted ‘expeditiously’ in removing or disabling access to the images. The application was refused, as the question of whether it had acted expeditiously was a matter for evidence at the trial..

Richard Budworth
Editor, Information Technology Law Reports

Privacy International v (1) The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2) The Government Communications Headquarters
Investigatory Powers Tribunal
Burton J, Mitting J, Robert Seabrook QC, Charles Flint QC and the Honourable Christopher Gardner QC
12 February 2016
[2016] UKIP Trib 14_85-CH

Data protection - constitutional law - computer network exploitation or hacking - national security - misuse - privacy - family life - human rights - Intelligence Services Act 1994 sections 3, 4, 4(2)(a), 5(2), 5(2)(c), 5(3), 5(3A), 6, 7(3)(c), 7(4), 7(10), 8(1), 8(4) and 11 - Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, sections 1, 3(1)(a), 8, 16, 16(3), 16(5), 21, 71 and 81 - Computer Misuse Act 1990 sections 1(1), 3(1), 4(2), 10, 17 and 17(2) - European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Articles 8 and 10 - preliminary issues determined. 

AY (A Child by her Friend) v Facebook (Ireland) Ltd and Others Queen's Bench Division (NI)
9 September 2016
[2016] NIQB 76

Harassment - internet - social media ‒ indecent digital images - misuse of private information - negligence - blocking of images - application to strike out ‒ Data Protection Act 1998 ? Directive 95/46 ‒ Directive 2000/31, Article 15 - Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002, Regulations, 6(1), 19 and 22 ‒ Protection from Harassment (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 - European Convention on Human Rights 1950, Article 10 ‒ application granted in part.