Security pressure group Privacy International has launched an online tool that lets you find out if the UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ has spied on you.
The group is calling on anyone, not just UK subjects, to submit their details which will be then be sent to the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the body which recently ruled that GCHQ acted unlawfully in surveilling citizens prior to December 2014.
Privacy International now wants GCHQ to come clean about the data its retained on people obtained by United States security service the NSA.
Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International, said: “We have known for some time that the NSA and GCHQ have been engaged in mass surveillance, but never before could anyone explicitly find out if their phone calls, emails, or location histories were unlawfully shared between the the US and UK.
“The public have a right to know if they were illegally spied on, and GCHQ must come clean on whose records they hold that they should never have had in the first place.”
How to find out if GCHQ has spied on you
All you’re required to give Privacy International is your name and email address, along with the authority for the group to act on your behalf and request that any records GCHQ hold be deleted.
Given the mass surveillance capabilities of the NSA and GCHQ, and that the agencies, Privacy International says that ‘an unlimited number of people’ could have been spied on.
Because of changes in the law, the IPT ruled that GCHQ’s mass surveillance programs are now legal – the court previously found the practices illegal because they were secret. Thanks to the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the world came to know about GCHQ’s links to the NSA, the so-called ‘Five Eyes’ program – a joint intelligence operation between the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – and TEMPORA, a UK program that allows for bulk collection of emails, Facebook messages and other private communications.
King added: “There are few chances that people have to directly challenge the seemingly unrestrained surveillance state, but individuals now have a historic opportunity finally hold GCHQ accountable for their unlawful actions.”
While the recent IPT ruling might open the door for future court cases, the Guardian reported a lawyer for GCHQ saying in 2013 said that the list of people targeted by TEMPORA was “infinite.”