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20 September 2016

A day in the life of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal

Over the course of four days at the end of July, three barristers from Blackstone Chambers and a small army of solicitors represented Privacy International in a case against the intelligence services at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. Privacy International claims the intelligence agencies – MI5, GCHQ, the Secret Intelligence Service, as well as the home secretary and the foreign secretary – have been using loopholes to indulge in limitless snooping on the citizens of the UK, and possibly everywhere else. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) is the most secretive court in the land. It pronounces upon matters of national security and the treatment of people under anti-terrorism legislation. It is the only avenue available for anyone wishing to make a complaint about the behaviour of the intelligence services and government surveillance. 
The surreal world of the UK’s most secretive court Yet it manages to combine the deadly serious with the surreal. The final day’s session began with a short judgement delivered by the ...

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