Digital rights NGOs request to join European internet surveillance case

A coalition of European digital rights NGOs today ask to intervene in a seminal case on internet surveillance before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The case concerns the constitutionality of interception and data-sharing under the Tempora and Prism-programmes revealed by Snowden. Brussels-based EDRi, together with various national NGOs, would like to provide expert input on the constitutional framework to be applied to mass surveillance.

The case, Big Brother Watch and Others v. The United Kingdom, was brought before the ECHR in September 2013. Other parties may request to intervene and provide expert input as amicus curiae. This is a unique opportunity for the European Court to review the far-reaching internet surveillance systems developed over the last decade by the United States and the United Kingdom. It is also an opportunity to send a clear message to other European countries with similar programmes or plans.

The Court will now decide on the request for intervention. The NGOs are represented in this case by privacy and security law firm Digital Defence. You can read the request here (PDF). The digital rights coalition consists of the following NGOs:

ApTI (Romania)
Bits of Freedom (the Netherlands)
DFRI (Sweden)
Digitalcourage (Germany)
Digital Rights Ireland (Ireland)
Digitale Gesellschaft (Germany)
EDRi (Brussels)
Electronic Frontier Finland (Finland)
Initiative für Netzfreiheit (Austria)
IT-Pol (Denmark)
La Quadrature du Net (France)
Panoptykon (Poland)
VIBE (Austria)