MI5, MI6 and GCHQ 'spied on lawyers', breached lawyer-client privilege
November 6, 2014 11:01 AM   Subscribe

British intelligence agencies have policies allowing staff to access confidential communications between lawyers and their clients, official documents have revealed. The guidance was disclosed for the first time at a tribunal which examines complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.
posted by marienbad (13 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
USA bursts into BRITAIN's bedroom brandishing a cigar box containing various civil rights violations. "Who taught you how to do this?!"
posted by poffin boffin at 11:21 AM on November 6, 2014 [20 favorites]


No worries, I am sure the Mycroft Holmes has this all in hand.
posted by Ber at 11:39 AM on November 6, 2014


Guardian article.

Fwiw this surprises me not one jot.
posted by pharm at 12:23 PM on November 6, 2014


Intercepting conversations. How do you protect your clients against that? Are lawyers going to have to sweep rooms for bugs now? (does that even work?)

You would think these agencies would have a lawyer somewhere telling them these interceptions are an incredibly bad idea, but I don't doubt they would be able to find some other lawyer to justify it (eg. John Yoo' torture memos).
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:34 PM on November 6, 2014


This is my surprised face. Actually, it isn't. Those muscles have atrophied.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 1:21 PM on November 6, 2014


This is my surprised face. Actually, it isn't. Those muscles have atrophied.
posted by Purposeful Grimace

Oh come on!
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:00 PM on November 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


Intercepting conversations. How do you protect your clients against that? Are lawyers going to have to sweep rooms for bugs now? (does that even work?)

The 'bugs' in this instance are not little physical microphones or recording devices. They are intercepting emails or telephone calls - after the signals are sent, but before they are received. It's effectively a man-in-the-middle attack. This may be done by software these days, placed in the systems of the telcos, ISPs, or the online service providers.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:17 PM on November 6, 2014


On the bright side, lawyers are likely to take this seriously and work to bring end-to-end encryption further into the mainstream.
posted by pahalial at 2:56 PM on November 6, 2014


At some point, these agencies are going to have to answer the question "What part of the rule of law do you not agree with?", with somebody with a baseball bat ready to strike if the word "but" is used at any time in the subsequent five minutes.
posted by Devonian at 2:59 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


The rule of law is for schoolchildren and the underclass. ie the 99%
The overclass as always will do whatever they want whenever they want and those that protest will be marginalised as " fellow travellers" "anti American" "naive" or whatever the demeaning buzzword of the political right is. I can not really be surprised as the american jackass forcefully declared to the world that " you are either with us or against us". I Hate to think about what sort of society my grandchildren will face.
posted by adamvasco at 3:55 PM on November 6, 2014


At some point, these agencies are going to have to answer the question "What part of the rule of law do you not agree with?"

"Uh...the bit where it applies to us?"
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:05 PM on November 6, 2014


Time to buy stock in companies who make whiteboards.
posted by Sphinx at 5:19 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


The next time the intelligence agencies want secret courts to "protect their sources" we should all remember this. The reason they want secret courts is that they don't want people to know quite how many civil liberties they are happy to break. This is inexcusable. This is essentially what everyone is afraid of in terrible dystopias, yet it is happening in the UK. We need reform, and we need it now, as our current level of oversight clearly isn't working.

Of course, seeing as the only party that really cares about civil liberies is the lib dems and they're about to be electorally massacred, I expect this to get worse, not better.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:58 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


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