Robert Hannigan’s reasons for defending the UK governments practice of breaking the law to obtain information becomes clearer. It isn’t clear why he was talking about it in terms of your rights – our government obviously doesn’t care about them. The Investigatory Powers tribunal has heard that the intelligence services have routinely been intercepting legally privileged communications between lawyers and their clients in sensitive security cases, according to internal MI5, MI6 and GCHQ documents.
The Guardian reports that MP David Davis, who attended the hearing, said: “Lawyer-client confidentiality is a foundation stone of our legal system, and historically has been absolutely respected by government agencies. In the past, when a bug or intercept on a criminal accidentally picked up a conversation with the criminal’s lawyer, the rule was that it was immediately deleted. Today’s hearing shows that is no longer the case.
Rachel Logan, Amnesty UK’s legal adviser, said: “We now know that the government sees nothing wrong in routinely spying on the confidential communication between lawyers and clients. This clearly violates an age-old principle of English law : that the correspondence between a person and their lawyer is confidential. It could mean, amazingly, that the government uses information they have got from snooping on you, against you, in a case you have brought.”