OSCE Representative welcomes landmark decision by European Court of Human Rights on Investigatory Powers Act in the United Kingdom

OSCE Representative welcomes landmark decision by European Court of Human Rights on Investigatory Powers Act in the United Kingdom

VIENNA, September – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, welcomed yesterday’s highly significant decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which found that the United Kingdom’s Investigatory Powers Act threatened the confidentiality of journalists’ sources. The Representative previously warned of the potential threat to journalists posed by this law.

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.

Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. (Quai d&#;Orsay/Frédéric de La Mure )

PRESS RELEASE
OSCE Representative welcomes landmark decision by European Court of Human Rights on Investigatory Powers Act in the United KingdomVIENNA, September – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, welcomed yesterday’s highly significant decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which found that the United Kingdom’s Investigatory Powers Act threatened the confidentiality of journalists’ sources. The Representative previously warned of the potential threat to journalists posed by this law.

The Court determined, in particular, that the bulk collection of communications data from communications service providers violated Article of the European Convention on Human Rights related to Freedom of Expression, as there were “insufficient safeguards in respect of confidential journalistic material”.

“I welcome the Court’s decision, which reinforces the importance of protecting freedom of expression and the media,” said Désir. “This law provided the intelligence services with an overbroad capability to search journalists’ records and sources without judicial oversight. It is imperative that any legislation that allows government surveillance includes guarantees that the confidentiality of journalists’ sources is maintained.”

The Representative expressed his wish that this decision of the ECtHR, which is binding for the UK, would set the legal standard for other states seeking to implement or adopt legislation on surveillance.

“It is of utmost importance to ensure that with any security measures, fundamental freedoms and media freedom, including journalistic communications, are preserved and protected through strong safeguards. Without such protections there is a risk of creating a chilling effect on the media,” Désir concluded.

The legal challenge was brought to the Court by human rights groups and privacy organizations, as well as journalists, following the disclosure of confidential information by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Representative previously expressed reservations about the Investigatory Powers Act in . His statement is available at: https://www.osce.org/fom/

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all OSCE participating States. He provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, twitter @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/representative-on-freedom-of-media/Contacts:Deniz YaziciWallnerstrasse ViennaAustriaOffice: + Mobile: +

This message was sent by the OSCE e-mail service, to which you are a subscriber.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe works for stability, prosperity and democracy in states through political dialogue about shared values and through practical work that makes a lasting difference.

Our mailing address is:
OSCE
Wallnerstrasse 6
Vienna
Austria

forward to a friend   unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences

© – OSCE.