25 Apr 2016

Bulk Personal Datasets collected by UK government includes solicitor client privileged information

The bulk personal datasets collected by British intelligence agencies is reminiscent of dark days and dark regimes, Yair Cohen, of the London-based law firm Cohen Davis Solicitors, told Sputnik.

In an interview with Sputnik, Yair Cohen, of the London-based law firm Cohen Davis Solicitors, slammed the UK intelligence agencies’ bulk personal datasets (BPD) as a reminder of dark days and dark regimes.

Bulk Personal DatasetsThe interview came after the human rights watchdog Privacy International managed to obtain a cache of documents which shed light on the UK spy agencies’ controversial BPDs. This is the collection of personal data of people, most of whom present no particular interest to the intelligence services. Other documents include admissions by government lawyers that the vast majority of data was supplied on a volunteer basis. “I suspect that some of the information was being supplied by email providers or organizations that handled emails as well,” Cohen said.

Bulk Personal Datasets

These organisations are likely to include Microsoft and Google who provide corporate email operation services, otherwise it is hard to see where legally qualified information or journalistic communication could be obtained from on a voluntary basis, possibly in blatant breach of the Data Protection Act.

Cohen Davis Solicitors is one of a minority of law firms in the UK that is using SSL security and email encryption as a routine way to communicate with its clients.

Yair Cohen expressed alarm about what he described as “the level of scrutiny” pertaining to the BPDs.

Bulk Personal Datasets

Bulk Personal Datasets

“I’m also concerned about the level of scrutiny carried out by unknown and unnamed officials, something that reminds [me] of dark days and even dark regimes,” he said.

According to him, the documents which had been released are procedurals documents which provide an insight into the type and nature of the bulk personal datasets collected by the UK government.

“What was actually disclosed is not the documents related to specific individuals but rather the policy that governs the collection of that data. By reading those documents we can understand what type of information was being handled and how it was delivered,” he added.

Listened to the interview with Yair Cohen:  bulk personal datasets collection by government UK

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