The Ethical, Psychological, and Social Implications of Mass Surveillance

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In 2013, the whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the British spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), tapped fibre-optic cables for access to our personal communications (including emails, Facebook posts, internet histories, and phone calls), and then shared this information with the National Security Agency (NSA), the major spy agency in the US. The Snowden leaks were (and still are) one of the most important revelations about the government that the public have been kept in the dark about. These leaks showed us that both the UK and US governments were engaged in an unlawful programme of mass surveillance. Since the leaks, the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) found in 2016 that UK spying agencies have been invading our personal lives, illegally, for the past 17 years.

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Originally published at on November 25, 2019.

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