This application by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a public interest media / newsgathering organization, and one of its journalists, Alice Ross, focuses on the impact on journalistic free expression and the protection of confidential journalistic communications of the GCHQ’s Tempora program and other mass surveillance programs conducted by UK intelligence agencies. The applicants claim that RIPA’s provisions for the interception, storage, dissemination and use of “external communications” and metadata violate Articles 8 and 10. They stress that “technological advances in recent years mean that … metadata can be used and exploited in a way that is every bit, if not more, intrusive of confidentiality or journalistic free expression as, for example, the content of journalistic communications.” Application, para. 3.
The case was communicated on January 5, 2015. On January 20, the Court gave the case a priority designation, after completing its initial investigation, and asked the UK government to respond by May 6.