The Intelligence Services would neither confirm nor deny the existence of the Tempora program. Therefore, the issue before the IPT in Liberty et al’s challenge was whether if the GCHQ engaged in the alleged Tempora program of bulk interception of telecommunications and associated metadata transmitted on overseas cables landing in the UK, the ECHR would be violated by the governing UK legal requirements.
S. 8(1) of RIPA requires that a targeted warrant directed at a particular individual’s telecommunications be used to intercept “internal communications” sent and received within the UK. By contrast, under 8(4) of RIPA, “external communications,” whose sender or recipient is located outside the UK, may be intercepted through untargeted warrants. By considering the issues discussed in our posts, the IPT concluded that 8(4) and its associated legal provisions and oversight mechanisms complied with the ECHR.