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Want to know if the British and American government are spying on you? You don’t need to go through a lengthy court battle to find out—now you just need to fill out an online form.
Privacy International are offering a new online tool to help people find out whether the Britain’s intelligence agency, GCHQ, was spying on them using data from the US National Security Agency—the two collaborated on a massive spying program called PRISM, as revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
To find out what information about you the NSA shared with GCHQ, you will have to file a claim to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT). Privacy International’s online tool files the claim on your behalf. Those interested in finding out will need to submit their claim before Dec. 5, 2015.
That said, the tool isn’t as straightforward as you’d wish. The results are not instantaneous; the claim has to be made at the Tribunal and you have to wait to hear back. The tool merely allows the advocacy group to do it for you. And a claim requires filing personal information, such as your full name, address, and email. There’s no real way around this and, in theory, those filling out the form could only be making it easier for the GCHQ to spy on them in the future.
The tool is possible thanks to Privacy International winning a landmark ruling earlier this year, which found the sharing of raw intelligence between the GCHQ and NSA to be illegal prior to December 2014.
If the tribunal does find some information about you that GCHQ illegally obtained, then they must delete it once the investigation is done as well as the claim you initially made. Human Rights Watch have recently announced they filed a complaint, along with three anonymous individuals.