European Organizations File Lawsuit Against Uk Over Vast Digital Surveillance

Just as the leaves have begun to fall underfoot the nation is set to be hotter than BONDI BEACH today tomorrow amid 22C (72F) highs – and more Indian Summer warm spells are forecast for the rest of the month. The Met Office said today reached 21C, with tomorrow seeing sunny spells and temperatures much, much warmer than average reaching up to 22C in the South-East, 20C in the North and 19C in Scotland. The average UK October highs are 14C in the South, 13C in the North and 11C in Scotland. While Britain bakes in the unseasonal warmth, Bondi Beach in Sydney was forecast a damp and miserable 18C in comparison. Emma Corrigan from the Met Office said: We are not calling it an Indian Summer, but temperatures are warmer than average across southern parts of the UK with plenty of sunshine. In the northwest, Scotland and Northern Ireland it is cooler and there will be outbreaks of rain. Some parts of London could see temperatures reaching 21 degrees, with the warmest weather expected in the London, Essex and Sussex areas. Maximum temperatures are likely to be 19 degrees, but in parts of London and the south east they could reach into the 20s. She added that towards the end of the week the weather is predicted to return to the average for this time of the year. There will be outbreaks of rain across the country in the northwest that will gradually move towards the south, but Tuesday will be predominantly dry. There will be a marked change from the beginning of the week to the end and people will feel that as the week progresses. The weather has been so good recently many holidaymakers have delayed their main holiday until later this autumn. Almost a fifth of holidaymakers said they were going away this month for the first time, according to a survey. Of those who took breaks in Britain this summer, around 30 per cent visited south west England, while other popular spots included Scotland, the Lake District and the Isle of Wight.

Poor management of land, forests and fisheries also played a role, as have pollution andwildlife crime. The ploughing, draining and fertilising of grassland has been a major cause of species loss, heathland has been affected by urban development, mineral extraction and afforestation, and the clearing of woodland, pollution and intensive grouse moor management have damaged hills, valleys, moors and mountains. The intensification of farming driven by a demand for cheap food has left an indelible imprint on the landscape. Farmland birds and butterflies have declined substantially, farmland mammals such as brown hares are ailing, and 14 percent of all farmland flowering plants are threatened – some critically. Pollution from farmland run-off and water extraction have left many ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, ditches, canals, reservoirs, reedbeds, fens and marshes in a poor condition. Along coastlines, huge areas of saltmarshes, lagoons, mudflats, dunes, shingle, beaches and cliffs have been lost or damaged. Climate change is also having a discernible impact on British wildlife, particularly in upland and marine environments, and sea-surface temperatures around the UK are rising, changing the distribution of plankton and fish stocks and affecting the breeding success of seabirds. With numbers in almost three-quarters of UK species at an historically low ebb, any tangible recovery will be more difficult than ever Dr Tom Brereton, Butterfly Conservation Unusual weather patterns have broken UK records in recent years, prompting the country’s top scientists to meet in June. A big freeze gripped Britain in December 2010 pushing temperatures to the lowest for the month in 100 years, and in 2012 a long, wet summer led to the coldest spring this year in 50 years. The bad weather has played havoc with some species, and in March experts warned that butterflies could disappear from entire parts of the country because of last year’s wet weather. In June, the National Trust said winged insects are suffering badly from the late, cold spring.

UK’s natural environment in jeopardy

Documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have shown that the UKs Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the sister organization to the NSA, has been one of the most prominent players in digital surveillance, particularly of European traffic. The lawsuit was filed Thursday at the ECHR in Strasbourg, France by Big Brother Watch, Open Rights Group, English PEN, and Constanze Kurz , who has been a longtime spokesperson for the Chaos Computer Club, a well-known German hacker group. Beyond effective legal scrutiny In the 67-page filing, the appellants argue that the communications interception is in direct violation of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights , Europes rough analog to the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Unlike the Fourth Amendment, however,Article 8 specifically carves out a national security exception. It states: Article 8 Right to respect for private and family life 1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. 2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. In their filing , the appellants argue that because the newly revealed data collection is indiscriminate, it cannot possibly be subject to any sufficiently precise or ascertainable legal framework and is beyond effective legal scrutiny. More precisely: In effect, the power to obtain and use external communications data by means of intercept is unfettered in published law, as long as it is thought broadly to be in the interests of [national] security or other of the specified generic purpose. There are no adequate criteria by which a court of tribunal could assess the legality of use of any particular intercept material even if the courts had jurisdiction to do so, which they do not. Holding the powerful accountable Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said in a statement that British laws have been interpreted far more broadly than how they originally were intended. The laws governing how Internet data is accessed were written when barely anyone had broadband access and were intended to cover old-fashioned copper telephone lines, he said.