You can now find out if US spies passed on your data to the UK in illegal surveillance
Following a landmark UK decision ruling certain mass surveillance practices illegal, a privacy group has simplified the process of demanding to know if your rights were violated.
Richard TrenholmFormer Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
The UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) ruled earlier this month that certain modes of surveillance carried out before December 2014 were illegal. The ruling covers data handed by the US to the UK intelligence community listening post at Cheltenham's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ); specifically, data from the controversial Prism and Upstream mass surveillance programmes run by the US National Security Agency (NSA).
Prism harvests everything from emails to instant messaging conversations by tapping into technology companies, while Upstream pulls data directly from Internet cables.
You don't have to be British or even in the UK for information about you to have been potentially passed to GCHQ, so anyone in the world can fill in the form and request more information. If you have been surveilled in this way, GCHQ should inform you and delete the records -- but it will take a while.
Because the ruling only applies to surveillance carried out before December 2014, the results only cover up to that time -- if GCHQ has kept an eye on you in 2015, this form won't tell you. And if GCHQ did its own spying, you won't hear about it here.