On 13 September 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a much anticipated judgment in Big Brother Watch and others v. United Kingdom (Applications nos. 58170/13, 62322/14 and 24960/15)  ECHR 722.
This judgment, the first mass electronic surveillance case against the UK, addressed the proportionality of bulk interception of communications. This ruling comes at the end of a lengthy challenge to Britain’s spying powers, initially revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. The ECtHR held that these rules, which provide the UK with the ability to conduct mass surveillance, violated the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.
The judgment is both long and complex, and it would not do it justice to fully summarise it here. However, in brief, the Judges made a number of key findings.