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Privacy International vs Viatel

Case overview

Date filed 5 November 2013
Current status Rechazado
Issue HR violations facilitated by 6 UK telecom companies
Summary of the case The complaint alleges that the telecom companies facilitated mass interception of internet and telephone traffic by granting the UKs Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) access to their fibre optic networks for the Tempora surveillance program. Privacy International argues that by collaborating with GCHQ and providing access to the networks, the companies knowingly enabled the mass and indiscriminate collection of data and interception of communications and thus contributed to the violation of human rights, including the right to privacy and freedom of expression.
Developments/Outcome The UK NCP forwarded the complaints to the companies named in the complaint for a response. All companies refuted the allegations and insist they are acting in accordance with the law.

In July 2014 the UK NCP rejected the complaint on the basis that it thinks the complainant was not able to substantiate a link between the 6 telecom companies and the allegations. The NCP is of the opinion that reports based on documents provided by Edward Snowden and published by the Guardian and Suddeutsche Zeitung do not substantiate a sufficient link between the companies and mass surveillance.

The publication of the initial assessment was delayed to October 2014 to await the UK NCP's Steering Board decision on the complainant's request for a review of the NCP's procedure in handling the complaint. The Steering Board decided in September to refuse the request for review and allowed the initial assessment to be made public.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Los derechos humanos

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point United Kingdom
NCP address 1 Victoria Street SW1H 0ET London, United Kingdom
NCP website
Other NCPs involved



Company Information

Company responsible Viatel
Company address
Company website
Company in violation
Country of operations
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
27 October 2014 National Contact Point United Kingdom desestimar NCP rejects complaint download pdf (448Kb)  
27 October 2014 Privacy International comunicado de prensa Press release following the rejection of the complaint download pdf (1767Kb)  
5 November 2013 Privacy International comunicado de prensa download pdf (546Kb)  

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