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R (on the application of Privacy International) v HMRC

In R (on the application of Privacy International) v HMRC (CO/4089/2013 – 12 May 2914) the High Court quashed HMRC’s decision not to release information about a UK company suspected to have supplied malicious computer software to repressive regimes.

Privacy International was a non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to investigation in relation to privacy at the international level with a particular focus on the unlawful use of surveillance. It had applied for judicial review on its own behalf and also sought to represent the interests of two political activists who allegedly were the victims of unlawful and criminal surveillance (using malicious computer software) by the security forces of Bahrain and Ethiopia.

Privacy International claimed that the equipment used in Bahrain and in Ethiopia by security forces was supplied illegally to those states by Gamma International in breach of export regulations applicable to that company in the UK. The...

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