File - The Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) is photographed in Cheltenham, England, Jan. 23, 2004. (AP/PA, Barry Batchelor)
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U.K. spies acted illegally when they scooped up data about Britons' electronic communications gathered by the U.S. National Security Agency, a court ruled Friday in a landmark judgment against Britain's security services.Britain's Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which deals with complaints against the intelligence services, ruled in a case brought by civil liberties groups against the electronic intelligence agency, GCHQ.It is the first time the tribunal has ruled against an intelligence agency since it was established 15 years ago.The ruling does not require GCHQ to pay a fine or delete any illegally gathered data but individuals can ask the tribunal whether their communications were intercepted unlawfully.
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