Ring Of Peace, Forget It Muriel artwork, Waring Street, Belfast, Ulster, Northern Ireland, UK, BT1 2LA

- Image ID: RM253K
Tony Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: RM253K
Northern Ireland Assembly members may be under surveillance by UK spy agency GCHQ. Amnesty International has written to all members of the Northern Ireland Assembly warning them that their communications could be under surveillance. The move follows reports that GCHQ is no longer applying the so-called 'Wilson doctrine' to members of devolved assemblies in the UK. The Wilson doctrine, named after former prime minister Harold Wilson, protects MPs’ phones and electronic communications. GCHQ has previously also applied it to the communications of MLAs and MEPs. However, recent reports suggest that this is now no longer the case following a change in policy by the spy agency. The policy change now means that members of devolved administrations and MEPs no longer have these protections. The guidelines in place before March stated: "As a matter of policy GCHQ applies the principles of the Wilson doctrine to Members of the House of Commons, Members of the House of Lords, UK MEPs, and members of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies."
Location: Waing street, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, BT1 2LA