Telecommunications service supplied to US defence agency
Lead NCPUnited Kingdom
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the NGO Reprieve regarding the activities of British Telecommunications PLC in the United Kingdom.
Theme(s)General policies, Human rights
Date19 Aug 2014
Host country(ies)United Kingdom
Industry sectorInformation and communication
StatusNot accepted

Read the initial assessment issued by the UK NCP concluding the specific instance - January 2015

In August 2014 the UK NCP received a request for review from the NGO Reprieve alleging that British Telecommunications PLC (BT) had breached the general policies, and human rights provisions of the Guidelines because the company provides a communications cable between United States military facilities in the UK and Djibouti, thus linking it to human rights impacts of US military operations in Yemen. This request follows on from a previous specific instance submitted by Reprieve in 2013 but rejected by the UK NCP.

In this new request, Reprieve stated that they could supply additional information meaning that the reasons for the rejection of the initial specific instance no longer applied, and asked the NCP to accept the issues for further examination. According to the NCP's procedures, updated from November 2013, a new specific instance may be raised about issues previously rejected if new information means that the reasons for rejection no longer apply. Furthermore BT accepted an invitation from the UK NCP to respond to the new allegations although it denied the allegations, as before, and did not accept that the NGOs had identified any new information.

The NCP undertook an initial assessment based on the new information provided by the NGO but concluded that the specific instance did not merit further consideration. The reasons for its decision are outlined in detail in its initial assessment, issued in January 2015.

See also the UK NCP's assessment of a separate specific instance of linked allegations by Reprieve about BT providing intelligence services with access to customer communications.