May 11, 2022

High Court legal challenges to be heard over ministers’ use of WhatsApp

The High Court is to hear two legal challenges over the use of WhatsApp and other messaging apps by ministers.

Campaign groups All the Citizens and the Good Law Project have both filed claims related to the use of the programs, including the deletion of posts and the use of private accounts for government business. At a hearing in October last year, All the Citizens argued that using instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Signal that allow automatic deletion of messages for government business is illegal.

In their complaint against the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Cabinet Office, the group also argued that there was a previously undisclosed policy which required messages sent on instant messaging services to be deleted. In their separate complaint against Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Good Law Project is expected to argue over the use of non-government communication channels.

In another claim over millions of pounds worth of antibody testing contracts, the Good Law Project has previously asked the High Court to order a search of the former secretary’s government email accounts. Health Matt Hancock and his “non-government communication systems” used for government. company – thought to include WhatsApps. The claims are to be heard for three days before Lord Justice Singh and Mr Justice Johnson, with a decision expected at a later date.

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