2 British lawmakers take government to court in challenge to spies' surveillance powers

Two British lawmakers have gone to court to argue that intelligence agencies' powers to intercept phone and Internet communications violates the right to privacy.

Labour legislator Tom Watson and Conservative David Davis say there are not enough safeguards against "arbitrary, disproportionate or abusive retention and use of personal data."

They are asking judges to find the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act — rushed through Parliament last year — in breach of privacy protections in the European Convention on Human Rights.

The law requires communications companies to retain call and search records for 12 months for possible investigation. The government says police or security agencies need a warrant to access the content of calls or emails.

The High Court hearing opened Thursday and is expected to last two days.