High Court judges today told the son of a man killed in a CIA drone strike that he couldn't challenge British spooks' involvement in the programme.
Lord Justice Moses said Pakistani man Noor Khan's tale of his father Malik Daud's death was "very moving."
But he threw out the case as Mr Khan was after a ruling "as a step in persuading them to halt such activity.
"His stimulating arguments have been an attempt to shroud that purpose in a more acceptable veil," he said.
Mr Khan's lawyers had sought a judicial review of Britain's sharing of information with US spy agencies.
They said that, since Britain was not at war with Pakistan, officials who shared such information knowing it could be used in such attacks were "encouraging or assisting murder."
Malik Daud Khan was killed by a CIA drone strike in northern Waziristan in March 2011, while he was at a local council meeting.
Fifty people were killed in the missile attack, including five police officers and a child.
Lawyer Martin Chamberlain had told the court that Britain's electronic snooping agency GCHQ had been widely reported as providing "locational intelligence" from intercepted phone calls.
"Insiders" had told the Times the agency was proud of its work - yet Foreign Secretary William Hague was "back-tracking" and had adopted a "neither confirm nor deny" policy.
"We say the offence of murder is triable in England where the defendant is a subject of her majesty, even where the killing takes place abroad," he said.
The CIA's drone attacks in Pakistan, which the US has not publicly acknowledged, is hugely controversial.
Pakistani leaders have said it violates their country's sovereignty, while human rights campaigners have condemned the killings of hundreds of civilians.
About 3,000 people have been killed by drones in Pakistan since 2004.
US drone attacks are also taking place in Yemen and Somalia, while the RAF is carrying out its own drone programme in Afghanistan from RAF Waddington, near Lincoln.
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