‘David Cameron has defended the activities of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which was revealed this year to have accessed metadata of millions of Internet users, and to have cracked the online security encryptions that protect the general public from snooping.
“We have very good rules in this country,” Cameron told ITV’s The Agenda yesterday. “If a telephone call is going to be listened in to, that has to be signed off by the Home Secretary personally.”
He went on to say, “I’m satisfied we have pretty strong safeguards. I thought part of the reaction to the The Guardian story was – big surprise, spies learn to spy… it’s to help keep us safe.”‘
MI5 chief: GCHQ surveillance plays vital role in fight against terrorism
‘The new head of MI5 launched a robust defence of the techniques used by Britain’s intelligence agencies in his first speech since taking the job and warned they would not be able to sustain current levels of counter-terrorism work without the help of surveillance from GCHQ.
However, Sir Andrew Parker also acknowledged that the growth of the internet, technology and big data was “transforming our society” and that significant choices had to be made about which capabilities were required to track terrorists in this new and different world.
“How the UK decides to respond to these developments will directly determine the level of security available against the threats we face,” said Parker, who became director general of the counter-intelligence and security agency six months ago.’ Read more …