UK government grilled over spy system

2013-06-08 18:02
British Prime Minister David Cameron. (File, AP)

British Prime Minister David Cameron. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - The opposition Labour party on Saturday demanded clarification from the British government about the use by its spies of intelligence from a controversial US surveillance programme.

There are concerns that eavesdropping agency GCHQ, in using US data, may have been able to circumvent British legal processes required to seek personal information from internet companies.

According to the Guardian newspaper, which helped break news of the existence of the Prism surveillance programme this week, GCHQ has had access to the US system since 2010 and used it to generate 197 intelligence reports in 2012.

"The intelligence agencies need to be able to get information from abroad especially in their vital work against terrorist threats," said Labour's home affairs spokesperson Yvette Cooper.

"But it must be within the legal framework agreed by parliament so there are proper safeguards in place."

Report

She called for clarification on what role ministers had in overseeing the use of the US data, and "how this relates to long-standing legal requirements for warrants and inspection by the Intercept Commissioner".

Labour's foreign affairs spokesperson Douglas Alexander called on Foreign Secretary William Hague to give a statement to the House of Commons on Monday to address the "serious public concern".

The chair of parliament's intelligence and security committee, Malcolm Rifkind, has already asked GCHQ to provide a report on its Prism activities by Monday.

Reports in The Guardian and the Washington Post suggest the US National Security Agency and the FBI are directly tapping central servers at nine US internet companies to monitor e-mails, documents, social media posts and online photos.

Dubbed Prism, the secret programme has been in operation since 2007 and involves media giants Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple, the newspapers said.

The Foreign Office has not responded to the reports about GCHQ's involvement, saying it does not comment on intelligence matters, but Hague is due to give a television interview on Sunday.

GCHQ also refused to comment directly, but insisted in a statement that it operated within a "strict legal and policy framework".

"GCHQ takes its obligations under the law very seriously," the agency said.

The revelations come amid a political debate in Britain about legislation allowing the security services access to e-mails and so-called media messages.

The so-called "snooper's charter" has split Cameron's coalition - his Conservative party supports the proposals but they have been blocked by their junior coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats.
Read more on:    us  |  uk  |  espionage
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.