After Snowden regulation of security services must be radically overhauled

The cascade of revelations from the Edward Snowden files gets ever more damning.   After exposure of the US Nallows analysts ational Security Agency’s Prism system and the matching UK GCHQ’s Tempora system, allowing interlocking and virtually unlimited access to almost all internet activity regardless of so-called privacy protections, we now find that a NSA … Continue reading After Snowden regulation of security services must be radically overhauled

Security services take big step closer to full State surveillance

The government has quietly agreed to European measures that will open the gates to full-scale surveillance by the State.   The current Communications and Data Bill now going through Parliament won’t, according to the Home Office, allow access to the content of phone calls, emails, texts or social media, but the government has at the same … Continue reading Security services take big step closer to full State surveillance

The security services are out of control

Britain’s involvement in rendition is, like the early stages of the Murdoch hacking scandal, a vital issue where the evidence initially is sparse, but there is enough to suspect that this is a far bigger scandal here than has yet been admitted.   The claims of Binyam Mohammed that he was abducted and tortured in one country … Continue reading The security services are out of control

Nuclear Iran: can one believe anything that Ministers and security services say about Middle East?

Here we go again.   We’re being told yet again – as well as several times over the last few years – that Iran is about to produce a nuclear weapon and must be stopped at all costs by bombing their nuclear facilities.   What is asserted to be new this time is that, firstly, the International Atomic … Continue reading Nuclear Iran: can one believe anything that Ministers and security services say about Middle East?

The defend-the-security-services-right-or-wrong mob get a bollocking in HoC debate

On every count the platitudinous apologists for mass surveillance took a kicking in yesterday’s Commons debate.   Julian Smith, the previously unknown Tory MP who tried to get the Guardian prosecuted for treasonous behaviour in publishing details from the Snowden files, was reminded that the secretary of the D Notice committee, which advises the press … Continue reading The defend-the-security-services-right-or-wrong mob get a bollocking in HoC debate

The Intelligence & Security Committee is a laughing stock and needs to be replaced by proper scrutiny

It was decided at the end of the last Parliament that all Select Committees, except one, should be elected by MPs, not selected by the Whips beholden to the party leaderships as hitherto.   The one exception was the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) which operates in a totally different way, untouched by the wave of … Continue reading The Intelligence & Security Committee is a laughing stock and needs to be replaced by proper scrutiny

Intelligence Services Committee clears GCHQ: so that’s all right then!

The usual Establishment farce is being played out once again.   Faced with Edward Snowden’s evidence that the UK government’s spy centre GCHQ used the US National Security Agency’s Prism programme to gain illicit access on an industrial scale to the content of private communications of millions of people across the world, the Commons’ Intelligence … Continue reading Intelligence Services Committee clears GCHQ: so that’s all right then!

It’s not public services or NHS that needs Tory ‘liberation’, but failures in the private sector

You have to hand it to the Tories, they really do have infernal brass neck (No, I’m not referring to Lord Young helpfully reminding us that the Tory upper classes don’t do recessions, only their commoner subjects who they may not notice below their ken).   I’m referring to the Cabinet Office Minhister, Francis Maude, announcing that he … Continue reading It’s not public services or NHS that needs Tory ‘liberation’, but failures in the private sector

The spooks are still playing dirty tricks to get their snoopers’ charter: they must be stopped

David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation commissioned by Cameron, has just produced a 373 page report, ‘A Question of Trust’, which, partially at least, restored the fundamental principle of a free society into the toxic atmosphere of MI5/GCHQ’s (and the government’s) obsessive desire to introduce a snoopers’ charter in which the whole … Continue reading The spooks are still playing dirty tricks to get their snoopers’ charter: they must be stopped