Revelations about Britain's intelligence agencies 'chipping away' at public support for their work, says Nick Clegg
Deputy PM responds to recent disclosure that Blair government gave US permission to store and analyse email, mobile phone and internet records of potentially millions of Britons
The stream of revelations about the activities of Britain's intelligence agencies was “chipping away” at public support for their work, Nick Clegg has warned.
The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking after the disclosure that the Blair government gave the United States permission to store and analyse the email, mobile phone and internet records of potentially millions of Britons.
It also emerged that America security officials drew up plans to spy on UK citizens unilaterally, without the knowledge of the British government.
Earlier this month The Independent highlighted concerns that a covert listening-post was operating from the roof of the British embassy in Berlin.
Mr Clegg said proper accountability of the intelligence services, as well as checks they used their eavesdropping powers proportionately, were essential to increase public confidence in them.
He said that was important “because of course, with each passing day, with all of these revelations, you chip away at the bedrock of public support for the work of the agencies and that is a dangerous thing”.
The Deputy Prime Minister conceded the system of oversight for the intelligence services was “quite opaque” and signalled he was sympathetic to a wide-ranging inquiry into their activities and powers.
“I have an open mind about how you try and capture all these different issues to make sure we keep up with this revolution in the power of these information technologies which are now available to our intelligence agencies and also, of course, are available to people who want to do us harm,” he said.
Speaking on his weekly LBC 97.3 phone-in show, Mr Clegg paid tribute to the diligence and professionalism of the security agencies .
He added: “It is also clear the technologies which are now used by our security agencies are far, far more powerful and are able to store and analyse data on a scale we've never known before. We've simply never known before the ability now to hoover up, analyse, discard, process information is now on a scale which was unimaginable just even a few years ago.”
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Hacking Trial: Rebekah Brooks, Raisa and a new twist in the saga of a horse fit for a Prime Minister
Israel-Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll now exceeds 500 – but Israel fights on
Income tax league: Revealed - the UK towns where people pay the most and least tax
Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Blogger captures footage ‘showing BUK missile launcher that shot down jet’ now back in Russia
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...
Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire