Urgent review needed of RAF base used to handle US spy data, says MP Tom Watson

 

Tom Watson, a former defence minister and deputy chairman of the Labour Party, said there was an urgent need for “public scrutiny” of the activities at RAF Croughton, a US Air Force base in Northamptonshire which is a major hub for American military and clandestine communications.

The Independent revealed this week that the base is used to route vast amounts of data captured by Washington’s “Stateroom” network of listening posts in diplomatic premises back to America for analysis by the CIA and the National Security Agency.

The network is at the centre of revelations that the NSA intercepted a mobile phone used by Mrs Merkel. A spying “nest” on the roof Washington’s Berlin embassy appears to have been abruptly turned off last week following an incendiary row between Germany and America about the eavesdropping.

Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden imply that any material gathered from the Berlin embassy listening post would have been relayed back to a joint CIA/NSA facility in Maryland via a secure link within RAF Croughton.

In a letter copied to members of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee ahead of Thursday’s appearance by the heads of Britain’s three main spying agencies, Mr Watson said The Independent’s revelations added to existing concerns that RAF Croughton is used as a support site for US drone strikes in Yemen.

The MP said: “The use of RAF Croughton by the NSA, CIA and other US officials puts our country at real risk of complicity in both unlawful eavesdropping and the unlawful killing of civilians overseas by the US. These allegations also undermine our relations with other key allies.

“The time has come for the use to which RAF Croughton is put to be subject to public scrutiny - proper investigation is needed.”

Mr Watson asked Mr Hague to make a statement to the House of Commons outlining Government policy regarding the apparent use of RAF Croughton and other US-manned bases to assist Washington’s embassy-based listening operation, which is run in parallel with a similar British network run by GCHQ.

He also asked for the matter to be raised with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

An FCO spokesperson said: “In line with long-standing practice we do not comment on intelligence matters."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments