Iv drip The juice you can't live without

Reaction: Spy chiefs claim Snowden leaks led to ‘sudden darkening’

The heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ yesterday told MPs that the information leaked to the press by Edward Snowden, a former employee of the NSA, had significantly compromised their operations.

Appearing in front of the Intelligence and Security Committee, MI6 chief Sir John Sawers said that the revelations had been "lapped up" by Al-Qaida, while Sir Ian Lobban of GCHQ added that they had caused a "sudden darkening" of intelligence, as suspects changed their communication habits.

Today's papers had this to say:

In The Independent Donald Macintyre wrote "sessions like these often leave unanswered questions. But this left unasked ones too".

As expected, the spy chiefs would not reveal which aspect of their work had suffered from the information leaked by Snowden. They said they would discuss it only in private.

But Macintyre probes further; "In the face of Sir John’s denial to Labour’s Hazel Blears that MI6 was complicit in torture – while admitting that “our people were not trained” for the new threat after 9/11 – no one on the committee was indelicate enough to raise the case of Binyam Mohamed, in which the High Court evidence told a different story."

"Perhaps this was because this very same committee had failed to uncover the truth about rendition."

The Telegraph praised the conduct of the intelligence chiefs in an editorial:

"Overall, they gave a good account of themselves and will have helped to puncture the notion that simply because something is secret it must also be sinister."

"Furthermore, when it comes to a choice between their public-spirited attitude and the sanctimony of self‑appointed security guardians such as Snowden and his mouthpiece Glenn Greenwald, we know where the sympathies of most people lie."

The Guardian, which broke the Snowden story and has been filtering the leaks ever since, takes an opposed view, defending the paper's conduct in an editorial:

"The intelligence agencies were saved from true catastrophe by only one thing: the fact that Snowden didn't dump the material on to the web, but handed it instead to journalists.

"Together with the New York Times and Washington Post, we have worked carefully and responsibly (in consultation with governments and agencies) to disclose a small proportion of what he leaked."

React Now

Read Next
 

i Editor’s Letter: The Sussex teenager killed fighting in Syria

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Actor Zac Efron  

Keep your shirt on Zac – we'd all be better for it

Howard Jacobson
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit