British Parliament Are “In The Dark” About GCHQ’s Projects
Ryan Martin / 5 years ago
The UK’s NSA-equivalent, the Government Communications Headquarters aka GCHQ, apparently kept the British Parliament in the dark about its spying activities. The Guardian reports that a British MP who was on the national security council, Chris Huhne, was never informed of GCHQ’s involvement in PRISM or Tempora.
“I was also on the National Security Council, attended by ministers and the heads of the secret and security services, GCHQ and the military. If anyone should have been briefed on Prism and Tempora, it should have been the NSC. I do not know whether the prime minister or the foreign secretary (who has oversight of GCHQ) were briefed, but the NSC was not.”
Huhne claims that the UK suffers from a lack of information and accountability with its intelligence services, which is a primary justification as to why there should be more supervision and oversight of GCHQ.
“I have been shocked but also mystified by Snowden’s revelations. Throughout my time in parliament, the Home Office was trying to persuade politicians to invest in ‘upgrading’ Britain’s capability to recover data showing who is emailing and phoning whom. Yet this seems to be exactly what GCHQ was already doing. Was the Home Office trying to mislead?”
Just like in the USA, UK politicians are now looking to rein in the unregulated and unsupervised activities of their intelligence services. Whether they are able to do this against an engrained culture of above-the-law supremacy that resides in the UK’s intelligence authorities is another matter entirely.
Image courtesy of GCHQ