The committee suggested, however, that "specific professions" may justify "heightened protection" and "statutory protection should be considered."
Hazel Blears, said: “What we’ve found is that the way in which the agencies use the capabilities they have is authorised, lawful, necessary and proportionate.“
But what we’ve also found is there is a degree of confusion and lack of transparency about the way in which this is authorised in our legal system. It is that lack of transparency that leads to people reaching the conclusion that there is blanket surveillance, indiscriminate surveillance.”
Not unlike recent controversial revelations by Edward Snowden about surveillance and collection of data about Americans, one of the single most important revelations is that British intelligence agencies have had the capability to trawl through personal records and examine “bulk personal datasets” without any statutory oversight.
David Cameron, the UK prime minister, responded immediately with a statement saying the intelligence services commissioner, Sir Mark Waller, would be given “statutory powers of oversight of use of bulk personal datasets.”
Not all of the report, however, was available for public review, as portions of it were censored, according to the Guardian. Datasets containing personal information about British citizens vary in size from a few hundred to millions of records. And astonishingly, there is no legalities governing constraint on the storage, restrain, retention, sharing or destruction. Surveillance agencies do not require ministerial authorisation to access the information.
“The lack of clarity in existing laws and the lack of transparent policies beneath them has not only fuelled suspicions and allegations but has also meant the agencies could be open to challenge for failing to meet their human rights obligations,” the report said.
The ISC calls this report a landmark for ‘openness and transparency’ – but how do we trust agencies who have acted unlawfully, hacked the world’s largest sim card manufacturer and developed technologies capable of collecting our login details and passwords, manipulating our mobile devices and hacking our computers and webcams?
“No doubt it would be simpler if we went along with the spies’ motto of ‘no scrutiny for us, no privacy for you’ – but what an appalling deal for the British public.”
is retired and lives in Clearlake, California. She has three grown
children and one grandson and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services
Administration from St. Mary’s College in Moraga California. On the
home front Dava enjoys time with her family, reading, gardening, cooking
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