Spooks admit it in private: Snowden has made them rethink their methods
By Duncan Campbell
The cold winds of transparency are blowing through the CIA, GCHQ and MI6 – and my intelligence comes first hand from an extraordinary meeting of spy chiefs
The first revelation from the Snowden documents, less than two years ago, exposed systematic storage and analysis of all Americans’ telephone records by the National Security Agency and the FBI. As of midnight last night, that programme – launched in secrecy soon after 9/11 by the then vice-president, Dick Cheney – is over. Congress refused to sanction the continuation of domestic mass surveillance in the guise of collecting “business records”. The clear mood was that substantial restrictions on NSA surveillance had become inevitable.
Outside the US, some proponents of surveillance have travelled in the opposite direction. France passed an intrusive new internet surveillance law less than a month ago. Australia has done the same. Emboldened by the election victory and no longer restrained by principled Lib Dem concerns, Theresa May now pledges to force her souped-up investigatory powers bill on the UK.
I was asked to start the conference discussions, sitting beside GCHQ’s new director, Robert Hannigan
Snowden – love him or hate him – had changed the landscape towards transparency, or at least ‘translucency’
June 2, 2015 at 09:00AM
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