GCHQ 'did not break law'

Britain's electronic eavesdropping agency GCHQ did not use a secret US programme to access internet providers in order to circumvent UK laws, a parliamentary committee has said.

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Liberty: GCHQ spin-cycle is marked 'whitewash'

The painfully careful words of the ICS's report clean absolutely nothing up.

There's nothing to allay fears that industrial amounts of personal data are being shared under the Intelligence Services Act and concerns that all UK citizens are subject to blanket surveillance under GCHQ's Tempora programme aren't even mentioned. This spin-cycle is marked 'whitewash'.

– Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights group Liberty

Hague: 'Daily evidence' of integrity of GCHQ staff

Foreign Secretary William Hague has welcomed the Intelligence and Security Committee committee's finding that eavesdropping agency GCHQ did not use a secret US programme.

"I see daily evidence of the integrity and high standards of the men and women of GCHQ. The ISC's findings are further testament to their professionalism and values," he said.

The Foreign Secretary welcomed the committee's findings.

"The Intelligence and Security Committee is a vital part of the strong framework of democratic accountability and oversight governing the use of secret intelligence in the UK.

"It will continue to have the full co-operation of the Government and the security and intelligence agencies", he added.

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Concern over UK communications intercept framework

The Intelligence and Security Committee has expressed concern over the adequacy of the current legal framework for the intercept of communications in the UK.

A report said: "In some areas the legislation is expressed in general terms and more detailed policies and procedures have, rightly, been put in place around this work by GCHQ in order to ensure compliance with their statutory obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998".

The work of UK intelligence agencies has been in the spotlight recently.

"We are therefore examining the complex interaction between the Intelligence Services Act, the Human Rights Act and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, and the policies and procedures that underpin them further."

The committee's comments came as it found Britain did not use a secret US programme to access internet providers in order to circumvent UK laws.

Britain's GCHQ 'did not use US spying programme'

Britain's electronic eavesdropping agency -GCHQ- did not use a secret US programme to access internet providers in order to circumvent UK laws, a parliamentary committee has said.

The Intelligence and Security Committee said it was satisfied that reports produced by GCHQ based on information supplied by the US had conformed with its statutory duties.

GCHQ headquarters in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

It said that, in each case where GCHQ sought information from the US, an intercept warrant signed by a minister was already in place.

The report follows allegations based on disclosures by US whistleblower Edward Snowden that GCHQ used the American National Security Agency's Prism programme to access material from the leading internet companies.

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