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Intelligence report branded 'clueless' by Liberty director

Shami Chakrabarti calls ISC report "clueless" Credit: PA Archive

The director of human rights campaign group Liberty said that the Parliament report into intelligence agency snooping is "ineffective" and "clueless".

Shami Chakrabarti said that the Intelligence and Security Committee is a "mouthpiece for the spooks" and that agencies have acted unlawfully.

The ISC has repeatedly shown itself as a simple mouthpiece for the spooks - so clueless and ineffective that it's only thanks to Edward Snowden that it had the slightest clue of the agencies' antics.

The Committee 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.

– Shami Chakrabarti

'Don't hijack Alice's death' - family warns anti-immigration groups

The family of murdered schoolgirl Alice Gross say they do not want her death to be 'hijacked' by anti-immigration groups.

Alice's parents Jose Gross and Rosalind Hodgkiss say they need to know what the authorities knew about convicted killer Arnis Zalkalns, and hope an inquest will look at the wider circumstances surrounding her death.

Jose Gross and Rosalind Hodgkiss, the parents of Alice Gross during the appeal to find her last year Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Although we now have certain information about how Alice died, we are still left with a number of serious unanswered questions about what the authorities knew or should have known about the man who is believed to have killed our daughter when he came to the UK.

Alice believed in the free movement of people and so do we.

For her sake we are determined to ask these questions responsibly and sensitively.

– Family statement

The family has asked civil rights group Liberty to represent them at her inquest.

Emma Norton, a legal officer from the organisation said 'The family is aware that this is a sensitive and difficult subject, and is concerned to ensure that it is not hijacked by groups with an anti-immigration agenda.

The family believe in freedom of movement and human rights. That is why they approached Liberty and asked us to help them.'

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Separation of mother and baby 'stuff of nightmares'

The director of human rights organisation Liberty has strongly condemned those responsible for forcibly removing a baby from its mother's womb, describing the incident as "the stuff of nightmares".

Please God there's more to this, but at first blush this is dystopian science-fiction unworthy of a democracy like ours. Forced surgery and separation of mother and infant is the stuff of nightmares that those responsible will struggle to defend in courts of law and decency.

– Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty

UK and US 'demonise journalists to avoid spy debate'

Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti said the revelations showed "our rulers' contempt for personal rights, freedoms and the rule of law". Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

The UK and US governments are demonising journalists for the "principled" publishing of documents leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden to avoid a debate about the impact of their spying disclosures, leading human rights campaigners have said.

A joint statement by Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti and Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said: "The Guardian's decision to expose the extent to which our privacy is being violated should be applauded and not condemned."

They said debate in Britain about the impact of the disclosures "is in danger of being lost beneath self-serving spin and scaremongering, with journalists who dare to question the secret state accused of aiding the enemy".

The statement added: "A balance must of course be struck between security and transparency, but that cannot be achieved whilst the intelligence services and their political masters seek to avoid any scrutiny of, or debate about, their actions."

Liberty says Home Office has to 'really think carefully'

Human rights group Liberty said the Home Office has to "really think carefully" after the advertising watchdog launched a formal investigation into its "Go Home" illegal immigration campaign.

Liberty created its own advertising van campaign in response to the Home Office's. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Liberty's Rachel Robinson told ITV News, "We know for a lot of people out there that's brought back terrible memories of the last 'Go Home' campaign we had in this country, which was of course orchestrated by the National Front in the 1970s.

"I think the Home Office have to really think carefully before they use this kind of language".

Liberty challenges GCHQ 'blanket internet surveillance'

The human rights group Liberty has challenged Britain's electronic surveillance agency GCHQ over allegations that it has been indiscriminately monitoring internet activity in the UK.

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

In a statement, Liberty said it "believes that its electronic communications – and those of its staff – may have been unlawfully accessed by the likes of the Security Services and GCHQ".

The group said it issued a claim in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal to check whether British intelligence agencies have used their cooperation with US counterparts to "evade legal checks and balances and monitor people in the UK".

A series of leaks from the US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden have disclosed some of the ways in which intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic are monitoring internet activity.

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