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Hague: No privacy breaches over 'text message snooping'

The Foreign Secretary has insisted he has seen no proof of any privacy breaches after reports that British spies are able to look at millions of captured text messages. The claims were made in the latest leaks by ex-US spy contractor Edward Snowden.

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Big Brother Watch: 'GCHQ has questions to answer'

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, which campaigns on privacy, civil liberties and levels of surveillance, said GCHQ "has serious questions to answer" after reports claimed that British spies could snoop on hundreds of millions of text messages.

If an interception warrant for an individual is not in place, it is illegal to look at the content of a message.

Descriptions of content derived metadata suggest the content of texts is being collected and inspected in bulk and if this is the case GCHQ has serious questions to answer about whether it is operating under a perverse interpretation of the law cooked up in secret.

The telecoms companies providing our mobile phone services need to urgently reassure their customers that they are not handing over our data in bulk to the UK or US governments.

– Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch which campaigns on privacy

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