THE case is growing stronger for a further review of the work of Britain’s spies, Nick Clegg has indicated following the latest revelations from US whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he had an “open mind” about whether there should be a new inquiry following the series of disclosures about the activities of the intelligence agencies.
“My view is with each passing day there is a stronger and stronger case… to look at this in the round,” Mr Clegg said. He said the information from the Snowden files was “chipping away” at public support for the security services. .
British intelligence officials reportedly approved plans allowing the phone, internet and e-mail records of ordinary UK citizens to be analysed and stored by the US National Security Agency – despite an agreement supposed to prevent the allies spying on each other.Documents from Mr Snowden suggest that a deal was reached in 2007 that allowed the agency to hold information it had previously not been allowed to, according to an investigation by The Guardian and Channel Four News.
Asked about the reports on his LBC 97.3 talk radio phone-in show, Mr Clegg said: “The technologies which are now used by our security agencies are far, far more powerful and are able to store and analyse data on a scale we have never known before. So it is right to ask questions about the proportionality of modern intelligence-gathering and use of data.”