‘No evidence that mass surveillance saves lives’ from terror attacks – Liberty
Allowing a terror attack to take place in Britain is the “price we should be willing to pay” to maintain levels of privacy and ensure surveillance agencies do not have access to consumers’ personal data, human rights group Liberty have said.
Isabella Sankey, director of policy for the group, claimed it was better to let “some things happen” than to give spy agencies access to huge volumes of metadata via “privacy-infringing measures.”
Liberty was quick to come out in protest against GCHQ’s mass surveillance techniques when they were revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.
The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) found that the spy agency had the capacity to monitor “large numbers of items” and used “bulk interception” powers to obtain information about terror threats.
They dismissed, however, claims that GCHQ had power to trawl through volumes of private messages, saying they only had access to a small part of the web.
While giving evidence on behalf of Liberty in October, Sankey was asked whether she opposed the bulk collection of metadata when used in a “targeted” way to “prevent plots and contribute to national security.”
She said the principle of the collection techniques was “wrong in principle” even if they were lawful.
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