Conservative Peer deeply uneasy on GCHQ activities

Conservative peer Lord Blencathra says MPs should be given a vote on Britain’s eavesdropping agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) activities.


Blencathra said he is “deeply, deeply uneasy” about the spying programmes by intelligent agencies that allow examining global internet activities, including those of British citizens. 

The former Conservative Home Office minister condemned the GCHQ’s recent activities, saying that monitoring internet traffics without the parliament consent is unacceptable. 

He also noted that the public should be informed if their communications are “lifted” and shared with the US National Security Agency (NSA). 
Blencathra’s comments come after another peer Lord MacDonald has criticized MI5 for resisting the calls for more transparency and scrutiny on the GCHQ’s surveillance capabilities. 

MI5’s new chief Andrew Parker said earlier that exposing how the GCHQ intercept voice and internet communications is a “gift” to terrorists, which could cause “enormous damage” to Britain’s so-called war against terrorism. 

Lord MacDonald, however, attacked Parker for using “foolish self-serving rhetoric” and demanded an urgent review of the laws governing the agencies including GCHQ, MI5 and MI6. 

Earlier in June, classified documents leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the GCHQ was secretly accessing the network of cables, which carry the world’s phone calls and internet traffic and has been sharing the data with its American counterpart the NSA.