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Critics blast UK plans for more snooping, secrecy
Clarke said in that case, and potentially in others in the future, the government had made no admission of guilt but was not able to defend its actions, because to do so would need intelligence officers to discuss their sources and spying techniques in public.
Discussing sources in public could potentially put their lives at risk, he warned.
“I’d love open justice, but let’s have some common sense here. Open justice cannot be at the expense of lives being lost,” Clarke told Sky News television.
Legislators said that Clarke’s proposals were based on “spurious assertions about the catastrophic consequences of information being wrongly disclosed.”
In considering U.S. fears over intelligence sharing, Britain “ought not to be too hasty to legislate at the behest of its more powerful ally, especially where the pressure to act is rooted in a misunderstanding,” lawmakers said in their report.
Privacy campaigners welcomed Clegg’s call for consultation over plans to extend online surveillance.
Though full details have yet to be made public, the Home Office has said the intention is to check data such as times, dates, and participants involved in online contacts. No contents of any communications would be accessible without a warrant.
“No one is going to be looking through ordinary people’s emails or Facebook posts,” Home Secretary Theresa May said.
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