Oooooooh it's really scary out there

GCHQ Building at Cheltenham, GloucestershireSix people died on the roads today. None died as a result of terrorism.

But Andrew Harper of MI5 says its really scary and we must give them the tools.

Yes, but…

Noone is saying that MI5 shouldn’t have the tools to do their job. But there should be proper oversight such as these proposed by John Lanchester in the Guardian last weekend:

Here are two specific proposals. The first is that the commissioners who supervise GCHQ include, alongside the senior judges who currently do the work, at least one or two public figures who are publicly known for their advocacy of human rights and government openness. The “circle of secrecy” needs to include some people who are known for not being all that keen on the idea of secrecy.

My second proposal is for a digital bill of rights. The most important proviso on the bill would be that digital surveillance must meet the same degree of explicit targeting as that used in interception of mail and landlines. No more “one end overseas” and “sigint development” loopholes to allow the mass interception of communications. There can be no default assumption that the state is allowed access to our digital life.

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