British Spy Chief says that personal privacy is too great, wants expanded snooping powers

Jay Leiderman
By: Jay Leiderman
January 13 2015

In Britain, Spy Chief Calls for More Power for Agency

“Britain’s domestic intelligence chief has demanded greater authority for spies to help fight the threat of Islamist extremism, a sign that the attack on a satirical newspaper in Paris is likely to sharpen the security-versus-privacy debate in Western countries.”

LONDON — Britain’s domestic intelligence chief has demanded greater authority for spies to help fight the threat of Islamist extremism, a sign that the attack on a satirical newspaper in Paris is likely to sharpen the security-versus-privacy debate in Western countries.

Andrew Parker, the director general of MI5, said militants were planning attacks in Britain similar to the one that killed 12 people at the newspaper, Charlie Hebdo.

More than 600 Britons have traveled to Syria to join jihadists, he said, and three terrorist plots in Britain have been stopped by security services in recent months alone.

“Death would certainly have resulted otherwise,” he said.

Amid a backlash against digital surveillance after disclosures by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden in 2013, Mr. Parker said there was a growing imbalance between the number of terrorist plots against Britain and the ability of spies to track their communications.

Speaking at MI5 headquarters late on Thursday, he warned against an atmosphere in which privacy was “so absolute and sacrosanct that terrorists and others who mean us harm can confidently operate from behind those walls without fear of detection.”

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[Ventura County, California criminal defense lawyer and State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist Jay Leiderman provides defense of all crimes in state and federal courts. He is well-known for handling all drug cases, especially those involving search and seizure and medical marijuana cases, as well as cases involving serious violence, murder and manslaughter, cases involving life sentences, and all computer cases, including those involving the CFAA and oppression leveled against activists and hacktivists. He fights all types of cases involving the digital revolution, civil rights, political dissent, emerging tech issues in the courts, piracy, Search and seizure issues, freedom on the internet, spying, fighting against unjust systems, governmental and prosecutorial overreach, medical marijuana, and overall injustice. Jay fights for the underdog, and delivers a successful defense. Jay is a lifetime member of the NORML Legal Committee. He wrote the first-ever defense of medical marijuana cases book in California. Jay is pro-privacy for the individual and believes in transparency for the state and large corporations. He is also a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), The National Lawyers Guild (NLG), The California Public Defender’s Association (CPDA) and is also a lifetime member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ). He is admitted to practice in both state and federal courts.]

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