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Iran Press TV

UK's GCHQ to be questioned over snooping on Brits via US spy program

Iran Press TV

Sat Jun 8, 2013 12:10PM GMT

Britain's eavesdropping agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is to explain its alleged links to a controversial US spying scheme, local media reports have said.

The agency is expected to release information to the British parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) detailing the use of material gathered through Prism monitoring programme.

The parliamentary committee led by Sir Malcolm Rifkind said British MPs are set to receive a report 'very shortly' on the allegations that thousands of Britons could have been spied on by GCHQ.

The Prism programme, which was set up by America's National Security Agency (NSA), would appear to have allowed GCHQ to circumvent legal barriers required to obtain personal material such as photos, videos and emails from an internet company based outside the UK.

According to documents obtained by The Guardian, the British agency has had access to the system since at least June 2010 and generated 197 intelligence reports from Prism in the 12 months to May 2012.

Under the Prism programme, the US government is said to have been secretly tapping into the servers of nine top internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Skype.

Earlier in April, in a leaked letter to British Home Secretary Theresa May, the world's five biggest internet companies refused to voluntarily cooperate with the British government's controversial Communications Data Bill, known as the "Snooper's Charter".


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