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RUSI calls for review of UK surveillance laws

The panel said it had seen no evidence of illegal interception or mass surveillance by the UK government.

By CBR Staff Writer

A review by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has called for a fresh review into the law for interception of communications in the UK.

The Independent Surveillance Review said antiquated laws will neither keep the public safe nor ensure privacy of individuals.

The review was commissioned by Nick Clegg, former deputy prime minister in the previous coalition government, to examine the disclosures made by former US security agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.

Its panel included former heads of three UK intelligence agencies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

The panel said it had seen no evidence of illegal interception or mass surveillance by the UK government.

It recommended that a senior judge must authorise requests for interception to prevent and detect serious crimes in the future, and that warrants signed by Secretaries of State for national security should be subject to judicial investigation.

The panel added that any new law should have to pass ten tests like proportionality, transparency, effective oversight, minimal secrecy, before being agreed.

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The chairman of the panel Michael Clarke said: "We have outlined ten tests that people in Britain should apply when they hear what the government proposes. If government proposals genuinely meet these criteria, the new legislation will be able to address justifiable public concerns, and also allow the police and intelligence agencies to get on with their job."

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