Calls for investigation into who sanctioned GCHQ snooping programme
Former cabinet member Chris Huhne has called for an investigation into who signed off a secret electronic surveillance programme at Cheltenham’s GCHQ.
The Liberal Democrat, who resigned from parliament after being jailed for lying over a driving offence, has revealed the cabinet was kept in the dark about the Tempora programme, which came to light as a result of the Edward Snowden leaks.
He told The Guardian the decision to authorise the programme could yet be the subject of a judicial review.
And he speculated Labour’s relative silence on the issue could be because the programme may have been signed off by the party’s ex foreign secretary David Miliband.
Your chance to win either a Luxury Christmas Hamper or a luxury Christmas Living Bouquet of flowers aswell as a wash, cut and blow dry from Charmed Hair Salon !!!!
Terms: All you have to do to win this great prize this Christmas is like and share The Flower Bowl facebook link or ring us instore with your details !!!
Contact: 01452 227932
Valid until: Monday, December 23 2013
He said: “If it was David Miliband, this may well explain why the Labour frontbench has been so muted.”
The Tempora programme, which was revealed in documents leaked by former US intelligence contractor Snowden, was based on extracting data from fibre optic cable communications, then storing it for up to 30 days.
It’s existence was one of a string of revelations by the US whistle blower which raised concerns about whether GCHQ was involved in out-of-control snooping, unchecked by politicians.
The concerns incensed staff at the Benhall intelligence hub, who vehemently denied going outside the law.
But Huhne claims GCHQ would not have pressed ahead with the multi-million pound programme without the agreement of ministers.
He said: “I discount the possibility that GCHQ went rogue. So which prime minister and foreign secretary were responsible?”
He added that there was an overwhelming need to get to the bottom of the matter.
“The Snowden revelations show an executive arm snatching exaggerated powers with no public debate or parliamentary approval,” he said. “For the sake of our freedoms, but also our democracy, this needs to be put right.”