In his first public speech since taking over as head of the Security Service MI5 in April, Andrew Parker has claimed that public discussion of the reach and limits of GCHQ intercept capabilities hands an advantage to terrorists. While not specifically naming Edward Snowden, it's clear that he was hitting out at stories on PRISM and TEMPORA in the Guardian over recent months.
Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said:
"Andrew Parker is clearly trying to close down the debate by playing the national security card. MI5 can bluster all they like, but it's clear there is intrusive surveillance even though we were told there would not be. All we are asking for is a bit of honesty - are we citizens, or are we all suspects?"
"Recent reports that the cabinet was unaware of PRISM and TEMPORA are particularly alarming . What really puts us at danger in this country is spiralling surveillance without proper democratic oversight."
"The uncritical repetition of Andrew Parker's vague and unsubstantiated claims by newspapers is very disappointing. There has been much hand-wringing about press freedom since Leveson. But the reality is we already live in a country which smashes the laptops of a major paper. Press freedom is about getting to the truth, not circulating gossip or making up stories about Poles. When it comes to domestic surveillance, we have a right to know broadly what we are all subject to."