Philip Hammond told an audience at the Royal United Services Institute that the debate about surveillance "cannot be allowed to run on forever."
Hammond warned that debating surveillance for too long would result in spy agencies "become distracted from their task."
"We need to have it, address the issues arising from it and move on, sooner rather than later, if our agencies are not to become distracted from their task."
The minister added that he, the prime minister and the home secretary are already "determined to draw a line under the debate" with legislation. This, he promised, will give the agencies the powers they need, and an oversight regime that appeases citizens.
A watering down of current practices looks unlikely, and Hammond said that the current system and its surveillance practices are in line with technology change and external threats.
"We are right to question the powers required by our agencies, and particularly by GCHQ, to monitor private communications in order to do their job. But we should not lose sight of the vital balancing act between the privacy we desire and the security we need," he said.
"From my position as foreign secretary, responsible for the oversight of GCHQ, I am quite clear that the ability to intercept ‘bulk communications data', to subject that metadata to electronic analysis and to seek to extract the tiny percentage of communications data that may be of any direct security interest, does not represent an enhancement of the agencies' powers," he said.
"Rather, it represents the adaptation of those powers to the realities of the 21st century."
Government minister is bored with Snowden and wants to get on with surveillance [Dave Neal/Inquirer]
(Image: Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP - Secretary of State for Transport, Amplified Group, CC-BY)
John Deere is notorious for arguing that farmers who buy its tractors actually “license” them because Deere still owns the copyright to the tractors’ software; in 2015, the US Copyright Office affirmed that farmers were allowed to jailbreak their tractors to effect repairs and modifications.
Real Alternatives organizes and funds the notorious, deceptive anti-abortion centers (“crisis pregnancy centers”) that pretend to be abortion clinics, luring in women who wish to terminate their pregnancies with deceptive advertising and then lying to them about abortion procedures in an effort to coerce them into carrying their fetuses to term; they got $30,000,000 from […]
Senate Republicans have introduced a bill to ensure that the FCC won’t be able to prevent your ISP from spying on your internet usage and selling your private information. What does that mean in practice?
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]