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    UK Spies' Hacking of Personal Smartphones Needs High-Level Authorization

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    UK media reported earlier that new legislation would give such agencies as MI5, MI6 and GCHQ more powers and the authority to access anyone’s phone or computer and install software.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — British spies should request permission from top intelligence chiefs to hack into UK citizens' smartphones and computers, a UK Labor member of parliament told Sputnik following reports that the country's intelligence agencies would soon be granted more powers.

    "I think surveillance, and particularly the interception of telephone and electronic communications, has to be authorized at a high level and not at the power handed down to people who are low down in the security services," Roger Godsiff said.

    He added that any powers given to intelligence agencies "have to be proportionate and have to be justified," and warned against carte blanche in surveillance matters.

    The bill is a counter-terrorism measure, and, according to The Times newspaper, will outline the specific powers that spies will have.

    Godsiff warned that public dissent and protests by civil liberties groups would not prevent the government from passing the bill into law.

    He also noted that the Conservative government is currently pushing through a lot of legislation as they are "taking the opportunity provided to them by their election victory in order to push their agendas very quickly."

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron proposed a series of counter-terrorism measures soon after his Conservative Party’s victory in the general elections in May. The measures include a contentious, previously-defeated surveillance bill, nicknamed the Snoopers’ Charter, requiring telecommunication providers to retain their clients' metadata for 12 months and make it available to authorities upon request.

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    intelligence agencies, spying scandal, surveillance, MI6, United Kingdom
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