23:32 GMT29 November 2020
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    UK Home Secretary Theresa May upheld on Thursday the view that intelligence services must continue their mass surveillance program to fight terrorism and ensure security.

    LONDON (Sputnik) — May's remarks came in response to Member of Parliament David Anderson's report, published earlier in the day, which recommended that the practice of collecting bulk metadata by intelligence services be continued under clearer regulations.

    "In the face of such threats we have a duty to ensure that the agencies whose job it is to keep us safe have the powers they need to do the job," May said, addressing the House of Commons.

    The home secretary emphasized the need to consider terrorism in the debate about the balance between privacy and security that has been heated in the United Kingdom since the emergence of documents implicating the security establishment in conducting illegal dragnet surveillance.

    The day after Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party emerged victorious in the May 7 election, May announced plans to introduce a once-defeated contentious surveillance bill.

    Nicknamed the "Snoopers' Charter," the Communications Data Bill requires telecommunication providers to hold on to their customers' metadata of electronic correspondence for 12 months and making such data available to the authorities as required.

    "I've said many times before that it is not possible to debate the balance between privacy and security, without also considering the threats that we face as a country," Secretary May said.

    May said she expected the new legislation to be passed into law before the end of 2016.

    Related:

    Watchdogs Bring UK Gov't to ECHR Over Mass Surveillance
    Human Rights Group Says UK Gov't Surveillance Activity 'Inadequate Mess'
    Too Many Surveillance Cameras in UK Serve No Purpose
    UK Court Ruling on Surveillance Disregards Citizens Rights: Politician
    Tags:
    security, terrorism, surveillance, House of Commons, Theresa May, Britain
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