22:21 GMT16 January 2021
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    A former top official of the US National Security Agency (NSA) will address the UK parliament Wednesday to tell the lawmakers that the country’s latest online surveillance bill could "cost lives in Britain," local media reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In November, the UK Home Office introduced the draft Investigatory Powers Bill, institutionalizing surveillance and giving police and intelligence services access to browsing history and personal communications.

    "This approach costs lives, and has cost lives in Britain because it inundates analysts with too much data. It is 99% useless. Who wants to know everyone who has ever [been] at Google or the BBC? We have known for decades that that swamps analysts," William Binney will say, The Guardian newspaper said.

    Binney will give evidence against the bill to a committee of lawmakers and peers, explaining that data collection could undermine security unless it is targeted. The former official will also say that the terrorist attacks in the United States could have been prevented if NSA had filtered the data, according to the newspaper.

    "Britain should not go further down this road and risk making the same mistakes as my country did, or they will end up perpetuating the loss of life," he will say.

    The 12-month data retention requirement in the draft Investigatory Powers Bill is a holdover from a contentious surveillance bill, defeated in 2012, nicknamed the Snoopers’ Charter. UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s administration has long argued in favor of expanding surveillance in the country as a way to counter criminal and terrorist activity.

    British media cited sources saying the bill would allow intelligence agencies to install software, take photographs of targets and record conversations after obtaining warrants.


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