18:13 GMT26 January 2020
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    The terror threat to the United Kingdom is at its highest level, so the intelligence services should be able to intercept online communications of extremists, the head of the country's domestic security agency MI5 said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The terrorist threat the United Kingdom is facing "shows no sign of abating," Andrew Parker said Wednesday as quoted by the ITV television channel.

    "Today the conversations of our adversaries are happening on a bewildering array of devices and digital platforms, often provided by companies based overseas. Information gathered from the technology terrorists use, often in the same way as the rest of us, may sometimes be the only way to stop them," Parker said.

    Parker’s words come as the UK government is expected to unveil its new investigatory powers bill. According to the local media, the legislation will allow the UK intelligence to hack into the devices of suspects and install software to take photographs of targets and record their conversations.

    "And so we need the tools to access terrorists' communications online just as much as we intercepted written communications and telephone calls in years gone by," Parker stressed.

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

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