Should the Intelligence Agencies ‘Show More Leg’ or Have They Just Been Stripped Naked?

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Peter Gill


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 30, Issue 1, p.11-28 (2013)


data mining, human rights, intelligence, oversight, privacy, profiling, surveillance


Newspapers started publishing US National Security Agency (NSA) files in June 2013, as a result of Edward Snowden’s declaration that he wanted to start a debate on the current drive for ‘total surveillance.’ Official comments in the UK have been tight-lipped and have barely got beyond the refrain that everything NSA’s sister agency, UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) does is legal and requires no further discussion. This article considers the major issues that have been raised concerning privacy, surveillance and the adequacy or otherwise of political control and oversight over intelligence agencies, particularly in the UK