Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May has hit out at criticisms of government surveillance calling such claims of unlawful hacking “nonsense”.
“There is no programme of mass surveillance and there is no surveillance state,” she said at a lecture in London when asked on the actions of organizations like GCHQ, adding that the government weren’t breaking any laws.
“The real problem is not that we have built an over-mighty state, but that the state is finding it harder to fulfil its most basic duty, which is to protect the public,” she said.
These comments come just a day after the British government faced a number of criticisms over its continued use of the Data Retention Act, the practices of which have been overruled by the EU. Under the act, ISPs and telecoms must store data on customers for up to 18 months.
“Yes, we have to make sure that the capabilities can only be used with the right authorisation and with appropriate oversight. But this is quite simply a question of life and death, a matter of national security. We must keep on making the case until we get the changes we need,” added May.
“I know some people like the thought that the internet should become a libertarian paradise, but that will entail complete freedom not just for law-abiding people but for terrorists and criminals.
“I do not believe that is what the public wants. Loss of capability, not mass surveillance nor illegal and unaccountable behaviour, is the great danger we face.”