UK spy agency chief: We don't 'spend our time' snooping the majority
GCHQ staff do not spend their time “listening to telephone calls or reading the e-mails of the majority,” GCHQ director Sir Iain Lobban said at a public grilling by MPs at the UK parliament’s security committee.
He added that if someone presents a real threat to UK national security, only then would their communications be monitored.
"If the internet is a hay field, we are trying to collect haystacks, and fragments of needles," said Lobban. "We look at needles, we look at friends of needles - we do not look at the surrounding hay."
The United Kingdom’s three primary intelligence chiefs are testifying in front of parliamentary leaders; this is the first time they speak publicly on the revelations disclosed by Edward Snowden earlier this year.
During the hearing, MI6 chief Sir John Sawers declared Edward Snowden's leaks "have been damaging and they have put our operations at risk". Lobban added the leaks will make life "far harder" in the coming years.
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