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Jonathan Djanogly highlights need for improved oversight of security services


11th June 2015

Jonathan Djanogly welcomes the Anderson report into the future of surveillance legislation but raises concerns that legislation has been unable to keep pace with the rapid expansion in the use of electronic communications and social media by terrorists and that better oversight of the security services is needed.

Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) (Con): In welcoming the report, I note that electronic communications and social media are powerful tools for the terrorist and their use and sophistication have been expanding very rapidly, but there remain concerns that the machinery within Government, and even more so within Parliament, to monitor and regulate through legislation is unable to keep up with that pace of change, which leads to concerns about safeguarding civil liberties. How does my right hon. Friend intend to use the opportunity of the report to address the mechanisms of reporting and oversight?

Mrs May: The previous Government acted to improve the mechanisms of parliamentary oversight by giving extra powers to the Intelligence and Security Committee. The ISC’s report on its consideration of matters surrounding the terrible murder of Drummer Lee Rigby showed a step change in the sort of information available and investigation of the operations of the agencies by the ISC and gave Parliament a much greater ability to look at such matters. However, I will reflect on my hon. Friend’s comment on the mechanisms overall and whether anything is needed in that respect.

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