MI6, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) is facing threats from terrorists, malicious actors in cyberspace and criminals and is caught in ‘technology arms race’, Alex Younger, said after he became the Chief of MI6 on Monday.
Alex defended the use of data by the SIS after the release of documents by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden sparked criticism of mass surveillance by intelligence agencies.
"Using data appropriately and proportionately offers us a priceless opportunity to be even more deliberate and targeted in what we do, and so to be better at protecting our agents and this country," Younger was quoted by AFP as saying.
"The bad news is the same technology in opposition hands, an opposition often unconstrained by consideration of ethics and law, allows them to see what we are doing and to put our people and agents at risk. So we find ourselves in a technology arms race,” he said.
Younger said that public trust relied on oversight by parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee, which has been criticized as being ineffectual in reining in the agencies.
"Our staff is asked to make complex decisions in a difficult ethical and legal space. They do so with remarkable assurance. If we make mistakes, we face up to them and learn from them,” he said.
"The guiding principle is clear, we cannot protect the values this country represents if we undermine them in the process. And we cannot hope to hold the public's trust unless they know this principle is effectively overseen," he added.
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