MI5 ‘secretly spied on phone data’ for years

MI5 secretly collected vast amounts of data from UK phone calls for 10 years in search for terrorist connections.

This emerged after Home Secretary Theresa May revealed a new surveillance draft bill allowing internet firms to collate people’s online activity. The operation that’s been running for more than a decade under a law is being described as “vague.”

If the law passes, everyone in Britain will have their internet activity held for a year by service providers. Police and intelligence officers will be able to see and search through suspected criminals’ internet history, without a warrant. 

BBC’s security correspondent said the operation was secret and only a “few even in MI5 knew about it, let alone the public”.

David Anderson QC, the government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation said: “It wasn’t illegal in the sense that it was outside the law, it was just that the law was so broad and the information was so slight that nobody knew it was happening.”

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