"Open Rights Group has responded to an FT comment piece by the Director of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, in which he calls for “greater co-operation from technology companies', who are in his words, “the command and control networks of choice” for terrorists.
Executive Director Jim Killock said:
“Robert Hannigan's comments are divisive and offensive. If tech companies are becoming more resistant to GCHQ's demands for data, it is because they realise that their customers' trust has been undermined by the Snowden revelations. It should be down to judges, not GCHQ nor tech companies, to decide when our personal data is handed over to the intelligence services. If Hannigan wants a 'mature debate' about privacy, he should start by addressing GCHQ's apparent habit of gathering the entire British population's data rather than targeting their activities towards criminals.”
this is in essence the answer given by one of the most prestigious British groups at a commentary written by the head of GHCQ.
it says in fact that there is no problem that terrorists and criminals should be taken of the web, that there services and their accounts should monitored or taken down
but it all has to happen with due process and within an acceptable definition (some antiterrorist ideologues even say that 'strikes' are 'social terrorism').
So instead of asking all the time for the impossible and something that in fact costs enormous lots more than a targeted surveillance, intelligence companies should ask for quicker and better ways of having access to the data they need to prosecute terrorists and criminals
the should focus on fast-track procedures and technical means to be able to consult that data and work on it with other colleagues around the world - once the targets have been approved in due process
because if there is one thing that the operations against megaspammers, cybercrimegangs and Lulzsec have learnt is that you can only catch them if you an ongoing international coordination and cooperation
you don't need some data about everybody, hoping that you will be able to find something of use in time but you need all the data about your specific high-priority suspects all the time and everywhere