Fact……….Theresa May has been Home Secretary for six years.
The oversight by the Security Services has always been more than opaque, especially after Edward Snowden’s leaked revelations regarding both NSA and our own bunch at the GCHQ; but, and it is a big but, the news travels all the way to the top; to both Foreign and Home Secretaries, with Theresa May responsible for most of the intercept materiel.
So when we learn, very late in the day:–
- Historical documents going back 12 years reveal that the Home Office after a process of legal analysis decided to use Section 94 directions rather than use RIPA Part 1, Chapter 2 authorisations. It appears that the decision was taken for three reasons.
- Section 94 directions do not require any other official other than the Home Secretary to approve their use
- Once a direction is given there is no expiration date, unlike RIPA Part 1, Chapter 2 directions which require annual renewal.
- Section 94 directions are secret – the Minister would not ever be required to reveal the warrant to Parliament or the House of Lords.
Are we happy at the elevation of a Home Secretary to be Prime Minister who acquiesces with secret mass phone and computer taps, secrecy so complete that not even Parliament is allowed access to the warrants, never mind who or what is being surveyed?
Theresa, GCHQ’s bestest Friend!