Sir Andrew Parker, the boss of security agency MI5, has used the dread T-word to defend the UK and US surveillance schemes, claiming that the power to tap into our every bored status update is critical in helping battle the threat of terrorism. So we ought to be grateful, really.
However, Parker says the situation is often exaggerated. He says the idea that GCHQ is monitoring "everyone and all their communications" is actually "utter nonsense," although he warns that: "Retaining the capability to access such information is intrinsic to MI5's ability to protect the country."
In a thinly-veiled attack on Edward Snowden and his Big USB Stick o' State Secrets, Parker said: "We are facing an international threat and GCHQ provides many of the intelligence leads upon which we rely. It causes enormous damage to make public the reach and limits of GCHQ techniques. Such information hands the advantage to the terrorists." [Guardian]