Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, has commissioned a review into the new intrusive capabilities of British intelligence agencies and the legal framework in which they operate, after failing to persuade David Cameron that the coalition government should act now to tighten the accountability of Britain’s spies.
Clegg has been trying for months inside government to persuade the Conservatives and intelligence agencies that the existing accountability structure is inadequate and could corrode trust, but in a Guardian article before a big speech on Tuesday the deputy prime minister admits he has failed to persuade Cameron of the need for reform.
Clegg has as a result opted for an independent review, modelled on a report commissioned by Barack Obama, into the implications of the information harvesting technologies developed by US and UK intelligence agencies and exposed by leaks from the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
The independent review, to…
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