Intelligence gathering, issues of accountability, and Snowden

Richards, Julian (2019) Intelligence gathering, issues of accountability, and Snowden. In: Terrorism and State Surveillance of Communications. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 19-37. ISBN 978-0-367-02540-3

Richards Snowden chapter.pdf

Download (297kB) | Preview
Official URL:


We could ask the question as to whether Snowden’s actions, which place him in exile in Russia facing multiple years in jail should he return to the US, caused a retrenchment of industrial-scale Western surveillance and interception activities. The answer, perhaps ironically, is that the opposite seems to have happened. Taking the UK’s IPA as an example, many Western states continue to have considerable interception capabilities and powers and have arguably deepened and strengthened these powers in many cases. Indeed, it could be argued that the state’s professed need to continue to be able to tackle the security threats of the twenty-first century despite significant changes in technology have won out over any public concerns that may exist about erosions of privacy. As a side issue, continuing questions about whether Western oversight and accountability regimes have sufficient teeth to be able to take on the security agencies seem only to have been exacerbated. This chapter will consider the chronology of events in the UK case study, starting in the late 2000s and moving on to the passing of the IPA in 2016. It interprets this story in terms of whether and how the state interacted with its critics in developing a refreshed surveillance regime; how the oversight bodies fared throughout the period; and where this leaves questions of privacy-versus-security in the final analysis.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: security, intelligence, surveillance, law, ethics
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
K Law > KD England and Wales
Divisions: School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Economics
Depositing User: Julian Richards
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2019 11:46
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2020 01:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item