UK's NSA counterpart tried tenaciously to keep surveillance a secret

If people only knew what the GCHQ was doing, they would fight them. That was the perception at the UK’s counterpart to the NSA and they tried everything they could to keep the secrets from getting out.

The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has repeatedly warned it fears a “damaging public debate” on the scale of its activities because it could lead to legal challenges against its mass-surveillance programmes, classified internal documents reveal.

Memos contained in the cache disclosed by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden detail the agency’s long fight against making intercept evidence admissible as evidence in criminal trials – a policy supported by all three major political parties, but ultimately defeated by the UK’s intelligence community.

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