More power needed for security agencies

More power needed for security agencies

Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, believes that security agencies should now be granted the necessary technology and powers to combat their enemies – while being monitored by parliament.

Hammond said in a speech he delivered to  the Royal United Services Institute that UK citizens need to be protected not only from foreign foes, but also from organised and individual terrorists.

He talked about how GCHQ and SIS, at one time secret agencies, are now in the public eye and are obligated to respond to parliament. He said that there is now increased policing when it comes to agencies, both by parliament and independent bodies. This includes the Intelligence and Security Committee being given the power to gather evidence from all departments, and to insist that the agencies provide any required information.

Hammond said:

“First, we need to go on backing the agencies with the resources they need to fulfil their vital mission.

“Secondly, to counter effectively the growing range of threats and the global nature of 21st-century terrorism and extremism, we must continue to strengthen our security cooperation with like-minded allies and partners.”

One of the biggest security threats today is cyber terrorism. While security agencies may be in a better position than any other organisations to do what they can for the country, businesses also have a part to play in protecting themselves and their customers. Creating cyber security jobs, and hiring trained professionals to fill them, is the best move they can make.

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