Leading British cryptographer says MI5 should be abolished

Tamlin Magee writes: Privacy campaigner and Cambridge University’s Head of Cryptography Professor Ross J Anderson has suggested one way to begin stamping out the British state’s unaccountable involvement in the NSA spying scandal: end the domestic secret services entirely.

“Were I a legislator,” Anderson says, “I would simply abolish MI5.”

Speaking with Forbes, Anderson notes the only way this kind of systemic data collection has been made possible was through the business models of private industry. The value of information-driven web companies such as Facebook and Google is built around their ability to gather vast tracts of data. It was something the intelligence agencies would have struggled with alone.

“It would never have been realistic for governments to collect so much data because they just don’t have the technical nous or managerial skill to set up and operate the systems concerned,” Anderson says. “Only private industry could do that. But, of course, now that the systems exist, spooks want access to them.” [Continue reading…]

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