Tag Archives: Intelligence services

British Intelligence Wants To Control Bugging Evidence

The use of intelligence evidence in court for the first time could be stalled by demands from intelligence services for a right to veto the use of the transcripts from their secret bugging operations. The CIA is also unhappy that its intercepted phone calls or conversations between suspected terrorists could be produced in British courts. An effort to have such evidence produced in court ran into opposition from the Gordon Brown government which noted “there are considerable hurdles that need to be crossed.” Civil rights leaders in Great Britain not only want the evidence produced in court, but they want the Brown administration to cease its campaign to detain suspects up to 42 days(it is now 28) which is being advocated by those in authority.

Prime MInister Gordon brown told MPs he personally supported the idea of using intercept evidence in courts, but he still had work to do in order to gain support from intelligence agencies. The MPs want to prevent disclosure of material if the agency which obtained it was against it being made public. Intelligence agencies do not wish to allow lawyers to require them to release entire transcripts.

We live in unusual times when it is possible for those in authority to determine which part of a transcript is introduced in a court of law. We all know disclosing a piece of a transcript could dramatically alter the meaning of the document, but that apparently doesn’t bother the human rights beliefs of intelligence service leaders. They want court systems to trust their judgement. Ordinarily, that is the view of authoritarian regimes.