UK lawmakers to expand probe into online snooping

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm •  Published: October 16, 2013

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers announced Thursday that they will take testimony from the public and hold open hearings as part of a widened investigation into the scale of electronic surveillance, triggered by Edward Snowden's U.S. National Security Agency leaks.

Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee said it would probe whether Britain's laws on intercepting private communications, drafted well over a decade ago, are still adequate in the Internet age.

Snowden, a former NSA contactor, earlier this year disclosed details of the vast communications-monitoring programs carried out by the American agency and its international counterparts, including Britain's GCHQ.

The revelations sparked an international debate about the scale of surveillance and the erosion of privacy in the digital age.

An earlier investigation by the parliamentary committee concluded in July that GCHQ did not use the NSA's PRISM information-gathering program to get around British restrictions on domestic espionage.

But civil liberties groups have demanded a wider inquiry into the scale of Web surveillance.

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