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‘Laws need to be updated to protect privacy in Britain, elsewhere’

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His comments were dismissed by Eric King, head of research at Privacy International, who described Rifkind and his committee as part of the problem, not the solution.

"Stating that British intelligence agencies have "neither the time nor the remotest interest" in the communications of the 99% of the public, but acknowledging that regardless those communications are swept up and monitored, should not offer any comfort to the public whose fundamental right to privacy remains violated. Intelligence agencies are there to protect citizens, but in placing those same citizens under suspicion-less surveillance and inserting back doors in the very security standards we rely on to communicate with confidence, the agencies have lost the trust of those they are meant to serve", King said, adding that “mass surveillance must never be accepted as legitimate in a democratic society.