Surveillance

UK Spy Chiefs Go Public to Blast Snowden

Say he put operations at risk

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Britain's intelligence chiefs used their first ever joint public appearance to complain that documents by former U.S. intelligence operative Edward Snowden had put secret operations at risk and were being "lapped up" by al Qaeda.

In an unprecedented evidence session before parliament that local media likened to a scene from a James Bond film, the heads of Britain's three main intelligence agencies said Snowden's disclosures about the mass surveillance they undertake had prompted them to consider being more open about what they do.

But they said parts of their work had to remain secret for national security reasons and that the data leaks, which detailed Britain's close cooperation with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), had caused huge damage.