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England: exposing GCHQ benefits terrorists, sais head of MI5 Andrew Parker.

MI5 boss Andrew Parker

MI5 boss Andrew Parker

Exposing the “reach and limits” of listening post GCHQ causes enormous damage and hands the advantage to terrorists, the head of MI5 has warned in his first public speech.

Andrew Parker’s comments come after the surveillance activities of GCHQ and its American counterpart the National Security Agency (NSA) were disclosed by the former US intelligence operative Edward Snowden.

The Director General dismissed the notion that The Security Service monitors “everyone and all their communications” as “utter nonsense”.

Addressing the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Mr Parker, who took up the top role in April, said: “The law requires that we only collect and access information that we really need to perform our functions, in this case tackling the threat of terrorism.