UK parliamentary committee forces spy “watchdog” to show up for grilling

Just how accountable is the U.K.’s GCHQ spy agency, which has tapped the world’s communications infrastructure, hacked activists and snooped on webcam chats? Every time it’s challenged, GCHQ says it submits to “rigorous oversight” from the intelligence services commissioner and Parliament, but on Thursday Parliament’s home affairs select committee had to take the unusual step of ordering that commissioner to show up for questioning about the Snowden leaks. Sir Mark Waller, who is supposed to be a watchdog, refused to respond to the customary polite request for an appearance, and this is the first time during this government’s rule that the committee has had to order someone to show up.

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