from Nick Davies, The Guardian
Critics of the Guardian’s Snowden stories insist that the power of GCHQ is used only to deal with terrorism and serious crime, but the signs of mission creep are there. As a single example: is migration from sub-Saharan Africa a serious crime? The Snowden material shows it has been targeted by GCHQ. Perhaps that is to be defended as essential for the UK’s economy. Perhaps it is another example of a politically motivated project.
Which brings me back to the Daily Mail and a cautionary tale from the experience of the former MI5 officer Massiter. When first she tried to sound the alarm internally about the service’s targeting, for example, of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, her bosses told her (with a gentle combination of sexism and Stalinism) that she was just being emotional and needed to see MI5’s approved psychiatrist, which she did. When later she blew the whistle, MI5 used a compliant Tory MP as messenger to carry the wretched smear that she’d been treated for mental illness. You’ll guess which newspaper put that on its front page.