Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament
| Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament |
Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee|
Incumbent: Dominic Grieve
Since 15 September 2015
|Interests||MI5, MI6, GCHQ, Joint Intelligence Committee|
• Malcolm Rifkind|
• Hazel Blears
• Robin Butler
• Menzies Campbell
• Mark Field
• George Howarth
• Julian Lewis
• Michael Ancram
• Fiona Mactaggart
|Nominal overseer the UK's main intelligence intelligence agencies such as MI5, MI6, GCHQ, JIC, DIS. Probably completely captured.|
The Intelligence and Security Committee was established under the Intelligence Services Act 1994 to oversee the three main UK intelligence agencies: MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. It has since expanded its remit to include intelligence related elements of the Cabinet Office including the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC); the Assessments Staff; and the Intelligence, Security and Resilience Group. The committee also takes evidence from the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS).
The ISC is an anomolous statutory committee rather than a normal parliamentary select committee. There was an unsuccessful attempt to bring the committee under the administration of parliament in July 2008. The committee produces an unclassified annual report but its work is invariably conducted in secret. The pedigrees of some of the members of this committee suggest that they are establishment insiders hand appointed because their principal loyalty is to the deep state. The committee may well be 100% compromised.
In 2009, the Intelligence and Security Committee held an inquiry into the 7/7 London Bombings, and noted that the picture of suspects Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer shown to Mohammed Junaid Babar for identification purposes was of "poor quality". In fact, it was a black and white, lower contrast photo with added noise. Moreover, it was so badly cropped as to remove parts of Mohammad Siddique Khan's nose and more than half of Shehzad Tanweer's head and body. The Guardian dryly noted in 2011 that "The committee appears not to have been aware of the original, very clear, colour photograph of both men." If this were in fact the case, this would tend to suggest that the committee is no more than a facade.
Report on Privacy and Security, March 2015
A special report was published by the ISC following its inquiry into privacy, security and the legislative framework. The report found that although GCHQ collects and analyses data in bulk, it does not conduct mass surveillance. The report said the legal framework should be simplified to improve transparency and identified past oversight omissions including unregulated databases and use of the Telecommunications Act 1984.
The UK Parliament appoints the nine members from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, after considering nominations from the Prime Minister. The importance of the Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee is unknown, but it has been chaired by MPs with deep political connections
- Intelligence and Security Committee, Cabinet Office, accessed 28 February 2010.
- "Intelligence and Security Committee — Should belong to the House — rejected". The Public Whip. 17 July 2008.
- "UK surveillance 'lacks transparency', ISC report says". BBC. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
- "Privacy and Security: A modern and transparent legal framework". Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
- "Intelligence and security committee report: the key findings". The Guardian. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.