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MPs: Snowden files are 'embarrassing indictment' of British spying oversight

Edward Snowden's disclosures of the scale of mass surveillance are "an embarrassing indictment" of the weak nature of the oversight and legal accountability of Britain's security and intelligence agencies, MPs have concluded.<p>A highly critical report by the Commons home affairs select committee …

Almost a quarter of postgrad students at English universities are Chinese

There are now almost as many Chinese students on full-time postgraduate courses at English universities as there are British students, according to figures published on Wednesday.<p>But the rising numbers of Chinese students masks a drop in the overall number of foreign students studying in England …

NSA performed warrantless searches on Americans' calls and emails – Clapper

US intelligence chiefs have confirmed that the National Security Agency has used a "back door" in surveillance law to perform warrantless searches on Americans’ communications.<p>The NSA's collection programs are ostensibly targeted at foreigners, but in August the Guardian revealed a secret rule …

Edward Snowden discusses NSA leaks at SXSW: 'I would do it again'

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower whose unprecedented leak of top-secret documents led to a worldwide debate about the nature of surveillance, insisted on Monday that his actions had improved the national security of the United States rather than undermined it, and declared that he would do it …

Optic Nerve: millions of Yahoo webcam images intercepted by GCHQ

Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.<p>GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program …

David Miranda detention at Heathrow airport was lawful, high court rules

Three high court judges have dismissed a challenge that David Miranda, the partner of the former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was unlawfully detained under counter-terrorism powers for nine hours at Heathrow last August.<p>The judges accepted that Miranda's detention and the seizure of …

Lengthen school days and cut holidays, says former Tory adviser

Longer school days and shorter holidays are "the perfect election promise" to win votes for the Conservatives from stressed parents juggling work and childcare, a former top adviser to David Cameron has suggested.<p>Paul Kirby, the former head of policy development at No 10, posted a personal blog …

UN: press should not be 'intimidated into silence' over state secrets

Two senior UN representatives have warned the British government that the protection of state secrets must not be used as an excuse to "intimidate the press into silence" following the detention of David Miranda under the Terrorism Act.<p>Frank La Rue, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of …

Police demand notes from Channel 4 on Lawrence spying whistleblower

A top police officer is trying to force Channel 4 to hand over documents about the whistleblower who revealed that undercover officers had spied on relatives of Stephen Lawrence and their supporters.<p>Mick Creedon, the chief constable of Derbyshire, who is heading a team investigating the alleged …

'Man of peace'? Ariel Sharon was the champion of violent solutions | Avi Shlaim

Sharon's legacy is the empowerment of some of the worst elements in Israel's dysfunctional politics<p>Ariel Sharon, who died on Saturday after eight years in a coma, was one of Israel's most iconic and controversial figures. His long and chequered career as a soldier and politician largely revolved …

NSA and GCHQ activities appear illegal, says EU parliamentary inquiry

Mass surveillance programmes used by the US and Britain to spy on people in Europe have been condemned in the "strongest possible terms" by the first parliamentary inquiry into the disclosures, which has demanded an end to the vast, systematic and indiscriminate collection of personal data by …

Top EU official slams British ministers on immigration

Ministers appear to be stoking up fears about European Union migrants to distract voters from the real problems Britain faces, a top Brussels official has claimed.<p>Viviane Reding said it was "simply not true" that there was an "invasion of foreigners" who were stealing jobs and draining welfare and …

Greece begins EU presidency by saying austerity policies are intolerable

Greece kicked off six months in charge of the European Union on Wednesday declaring that the imposition of austerity, spending cuts and fiscal policy by Berlin and Brussels could no longer be tolerated.<p>Coinciding with a growing backlash across the EU against the austerity policies mainly scripted …

Apple insists it did not work with NSA to create iPhone backdoor program

Apple has denied any knowledge of a National Security Agency tool to hack into iPhones after newly-released documents showed the tech giant’s bestselling phone was targeted by the spying agency.<p>Documents released Monday showed the NSA had worked on software that would allow it to remotely retrieve …

Alarm sounded on anti-Roma rhetoric as door opens to more EU workers

Politicians are inflaming community tensions with anti-Roma rhetoric, an alliance of Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs has warned as Britain opens its borders to Bulgarian and Romanian workers.<p>MPs on the all-parliamentary party group on Gypsies, Travellers and Roma sounded the alarm about …

World's leading authors: state surveillance of personal data is theft

More than 500 of the world's leading authors, including five Nobel prize winners, have condemned the scale of state surveillance revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden and warned that spy agencies are undermining democracy and must be curbed by a new international charter.<p>The signatories, who …

Snowden documents show NSA gathering 5bn cell phone records daily

The National Security Agency is reportedly collecting almost 5 billion cell phone records a day under a program that monitors and analyses highly personal data about the precise whereabouts of individuals, wherever they travel in the world.<p>Details of the giant database of location-tracking …

Jack Straw: Labour made mistake letting Poles in early

The former home secretary Jack Straw has admitted that dropping immigration restrictions on eastern European migrants was a "spectacular mistake" on Labour's part.<br>The Labour MP said handing immediate working rights to Poles and other nationalities who joined the EU in 2004 was a "well-intentioned …

GCHQ and European spy agencies worked together on mass surveillance

The German, French, Spanish and Swedish intelligence services have all developed methods of mass surveillance of internet and phone traffic over the past five years in close partnership with Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping agency.<p>The bulk monitoring is carried out through direct taps into fibre optic …

NSA stores metadata of millions of web users for up to a year, secret files show

The National Security Agency is storing the online metadata of millions of internet users for up to a year, regardless of whether or not they are persons of interest to the agency, top secret documents reveal.<p>Metadata provides a record of almost anything a user does online, from browsing history – …

NSA spied on Indian embassy and UN mission, Edward Snowden files reveal

The US National Security Agency may have accessed computers within the Indian embassy in Washington and mission at the United Nations in New York as part of a huge clandestine effort to mine electronic data held by its south Asian ally.<p>Documents released by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden also …

David Miranda: Lib Dems back motion criticising anti-terrorism powers

The Liberal Democrats have voted overwhelmingly in favour of an emergency motion criticising the anti-terrorism powers used to detain David Miranda at Heathrow for nine hours last month.<p>On the final day of their annual conference, all but one delegate voted for the motion after the Home Office …

Brazilian president postpones Washington visit over NSA spying

The Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, snubbed Barack Obama on Tuesday by postponing an official visit to Washington in protest at the spying activities of the US National Security Agency.<p>The row between the biggest economies in North and South America was the latest diplomatic fallout from the …

Sir David King warns against fracking

Sir David King, former chief scientific adviser to the government, has warned of the "enormous environmental consequences" of attempting to fulfil the UK's gas needs by fracking and has played down the idea that it would have a major impact on the UK's energy market.<p>King, who left his government …

Boris deputy tells rest of UK: spend tourism cash on London

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should spend their tourism budgets on promoting London if they want to attract more visitors, according to the capital's deputy mayor.<p>The countries are in danger of "cutting off their noses to spite their faces" by continuing to compete against London for …

Fisa judge: Snowden's NSA disclosures triggered important spying debate

The court that oversees US surveillance has ordered the government to review for declassification a set of secret rulings about the National Security Agency's bulk trawls of Americans' phone records, acknowledging that disclosures by the whistleblower Edward Snowden had triggered an important …

More than 56,000 detained under counter-terrorism powers in year

More than 50,000 people were stopped and questioned at Britain's ports and airports as potential terrorists last year under the same counter-terrorism powers used to detain David Miranda, partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, in August.<p>The Home Office's quarterly terror statistics …

Early schooling damaging children's wellbeing, say experts

More than 100 teachers, writers and academics have said the government's early years education policies are damaging children's health and wellbeing.<p>The education specialists have written to the secretary of state, Michael Gove, to demand that children be allowed to learn through play instead of …

NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans' data with Israel

The NSA files,NSA,Surveillance,Israel,Middle East and North Africa,World news,US foreign policy,US national security,Privacy,Data protection,US politics,US news,Obama administration<p>• Secret deal places no legal limits on use of data by Israelis<br>• Only official US government communications protected<br>• …

UK's lowest-paid employees to be classed as 'not working enough'

One million of Britain's lowest paid employees will be classed as "not working enough" and could find themselves pushed with the threat of sanctions to find more income under radical changes to benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions has said.<p>DWP internal documents seen by the Guardian …