Andrew Parker the head of MI5has told the BBC advances in technology are allowing terrorists to communicate “out of the reach of authorities,”reports Asian Lite News
In the first live interview by a serving MI5 boss, Andrew Parker has said that security services could potentially no longer obtain crucial information.
He said internet companies had an “ethical responsibility” to alert agencies to potential threats.
But MI5 was not about “browsing the lives” of the public, he added.
Ministers are currently preparing legislation on the powers for carrying out electronic surveillance, reports BBC News.
But Mr Parker said what should be included in new legislation was a matter “for parliament to decide”.
“It is completely for ministers to propose, and parliament to decide. It’s a fundamental point about what MI5 is. It’s for us to follow what’s set by parliament, and that’s what we do.”
He said online data encryption was creating a situation where the police and intelligence agencies “can no longer obtain under proper legal warrant the communication of people they believe to be terrorists”.
He said it was a “very serious” issue adding: “It’s in nobody’s interests that terrorists should be able to plot and communicate out of the reach of authorities.”
When asked about the fact that the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby were known to the intelligence services Mr Parker said: “There cannot be a guarantee that we will find and stop everything. That’s not possible.
“If we do our jobs well, we will know who most of the people are who potentially offer a threat to this country.”
But he said: “We can’t monitor them all the time.”
MI5 had to “make choices” about where to put resources, and make sure they were “focused where the sharpest threat is”, he said.
He also rejected the suggestion that security service tactics can lead to radicalisation in some targets and played down fears about extremists entering Europe among the thousands of refugees from Syria.