The British government is under increasing pressure to order an inquiry into claims that the countrys security services were covertly gathering a mass of personal data from some of the worlds largest Internet firms through a US spy programme.
Britains eavesdropping centre Government Communications Headquarters will report to the Parliaments Intelligence and Security Committee Committee (ISC) by Monday over claims it secretly gathered intelligence.
British Indian MP Keith Vaz described the allegations regarding the governments Cheltenham-based electronic listening post as chilling.
The most chilling aspect is that ordinary US citizens and potentially British citizens too were apparently unaware that their phone and online interactions could be watched. I am astonished by these revelations,which could involve the data of thousands of Britons.
This seems be the snoopers charter by the back door, said the Labour MP.
ISC chairman Sir Malcolm Rifkind added that the parliamentary committee would be receiving a full report from GCHQ very shortly and will decide what further action needs to be taken as soon as it receives information.
According to the report in Guardian,the GCHQ may have directly requested material from US National Security Agencys Prism programme,which can search huge stores of Internet data for information on individuals. Prism was created by US intelligence to gather information on non-US citizens living outside the country.