Intelligence Oversight (September 2015)

I want to start by recognising the essential work that our intelligence agencies do for us day in, day out to keep us safe by confronting the diverse terrorist threat that this country continues to face.
It is important to balance protecting national security and protecting the British public with the potential intrusion on individuals' rights to privacy that could be caused by intelligence activity. 
That is why I am pleased that the work of the intelligence agencies is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework, which ensures that their activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate. There is rigorous oversight from Secretaries of State, the Interception of Communications Commissioner and the Intelligence Services Commissioner, and in Parliament from the Intelligence and Security Committee.  
This oversight was strengthened by the Justice and Security Act 2013 which reformed the Intelligence and Security Committee. The Act provided greater powers, and increased its remit, including oversight of operational activity and the wider intelligence and security activities of Government.
The Anderson report into the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act - alongside the recent privacy and security review by the Intelligence and Security Committee - will help form the Investigatory Powers Bill. This will bring greater clarity and transparency, while giving enforcement and intelligence agencies the powers they need to keep us safe.
I hope this helps highlight the strength of the scrutiny that we have and the different layers of checks and balances that operate in this country. I believe that we have every reason to be proud of those oversight arrangements and of the work of our agencies.
September 2015