John Green takes issue with former GCHQ head David Omand’s statement that ‘web giants are a bigger privacy threat than the state’The former head of GCHQ, David Omand, is being particularly tendentious when he maintains that “web giants are a bigger privacy threat than the state” (Report, 9 October). He says state security agencies are “extraordinarily strictly regulated” and that “warrants have to be signed by a senior judge”. So how come GCHQ was intimately involved in several illegal spying activities?
He also singularly fails to point out that the big difference between a state spying on its citizens and internet companies is that the former have the means of repression in their hands whereas the big internet companies do not. The material they collect only becomes a threat when it is passed on to the state or political organisations.