Lord Falconer: “I am aware that the three heads of the agencies said what has been published has set back the fight against terrorism for years. Sir John Sawers [the chief of MI6] said al-Qaida would be rubbing their hands with glee. This is in the context of maybe 850,000 people literally having access to this material.
Let’s round it down and say three quarters of a million people had access to these “secrets” and the exposure is the worst leak for a generation. Either they aren’t real secret or maybe fewer people should know about them.
In questioning the oversight of the surveillance state, the article also referred to The Sunday Times which quoted a Tory MP describing the joint appearance by Sawers, the GCHQ director, Sir Iain Lobban, and the MI5 director general, Andrew Parker, as a “total pantomime” after it emerged that they were told of questions in advance as part of a secret deal with the committee.