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UK spy chiefs to give public testimony

November 7, 2013
Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — The heads of Britain's intelligence agencies will for the first time give public — and televised — testimony to U.K. lawmakers Thursday, amid fierce debate over intelligence tactics following allegations of spying on other governments.

Andrew Parker and John Sawers — heads of Britain's domestic security agency MI5 and foreign spy service MI6 — will appear along with Iain Lobban, director of electronic surveillance agency GCHQ, to take questions from Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee.

Parker has described the leak of intelligence documents by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden as a "gift" to terrorists.

The committee says the trio will be questioned on the work of their agencies, their current priorities and threats to the U.K., but not on ongoing operations.

The spy chiefs' appearance will be televised with a slight delay. The committee previously has taken testimony in private from the security chiefs.



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