LONDON - Britain's ability to prevent terrorist attacks is hampered by outdated laws that are "no longer fit for purpose," a former MI5 chief said in an interview published on Sunday, as the government considers new powers to monitor the Internet.
Jonathan Evans, director-general of MI5 from 2007 to 2013, said laws should allow the intelligence services to properly monitor possible threats to national security.
"The legal powers under which the police and security agencies access communications for intelligence or evidential purposes have become outdated; they were not designed for the current digital world," Evans wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
"Technological changes mean that it is much harder than it was a decade ago for the police or security agencies to find out what terrorists or criminals are saying among themselves."
He cited Facebook, WhatsApp and Snapchat as examples of online communication channels which were difficult for intelligence agencies to access.