by Iain Bourne
This is a difficult debate and one in which the secureaucrats are always at a disadvantage. Explain their successes may mean revealing secret intelligence gathering techniques or prejudicing current or future operations. And when our agencies do try to further transparency – for example by publishing the outlines of cases or statistics about operational successes – their critics will simply not believe the information to be true. So really the agencies can’t win and the debate is framed in terms of (dis)belief and political scepticism rather than evidence of what information is being collected, how it is being used and what the result of this is.