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MI5, the Cold War, and the Rule of Law$
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Keith Ewing, Joan Mahoney, and Andrew Moretta

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198818625

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198818625.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

Democracy under Surveillance

Democracy under Surveillance

(p.130) 6 Democracy under Surveillance
MI5, the Cold War, and the Rule of Law

Ewing Mahoney

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on MPs, about whom concerns are rightly raised when questions turn to who is a legitimate surveillance target. While it might be hard to argue that MPs should always be protected from surveillance, the circumstances in which such action might be authorized ought nevertheless to be quite exceptional. The chapter then assesses the reasons why an MP might have been under surveillance; the different forms that surveillance might take; and the role of the Prime Minister in encouraging or forbidding surveillance of particular MPs. Although there is some evidence of letter opening and phone tapping, much of the material collected about targeted MPs came principally from collateral sources. The close surveillance of the Communist Party in particular helped to keep watch on the two Communist Party MPs elected after the war, and also helped to nourish many other KV files, including those of prominent Labour MPs, by no means all of which have been released.

Keywords:   MPs, surveillance targets, surveillance, Prime Minister, letter opening, phone tapping, Communist Party, KV files, Labour MPs, Communist Party MPs

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