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The Open Side of Secrecy: Britain's Intelligence and Security Committee

Anthony Glees, Philip H. J. Davies, & John N. L. Morrison, 2006
ISBN 1 904863 16 7

Britain's spies know very well how to keep their secrets secret. Only nine parliamentarians - the members of the Intelligence and Security Committee - have the continuing legal authority to pry into the most sensitive activities of MI6, MI5 and GCHQ and report back candidly to the Prime Minister on how well the country's intelligence Agencies are performing. Since the Committee was set up in 1994 it has also made sanitised copies of its reports available to Parliament and the public which - when the space between the lines is read by experts - can reveal a great deal.
But how well has the Committee done its job? The Open Side of Secrecy is the first in-depth analysis of the Intelligence and Security Committee's first ten years. It dissects the Committee's successes and failures and suggests ways in which it could become more effective in future. The Open Side of Secrecy is a ground-breaking analysis of Britain's most important intelligence oversight body.

Professor Anthony Glees is Director of the Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies. He is one of the founding figures of the academic study of intelligence and security issues in the UK.

Dr Philip H. J. Davies is Deputy Director of the Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies.

John N. L. Morrison progressed through Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) from desk analyst to Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence and Head of the Defence Intelligence Analysis Staff. He represented the MoD and DIS on the Joint Intelligence Committee and was UK representative to the NATO Intelligence Board. On his early retirement in 1999 he was selected by the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee to be its first Investigator, a position he held until 2004.

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