Newspaper review: Surveillance and hacking lead papers


"How GCHQ watches your every move" is the Guardian's front page headline.

The paper outlines in detail the scale of the internet monitoring operation which American intelligence analyst Edward Snowden says is taking place at the British agency.

By tapping 200 fibre optic cables, the Guardian says, GCHQ has access to vast amounts of information every day - equivalent to sending the contents of all the books in the British Library 192 times.

But the same article quotes an intelligence source who seeks to dispel fears about the agency's intentions.

It rejects the idea that analysts are reading millions of emails, saying the vast majority of data is discarded without being looked at.

It is also claimed that the monitoring operation has prevented terrorist attacks in the UK and has targeted gangs involved in child exploitation.

Teacher claims

The Independent leads with what it describes as another "hacking scandal". Its story is based on a leaked report from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

It alleges that businesses, including firms from the legal and telecommunications sector, have employed investigators to hack, blag and steal information from rivals and members of the public.

The Independent says that even though Soca knew this six years ago, it did next to nothing to disrupt the activity.

A spokesman for the agency tells the paper it does not comment on leaked documents or specific criminal investigations.

The Sun leads with the jailing of schoolteacher Jeremy Forrest for abducting one of his pupils. His victim tells the paper that she still loves him and those feelings will not change. But his actions are roundly condemned.

The Daily Mirror describes Forrest as a predator who took advantage of a vulnerable young girl. It believes the case will heighten the fears of "many worried parents".

The Daily Mail has been hearing from another girl who fears she was targeted by Forrest when she was 13.

She tells the paper he would routinely cuddle her, make her feel uncomfortable by invading her personal space and invite her to stay behind for extra lessons.

Test match

Proposals to increase the motorway speed limit to 80mph have been abandoned, according to the Times.

It recalls how at the Tory party conference in 2011, the then Transport Secretary Philip Hammond had backed the idea arguing it would bring economic benefits in the form of faster journey times.

But the man currently in charge at the Department for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, tells the paper the plan is no longer a priority.

According to the paper, Downing Street thinks raising the speed limit would alienate women voters.

The sports writers believe the stakes could not be higher in Saturday morning's rugby first Test between Australia and the British and Irish Lions.

The Times says that amid the murmurs about the viability of future tours, the team desperately need to come away with their first series win since 1997. They are playing for the future of the Lions, the paper claims.

Writing in the Daily Mail, World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward says Australia have one of the most exciting sides he has seen.

But he tips the Lions to win, arguing that their goal kicking will give them a big advantage.

In the Daily Telegraph, another former Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan said handing the players their famous red shirts for the match was an "incredible honour".

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