Judge’s reports suggest possible overuse of emergency interceptions, writes Wyndham Hartley SPOOKS and the intelligence community by their very nature operate in the murky shadows beyond normal scrutiny, meaning that special mechanisms are needed in order to hold them accountable.It is precisely for this reason that the joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI) was established in Parliament with the specific mandate to maintain oversight of the intelligence community. It is the only parliamentary committee established in law; all the others are established in terms of Parliament’s rules.The problem, however, is that the JSCI meets in secret and all its members, regardless of party, are required to take an oath of confidentiality.Under this veil of secrecy the committee gets information from various other institutions also designed to keep tabs on the spy agencies that have now been combined into the State Security Agency (SSA). The inspector-general for intelligence, the audit...

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