MAJOR reforms are needed to the oversight of British intelligence agencies, the shadow home secretary has said.

The Government has to engage in a public debate about issues surrounding privacy, data and the private sector, Yvette Cooper said in a speech in central London to think-tank Demos.

Labour wants new powers for police and security services to crack down on cyber crimes like child pornography but only with extra checks on how crime agencies are using sensitive data, she added.

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Technological developments have sparked a wave of new types of crime and a 30% hike in recorded online fraud is just the "tip of the iceberg", she warned.

Her comments come amid growing fears over abuse of information in the wake of leaks by ex-US security contractor Edward Snowden, which has revealed details of major data-harvesting operations by government listening post GCHQ and its US counterpart, the National Security Agency.