|GCHQ, the UK's electronic eavesdropping|
and security headquarters
The US-run programme, called Prism, would appear to have allowed GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside the UK.
According to documents obtained by the Guardian, the agency generated 197 intelligence reports from Prism last year, and has had access to the programme since at least 2010.
On Friday senior MPs challenged David Cameron, the foreign secretary William Hague – who oversees the work of GCHQ – and Theresa May, the home secretary, to spell out what they knew of Prism.