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Hague and Cameron firmly deny UK government's involvement in Prism controversy

Foreign Secretary William Hague has dismissed accusations that GCHQ violated the law in order to gain information on UK citizens through the US National Security Agency.

It has been alleged that Prism, the secret surveillance programme that has rocked the US, has been used by the intelligence services to gather information on British citizens.

In response to the claims, Hague told Parliament that the GCHQ has always operated within the law when processing such information, saying, "This accusation is baseless. Any data obtained by us from the United States involving UK nationals is subject to proper UK statutory controls and safeguards."

Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee, revealed details of Prism last week, claiming that documents handed over to the British security services by the programme held information about Britons. Many of the world's top technology companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Google and Skype, were named and shamed in the leak.

David Cameron has also informed reporters that he is "satisfied that we have intelligence agencies that do a fantastically important job for this country to keep us safe, and they operate within the law."

The law states that if the British intelligence agencies want to know the content of personal emails of people living in the UK, they need lawful authority.

"They [the UK's intelligence services] are also subject to proper scrutiny by the Intelligence and Security Committee in the House of Commons," Cameron added.