Brits are sucking up 600 million communications a day


A British spy agency taps the network of cables that carry the world’s internet and telephone communications to secretly collect vast streams of private information, documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed.

The GCHQ agency scoops as much as it can from Facebook posts, email messages, internet histories and calls while tapping into the global fibre-optic network with little legal oversight, according to a report from the Guardian newspaper.

The activities are detailed in two documents leaked to the newspaper by Snowden, the former NSA and CIA worker who revealed America was spying on millions of foreigners and US nationals without their knowledge under the Prism scheme. The GCHQ scheme is billed as wider-ranging than Prism, with less legal oversight.

Snowden provided the Guardian with two GCHQ documents, titled Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, which detail how an operation codenamed “Tempora” has for 18 months gathered, stored and analysed vast amounts of data, while also passing information to its US counterpart, the National Security Agency.

“It’s not just a US problem,” Snowden told the newspaper. “The UK has a huge dog in this fight. They are worse than the US.”

The Guardian says the programme has turned the UK into an “intelligence superpower” among members of the Five Eyes electronic spying alliance of US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The leaked documents show that the GCHQ intercepted 600 million “telephone events” each day last year by tapping more than 200 fibre-optic cables. Hundreds of analysts from the GCHQ were assigned to sift through the intercepts, with lawyers saying the UK had “a light oversight regime compared with the US”, according to Snowden.

Like every clot of Big Brotherly snoops they claim everything they do is legal and designed to protect the nations under their watchful eye.

I wonder why my mates in the UK and several dominions feel less secure?

3 thoughts on “Brits are sucking up 600 million communications a day

  1. Mark says:

    I’ve got an idea. What if everyone refuses to vote for any party who thinks this type of thing is OK. Who’s with me? Yeahhhh! Fight the Power! Oh. Er…anyone? No-one?

    Therein lies the problem.

  2. RyanFuller2012 says:

    I believe the UK has always been an intelligent superpower. In modern times, people have become a lot more private and less willing to give information because we’re told we need to make passwords for everything, protect our PIN, change our PIN, change our passwords. We therefore feel secure, because we feel we are given the opportunity to have first say in our own security.

    I think this Edward Snowden thing was pretty obvious. I feel it seems worse than it actually is because we set up these privacy forts ourselves, never expecting them to be broken down. Which is really stupid.

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