GCHQ Given Licence To Hack

gchq hack

The government has snuck through legislation that exempts the police and security services from prosecution for hacking people’s computers. The legislation was passed into law as an amendment to the Computer Misuse act, bypassing parliamentary debate. Coincidentally, the new legislation was revealed just hours before a hearing into a claim lodged by Privacy International that GCHQ’s hacking activities were unlawful under the Computer Misuse Act…

Not only was parliament not consulted, it appears that none of the relevant regulators such as the Information Commissioner’s Office were included in the decision that gives GCHQ and others carte blanche to launch cyber attacks in the UK. GCHQ, the police, the National Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecution Sevice and the Ministry of Justice were consulted…


The modern Alan Turings at GCHQ are marking International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia with a rainbow…

GCHQ Ordered to Destroy Ilegally Obtained Docs

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the only judicial body with the power to investigate MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, has for the first time ordered GCHQ to destroy illegally obtained documents. In today’s judgement and determination in a case brought by Amnesty International and other claimants, the IPT found that GCHQ had illegally obtained two documents that were subject to legal professional privilege and humiliatingly, ordered the Cheltenham spooks to destroy them.

“The Tribunal is satisfied that the legally privileged information contained in the two relevant documents will be adequately protected from any unlawful use or disclosure in the future. However in order to emphasise the importance of the protection of legally privileged material the Tribunal has required GCHQ to give an undertaking that the parts of the documents containing legally privileged information will be destroyed or deleted so as to render such information inaccessible to the agency in the future.”

Alan Rusbridger must be having a chuckle…

Telegraph Three Years Late To Spook Scoop

GCHQ at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

The Telegraph ran what appeared to be something of an exclusive this week, reporting that GCHQ are telling business to consider stripping smart phones from staff in order to avoid cyber attacks. Ben Riley-Smith bragged about documents “seen by The Telegraph” that warn firms that their employees are the weakest link in the security chain.

Where did the Telegraph get hold of these top secret documents? Surely they’re not this publicly available advice first published by GCHQ three years ago? 

GCHQ Builds Identity Database of ‘Personal Information’

bulk personal datasets

GCHQ have invented a new doublespeak to justify their use of Mass Surveillance – they now collate “Bulk Personal Datasets.” These datasets contain “personal information about a wide range of people”. Sounds suspiciously like an identity database.

In the spirit of transparency and openness, the revelation about the Bulk Personal Datasets in today’s Privacy and Security report from the Intelligence and Security committee helpfully listed the types of information held in the datasets.

bulk personal datasets information

Worryingly, there is no official oversight for these datasets, leaving the security services free to collect masses of personal data without being held accountable by government.

Surprised they didn’t call it “Nothing to See Here”…

GCHQ Have Broken Encryption, Maybe

gchq break encryption

GCHQ claim to have developed a programme that enables “them to read encrypted communications”. The revelation is made in today’s extensive Privacy and Security report from the Intelligence and Security Committee. It’s also extensively redacted, or as they might say… encrypted. 

The redactions mean there’s no way to tell how far reaching GCHQ’s decryption program has come, but the fact that they are admitting to having the ability to break the encryption used by terrorists, hostile states and sexting teenagers means they are far more capable than Digital Dave has been letting on.

**** *** **** ******* *******!

GCHQ Scares School Children with ‘OctaPi’

Octopic Front

GCHQ are attempting to inspire schoolchildren by showing off an internal build project know as the ‘Bramble OctaPi.” Made from 66 of the credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computers, the Bramble Ocatpi is to be unleashed on youngsters as part of the intelligence agency’s PR drive to cultivate a more cuddly image.

GCHQ claims that the “fun and interesting” Bramble is the largest cluster of Pi computers ever assembled. Somewhere in a NSA basement, engineers are furiously hacking together a HexaPi…

GCHQ Lift Slogan From ‘Saw’ Horror Movie

game gchq

GCHQ were at the Securi-Tay ethical hacking conference today, trying to lure young programmers into a career with the security services by inviting them to “play a game“. The tag line “Do you want to play a game” is shared by the Saw horror film franchise, where an anonymous protagonist forces his victims to mutilate themselves and kill their friends in order to survive.


Which is… unfortunate…

Apple’s New HQ Looks Awfully Familiar

apple gchq

TechnoGuido was struck with a distinctive sense of déjà vu when taking a look at some of the recent drone footage of Apple’s under-construction $5 billion 2,800,000 square foot new HQ. It looks remarkably like another construction project that took […]


You Can Find Out If GCHQ Was Spying on You


The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the only judicial body with the power to investigate MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, has today ruled that GCHQ acted illegally when they secretly accessed surveillance from US National Security Agency programs to spy on British citizens. […]


GCHQ Create Their Own Tweetdeck to Track People of Interest


GCHQ created a program to collect the tweets of a select group of security professionals and hackers to save analysts “reading up at home”. According to documents published by The Intercept, GCHQ launched a program called LOVELY HORSE […]


GCHQ Threaten “Ethically Worse” Tactics Over Snapchat Row


Sir David Omand, a former Director of GCHQ, has told an audience at the LSE that spooks will be forced into “ethically worse” behaviour because of the trend towards end-to-end encrypted communications used by apps such as Snapchat and Whatsapp. […]


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Quote of the Day

Mary Creagh’s coded attack on Ed Miliband…

‘I want the country to be united behind a single vision, we aren’t going to do it by sort of having a Rubik’s Cube approach to politics’. 

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