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.

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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 place in Cheltenham a decade ago.

gchqpic

One is the HQ of a secretive organisation hell bent on hoovering up your personal data, the other…

You Can Find Out If GCHQ Was Spying on You

GCHQ-ALWAYS-LISTENING-TO-OUR-CUSTOMERS

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. Ironically, now that the PRISM and UPSTREAM programs in question have been revealed by Ed Snowden, GCHQ are free to carry on as they were before because the the relationship between them and the NSA is now public knowledge and thus legal.

Any British citizen who reasonably thinks their communications were intercepted by GCHQ prior to December 2014 are now able to send a complaints form to the  Investigatory Powers Tribunal in order to find out whether that was the case and demand to have the records deleted.

You can find the complaints form here

GCHQ Create Their Own Tweetdeck to Track People of Interest

gchq_1836440b

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 to stop them missing out on information relating to cyber defence. The program was necessary because the spooks in Cheltenham were struggling to keep up to date with Twitter sources.

Among those being monitored on Twitter were security experts working at Silicon Valley companies, former senior military figures and various anonymous twitter accounts. At the time of the leaked document only 60 Twitter handles were on the target list, but employees were encouraged to drop more Twitter handles in “the suggestion box”.

Most people who appeared on the LOVELY HORSE list seem to be taking it in good humour:

They could have just installed TweetDeck…

GCHQ Threaten “Ethically Worse” Tactics Over Snapchat Row

banksy

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. […]

+ READ MORE +

MPs Warned to Disguise PM’s Number Over Security Concerns

Tired and emotional MPs stumbling into cabs late at night have been warned to change the Prime Minister’s name in their phone contacts to something inconspicuous, amid fears his mobile number could fall into the wrong hands. Many MPs – […]

+ READ MORE +

WATCH: GCHQ Staff Form Giant Human Poppy

Or did they?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Clouded Oversight

GCHQ-ALWAYS-LISTENING-TO-OUR-CUSTOMERS

The Intelligence and Security Committee is finally investigating what GCHQ has been up to and will report in due course that everything is fine. It always does.

GCHQ’s operations are technically complex, and during this week’s session with the Shadow […]

+ READ MORE +



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