Apple’s New HQ Looks Awfully Familiar

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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. Sir David, who in his role as security and intelligence co-ordinator at the Cabinet Office insisted to Tony Blair that Daivd Kelly’s name should be given to the foreign affairs select committee, warned that spies will be forced into “close access work” because they can’t monitor en masse the encoded information sent through mobile messaging services.

Close access work means agents getting physically close to and monitoring suspects. i.e. doing their job.

“One of the results of Snowden is that the companies are heavily encrypting end to end, that’s probably inevitable, it would probably have come anyway. But Snowden has accelerated it. The result is that the intelligence agencies and the police are not going give up trying to get the bad guys, they’ve just got to get closer to the bad guys. So what we’re actually going to see I predict is more close access work. Now you can say that’s more targeted so that fits your way of thinking, but in terms of intrusion into personal privacy, collateral intrusion into privacy; we’re actually likely to end up in ethically worse positions than we were before.”

Techno Guido is confused why specifically targeting the bad guys is “ethically bad”…

H/T TBIJ

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 – and researchers too – sync their mobile phone contacts to their Outlook email accounts, meaning the personal phone numbers of Cabinet members all the way up to Cameron are automatically in their phonebooks. Gavin Williamson, the PM’s PPS, has advised MPs not to have his number saved as “David Cameron”, replacing it with something less identifiable. As a Guido reader discovered over the weekend, this is probably a wise move:

GCHQ would need a full team working round the clock to keep safe the mobile phones of pissed up MPs…

WATCH: GCHQ Staff Form Giant Human Poppy

Or did they?

Clouded Oversight

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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 Home Secretary one committee member displayed the sort of technical prowess that we’ve come to expect from the political guardians of our liberties from over zealous spooks. On distinguishing between “internal” and “external” interception under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, Lord Lothian (Michael Ancram), highlighted exactly the sort of insight you would expect from someone tasked with oversight of GCHQ, whose projects include the subtly named “Mastering the Internet” programme – the £1 billion digital mass surveillance programme that would have made Big Brother’s eyes pop with jealousy. Ancram has been thinking:

“I thought, until about three months ago, that I understood this, until suddenly I start reading about cloud and wondering whether anything sent to cloud, whether its from here or anywhere else, is actually external because cloud is based somewhere in California.”

How will GCHQ pull the wool over his eyes?

GCHQ is Watching You Watching Porn

The Guardian’s latest GCHQ leak reveals that our intelligence services have stockpiled a massive collection of people enjoying themselves on the internet. GCHQ’s ‘Optic Nerve’ surveillance programme intercepted webcam images of millions of users, a large number of which were at intimate moments.

It would seem that GCHQ has amassed a huge collection of cum face pics. Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch has it about right:

“Secretly intercepting and taking photographs from millions of people’s webcam chats is as creepy as it gets. We have CCTV on our streets and now we have GCHQ in our homes.

It is right that the security services can target people and tap their communications but they should not be doing it to millions of people. This is an indiscriminate and intimate intrusion on people’s privacy.”

Don’t forget though, some of those masturbators may be terrorists…

Secret GCHQ Plan to Annoy Guido

Guido has often wondered who the window lickers in the comments on this site are, and now he knows. GCHQ have put together plan to infiltrate social media and blogs. As the slideshow below shows, sophisticated plans have been drawn […]



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Quote of the Day

Adam Spiegel, producer of Nazi themed “The Producers” musical says…

“Margate seemed a perfect place to start the promotion. I’m disappointed but not entirely surprised to see that UKIP are trying to hitch a publicity ride on the back of the show.”

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