GCHQ Can Snoop on Politicians

gchq-always-listening-to-our-customers

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the only judicial body with the power to investigate MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, has ruled today that it’s completely fine for spooks to snoop on the communications of MPs. The ruling lays firmly to rest any pretence that the Wilson Doctrine – the principle that MPs’ and peers’ phones should not be tapped, holds any water with GCHQ. If it ever really did…

“We do not accept that the Wilson Doctrine was ever absolute. The policy or general policy of which Mr Wilson spoke was one of not tapping the telephones of Members of Parliament. It seems unlikely to us that such policy, particularly once RIPA was passed by Parliament, with its statutory justification for warrants by reference to the necessity for the interests of national security or the purpose of preventing or detecting serious crime etc , was intended to rule out any tapping of such telephones or other similar direct surveillance and certainly not any incidental interception. It is difficult to see how there could be an absolute policy which would rule out interception of any communications with parliamentarians, as opposed to a policy relating to those involving confidential communications with constituents etc.”

Maybe MPs will be more interested now they know all their calls, texts and emails are being logged…

GCHQ Overfill Their Doughnut

gchq-always-listening-to-our-customers

There are so many new spooks flooding into GCHQ’s iconic doughnut building in Cheltenham that the intelligence agency is applying to build a new temporary block to put them in. It’s only 12 years since GCHQ moved into their shiny headquarters, yet they are applying to lump a 4,500 square meter building on their car park and to tarmac over a nearby field in order to lay down hundreds of parking spaces.

The new building will somewhat negate the raison d’être of the doughnut that was designed to facilitate talking among staff, with a circular walkway that means staff are never more than a 5 minute walk away from each other. They’ll have to start using the phone

GCHQ Failed to “Sway” Judges

judge gchq

GCHQ consider the judiciary rather than political and parliamentary oversight as the “main issue” they have to face when it comes to following the law according to a recently leaked internal slide show. In an indictment of the political class, GCHQ notes that judges are not “swayed by personal contact“.

“Senior High Court judges they are INDEPENDENT, non govt and not openly swayed by personal contact”

Worryingly, the inference is that politicians can be swayed by personal contact. What exactly do the spooks mean by “personal contact”?

GCHQ Hacking School

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GCHQ have certified six more Masters of Cyber Security degrees, doubling the number of hacking courses offered by British Universities rubber stamped by the Cheltenham spooks. By creating competition between cyber security degrees to receive their official seal of approval, GCHQ are hoping to boost the quality of potential recruits. And have first dibs at snapping up the top graduates…

This latest round of certification comes at a time of unprecedented ‘outreach’ from GCHQ, as they tour the country visiting hacking conferences and offering university students places on their intensive cyber security summer school. Phishing for talent…

GCHQ Guilty of Unauthorised Spying – On Itself

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GCHQ was rapped last year by the Intelligence Services Commissioner Sir Mark Waller for excessive spying on its own staff. The revelation is made today in Sir Mark’s annual report which describes the over-zealous internal monitoring at GCHQ as an “error” caused by a lack of understanding:

“In 2014, GCHQ reported one error to me which happened when an internal monitoring system of some staff communications was found to be capturing more information than it was authorised to. I followed up on this error during my May inspection and the team explained that because of a lack of understanding of the systems’ full capability more data than had been authorised had been collected.

It was clear to me that this was a technical error and not deliberate. Following the discovery of the error GCHQ deleted the captured data and reconfigured the system to ensure that it only collected the information that it was authorised to collect.”

Let’s hope the spooks don’t make any “technical errors” while they’ve hoovering up the public’s personal data…

Privacy International Launch Legal Bid Against GCHQ

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Civil Liberty group Privacy International have today filed a legal claim against GCHQ, demanding that the government spooks stop collecting data from those who are not suspected of committing a crime. The existence of “Bulk Personal Datasets” that contain “personal information about a wide range of people” was revealed in Intelligence and Security committee report released in March.

The complaint was filed to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the only judicial body with the power to investigate GCHQ. For the first time this year, the IPT ordered the Cheltenham spooks to destroy illegally obtained documents. Let’s hope they’ve started a precedent…

British Spooks Use Super Secret WiFi Connection In Bavaria

gchq-always-listening-to-our-customers

The security service are on tour at the G7 with the the PM and if seems they may not a made too much of an effort to hide their WiFi connection.

Or maybe ze German hosts are having a laugh…

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…

GAY-CHQ

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

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GCHQ Ordered to Destroy Ilegally Obtained Docs

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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