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UK’s spy agency has access to global communications, shares info with NSA

Al Ahed news

In a new leak to the Guardian, Edward Snowden revealed that the British spy agency GCHQ has access to the global network of communications, storing calls, Facebook posts and internet histories – and shares this data with the US so-called National Security Agency.

GCHQ’s network of cables is able to process massive quantities of information from both specific targets and completely innocent people, including recording phone calls and reading email messages, it was revealed on Friday.

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

According to the report, the British Government Communications Headquarters agency has two different programs, aimed at carrying out this online and telephone monitoring – categorized under ‘Mastering the Internet’ and ‘Global Telecoms Exploitation.’

Both have been conducted in the absence of any public knowledge,.

“If you remember, even the NSA said that they did not record phone calls, but according to these latest revelations by Edward Snowden, that up to ‘600 million’ telephone events last year were recorded a day by the GCHQ,” said RT’s Tesa Arcilla from London.

“There’s no doubt as to what the objectives of these programs were, having put them in place,” she said, emphasizing the titles.

The agency is able to store the volumes of data it amasses from fiber-optic cables for up to 30 days in an operation codenamed Tempora. The practice has been going on for around 18 months.

GCHQ which was handling 600m telephone ‘events’ a day, according to the documents, had tapped into over 200 fiber-optic cables and had the capacity to analyze data from over 46 of them at a time.

The Guardian further reported that 850,000 NSA and outside contractors had potential access to the databases. However, the paper does not explain how it came to such an enormous figure.

GCHQ feared that exposure of the names of the companies involved could lead to “high-level political fallout,” and took measures to ensure names were kept secret. Warrants had reportedly been issued to compel the companies to cooperate so that GCHQ could engage in spying through them.
“They have no choice,” said a Guardian intelligence source.

Snowden previously warned that he would be releasing further information pertaining to mass security operations carried out on the unwary public, stating in a previous Q & A with the Guardian that the “truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.”

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