Tag Archives | GCHQ

Leaked Documents Reveal GCHQ Has Tools to Manipulate Online Information

Government_Communications_Headquarters_logo.svgDocuments have been leaked that show how the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) has tools that can manipulate online information.

via The Guardian:

The disclosure comes the day before the UK parliament is due to begin up to three days’ debate on emergency legislation governing British surveillance capabilities. With cross-party support the bill is expected to be voted through this week.

Among the programs revealed in the document are:

• GATEWAY: the “ability to artificially increase traffic to a website”.

• CLEAN SWEEP which “masquerade[s] Facebook wall posts for individuals or entire countries”.

• SCRAPHEAP CHALLENGE for “perfect spoofing of emails from BlackBerry targets”.

• UNDERPASS to “change outcome of online polls”.

• SPRING BISHOP to find “private photos of targets on Facebook”.

The document also details a range of programs designed to collect and store public postings from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, and to make automated postings on several of the social networks.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Mirage Men Revealed by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden?

deception_p24

[disinfo ed.'s note: This post is by Mark Pilkington, who wrote the book on which the film Mirage Men is based, streaming NOW at Yekra]

A Powerpoint presentation made available on journalist Glenn Greenwald’s web site, Firstlook.org, may just have revealed the Mirage Men – or at least one branch of their operations.

The presentation is called The Art of Deception, Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations and was given by GCHQ’s Human Science Operation Cell (HSOC), linked to the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), whose existence was uncovered by Greenwald via the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

[Initially I won't reproduce any of the presentation itself, but you can see the whole thing here]
 

While the textual content of the presentation is not online, we can infer from the slides that the powerpoint outlines applied techniques for deploying psychology, deception, illusion, dissimulation, magic, religion and belief in their intelligence and counter-intelligence operations.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

NSA pays £100m in secret funding for GCHQ

gchq-logoNSA has been funding the UK’s largest intelligence agency to the tune of $100 million over the past three years…

Nick Hopkins and Julian Borger report for the Guardian.

Via The Guardian:

The US government has paid at least £100m to the UK spy agency GCHQ over the last three years to secure access to and influence over Britain’s intelligence gathering programmes.

The top secret payments are set out in documents which make clear that the Americans expect a return on the investment, and that GCHQ has to work hard to meet their demands. “GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight,” a GCHQ strategy briefing said.

The funding underlines the closeness of the relationship between GCHQ and its US equivalent, the National Security Agency. But it will raise fears about the hold Washington has over the UK’s biggest and most important intelligence agency, and whether Britain’s dependency on the NSA has become too great.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

MI5 Feared GCHQ Went ‘Too Far’ Over Phone and Internet Monitoring

via The Guardian GCHQ

Amid leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, senior intelligence source reveals worries were voiced in 2008

Senior figures inside British intelligence have been alarmed by GCHQ‘s (Government Communications Headquarters) secret decision to tap into transatlantic cables in order to engage in the bulk interception of phone calls and internet traffic.

According to one source who has been directly involved in GCHQ operations, concerns were expressed when the project was being discussed internally in 2008: “We felt we were starting to overstep the mark with some of it. People from MI5 were complaining that they were going too far from a civil liberties perspective … We all had reservations about it, because we all thought: ‘If this was used against us, we wouldn’t stand a chance’.”

The Guardian revealed on Friday that GCHQ has placed more than 200 probes on transatlantic cables and is processing 600m “telephone events” a day as well as up to 39m gigabytes of internet traffic.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Britain’s MI6 Dead-In-Bag Spy Sex Scandal

What is it with British spies and weird sex scandals that lead to their downfall? Not that the case of Gareth Williams has yet proven to be such, but that’s the tabloid speculation. This account via the Telegraph:

The maths prodigy was living alone in Cheltenham at the time and had to call for help in the middle of the night to be set free.

His landlady and landlord, who lived below him heard his yells and were met with the “shocking” scene, Westminster Coroners’ Court heard.

It is the first time the incident has been revealed and emerged in a written statement from landlady Jennifer Elliot at the inquest in to Mr Williams, who was found dead in a sports bag in the bath at his London flat in 2010.

The death sparked widespread conspiracy theories including suggestions he had been involved in some kind of sex game that went tragically wrong.

Read the rest
Continue Reading