Snowden files: Manipulating polls, netting from LinkedIn and YouTube in GCHQ’s bag of tricks

Published on Russia Today RT, July 14, 2014.

The UK’s spy agency has developed a number of crafty tools to monitor and comb the web, planting false information when necessary, Glenn Greenwald said while disclosing a fresh batch of Snowden’s files.

The tools were created by the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) within the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), according to the leaked documents havoc can be caused … //

… The JTRIG document appears in an archive used by GCHQ to discuss its online surveillance activities.

The latest bombshell of revelations comes as the UK parliament debates a fast-track bill to provide the government with greater justification for its spy agencies’ sweeping surveillance powers, which Prime Minister David Cameron has said is necessary to “help keep us safe.”

GCHQ did not comment and issued its usual response, namely that it acts “in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework” and is subject to “vigorous oversight.”

But previous GCHQ memos leaked to the Guardian said that, “our main concern is that references to agency practices (i.e., the scale of interception and deletion) could lead to damaging public debate which might lead to legal challenges against the current regime.”

There is also the possibility that top ministers and officials in the UK government are not fully aware of what GCHQ is up to. Chris Huhne, a member of the National Security Council until 2012, said that minsters were in “utter ignorance” even about ‘Tempora,’ the spy agencies largest digital surveillance program.

Meanwhile the British watchdog Privacy International has filed legal action against GCHQ for using malware to spy on internet and mobile phone users.

(full text).

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