GCHQ is worse than US’, says whistleblower Edward Snowden as he claims British spies are collecting huge amounts of data from internet and phone calls – Daily Mail
- Operation Tempora sees agency storing web and telephone data for 30 days
- Access to innocent people’s phone calls, e-mails and even Facebook entries
- Collecting general public’s communication data as well as targeted suspects
- Sharing sensitive data with U.S. counterpart the National Security Agency
- NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden charged with espionage in the U.S.
- Says GCHQ ‘worse than the U.S’ in terms of ‘suspicionless surveillance’
- Cheltenham-based agency said it was ‘scrupulous’ in complying with law
British eavesdropping agency GCHQ has secretly accessed fibre-optic cables carrying huge amounts of internet and communications data, according to documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The agency is able to tap into and store data – including phone calls and e-mails between innocent people – from the cables for up to 30 days so it can be analysed under an operation codenamed Tempora, the Guardian reported.
The newspaper claimed Operation Tempora had been running for 18 months and GCHQ and the NSA are consequently able to access vast quantities of communications between entirely innocent people as well as targeted suspects.
It means the agency has the ability to sift through everything from an individual’s phone calls to their internet search history and even the content of their e-mails and Facebook entries.
The newspaper said there were two principal components to the agency’s surveillance programme, called Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation.
It claimed the data was shared with the organisation’s U.S. counterpart the National Security Agency (NSA).