GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world’s communications

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the GCHQ intelligence centre in Cheltenham, UK and fibre optic cable. Photograph: Guardian

Britain’s spy agency GCHQ has secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world’s phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA). The sheer scale of the agency’s ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. This is all being carried out without any form of public acknowledgement or debate.

The PRISM revelations are quite disturbing, and this is no exception.

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