You thought the NSA were bad right? – Tapping into the internet data of Americans in the name of fighting terrorism and national security. The NSA’s British equivalents, the GCHQ, are apparently much worse according to a report by the Guardian. The GCHQ, or Government Communication Head Quarters of the United Kingdom is able to redirect and process all the data that comes through internet fibre optic cables and this allows it to monitor most internet traffic around the world.
The GCHQ taps into 200 fibre optic cables in and around the UK and these cables link Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India to the internet, meaning the GCHQ can monitor most of the world. The GCHQ has the capability of monitoring up to 46 of the 200 cables at any one time in near real time speeds – considering each cable has a throughput of about 10 gigabits a second this is very impressive, but worrying at the same time.
And if that all wasn’t bad enough the GCHQ is reportedly expanding surveillance operations at an alarming rate and any ISPs and Telecommunications companies that do not come on-board voluntarily are forced to do so by court orders and gagged about releasing public information by court orders too. What’s more the GCHQ shares almost all of its data between the Five Eyes intelligence alliance (USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and everything with the NSA who actually helps the GCHQ organise their mass amounts of data.
Image courtesy of the Guardian