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Published: Tuesday 27 August, 2013

longchamp black tote longchamp black tote GCHQ worse than US on data

British eavesdropping agency GCHQ has secretly accessed fibreoptic 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 from the cables for up to 30 days so it can be analysed under an operation codenamed Tempora, the Guardian reported. The Cheltenhambased agency would not comment on intelligence matters but insisted it was scrupulous in complying with the law.

The newspaper said there were two principal components to the agencys surveillance programme, called Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation. It claimed the data was shared with the organisations US counterpart the National Security Agency NSA.

The information is the latest leak from Mr Snowden, the NSA whistleblower responsible for a string of disclosures about US intelligence operations. The claim comes as the US government charged him with espionage and theft. Mr Snowden has admitted providing information to the news media about two highly classified NSA surveillance programmes. He is also charged with theft of government property. All three offences carry a maximum 10year prison penalty.

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 innocent people as well as targeted suspects, including phone calls, the content of email messages, Facebook entries and a users internet history.

Mr Snowden, who fled the US for Hong Kong after deciding to reveal the NSAs secrets, told the Guardian he wanted to expose the largest programme of suspicionless surveillance in human history. Its not just a US problem. The UK has a huge dog in this fight, he said. They GCHQ are worse than the US.

The Guardian reported that GCHQ lawyers told US counterparts there was a light oversight regime in Britain compared with America. A GCHQ spokeswoman said: We do not comment on intelligence matters. Our intelligence agencies continue to adhere to a rigorous legal compliance regime. GCHQ are scrupulous in their legal compliance.

The newspapers said the documents revealed that by last year GCHQ was handling 600 million telephone events each day, had tapped m longchamp black tote ore than 200 fibreoptic cables and was able to process data from at least 46 of them at a time.

Privacy campaign group Big Brother Watchs director Nick Pickes said: If GCHQ have been intercepting huge numbers of innocent peoples communications as part of a massive sweeping exercise, then I struggle to see how that squares with a process that requires a warrant for each individual intercept. This question must be urgently addressed in Parliament. The fact GCHQ staff have been discussing how light the UKs oversight regime is compared to the US highlights why we need a wholesale review of surveillance law, including the fact that there is absolutely no judicial process within the current system and the people making these decisions are able to hide in the shadows rather than longchamp black tote face longchamp black tote public scrutiny. longchamp black tote

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