Sep 21

FYI.


Theresa May Wants Intelligence Agencies To Spy On Migrant Smuggling Routes:

British Prime Minister Theresa May has asked spy chiefs to help tackle illegal immigration into the UK as Europe’s migrant crisis rumbles on for a second year.

Mrs May has asked the heads of intelligence agencies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to spy on people smuggling gangs in order to find evidence that could secure convictions.

Speaking in New York, the Prime Minister said the world was experiencing unprecedented levels of migration and called for people smuggling and modern slavery to be raised to the same level of concern as terrorism and serious organised crime. Continue reading »

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Aug 21

GCHQ

UK surveillance powers have gone ‘further than any other Western democracy’ – MP:

Britain has gone “further than any other Western democracy” in its expansion of surveillance powers and its ability to collect bulk data without justifiable reason, a British MP has said.

Joanna Cherry, a Scottish National Party (SNP) MP, made the comments in reference to the Investigatory Powers (IP) Bill, which has been introduced to extend surveillance and data-gathering laws. It will allow UK intelligence agencies to collect, store and access information about internet users. Continue reading »

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Jun 12

US whistleblower Snowden reveals GCHQ spy programme with secret link to Scottish police

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Jun 03

nsa-321

Snowden leak: GCHQ & America’s NSA regularly intercept British MPs emails:

American spies and the UK’s listening post GCHQ regularly intercept the emails of British MPs and peers, including privileged correspondence between parliamentarians and their constituents.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) reportedly has access to intercepted emails sent and received by all MPs and peers through Parliament’s Microsoft computer system, Office 365.

Intelligence agency GCHQ on the other hand, allegedly accesses the data when it leaves UK’s borders on its way to Microsoft’s data centers in Dublin and the Netherlands.

The revelations have been made public through an investigation by Computer Weekly, based on leaked documents by the now-exiled former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Continue reading »

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Feb 17

GCHQ intel used to develop Stuxnet, claims new documentary:

The super worm known as Stuxnet was but a cog in an active US war program in which hundreds of thousands of network implants and backdoors in Iran networks were actively maintained to facilitate a devastating barrage of hacking attacks, a documentary claims.

Zero Days, due to screen at the Berlin Film Festival today, claims that Stuxnet was just one part of an operation called “Olympic Games” that is itself part of a wider effort dubbed “Nitro Zeus” that involves hundreds of US defence personnel. Continue reading »

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Dec 25

NSA helped GCHQ spies hack Juniper firewalls – Snowden leak:

British spies enlisted the help of the US National Security Agency (NSA) to learn how to hack firewalls made by top internet security provider Juniper, according to leaked documents.

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which is the UK’s foremost electronic intelligence and surveillance agency, looked to its counterpart across the Atlantic to access the firm’s firewalls.

The revelations come as the Intercept website released a six-page document dating back to 2011 titled “Assessment of Intelligence Opportunity – Juniper.Continue reading »

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Dec 03

GCHQ at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

New Documents Show UK Intelligence Agencies Hacking Computers With Little To No Oversight:

Privacy International, which has been engaged in legal challenges over GCHQ spying for the past few years, has obtained an oversight document as a result of its litigation. What they show is the agency’s broad hacking powers and the reluctance of its oversight to condone these actions.

The Commissioner of the Intelligence Services was slow to respond to hacking. Many of the concerns the Commissioner raised in his 2014 report [published July 2015] are the subject of PI’s legal complaint, including whether it is lawful to use broad “thematic warrants” to justify the hacking of people in the UK. The Commissioner questioned this practice in depth. He was concerned that current law “does not expressly allow for a class of authorisation”, and therefore the warrants were too broad. As a result, the Commissioner was worried that the Secretary of State was unable to properly assess whether the warrant authorised activity was necessary and proportionate. [ibid, p18] This means that GCHQ could get a warrant in the UK to hack the computer of everyone in Birmingham with little meaningful oversight. Continue reading »

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Nov 16

MI6 Building at Vauxhall Cross

Britain to hire 2,000 new spies at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ in wake of the Paris terror attacks:

An additional 2,000 spies will be hired at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to fight those “who would destroy us and our values” in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, David Cameron has said.

The number of spies will rise by 15 per cent in what is expected to be the biggest expansion of the security services since the 7/7 terror attacks in London in July 2005.

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Nov 12

Joseph Cannataci, United Nations special rapporteur on prviacy

UN privacy chief: UK surveillance bill is ‘worse than scary’:

The UK government’s proposed surveillance legislation is “worse than scary”, the United Nations privacy chief has said.

Joseph Cannataci, the UN’s special rapporteur on privacy, attacked the government’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill, saying he had never seen evidence that mass surveillance works. He also accused MPs of leading an “absolute offensive” and an “orchestrated” media campaign to distort the debate and take hold of new powers.

The comments came during a live streamed keynote presentation at the Internet Governance Forum in Brazil, where leading experts from around the world have gathered to discuss the future of the internet and web policy. Continue reading »

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Jun 26

drone cartoon

New Snowden docs show how US cooperates with allies in drone killings (RT, June 26, 2015):

New Edward Snowden leaks shed light on the details of US drone strikes in places like Yemen and Pakistan and the tracking technologies that helped them. They focus on a strike targeting an Al-Qaeda surgeon that resulted in civilian casualties.

The documents reviewed by the New York Times and the Guardian deal with the March 30, 2012 attack aimed at killing Dr. Khadim Usamah. The GCHQ newsletter, Comet News, described Usamah as a member of the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and “the doctor who the doctor who pioneered using surgically planted explosives.” Continue reading »

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May 17

GCHQ at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

UK Government Quietly Rewrites Hacking Laws to Give GCHQ Immunity (Ars Technica, May 17, 2015):

The UK government has quietly passed new legislation that exempts GCHQ, police, and other intelligence officers from prosecution for hacking into computers and mobile phones.

While major or controversial legislative changes usually go through normal parliamentary process (i.e. democratic debate) before being passed into law, in this case an amendment to the Computer Misuse Act was snuck in under the radar as secondary legislation. According to Privacy International, “It appears no regulators, commissioners responsible for overseeing the intelligence agencies, the Information Commissioner’s Office, industry, NGOs or the public were notified or consulted about the proposed legislative changes… There was no public debate.” Continue reading »

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Feb 23

obama-big-brother

Worst Spying In World History – Worse Than Any Dystopian Novel – Is Occurring RIGHT NOW (Washington’s Blog, Feb 21, 2015):

NSA Spying Worse than Stasi or Nazi Germany, J. Edgar Hoover … Or Orwell’s 1984

We noted in 2012 that Americans are the most spied upon people in world history.

Top NSA officials previously said that we’ve got a “police state” … like J. Edgar Hoover – or the Stasi – on “super steroids”.

Spying by the NSA is also worse than in Nazi Germany: Continue reading »

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Jan 22

gchq-1

‘Dangerous as terrorists’: Snowden leaks reveal GCHQ stores journalists’ data (RT, Jan 19, 2015):

British security agency GCHQ has stored thousands of emails from journalists working for the world’s biggest news organizations, according to a new batch of Edward Snowden leaks.

Emails from the BBC, Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post and others were saved by GCHQ, allegedly as part of a ‘test exercise’ conducted by the agency.

Journalists’ communications were among 70,000 emails harvested during one day in November 2008. They were obtained by one of GCHQs taps into fiber-optic cables used to transfer information on the internet.


the war on terror is a fraud

Press Rebellion in the UK – British Media Launches Protest Against Spying, as GCHQ Places Investigative Journalism in Same Category as Terrorism (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Jan 19, 2015):

Emails from the BBC, Reuters, the Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde, the Sun, NBC and the Washington Post were saved by GCHQ and shared on the agency’s intranet as part of a test exercise by the signals intelligence agency.The journalists’ communications were among 70,000 emails harvested in the space of less than 10 minutes on one day in November 2008 by one of GCHQ’s numerous taps on the fibre-optic cables that make up the backbone of the internet.

New evidence from other UK intelligence documents revealed by Snowden also shows that a GCHQ information security assessment listed “investigative journalists” as a threat in a hierarchy alongside terrorists or hackers.

– From the Guardian article: GCHQ Captured Emails of Journalists from Top International Media

Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, is the United Kingdom’s equivalent to the NSA. As you might expect, it is no less immoral or shady than its domestic counterpart. While most of the surveillance related posts here at Liberty Blitzkrieg have focused on the NSA, GCHQ has been front and center from time to time. For example, see the following from 2014: Continue reading »

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Dec 05

RAF Menwith Hill base near Harrogate

GCHQ spying ‘doesn’t breach human rights’ – UK tribunal (RT, Dec 5, 2014):

Surveillance conducted by British intelligence agency GCHQ does not contravene human rights, a tribunal has heard, despite warnings from civil and internet liberties activists.

The decision was made by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), after the case was brought to British courts by a collection of civil liberties groups including Privacy International, Amnesty International and Liberty earlier this year.

According to the IPT, it could only find one area of surveillance procedures that they were concerned about, regarding whether they would breach internet users’ right to privacy. Continue reading »

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Oct 24

UK hackers face life imprisonment, threat to whistleblowers – activists (RT, Oct 23, 2014):

Internet users who ‘threaten’ national security, by causing economic or environmental damage, could face a life sentence under new government plans to crack down on internet crime. Campaigners say the move will target whistleblowers.

The government proposal claims the laws are needed to deal with “catastrophic” cyber-attacks that “result in loss of life, serious illness and injury, or serious damage to national security, or a significant risk thereof.”

Proposals would update the existing Computer Misuse Act 1990, and would give judges the power to hand down harsher penalties on hackers. The laws would also incorporate internet users spying on the activities of UK businesses. Continue reading »

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Sep 01

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A demonstrator holds a placard depicting German chancellor’s Angela Merkel and US President Barck Obama reading “That does not work” (Das geht gar nicht) during a demonstration against governmental surveillance on August 30, 2014 in Berlin. (AFP/DPA)

It could also be translated as … “This is totally unacceptable”

Thousands of Germans rally to end government spying (RT, Aug 31, 2014):

The rally in Berlin against federal surveillance gathered thousands of people under the motto ‘Freedom not fear,’ who were calling for stricter control of German intelligence agencies.The organizers said about 6,500 demonstrators, a broad coalition of pro-transparency, anti-surveillance and civil rights groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Reporters Without Borders, Digital Courage, and Amnesty International joined the rally as they marched from the Brandenburg Gate to the Federal Chancellery. Continue reading »

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Aug 19

GCHQ headquarters

Masters of the Internet: GCHQ scanned entire countries for vulnerabilities (RT, Aug 18, 2014):

GCHQ is scanning servers in multiple foreign countries for vulnerable ports, according to German newspaper Heise. Using a tool called Hacienda, the intelligence agency seeks to ‘master the internet’ for sources of espionage.

Spanish for estate, Hacienda can port scan all of the servers in a country to provide information on user endpoints and scan for potential vulnerabilities. The ability to port scan is not new, but the scale of its use by government spies, with 27 countries scanned by 2009, has shocked many familiar with the software.

“In 2009, the British spy agency GCHQ made port scans a ‘standard tool’ to be applied against entire nations,” Heise reports. “Twenty-seven countries are listed as targets of the Hacienda [program].” Continue reading »

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Jul 19

How British Spies “Seed the Internet With False Info, Control YouTube Pageviews and Manipulate Online Polls” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 16, 2014):

Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have proof about an incredible set of tools used by the British equivalent of the NSA, known as the GCHQ, or Government Communications Headquarters. These tools will essentially confirm every single conspiracy theory you could have ever imagined when it comes to propaganda on the Internet. It allows British intelligence officers to: “manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, ‘amplify’ sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be ‘extremist.’”

Being the creative folks that they are, GCHQ even came up with code words to describe each “product.” These include, UNDERPASS (for poll manipulation), SILVERLORD (for censorship), GESTATOR (for the manipulation of YouTube views), PREDATORS FACE (for DDOS attacks), the list goes on…

Glenn Greenwald writes at The Intercept that: Continue reading »

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Jul 15

gchq-spying-internet-tools

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

Previous files have already detailed JTRIG’s use of “fake victim blog posts” and “false flag operations,” as well as “honey traps” and various forms of psychological manipulation of online activists.

But the newly released GCHQ document, titled ‘JTRIG Tools and Techniques,’ gives a more comprehensive view of the scale of the operations, including how invasive they can be and how much online havoc can be caused. Continue reading »

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Jun 21

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May 28

Greenwald

Greenwald’s Finale: Naming Victims of Surveillance (Real Clear Politics, May 26, 2014):

The man who helped bring about the most significant leak in American intelligence history is to reveal names of US citizens targeted by their own government in what he promises will be the “biggest” revelation from nearly 2m classified files.

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who received the trove of documents from Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, told The Sunday Times that Snowden’s legacy would be “shaped in large part” by this “finishing piece” still to come.

His plan to publish names will further unnerve an American intelligence establishment already reeling from 11 months of revelations about US government surveillance activities. Continue reading »

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Mar 30

Hinweise auf US-Überwachung von Merkels Handy
Merkel was an NSA target. But so too were private companies in Germany.

‘A’ for Angela Merkel: GCHQ and NSA Targeted Private German Companies (Der Spiegel, March 29, 2014):

Documents show that Britain’s GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America’s NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation?

The headquarters of Stellar, a company based in the town of Hürth near Cologne, are visible from a distance. Seventy-five white antennas dominate the landscape. The biggest are 16 meters (52 feet) tall and kept in place by steel anchors. It is an impressive sight and serves as a popular backdrop for scenes in TV shows, including the German action series “Cobra 11.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 13

The Most Evil And Disturbing NSA Spy Practices To-Date Have Just Been Revealed (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 12, 2014):

In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.

The man-in-the-middle tactic can be used, for instance, to covertly change the content of a message as it is being sent between two people, without either knowing that any change has been made by a third party.

– From Glenn Greenwald’s latest article: How the NSA Plans to Infect Millions of Computers with Malware

The latest piece from Greenwald and company on the unconstitutional spy practices of the NSA may represent the most dangerous and disturbing revelations yet. It’s hard for shadiness at the NSA to surprise me these days, but there was only one word that kept repeating over and over in my head as I read this: EVIL.

As a quick aside, Greenwald points out in the quote above how spam emails are used by the NSA to bait you into clicking dangerous links. This is a timely revelation considering I received one such email yesterday from a friend of mine. The email was sent to a wide list of let’s say “liberty-minded people” and webmasters associated with very popular sites. The link seemed shady so I texted him to ask if he had sent it. He hadn’t.

Continue reading »

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Feb 28


YouTube Added: Feb 27, 2014

Air Date: Feb. 26th, 2014

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Feb 28

GCHQ spied on millions of Yahoo video chats, harvested sexual images of chatters, compared itself to “Tom Cruise in Minority Report” (Boing Boing, Feb 27, 2104):

NSA ragout 3

NSA ragout 1

A stunning new Snowden leak reveals that the UK spy agency GCHQ harvested images and text from millions of Yahoo video chats, including chats in which one or both of the participants was British or American. Between 3 and 11 percent of the chats they intercepted were sexual in nature, and revealing images of thousands of people were captured and displayed to spies. The programme, called OPTIC NERVE, focused on people whose usernames were similar to those of suspects, and ran from at least 2008 until at least 2010. The leak reveals that GCHQ intended to expand the programme to Xbox 360 Kinect cameras and “fairly normal webcam traffic.” The programme was part of a facial recognition research effort that GCHQ compared to “Tom Cruise in Minority Report.” While the documents do not detail efforts as widescale as those against Yahoo users, one presentation discusses with interest the potential and capabilities of the Xbox 360’s Kinect camera, saying it generated “fairly normal webcam traffic” and was being evaluated as part of a wider program. Beyond webcams and consoles, GCHQ and the NSA looked at building more detailed and accurate facial recognition tools, such as iris recognition cameras – “think Tom Cruise in Minority Report”, one presentation noted.

NSA ragout 4

Sexually explicit webcam material proved to be a particular problem for GCHQ, as one document delicately put it: “Unfortunately … it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person. Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography.”

The document estimates that between 3% and 11% of the Yahoo webcam imagery harvested by GCHQ contains “undesirable nudity”. Discussing efforts to make the interface “safer to use”, it noted that current “naïve” pornography detectors assessed the amount of flesh in any given shot, and so attracted lots of false positives by incorrectly tagging shots of people’s faces as pornography.

UK spy agency intercepted webcam images of millions of Yahoo users [Spencer Ackerman and James Ball/The Guardian]

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Feb 28

Critics react angrily to revelation that GCHQ intercepted and stored millions of images of people not suspected of wrongdoing

GCHQ
GCHQ’s Optic Nerve surveillance program: ‘Orwell’s 1984 was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual’, one critic said. Photograph: EPA

GCHQ’s interception and storage of Yahoo webcam images condemned (Guardian, Feb 27, 2014):

Politicians and human rights groups have reacted angrily to revelations that Britain’s spy agency intercepted and stored webcam images of millions of people not suspected of any wrongdoing with the aid of its US counterpart.

GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 reveal that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not.

Continue reading »

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Feb 25

The art of deception- GCHQ

The Conspiracy Theory Is True: Agents Infiltrate Websites Intending To “Manipulate, Deceive, And Destroy Reputations” (ZeroHedge, Feb 24, 2014):

In the annals of internet conspiracy theories, none is more pervasive than the one speculating paid government plants infiltrate websites, social network sites, and comment sections with an intent to sow discord, troll, and generally manipulate, deceive and destroy reputations. Guess what: it was all true.

message delivery

And this time we have a pretty slideshow of formerly confidential data prepared by the UK NSA equivalent, the GCHQ, to confirm it, and Edward Snowden to thank for disclosing it. The messenger in this case is Glenn Greenwald, who has released the data in an article in his new website, firstlook.org, which he summarizes as follows: “by publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.” Call it Stasi for “Generation Internet.”

Greenwald’s latest revelation focuses on GCHQ’s previously secret unit, the JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). Continue reading »

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Feb 06

Spy Agency Engaged In Internet “False Flag” Attacks (Washington’s Blog, Feb 6, 2014):

Spy Agency “Masqueraded As An Enemy In A ‘False Flag’ Operation”

We’ve warned since 2009 (and see this) that the government could be launching cyber “false flag attacks” in order to justify a crackdown on the Internet and discredit web activists.

A new report from NBC News – based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden – appear to confirm our fears, documenting that Britain’s GCHQ spy agency has carried out cyber false flag attacks:

Continue reading »

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Feb 05

Chaos Computer Club files criminal complaint against the German Government (Chaos Computer Club, Feb 3, 2014):

On Monday, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) and the International League for Human Rights (ILMR), have filed a criminal complaint with the Federal Prosecutor General’s office. The complaint is directed against the German federal government, the presidents of the German secret services, namely Bundesnachrichtendienst, Militärischer Abschirmdienst, Bundesamt für Verfassungschutz, and others. We accuse US, British and German secret agents, their supervisors, the German Minister of the Interior as well as the German Chancelor of illegal and prohibited covert intelligence activities, of aiding and abetting of those activities, of violation of the right to privacy and obstruction of justice in office by bearing and cooperating with the electronic surveillance of German citizens by NSA and GCHQ.

After months of press releases about mass surveillance by secret services and offensive attacks on information technology systems, we now have certainty that German and other countries’ secret services have violated the German criminal law. With this criminal complaint, we hope to finally initiate investigations by the Federal Prosecutor General against the German government. The CCC has learned with certainty that the leaders of the secret services and the federal government have aided and abetted the commission of these crimes.

Continue reading »

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Feb 01



Footage released of Guardian editors destroying Snowden hard drives (Guardian, Jan 31, 2014):

GCHQ technicians watched as journalists took angle grinders and drills to computers after weeks of tense negotiations

New video footage has been released for the first time of the moment Guardian editors destroyed computers used to store top-secret documents leaked by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Under the watchful gaze of two technicians from the British government spy agency GCHQ, the journalists took angle-grinders and drills to the internal components, rendering them useless and the information on them obliterated.

Continue reading »

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