Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Hardware
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Rights Groups Say U.K. Conducts Mass Cyber-Snooping
Rights Groups Say U.K. Conducts Mass Cyber-Snooping

By Jill Lawless
June 18, 2014 9:33AM

    Bookmark and Share
GCHQ, Britain's electronic spy agency, says data on U.S.-based platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google is classed as "external" rather than "internal" communications because the companies are based outside Britain, so the agency can monitor the online communications services of Britons who use these services.
 



Britain's top counterterrorism official says the country's espionage rules allow its electronic spy agency to routinely intercept online communications between Britons who use U.S.-based platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.

A witness statement by Office for Security and Counterterrorism chief Charles Farr, made public Tuesday, said data sent on those services is classed as "external" rather than "internal" communications because the companies are based outside Britain.

Britain's Home Office confirmed the document was genuine. It was written in response to a legal action by civil liberties groups who are seeking to curb cyber-spying, and was published by the groups on Tuesday.

Britain's electronic intelligence agency, GCHQ, has broad powers to intercept communications outside the country, but needs a warrant and suspicion of wrongdoing to monitor Britons.

In the document, Farr said some internal communications are intercepted under the external rules, but they "cannot be read, looked at or listened to" except in strictly limited circumstances. He said that was a "significant distinction."

Civil liberties organizations say the rules are too vague and allow for mass surveillance.

"The security services consider that they're entitled to read, listen and analyze all our communications on Facebook, Google and other U.S.-based platforms," said James Welch, legal director of Liberty ? one of the groups involved in the legal action. "If there was any remaining doubt that our snooping laws need a radical overhaul there can be no longer."

Farr said that emails sent between two people in Britain would usually be classed as internal even if they traveled by route outside the country. But Facebook and Twitter posts or Google searches that went to data centers outside the British Isles would fall under the external category.

GCHQ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The rights groups launched their legal action after leaks about cyber-snooping from former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. He revealed details of a program called PRISM giving the NSA access to Internet companies' customer data, and a British operation, TEMPORA, that allows GCHQ to harvest data from undersea cables.

The extent and mechanics of the programs are not fully clear.

Farr would not confirm or deny the existence of TEMPORA or say whether GCHQ had received information from PRISM.
 


© 2014 Associated Press under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:





 Hardware
1.   Design Central to Microsoft Future
2.   Schools Buy Million Chromebooks in Q2
3.   IRS: Lerner's Hard Drive Destroyed
4.   US Orders a New Cray for Nuclear Arms
5.   IBM Earmarks $3B for Next-Gen Chips


advertisement
Design Central to Microsoft Future
New ethos a break from functional past.
Average Rating:
Most Networks Not Ready for IoT
But most enterprises are prepared.
Average Rating:
Gartner Sees Tablets Up, PCs Down
But PC sales are recovering.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Is the Amazon Fire Phone a Winner?
A late entry into a packed category of smartphones, Amazon's Fire phone offers a variety of unique features. Now, the reviewers are assessing if they're enough to make the phone stand out.
 
Review: Amazon Fire Offers New Ways To Use Phones
The Fire phone uses Android, but Amazon has modified it to the point that it's barely recognizable. That means the phone offers new ways to navigate, discover and, of course, shop.
 
Apple Patent for Smart Watch Comes to Light
Does a new smart watch patent issued to Apple provide a preview of the expected wearable from the tech giant? Some Apple-watchers are parsing the patent for signs of the coming product.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.