AuthorTopic: GCHQ guilty of ‘persistent’ hacking, tribunal hears  (Read 597 times)

Offline Palloy

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GCHQ guilty of ‘persistent’ hacking, tribunal hears
« on: December 01, 2015, 04:20:14 PM »
The fact that all these spying systems were in place BEFORE the advent of ISIS, and didn't manage to stop that, is all the proof you need to say the system is ineffective against terrorists, while being very effective against the general citizenry.  No self-respecting terrorist is going to do business over Facebook, so cataloguing all the chatter there cannot be for those purposes.

And I have serious doubts that "independent courts" overseeing GCHQ activities, as suggested by Privacy International, is the answer.  As we have seen, either the courts just approve everything because they trust the spies to know what they are doing, or they aren't told about the naughty bits.
‘Nosey Smurf’: GCHQ guilty of ‘persistent’ hacking, tribunal hears
1 Dec, 2015

Britain’s electronic spy agency GCHQ is “persistent” in its hacking of phones and computers across the globe, a security tribunal has heard.

GCHQ activities include using microphones and cameras built into devices to spy on people, locate their position and access documents and pictures, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal was told by lawyers representing civil liberties group Privacy International.

The proceedings, which are being held in central London, have seen GCHQ admit for the first time to using a process known as Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) – a technical term for hacking – both domestically and abroad.

“The [legal] regime governing CNE … remains disproportionate,” Privacy International counsel Ben Jaffey said.

“Given the high potential level of intrusiveness, including over large numbers of innocent persons, there are inadequate safeguards and limitations.”

The case was brought in light of revelations by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who exposed the extent of GCHQ surveillance.

The tribunal was told about a number of programs used to access and manipulate targets’ phones and computers.

These included “a program called Nosey Smurf which involved implanting malware to activate the microphone on smartphones, [and] Dreamy Smurf, which had the capability to switch on smartphones.”

Other programs were “Tracker Smurf, which had the capability to provide the location of a target’s smartphone with high precision, and Paranoid Smurf, which ensured all malware remained hidden,” the tribunal heard.

The intelligence agency cited the heightened threat of terrorism to justify its actions.

“Over the last year the threat to the UK from international terrorism has continued to increase,” James Eadie, representing GCHQ, claimed in his written arguments to the tribunal.

“GCHQ and other intelligence agencies must develop innovative and agile technical capabilities to meet these serious national security challenges.”

“Computer Network Exploitation is one such capability,” he added.

The tribunal continues.
The State is a body of armed men


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