A new report exposes a broad plan by a British spy agency to record data on internet users.
After Edward Snowden released documents showing widespread spying on American citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency, millions of Americans grew concerned about the spy agency’s overreach. But now a new report shows that we may not be paying enough attention to spying by Britain’s spy agency.
A program conducted b the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) called “Karma Police” was designed to track “every visible user on the internet,” according to a story in the San Jose Mercury News. The British program was launched in 2007 and may collect massive amounts of information on British, American or other citizens, including everything from metadata about private phone calls, emails, Internet radio listening habits, visits to porn sites, chat rooms, search sites and more.
As Britain has even fewer rules to bind its spy agencies than the U.S. does, the GCHQ program, which appears to be ongoing, requires no court orders or judicial oversight. The GCHQ program uses IP addresses, cookies and other online tracking methods to determine and track people’s online habits.
Karma Police is just one of many surveillance programs being used by British spies. Another called Marbled Gecko focuses on Google searches and a third looks at users of online bulletin boards and forums.