When President Barack Obama said ‘no one is listening to your phone calls,’ he was either misinformed or was being disingenuous. The British are at least gathering up the voice signals of your phone calls, and sharing 200 million of them a day with the US National Security Agency via a joint database.
According to The Guardian newspaper, the British electronic surveillance agency GCHQ has attached sniffers or packet analyzers to the fiber optic cables that stretch across the Atlantic and emerge from the sea in Britain before going on to Europe and West Asia.The GCHQ charge is “Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible.”
The material includes the actual telephone calls, email exchanges, Facebook updates, etc.
It is not only British intelligence that has access to this material. It can be accessed by 850,000 US intelligence workers and private contractors. About 250 NSA analysts have been specifically assigned to sift through it. They theoretically are forbidden to look at material generated inside the United States that is not sent abroad, but the GCHQ trusts their ‘discretion’ in this regard. The British analysts reportedly have much less stringent conditions attached to what information they can access at will.
First they said that telephone calls and private emails of ordinary people were not even being sifted through or collected. But then it comes out that GCHQ is doing exactly that, and giving our NSA access.