Fact Box: Operation TEMPORA – run by British spy agency GCHQ
UK’s spy agency ‘GCHQ’ has bigger electronic spying system than US’ NSA
As per the latest revelations made by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about the electronic surveillance programme, Britain’s spy agency GCHQ (the Government Communications Headquarters) — has clandestinely gained access to the network of cables which carry the world’s phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA).
As per the revelations:
- The GCHQ’s surveillance programmes are aimed at tapping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. There is no public acknowledgement or debate over this programme.
- GCHQ’s has been running an operation codename “TEMPORA” for electronic surveillance which has a key ability to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days so that it can be sifted and analysed.
- Britain’s has been described as the intelligence superpower for having the biggest internet access than any member of theFive Eyes electronic eavesdropping alliance, comprising the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
- A total of 850,000 NSA employees and U.S. private contractors with top secret clearance had access to GCHQ databases.