British government accused of spying on millions of social media accounts

JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE

(FILE) A file photo dated 01 July 2013 showing a person holding cables inside a server room in Hanover, Germany. Media revelations that US and British intelligence services have cracked the encryption that protects online banking caused consternation 06 September 2013 in Europe, even though Germany's government dismissed the fears as 'groundless.' The New York Times and The Guardian had reported, based on data from US whistle-blower Edward Snowden, that a secret programme code-named Bullrun had breached a technology which is used to keep online banking, web purchases and email confidential. The new claims are much more serious than Snowden's original revelation that the NSA logs who phones and emails whom and upset many Germans, who believe bank accounts and private communications should be sacrosanct unless unlocked with a court order.

British government accused of spying on millions of social media accounts


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A leak of government documents suggests that the British spy agency GCHQ is monitoring, collecting, and processing data from millions of British citizens.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Non-Governmental Organization Privacy International suggests that GCHQ has gained access to the databases of private social media agencies (Bulk Personal Datasets and Bulk Communications Data)..

Moreover, it appears that GCHQ was acting without the knowledge of its supervising authority (the Investigatory Powers Commissioner).

It remains unclear what aspects of private communication was the spy agency monitoring, collecting, and processing. However, these seem to include categories such as “biographical details”, “commercial and financial activities,” “communications,” “travel data,” and “legally privileged communications.”

What’s more worrying, there is evidence to suggest some of this data was shared with third parties, including foreign governments.

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