At diablog we have a sizable fraction from the “nothing to hide”, “our spies are protecting us”, “we are the good guys” department. It is unfortunate, but I am somewhat confident we will eventually get them to open their eyes to reality.
Thanks to what is by now called the Snowden Files we will make another small step towards that goal today. As Glenn Greenwald reveals at The Intercept, the GCHQ through JTRIG has developed software that goes beyond spying and surveillance. Quote:
Here’s a list of how JTRIG describes its capabilities:
• “Change outcome of online polls” (UNDERPASS)
• “Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign” (BADGER) and “mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign” (WARPARTH)
• “Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal.” (SILVERLORD)
• “Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.” (MINIATURE HERO)
• “Find private photographs of targets on Facebook” (SPRING BISHOP)
• “A tool that will permanently disable a target’s account on their computer” (ANGRY PIRATE)
• “Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website” (GATEWAY) and “ability to inflate page views on websites” (SLIPSTREAM)
• “Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube)” (GESTATOR)
• “Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers” (PREDATORS FACE) and “Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG” (ROLLING THUNDER)
• “A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (www.ebay.co.uk)” (ELATE)
• “Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity” (CHANGELING)
• “For connecting two target phone together in a call” (IMPERIAL BARGE)
All or almost all of those activities are illegal. People go to jail for DDoS. And none of those make us any safer. Just the opposite.
For example, if the GCHQ thinks it is OK to manipulate online polls, how do you think they feel about offline polls?
But the biggest eye opener are the last two points.