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Agency Denies U.K. Cyberspy Plans

Agency Denies U.K. Cyberspy Plans

According to a report in the Sunday Times, UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is in the midst of a "Mastering the Internet (MTI)" program that would cost £1 billion, and involve thousands of black boxes secretly placed in the communications infrastructure to track all Internet use and online phone calls.

That goes against a recent announcement by the Home Secretary saying there would be no national database of Internet usage, and that ISPs would have to act as monitors.

It certainly prompted GCHQ into a response. Yesterday it admitted that it was developing tracking technology, but asserted that it "only acts when it is necessary" and "does not spy at will."

"We must reinvest continuously to keep up with the methods that are used by those who threaten the UK and its interests."

"GCHQ is not developing technology to enable the monitoring of all internet use and phone calls in Britain, or to target everyone in the UK."

"Similarly, GCHQ has no ambitions, expectations or plans for a database or databases to store centrally all communications data in Britain.”

"The new technology that GCHQ is developing is designed to work under the existing legal framework."

Those words probably won’t satisfy the doubters – but that’s another story.

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