NRT: GCHQ’s bag of dirty tricks

Written By: - Date published: 11:48 am, July 16th, 2014 - 11 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, democratic participation, internet, Politics, Spying, uk politics - Tags: , , ,

no-right-turn-256Reposted from No Right Turn.

The latest NSALeak: a look inside GCHQ’s bag of dirty tricks:

The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has developed sophisticated tools to manipulate online polls, spam targets with SMS messages, track people by impersonating spammers and monitor social media postings, according to newly-published documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The documents – which were published on First Look Media with accompanying analysis from Glenn Greenwald – disclose a range of GCHQ “effects” programs aimed at tracking targets, spreading information, and manipulating online debates and statistics.

[…]

Among the programs revealed in the document are:

  • GATEWAY: the “ability to artificially increase traffic to a website”.
  • CLEAN SWEEP which “masquerade[s] Facebook wall posts for individuals or entire countries”.
  • SCRAPHEAP CHALLENGE for “perfect spoofing of emails from BlackBerry targets”.
  • UNDERPASS to “change outcome of online polls”.
  • SPRING BISHOP to find “private photos of targets on Facebook”.

The document also details a range of programs designed to collect and store public postings from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, and to make automated postings on several of the social networks.

This isn’t just intelligence gathering – these are tools to allow GCHQ to manipulate society for the benefit of themselves and their political masters. Which raises the obvious question: are they already doing it?

With so much now done online, the idea that government spies are secretly intervening to shape our conversations and manipulate public opinion should be deeply troubling. These tools – or ones similar to them – could allow GCHQ to choose governments, topple uncooperative Ministers, and attack human rights groups who object to all this. This makes GCHQ a standing threat to the UK’s democracy – and one which needs to be eliminated.

11 comments on “NRT: GCHQ’s bag of dirty tricks”

  1. karol 1

    With so much now done online, the idea that government spies are secretly intervening to shape our conversations and manipulate public opinion should be deeply troubling.

    Yes. And one of my concerns about the use of The Worm Reactor by Scoop and Roy Morgan this election.

  2. Tracey 2

    I am sure if it is true, it wont be happening here.

  3. Jenny 3

    This isn’t just intelligence gathering – these are tools to allow GCHQ to manipulate society for the benefit of themselves and their political masters.

    This begs the question: who are their political masters? Is it parliament, is it vested interest, is it the civil service, is it the public, is it a foreign power?

    The clues will be who they spy on and who they share this information with.

    We know that even MPs are spied on, and all but the Prime MInister are not briefed by them and we know that not even the Prime Minister gets to have full spectrum access. So it is not parliament.

    We know that the public are the target for mass surveilance, and are spied on in mass and at will and hardly ever, is anything discovered ever shared with them. So it is not the public.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      This begs the question: who are their political masters? Is it parliament, is it vested interest, is it the civil service, is it the public, is it a foreign power?

      It’s an elite melding of political, corporate and banking power, I suspect.

      • minarch 3.1.1

        it wos the Rothschilds that dun it…………..

      • Chooky 3.1.2

        this power oligarchy who spies and seeks to feather their own nests at the expence of everyone else and nation’s democracies …..should be the focus of all grassroots democracies

  4. Sablea 4

    Yes this can all be found on RT News. Worse still our legal system and political affiliations are linked to the UK’s. Not hard to see why our rights are being trodden under foot by the same brand of shysters…

  5. Jrobin 5

    Yes I watch RT too. Max Keiser my personal favourite, mad as a snake but a witty insider gone rogue. Tracey are you serious? If so why not. NZ is the pet example of the Neo liberal dinosaurs. Our rock star old fashioned Neo con economy is their proof they were right all along despite GFC.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Abby Martin is outstanding as well; Max and Stacey are definitely good fun.

  6. greywarbler 6

    And Aaron Swartz was a black criminal on a par with someone complicit in 19 murders.
    For making information in large amounts available so possibly denying the host library a photocopying charge of 8cents a page. RIP AARON.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      a tragic case and indicative of what the powers that be are willing to do to ruin lives.

Leave a Comment

Show Tags

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Nats’ housing policy fails to keep pace with population growth
    Auckland got less than half the new houses it needed in the past year to keep up with record population growth, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    23 hours ago
  • Urgent action needed on dirty rivers
    The Our Fresh Water Environment 2017 report re-confirms that we need urgent action to clean up our rivers. Meanwhile, National is standing by as our rivers get even more polluted, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker. “This report is yet ...
    2 days ago
  • Where there’s smoke and mirrors, there’s Steven Joyce
    Steven Joyce’s much vaunted pre-Budget speech is simply an underwhelming response to the infrastructure deficit National has created, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Steven Joyce has belatedly come to the realisation that everyone else has a long time ago, ...
    2 days ago
  • Time to stamp out cold, mouldy rentals
    New figures show a small number of landlords are letting down the sector by renting cold, mouldy rentals. These houses need to be brought up to a decent standard for people to live in by Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Bill, ...
    3 days ago
  • Time for fresh approach on immigration
    Latest figures showing another record year for immigration underlines the need for an urgent rethink on how this country can continue to absorb so many people, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “New Zealand needs immigrants and is all the better ...
    3 days ago
  • Bring back the Mental Health Commission
    The People’s Mental Health Review is a much needed wake up call for the Government on mental health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “I applaud their proposal to restore a Mental Health Commission and their call for ...
    5 days ago
  • And the band played on…
    Making Amy Adams the Housing Minister five months out from the election is just the orchestra playing on as National’s Titanic housing crisis slips below the waves – along with the hopes and dreams of countless Kiwi families, says Labour’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Hotel no place for children in care
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Maybe not, Minister? Nick Smith’s housing measure suppressed
    Sir Humphrey: Minister, remember the Housing Affordability Measure work you asked us to prepare back in 2012? Well, it’s ready now.Minister Smith: Oh goodie, what does it say?Sir Humphrey: Nothing.Minister Smith: Nothing?Sir Humphrey: Well, sir, you asked us to prepare ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation data shows many New Zealanders are worse off under National
    The latest inflation data from Statistics New Zealand shows that too many New Zealanders are now worse off under the National Government, said Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson “Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) is now running at 2.2 per cent, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Another emergency housing grant blow out
      Emergency housing grants data released today show another blow out in spending on putting homeless people up in motels, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.   ...
    1 week ago
  • Families struggle as hardship grants increase
    The considerable increase in hardship grants shows that more and more Kiwi families are struggling to put food on the table and pay for basic schooling, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • More tinkering, no leadership from Nats on immigration
    National’s latest tinkering with the immigration system is another attempt to create the appearance of action without actually doing anything meaningful, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Suicide figures make for grim reading
    The 506 suspected suicides of Kiwis who have been in the care of mental health services in the last four years show that these services are under severe stress, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “If you do the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pay equity deal a victory for determination and unions
    The pay equity settlement revealed today for around 55,000 low-paid workers was hard-won by a determined Kristine Bartlett backed by her union, up against sheer Government resistance to paying Kiwis their fair share, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Labour welcomes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • DHB’s forced to make tough choices
    The Minister of Health today admitted that the country’s District Health Boards were having to spend more than their ring fenced expenditure on Mental Health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “The situation is serious with Capital and Coast ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats break emergency housing pledge – deliver just five more places
    Despite National’s promises of 2,200 emergency housing beds, just 737 were provided in the March Quarter, an increase of only five from six months earlier, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Research underlines need for KiwiBuild
    New research showing the social and fiscal benefits of homeownership underlines the need for a massive government-backed building programme like KiwiBuild, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Social data security review too little, too late
    The independent review into the Ministry of Social Development’s individual client level data IT system is too little, too late, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The Minister of Social Development has finally seen some sense and called for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions raised on CERA conflicts
    With the admission that three more former CERA staff members are under suspicion of not appropriately managing conflicts of interest related to the Canterbury rebuild, it’s imperative that CERA’s successor organisation Ōtākaro fronts up to Parliamentary questions, says Labour’s Canterbury ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to tackle Hutt housing crisis
    Labour will build a mix of 400 state houses and affordable KiwiBuild homes in the Hutt Valley in its first term in government to tackle the housing crisis there, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Housing in the Hutt ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Farewell to John Clarke
    This wonderfully talented man has been claimed by Australia, but how I remember John Clarke is as a young Wellington actor who performed satirical pieces in a show called “Knickers” at Downstage Theatre. The show featured other future luminaries like ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 weeks ago
  • Valedictory Speech
    Te papa pounamu Aotearoa NZ Karanga karanga karanga; Nga tupuna Haere haere haere; Te kahui ora te korowai o tenei whare; E tu e tu ... tutahi tonu Ki a koutou oku hoa mahi ki Te Kawanatanga; Noho mai noho ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Buck stops with Gerry Brownlee
    The fact that the State Services Commission has referred the CERA conflict of interest issue to the Serious Fraud Office is a positive move, but one that raises serious questions about the Government’s oversight of the rebuild, says Labour Canterbury ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Teachers deserve a democratic Education Council
    Teachers around New Zealand reeling from the news that their registration fees could more than double will be even angrier that the National Government has removed their ability to have any say about who sits on the Council that sets ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Free trade backers are simply out of touch
    Are the backers of free trade out of touch with public opinion? This was the question asked when the Chartered Accountants launched their Future of Trade study. I was astonished by the answer in a room of free trade enthusiasts ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    3 weeks ago
  • John Clarke aka Fred Dagg will be missed by all Kiwis
    The man who revolutionised comedy on both sides of the Tasman, John Clarke, will be sadly missed by Kiwis and Aussies alike, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “I grew up with Fred Dagg and I am ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour’s modern approach to monetary policy
    A commitment to full employment and a more transparent process to provide market certainty are the hallmarks of Labour’s proposals for a new approach to monetary policy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Greens back Labour’s plan for monetary policy reform
    Labour plans to change the way we do monetary policy in New Zealand and the Green Party supports them fully. We’re now of a single mind on this. Labour will move away from our reliance on a single, unelected person ...
    GreensBy robert.ashe
    3 weeks ago
  • Greens back Labour’s monetary policy reform
    Labour plans to change the way we do monetary policy in New Zealand and the Green Party supports them fully. We’re now of a single mind on this. Labour will move away from our reliance on a single, unelected person ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    3 weeks ago
  • Govt drops ball on Masters Games housing squeeze
    Families currently living in emergency accommodation face being forced out onto the street as motel accommodation in Auckland is filled up by contestants and visitors of the World Masters Games in coming weeks, says Labours social development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • State inquiry for Nga Morehu – The Survivors of State Abuse
    The Prime Minister must show humanitarian leadership and launch an independent inquiry into historic claims of abuse of children who were in State care, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago