Can't get the governments to layoff the civil population these days. What could they be hiding ?
GCHQ - the Government's secret electronic eavesdropping agency - ha...
Last Updated: 10:16PM BST 03 May 2009
In a rare public statement, it said that a reported £1 billion "snooping" project at GCHQ's hi-tech complex at Cheltenham was simply intended to enable the organisation keep pace with developments in internet technology.
The Sunday Times reported that the Mastering the Internet (MTI) programme would enable GCHQ to "spy at will" on emails, website visits, social networking sessions, and telephone calls made over the internet.
According to the paper, the scheme involves the covert installation of thousands of "black box" probes across the online infrastructure which would monitor and record all the data which passes through them.
It said that the project - which was inadvertently disclosed through a job advert in the computer trade press
- was continuing despite an assurance last week by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith that the Government had abandoned plans for A central database to store all communications data in the UK.
In its statement, GCHQ acknowledged the existence
of the MTI project, but denied that it was a covert monitoring programme.
Instead, it said that it was intended to ensure that GCHQ kept pace with the latest developments in internet technology - although it gave little concrete idea of what was involved.
"One of our greatest challenges is maintaining our capability in the face of the growth in internet-based communications and voice-over internet telephony. We must reinvest continuously to keep up with the methods that are used by those who threaten the UK and its interests," it said.