5 May 2009

The government's electronic eavesdropping centre has issued a rare response to accusations that it plans to install thousands of black boxes to monitor all internet and telephone use in Britain.

In a statement, GCHQ denied its £1bn plan – called Mastering the Internet (MTI) – was a "snooping project" and said the technology being developed at its complex in Cheltenham was solely to keep pace with developments in internet technology.

In an unusual move in response to a weekend report, the agency, which does not usually comment on media stories, said in a statement: "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."

It was suggested that the MTI project would give GCHQ the ability to "spy at will" on all internet traffic in Britain, including emails, website visits, social networking sessions, and telephone calls, 14% of which are made using internet protocol (Voip) systems such as Skype...CONTINUE

SOURCE: The Guardian


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