The UK Monitors All Middle Eastern Internet Traffic, Shares It With NSA

/ 5 years ago


The UK’s Independent reports that the GCHQ is actively involved in the real-time monitoring of all internet traffic through the Middle East. We already knew the UK’s GCHQ was up to some pretty suspect things after its “Mastering the Internet” program of mass surveillance was revealed from the Edward Snowden leaks. Now we are hearing that this program isn’t just limited to the UK, or even Europe. The UK has a secret monitoring station in the Middle East where they intercept and process emails, telephone calls and web traffic in the region. The station taps into underwater fibre-optic cables passing through the area.

What is more worrying about this new revelation is that all data is processed and then immediately shared with the NSA. Whether you look at it as cooperation, or the USA using the UK to do its dirty work, it certainly doesn’t look good for Anglo-Middle Eastern relations. The specific program to spy on Middle Eastern countries is part of the wider “Tempora” program where the GCHQ does its best to spy on the entire world. The Independent reports that the Middle Eastern program was signed off under David Miliband when he took up the position of the UK’s Foreign secretary.

The focus of the Edward Snowden leaks are now being recalibrated to target the UK. This comes after the British police intercepted Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda and held him for 9 hours under anti-terrorism laws, he then had all his possessions confiscated before he could deliver them to Glenn Greenwald a senior Guardian journalist who has written extensively about the Snowden leaks and is Snowden’s main partner in sharing leaked information. The UK’s authorities also gave the Guardian an ultimatum that it must hand over all data and files given to them by Edward Snowden, or physically destroy all its hard drives in its offices. The Guardian chose to destroy all files given to them by Edward Snowden rather than cooperating with the UK’s despotic ultimatum. The Guardian said they have several other copies stored abroad so it did not matter.

Image courtesy of the Standard (

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