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GCHQ leak lists UK cyber-spies’ hacking tools – BBC

Leo Kelion, BBC News Technology – “A document that appears to list a wide variety of GCHQ’s cyber-spy tools and techniques has been leaked online. It indicates the agency worked on ways to alter the outcome of online polls, find private Facebook photos, and send spoof emails that appeared to be from Blackberry users, among other things. The document is alleged to have been among those leaked by former US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. One expert said the release, published on the site Intercept, was “damaging”. Alan Woodward, a security consultant who has done work for GCHQ, the UK’s intelligence agency, said: “If you read the mission statement of any signals intelligence organisation, all the listed techniques are what you’d expect them to be doing. “But it’s very unhelpful for the details to leak out because as soon as you reveal to people how something is being done they can potentially take steps to avoid their information being collected. The leaked document lists the techniques in the style of the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia “We’ve already seen it happen when various forms of interception were revealed previously with the Snowden leaks.” Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who published the latest document, noted in his article that an earlier inquiry by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee had called into question the “legality, necessity and proportionality” of the data-collection activities of GCHQ and the US National Security Agency (NSA), for which Mr Snowden worked.”

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