Tuesday, November 24, 2015

GCHQ secret unit involved in domestic internet manipulation

Paragraph 12 of Declan's updated complaint to the United Nations

Re Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)

12. It is important to underscore that the discriminatory surveillance suffered by the Applicant and his wife is not an isolated event. Rather, it is emblematic of a larger pattern of surveillance by law enforcement officials in the UK that has been well-documented by international and domestic human rights bodies. For example, the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) specialises in attempting to "discredit, disrupt, delay, deny, degrade, and deter" targets and has been branded by the press as GCHQ's "deception unit". Though its existence was secret until last year, JTRIG quickly developed a distinctive profile in the public understanding, after documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the unit had engaged in "dirty tricks" like deploying sexual "honey traps" designed to discredit targets, launching denial-of-service attacks to shut down Internet chat rooms, pushing veiled propaganda onto social networks and generally warping discourse online. Previous reporting on the spy agency established its focus on what it regards as political radicalism. Beyond JTRIG's targeting of Anonymous, other parts of GCHQ targeted political activists and groups deemed to be "radical", even monitoring human rights NGOs. The London-based Privacy International asks: "How many more problems with GCHQ's secret procedures have to be revealed for them to be brought under control?"

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Related blog post (14 October 2015): "Mayor of London's Clearing House service withholds financial data against us in defiance of court ruling"