Senin, 15 Juli 2013

....Protests in a southern Chinese city last week that forced local authorities to abandon plans for a uranium-processing facility highlight the growing willingness of ordinary people to challenge the state on environmental issues. The proposed Longwan Industrial Park project won’t be approved “in order to fully respect the opinion of the masses,” the government of Heshan, Guangdong province, said in a statement on its website on July 13. A “social-stability risk assessment” of the proposal that was released for public awareness generated “much opposition,” it said. ...>>> ....850,000 NSA employees and U.S. private contractors with top-secret clearance have access to GCHQ databases that circumvent any need to consider the Fourth Amendment. ..>> ...Footnotes: 1 "We're" refers to the NSA. 2 "We" refers to the US intelligence service apparatus 3 "They" refers to the other authorities. 4 The "Five Eye Partners" is a reference to the intelligence services of United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. 5 "ICMP" is a reference to Internet Control Message Protocol. The answer provided here by Snowden was highly technical, but it was clear that he was referring to all data packets sent to or from Britain. 6 "Domestic" is a reference to the United States. 7 In this context, "tasked" refers to the full collection and storage of metadata and content for any matched identifiers by the NSA or its partners. 8 "Metadata" can include telephone numbers, IP addresses and connection times, among other things. Wired Magazine offers a solid primer on metadata. 9 "PCAPS" is an abbreviation of the term "packet capture". Interview conducted by Jacob Appelbaum and Laura Poitras..>>





China Protest Forcing Nuclear Retreat Shows People Power


Protests in a southern Chinese city last week that forced local authorities to abandon plans for a uranium-processing facility highlight the growing willingness of ordinary people to challenge the state on environmental issues.

The proposed Longwan Industrial Park project won’t be approved “in order to fully respect the opinion of the masses,” the government of Heshan, Guangdong province, said in a statement on its website on July 13. A “social-stability risk assessment” of the proposal that was released for public awareness generated “much opposition,” it said.

 China Protest Forcing Nuclear Retreat Shows Growing People Power

Protestors, who oppose the plans for a uranium-processing facility in Heshan, parade through a street in Jiangmen, Guangdong province, China on July 12, 2013. Source: Kyodo News/AP Photo 

Heshan is the latest local authority to back down in the face of pressure from a public increasingly empowered by its ability to sway officials who fear social unrest. Governments in cities across the country have canceled or delayed plans for industrial projects over the past year after confrontations with residents concerned about safety and pollution. 

“Chinese civil society is getting stronger,” said Willy Wo-Lap Lam, an adjunct professor of history at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “People now realize if their numbers are big enough, if they are united and stand their ground, the government will back down,” he said. 

Opposition to the uranium facility underscores growing concern among China’s expanding middle class that industrial plants damage the environment and people’s health. Pollution has replaced land grabs as the primary cause of social unrest with many of the protests erupting in more prosperous coastal cities such as Shanghai and Ningbo where residents have deployed smartphones and used social media to organize their campaigns.

Party’s Survival

President Xi Jinping, who is also head of the ruling Communist Party of China, said last month that “winning or losing public support is an issue that concerns the CPC’s survival or extinction,” according to a June 18 report by the official Xinhua News Agency. Xi spoke at a conference about a year-long campaign starting in the second half of this year to improve ties between the party and the people, Xinhua said. 

Heshan authorities backed down over the 37 billion yuan ($6 billion) uranium-processing project a day after more than 1,000 demonstrators rallied outside government offices in Jiangmen city, which administers Heshan. China National Nuclear Corp. and China General Nuclear Power Group had planned to build the 229-hectare (566-acre) plant to enrich uranium and fabricate fuel, according to an earlier statement on the Jiangmen government’s website.

Improve Communications

Officials initially pledged to extend a consultation period to 20 days from 10 and improve communications with the public before announcing on July 13 that they had scrapped the project. 

Telephone calls to the media offices of state-owned China National Nuclear and China General Nuclear weren’t answered outside normal business hours yesterday. Questions faxed to the companies on July 12 seeking comment weren’t answered and three calls to the Jiangmen government that day went unanswered. 

“The current central government has requested economic development must be pursued with environmental protection and at the same time social stability is a line that can’t be crossed,” said Ma Jun, a Beijing-based environmentalist and founder of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. “It’s evident that in this case the local government largely acted to keep social stability.”

Resume Approvals

Protests in Shanghai in May forced battery maker Shanghai Guoxuan New Energy Co. to abandon plans for a factory on the outskirts of the city. Demonstrations in the southwestern city of Kunming took place the same month to oppose plans for a petrochemical plant planned by China National Petroleum Corp. 

China’s State Council said in October it would resume approvals of nuclear-power plants after a suspension imposed in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in Japan in March 2011. The world’s largest energy consumer intends to more than triple its nuclear-power capacity by 2015, according to a government white paper released that month. 

The country currently has 17 nuclear power-generating units in operation and 28 under construction, Xinhua said in a July 13 report. The Heshan facility would have been the first nuclear-fuel-processing plant on the southeast coast and would have supplied the power plants of Dayawan, Taishan and Yangjiang, Xinhua said. China has built most of its processing facilities in the west of the country and most of its generating plants in eastern coastal regions, the report said. 

“In future, especially in coastal developed regions, these kinds of public demonstrations may be the norm as we’ve seen in the West, where such projects face growing ‘not in my backyard’ sort of opposition,” said Ma. “In the future, large projects in China will need a longer and longer time to get approved like they do in the West.” 

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Nerys Avery in Beijing at navery2@bloomberg.net; William Bi in Beijing at wbi@bloomberg.net
 
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stanley James at sjames8@bloomberg.net

International Conspiracy Killed the 4th Amendment

Global Cooperation Needed to Restore Our Rights

By Adam English   

Yesterday, a privacy advocacy group filed an emergency petition to the Supreme Court to stop the NSA's domestic surveillance program.
Good to hear the Electronic Privacy Information Center is keeping the pressure on the program — and on the Obama administration — for such a massive violation of our Fourth Amendment rights...
Maybe the Supreme Court will finally act in a way our politicians from both parties never will.
Over the last several decades, the Fourth Amendment has been willfully ignored to the point where it is functionally worthless.
It started as far back as the 1960s during the height of the Cold War and evolved with technology as our laws became obsolete, with the NSA at the lead, quietly dismantling the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights...
A History of Abuse
The first version was ECHELON, a signals intelligence system designed to intercept satellite communications. It eventually evolved to include telephone calls, faxes, email, and other data traffic across the globe via satellite transmissions, public-switched telephone networks, and microwave links.
During the 1990s, the NSA used ThinThread, which involved wiretapping and sophisticated analysis of the data. Three weeks before the September 11th attacks, the project was scrapped. The reason for this was the Trailblazer Project, which removed all of the built-in privacy protections of its predecessor.
President Bush authorized domestic spying without search warrants on any phone calls, Internet activity, text messaging, and other communication involving anyone believed by the NSA to be outside the U.S., even if the other end of the communication lies within the United States.
Under public pressure, Bush had to stop the program. This didn't last long, and Congress relaxed FISA court rules the very next year.
Now we have PRISM, Stellar Wind and Boundless Informant, which compile all of the personal data being collected by the NSA. Data is mined from a massive database of American communications, including email communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity.
Many of the cases coming from these programs were referred to by FBI agents as "pizza cases" because they turned out to be food takeout orders.
Anecdotal evidence from people familiar with the investigations suggests 99% of the flagged communication is completely worthless and benign.
As citizens, we cannot even hope to see what the NSA is truly doing. Our politicians are protecting them and preventing any true public oversight.
What we can see, however, is the scope of the programs — and they are beyond anything you can imagine.
"100 Years"
26 miles south of Salt Lake City, a $1.2 billion complex on a National Guard base is almost complete. It houses 1.5 million square feet of top secret space. NSA computers alone will fill up 100,000 square feet.
In September, this data center will begin farming data from all forms of communication with the help of 5 zettabytes of storage, or the equivalent of 1.25 trillion DVDs.
According to William Binney, the whistle-blowing former NSA technical director, "They would have plenty of space with five zettabytes to store at least something on the order of 100 years' worth of the worldwide communications, phones and emails and stuff like that, and then have plenty of space left over to do any kind of parallel processing to try to break codes."
The data center will require 65 megawatts of power — enough for 65,000 homes — and use 1.5 million gallons of water to cool of the high-tech computer systems per day.
As massive as it is, this single facility isn't enough. The NSA is building another facility at Fort Meade in Maryland that is two-thirds the size of the Utah complex.
It makes you wonder what they are storing if they are being so selective about the information they obtain...
Considering NSA Director James Clapper's apology to a Senate Committee, it is pretty obvious. Here is the "erroneous answer" Clapper gave back in a March meeting that he apologized for:
Sen. Ron Wyden: "...does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
Director Clapper: "No, sir."
Wyden: "It does not?"
Clapper: "Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly."
Obviously, Clapper was dead wrong in two ways: One was obvious from information leaked about PRISM.
The other comes from additional leaks from overseas.
International Conspiracy
All of this could be fixed, assuming that we only had to worry about the NSA. Legislation could rein in the flagrant violations of the Fourth Amendment by our government.
Unfortunately for us, the Fourth Amendment would still be worthless. We are being spied on by government agencies that are not bound by the Constitution or Bill of Rights.
Le Monde, a major French newspaper, uncovered information revealing that the French DGSE intelligence service is storing vast amounts of data "outside the law, and beyond any proper supervision." Data is being siphoned from connections inside France and between France and other countries.
In the German publication Der Spiegel, an interview with Edward Snowden detailed how the NSA shares information with the German BND agency, which runs its own similar electronic surveillance program.
Of particular concern is the British Tempora program. It stores all of the information passing through fiber-optic cables passing through the UK. Every single bit of information from phone calls, email messages, Facebook posts and web history is swept up and analyzed by the agency.
Working alongside the GCHQ analysts are 250 from the NSA.
According to the Guardian's article on the program, the NSA analysts were given guidelines — but were told by GCHQ lawyers, "We have a light oversight regime compared with the U.S."
They also were told it was "your call" when it came to judging the necessity and proportionality of what they were allowed to search.
850,000 NSA employees and U.S. private contractors with top-secret clearance have access to GCHQ databases that circumvent any need to consider the Fourth Amendment. 
These databases hold all content of a phone call, email, or any other message for a minimum of three days. Metadata is kept for up to 30 days.
Add in the other members of the "Five Eyes Alliance," and the NSA has access to information on American citizens from Canada, New Zealand, and Australia as well.
Among them, virtually all worldwide electronic information passes through the alliance's data-mining programs.
Note that the countries running these programs and sharing reams of data with the NSA are the ones up in arms over the NSA program that feeds information back to them.
It's a joke. All this public posturing is pure, disgusting hypocrisy.
Worthless and Outdated
The simple fact is that the Fourth Amendment has a workaround in the digital age. It has become worthless because it is hopelessly out of date.
What does it matter if the NSA isn't the one collecting the data when it has unfettered access to all of it?
How can shutting down PRISM, Stellar Wind, and Boundless Informant stop the NSA from circumventing the Constitution and Bill of Rights so long as it has unfettered access to data from its partners in France, Britain, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia?
The fact is the NSA will continue to have access to reams of information on American citizens.
And there is nothing we can do to stop it.
The lawsuit to shut down the NSA PRISM program filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center is a good start on the domestic front. For the Fourth Amendment to hold any value, we need legislation that cuts off foreign sources of data on American citizens, unless a warrant is specifically issued.
We also need like-minded people in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom to push back and secure their freedom and rights as well in a united front.
We're being abused and lied to by corrupt politicians, bankers, and corporate CEOs.
Our wealth is being sapped and our rights are being denied.
Our best hope for the future is to break away from the financial, political, and governmental programs that undermine our unalienable and universal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and wealth.
Outsider Club's own Nick Hodge is launching a new service to address these very issues. It's called Like Minded People... stay tuned for more details.
Take Care,
Adam English
Adam English
Adam's editorial talents and analysis drew the attention of senior editors at Outsider Club, which he joined in mid-2012. While he has acquired years of hands-on experience in the editorial room by working side by side with ex-brokers, options floor traders, and financial advisors, he is acutely aware of the challenges faced by retail investors after starting at the ground floor in the financial publishing field. For more on Adam, check out his editor's page

July 9, 2013, 12:20 am

Der Spiegel Publishes Portion of Snowden Vetting Interview

The German magazine Der Spiegel published a partial interview on Monday with Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who remains in legal limbo in a Moscow airport. The interview, conducted by a cybersecurity expert, took place before Mr. Snowden’s disclosures about far-reaching government surveillance programs. Der Spiegel reports that the interview was part of an effort by Laura Poitras, a documentary film producer, working with Mr. Snowden to gauge his credibility.

In it, Mr. Snowden describes cooperation between the N.S.A. and foreign intelligence services as well as with multinational companies based in the United States, which he said, “should not be trusted until they prove otherwise.”

He was asked what happens after a computer user becomes the focus of N.S.A. surveillance.
They’re just owned. An analyst will get a daily (or scheduled based on exfiltration summary) report on what changed on the system, PCAPS 9 of leftover data that wasn’t understood by the automated dissectors, and so forth. It’s up to the analyst to do whatever they want at that point — the target’s machine doesn’t belong to them anymore, it belongs to the US government.

Edward Snowden Interview: The NSA and Its Willing Helpers

 
AFP
A woman walks past a banner in Hong Kong in support of whistleblower Edward Snowden.
In an interview conducted using encrypted e-mails, whistleblower Edward Snowden discusses the power of the NSA, how it is "in bed together with the Germans" and the vast scope of Internet spying conducted by the United States and Britain.

Shortly before he became a household name around the world as a whistleblower, Edward Snowden answered a comprehensive list of questions. They originated from Jacob Appelbaum, 30, a developer of encryption and security software. Appelbaum provides training to international human rights groups and journalists on how to use the Internet anonymously.
ANZEIGE
Appelbaum first became more broadly known to the public after he spoke on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a hacker conference in New York in 2010. Together with Assange and other co-authors, Appelbaum recently released a compilation of interviews in book form under the title "Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet." 
Appelbaum wound up on the radar of American authorities in the course of their investigation into the WikiLeaks revelations. They have since served legal orders to Twitter, Google and Sonic to hand over information about his accounts. But Appelbaum describes his relationship with WikiLeaks as being "ambiguous," and explains here how he was able to pose questions to Snowden.

"In mid-May, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras contacted me," Appelbaum said. "She told me she was in contact with a possible anonymous National Security Agency (NSA) source who had agreed to be interviewed by her."

"She was in the process of putting questions together and thought that asking some specific technical questions was an important part of the source verification process. One of the goals was to determine whether we were really dealing with an NSA whistleblower. I had deep concerns of COINTELPRO-style entrapment. We sent our securely encrypted questions to our source. I had no knowledge of Edward Snowden's identity before he was revealed to the world in Hong Kong. He also didn't know who I was. I expected that when the anonymity was removed, we would find a man in his sixties."
Photo Gallery
10  Photos
Photo Gallery: Snowden Interview Puts Pressure on Berlin
"The following questions are excerpted from a larger interview that covered numerous topics, many of which are highly technical in nature. Some of the questions have been reordered to provide the required context. The questions focus almost entirely on the NSA's capabilities and activities. It is critical to understand that these questions were not asked in a context that is reactive to this week's or even this month's events. They were asked in a relatively quiet period, when Snowden was likely enjoying his last moments in a Hawaiian paradise -- a paradise he abandoned so that every person on the planet might come to understand the current situation as he does." 
 
"At a later point, I also had direct contact with Edward Snowden in which I revealed my own identity. At that time, he expressed his willingness to have his feelings and observations on these topics published when I thought the time was right."

Editor's note: The following excerpts are taken from the original English-language version of the interview. Potential differences in language between the German and English versions can be explained by the fact that we have largely preserved the technical terms used by Snowden in this transcript. Explanations for some of the terminology used by Snowden as well as editor's notes are provided in the form of footnotes.
  Interviewer: What is the mission of America's National Security Agency (NSA) -- and how is the job it does compatible with the rule of law?
Snowden: They're tasked to know everything of importance that happens outside of the United States. That's a significant challenge. When it is made to appear as though not knowing everything about everyone is an existential crisis, then you feel that bending the rules is okay. Once people hate you for bending those rules, breaking them becomes a matter of survival.
Interviewer: Are German authorities or German politicians involved in the NSA surveillance system?
Snowden: Yes, of course. We're 1 in bed together with the Germans the same as with most other Western countries. For example, we 2 tip them off when someone we want is flying through their airports (that we for example, have learned from the cell phone of a suspected hacker's girlfriend in a totally unrelated third country -- and they hand them over to us. They 3 don't ask to justify how we know something, and vice versa, to insulate their political leaders from the backlash of knowing how grievously they're violating global privacy.
Interviewer: But if details about this system are now exposed, who will be charged?
Snowden: In front of US courts? I'm not sure if you're serious. An investigation found the specific people who authorized the warrantless wiretapping of millions and millions of communications, which per count would have resulted in the longest sentences in world history, and our highest official simply demanded the investigation be halted. Who "can" be brought up on charges is immaterial when the rule of law is not respected. Laws are meant for you, not for them.
Interviewer: Does the NSA partner with other nations, like Israel?
Snowden: Yes. All the time. The NSA has a massive body responsible for this: FAD, the Foreign Affairs Directorate.
Interviewer: Did the NSA help to create Stuxnet? (Stuxnet is the computer worm that was deployed against the Iranian nuclear program.)
Snowden: NSA and Israel co-wrote it.
Interviewer: What are some of the big surveillance programs that are active today and how do international partners aid the NSA?
Snowden: In some cases, the so-called Five Eye Partners 4 go beyond what NSA itself does. For instance, the UK's General Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has a system called TEMPORA. TEMPORA is the signals intelligence community's first "full-take" Internet buffer that doesn't care about content type and pays only marginal attention to the Human Rights Act. It snarfs everything, in a rolling buffer to allow retroactive investigation without missing a single bit. Right now the buffer can hold three days of traffic, but that's being improved. Three days may not sound like much, but remember that that's not metadata. "Full-take" means it doesn't miss anything, and ingests the entirety of each circuit's capacity. If you send a single ICMP packet 5 and it routes through the UK, we get it. If you download something and the CDN (Content Delivery Network) happens to serve from the UK, we get it. If your sick daughter's medical records get processed at a London call center … well, you get the idea.
Interviewer: Is there a way of circumventing that?
Snowden: As a general rule, so long as you have any choice at all, you should never route through or peer with the UK under any circumstances. Their fibers are radioactive, and even the Queen's selfies to the pool boy get logged. Interviewer: Do the NSA and its partners across the globe do full dragnet data collection for telephone calls, text and data?
Snowden: Yes, but how much they get depends on the capabilities of the individual collection sites -- i.e., some circuits have fat pipes but tiny collection systems, so they have to be selective. This is more of a problem for overseas collection sites than domestic 6 ones, which is what makes domestic collection so terrifying. NSA isn't limited by power, space and cooling PSC constraints.

  • Part 1: The NSA and Its Willing Helpers
  • Part 2: 'US Multinationals Should Not Be Trusted'
  • Part 2: 'US Multinationals Should Not Be Trusted'
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-whistleblower-edward-snowden-on-global-spying-a-910006-2.html
    Interviewer: The NSA is building a massive new data center in Utah. What is its purpose?
    Snowden: The massive data repositories.
    Interviewer: How long is the collected data being stored for?
    Snowden: As of right now, full-take collection ages off quickly ( a few days) due to its size unless an analyst has "tasked" 7 a target or communication, in which the tasked communications get stored "forever and ever," regardless of policy, because you can always get a waiver. The metadata 8 also ages off, though less quickly. The NSA wants to be at the point where at least all of the metadata is permanently stored. In most cases, content isn't as valuable as metadata because you can either re-fetch content based on the metadata or, if not, simply task all future communications of interest for permanent collection since the metadata tells you what out of their data stream you actually want.

    Interviewer: Do private companies help the NSA?

    Snowden: Yes. Definitive proof of this is the hard part because the NSA considers the identities of telecom collaborators to be the jewels in their crown of omniscience. As a general rule, US-based multinationals should not be trusted until they prove otherwise. This is sad, because they have the capability to provide the best and most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so. To facilitate this, civil liberties organizations should use this disclosure to push them to update their contracts to include enforceable clauses indicating they aren't spying on you, and they need to implement technical changes. If they can get even one company to play ball, it will change the security of global communications forever. If they won't, consider starting that company.

    Interviewer: Are there companies that refuse to cooperate with the NSA?

    Snowden: Also yes, but I'm not aware of any list. This category will get a lot larger if the collaborators are punished by consumers in the market, which should be considered Priority One for anyone who believes in freedom of thought.

    Interviewer: What websites should a person avoid if they don't want to get targeted by the NSA?

    Snowden: Normally you'd be specifically selected for targeting based on, for example, your Facebook or webmail content. The only one I personally know of that might get you hit untargeted are jihadi forums.

    Interviewer: What happens after the NSA targets a user?

    Snowden: They're just owned. An analyst will get a daily (or scheduled based on exfiltration summary) report on what changed on the system, PCAPS 9 of leftover data that wasn't understood by the automated dissectors, and so forth. It's up to the analyst to do whatever they want at that point -- the target's machine doesn't belong to them anymore, it belongs to the US government.

    Footnotes:
    1 "We're" refers to the NSA.
    2 "We" refers to the US intelligence service apparatus
    3 "They" refers to the other authorities.
    4 The "Five Eye Partners" is a reference to the intelligence services of United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
    5 "ICMP" is a reference to Internet Control Message Protocol. The answer provided here by Snowden was highly technical, but it was clear that he was referring to all data packets sent to or from Britain.
    6 "Domestic" is a reference to the United States.
    7 In this context, "tasked" refers to the full collection and storage of metadata and content for any matched identifiers by the NSA or its partners.
    8 "Metadata" can include telephone numbers, IP addresses and connection times, among other things. Wired Magazine offers a solid primer on metadata.
    9 "PCAPS" is an abbreviation of the term "packet capture".
    Interview conducted by Jacob Appelbaum and Laura Poitras

    • Part 1: The NSA and Its Willing Helpers
    • Part 2: 'US Multinationals Should Not Be Trusted'
    •  
    • Guardian newspaper: UK security agency has spy program; shares data with NSA

      By CNN Staff
      http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/21/world/europe/uk-surveillance-accusations
      June 22, 2013 -- Updated 0116 GMT (0916 HKT)
      STORY HIGHLIGHTS
      • NEW: The NSA slams the report as "absolutely false"
      • The Guardian: The UK agency routinely downloads massive communications data
      • The report is based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden
      • The British government says it does not comment on intelligence matters
      London (CNN) -- Britain's equivalent to the U.S. National Security Agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, has tapped into many of the world's key international fiber optic cables and is routinely downloading and analyzing vast quantities of Internet and phone traffic, sharing the data with the NSA, The Guardian newspaper reported Friday.

      The NSA slammed the report as "absolutely false."
      "Any allegation that NSA relies on its foreign partners to circumvent U.S. law is absolutely false. NSA does not ask its foreign partners to undertake any intelligence activity that the U.S. government would be legally prohibited from undertaking itself," NSA spokeswoman Judith Emmel said.

      The scope of the surveillance dragnet described in the article is enormous.
      The newspaper says the report, like many previous ones, is based on the Guardian's reading of documents provided by former U.S. defense contractor Edward Snowden, who admitted leaking documents this month detailing government surveillance programs.

      Unlike some previous reports, the paper has not published the full documents on which the story was based.

      A spokesman for the British agency, known as GCHQ, issued a statement saying that in line with long-standing practice, it does not comment on intelligence matters.

      "It is worth pointing out that GCHQ takes its obligations under the law very seriously," the statement read. "Our work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Intelligence and Security Committee."

      The prime minister's office at 10 Downing Street also gave a statement saying only, "We don't comment on intelligence matters."

      The GCHQ is one of the three UK intelligence agencies and, according to its website, forms a "crucial part of the UK's national intelligence and security machinery."

      A source with knowledge of intelligence matters said "intelligence agencies are there to keep citizens safe and the vast majority of data collected is discarded."
      The process used by the GCHQ, the source said, "scans bulk data for any information that can have national security implication.

      "Only information deemed useful for national security is pulled out and examined in more detail. The vast majority of data is not examined or retained.
      "The process is legal and governed by the 2000 Regulatory Investigatory Power Act. It is regularly reviewed and authorized by ministerial warrants. This is vital national security work. It's proportionate and it's about following terrorist or criminal activity and not about following law-abiding citizens."
      CNN's Bharati Naik contributed to this report.
       
     

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