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Britain's GCHQ has access to fibre-optic network

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One key innovation has been GCHQ's ability to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days so that it can be sifted and analysed. That operation, codenamed Tempora, has been running for some 18 months.


GCHQ and the NSA are consequently able to access and process vast quantities of communications between entirely innocent people, as well as targeted suspects.


This includes recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user's access to websites

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