Tag Archives: GCHQ

Let Golfers Golf and Hackers Hack

17 Jun

As Justin Rose wins the 2013 US Open at Merion, becoming the first Brit to win in 43 years, more revelations become available about Britain’s equivalent to the US’s NSA.

In 2009, Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropped on telephone conversations and email communications between attendees of the G20 Summit in London. Four years ago, without (obviously) knowledge of this activity, targeted G20 attendees had their keystrokes logged so that their passwords could be captured, and their phone conversations were monitored. Rest assured, this was only being done so that the outcome of the meetings would be favorable to HMG, Her Majesty’s Government. This is not to be confused with some clandestine terrorist activity.

“The GCHQ intent is to ensure that intelligence relevant to HMG’s desired outcomes for its presidency of the G20 reaches customers at the right time and in a form which allows them to make full use of it.” Two documents explicitly refer to the intelligence product being passed to “ministers”.

To think that you can keep golfers from playing golf is equivalent to keeping hackers from hacking. It’s just what they do. So when The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, suggest that analysts (government hackers) cannot listen to phone calls without “proper legal authorization”, you have to ask, “What is stopping them?”

Your best bet is to remain calm, and accept the reality of the technological world we live in. If you have not disclosed enough personal information through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever already, your emails and phone calls can be tapped as necessary. Look at it like 40% of people in the US do today. You are just helping to provide information so that the government can keep our country safe.

You’re not going to stop the golfers or the hackers, even when sometimes they are the same.