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Iran Press TV

GCHQ manipulates online information: Report

Iran Press TV

Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:55AM GMT

Britain's spy agency the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has developed a number of software programs aimed at manipulating online traffic and information, a report says.

The report, published by The Independent on Tuesday, cited documents newly released by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

According to the report, one document was created by the GCHQ's Joint Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) as an inventory of the spy agency's "weaponized capability."

The programs are designed to alter online traffic speed, infiltrate target computers, change outcome of online polls, and spread chosen messages on sites such as Facebook and YouTube.

In addition, the tools are designed to scrape public information or post messages automatically from sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Furthermore, the report showed that some of the programs are the UK government-sanctioned version of standard malware, including one that masquerades as an Office documents to collect the targets' information, files, etc. and send it back to the GCHQ.

The newly-released documents by Snowden come as the British spy agency faces a legal action by civil liberty groups over its surveillance policies. The liberty groups say the agencies conduct huge surveillance activities that are "not in accordance with the law" and breach human rights.


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