The NSA may get the bulk of the criticism surrounding government surveillance and the disregard of our privacy, but lets not forget about the GCHQ. According to recent reports, the British equivalent of the NSA has been snooping on emails to and from journalists that work for some of the largest media groups in the Anglosphere, including BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, and Reuters.
GCHQ’s bulk surveillance of electronic communications has scooped up emails to and from journalists working for some of the US and UK’s largest media organisations, analysis of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals. Emails from the BBC, Reuters, the Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde, the Sun, NBC and the Washington Post were saved by GCHQ and shared on the agency’s intranet as part of a test exercise by the signals intelligence agency. The disclosure comes as the British government faces intense pressure to protect the confidential communications of reporters, MPs and lawyers from snooping. The journalists’ communications were among 70,000 emails harvested in the space of less than 10 minutes on one day in November 2008 by one of GCHQ’s numerous taps on the fibre-optic cables that make up the backbone of the internet.