Many across the globe thought when the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden came forward to the world about the United States’ immense citizen spy program, it couldn’t happen anywhere else. But it can, and in the UK, secret police spying just got a WHOLE lot scarier. This is not a story just for the UK, but the following is something we should ALL be paying very, very close attention to the aptly named “Karma Police”. When Snowden came forward, many thought the NSA was isolated in it’s invasive spying.
From Popular Science:
The NSA was hardly alone in this regard, and contained in the materials leaked by Snowden are details about other programs from other nations. One of them is the United Kingdom, and the latest leaked information shows not only that the UK was involved in bulk collection, but that the people behind the program were fans of the UK alt-rock band Radiohead. The program, which shares a name with the 1997 song by Radiohead, collected metadata records from over 200,000 people in at least 185 nations. The goal: find out information about people listening to internet radio.
The program, which was first conceived in 2007 and appears to be active since at least 2009. Created by Britain’s NSA counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters, Karma Police “was designed to provide the agency with “either (a) a web browsing profile for every visible user on the Internet, or (b) a user profile for every visible website on the Internet.”
The Karma Police
They zeroed in on any stations found broadcasting recitations from the Quran, such as a popular Iraqi radio station and a station playing sermons from a prominent Egyptian imam named Sheikh Muhammad Jebril. They then used KARMA POLICE to find out more about these stations’ listeners, identifying them as users on Skype, Yahoo, and Facebook.
The summary report says the spies selected one Egypt-based listener for “profiling” and investigated which other websites he had been visiting. Surveillance records revealed the listener had viewed the porn site Redtube, as well as Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube, Google’s blogging platform Blogspot, the photo-sharing site Flickr, a website about Islam, and an Arab advertising site.
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