According to new documents provided by Edward Snowden to The Guardian newspaper (but not, as yet, published in full), the British signals intelligence organization, known as the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), has the “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.”
The Guardian said more than 200 cables were being monitored by more than 500 analysts from the NSA and GCHQ. GCHQ is sharing this information with the National Security Agency.
The operation, known as “Tempora,” has been running for 18 months. Documents about the program detail GCHQ’s goal of “Mastering the Internet.”
The leak is just the latest in a string of documents disclosed to the paper by Snowden, a former NSA employee now on the lam in Hong Kong.
As The Guardian writes, “The documents appear to suggest the two agencies had come to rely on each other; GCHQ has been able to collect and store a huge amount of information… The NSA, however, had provided GCHQ with the tools necessary to sift through the data and get value from it.”
Monitoring satellites and oceanic fiber is what NSA does.
At a cable landing site, Glimmerglass solutions permit new lightpaths between the wet side and dry side to be rapidly and remotely provisioned, switched, monitored and reconfigured in real time. With Photonic Multicasting, one input can be optically split into multiple perfect copies. A Narus box can perform mass surveillance with deep packet inspection.
In the future, oceanography, medicine, geology, physics and other science research projects will likely use high speed fiber networks and shared databases, say proponents.
It’s a new architecture for science.
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