UK’s spooks accused over data access

THe UK’s eavesdropping agency GCHQ has secretly accessed fibre-optic cables carrying huge amounts of internet and communications data, according to documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The agency can tap into and store the data for as long as 30 days so it can be analysed under an operation codenamed Tempora, according to the Guardian.

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Cheltenham-based GCHQ would not comment on intelligence matters but insisted last night it was “scrupulous” in complying with the law.

The newspaper said data, including phone calls and a user’s internet history, is shared with the US National Security Agency (NSA).

Mr Snowden, a former US government intelligence analyst who fled to Hong Kong, said: “The UK has a huge dog in this fight. They (GCHQ) are worse than the US.”