Information leaked in documents obtained by Edward Snowden points to the GCHQ allegedly monitoring real time social media traffic.
According to a report by NBC News, the system would enable the British Government to keep track of Facebook ‘Likes’ and YouTube traffic, as well as seeing what Blogger pages individuals have visited.
Operation Squeaky Dolphin is explained in the presentation “Psychology A New Kind of SIGDEV” (Signals Development) obtained by NBC from the Snowden files. It describes an operation to harvest Facebook Likes, Youtube URLs and Blogger visits
The aim of the alleged practice is to use the internet to predict possible anti-government happenings in real time, rather than spying on individuals. GCHQ is reported to share the information with the United States.
A statement from a GCHQ spokesperson reads: “All of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework, which ensure[s] that our activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.
“All of our operational processes rigorously support this position.”