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This article was published on September 25, 2015

    Spies must enjoy coming up with fun names for new ways to invade our privacy

    Spies must enjoy coming up with fun names for new ways to invade our privacy
    Martin Bryant
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    Martin Bryant

    Founder

    Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

    Reading The Intercept’s report today about the range of tools British spies supposedly have at their disposal to track everything from people’s taste in online radio to their choice of porn, two things struck me:

    1. How easy it is to just accept these tools as normal and acceptable and not a worrying trend that deserves far more public awareness and oversight, especially as more data is unveiled from Edward Snowden’s leaks.
    2. How much fun GCHQ must have had coming up with the names. I mean, the article discusses codenames like:

    KARMA POLICE (British spies clearly dig Radiohead)

    MUTANT BROTH

    SOCIAL ANTHROPOID

    MARBLED GECKO

    How endearing these tools of mass-surveillance sound…

    Seriously, though. Read the The Intercept’s report. It’s important stuff.