GCHQ Warns Serious Criminals Have Been Lost In Wake Of Edward Snowden Leaks
Tom Whitehead, writing in the December 21, 2014 London newspaper – The Telegraph – says that NSA’s ‘sister’ agency in London, the GCHQ, has lost some of the most dangerous criminal lords; and, had to abort surveillance on others….after the Edward Snowden revealed their tactics,” and methods of collecting intelligence. The spy agency has suffered “significant damage,” in its ability to monitor and capture serious organized criminals,” Mr. Whithead wrote.
“One major drug smuggling gang has been able to continue flooding the U.K. with class A narcotics — unimpeded for the past year,” after changing their operations and method of communicating. “Communication companies are also hampering the efforts of GCHQ,” Mr. Whitehead notes, “by refusing to hand over evidence on the likes of drug smugglers, or fraudsters; because they do not “pose a direct threat to life.”
These comments dovetail with other high-level British and American intelligence official’s comments that al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other terrorist groups, criminals have altered their techniques, tactics, and procedures, as well as enhanced their online encryption software — in the aftermath of the Snowden leaks. A senior British security official said, “We have specific evidence of where key targets have changed their communication behavior — as a direct result of what they have read. They have moved to more secure forms of communication; and, we have been unable to assist the National Crime Agency (NCA). It takes longer to help law enforcement; and, because we only focus on the most serious, the top end networks, then the impact they in the mean time is multiplied.”
Mr. Whitehead added that “intelligence officers are now electing not to order deeper surveillance on targets, in the hope of gaining sufficient evidence to prosecute them, because they fear it could alert them to the fact they are being watched.” “Information leaked by Snowden means it is easier for gangs to pick up surveillance methods; and the danger then, is they “go dark,” one source told The Telegraph. “It is considered better to keep what sight they have on the suspects, in the hope evidence will come at a later point — than lose them altogether.” “The choice is not to pursue a network; and, we have decided not to press ahead where there is a possibility of being detected.”
In October, The Daily Telegraph reported that it was taking three times as long to crack communications — thanks to the Edward Snowden leaks. “Experts need up to six weeks to “deliver the magic” when tasked with tracking and monitoring targets,” sources told the publication.
Edward Snowden, “the gift, that keeps on giving.” V/R, RCP