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Time to reject GCHQ and rebuild a Free Albion

Posted by on December 18, 2014.

One of my favourite companies is F-Secure. F-Secure is a company that hasn’t just sat back and said, ‘Oh, how terrible – governments are spying on us.’ F-Secure is fighting back by developing the technology that makes it more difficult for governments to spy on people.

I recently asked F-Secure’s Sean Sullivan why his company was being proactive where others have just complained. He said it was because the company is Finnish – and privacy is a big thing in the culture of the Finnish people. I applaud the Finnish people.

So I tend to listen when F-Secure speaks.

As a journalist I have frequently asked security companies, ‘How can you pin that attack on those actors?’ Whenever I have asked that question, they tend to back off, and say, ‘Well, we believe that probably…’ And always they believe the attackers are Chinese or Russian or Iranian (and now North Korean).

That’s why Mikko Hypponen’s TED talk, ‘The Internet is on Fire’ should be required viewing – or at least reading – for everyone in the UK.

You can find a transcript here: Mikko Hypponen (F-Secure): Internet is on fire.

In particular, consider this passage:

And exactly a year ago I was on this very stage speaking to you about attacks right here in Brussels… They were coming from the UK intelligence, from GCHQ. We also know which exact malware was being used in these attacks. It’s a piece of malware called Regin, which we believe was developed together with the British intelligence and the US intelligence.

And we learned much more about the targets of these attacks, because they were many more targets than just what we knew a year ago. For example, we know that this malware and these operations launched by the UK intelligence were targeting academics here in Belgium. Professors, people like that.

They were also targeting targets in Austria, including the IAEA – the International Atomic Energy Agency in Austria… And it’s quite remarkable when we have a situation like this, where fellow EU countries are launching active government-funded malware attacks against fellow EU countries.

When someone like Mikko Hypponen from a company like F-Secure says bluntly that GCHQ developed and deployed Regin against our friends and allies, I believe him. When politicos like David Cameron, William Hague and Malcolm Rifkind say that GCHQ only operates within the law and proportionately, I do not believe them.

Think about this. This is the British government spying on friendly allies via the very same agency that it is currently giving carte blanche over all of our personal data. I object. And it is time for the British people to say to the government, ‘You are our servant, not our master. You do what we tell you; not the other way round.’

It won’t be easy – but the British people must re-learn and re-find that freedom of spirit that helped establish what became the United States as a rebellion against government repression. If anything we have far worse government repression today – but now there is nowhere to run. So we must stand and fight – fight to rebuild that Free Albion in which, in our hearts, we all believe.


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One thought on “Time to reject GCHQ and rebuild a Free Albion

  1. Well spoken, agree 100%.

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