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From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) operates "Tempora".[1]

Tempora is the codeword for a computer system used by the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). It collects most internet communications from fibre-optic cables. The data base of messages can be searched later as required.[2] The system went into action in autumn 2011.[3]

Tempora uses intercepts on the fibre-optic cables that make up most of the internet. It gets large amounts of internet users' personal data, without any individual suspicion or targeting.[4]

The existence of Tempora was revealed by Edward Snowden. He is a former American intelligence contractor who leaked information to former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald in May 2013. This was part of Snowdon's revelations of government-sponsored mass surveillance programs. Data collected by the Tempora program is shared with the National Security Agency of the United States.[5]


[change | change source]
  1. Philip Bump (21 June 2013). The UK Tempora program captures vast amounts of data – and shares with NSA. The Atlantic Wire. [1][permanent dead link]
  2. GCHQ report on the technical abilities of the powerful spying program TEMPORA, which allows for a "full take" Archived 2019-06-05 at the Wayback Machine, released by Der Spiegel on 18 June 2014
  3. Shubber, Kadhim. "A simple guide to GCHQ's internet surveillance program Tempora". Wired. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  4. Ball, James (25 October 2013). "Leaked memos reveal GCHQ efforts to keep mass surveillance secret". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  5. Ewen MacAskill; Julian Borger; Nick Hopkins; Nick Davies; James Ball (21 June 2013). "GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world's communications". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 21 June 2013.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)