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The total capacity of the order would allow GCHQ to monitor a massive amount of data – the equivalent of being able to download 3,750 high-definition movies every full minute, or 2.5 billion average-sized emails a full hour. 167,940 purchase orders for 27 more systems arrived, and the things were dispatched for delivery to GCHQ’s headquarters in Cheltenham swiftly, England. The records of the Endace sales are verified by inner GCHQ documents, provided by Snowden, which explains the company’s data capture devices being used within mass surveillance programs.
GCHQ documents from 2010 and 2011 frequently point out the Endace products while discussing the capture of “internet-derived” data to remove information about people’s usage of services such as Gmail, Hotmail, WhatsApp, and Facebook. GCHQ declined to comment for this whole story. An Endace diagram depicts a custom data capture system built for GCHQ.
Throughout the summer of 2011, at Endace’s offices in Auckland, New Zealand, the purchases from GCHQ were carrying on to flow in. Meanwhile, the company’s technicians were occupied turning their places to the new technology that could vastly increase surveillance capacity. Endace was developing a powerful new product for GCHQ called Medusa: interception equipment that could capture internet traffic at up to 100 gigabits per second.
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Medusa was initially logged in Endace’s sales systems in September 2011. Endace personnel produced weekly status reviews about their progress and updated GCHQ at biweekly review meetings. November 18 By, 2011, the first version of Medusa arrived at GCHQ. “FGA are very pleased with the prototypes we delivered last week,” Endace noted. After examining the Medusa prototype Apparently, GCHQ requested some refinements.
Notably, the Medusa status reports show that Endace was using taxpayers’ money to build up the new equipment for GCHQ. They say that the Medusa system had been built for “FGA” with funding from the Foundation of Research Science and Technology, the body that passed out New Zealand government research grants. Endace has never publicly disclosed some of its work with GCHQ, likely because it is subject to strict confidentiality agreements.
In one contract obtained with the Intercept, GCHQ claims that Endace personnel are destined to the U.K.’s Official Secrets Act, a sweeping regulation that can be used to prosecute and imprison people who disclose categorized information. The trunk of two satellite antennae at GCHQ’s surveillance foundation in Bude, England. Endace’s leaked client lists show three main categories of customers: governments, telecommunications companies, and boat loan companies. The government clients seem to be mostly cleverness agencies.
A 2008 Endace customer list included: GCHQ; the Canadian and Australian protection departments (where their digital spy agencies can be found); a U.S. Rep-Tron Systems Group, positioned in Baltimore, Maryland; and Morocco’s local surveillance agency, the DGST. Other Endace customer lists within the leaked trove include the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy’s Naval and Space Warfare Systems Control called SPAWAR; the Israeli Ministry of Defense (home of its Unit 8200 electronic spy company); the government of India, the Spanish Ministry of Defense;, and Denmark’s Defense Intelligence Service.
Endace’s obvious dealings with the Moroccan company, the DGST, are controversial particularly. Moroccan authorities have been persistently accused over more than five decades of committing a variety of severe human rights abuses. In Morocco, digital monitoring is intimately linked with the repression of peaceful dissent. Sirine Rached, Amnesty’s North Africa researcher, told The Intercept that sales of surveillance technology to Morocco raised major concerns.