An anonymous reader writes: Remember the story from last year about the NSA using dirty tricks, like spying on the porn habits of non-terrorists and then trying to leak them to discredit those (again, non-terrorist) individuals? Apparently, the UK's version of the NSA is way ahead of the NSA on that.
A new report by Glenn Greenwald and others at NBC, based on Snowden documents, shows that the GCHQ has an entire program dedicated to these kinds of attacks. Now, there is some reasonable argument to be made that this is part of basic espionage protocol, but generally speaking that's supposed to be the mandate of the actual spy agencies (in the US, that would be the CIA, in the UK MI5 or MI6). When it moves over into organizations like the NSA and GCHQ, which are supposed to be more about merely collecting and analyzing "signals intelligence" rather than "offensive" attacks, it becomes increasingly questionable. And yet, the GCHQ seems positively giddy about its ability to go online and mess with people and companies.
For example, a presentation shows that they will mess with people's social networking accounts, and leak info to friends, colleagues and neighbors,