Happy Christmas from GCHQ and the Orcs
What do you make of GCHQ’s internal Christmas card, obtained by the excellent Hawktalk privacy blog? Note that although not ‘protectively marked’, it is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act – meaning that if you asked for a copy, you wouldn’t get one.
The cartoon reflects the growing public perception of GCHQ and NSA. But is it used in defiance or irony? What sort of mindset considers it to be an acceptable Christmas message?
And what should we read into the poem? It goes:
The Terror Bytes of Power
Two terabytes per day to retain all Google searches
Five keeps the content from surveillance perches
Seven for Skype when one speaks to mates
Twelve stores the traffic which flows to the States
And in the darkness where the watchers are
Few laws to obey; nor rules that bar
And for privacy let the protection die
In a secret state where the shadows lie.
Or is it all just an elaborate hoax – either originating from a small cell within GCHQ or somebody on the outside?
Is it just coincidence that the creator of the cartoon is the same cartoonist who does all of Hawktalk’s cartoons: Chris Slane – and it seems consistent with his views? Here’s another lifted from Hawktalk: