Leaked documents reveal extent of GCHQ spying.
A GCHQ programme attempted to record the browsing habits of "every visible user on the internet".
The programme aimed to provide either a "web browsing profile for every visible user on the Internet" or "a user profile for every visible website on the Internet," according to documents published by the Intercept.
Code-named ‘KARMA POLICE’, the programme was launched in 2009 by British spies.
The website browsing histories were collected using probes that tapped into fibre-optic cables used to transport internet traffic. Much of this data would then be stored in a repository called Black Hole.
This contained ‘unselected’ surveillance data, which collected data from all users rather than selected users.
Between August 2007 and March 2009, Black Hole stored over 1.1 trillion metadata records.
In March 2009, 41 percent of the data was people’s Internet browsing histories, while the rest was communication records, details of search engine queries and data on use of anonymous browsing tools.
By 2012, 50 billion records were being collected per day.
One programme, launched in 2009, aimed to collect intelligence about people’s Internet usage to listen to the radio shows, with the aim of researching Internet radio stations to spread radical Islamic ideas.