Karma Police (surveillance program)

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Karma Police is a British Internet metadata collection program. It was formed to create profiles on every visible Internet user's browsing habits.[1] Information about the program was revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The report provided by Snowden states that the program was conceived in 2007 and has been in operation since 2009 or earlier.

Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) who launched the program referred to it as the "world’s biggest" data-mining operation on the Internet. Karma Police extracts information from intercontinental data cables that terminate in Cornwall, England. These cables contain 25% of all global Internet traffic. The metadata contains a record of usernames, passwords, and websites an individual visits.

The program apparently operates with no government oversight. By 2009, according to GCHQ's own documents, Karma Police had received and stored more than 1.1 trillion web browsing sessions. In 2010, the program was allegedly collecting over 30 billion records each day. The volume by 2012, according to other GCHQ documents, had reached 50 billion each day.

GCHQ documents also state that the program was created to provide one of the following: "(a) a web browsing profile for every visible user on the Internet, or (b) a user profile for every visible website on the Internet."[2]

See also