A mass surveillance operation undertaken by a UK intelligence agency that recorded the web browsing habits of "every visible user on the internet" has been disclosed . According to documents obtained by National Security Agency (NSA) whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the Karma Police operation saw Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) store up to 100 billion metadata records on people's internet habits ? tracking everything from porn sites visited, to mobile phone locations.
The documents, published on 25 September by The Intercept, reveal for the first time the details of the UK government's online spying capabilities. Having been drawn up in 2007 or 2008, the Karma Police operation built profiles through analysing browsing habits, emails, calls, text messages, social media interactions and geolocation data.
Roughly 50 billion metadata records about browsing activity and online communications were stored in 2012, with documents revealing that GCHQ intended to boost this to 100 billion by the end of the year. GCHQ has previously stated that it does not comment on matters relating to practices exposed by Snowden's leaks and it is unclear whether the operation is still live.