Britain’s biggest intelligence agency, GCHQ has taken the unusual step of denying all claims about everything, whilst suspiciously asking what you’ve heard and who told you.
GCHQ director Iain Lobban told the press: “We aren’t doing anything. Honestly. And even if we were, you wouldn’t be able to prove it. Go on, try and prove it. I bet you can’t. What have you heard, anyway? And who told you? Tell me at once.”
The statement comes in the same week that the Government Communications Headquarters faced claims that it is building a vast database to store all communications in a ‘big brother’ style arrangement to intercept aimed at keeping a record of everything communicated by every single person in this country.
By its very nature GCHQ intercepts phone calls, e-mails and other communications around the world, which has lead to conspiracy theorists questioning whether or not the agency is able to capture all exchanges.
“In was on the internet the other day, writing an e-mail,” said Martin Carruthers, 24, from High Wycombe, “and suddenly all these pop-up windows came up. I’m sure that it must have been GCHQ spying on me. Either that or they came from the XXX Dutch porn website I was downloading videos from at the time. I can’t decide which.”
“Listen, if you don’t tell me what you’ve heard then there’s pretty much nothing I can do about it,” continued Lobban. “I certainly won’t listen into your telephone calls or do anything of the sort. Ooooh no. We’re just not interested in the conversations of ordinary people.
“We spend our time looking for that tiny, tiny proportion of communications globally which can make a difference to our nation’s security. Well, that, and interesting domestic gossip and hearsay. I can’t wait to hear what Mrs. Smith at no.13 in Cumbria is going to do, when she finds out her husband wasn’t really working late last night. Oh no you didn’t!”
GCHQ’s low profile has lead to a number of claims about its daily operations, which had been shrouded in mystery. Lobban was keen to dispel this impression:
“Mysterious? GCHQ? It’s anything but. We all sit around and sing songs, eating jelly and custard talking about how wonderful everything is, whilst painting with our hands. Any suggestion that we spend all day getting up to any sort of covert surveillance of everybody in the country is ludicrous!
“I mean, of course, it’s largely true, but still ludicrous.”