An anonymous reader writes "According to The Guardian, the UK government is tapping fiber-optic cables that carry global communications and gathering vast amounts of data. The British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has been sharing the data with its American counterpart, the NSA. 'The sheer scale of the agency's ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. This is all being carried out without any form of public acknowledgement or debate. ... The documents reveal that by last year GCHQ was handling 600m "telephone events" each day, had tapped more than 200 fibre-optic cables and was able to process data from at least 46 of them at a time.'"