back to article GCHQ dismisses Trump wiretap rumours as tosh

UK intelligence agency GCHQ has dismissed US reports - cited by the White House press secretary - that it was involved in running a surveillance operation on Donald Trump before last year's US election as "utterly ridiculous". During a press conference on Thursday, White House press Secretary Sean Spicer cited a Fox News story …

  1. TRT Silver badge

    I liked the way GCHQ's press release appeared BEFORE the allegation that they were involved. It's almost as if they knew in advance...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Timing is Everything...

      ...and you haven't given any evidence to substantiate your take on the timing of who said what and when.

    2. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Time zones. GCHQ can easily respond at 11am BST to a press release at 3pm in Washington.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Wrong way round, surely? 11am GMT/UTC is 6am EST. Ish.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          It was a joke...

          Based on the time difference, yes.

          Jeez!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It was a joke...

            .. I got it, and you got my upvote - I liked it :)

    3. tr1ck5t3r

      You can never trust a Govt than operates in secret, its as simple as that. The fact big businesses also work for Govt and can use commercial confidentiality to hide their Govt contracts to help spy on you is just another trick. Journalists are useful for spying in plain site in your own country and abroad, you never get to see all the hours of footage made when you watch your news bulletins online. Next time you talk to someone beit HMRC, your GP, a nurse, emergency services & armed forces personel, just ask them if they had to sign the official secrets act? They might lie to you or you might get told the truth. Fact is unless you join one of these organisations or become a CEO of a top business, you will never know just how extensive the Govt spying really is. Just look at the latest TV ad's suggesting women could be working for the secret services, your own other half could be spying on you right now. Thats why you can never trust anyone, not even your own parents, brothers & sisters.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ tr1ck5t3r:

        Your nurse has just been on the batphone to me - TAKE YOUR MEDS!

        1. Anonymous Blowhard

          @ tr1ck5t3r:

          And to save you time later, here's eBay's listings for tin foil...

        2. tr1ck5t3r

          @credas

          Do you know who you are talking to when you call a call centre? How do you know its not GCHQ intercepting your calls? Laws? They do anything they like in secret, its how they stop you getting blown up by terrorists.

          Unless you meet someone in the flesh and get to know them, how can you prove someone is who they say they are, when you talk to them on the phone?

          Not the first time someone has killed themselves after being spoofed over the phone.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Jacintha_Saldanha

          Do you know how many impressionists there are in the world?

          Unless of course her death is just another example of Fake News?

          You decide... whats real and whats not when you use electronics to communicate.

          Do you think black hat hackers will tell you they have hacked your systems at home, watching and listening to you on your smart phone, they lie in wait, logging everything and then come back to blackmail you, just like the Celebs who's indiscretions get leaked to the media for you to gawk on as Emma Watson and Amanda Seyfried found out the other day.

          Hackers or spooks, you decide!

          Your only clue your smart phone is spying on you is if the battery goes flat more quickly than normal.

          Use the laws of physics to help you prove something.

          1. Rob D.
            Happy

            @ tr1ck5t3r

            Many thanks - haven't laughed so much in ages. Bless.

          2. phuzz Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            @ tr1ck5t3r

            Actually, the black hat hackers did contact me, because they were so bloody bored of watching me sit on my arse watching TV all evening, waiting for me to do something blackmailable.

            In the end they had a whip round, and together with the spooks (who were also watching me), they managed to scrape up enough to hire your mum for a night, and eventually everyone went home happy.

            1. tr1ck5t3r

              @phuzz

              Not happy with Virgin Media then or your flatmate? Havent got any PC's to dust or users to upgrade to the latest M$ offering? Have you got the planned migration from Windows to Linux sorted yet?

              Are you even soooo lazy & believing of your Govt that you dont check back for a response?

              Thats right, keep kidding yourself you have not been spied on all these years because you have no way of telling that your smart phone is listening to you right now, watching your every move, because you werent good at physics.

              I can see you have not put tape over your smart phone's camera yet, dont worry, most people are so lazy they only tape up their laptop and tablet camera's if they can even be bothered to do that, they dont think about blocking up their microphones or taping over their smart phone's camera's because it would look silly having a smart phone with tape over the camera's wouldnt it and who wants to look silly now? Dont be a Silly Billy, I'll protect your precious mind, the Govt doesnt lie to you, and the govt doesnt operate in secret.

              I'm a dedicated follower of fashion...... I must have a mobile phone tracking my every move with triangulation that is hidden under the guise of cell phone load management software. I must use my payment card for purchasing. This electronic world makes you a sheep. Baah!

              Because you like the convenience of your electronic world, online purchases, payment cards, mobile phones, its possible to monitor your every move. Do you really think you would be given toys that could not be used to track your every move? Change is subtle, use the earlier adopters to do the selling it lowers your guard.

              Did you know your NHS medical records are online, in M$ dot net web systems? If you didnt, then you dont know much, but here's a clue watch the jobs being advertised with recruitment agencies, find out the clients and then ask yourself, if the Govt are happy to have your medical records online, then they obviously have total oversight of the internet coming in and out of this country. They dont just launch sub's to cut undersea cables in the Middle East for interception for the fun of it you know....

              I'm curious why you dont want to believe that your every move is spied on with electronics? Is this like a religious thing, just like people espouse the existence of their sky faerie of choice despite no proof?

              Story telling has been going on since Caveman times, only most adults have progressed from Lady Bird books to Religion, although I note a resurgence of Lady Bird books for adults, so perhaps we are still going backwards. Ah, precious mind.

              In the mean time enjoy having some phone hacking time in your local boozer tonight. Get yourself a Software Defined Radio usb stick costs about £30, set up your own fake mobile phone tower in a pub or club and start tricking people into thinking they have pulled when it comes to closing time sending different parties photo's from their phone to others and Man In the Middle the text conversation. Its geeky humour, but it keep the bouncers happy and in work.

              Cilla Black's Blind Date has evolved.... Have fun!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ tr1ck5t3r

        I upvoted, nobody can be that crazy? Surely?

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge

          @ tr1ck5t3r

          I upvoted, nobody can be that crazy? Surely?

          tr1ck5t3r's comment clearly reads like a schizophrenic! They often get extreme paranoia outbreaks where they even question the loyalty of close friends or family, been there, witnessed that ...no, one should not take the piss, this is simply the result of inadequate levels of neuroleptics in the blood.

      3. I just wish to be anonymous.

        Ohm errmm Geee.. it's like I've never come across anyone so literally bonkers....

        On the plus side my friend, you've made me laugh tonight.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        @ tr1ck5t3r

        You still here? After you spammed your inane petition all over the forums the other day I expected to see your account pulled.

        1. tr1ck5t3r

          Whats inane about the petition? Let me guess you asked to be born and you still believe in Santa Claus, your parents never told you the truth that he doesnt exist? Good name BTW, you remind me of someone? I wonder who that is?

          Why do so many people choose to believe so many lies?

          Are they scared to find out the truth?

          Perhaps thats why Religion is so good, you can never find your sky fairy and perhaps thats why your smart phone with a camera on both major faces is such an excellent tool for keeping an eye on you, that alarm clock function is such an easy seller, some can laugh from a far when you get undressed. The best joke is you thought you had some privacy! What a sucker! ROFL.

          So do you believe we are spied on or not?

          Why do you choose to believe the narrative instead of forming your own independent thoughts?

          Is it logical to preemptively target trouble before it gets out of hand?

          Do you find the idea that we are spied on 24/7 harmful to your thought processes?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            "Whats inane about the petition?"

            The utter and total irrelevance in where it was posted, for starters. I guess that's why El Reg have now deleted those posts.

            And why the personal attack? Can't you make your point rationally?

            I think you ought to go read the forum guidelines, especially item 15.

            1. PhilipN Silver badge

              tr1ck5t3r

              This guy reminds me - very similar style/presentation e.g. "silly billy" - of an a****le who used to troll the newsgroups (remember those?) many years ago. Back then the traditional response was (excuse caps) :

              DON'T FEED THE TROLLS

            2. tr1ck5t3r

              Yes I keep being called a troll, I've got a nice photo of one waving at me from the Mozilla start page with accompanying text saying "Now seems like a good time as any for an important reminder. Never read the comments." Now how did they do that?

              As to point 15, well considering my email servers & websites keep being hacked and taken down when hosted with major companies, been going on for years now, slowly putting me out of business and now currently I cant send emails, hard drives wiped losing decades of work, I have little other option than to post here. Its one of the few places I can post online. You see this ideology called the financial system forces people to take drastic steps, and theres this illusion about computer security, it doesnt exist, you all live in an electrical digital panopticon. You slept walked into it for your own safety.

              So when is a troll not a troll, when its someone who doesnt agree with you.

              As to the petition, I suppose you find it acceptable that people cant end their life in a dignified manner for what ever reason they choose? How selfish that you think you should control other peoples lives, forcing them to involve other people in often messy ways even when successful.

              Just because rules exist, doesnt mean they are right, does it?

              Why do scientists think they know best?

              Why do they think they even have a right to study other people secretly?

              When will the donkey realise they cant have the carrot?

              And all the while, the population keeps growing, standards keep being lowered and people just dont get it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                tr1ck5t3r is not mad.

                His points regarding the extent of digital information collection, surveillance and monitoring are spot on.

                Corporations collect personal information. Spending habits, personal details, photos, phone and email details, browsing history to name just a handful. This info is easily obtained by the TLAs.

                The NSA/GCHQ et all are fully connected to all ISP backbones - your network traffic IS monitored.

                Proactive remote conpromise (hacking) is something the TLAs do to compromise a PC or smartphone. Even switched off phones can listen, record and transmit if malware is installed.

                Your location is tracked with the position of your phone being known with a triangulation range at all times. Road traffic cameras with number plate scanners also in use.

                None of the above is in dispute - multiple sources not of the tinfoil hat brigade show this to be true. Just look at the revelations of Snowdon or any number of articles on El Reg.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "tr1ck5t3r is not mad.

                  His points regarding the extent of digital information collection, surveillance and monitoring are spot on."

                  Hmmm.

                  Consider those two points separately, shall we? Second one first:

                  "His points regarding the extent of digital information collection, surveillance and monitoring are spot on"

                  I'll agree wholeheartedly with that, and if necessary the evidence is readily available from relatively trustworthy sources (not just Snowden, though he did a great deal to help).

                2. streaky

                  tr1ck5t3r is not mad.

                  He's certainly angry about.. something.. and the "mad" part is strongly debatable.

                  His points regarding the extent of digital information collection, surveillance and monitoring are spot on.

                  Corporations collect personal information. Spending habits, personal details, photos, phone and email details, browsing history to name just a handful. This info is easily obtained by the TLAs.

                  It's not *easily* obtained but it is obtainable. Those are not the same thing. The problem is what comes next...

                  The NSA/GCHQ et all are fully connected to all ISP backbones - your network traffic IS monitored.

                  This is partial truth. They've been and probably continue to be able to access traffic flows between key points in the internet infrastructure and the carriers have been and are complicit in that. Where it breaks down is the tin foil hatter response of they can actually monitor all this information for every person all the time. They have to get useful intel out of the data they collect, and they can't monitor every packet because the flows are obviously far too big for that level of data collection - it'd take a secondary parallel internet infrastructure to make that work and it simply doesn't exist. The fact it obviously can't work as an intelligence tool is the entire problem with it. If it worked it wouldn't be so easy to question it's existence but it missed key events like the Boston bombing and the (numerous) Paris attacks so why should we have to give up privacy for a system that can't possibly - and provably doesn't - work. There's no amount of funding that can make the system they've (apparently) been trying to put together actually be functional at doing this.

                  None of the above is in dispute - multiple sources not of the tinfoil hat brigade show this to be true. Just look at the revelations of Snowdon or any number of articles on El Reg.

                  Snowden docs never really stated this though, you have to be clear about what Snowden actually said and not reinterpret them to mean they have more capability than they really do. They've gone too far but we're in the zone of total capability on all devices at all times and nobody is safe and the agencies concerned clearly don't have that; and nobody has said that - including Snowden who was running rings around them at the end, and arguably continues to with fairly basic security measures, crypto being a key one.

                3. phuzz Silver badge

                  "tr1ck5t3r is not mad"

                  Well, depends how you define mad, but if they were a friend of mine, I'd be wondering about getting a professional opinion about now. That's not intended as an insult, he/she/it is about as bonkers as some of my friends have been at times, but tr1ck5t3r mate, if you've recently changed your meds, consider changing back eh?

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                "As to the petition, I suppose you find it acceptable that people cant end their life in a dignified manner for what ever reason they choose?"

                Then you suppose incorrectly. Unless it's on-topic, your petition is just noise. As for the spying/surveillance aspects of your disjointed posts, your teaching granny to suck eggs in these forums.

              3. Toni the terrible

                tr1ck5t3r - Troll under the bridge?

                I like Trolls, they are often unintenionally funny. I try not to feed them. Not saying you are one though, I dont think it is my call.

                However your last sentance "And all the while, the population keeps growing, standards keep being lowered and people just dont get it" - some people do get it as this site indicates, its just there is not much you can actually do. I dont know if standards are being lowered, they certainly seem to be breeding. Is the population growing? I did hear there may be peak population coming soonish.

              4. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

                tr1ck5t3r - Troll under the bridge?

                I have no idea if GCHQ are monitoring tr1ck5t3r, but I really, really hope his/her GP is...

              5. lorisarvendu
                Happy

                @ tr1ck5t3r

                Hi there! Can I introduce you to a great friend of mine. He's called the Apostrophe, and you can find him on most keyboards (I believe in the US he is just to the left of the Enter key).

                The Apostrophe is mostly used in contractions of words such as "it's", "won't" and "can't" and not only does using it make your message clearer to read, but consistently [i]not[/i] using it tends to make your readers assume you are uneducated, and you wouldn't want that, would you?

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  The Apostrophe is mostly used in contractions of words such as "it's", "won't" and "can't" and not only does using it make your message clearer to read, but consistently [i]not[/i] using it tends to make your readers assume you are uneducated, and you wouldn't want that, would you?
                  And if you had used angle brackets instead of square brackets, the word "not" would have appeared in italics. Further, the word "not" would also have been emphasised by a screen-reader. It's called HTML (hypertext markup language).

                  Just a little smidgen of education for you :-)

                  1. lorisarvendu
                    Unhappy

                    Ha Ha! Yeah, thx Pompous Git. I do know how to italicise in HTML, but unfortunately in this case I put the wrong brackets in, and then didn't check. Epic Fail on my part.

              6. Tom Paine Silver badge

                unfortunate

                I read the other day that poorer people in the US with conditions like epilepsy or diabetes who may be prone to collapsing in public places have to wear medical bracelets saying "DO NOT call 9/11 or for an ambulance" -- as they can't afford the thousands of dollars it costs just to be picked up and taken the local A&E.

                Evidently the same conditon obtains in the field of mental health, too.

                :(

          2. Toni the terrible
            Devil

            Santa

            Now calm down. Santa does exist. He owns the NSA, Google etc after all how else can he find out who shouls be on the Naughty or Nice Lists?

      5. streaky
        Alien

        can never trust a Govt than operates in secret, its as simple as that

        So you can never trust a government. No matter how benevolent there's always going to be a level of secrecy around various issues. No getting round that.

        Next time you talk to someone beit HMRC, your GP, a nurse, emergency services & armed forces personel, just ask them if they had to sign the official secrets act?

        Generally only people who are likely to be exposed to official secrets have to sign official secrets act related paperwork. I've done it several times, it doesn't make me part of the state spying and cover-up apparatus. Indeed if you see my submissions here or had seen my twitter you'd see that I regularly call out GCHQ and others for working outside their remit and invading people's privacy. FWIW nobody at HMRC, or in the medical profession would ever generally be exposed to the official secrets act or information covered by it. Most doctors who aren't military doctors would refuse to sign such paperwork, I'd be surprised to hear of even military doctors being required to sign anything non-standard and exceptional. Official secrets act isn't fit for purpose because nobody is ever prosecuted under it anyways.

        Fact is unless you join one of these organisations or become a CEO of a top business, you will never know just how extensive the Govt spying really is. Just look at the latest TV ad's suggesting women could be working for the secret services, your own other half could be spying on you right now.

        This is pretty much the definition of paranoia. Do you hear the voices often?

        Thats why you can never trust anyone, not even your own parents, brothers & sisters

        Yep don't trust your family. Go live out in the forest in a shelter made of twigs and wear a tin foil hat to protect you from the alien signals.

      6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "You can never trust a Govt than operates in secret, its as simple as that."

        Of course if your Govt appears not to operate in secret it may indeed not be operating in secret. OTOH it might just be very good at operating in secret.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Why I'll die when the chemtrails prove real

        I have a very biased point of view. If you are too addle-brained to get the phrase "plain sight" right ("plain site?" Really?), you may not be up to the task of tracking and understanding a multi-national conspiracy involving individuals and organizations whose entire purpose is obfuscation and secrecy.

        I just don't see many well-written, skillfully argued conspiracy theories, and that lack is very apparent from the "wire tapp" Accuser-in-chief, who clearly favors using Twitter on his smart phone, because his tiny hands don't comfortably fit a regular keyboard.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Seeing as Trump runs an Android phone, probably most hacking organisations on the planet can see everything he does if they want to. No need for GCHQ's expertise...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        that's how to make 'merica great again amigo, buying a crap south korean phone then conduct state business on it.

        Lock him up, lock him up, lock him up, very bad, bad bad Donald.

        1. tr1ck5t3r

          I'm loving the Cognitive Dissonance.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

    5. one crazy media

      Does TRT stand for, Totally Ridiculous Trumpanzee?

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    They didn't deny it though, did they?

    That is all.

    1. John G Imrie

      Re: They didn't deny it though, did they?

      Why has this been down voted so hard. The press release calls the allegations ridiculous and says they should be ignored. It doesn't say they are false.

      1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: They didn't deny it though, did they?

        Everybody in America is under surveillance by the NSA and their friends and I don't see why Donald Trump and his colleagues would, or even technically could, be left out of that vast dragnet. Although the amount of surveillance every American suffers is grotesque and a serious long term threat to American democracy, he is arguing that it was even greater for him than for most other people.

        Whatever the truth of it, the British are in a vulnerable position. If President Trump believes GCHQ specifically targetted him then he can retaliate quite easily and at little political cost since the British are so dependent on American goodwill that they could not do anything back. The British can rubbish the claims, but it would be impossible to disprove them since evidence either way cannot be put into the public domain, and anyone sufficiently security cleared and senior enough to carry out a proper investigation clearly wouldn't be the sort of person who was in the habit of embarrassing the British Government.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    That was then...

    this is now.

    I sincerely hope that GCHQ are now keeping a very close eye on "President" Drumpf and his crazy cronies. Then we might get more than 4 minutes warning of the end of the world.

    1. DNTP

      Re: That was then...

      As an American I probably shouldn't be supportive of the Brits spying on our President.

      As an American I hope for sure that as many external observers as possible are keeping an eye on this damn nutcase in the White House.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That was then...

        As an American I hope for sure that as many external observers as possible are keeping an eye on this damn nutcase in the White House.

        Не безпокойся, товарищ, мы будем за ним присмотривать.

        As Saturday Life put it jest: "This is the most expensive thing we ever bought, of course we will try not to break it".

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That was then...

      I sincerely hope that GCHQ are now keeping a very close eye on "President" Drumpf and his crazy cronies. Then we might get more than 4 minutes warning of the end of the world.

      Indeed, they're already making noises about doing something about N Korea. That's the problem with business people: their "negotiation" tactics are pretty binary and always require a losing party to be considered a success. Political negotiations are a bit more subtle and complex, but as they have effectively all but closed down the State Department, that expertise (and remaining goodwill) is vanishing fast.

      I wonder if we managed to make it through one year of Trump before them engaging in a massive war somewhere because Trump couldn't keep his stupid gob shut, or because Trump needed a distraction from him breaking the law like the emolument clause or active collaboration with Russia.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: That was then...

        Political negotiations are a bit more subtle and complex

        Considering there current idea of diplomacy is to have their whitehouse press guy Spicer accusing an allied intelligence agency of trying to influence an election, I'd say its safe to say were pretty much fucked for the hope of subtlety and complexity from them.

      2. Known Hero

        Re: That was then...

        Well going to war with North Korea is easy, Just give lots of weapons to South Korea and wait.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That was then...

          That worked out really well in the case of the Iran Iraq war.

      3. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: That was then...

        "I wonder if we managed to make it through one year of Trump before them engaging in a massive war somewhere because Trump couldn't keep his stupid gob shut"

        Time for a sweepstake! Yay, I got Canada!

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: That was then...

          If it's a dead pool sweepstake then I'm in luck: I drew Iran!

        2. WonkoTheSane
          Facepalm

          Re: That was then...

          Dammit! I got Tuvalu...

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: That was then...

            Dammit! I got Tuvalu...
            It could be worse. I got the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.

        3. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: That was then...

          I got Tahiti. Hmm.... maybe time to move.

      4. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: That was then...

        "That's the problem with business people: their "negotiation" tactics are pretty binary and always require a losing party to be considered a success."

        Absolute bollocks. I work for one of those businesses and the gold standard for success is that EVERYBODY walks away thinking that THEY got the best deal.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: That was then...

          Does that count for a narcissist? I always get the impression they like to feel they came out on top and the other was beaten.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That was then...

          SundogUK@,

          Yes, I have been on all the same Sales Courses and know that is the 'Gold Standard' !!!

          Back in the real world, Prez Trump is a Narcissist with a psychological need to be seen to be the 'Best' !!!

          [If you cannot show it ...... simply state it is so and treat all objections as lies and bias.]

          You will have also seen how he cannot admit fault or failure.

          On this basis the original statement about 'Binary' negotiation tactics is proven to be more than true, to date.

          His language is always about winners & losers !!!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear, fake news hurts doesn't it ?

    My aching sides !!!!!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So was Watergate just a figment of our imaginations ?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      If you can remember the 70s you weren't there...

  6. mintus55

    partial denial

    the denial only covers trump as president elect - it doesn't deny any wire tapping prior to trump's election win

    1. Thought About IT

      Re: partial denial

      That's the thing about a conspiracy theorist: no amount of evidence will ever change their mind. It's alarming that the president of the USA is one.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: partial denial

        It's alarming that the president of the USA is one.

        “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

        A quote from HL Mencken

      2. Anonymous Coward
    2. mintus55

      Re: partial denial

      read the denial again guys - it's pretty clear that it only refers to the period when Trump was president elect:

      "Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct 'wiretapping' against the then president elect are nonsense"

      an actual denial would read something like this:

      "Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct 'wiretapping' against Donald Trump are nonsense"

      GCHQ have introduced the possibility that they may have wiretapped Trump before the election result. Why would they do that? who knows, who cares....?

      1. Grunchy

        Full Admission by GCHQ!

        If GCHQ only denies wiretapping while Trump has been in office, that's clearly an admission of wiretapping before he was elected.

        Very clever lads.. a full admission, hidden in plain sight.

        Meanwhile, you (meaning: anyone) are allowed to wiretap my personal residence. I do not use phone lines no more.

        Wire tap away!

        1. nematoad Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Full Admission by GCHQ!

          " I do not use phone lines no more."

          I see what you did there, sneaky.

          So you do still use a land line?

          Aren't double negatives a bitch?

      2. HausWolf

        Re: partial denial

        Maybe they are playing a word game to keep the stupid orange knob guessing.

      3. Jaybus

        Re: partial denial

        "GCHQ have introduced the possibility that they may have wiretapped Trump before the election result. Why would they do that?"

        I'm not sure that they would know any other way. They are trained to collect factual information, not be the source of it. As a result, vague statements are standard operating procedure.

    3. Mystic Megabyte
      FAIL

      Re: partial denial

      GCHQ were not tapping Trump they were tapping the Russians. Good luck with your lying Russian puppet.

  7. TRT Silver badge

    Most emphatically NOBODY tapped telephones at Trump tower.

    They had no need to. They had wire taps in place already at the Russian embassy, the offices of various Russian executives and ambassadors and the homes of the aforementioned. So who's fault is it that they spent so much time on the blower to the Putin-crew?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Most emphatically NOBODY tapped telephones at Trump tower.

      They had no need to. They had wire taps in place already at the Russian embassy, the offices of various Russian executives and ambassadors and the homes of the aforementioned. So who's fault is it that they spent so much time on the blower to the Putin-crew?

      Absolutely correct. It is but a theory, but I suspect what got the Trump camp completely in a panic is that they KNOW what evidence the NSA has because it was in the intelligence briefings that Trump gained access to as president elect, the intelligence people just had not officially connected that yet to the precise people on the US side because that was then still not allowed.

      However, as soon as Obama took the constraints away from the NSA (which is IMHO the only active involvement he had) it because very easy for the FBI to put the pieces together. Obama has been very clever here: he stayed well away from the investigation, he just made it possible for the agencies to officially connect the dots.

      It must drive the Trump camp absolutely nuts knowing they can't really touch him, yet know for a fact that he enabled the FBI to connect the Russian conversations with the Trump team so that it can potentially be acted upon. That's real statesmanship, not the bull in a china shop approach that Trump mistakes for politics.

      I just hope it has consequences for Trump, and soon. If the sharp increase in "alternative noise" is anything to go by, he damn well knows he has a problem..

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At 1 gvt backed intel org per day

    Roughly 200 countries, so puts off impeachment for another 6-7 months, as he accuses them one after another - Norks will probably claim they did it, even if they didn't.

  9. Haku

    You know that bit in Back to the Future when Doc Brown asks who's president and when told responds with utter astonishment "Ronald Reagan? The actor?!!"

    Now imagine if you woke up from a 2 year coma and asked who's the current US president...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Now imagine if you woke up from a 2 year coma and asked who's the current US president...

      You'd immediately slip back into a coma..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fast forward 20 years:

      There is no Earth

    3. c1ue

      Meh.

      Back to the Future was made after Reagan was elected (movie released in 1985, Reagan elected 1984).

      It was a snarky Dem/Liberal poke at Reagan and in no way prescient.

      On the other hand, the Simpsons TV show featured Donald Trump as President - 16 years before it actually happened: http://i1.coventrytelegraph.net/incoming/article12149774.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/Screen-Shot-2016-11-09-at-081756.png

      Ironically, the Simpsons show was a spoof on Back to the Future (Bart to the Future)

      1. jamesb2147

        AND THAT SHOW AIRS ON FOX!!!1!

  10. Tom 7 Silver badge

    RE:Now imagine if you woke up from a 2 year coma and asked who's the precitent

    I'd drive into a wall to induce another.

  11. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "The signals intelligence agency's decision has decided to break this rule to issue an unusually strong denial in an apparent attempt to make sure it is not dragged into a hugely contentious US debate."

    Well, good luck with that.

    "They officially denied it, of course. Which means it must be true!"

    1. John G Imrie

      Never believe anything until it's been officially denied:- Jim Hacker, Yes minister.

  12. Known Hero

    GCHQ doesn't need to wire tap, They only have to follow him on twitter to know :)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The GCHQ in this picture

    Is it the same one which people once used to accuse of unauthorised/illegal mass surveillance (which resulted in the usual 'tin foil hat' and 'conspiracly theory' ad hominems from ... well, y'know)?

    Is it the same one whose puppets in and around Westminster used to deny that GCHQ were doing anything dodgy, and certainly not doing anything illegal like unauthorised mass surveillance?

    Is it the same one which was then exposed as conducting unauthorised and illegal mass surveillance, the same one in whose intererests UK law was changed at very short notice in order to legalise their historic unauthorised mass surveillance?

    Is it the same one where 'supervision' by names like May and Farr figure significantly in recent decades?

    I could be wrong, but I think it might be.

    1. Geoffrey W

      Re: The GCHQ in this picture

      I know...but this is the Trump administration making the claim...Kernel Panic...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Kernel Panic..."

        See also

        "General ProtectionFault"

        and in particular

        "US Error (core Trumped)."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Kernel Panic..."

          "US Error (core Trumped)."

          Ha! You owe me a new keyboard. And a fresh cup of tea.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The GCHQ in this picture

      Yeah, this one.

  14. LDS Silver badge

    I just read BOFH and the boss in search of excuses...

    ... why in this article Trump's entourage looks like that so much?

  15. Afernie

    GCHQ's credibilty problem

    I don't believe for a moment that GCHQ tapped the blowhard-in-chief's phones; the problem is the credibility of the NSA and GCHQ when it comes to telling the truth is so damaged (James Clapper, I'm looking at you) that he can say it and what would have been laughed at five years ago actually has to be investigated. Not a healthy state of affairs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GCHQ's credibilty problem

      " the credibility of the NSA and GCHQ when it comes to telling the truth is so damaged (James Clapper, I'm looking at you) that he can say it and what would have been laughed at five years ago actually has to be investigated. "

      True, but how many people knew or know, let alone care, about who Clapper is, what kind of person he is, and what his administrative record is? Same on this side of the pond (Charles Farr and others).

      The world's "free press" seem more interested in the inability of a well known global book-keeping company to count the votes and correctly announce the results of the ballot at some kind of fashion show.

      Almost as though it was deliberate. Almost.

      Meanwhile the UK internet industry is very publically setting up the necessary political, legal, ind technological infrastructure to clamp down on distribution of anythint that Government (or their paymasters) aren't happy with. What could poss

      ARRIER LOST

  16. MJI Silver badge

    Obama did not order it

    May did!

    Why do you think she look so confident around him?

    She has him by the short and curlies.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Obama did not order it

      She has him by the short and curlies.

      and we know what he grabs women by.

      Who pulls hardest?

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Obama did not order it

      After that... where's the mind bleach?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Wizard of Fud

    Trump is the master at shouting "look over there" while he gets on doing something else.

    He will eventually bring everyone down to his pathetic level, given enough BS.

  18. Alistair
    Windows

    C'mon folks

    KittyAnn wuz riTe! it wUz no whIre tAp! It Wuz thu mycrowabes! Tats wy gcHq cAn saY Dat!.

    /sarc

    Considering all the internet of trash security articles we see here on ElReg, its entirely possible that someone somewhere might/could have (gag) possibly hacked into Trumps glowrious Gowld Suite at the BEST tower in the greatest city.

    Mind you I suppose if Trump decides that the most effective distraction tool he can use to keep the populace from seeing just how thoroughly he's screwing up is to spit out bullshit on twitter about how 'the other guys' are 'spying' on him, we may be a step up from the bush/clinton era.

    no, sadly no. I'm quite sure that by the end of next week we'll see yet another shafting of some not quite white, not quite upper class, not quite american enough chunk of the U.S.

  19. BarryUK

    Tin Foil Hatters have taken over the free world

    Why would anyone bother tapping Trump anyway? He already Tweets every moronic thought that scurries across his brain. Someone really needs to get Sean Spicer a tin foil hat.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Tin Foil Hatters have taken over the free world

      All the security services need to do is just get everyone to BELIEVE that they mass surveil everything and everyone. Then they set up a dummy company that sells ultra-secure unbreakable encryption in a variety of easy to swallow packages. All it takes is just a leisurely scroll through the order book. The wisdom of Solomon.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Tin Foil Hatters have taken over the free world

        "Then they set up a dummy company that sells ultra-secure unbreakable encryption in a variety of easy to swallow packages. "

        Soma? It might not be encryption but, hey, no one will care anyway.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tin Foil Hatters have taken over the free world

      "Why would anyone bother tapping Trump anyway? He already Tweets every moronic thought that scurries across his brain."

      To find out where that Leninist called Bannon is headed, maybe?

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/03/16/stephen-bannon-wants-to-dismantle-your-government-administrative-state-ross-baker-column/99180638/

  20. analyzer

    What are you lot on about?

    We're talking about someone who vomits his entire thought process over twatter FFS.

    No one has to waste resources spying on the orange one.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sad thing is...

    ...that I truly don't know who to believe on this one.

    I do appreciate that Trump is perhaps not the ideal candidate for a the US President and some of his views are possibly a bit out there (choosing my words carefully) but the NSA and GCHQ haven't exactly shown they are willing to stay on the correct side of the private/public line and I'm sure they get up to all sorts of 'telemetry gathering' on a vast number of people we don't know about.

    So I'd be equally unsurprised to find out this was all made up or all true.

  23. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Look at the obvious ...

    Who would be stupid enough to risk ordering spying on a presidential candidate? Either way the election went, the result of someone crawling to a media outlet would be catastrophic. Whatever you thought of Obahma he was anything but stupid.

    Since GCHQ are supposed to be working with the NSA as part of the Indeterminate-Number-of Eyes programme, I reckon GCHQ are as pissed off with Trump as the US security services are, and that's why they declared their position so quickly and strongly.

    Quite obviously another Trumpet - a load of air and noise to distract the world from the rest of the crap he's dealing on the world.

  24. Arthur the cat Silver badge
  25. Richard Scratcher
    Black Helicopters

    A lot of data

    Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox "News" claims here that the NSA has digital copies of all calls made to, from and within the US since 2005 (and also that GreasyHQ has been gifted complete access to them).

    Wow! How many olympic-sized swimming pools would that amount of data fill?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    government agency denials

    the crowd never believes a government denial. Unless it makes 'em fit in among the cool kids. then suddenly it's "truth".

    Reality as opposed to trendy social media punditry and a teenage clique-ish "desire to belong" would be to "distrust but verify" on EVERYTHING any clown in power says, regardless of who you're told to hate. Whether loud and orange or slimy with big ears, there's no actual difference between the Prop In Chief regardless of how you want to "feel". The apparatus in the background, skeeves on against you as before.

  27. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Anyone fancy a sweepstake on how long before Drumpf cancels the "Five Eyes" agreement or the "UKUSA" agreement, just out of spite/revenge for alleged "wire tapping" that may or may not be an "alternative fact"?

    I'm going for June the 7th. Has a nice ring to it...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      He can cancel it... but will it actually be canceled or will the powers-that-be continue their agreement? No tin foil hat for me, thank you. I know they're out to get us.,,, eventually.

  28. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Well. well, well .......

    Well, to paraphrase, and apparently misquote Mandy Rice-Davies, "They would say that, wouldn't they" ...... https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/27/mandy-rice-davies-quotation-no-correction

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Random

    What if:-

    I know this is implausible (more like absurd) speculation but CTCs are feasible and my ongoing research into antigravity could unlock the key to near-unlimited computing power which would make a quantum computer look like an abacus next to a supercomputer.

    The interesting thing here is that quantum systems resemble CTCs in many ways so you could model one as either in much the same way as most of modern physics.

    1. Sam Therapy

      Re: Random

      Antigravity already exists. Buttered cat.

  30. William 3 Bronze badge

    Cognitive Dissonance of the left

    Too funny to watch the mental gymnastics of the left when things go against their narrative.

    * CIA - Complicit in Torture renditions as recorded by the Guardian

    Yet when Trump is involved the Guardian forgets all the bad shit they ever did.

    Absolutely tragic, and shows zero integrity. Possibly why the shitrag is begging for money to stay afloat.

    * GCHQ - Spies on fucking everyone, hated by the left wing for doing so.

    Until they say "we've never spied on Trump, honest", then it's "see, trumps a lying bastard"

    * Obama - Gets given a nobel peace prize.

    One of the only presidents to have the US complicit in overseas wars for the entire duration of his tenure.

    Complicit in illegal drone strikes in Pakistan

    Well worthy of a nobel peace prize that.

    (Will they be giving them out to the bloods and the crips next? Might as well, they've not got as much blood on their hands as Obama)

    Complicit in the continuing the spying of Merkels phone

    His followers call Trump a warmonger and hate criminal.

    Ha ha ha. It's ludicrous.

    But of course, when people point out how hypocritical all this makes you left wingers, then we're the idiots for doing so, and not you lot for falling for the most blatant of bullshit.

    Not forgetting that they go searching for things to be offended over, even if their so called "victims" themselves aren't even offended.

    Go right ahead, wank each other off in your circle jerk of self righteousness in your own little echo chamber.

    The rest of the world will look down upon you for the bunch of hypocritical tossers you all are.

    You may not like Trump, but is that any reason to start defending the NSA, GCHQ, and start trusting whatever shite they come out with, despite all the history of lying, deceit and bullshit they've come out with in the past. Maybe if you're an absolute tool and driven by hate.

    1. Mystic Megabyte
      WTF?

      Re: Cognitive Dissonance of the left

      Too funny to watch the mental gymnastics of the left when things go against their narrative.

      I would say that it's you who are doing mental gymnastics. How else can you explain your support for someone who continually spreads lies and falsehoods.

  31. Toni the terrible
    Devil

    Trumpet

    Of course the Donald was monitored, certainly before he became POTUS. If there is any surveillance at all he would be included like all Senators / Congress critters / Members of Parliament / Merkel / any influential person. I doubt Obama specifically told the NSA/GCHQ grouping to do so, because he didnt need to do that - and if they didnt (which would be derilect) globally all other technically capable agencies were or were trying. The Donald just makes it easy to do. What is he going to do next, complain that as a fish he finds water to be wet?

  32. Colin Bain

    Who knows really

    I would like to believe GCHQ but for a couple of things. Surely silence as a policy is the best option, as previously followed. And wasnt GCHQ part of the second up the WMD Saddam thing. Not to mention that US under a previous non aTrump administration actually bugged Angela Merkel. What's a poor boy to believe

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Who knows really

      What's a poor boy to believe
      That there are no liberal celebs left in America? After all, for weeks on end there were any number who declared that if Trump was elected, they'd leave. And we wouldn't want to accuse them of lying would we?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GCHQ spy on everyone and 'gift' the intelligence to Uncle Sam. Their denial is as pointless as Trump's accusation. The UK is a puppet state of the USA so he has only to check with the CIA.

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