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Weaponising Big Data

This site is the home of the ‘Weaponising Big Data’ Project, a Free Range research project on the military and intelligence sites in Britain that are preparing for offensive cyberwarfare and automated state surveillance.


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Last updated:
2019-10-05 

UK Cyberwarfare & Surveillance Sites:

18. GCHQ Scarborough

Site profile:
Site operator » GCHQ Scarborough
Associated with » GCHQ & NSA
Category » Comms. & Analysis
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GCHQ Scarborough is a signals intelligence station, sitting in the middle of an array of antenna masts in the surrounding fields that receive signals from across Europe and beyond. Little is known directly, though as an outstation of GCHQ the site is quite possibly involved in network-based analysis and cyber-operations, possibly involving the NSA, though not on the scale of GCHQ Bude.

About this site

At the surface, essentially a listening station, it receives and logs distant radio signals for intelligence purposes. That may in part be military signals, but as a branch of the foreign intelligence system Scarborough will also be monitoring diplomatic and commercial traffic when required.

It is likely that far more data and traffic passes into or through the site via telecommunications links beneath the ground, from the public data network (it has no visible satellite uplinks). The large number of car parking spaces, along with the large cooling plant to the rear of the building suggest, that there is a lot of computer processing power houses in the building which has an extensive staff to operate it.

The only significant mention in an operational context is the Edward Snowden disclosure regarding cyber-operations on telecommunications networks (see list below for details).

Articles and reports on this site

☮ Wired – Did the NSA and the UK's Spy Agency Launch a Joint Cyberattack on Iran?, 30th July 2014
A documenting disclosed by Edward Snowden reveals that Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) officers at GCHQ Scarborough were involved in international cyberwar actions against Middle Eastern targets, hacking telephone networks. The original document is available here.