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The NSA, GCHQ and the secret Mafia connection

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This week, the new head of Britain’s GCHQ intelligence service – the National Security Agency’s principal spy partner – wrote a controversial press article accusing the tech industry of aiding and abetting terrorism and crime. Simon Davies provides his interpretation of the unfolding scenario.

The powerful “Five families” spy syndicate – the secretive enterprise that enforces a stranglehold on global communications interception – has flexed its muscles after more than a year in hiding.

The syndicate this week installed a ruthless new deputy supremo, whose first action in office has been to spark an underworld war by openly threatening the family’s Silicon Valley data suppliers and pledging a renewed assault on the privacy rights of citizens.

Robert “the eye” Hannigan has been handed joint leadership of the US-based syndicate, an untouchable enterprise that controls a monopoly communications spying empire across the world. He is the first syndicate boss to have grown up in the Internet era and has learned to exploit that resource to spread his message.

Boss of bosses Robert Hannigan and the headquarters of his family business

Boss of bosses Robert Hannigan and the headquarters of his family business

The business operations of the five families, based in the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, include espionage, subversion and sabotage. Their reach extends from home computers and mobile phones to embassies and even to the United Nations. In the process they have succeeded in achieving an unlawful ‘root & branch’ infiltration of almost every communications and computing company on earth – in full view of authorities.

Traditionally, the US arm of the family has held control of the syndicate, but its former Capo di tuti Capi, Keith “the bruiser” Alexander, came under intense public scrutiny last year after playing fast and loose with the truth in front of Congress.

Sensing a risk to the syndicate’s stability, the family’s backers in government hastily installed a compromise boss, Michael “the admiral” Rogers. The new leader laid low, allowing the British arm of the family to assume greater dominance in the syndicate.

Although appearing more moderate than his predecessor (he can smile in press photographs), Rogers succeeded in hosing down public hostility against the syndicate while silently transferring more of the family’s operations to Britain, where the US branch could maintain control of the business outside the constraints of American law.

Coercion, fear tactics and an unprecedented network of Oxbridge-trained collaborators have allowed the operation to nurture a secretive empire that reaches all parts of the globe.

At this point the British family’s backers instituted a coup in which its capo, Iain Lobban, was replaced by the more ruthless Hannigan.

Lobban’s position had become vulnerable, not so much because of the delicate political situation faced by the syndicate, but because he went to Leeds University instead of the traditional family alma mater of Oxford and Cambridge. The family’s former consigliere once remarked that putting a Leeds man at the helm of the operation was like” putting a fish on a bicycle”.

Hannigan now controls a wealthy and powerful institution that for more than half a century has operated largely outside the law. A feared and notorious ‘tough guy’, Hannigan cut his teeth as head of intelligence for Northern Ireland, enforcing an uneasy peace in a troubled region that the English had screwed up for more than fifty years. His appointment is widely seen as reward for this street experience.

The UK family business, known as GCHQ, has exploited its unique political position to avoid legal scrutiny over its operations. Coercion, fear tactics and an unprecedented network of Oxbridge-trained collaborators have allowed the operation to nurture a secretive empire that reaches all parts of the globe.

One of Hannigan’s key mandates will be to manage the fallout from disclosures by the informant Eddie “the man “Snowden, who blew the whistle on institutional criminality in the family operations before going on the run.

Along with more than a dozen powerful co-conspirators, Hannigan will manage an inspired diversion tactic by exploiting turf wars between rival religious and race groups – a strategy that furthers the interests of the families.

Writing in the Financial Times, Hannigan took aim at his Silicon Valley suppliers, accusing them of conspiring to choke the syndicate’s operations by securing their customers’ data against infiltration by the Family. “This action is disrespectful and it displeases me” he warned.

“We are responsible for providing protection for citizens”, he added. “When the competition wishes to provide this security it forces us to institute unpleasant methods to maintain order.”

“The bosses in Silicon Valley need to remember there is a natural order and we must work together as a family. If this does not happen, cooperation will be replaced by retaliation. That is in no-one’s interest – especially ours.”