Op MULLENIZE and beyond - Staining Machines
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Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)

Glossary: agencies

Date Created: 2012-10-10
Classification: Top Secret : COMINT
Distribution: STRAP 1

Glossary: classification and distribution codes.

Genre: Newsletter, .PDF , 11 p.

Journalist(s): Barton Gellman : Craig Timberg : Steven Rich
Originating Media Outlet: The Washington Post
Date Published: 2013-10-04
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Communications Target: Encrypted communications
Surveillance Program(s): Operation MULLENIZE

Glossary: surveillance programs.

Description: This document is an internal memo created by GCHQ describing Operation MULLENIZE, an attempt to distinguish othewise anonymous internet users. The agency uses "User Agent Staining" to change the way in which the user's web browser identifies itself on the web. It is used to unmask TOR users, as well as devices on networks in which many share the same IP address, such as Internet Cafes.