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How they kept the stadium's lights burning

After all those grubby little stories about GCHQ tying in with the US Prism surveillance programme and spying on diplomats at the 2009 G20 meetings finally something to vindicate Britain's spooks! Out rushed lurid headlines about how the gallant spies spiked the 'cyber-attack' threat to London's Olympic ceremony. This appalling conspiracy was apparently aimed at turning off the lights in the Olympic stadium!

Having stoked the imaginations of a credulous media it turned out that GCHQ's finest had merely feared that this might happen. In the hushed and secretive tones of a national emergency the BBC reported that Olympic cyber security head Oliver Hoare had said "There was a suggestion that there was a credible attack on the electricity infrastructure supporting the Games." With true Brit sang froid Olly had made himself a strong cup of coffee, after getting the call from GCHQ at 4.45am, while pondering on the catastrophic damage to Britain's reputation if the lights were to go out for thirty seconds while an alleged billion people were watching the ceremony. Actually the billion figure related to Beijing not London where it was in all likelihood several hundred million less.

After a sort of a COBRA meeting, contingency planning, a lot of running around and switching to manual it turned out nothing was happening, there was no conspiracy, nobody was trying to switch off the lights. Still, in almost a parody of the secrecy surrounding Bletchley Park GCHQ, Olly and the rest of the Olympic spooks have held on to their Olympic cyber non-secret for a year before revealing it to an Olympic brainwashed BBC Radio Four. As is usual in these circumstances the spooks declined to speak in detail.

Having stirred the fears of the media with a non-existent threat to the Olympics the secret services then turned to alleged reconnaissance of national infrastructure but once again nothing of any substance was offered, nothing that 'would raise a red flag'. But all this provided good reason for the UK, or GCHQ, 'and its allies' to work together to guard against the threat...or something or other out there...

So another Olympic story to inspire the nation, this time a tale of derring-do in the face of cyber villainy, of how the lights burned through the night at GCHQ to keep the lights on in Stratford.... Damn that Snowden!


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