Read more about the inspiration and ideas behind this piece here.
In addition to creating the video in response to the IPT ruling over GCHQ's computer hacking methods, I also created these fake screenshots alerting users to GCHQ activities on their iPhones. The alerts satirically make audiences aware of the capabilities that the security services have and the methods they use to hack into peoples' phones. Each screenshot is crafted from scratch on Photoshop and alerts users with different warnings. For example, the first screenshot shows a user on the Privacy International webpage. Privacy International are a campaign group seeking to "ensure that surveillance is consistent with the rule of law." The group took GCHQ to trial, accusing them of breaching the publics' basic human rights by hacking into computers, smartphones and other networks. The screenshot plays on the idea that anyone who visits this website is automatically targeted and hacked because they are seen as a "threat". This notion is continued in the next screenshot. This image shows a video shared by The Guardian's Facebook page with the caption "we are becoming a society in which censorship is the new normal." Again, the image plays on the idea that those who are aware of the extent of censorship and surveillance in this country are the ones who are targeted and silenced. This screenshot, however, may not be entirely accurate as Facebook has previously asserted that it does not grant GCHQ or the NSA access to user's information via a "back door." Despite this, the notion that GCHQ has the ability to hack into people's phones while they enter the app is still valid and shows the extent to which hacking can affect the regular citizen.
Each screenshot addresses a different aspect of the phones hardware/software that the security services has admitted to hacking into. Cameras, locations and messages are all alerts that are tackled in this piece, as well as the department's ability to install malware and tracking software onto the phone. An additional screenshot reading "GCHQ is trying to, but is unable to, access Whatsapp." was created to comment on the department's inability to access whatsapp messages due to encryption methods used by the app.
The piece is displayed on an iPhone screen to provide a sense of authenticity. By displaying the images on an iPhone screen, audiences get a sense of the techniques that the security services use to access their phones and what to be cautious of, should they feel the need to show caution. The images were constructed from scratch as the quality of a regular screenshot was not good enough to display.