That the UK is tapping underseas cables in the Middle East isn't much of a surprise, but the real interest here is their choice of business partners:
"British national telco BT, referred to within GCHQ and the American NSA under the ultra-classified codename “REMEDY”, and Vodafone Cable (which owns the former Cable & Wireless company, aka “GERONTIC”) are the two top earners of secret GCHQ payments running into tens of millions of pounds annually."
I've posted before about Management Class spooks - the 'corporateness' of UK / US spook outfits - but this just goes to show how cosy a relationship the spook and private-business sectors have - synergistic biznis, innit.
If BT and Vodapohone are helping GCHQ spy abroad, then it isn't a hop, skip and a jump to suggest they are doing the same domestically. Kinda nice that Vodaphone are being paid by the UK government, as well as being let off a boatload of taxes...