×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Revealed: How the UK Spied On Its G20 Allies At London Summits

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the free-latte-sirs-and-madams? dept.

Communications 262

Writing "Wow, this is going to really set the cat amongst the pigeons once this gets around," an anonymous reader links to a story at The Guardian about some good old fashioned friendly interception, and the slide-show version of what went on at recent G20 summits in London: "Foreign politicians' calls and emails intercepted by UK intelligence; Delegates tricked into using fake internet cafes; GCHQ analysts sent logs of phone calls round the clock; Documents are latest revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

262 comments

Seems fishy (-1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44024683)

GCHQ is a British organization. How would Snowden get copies of their plans, if there are in fact legitimate? He seems to be making some mighty big claims for having been employed as an employee of an NSA contractor for three months.

Re:Seems fishy (4, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#44024729)

That's part of the problem with massive caches of data -- it's hard to secure. So, setting aside all the potential evils that will absolutely certainly occur because of politicians and career bureaucrats having the data, throw in the random security breach by insiders, contractors, script kiddies, whatever.

It is beyond retarded to trust the government with this data.

Re:Seems fishy (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 10 months ago | (#44024855)

So, setting aside all the potential evils that will absolutely certainly occur because of politicians and career bureaucrats having the data, throw in the random security breach by insiders, contractors, script kiddies, whatever.

When the day comes that this information is obtained and used against the same politicians who voted for it, it will be some delicious comeuppance. And better than they deserve. And a minor observation. From the fine summary:

an anonymous reader links to a story at The Guardian about some good old fashioned friendly interception

It's funny the way they phrase things when governments are involved. If you steal your neighbor's car, they won't call it a "friendly theft" just because you were on good terms prior to the theft.

Re:Seems fishy (4, Insightful)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 10 months ago | (#44024905)

>When the day comes that this information is obtained and used against the same politicians who voted for it, it will be some delicious comeuppance.

I really don't think you quite get how that day would work.

"Senator, PRISM has discovered an email of you admitting to having a gay lover in college, something that would make you completely unelectable in this country for some reason."

"Ahh. Johnny Ten Inches. Yes, well, I admit to that. How much is it going to cost for this to go away?"

"We have all the money we need, but it would sure be nice if that new NSA data seizure legislation in the pipeline got a yes vote. #211,944 if I recall."

"#211,944? I'm not familiar with it."

"Of course you aren't, senator. We haven't written it yet."

Re:Seems fishy (3, Funny)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44024955)

I really don't think you quite get how that day would work. "Senator, PRISM has discovered an email of you admitting to having a gay lover in college...

You apparently have no familiarity with American culture. Homosexuality was once, "The love that dare not speak its name." Now it's, "The love that won't shut up." There have been a number of legislators that have been "out." It doesn't seem to have hurt their careers. They would probably take it as free publicity.

It would almost certainly lead to a real smack down of the NSA were such a thing to happen.

Re:Seems fishy (0, Troll)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about 10 months ago | (#44025093)

Homosexuality was once, "The love that dare not speak its name." Now it's, "The love that won't shut up."

Brilliant !
No mod points today, otherwise this zinger would be getting +2 Double Plus Good
I have no problem with homosexuals, but I do wish they'd shut up from time to time (well, I'm sure other Slashdotters could say the same about me too :) )

Re:Seems fishy (0, Troll)

Le Marteau (206396) | about 10 months ago | (#44025483)

I hear homos ranting maybe once a year. It is not a big deal.

Where are you going that you are constantly hearing homos rage?

It is my advice that, rather than you tell other people what to do, you stop visiting venues where homos are sounding off.

Just a thought.

Re:Seems fishy (1)

godel_56 (1287256) | about 10 months ago | (#44025097)

You apparently have no familiarity with American culture. Homosexuality was once, "The love that dare not speak its name." Now it's, "The love that won't shut up." There have been a number of legislators that have been "out." It doesn't seem to have hurt their careers. They would probably take it as free publicity.

It would almost certainly lead to a real smack down of the NSA were such a thing to happen.

I think that would depend where they are. It might be different in Alabama to California.

There's also a good chance that the good Senator is married with a couple of kids, is a loudly proclaimed devout Christian, and until now has been "passing". Oh, and hypocrisy being what it is, they may also have taken a prominent anti-gay stance to the press.

Re:Seems fishy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025299)

There's nothing like a good sex scandal to turn a persons lifes work to mud. eg. Clinton, Petraeus, Assauge.

Re:Seems fishy (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#44025455)

I think you miss his point. Homosexuality is ancillary to the problem it was just an example, it's that something- anything- could be discovered and used against the politician or anyone else for that matter. Replace homosexuality with a stay in a mental hospital, a car accident that killed people, a juvenile crime of some sort (property damage or perhaps assaulting someone in high school), an affair with a biographer or anything that the politician thinks will make him unelectable. That is what the point was about, having some sort of dirt over the person that was discovered through this cache of information that was thought to be personal and private.

Re:Seems fishy (0)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 10 months ago | (#44024965)

If you steal your neighbor's car, they won't call it a "friendly theft" just because you were on good terms prior to the theft.

Except that nothing was stolen. It is like downloading a movie. Copying is not stealing. Countries spy on each other, friend or foe. It is normal and expected.

Re:Seems fishy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025105)

Kinda like how if I copy down your social security number, it's not identity theft because nothing is stolen?

The problem is people (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 10 months ago | (#44025067)

"A secret once shared is secret no more."

It's marginally possible to maintain infosec when your operatives are groomed, recruited, trained and thoroughly and frequently tested by counterops, psych, and intel pros who outnumber them hundreds to one. Then only occasionally does a spy get in and get promoted to the top. This is only possible when the people who know the precious things are few. The top end is maybe 5,000. Probably far less.

When your secrets are shared across thousands of subcontractors whose recruiting you don't even monitor? No. You may as well post your own shit to pastebin.

Re:Seems fishy (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 10 months ago | (#44025329)

That's part of the problem with massive caches of data -- it's hard to secure.

There was no intention to secure the data. Each country's intelligence service shares with their counterparts so they have plausible deniability regarding spying on their own citizens.

The Brits can say they got info from the Americans or Australians NZ, etc and vice versa.

These people in their surveillance communities have far more in common with each other, and more loyalty to each other than to the nations that hire them.

Re:Seems fishy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024741)

I would put money on it that he was bought out by the Chinese to put a official US/Western face to the findings of the Chinese hacking. It seems mighty convenient that the NSA story came out right before the Chinese-US talks, and is kind of hard for Obama to say anything when the Chinese can say "look, you are spying on your own people too". And now with the G7 meeting coming up, this comes out...

And why would this guy go to Hong Kong of all the places he could go?

Re:Seems fishy (5, Insightful)

lennier1 (264730) | about 10 months ago | (#44024777)

And why would this guy go to Hong Kong of all the places he could go?

Because it's one of the few places that provide some decent protection against extradition to a "beacon of freedom" that runs secret prisons, tortures its prisoners and imprisons people for years without a trial

Re:Seems fishy (-1, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44024893)

You don't have much of that right.

Hong Kong and the US have an extradition treaty.
There is no requirement to hold a trial for POWs.
The US waterboarded a grand total of 3 terrorists in the same way that it has waterboarded thousands upon thousands of its own pilots and special forces. The most recent use of waterboarding on a terrorist was more than 10 years ago.
As far as being a beacon of freedom, the US has never had to build a fence to keep people in, as many other countries have had to do. And it can't quite manage to get a fence built to keep people out. And people keep coming.

Re:Seems fishy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024911)

The US waterboarded a grand total of 3 terrorists

And you believe them.

Re:Seems fishy (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44024977)

Feel free to find proof ...proof... that more occurred.

Exclusive: Only Three Have Been Waterboarded by CIA

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025059)

Exclusive: only 3 people have been tortured. Because thats what it is, waterboarding sounds reasonable but isn't.

How fine are you with that headline? Certainly its a lot better than millions, but it tells you that they actually admit to 1 kind of torture on 3 different occassions.
I am not actually fine with that. Especially since its three waterboarded, not three tortured. Waterboarding is a subset of torturing, they can do lots of other kinds of torture. And they did in guantanamo. Waterboarding was a way, lights that pretty much induce epilepsy was a way, for muslim "terrorists" making them sit nude was a way (you can use pretty much anything that the subject really, really doesn't want as a form of torture, and lets face it, they wouldn't force them into nudity if they didn't mind).

It reminds me of something I heard about a meeting of "security personel", there are 3 of them, the first one tells the others that a while ago, he was with some albanian security personel and they didn't even know torture could be used to actually get information, it was only used to get a confession. The third says that at least they aren't the turks, where they don't even care about getting a confession out of it.
It tells you that the US is better than those two countries, but it isn't actually a good guy because they torture to get info. It doesn't make the CIA be nice people because they only waterboarded 3 people.
If its not a lie. And given they have no reason to say they waterboarded 3 people if they in fact never did it, you can be sure that if they lied, the number will be higher.

Re:Seems fishy (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44025191)

...according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials.

A very believable bunch, I'm sure.... As for 'proof' that there were more than three, that will have to wait until the next leak. To expect anything less than the worse from the NSA/CIA/FBI/DEA... etc is just a little naive.

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025487)

Feel free to find proof ...proof... that more occurred.

Ummm... CIA is not the only US institution which used torture... let me refresh your memory [wikipedia.org]

Khaled el-Masri (2)

Pitt64 (1307305) | about 10 months ago | (#44024953)

i guess you don't classify rape as torture. dumbfuck

Re:Khaled el-Masri (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44025005)

If Khaled el-Masri was raped, it would be a crime.

You should think about choosing another tag for yourself than, "dumbfuck." It is likely to cause people to hold your views as disreputable.

   

Re:Khaled el-Masri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025425)

If Khaled el-Masri was raped, it would be a crime.

Right, lucky us to have cold fjord enlightening us, clearly one can't rely on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] anymore.

Or... are you sharing with us the "truth" that he actually consented to having an object forcefully inserted into his anus, so that he wasn't raped?

Re:Khaled el-Masri (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44025517)

Going to the source document [washingtonpost.com] , we see what is referred to as rape consisted of:

Members of the Rendition Group follow a simple but standard procedure: Dressed head to toe in black, including masks, they blindfold and cut the clothes off their new captives, then administer an enema...

Wikipedia is often best treated as a starting point, not an end point, when looking for information.

Re:Seems fishy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025027)

That's some high quality goal-post moving there.

The OP said torture, secret prisons and years without a trial. All of these are true.

But, you don't like that, so you argue that they don't do much of other things, and because the US doesn't have a fence to keep people in (total joke, you can't leave the US without a government issued passport, which is checked at all exits) it's fine and dandy that they do all these things. Pathetic, even for you (and that's saying something).

Re:Seems fishy (4, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#44025099)

How times change. And to think that the US Government once prosecuted WWII Japanese Officers over the war crime of waterboarding. We executed some of those convicted, and others spent a long time in prison. Cheney and his ilk though(*), they profit from the chest thumping book sales.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-begala/yes-inational-reviewi-we_b_191153.html [huffingtonpost.com]

(*) I include those who excuse such War Crimes, such as Obama, in that "ilk"

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025343)

I can't say much for torture, other than those G20 computers sure copped a good ol' thumb-screwing.

Re:Seems fishy (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 10 months ago | (#44025367)

There is no requirement to hold a trial for POWs.

What's that got to do with anything? We're insisting that these people are not POWs (otherwise, they'd be entitled to a bunch of protections under the Geneva convention).

Re:Seems fishy (1, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44025423)

No, you don't quite have that right. To the best of my knowledge they are POWs, but their status is "unlawful combatant." They do not fight and act in accordance with the Law of War, hence their status. As a result they forfeit protections and privileges they would otherwise have.

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024779)

Because it's still one of the free-est places in the world you're least likely to get shot?

HK while certainly becoming more and more under the thumb of China since Britain handed it over, is still one of the largest Capitalist hubs in the free world, moreso probably than many cities in the 'nominally free' world.

Re:Seems fishy (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44024851)

That is a very interesting idea. And it would make for a very clever bit of political warfare, leveraging the scandal in the US to attack the British. Not only would it create political problems for GCHQ in the UK, but it could be expected to cause friction between Britain and its allies, as well as cause friction between the US NSA and UK GCHQ. It would also cause further problems against NSA in the US. Friction and suspicion in the Western alliances all around while China continues to expand its fleet, grab new territories, continues hacking, and espionage. Brilliant! One must assume that Sun Tzu [wikipedia.org] is required reading for Chinese strategists, and that it still bears fruit.

“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.” - Sun Tzu
“All warfare is based on deception.” - Sun Tzu

My hat is off to you.

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024961)

Either you're a vapid fuckwit parroting the latest extemporaneous mental vomit from Douchebag Totalitarian Senator #37 (I can't remember which douchebag just started espousing this dungball of a theory), or you're a straight-up shill. Either way, I don't give a tinker's taint about the provenance of the information. I care about whether it is true. So far, it all seems to be.

Fuck the NSA, and anyone who defends the mass collection of even metadata.

China's PowerPoint spy (2, Interesting)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 months ago | (#44025139)

Definitely fishy...these are GCHQ documents...British Government...not NSA...

here's one: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/6/16/1371408003314/GCHQ-ragout-1-002.jpg [guim.co.uk]

They look like more powerpoint slides...maybe that's his trick, his only real *new* info is some ppt slides from a conference he managed to swipe while setting up a workstation...

Then his narcissism and idiocy take over...

If it isn't China it's the military/industrial complex...

Because they share as good little minions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024759)

Their 'customers' of the information aren't just their governments, but the ultrarich that make us think we have an elected government. That is why it doesn't matter if someone in the NSA could blackmail some power politician with this access, they are already all controlled not just bought.

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024761)

If he carries on like this, it would be a pretty good strategy by the NSA to just let him keep on talking. Eventually he'll reach the point where his claims are so grandiose, that his credibility will be called into question.

That said, the slides (partially redacted) in the article could be interpreted in a dozen different ways. They in no way prove his claims. I'd question why the Guardian (in their own words) are "not revealing" some information. If they have the scoop, and they believe it to be true, why hold it back. It makes any claim to be exposing what is going rather fallacious.

Re: Seems fishy (4, Interesting)

chill (34294) | about 10 months ago | (#44024775)

The tech was probably shared with them by the NSA.

Re: Seems fishy (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44024903)

Technology and results of surveillance are two different questions. I wouldn't expect them to be kept in the same place.

Re:Seems fishy (1)

durrr (1316311) | about 10 months ago | (#44024781)

You think NSA don't snoop on other intelligence services?
Do you trust politicians too?

Re:Seems fishy (5, Interesting)

lennier (44736) | about 10 months ago | (#44024825)

GCHQ is a British organization. How would Snowden get copies of their plans, if there are in fact legitimate? He seems to be making some mighty big claims for having been employed as an employee of an NSA contractor for three months.

You're really asking this?

It's been well known in public for many years -- certainly since 1996 when it was revealed in Nicky Hager's Secret Power [nickyhager.info] ( the book which made ECHELON a household word, and is available here as a free ebook) that the NSA and its partner agencies in the UK, Canada, Australia and NZ work together as UKUSA or the 'Five Eyes' network, even to the point of agreeing to spy on each others' citizens to get around their respective domestic policy limitations.

Furthermore, it's also well known that a major GCHQ installation, Menwith Hill [wikipedia.org] , is actually staffed by NSA officers. Similar American involvement is true for Australia's Pine Gap [wikipedia.org] . To an unknown but probably lesser extent, New Zealand's GCSB listening stations at Tangimoana and Waihopai [wikipedia.org] are also either staffed by, or run in close consultation with, the GCHQ and NSA.

National sovereignty? What's that? For those of us in non-USA English-speaking countries, the situation is strange. We're not American citizens, we have no vote for the US president or Joint Chief of Staffs, yet our leaders take their orders from your leaders. This means that we've all become very interested in American politics, even though we'd rather not. Because you guys in the State may think you're only electing your own local town mayor and dogcatchers, but you're actually choosing who will run the military and spy infrastructures of the whole Western world. And increasingly, the real power players in your system (the NSA, CIA and DoD) don't seem to even care much about the civilian 'oversight'. They just change the logos on the Powerpoints and keep on doing their thing.

For instance, there's a bill in the NZ Parliament at the moment [blogspot.co.nz] to give our GCSB increased powers in order to synchronise them with the NSA. Did the New Zealand people really want this? No. But we're getting it anyway. Because the US military industrial complex calls the shots even in countries they have no official democratic authority over. But those who make and sell the guns, and control the wires, have a habit of getting what they want.

tldr: There is no independent 'GCHQ'. It's a subcontracted division of the NSA.

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025057)

Hager's "Secret Power" is a work of biased investigative journalism. You may like the content, and it may coincide with your beliefs, but that does not make it true.

It is easy to claim that the NSA secretly staffs and runs GCHQ, CSEC, GCSB, and DSD, but backing up your claims is nothing but a half baked conspiracy theory. Do you really think that these organizations, which operate under the laws of democratically elected governments, could in actual fact be the NSA in disguise, and no-one has blown the whistle for well over 20 years? Yes, these organizations cooperate, but that's what we expect allied governments to do - behave like allies.

Can you point out the evidence that backs your claim that "...even to the point of agreeing to spy on each others' citizens to get around their respective domestic policy limitations". Again, how hard would it be to get everyone in the organisation to break the law, keep doing it for years, and nobody ever blows the whistle.

Wooly thinking doesn't help much. I suggest you put another layer of foil on your hat and get back to scouring the web for content that matches your world view.

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025145)

Straw man argument; the parent didn't claim that the NSA ran GCHQ etc. They just pointed out listening stations that are largely staffed by foreigners. Sure, half the staff might be locals, but that includes the cleaners.

Are you really claiming that there have been no whistleblowers? Your green spy hat must be jammed hard over your ears if you haven't heard of any.

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025431)

Double strawman; the parent claimed "There is no independent 'GCHQ'. It's a subcontracted division of the NSA."

Who is the whistleblower that claims that "these agencies have agreed to spy on each others' citizens to get around their respective domestic policy limitations"? Sure, conspiracy theorists claim this, but what about a credible whistleblower who has evidence that "these agencies have agreed to spy on each others' citizens to get around their respective domestic policy limitations" OK, so you'll answer that Snowden is. But I don't see how the Prism slides show that "these agencies have agreed to spy on each others' citizens to get around their respective domestic policy limitations".

So, can you, or anyone offer any compelling evidence that "these agencies have agreed to spy on each others' citizens to get around their respective domestic policy limitations"?

Re:Seems fishy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025065)

tldr: There is no independent 'GCHQ'. It's a subcontracted division of the NSA.

Bollocks is it. GCHQ was around long before NSA came along, and from my time there, there was no yank anywhere near the place, even government personnel weren't allowed into most of our buildings. The fact both agencies have intelligence sharing and pissing contests, is neither here or there. But keep your tin-foil hat on, though!

Re:Seems fishy (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 10 months ago | (#44025419)

For those of us in non-USA English-speaking countries, the situation is strange. We're not American citizens, we have no vote for the US president or Joint Chief of Staffs, yet our leaders take their orders from your leaders. This means that we've all become very interested in American politics, even though we'd rather not. Because you guys in the State may think you're only electing your own local town mayor and dogcatchers, but you're actually choosing who will run the military and spy infrastructures of the whole Western world.

Ha, I wish... all I get to vote for is politicians. We don't actually get to vote for the people the politicians take their orders from, nor are the people who set and implement national military or economic policy in any way democratically selected or answerable to anyone but (in theory) their shareholders (and even that's not really the case).

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024835)

He copied a bunch of stuff to a thumb drive.
So far he as been dead on. A lot of high level political types including the president said he was overexaggerating and a smear campaign was started against him but it looks like Rep Nadler broke ranks and admitted that most of what Snowden said was true. That was behind closed doors to the rank and file congressmen who bothered to go to it; sad that many decided it wasn't worth missing their weekend home flight to attend the meeting.
Very scarry that just a day after Obama hosted mainstream media in a private meeting at the WH the NYT and a bunch of other papers started describing Snowden as just an attention hungry young guy who overexaggerated the extent of what the NSA could do.
The only thing I believe from our top leaders right now is Obama's statement that the top people in both political parties agreed to all this behind closed doors so the dozen or so people who hold all the power in both political parties and our judicial system all think this is acceptable government behavior.

Re:Seems fishy (1)

Rubinhood (977039) | about 10 months ago | (#44024877)

Easy, here's how: US intelligence (which Snowden worked for) found out about GCHQ's spying and documented it.

That seems like a reasonably likely scenario to me.

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024931)

Countries have these things, called Allies, US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand regularly share intelligence and their intelligence and other national security agencies work closely together.

NICE TRY NSA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024959)

You want to make us believe the NSA and the GCHQ don't share everything in that regard? Or that the NSA didn't have access anyway?

Yeah, right. lol

Don't you have a job to do, Mr. Cold Fjord ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025015)

Dear Mr. Cold Fjord,

You have been popping out very frequently (too frequently) defending the NSA / Obama / Uncle Sam in this PRISM saga

Don't you have a regular day job, Mr. Cold Fjord ?

Or is THIS (shrill spinning for NSA) the way you take home the bacon ?

Re:Seems fishy (1)

jythie (914043) | about 10 months ago | (#44025255)

One of the things that has come out was that our two intelligence agencies are using each other to skirt domestic spying rules. The British spy on Americans citizens and vice versa, then they open up their channels to each other. So quite a bit of their information is sitting in American databanks.

Re:Seems fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025267)

The Five Eyes - USA, UK, AUS, CAN, NZ

Five eyed fish?

OMG (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024699)

Spying on foreign leaders! What will they think of next.

Re:OMG (2)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#44024747)

Spying on foreign leaders! What will they think of next.

This line is beyond tiresome. Are you too stupid to understand the difference between assuming and knowing?

Assumer: Gov't spies on allies!
Listener: GTFO foil hatter.

Knower1: Gov't spies on allies!
Knower2: We should think about whether we really want to do this.

Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024715)

G8 countries (and more) are spying on each other's politicians, ambassadors, bureaucrats, scientists, engineers, and businessmen. And when they're caught, they falsely deny the allegations.

WOW! I bet someone could get rich writing novels or making movies about this kind of thing.

Sauce for the gander (1)

cphilo (768807) | about 10 months ago | (#44024757)

If the delegates have nothing to hide, then there should be no problem with the public having access.

Re:Sauce for the gander (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about 10 months ago | (#44024769)

Live updates on who's calling who? We'll see if it's "just metadata" when it's the government's representatives being spied on.

A great service (5, Insightful)

mendax (114116) | about 10 months ago | (#44024799)

Mr. Snowden may eventually be captured by the U.S. government and be hanged by his balls, he may be a Chinese spy as has been alleged by some in the government, but if his revelations are true he is doing you and I ordinary people a great service by airing all this, at a minimum, naughty, and, at most, highly illegal shit. If this stuff is true, I want to see some high government officials hanging by their balls (or tits for those of the female species) for their actions.

Re:A great service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024837)

how would you know if any of it is true?

Re:A great service (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024983)

You seriously doubt it?

Come the fuck on, pull your head out of your ass, Snowden is saying what intelligent people have guessed for a long time.

Re:A great service (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025197)

Because it has been in a bunch of Hollywood movies, so it must be true. Or that the paranoid people want it to be true to fit to their reality.

And why wasn't this debated by the people who are 'shocked' by this back in 2001 or 2006? Even in 2012? The info was out there. I'm not even sure that this isn't a GOP/Tea Party/Libertarian plot to pile on more scandals to win back the senate in 2014.

Re:A great service (2)

mendax (114116) | about 10 months ago | (#44025277)

This has nothing to do with paranoia. This has everything to do with the simple fact that the technology exists, the government believes it can do it legally (and even if they believe it's illegal they'll say they "believe" it's legal in order to prevent going to prison), and that there is a perceived need to do it. They are doing this, and probably more as well.

There are two great forces at work here. There is the U.S. Constitution that states that we have various civil liberties and that these liberties guarantee us from undue governmental interference in our lives. Then there is the U.S., state, and local governments, all of whom have a job to do in the name of public safety. These two forces collide all the time and we leave it to the courts to sort it all out.

In short, the NSA is doing its job. The question is are they trampling upon our right to be free from government intrusion into our business more than is necessary. The answer clearly is yes and Mr. Snowden is demonstrating and probably will continue to demonstrate that they've crossed the line.

Re:A great service (2)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 10 months ago | (#44025467)

how would you know if any of it is true?

Do you seriously think that a facility of this [wikipedia.org] size is only used to collect and process "metadata", or only "foreign" communications?

*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024807)

Governments have been spying on citizens since there were governments, why are people acting so surprised about any of this?

Re:*yawn* (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025013)

No one is surprised, idiot. People are angry. You don't have to be surprised to be angry. The scope of what they are doing can not be made legal without constitutional amendments.

File this under (2)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 10 months ago | (#44024817)

DUH!

Is anyone really surprised by this?

Re:File this under (4, Interesting)

lennier (44736) | about 10 months ago | (#44024867)

DUH!

Is anyone really surprised by this?

I bet the foreign G20 heads using those netcafes and their Blackberrys were, yes. And they may be a little unhappy that this spying was done for apparently commercial gain and express this at the upcoming G8.

It's been widely suspected since the 1990s that the NSA and friends use their spying to enhance commercial contracts, but they've always denied this strongly. But now there's proof. That could also set a few chairs alight.

Also, perhaps, Blackberry is unhappy that their phone being hacked (or backdoored) has become known, with their reputation for security. World's most boring but secure smartphone, so uncrackable it's used by Obama himself, hated by the Saudis because they can't bug it, etc. This is not something they really want to become known, I think.

It used to be we'd read about the Russians pulling stunts like this in their embassy and we'd be all, 'oh, those wacky Soviets, we know they bug everything, they're so barbarous and uncivilised. In a proper country we're much more law-abiding.'

But, no.

Re:File this under (2)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about 10 months ago | (#44024947)

I missed the part where this was done for commercial gain. Please find the excerpt. I looked for it, but didn't see it. Perhaps I missed something?

Re:File this under (4, Informative)

lennier (44736) | about 10 months ago | (#44025123)

I missed the part where this was done for commercial gain. Please find the excerpt. I looked for it, but didn't see it. Perhaps I missed something?

You're right, the exact word used in the article is a "political objective" related to "finance" and not "commerce". My mistake.

The officials summarised Brown's aims for the meeting of G20 heads of state due to begin on 2 April, which was attempting to deal with the economic aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis. The briefing paper added: "The GCHQ intent is to ensure that intelligence relevant to HMG's desired outcomes for its presidency of the G20 reaches customers at the right time and in a form which allows them to make full use of it."

The document explicitly records a political objective – "to establish Turkey's position on agreements from the April London summit" and their "willingness (or not) to co-operate with the rest of the G20 nations".

There is of course absolutely no connection between engineering desired financial outcomes and commercial gain. All financial insitutions, and especially those related to the British Government, operate from a completely non-self-interested desire to make others nations rich.

Re:File this under (2)

chill (34294) | about 10 months ago | (#44024969)

My suspicion on the BlackBerry claim is that what was intercepted was regular SMS messages, and not the secure BB PIN messaging.

The latter is what is super secure, because it traverses via the data link to the BES and is essentially opaque to telcos.

While BBs have the PIN messaging capabilities that are super-secure, most people I know just use regular SMS because they don't know any better. And you can't use PIN messaging outside your own BES network.

Re:File this under (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025311)

My suspicion on the BlackBerry claim is that what was intercepted was regular SMS messages, and not the secure BB PIN messaging.

The latter is what is super secure, because it traverses via the data link to the BES and is essentially opaque to telcos.

Completely false. You really don't understand the blackberry platform.

Here's a better explanation: http://www.berryreview.com/2010/08/06/faq-blackberry-messenger-pin-messages-are-not-encrypted [berryreview.com]

PIN messages do NOT go via the BES (blackberry enterprise server). Neither does blackberry messenger (BBM). Both PIN and BBM work fine without a BES, or even if the BES is down.

PIN messages are not encrypted. BBM is encrypted with 3DES, which isn't that strong - the keyspace is small enough to the brute-forced in a reasonable amount of time for anyone with a million dollars of compute power.

What you CAN do with a BES is have AES encrypted email from your office to the blackberry. Good luck brute-forcing that.

The blackberry platform offers many different services, with different levels of encryption.

The really interesting thing would be to know exactly what is disclosed here.

The BES platform remains certified by many organizations: http://us.blackberry.com/business/topics/security/certifications.html [blackberry.com]

If there is a flaw in the AES implementation that would be news.

most people I know just use regular SMS because they don't know any better. And you can't use PIN messaging outside your own BES network.

False. You don't know any better. You can send PIN messages to any blackberry device (unless sending PIN has been blocked on your device by your admin).

Re:File this under (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024941)

THAT'S NOT THE POINT YOU MORON!

The point is that is happened! And that we now have one of your bazillion of conspiracy theories *documented* and *proven*. And not in your "I have proof somewhere; I just can't show you now" bullshit kind of way like the typical conspiracy theorist.

I always see morons like you pop up when stuff like this gets reported.
What is *your* point anyway? That if the 1930s/1940s newspapers found concentration camps in Germany, they should not report about it because "DUH"??
Are you just a brain-dead parrot drone, or do you work for the NSA or what?

WTF is WRONG with you people?

Keep your friends close (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 10 months ago | (#44024857)

then turn into enemies to keep them even closer. After all, if they have something to hide they should be conspiring against us.

Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024919)

Is this supposed to be shocking? Governments spy on other governments, including their own allies. Welcome to the spy game. I guarantee you the other 19 countries were doing the same thing.

Convenient partners (4, Informative)

readingaccount (2909349) | about 10 months ago | (#44024927)

"Allies" (at least as far as Governments are concerned) are just partners of convenience. They are not friends, and although they might be allies one day they could easily be enemies the next. Now the Brits might have been acting a bit slimy in their methods (I don't like the idea of well-meaning delegates being tricked into using fake Internet cafes), but it's what's done in the Intelligence business and I d

It is not unusual to spy on your allies - indeed it's expected, plus you'd have to be pretty naive to think your own allies aren't doing the same to you. Again, your allies might end up being your enemies one day, so it's important to keep up with what they are doing. Even with the US/UK alliance, a traditionally strong alliance, the US still felt the need to have its own plan in case war with the Brits became necessary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Plan_Red [wikipedia.org] )

Re:Convenient partners (3, Funny)

readingaccount (2909349) | about 10 months ago | (#44024935)

but it's what's done in the Intelligence business and I d

I apologize for the abrupt end to my sentence. Either I forgot to finish what I was typing or the NSA intercepted it and removed impor

Re:Convenient partners (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 10 months ago | (#44024963)

but it's what's done in the Intelligence business and I d

I apologize for the abrupt end to my sentence.

OK, we're placated.

As long as it makes us safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44024929)

Give me a call when the US gets its violent crime and gun death rates down to that which we have here in the UK, then I'll give a shit.

I never felt safe living in the US, but since I expatriated to the UK, not once have I ever felt even an inkling of a threat from anyone.

The sad fact that nobody wants to admit is that ubiquitous surveillance just works. The cowboys in the US like to say "an armed society is a polite society," but that armed society still kills each other.

A surveillance society is also a polite society, but where nobody dies. You paranoid fecks who think your government is out to get you need to just grow up and get over yourselves already. If you are a law abiding citizen, you have nothing to hide, and the government won't care about you one bit.

Re:As long as it makes us safe (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 10 months ago | (#44024967)

The sad fact that nobody wants to admit is that ubiquitous surveillance just works.

Yeah, but the question is who it works for.

Re:As long as it makes us safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025029)

Is it the surveillance? Is it the lack of guns? Is it the fact that England's most socially dysfunctional DNA was all exported to the US and Australia in the 1700s? Your assertion is unfounded, and you're a cunt. Of course it's possible to make the world safer with totalitarian controls on society, dipshit. Many of us would simply rather be unsafe than surveilled.

Re:As long as it makes us safe (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#44025579)

Congratulations on finding your little safe corner of the world. I have never felt unsafe in the US and while I do own firearms and encourage everyone possible to carry, I actually do not carry a weapon myself.

I've been to Compton, NYC, Chicago, Miami, as well as many Midwest areas and never once felt unsafe. There was one time in Compton CA where a gang gunfight broke out near me, but I ducked behind a car with 2 or 3 others and waited for the shooting to stop. They weren't shooting at me, I didn't feel unsafe. It wasn't like I was in a war or anything.

I'm not sure why people get scared because guns happen to be around or they go off. But I have learned that people are different all across this country and some are completely scared of the idea of guns while others like me could care less.

The problem isn't the spying. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#44024933)

Knowledge is power. The problem isn't spying, it's who has access to the information. I say: Spy on everyone, and let everyone have access to the information. It might even help with unjust censorship laws -- Like in the UK where they want to sensor porn by default... If we can look in the public spy data and show that everyone is looking at porn, but don't openly admit it, then we shouldn't enact such retarding laws.

Capturing such data could be huge tools for transparency but since the public isn't given access to the data, it's only useful for oppression. Right now the Free Syrian Army (which sprang forth from protests for democracy) is fighting against Syrian Soldiers who believe the rebels want a genocide because their dictator controls their information. [pbs.org] If the two sides' soldiers were allowed to share information then it would be much harder for the dictator to convince soldiers to fight, and they could have peace talks and perhaps come to a compromise which would give the people more actual control of the government... Bashar al-Assad controls the information, and only through it can he wield and preserve his power.

Men in their arrogance claim to understand the nature of creation, and devise elaborate theories to describe its behavior. But always they discover in the end that God was quite a bit more clever than they thought.
-- Sister Miriam Godwinson, "We must Dissent"

Information, the first principle of warfare, must form the foundation of all your efforts. Know, of course, thine enemy. But in knowing him do not forget above all to know thyself. The commander who embraces this totality of battle shall win even with inferior force.
-- Spartan Battle Manual

As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
-- Commissioner Pravin Lal, "U.N. Declaration of Rights"

Everything I need to know I learned from Alpha Centauri [wikiquote.org]

The Guardian is Tony Blair 'in print' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025047)

No media outlet backed Blair's genocidal war in Iraq, or pushed Blair's lies about WND more than The Guardian newspaper. Blair leads what is known as the Fabian Movement (social Darwinists who believe every Human should be given equal chance to rise to the top, and thus those at the top form a 'master-race' with the explicit right to do with those 'sub-Humans' that remain beneath them as they so wish). The Guardian is the official mouthpiece of Blair's Fabian goons.

When The Guardian 'leaks' something, it is anything BUT a leak. It is an official act of psychological manipulation, akin to an abuser father informing his daughter "I'm going to rape you tomorrow". That promise to rape IS the truth just as the NSA and GCHQ spying revelations are the truth, but giving the sheeple the truth is not the motivation for the reporting.

The Guardian is currently pushing as hard as it can in favour of Blair's genocidal war in Syria, and Blair's desired VASTLY bigger genocidal war in Iran. The Guardian uses what is commonly known as the tactic of 'grooming'. In times of World War, where the Human population is supposed to sit back and allow the monsters to plan the most depraved acts of planetary evil, the sheeple are supposed to assume every nation is spying on every other nation. This mindset is seen as both desirable and essential. Expect your team to have no limits to how far they are prepared to go to win.

Other media outlets, like the PR branch of MI5- known to most of you as the BBC, pretend to be outraged by The Guardians disregard of government secrecy, ensuring that the sheeple think there is some forbidden fruit to be tasted and shared. Tell people knowledge is illicit, and you prick their curiosity. A very old and very crude ploy- but effective. Why do you think the owners of Slashdot are raising the story here?

The immediate aftermath is simple. The sheeple see Blair's no.1 ally, Putin, as an enemy of the West for his unstinting support of the popular regime in Syria. They see an escalation of events in Syria that are clearly small steps at least to a conflict between Russia and America. The 'spying' makes the situation feel as if it is set in concrete, regardless of people's opinions about the politics. A fait accompli that the sheeple will feel less likely to challenge, or even think they should be challenging.

As I said, The Guardian sees its role as grooming the people on behalf of Blair. To make people think they know the answer before they even realise what the question is.

THINK. The last time the Americans fired at a Russian plane over Syria, America lost multiple aircraft to 'accidents' in the immediate days that followed. Now Blair has persuaded the incredibly dumb Yanks to set up a massive military presence, most of which is aimed at destroying civilian air traffic over Syria, in the British colony of Jordan. It is a re-run of Blair's play in Georgia all over again. Blair gets Obama to destroy Russian aircraft over Syria. The Russians respond to a degree you Yanks won't believe. Obama uses the excuse of the chaos of escalation to launch nuclear strikes against Iran.

The whole of the Middle east is soaked in Blair's petrol (gasoline). Blair's manipulations have moved that region further from peace than at any time in its history. Blair has focused on stirring up sectarian conflicts, and empowering West friendly dictators to a degree that should sicken and terrify all of you. Now all Blair has to do is carefully walk the two nuclear super-powers (Russia and the USA) down a path with no return. And as for you morons who ask why monsters like Blair crave such mass slaughter, why is it you fail to marvel at the motivations of the multiple serial killers who kidnap, torture and murder as many victims as they are able. Blair is made from the same material, but his ambition for murder and suffering is on a planetary scale.

Will you let The Guardian groom your expectations too?

Axis Of Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025131)

U.S.A. Federal Government (Obama) And H.M.G. (David Cameron) is the Axis Powers of Today.

Their premeditated and willful actions and psychology are reminiscent of Germany (HItler) and Italy (Moussolini) in the run-up to World War II !

This IS ominous !

Today, Europe and Asia will be the 'Allies.'

Today, U.S.A. and U.K. will the the 'Third Reich' !

Much of this is being pushed by the elements within the Obama Regime and H.M.G. for blackmail purposes.

This makes the new war nuclear targets New York (financial) and Washington D.C. (political).

London has the 'currency' to payoff those legally disenfranchised, i.e. those pissed off otherwise, and be spared of a thermonuclear 'urban renewal.'

Obama has NO card left to play !

His 'false government' is without credit.

Not Even Dick Cheney can 'Save Obama's Day' ! Dick Chaney has lived long enough and raped the U.S.A. long enough and will be 'retired' shortly.

Non-event. (1)

jythie (914043) | about 10 months ago | (#44025263)

I am actually kinda surprised people are surprised about this. Both British and American intelligence agencies have a long history of spying on delegates at various summits, and I suspect that the other countries just take it as part of the game, likely they are doing the same thing on smaller budgets. Not saying it is a good thing, but it is a pretty well known 'secret' at least in a general sense.

War on Terror == War on Everyone (4, Insightful)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 10 months ago | (#44025439)

This latest revelation shows the true nature of the "War on Terror". It is actually a war on everyone. On one side are the political insiders and the ultra rich, and on the other side is the rest of the world. It also illustrates that there is no honor among thieves, but that shouldn't be a surprise.

The full bore surveillance state that has emerged in the US/Great Britten/etc since the 9/11 attacks has an autonomous agenda. Coping with terrorism is not it's primary goal. It's aim is to permanently protect the current ruling clique from all challenges. It is intrinsically anti-democracy and anti-capitalism. Functioning democracy and capitalism reduce the control and economic position of the power elite, so democracy and capitalism must be being suppressed.

This is the inevitable result of an out of control security system. There are secret organizations governed by secret charters overseen by secret courts with elected officials sworn to secrecy. The people running the organizations lie to everyone all the time. They justify their behavior by claiming that since they are the "good guys", it's OK to do evil things. This is literally the road to hell based on good intentions.

Once an unaccountable organization has the ability to spy on anyone for a good reason, it will spy on everyone for any reason.

Nevar again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025445)

Nevar again shall a meeting be organizedh over the UK soilh!!
Assuming this is the correct interpretation of what really happened, the UK has proven to be untrustworthy host.

Just face the facts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44025565)

Just face the facts, there is no way on this green earth that this spying is going to stop. Quite the opposite, its gunna get a whole lot worse. Rather than doing anything about it you might as well just buck up and drink the medicine. If you have a firewall and antivirus just man up and do the right thing, uninstall that rubbish, it does diddly squat. The same goes for any attempt at being anonymous, tor and all that baloney. Instant uninstall. From here on in, cc all your emails direct to the NSA so at least you're saving some taxpayers dollars on all the pointless snooping. They want em, just give them to them and be done with it. God Bless America. Now on to your paycheck. Every paycheck, each and every one, invest. You heard me right, invest. Invest fully one third of your paycheck in a defence company. Each week, fully one third. Not a penny more, not a penny less. When the machine breaks down we break down. Put your money where it will make a real tangible positive difference, to this chosen land and your retirement. We will overcome. Now, who to vote for? Just vote and leave it to the professionals. Easy right! You bet it is!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...