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Revelations On the French Big Brother

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the quick-rename-french-fries-again dept.

Government 98

Wrath0fb0b writes "Days after President François Hollande sternly told the United States to stop spying on its allies, the newspaper Le Monde disclosed on Thursday that France has its own large program of data collection, which sweeps up nearly all the data transmissions, including telephone calls, e-mails and social media activity, that come in and out of France. The report notes that 'our email messages, SMS messages, itemized phone bills and connections to FaceBook and Twitter are then stored for years.' For those Slashdot readers that grok Français, you can read the original at Le Monde or the translated version from LM."

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I'm not French (5, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#44198347)

Well, you know, spying on you own people and spying on other countries are two different things.

Here in the United States, spying on your own is generally held to be distasteful, and very often illegal. But while we project our own ideas of law on other countries, often they have no such squeamishness about domestic spying.

As to American spying on it's own:

* First the Obama Administration said "Weâ(TM)re not doing this."

* Than they said "Weâ(TM)re doing it to ferret out Terrorists!"

* And now they justify what Snowden and others have revealed by saying "Well, EVERYONE ELSE is doing itâ¦"

As an American, while in an abstract way I care what the French are doing to their people, my opinions are really only applicable to my own country - in other words, as far as NSA spying, what the French are doing is not relevant.

Re:I'm not French (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44198507)

The difference is that in France it is more likely that something will get done about it. I've heard it said that in France the government is afraid of the people, whereas in the USA the people are afraid of the government.

Re:I'm not French (4, Interesting)

phayes (202222) | about a year ago | (#44198677)

Completely ridiculous. French politicians are soo afraid of the public that they voted global amnesty laws forgiving the whole lot of themselves for the corruption they used to finance their political parties -- without having most of them get voted out of office in the subsequent elections.

French politicians have coined phrases like "I was responsible for the deaths of hundreds in continuing to use contaminated blood, but I'm not guily of breaking any laws".

Only the ignorant believe that politics in France is any different than anywhere else.

Re:I'm not French (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44200277)

What amused me most was all the people declaring they were going to emigrate to Europe because of the domestic spying. I really do have some stupid fellow countrymen.

Re:I'm not French (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#44201687)

What amused me most was all the people declaring they were going to emigrate to Europe because of the domestic spying.

Canada isn't in Europe.

Re:I'm not French (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44202931)

I'm sure they spy on their citizens too.

Re:I'm not French (1)

phayes (202222) | about a year ago | (#44208827)

Nah, they let the US do it for them & then ask for results when they want them. Plausible deniability y'know...

Re:I'm not French (1)

quenda (644621) | about a year ago | (#44201887)

It's no shock if UK, France and Russia are as bad as the US, but that still leaves a lot of countries in Europe that might be less inclined to spy on their own citizens, starting with Germany, who do not wish to bring back the STASI.
    Europe is not a country - who are you calling stupid again?

Re:I'm not French (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44202921)

Derp... You think any one of them doesn't do similar? If you don't know about it, they're hiding it well.

Re:I'm not French (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44198541)

The government has always kept a close eye, within its capabilities, upon its people, those who reside within and those they interact with (and often their allies, too.) There's just more ability to keep track because we do so much more digitally these days. If you really want privacy, go over and talk to your friends (unless they work for the NSA, CIA, FBI, NKVD, MI-6, CAGEY BEE, etc.)

Re:I'm not French (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44198621)

Well, you could start by using a fucking browser with a spell-check built in. Or copy/paste from Word into notepad before pasting into Slashdot text edit box. Your post is utterly annoying to read.

Re:I'm not French (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44200617)

Not to mention using real apostrophes instead of whatever garbage he used in that post. Here's a clue, it's right there next to the Enter key on most keyboards, and wherever it is on the keyboard, it works everywhere that ASCII is accepted.

Re:I'm not French (3, Informative)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44198753)

But while we project our own ideas of law on other countries, often they have no such squeamishness about domestic spying.

I thought that, too, but in this case Le Monde called this program "perfectly illegal" [arstechnica.com] . I'm inclined to believe its editors understand French law better than I (an American) do.

Re:I'm not French (5, Informative)

godrik (1287354) | about a year ago | (#44198883)

Well, it is politically interesting in France. There is a large movement there to have more openness (called "transparency") in what the government and congress do and how they reach these conclusions. It was a proposition of the runner up to the presidential elections 6 years ago to put video tapes of the council of minister as public records. It was a proposal by Segolene Royal, supported by the socialist party, in order to cleanse public politics. Now we have Francois Hollande as president who was supported by the socialist party; and he was strongly advocating against prism a week ago.

There are in France many law that restrict what you can or can not store about people in databases (would they be public or private). This is supposed to be taken care of by the CNIL (National Comitee for Internet and Liberty). CNIL is supposed to be the one that prevents electronic wiretaping and electronic spying... But in the recent years the role of CNIL has weaken a lot.

Re:I'm not French (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44199885)

The I in CNIL stands for Informatique, not Internet. Informatique encompasses anything related to automated manipulation of data, aka Computer Sciences in its broader sense.
 

Re:I'm not French (1)

poity (465672) | about a year ago | (#44199011)

* And now they justify what Snowden and others have revealed by saying "Well, EVERYONE ELSE is doing it

Is it just me or does this sound like you're saying Le Monde is conspiring with the US government?

Re:I'm not French (2, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44199059)

s an American, while in an abstract way I care what the French are doing to their people, my opinions are really only applicable to my own country - in other words, as far as NSA spying, what the French are doing is not relevant.

When the French spy on US citizens and feed it to the NSA, how is that different, or some how not relevant? I'm sure the NSA returns the favor. Each side claiming they are protecting their citizens from the Rest of the World.

Perhaps we as Americans, still clinging desperately to tatters of our Constitution, which, in our hearts, we know is already a joke, have a harder time than the rest of the world getting our head around one single question:
          Where did this entire Idea that Governments were authorized to spy on its citizens come from?

Perhaps the German, the French and the Russian never even thought to ask that question, having never had a time in their memory (if not their entire history) where they were ever free of such government snooping, because Government was always a Right excersized over citizens, and citizens were never in control of government.

Re:I'm not French (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#44199305)

When the French spy on US citizens and feed it to the NSA, how is that different [than the US spying on its own citizens]

In a practical sense, it's not different. In a legal sense that the Executive Branch can use for justification "in the court of law", it's an important distinction.

Re:I'm not French (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44199613)

As an American, while in an abstract way I care what the French are doing to their people, my opinions are really only applicable to my own country - in other words, as far as NSA spying, what the French are doing is not relevant.

I supposed it's relevent to French people, but since when have Americans cared what French people think? Shavano (Would you like some Freedom Fries with that?)

Re:I'm not French (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44200125)

There is some hope that this whole surveillance may start crumbling because the French are much more likely to take it more seriously, fish out that old, trusted and may be a little rusted Guillotine to behead Hollande.

Re:I'm not French (1)

Lennie (16154) | about a year ago | (#44202973)

The problem is, like in the US, I've not seen any large political party in any country say they wanted to get rid of this. So you'll have to behead all people in government to get rid of this.

Re:I'm not French (1)

jdrugo (449803) | about a year ago | (#44208475)

There is some hope that this whole surveillance may start crumbling because the French are much more likely to take it more seriously, fish out that old, trusted and may be a little rusted Guillotine to behead Hollande.

I have to disappoint you: I currently live in France, and the revelation about the French state spying on its citizens get hardly any airtime. No one cares here. They are too busy with good-old-fashioned politics with faces attached to issues.

Speak French? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44198393)

What is French for "only a fool would be remotely surprised that any technologically advanced nation would be collecting this data"?

Re:Speak French? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44198479)

Seul un idiot serait surpris à distance que toute nation technologiquement avancée serait la collecte de ces données.

Re:Speak French? (1)

ArgonautThief (2611499) | about a year ago | (#44198549)

Google Translate much AC????

Re:Speak French? (2)

phayes (202222) | about a year ago | (#44198803)

So, idiots are surprised from afar, are they? Google translate doesn't get the nuances right.

Seul un idiot pourrait être un tant soit peu surpris que tous les pays avancés espionnent leur populations.

Re:Speak French? (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#44199045)

Translating his and yours back to English gives these two sentences.

Only a fool would be surprised that any remote technologically advanced nation is the collection of these data.

Only a fool would be a little bit surprised that all developed countries spy on their populations.

Re:Speak French? (2)

phayes (202222) | about a year ago | (#44199537)

Of course, doing a dumb word to word substitution from English into French & then back again will give a closer match to the original than a translation where one uses expressions that better convey the meaning. But hey, if mind you do not like Yoda you wish to speak, by all means, stick with the substitutions & ignore the snickering from those who actually speak both languages.

Re:Speak French? (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#44201585)

No, I like yours better, and it is actually a coherent sentence. The other translation/retranslation is slightly off at the end.

Re:Speak French? (1)

quenda (644621) | about a year ago | (#44201895)

Your hovercraft is full of .. what?

Re:Speak French? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#44198493)

"What is French for "only a fool would be remotely surprised that any technologically advanced nation would be collecting this data"?"

Seul un pauvre con serait quelque peu surpris, qu'une Grande Nation, possédant une technologie avancée, collecte ces données.

Re:Speak French? (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44198499)

What is French for "only a fool would be remotely surprised that any technologically advanced nation would be collecting this data"?

Le proper Nelsoning: "Le ha-ha!"

Interesting irony there (2)

Pluvius (734915) | about a year ago | (#44198427)

Though not quite as interesting as when the article was posted yesterday [slashdot.org] .

Rob

Re:Interesting irony there (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44199521)

What I'm surprised at is that neither time was Minitel mentioned. France has been monitoring communications for a long, long time, and I thought everyone was OK with it.

Tinfoil time (5, Insightful)

PsychicX (866028) | about a year ago | (#44198433)

It's almost as if every country of note is running massive internet surveillance programs, is aware of everybody else's program, and is only using the leaks as an excuse to publicly complain about something everyone knows everyone else is doing.

Nah, that would just be paranoid.

Re:Tinfoil time (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44198705)

Except for, you know, the public. The general public had no idea how ridiculous the surveillance was. I think everyone assumed there was some surveillance going on... but capturing everything? Really? At the tune of 80 billion a year? That money could go towards curing cancer or heart disease and they'd save a lot more lives than they ever will preventing the occasional terrorist attack, and it's doubtful they've actually prevented anything give that in most cases the perpetrators couldn't even find weapons or explosives without the undercover FBI agents offering to sell them the stuff.

It's also telling the as soon as a government starts complaining about what the US is doing, their own surveillance programs are revealed. The US is clearly involved in a heavy game of public distraction. The medias pretty much dropped this story, likely at their request, and can conveniently cover what all the other countries are doing. It's staggering that these actions are being presented in any way that is even remotely considered acceptable. All of this is completely unconstitutional, government officials including the president (past and present) should be facing prison time.

Re:Tinfoil time (1)

MarlowBardling (2860885) | about a year ago | (#44198779)

Except for, you know, the public. The general public had no idea how ridiculous the surveillance was. I think everyone assumed there was some surveillance going on... but capturing everything? Really? At the tune of 80 billion a year? That money could go towards curing cancer or heart disease and they'd save a lot more lives than they ever will preventing the occasional terrorist attack, and it's doubtful they've actually prevented anything give that in most cases the perpetrators couldn't even find weapons or explosives without the undercover FBI agents offering to sell them the stuff.

Emphasis mine
I wonder if the justification, "But think of the *insert behavior you're discouraging here* we stopped with this!" was brought over from the MPAA/RIAA side of things first, or if they've simply got someone inside the NSA trying to find the pirates for them.

Re:Tinfoil time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44199277)

The general public had no idea how ridiculous the surveillance was.

People knew as much as they cared to know, which in most cases is very little.

The notion that Snowdon or anyone else is blowing people's minds with formerly secret information that they are shocked, shocked, to find out is a conceit. Just a bunch of reciprocal back-slapping among crypto-philes and the pseudo-libertarian tech-bourgeoisie.

Be prepared to be shocked, shocked, when the vast majority of people want you to STFU about this NSA old-news so they can start hearing about the new American Idol season instead.

Re: Tinfoil time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44200073)

it's weird - now the leak happened, suddenly we find out everyone knew it was happening and no one ought to be surprised. I wonder why everyone waited until now to make a fuss...

Re:Tinfoil time (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44199465)

are you dumb or naive?

there is a book about how the NSA tapped the transatlantic fiber cable over a decade ago to snoop on communications. in the days of microwave WAN's the NSA used to be able to listen to everyone's phone calls

Re:Tinfoil time (1, Insightful)

Livius (318358) | about a year ago | (#44200353)

At the tune of 80 billion a year? That money could go towards curing cancer or heart disease and they'd save a lot more lives than they ever will preventing the occasional terrorist attack

So, having conned taxpayers out of 80 billion a year, the military-industrial complex would just voluntarily hand it over to an actual productive sector of the economy for a constructive purpose?

Re:Tinfoil time (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a year ago | (#44202285)

Except for, you know, the public. The general public had no idea how ridiculous the surveillance was. I think everyone assumed there was some surveillance going on... but capturing everything? Really? At the tune of 80 billion a year? That money could go towards curing cancer or heart disease and they'd save a lot more lives than they ever will preventing the occasional terrorist attack, and it's doubtful they've actually prevented anything give that in most cases the perpetrators couldn't even find weapons or explosives without the undercover FBI agents offering to sell them the stuff.

It's also telling the as soon as a government starts complaining about what the US is doing, their own surveillance programs are revealed. The US is clearly involved in a heavy game of public distraction. The medias pretty much dropped this story, likely at their request, and can conveniently cover what all the other countries are doing. It's staggering that these actions are being presented in any way that is even remotely considered acceptable. All of this is completely unconstitutional, government officials including the president (past and present) should be facing prison time.

Come on, the NSA have just about complete access to the internet backbone, they were building datacenters and not even hiding it. There has been a wikipedia article on the one in Utah since 2011 and you could follow it's progress on Google maps courtesy of the NSA it self [gov1.info] . Your tax dollars at work. What did everybody think the NSA is doing with facilities like this? It's not hard, 1+1=2, massive datacenter + complete access to internet backbone = massive SIGINT operation.

Re:Tinfoil time (5, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44198773)

It's almost as if every country of note is running massive internet surveillance programs

Maybe that's why Snowden is having such a hard time finding asylum. Everyone's doing it, nobody wants it public knowledge.

En Français .. Espion! (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44198489)

Where we get Espionage from. Seems almost like they invented it, non?

Spy program? I told them we already got one, it's verra nice!

Re:En Français .. Espion! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#44198863)

Well, the French did give the US the Statue of Liberty. Maybe it is stuffed full of spy gear? Maybe nobody bothered to check it back then . . . ?

Maybe French Intelligence services have been spying on all those immigrants back then, and all those tourists right now!

Re:En Français .. Espion! (1)

Motard (1553251) | about a year ago | (#44199783)

Guillaume: Il est en Place ?

Bertrand: Oui!

Guillaume: Ce qui maintenant ?

Bertrand: Nous attendre.

Guillaume: Pour quoi?

Bertrand (frotter les mains): Pour nos hommes à sauter et attaquer!

Guillaume: que les hommes ?

Bertrand: Oh mon dieu...

Re:En Français .. Espion! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44199249)

What a stupid comment.

"Espion" comes from "épier", can be traced back to proto-Indo-European and is the same word as the "spähen" in German, "spien" in Middle-Dutch, and "peek" in English. It simply meant "to look". (In a more squinting and looking into the distance sense.)

But that wouldn't have had a relation to TFA, would it?

As a German, I think it would make much more sense for American and French people to be friends. You have much more in common, and that "playful hatred" of French people is really nonsensical. You'd be surprised how similar you are.

Re:En Français .. Espion! (1)

Motard (1553251) | about a year ago | (#44199595)

What an unhelpful reply.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that many words have deep histories stretching back to antiquity. I believe the point however, is that the word 'espionage', as with a rather amazing percentage of other modern English words, comes from French - probably during the period of Norman administration when French was the language of governance. And I suspect that part of the reason the English has supplanted French as a lingua franca, is that it readily adopted those French words that were seen to be necessary.

So, 'espionage' (while lacking an 'N' from the French version), was added to English for the lack of an adequate substitute - such as 'peeking' or 'looking'.

Re:En Français .. Espion! (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44200329)

Classifying people based on their nationality? You really are German, aren't you?

Re:En Français .. Espion! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203605)

You have much more in common, and that "playful hatred" of French people is really nonsensical. You'd be surprised how similar you are.

Hold on. Let me check the metadata on that to be sure.

Re:En Français .. Espion! (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about a year ago | (#44201327)

En soviétique France, le fromage sent-vous!

Oh nooonn (0)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | about a year ago | (#44198491)

Mon Dieu de la Baguette!!!!!!

Re:Oh nooonn (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44198641)

... after the 5th time the Inspector informed the clerk he would like a 'ruuum' the carnation in the clerk's lapel came to life and in a shrill, buzzing voice shouted, "Il veut une chambre d'hôtel! Lui donner une! Petit imbécile!"

Encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44198579)

At what point do internet standards migrate to encrypted proocalls to try and cut down on some of this shit?

Re:Encryption (1)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | about a year ago | (#44198955)

It won't affect our sociograms one bit, so go ahead.

Princess Bride (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about a year ago | (#44198597)

"Sacre bleu. You are trying to unlawfully obtain the data we have rightfully stolen!"

Mr. President, after a careful review of our intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44198605)

we have concluded that it is time to surrender.

Don't worry, it's only Facebook and Twitter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44198607)

You have nothing to worry about unless you're a 12-year-old girl or a gay 16-year-old emo kid... Or you like 12-year-old girls and gay 16-year-old emo kids.

Sung to the "I'm a Little Tea Pot" (-1, Flamebait)

Nutria (679911) | about a year ago | (#44198615)

I'm a little tea pot short and Froggy,
Here is my hypocrisy,
There is my irrelevance.
When I get all steamed up,
Hear me bleat.
Tip me over and kick my ass.

Re:Sung to the "I'm a Little Tea Pot" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44200147)

Must be an American. That's all you fucks got at this point is to call others hypocrites. Whatever happened to being better than everyone else? Now you're just average. You talk a good game about your country but you're all fat and lazy.

I only want to know one thing... (2)

3seas (184403) | about a year ago | (#44198655)

... what is everyone talking about that is so important for government to know about?

Or is this just a part of a manipulation of the people feedback loop where government controlled media is the other part?

Re:I only want to know one thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44199043)

Insurrection. That's the one crime these systems will be any good at preventing, too. Terrorism and other small crimes are hard to find, but something big going on, like many people organizing, now that they'll be able to see easily.

Re:I only want to know one thing... (1)

fox171171 (1425329) | about a year ago | (#44199803)

... what is everyone talking about that is so important for government to know about?

They want to know where to get cheap Viagra!

Re:I only want to know one thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44200803)

I thought the exact same thing. It seems incredibly stupid to try to vacuum up all the stupid crap people talk about in order to have the .00001% chance you hit upon some terrorist plot. It would be far more efficient to me to just have teams from the fbi/nsa/whatever stationed in att, verizon, facebook, etc. and then when they find reasonable suspicion that somebody might be a terrorist waiting to actually do a plot, they can just say "hey, give us everything you have on X". In my opinion, that makes everybody happy. Millions of people aren't being spied on, only specific individuals of interest. We could even let them do it with a "retroactive warrant" if time is a concern.

And one more thing that I don't get. The small number of people on this planet who actually have the gall to pull off some terrorist plot have to know by now that anything they do through electronic communication can give them up. I'm sure al queda figured this out in like 2001 (when I'm sure we had similar monitoring programs in place) and adjusted. I mean, for crying out loud, Bin Laden had HUMAN COURIERS to deliver messages!!!

Re:I only want to know one thing... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44202525)

It'll be great for catching the Keystone Terrorists though. Every time some pathetic idiot posts on facebook about how he wants to blow up a building, Homeland Security (or their French counterparts) can swoop in for an arrest. Then simply boast to the public of another terrorist attack successfully aveted.

As the NSA says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44198721)

"If you don't like the way we spy on you here,
Move to France."

Everyone is spying on everyone (4, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about a year ago | (#44198729)

Private companies have set up their own spying operations. [slashdot.org] Bloomberg Financial is spying on Goldman Sachs. [businessinsider.com] and Murdoch is running saboteur operations [amazon.com] against his competitors. And these same people keep calling to tougher measures against hackers.It is as if the entire international power structure walked out of a Vladimir Voinovich [powells.com] novel. Sigh.

Re:Everyone is spying on everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44200217)

Yeah, keep diverting attention from the fact that the AMERICAN GOVERNMENT is ass fucking their people and their allies.
 
You're a traitor to liberty.

petaoctets (1)

photonic (584757) | about a year ago | (#44198849)

FTFA: "capable de gérer des dizaines de pétaoctets de données", translated as "capable of managing dozens of petaoctets of data".

Chapeau! Got to praise the French for defending their language against foreign bytes ...

Re:petaoctets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44199207)

Octets as you might know is an eight-bit byte. Theoretically speking, bytes can be made of more or less than eight bits (Although indeed this is very rare). This is why "octet" is an English jword too:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octet_%28computing%29

Re:petaoctets (1)

Motard (1553251) | about a year ago | (#44199705)

'Octet' seems to be gaining popularity of late, but I don't like it one bit (pun not intended). We have too many words derived from byte (e.g. megabyte) for it to take on anything other than the common meaning.

Re:petaoctets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44203675)

Apparently some of the older IBM equipment used 6-bit bytes (BDIC characters). They later standardized on the 8-bit extended byte (EBCDIC characters).

A byte is typically the smallest directly-addressable unit of memory. Some machines measured their memory capacity in words, even though a word might typically run from about 2 to 6 bytes.

A byte is also typically - and wrongly - considered to be the amount of memory used to store 1 character. I know a lot of people who use the term "bytes" when they should be saying characters, which was barely accurate even before Unicode became common.

In other words, there's a lot of history out there. Please don't muddle it!

In modern English, however, I'm still not commonly seeing the word "octet" in use except in things like telecommunications. The word "octet" is actually preferable, since it eliminates possible ambiguity in terms and because in many cases, there are no hard boundaries in a communications data stream that separate one "byte" from the next, so taking bits in groups of 8 makes the mathematicians happy.

If the French want to call generic bytes "octets", that's their problem.

Re:petaoctets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44225977)

"octet" has the advantage of not being saddled with the powers-of-1024 versions of kilo, mega, etc.

A kilooctet is *always* exactly 8000 bits.

How many bits are in a kilobyte? Or do you really like the kibibyte forms?

Likely scenario (1)

rroman (2627559) | about a year ago | (#44198853)

USA: "All countries, ok, we spy on you, but don't criticize us, you do that too"
France: "Hey, that is unacceptable you must stop"
USA: "Shut up France, we highly recommend you that"
France: "YOU HAVE TO STOP!!! THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE"
USA: "NSA, could you give us some juicy information about France so they don't bitch about it so loud?"
NSA: "Oh yes, here you are."

*twice* in a row ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44198947)

Firstly why is this new ? This has been known since what , 1990 ? At least France did not pretend the DGSE was not doing it, you know contrary to the NSA. And why in the heck did we have the same dupe on France spying ? Ho wait I know : american web site, American audience, trying to shift blame on the french. Well not even that is new.

Existence to Corruption. (1, Insightful)

Tim12s (209786) | about a year ago | (#44198959)

The fact that one exists results in the need for at least two. "Green peace" type folks may think that this can be "rioted" out of existance however then, only bad men will have guns. What is better is to advocate more effective and honest control and oversight of the use of these facilities. The key is anti-corruption through civilized morals. Where there is no moral backbone within society then there is no effective ability to even comprehend effective oversight and it quickly the world turns to dog-eat-dog mentality through the use of corruption.

Small differences (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44199021)

They do only with what comes in and out of France. In the other hand, US hacks foreign companies [scmp.com] to get information on everyone, no matter where. And probably in France https worth something, but for US services the information must be given to the government in a silver plate by the companies (that is what PRISM is all about, after all) . And, of course, is US who defines hacking as act of war [washingtonexaminer.com] .

So this is a mostly unilateral war, and you could see the monitoring that could do some other countries mostly as self-defense.

The point is that people from all the world should care about what the US is doing (because affects everyone) while French (and a small fraction of other countries) people should care also about what they government do. Also, I don't see France putting in jail or doing a massive international manhunt for the people working for Le Monde, violating every international treaty and convention doing so, as US is doing (and forcing their allies to do) with Assange and Snowden, we are just past the point of absolute corruption, and seeing the first hints of what is coming in the next years.

Re:Small differences (1)

jd.schmidt (919212) | about a year ago | (#44199539)

Don't kid yourself. Of course the richest and possibly most technically advanced nation also as the biggest and most technically advance tech spying program.

But don't doubt for once instant that every Nation of any aspirations is doing this kind of stuff. No intelligence agency on the planet, none, zero, has any qualms about spying on anyone through the Internet (outside some extremely close allies with information sharing agreements). Local laws may protect their own citizens a little bit, but that is all.

I truly wish it were not the case, but I see no way to stop it right now. So the real question people need to answer is this, âoewhy should we refrain from spying, information gathering, when no one else is?â. Until there is some agreements and oversight, there will be no change..

Re:Small differences (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44200259)

Pushing it as "the new normal" dont make it justifiable, is like saying that is right that your operating system must have a blue screen every hour or widespread virus and you must keep buying it because sometimes other operating systems could have them rarely. Doing it, while putting civilians for decades [slashdot.org] or even centuries [vice.com] is just yelling that you don't care about what is fair or not, you just do what you want, you are the biggest bully in the neightbourhood after all.

So keep defending the big bully, with a bit of luck you won't be noticed by him for a bit more time that way. Just don't complain when comes your turn, and take into consideration that whatever comes, is your fault too.

Re:Small differences (1)

jd.schmidt (919212) | about a year ago | (#44204513)

But I am not pushing it as the new normal but stating that it is in fact the old normal with new technology. Nations are doing to new data services exactly what they have been doing to old data services. And I am sure it has been my turn all along.

I imagine that in theory there would be a way to objectively measure which country is the biggest bully in espionage. But it is kind of hard to measure since so much of it is secret. Doesn't China load spyware on computers that come through customs? Doesn't Russia still bug rooms is major hotels? I don't think any of us really know for sure how obnoxious each country really is (gauge Putin's reaction to Snowden to understand how shocking he considers these revelations are!)

Still you didn't really answer the important question. How do you get any country to stop unilaterally? Why would they?

More importantly, what kind of spying is fair or OK, what is not? Are the actions of Anonymous fair or just? Large Corporations? Small businesses? Independent Hackers? Are you sure you have thought this through?

Re:Small differences (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44204809)

Is not about countries, is about governments, specially the ones that claim that are elected by the people. The key there is trust.

I administer servers (in particular, mail and proxy ones, to talk about the easiest ones where you can harm privacy) from almost 20 years. In all that time i had access to all the mails of all the people on those servers. When i was hired for that job, i've been trusted with that access, and was up to me to deserve or not that trust, regardless if anyone ever discover that i peeked or not.

Now, will you put your future and the one of your entire family/friends/country in the hands of someone that you can't trust, specially because you already know that is deceiving you? Is not about if is ok or not, we are past that, is about if you can do something about it or not. The situation is just not stable in the long term.

There is also an small addendum regarding trust. We are not talking about a single person here. Snowden could be a case of survivorship bias [youarenotsosmart.com] , you see him, the one that went public and disclosed all of this, knowing that was recently hired and had all that access already. What about the ones that you don't see, that didn't went public, didn't disclosed any of this, and have similar access? We are talking about 500 thousands to 5 millons [salon.com] individuals. You are trusting all your information and all potential misuse of it to all of them too.

Re:Small differences (1)

jd.schmidt (919212) | about a year ago | (#44206189)

I administer mail servers also and every time the subject comes up I warn everyone that the communications on the server can and likely will be searched by some disclosure request. I also warn them not to take laptops to other countries, I warn them about attaching security systems to the corporate network. Frankly I am a giant pill.

I too try to do my job in a trustworthy manner.

I guess I don't really trust any government, or company or independent hacker. Or maybe I trust them to do exactly what I think they are doing.

I want transparency in government, but as of right now I don't consider the Internet secure and am certain all nations are doing many of the same things.

Let me try it this way, do you have any issue with any government or organization developing intrusive hacking tools, or just that you lack oversight in what they are doing? (of course we both know there will be a limited number of organizations you will be allowed oversight into).

Re:Small differences (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44210755)

Having 500k to 5m people [salon.com] that can access all information stored in your servers you feel safe? You may trust one or 2 people you know, but that amount of apples should have more than a few bad apples, and knowing how the environment rots the apple, that number could be pretty high. And that access could be used to do ip theft (REAL ip theft, as in copyrighting, patenting, trademarking or whatever thing you discussed in private and that you wont be able to use anymore), blackmailing (from up top to lower bottom level, hey, why not make your bosses fire you and put my nephew with your salary there?), take something out of context to put someone not deserving in jail, or using your company as bridge to reach a goal elsewhere (damaging its image, doing damage elsewhere, whatever).

Besides that, if i asked to keep something safe, and I can't (because no matter how hard i push security, most software and hardware used is surely backdoored), im not doing well my job.

Re:Small differences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44199905)

They do only with what comes in and out of France. In the other hand, US hacks foreign companies [scmp.com] to get information on everyone, no matter where. And probably in France https worth something, but for US services the information must be given to the government in a silver plate by the companies (that is what PRISM is all about, after all) . And, of course, is US who defines hacking as act of war [washingtonexaminer.com] .

So this is a mostly unilateral war, and you could see the monitoring that could do some other countries mostly as self-defense.

The point is that people from all the world should care about what the US is doing (because affects everyone) while French (and a small fraction of other countries) people should care also about what they government do. Also, I don't see France putting in jail or doing a massive international manhunt for the people working for Le Monde, violating every international treaty and convention doing so, as US is doing (and forcing their allies to do) with Assange and Snowden, we are just past the point of absolute corruption, and seeing the first hints of what is coming in the next years.

How laughably, pathetically naïve. As if France and everyone else wouldn't be doing the same as the Yanks if they had the same budget and influence instead. Read up about what France was doing at the height of its power and just project it forward 200 years.

Re:Small differences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44200407)

And probably in France https worth something, but for US services the information must be given to the government in a silver plate by the companies (that is what PRISM is all about, after all)

That's just the transport. The data stored on the other end is a whole different ballgame.

This is sort of like the issue of school locker searches. Or, workplace Internet usage.
If you've been TOLD that you have no expectation of privacy, you shouldn't act surprised when someone takes a peek inside.
Maybe we need laws that require that language to be in large bold print or phrased a certain way, but it's a very easy concept to understand.

The companies that participated in PRISM all have something in common... free email, and terms of service explaining that they have the right to analyse your email data for marketing purposes. Bingo, bango, no privacy means no privacy.

Just like how regular U.S. postal mail is not protected under the 4th, but first class mail is, email is offered in the same manner. Except, you know the recipient is always free to share your mail once they get it right? Common sense.

Further, for these free accounts that have no association with a proven identity, just IP addresses - any laws defending you on the grounds of your nationality, I'd love to hear a method of enforcing that. Swedish banks got screwed when they couldn't determine who their American account holders were, so they were compelled to give up more than they would otherwise be required to.

Encrypt your online communications if you want privacy. You've been _repeatedly_ warned.

The French need to eavesdrop (-1, Troll)

maroberts (15852) | about a year ago | (#44199165)

...so they can work out who they need to surrender to this time.

Cabinet Noir (1)

Wintermute__ (22920) | about a year ago | (#44199427)

From the country that brought us the Cabinet Noir, this is surprising how?

Tommy did it too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44199545)

There are plenty of people who are looking to excuse the US, simply because France is doing the same thing. It doesn't matter what France does. If I secretly videotape my neighbor having sex, that's bad. It doesn't matter if her other neighbor is videotaping it too. Then the cops just have two dirtbags to arrest instead of one.

Re:Tommy did it too! (1)

Motard (1553251) | about a year ago | (#44199723)

But if you videotape your neighbor having sex, and he videotapes you videotaping him, it changes the dynamic.

Re:Tommy did it too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44200807)

There are plenty of people who are looking to excuse the US, simply because France is doing the same thing. It doesn't matter what France does. If I secretly videotape my neighbor having sex, that's bad. It doesn't matter if her other neighbor is videotaping it too. Then the cops just have two dirtbags to arrest instead of one.

You say "that's bad" because you don't know what actual law(s) that's breaking.

It's not even remotely as clear as you elude.

That's the problem with all this talk about surveillance lately, most people have absolutely no idea what laws protect them in what circumstances, or what's private and what's not.

Cryptography proponents must be about ready to jump off a cliff right now because all of a sudden people expect some legal protection that just is not there, and if it was there, you wouldn't need to encrypt everything you share with 3rd parties.

What do you expect? (1)

fox171171 (1425329) | about a year ago | (#44199785)

Toutes vos données sont appartiennent à nous!

Catch-22 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44199973)

Mr. Hollande is 'Caught Red Handed.' Will Mr. Hollande resign now that the peoples of France know well that he is a lair and thief and worse.

The espionage technologies of USA, France and UK are acts of crimes against humanity.

But look at Mr. Bon KI Moon! Mr. Snowden showed Mr. Moon that the offices and apartments of Mr. Moon are bugged with video recording and sound devices and his cell phone and office phone and apartment phones are bugged. NSA is watching him anywhere on the planet 23/7/365.

How many children of 2 years old and younger has Mr. Moon invited into his New York City apartment?/ how many excaped?

Well Mr. Moon has, as he would say 'refined tastes in flesh.' Well Mr. Moon is a half-breed like Mr Obama.

What to do against the Monsters

The trick now is to use these technologies against the 'Leaders.'

For instance, Mr. Vice President Biden called the President of Ecuador to persuade against granting asylum to Mr. E. Snowden as the media outlets have written.

What were Mr. Biden's actual words?

The NSA has them!

Now, an FOIA request on the NSA snooped voice record of Mr. J. Biden could yield much intelligence to use against Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden and the elected and unelected government of the USA!

I would urge a flood of FOIA requests on the voice and text communications of all elected and unelected Federal Government employees to commence at great speed and density.

Now that we know who is recording and storing the records we have a means to get them and use them against them.

Think of the unelected government of the USA as a Ant Farm robot. Give the robot the right command and a mountain of gold will be given.

So much for using gandi.net (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44200167)

And I had hoped that by hosting my email at www.gandi.net I would be afforded more protection / privacy. (What with it being within the EU and all.)

Wasn't that a load of crock!

No: no-one promised me more protection. I just assumed it would be safer.
I guess that assuming made an ass out of me and ... me.

France, please remind us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44200201)

France, please remind us how to control your government, we have forgotten.

Show me show you (2)

davmoo (63521) | about a year ago | (#44200367)

You show me someone who says their country does not spy on its citizens, and I'll show you a fool. And you show me someone who says their country does not spy on other countries, and I'll show you another fool.

Governments have been spying on their own citizens since the day "governments" were born. And that first government started spying on other governments the day the second one was born nearby.

Does this make it right? No, of course not. Two wrongs, as they say, do not make a right (but three rights make a left). But I'm getting a bit tired of all this "My country is better than yours because it doesn't spy" bullshit. Grow up. Your country spies just like mine does.

Re:Show me show you (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44200487)

Governments have been spying on their own citizens since the day "governments" were born.

Some of their own citizens some of the time sure. All of them all of the time? No.

Your country spies just like mine does.

Maybe. Maybe not. I'm sure it spies. I'm certainly not sure it spies as much as yours does.

Dup, intent (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#44200429)

This is a dup, and as I already commented in the other one, there is an intent here. That program is known for some time and the goal is to minimize Snowden's revelations so that everyone forgets him.

JEWISH Big Brother, not 'French' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202135)

Who do you think is behind all this spying on populations of countries?

Why, it's our unelected, unseen Jewish 'masters', operating from the shadows, telling us all what to do, where to go, who we have to live with, what we can and can't say, what we can and can't THINK, that's who. The eternal Jew.

Do some research. Wake up. Your country has been taken over by these worthless parasites, and they would happily kill millions of you to stay in power.

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