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US Spies Have "Security Agreements" With Foreign Telecoms

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the let's-see-what-you-got-there dept.

United States 181

McGruber writes "The Washington Post is reporting the existence of 'Team Telecom', lawyers from the FBI and the departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, who ensure that Global Crossing and other foreign-owned telecoms, quickly and confidentially fulfill the USA's surveillance requests. Team Telecom leverages the authority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve cable licenses. The security agreement for Global Crossing, whose fiber-optic network connected 27 nations and four continents, required the company to have a 'Network Operations Center' on U.S. soil that could be visited by government officials with 30 minutes of warning. Surveillance requests, meanwhile, had to be handled by U.S. citizens screened by the government and sworn to secrecy — in many cases prohibiting information from being shared even with the company's executives and directors. A spokesman for Level 3 Communications declined to comment for the Washington Post's article."

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181 comments

Yep (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210233)

Definetly sounding more and more like 1984 every day... with people opening up their mouths for a taste of frosty piss from the government for first posts.

Re:Yep (5, Insightful)

memnock (466995) | about 10 months ago | (#44211283)

With all this surveillance, it's a wonder there are any large crime rings at all. Yet the rings still seem to thrive.

Re:Yep (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211663)

With all this surveillance, it's a wonder there are any large crime rings at all. Yet the rings still seem to thrive.

Large criminal organizations use the same tactics as large legal organizations, i.e. they bribe the relevant people and insert collaborators for leniency and favorable treatment.

Re:Yep (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44211755)

Yes, and that should be a hint. The NSA surveillance is directed at terrorism and national security issues, not at ordinary criminal activity. The local police and FBI go after ordinary criminal activity, and play by the criminal law rules.

Re:Yep (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 10 months ago | (#44211957)

The NSA surveillance is directed at terrorism and national security issues, not at ordinary criminal activity.

Even if that were true -- and there have been way too many dubious cases now to believe that without qualification -- it would only apply today. A lot of the danger in these systems is not how they are used right now, it is how they might be used by someone we haven't even identified yet who's running the show in 5 or 10 or 50 years.

If you think that it could never happen, may I remind you that just months ago, shortly after the Boston bombing, several prominent US politicians including a man who ran for President stated publicly and unambiguously that the surviving suspect should be treated as an enemy combatant and thus excluded from the normal rules of due process. Given that he was suspected of murder, a crime that can still carry the death penalty in the US but normally does not in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that's a particularly disturbing footnote to an already tragic event.

Re:Yep (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211967)

Oh, cool. So instead of building a huge expensive Orwellian surveillance apparatus to catch criminals that actually exist and have an impact on the lives of ordinary citizens, the whole thing is aimed at the imaginary boogeyman that kills fewer people per year than lightning.

That makes it so much better. It's not a benevolent dictatorship trying to make a utopia, it's a fascist police state trying to keep itself in power. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

hmmm..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210259)

Wheres all that small government talk now?

Re:hmmm..? (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 10 months ago | (#44210533)

They outsourced the "data-gathering" side, and are probably in discussions with Google, Microsoft and IBM on how best to data-mine it for terrorists and people exceeding the speed limit.

To summarize (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210277)

We are shocked. SHOCKED! That the US Government is SPYING on citizens and foreign governments with the assistance of telecoms and leading Internet companies.

US Congressmen are shocked. SHOCKED!
European officials are shocked. SHOCKED!
Slashdot, reddit and cool kids sites are shocked. SHOCKED!
Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and not so cool not-kids are shocked. SHOCKED!
Newspapers and universities are shocked. SHOCKED!

My God what's next... that US businesses might be selling their customer's buying and usage histories to other businesses?

You're a fagot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211563)

Not being shocked does not give anyone the right to shit on the constitution.

You're a fucking fagot who is trivializing a very very important issue. I hope you and your family are the first to die when the revolution comes.

Re:You're a fagot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211725)

Tell us how you really feel.

Re: You're a fagot (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211767)

As one who totally agrees with you on the evils of "trivializing" the recent revelations of government abuses, I also recognize how much of a fuckhead you are for calling anyone who would challenge your tiny mind a "faggot". Maybe he wasn't "trivializing" these reports at all, but instead pointing out how much this should not be a shocking revelation at all. It should not be, because we were warned by whistleblowers over the past decade how our government has been using our communications systems in violation of our rights as citizens. Up until now those who spoke out were dismissed as paranoid "conspiracy theorists", as was anyone who so much as mentioned Orwell's "1984". If you feel that your government has taken you like some kind of "faggot", then I would not hold back the outrage, but I just can't pretend that they already have inexorably taken us all on account of the. majority dumbasses who gave them the invitation for all of us!

Re: To summarize (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211841)

So, because you're not surprised, that somehow makes the spying okay? Bullshit. You just want an excuse to continue to sit on your fat ass and not do anything.

As if (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about 10 months ago | (#44210287)

As if anyone didn't think this was going on?

Re:As if (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210323)

It's one thing to assume it's going on, it's another thing to actually find proof it's going on.

Just like you assume your parents had nasty, disgusting sex to conceive you, and that's fine. But it's totally another thing to see the old home porno vhs tapes of them humping and grunting and confirming all your suspicions.

Re:As if (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 10 months ago | (#44210803)

That has to be the most disturbingly accurate analogy I have heard yet...

Re:As if (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211679)

well it's recursive if your from Kansas they liek to keep in the family your mothers your sister. there,

Re:As if (1)

jdogalt (961241) | about 10 months ago | (#44211927)

That has to be the most disturbingly accurate and *apropos* analogy I have heard yet...

There, FTFY. Given that what we've learned is that the powers that be will consider it our parents fault if they happened to have their laptop/gameconsole/mobilephone's cameras (err. 'sensors') aimed at the bed that night. Because they collect it by default because that might help national security. And they keep it forever. In a world of big brother, the only way to go forward is with little brother tactics...

http://cloudsession.com/dawg/downloads/misc/kag-draft-2k121024.pdf [cloudsession.com]

Actually Protest This Shit (5, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#44210291)

There is a huge danger in the "we already knew they did this" thinking you see posted everywhere.

We already had suspicions, and very well founded ones considering AT&T's NSA room, but the information we are getting is different. It has confirmed beyond any doubt those suspicions are true and those who believed them not foil hatters. Why is this important? Because if we do nothing in the face of absolute confirmation, it means that the DC pukes will know they have mandate to do all this and more.

So quit being complacent "I told you so" time wasters, and get down to working for change. This is quite seriously, a "now or never" moment.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (4, Insightful)

Vintermann (400722) | about 10 months ago | (#44210331)

Most of the "they already knew this" folks would have called you paranoid if you asserted half of what's been revealed. It's a thin attempt to justify their complacent attitudes, in the face of evidence that radical attitudes were called for all along.

And hopefully, I'm not going to be called paranoid now when I assert that the government has a social media strategy, and that they know how to play on people's vanities in order to manufacture consent.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#44210363)

Within the last year or so I told my Postmaster that all mail was scanned and the data saved. He tried to tell me that they just threw it away after it's used for routing, and wasn't interested in why that was a stupid idea. If I ever see him peek over the counter again, I will get to roll my eyes at him.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210631)

Most of the "they already knew this" folks would have called you paranoid if you asserted half of what's been revealed.

As one of the "already knew this" folks, what's been revealed is not nearly half of what you are asserting and is generally undermining our past ideas of what we already knew.

What we knew: The NSA had splitters in the MAEs and was copying everything and performing deep packet inspection. Also, anybody can ask any business for copies of their business records, government agents included.

What we have learned in the past month: A judge ordered Verizon to give the NSA a copy of metadata that is not considered private information in Supreme Court precedent (Smith v. Maryland, 1979). The NSA asks businesses to have procedures in place to provide data in a useable format upon request or receipt of a warrant. Businesses regularly push back against the NSA's requests for warrantless access, and the NSA will come back with a warrant if they really want the data. The NSA's procedures for accessing data are tied up by red tape to ensure that they don't accidentally (or intentionally) infringe on personal privacy without a just and lawful cause.

What you are asserting: The NSA is listening in on everyone's phone calls. The NSA is reading everyone's mail all the time. The NSA has a probe in everyone's ass to see what they ate for breakfast. There are no legal differences between a warrantless search and a search for which a search warrant was acquired. The federal government's Constitutional authority to track anything entering or exiting the borders does not exist. The Constitution is what you say it is. The Supreme Court precedent does not exist. The Supreme Court does not exist. Ignore all details and speak only in absolute generalities.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210805)

To be honest, I'm pretty sure the "they already knew this" posts come from semi-automated bots by the COINTELPRO [cryptome.org] bunch of bastards.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 10 months ago | (#44210889)

I'm not going to be called paranoid now when I assert that the government has a social media strategy, and that they know how to play on people's vanities in order to manufacture consent.

Of course they do. Just this year we got not one, but two Hie Hard remake MURICA FUCK YEAH in PRESIDENT WE TRUST movie blockbusters.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210961)

I'm not one who says "already knew this". I say that it would be surprising if a nation, any nation, wouldn't spy on it's neighbors, allies and enemies.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1, Interesting)

dryriver (1010635) | about 10 months ago | (#44210343)

I agree with you, and would like to add another vector to your argument >>> Many of us tech-savvy electronics users strongly suspect that virtually ALL electronic gizmos you can buy contain a hidden hardware or software "backdoor": Everything from mobile phones to tablet computers to smart TVs to business laptops can thus be remotely accessed and spied on with ease by governments interested in doing so. ------ This suspicion (of backdoors built into all electronics) is yet another case where you quickly get accused of being a "Tinfoil Hatter". Until, that is, someone like Snowden leaks new proof that this is actually true: That all electronics makers have secret agreements with various governments to always put a concealed "backdoor" into the gizmos they manufacture and sell to us. ------- I personally believe that this will be the next "big revelation" in terms of privacy - that electronics makers build concealed backdoors into virtually all popular products they sell.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210399)

The Wii has a backdoor, very easy to find if you know it exists. Probably because you can take a keyboard and a mouse and plug them right into your Wii - instant desktop.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210405)

Its times like this its good to be a cheapass and buy chinese nock offs :P

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (2)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#44210429)

Yeah -- I wonder this too. I've been thinking about redoing my home desktop with encrypted everything, thinking about going back to a very vanilla OS, wondering if it should be Linux or BSD --- and yet I still question if it even matters from a technical point of view. I have no idea what's really on my mobo.

As for phones, I would bet that is much more likely considering how there is so much less hardware diversity than there is with PCs, plus they're the perfect bugs with video and audio capability: no need for taking risks breaking into a house or business to install them or have them found -- hiding in plain sight.

Who built SeLinux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210497)

You find the answer to that, you might reconsider 1 of your options.

Re:Who built SeLinux? (1)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#44210943)

That's exactly why I've been thinking about BSD. But then, didn't the NSA also fund Theo, and isn't his supposed to be the securest flavor?

Re:Who built SeLinux? (3, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44211947)

It wasn't NSA, it was DARPA. And that doesn't prove anything bad was happening. Look into the history of DES encryption sometime. There was a controversy because NSA changed the S-boxes used in the encryption before the design was finalized and accepted for government use. Nobody knew why at the time, and I've never heard that the government explained why the change. Many people were suspicious, thinking that the change would create some sort of exploitable weakness. DES has been analyzed to death and when used at the designed spec in terms of number of rounds of encryption, etc., there isn't much in terms of weaknesses other than key length. The one thing that has emerged was that DES was unusually resistant to differential cryptanalysis which was discovered in the academic world many years after DES was released. (~20) It turns out that IBM was aware of it at the time they were designing DES, and NSA asked them to say nothing. So it appears that NSA knew about differential cryptanalysis 20+ years before the academic world, and specifically strengthened DES against it by altering the S-box design values.

There is some history in this paper.

Extended Analysis of DES S-boxes [kuleuven.be]

Re:Who built SeLinux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211153)

You find the answer to that, you might reconsider 1 of your options.

NSAs contribution improved security of assets they are charged with protecting.

If there is an intentional backdoor it stands to hurt their mission as much as the rest of us. Any backdoors would have same properties as any other 0-day. Once used any such secret capabilities are detectable/degraded and eventually lost.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (5, Informative)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 10 months ago | (#44210387)

So Restore the Fourth [restorethefourth.net] and Fight for the Future [fightforthefuture.org] . Attend rallies like this one [nbcnews.com] last week, support privacy advocates [thinkprogress.org] , sign the petition [whitehouse.gov] to shut down the NSA Utah data center, or hell the petition to pardon Snowden [whitehouse.gov] .

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (5, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#44210483)

Yeah, the Seattle restorethe4th rally was scheduled for July 6 at noon at Westlake Center/Park. It was about 80 degrees yesterday, and not a cloud in the sky.

I showed up after driving for an hour and half, walked around in circles looking for the protest. I saw three cop cars, three ambulances, a dozen cops, and a Jesus Freak with a sign asking "what does Jesus mean to you".

I didn't break out my sign -- I figured it would be bad PR to have a protest only as big as Jesus Freaks could muster, because that makes the issue easily dismissed, ignored, and made fun of.

Posting web pages and not doing anything ... is not fucking doing anything. It is unbelievable to me that Anonymous can organize large protests against the CoS, a group that harms a tiny fraction of the world's population, but Seattle can't get 10 people to show up to protest an issue that threatens almost every person on the planet. That's fucking appalling.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (3, Insightful)

geoskd (321194) | about 10 months ago | (#44212165)

Posting web pages and not doing anything ... is not fucking doing anything. It is unbelievable to me that Anonymous can organize large protests against the CoS, a group that harms a tiny fraction of the world's population,

Protesting on a limited scale does pretty much nothing as well. It works only to bring awareness to a problem that the majority will actively deal with if they become aware. The protests in the Arab world were only successful because they lead to violence, and as such lead to a change in regime. In our country, the majority already are aware of the problem. No one is willing to escalate it to the level of violence because the resulting civil war would be devastating if successful, and painfully bad for the losers (likely the protesters) otherwise. Most people still hold out the hope that normal democratic process' can be used to fix the problem, and will only resort to violent protests when it becomes unavoidably apparent that nothing else will work.

It is not the spying, nor the increasingly antisocial behavior of our government that concerns me. As long as the military maintains its strictly apolitical stance, I am not worried that our leaders will gain too much power, but sometime in the near future, I see a tipping point when our elected government will do something that will force the military leaders to make a nasty decision. The result of that decision will determine the course of events. If the military decides on the side of we the people, there will probably be an ugly coup and forced military ouster Ala Mohammed Morsi. If the military comes down the other way, there will be a bloody civil war, the outcome of which is anybody's guess.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 10 months ago | (#44210465)

Well said and well written, except for the "DC pukes" part ( but then again, yours truly lives not in the USA, so what the heck ). I already got to work: teaching my partner how to conduct encrypted email conversations, for example. And preparing to vote for a party, here, vigorously opposing any spying on citizens.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 10 months ago | (#44210621)

Really? Often for parties like these, once they get into power it becomes "Oh, now we know. We can't do what we said we were going to do".

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (3, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | about 10 months ago | (#44210753)

Agreed. Yet, I live in a democracy, and this is the way to go. If it works out as you depict, I will have a last option: go into politics myself *shudder*

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211047)

Agreed. Yet, I live in a democracy, and this is the way to go. If it works out as you depict, I will have a last option: go into politics myself *shudder*

Alas I can't go into politics, sooner or later the gutter press discover my longstanding membership with bigbustycreamcakesluts.com.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (2)

eth1 (94901) | about 10 months ago | (#44211559)

Agreed. Yet, I live in a democracy, and this is the way to go. If it works out as you depict, I will have a last option: go into politics myself *shudder*

The problem with this is that both the government and the media are controlled by the same moneyed interests. Any "normal person" that tried to get into a position of power in order to fix things in favor of the public would be publicly destroyed. The only people that can more or less avoid that fate are the ones that aspired to high office since childhood, and never put a foot wrong (IOW, exactly the people that you DON'T want in power), or the ones already in bed with the aforementioned moneyed interests.

Every minor indiscretion, Facebook pic of you with an adult beverage, off-color YouTube video you watched, porn site you visited, etc. would all be dredged up and spun to make you look like a monster (and we now know the government probably actually knows all that stuff).

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1)

Smivs (1197859) | about 10 months ago | (#44210469)

Lots of righteous indignation, shock and outrage, but one serious question not yet answered. And who better than the /. crowd to ask.
In real, practical terms, what can we actually, really do about this?

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1)

Rougement (975188) | about 10 months ago | (#44210529)

The first thing is to contact your representatives and ask them what they think. If they're in favor of what the NSA has been doing, you politely let them know that they are politically dead to you. From there, who knows? At least it's a start.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (3, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#44210615)

As just one thing, vow that you will not vote for any candidate who does not support a full and complete pardon for Snowden. Even if you think your candidate is a "lesser evil" -- all that has gotten us is whole bunch of evil. Make the politicians fear for their jobs.

Send donations to charities that do good work in nations that will harbor Snowden. Yesterday I emailed public contact addresses at the embassies for Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Boliva requesting suggestions. I hope I get some, but if that doesn't work, there's always google.

It is important to talk about the issues and protest them, but it is even more important to take concrete steps in support of those issues.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (4, Interesting)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 10 months ago | (#44210693)

My wife and I have a rule that we began applying last election cycle. If there is any doubt about a particular race that we are voting on (after doing research on each candidate, of course), we apply a simple formula--vote the incumbent out.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211129)

If by "incumbent" you just mean the guy in the chair, then you're not doing anyone any favors. The "incumbent" is and has been the Democrat/Republican machine.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211241)

Send donations to charities that do good work in nations that will harbor Snowden. Yesterday I emailed public contact addresses at the embassies for Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Boliva requesting suggestions.

Oi, you, yes you, citizen, I see you are aiding and abetting a terrorist organization/nation state. Why don't you come with us for some re-education... Here, put this bag over your head and prepare for a bit of an airline flight...

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#44211587)

That is exactly what they want me to think. If I succumb, they definitely win.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (5, Insightful)

fufufang (2603203) | about 10 months ago | (#44211561)

As just one thing, vow that you will not vote for any candidate who does not support a full and complete pardon for Snowden. Even if you think your candidate is a "lesser evil" -- all that has gotten us is whole bunch of evil. Make the politicians fear for their jobs.

And you shouldn't be afraid of voting a third-party candidate. Candidates in the Republican/Democrat parties do respond to those third-parties, if the race between the is close, as they want to get as many votes as they can.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (2)

Pav (4298) | about 10 months ago | (#44210935)

My contribution to ideas:

1) Talk to family and friends about exactly why you think this is horrendous. Perhaps some humour like this [theonion.com] or this [youtube.com] might help make your message more palatable, and make them know that you're far from the only person with these concerns. Let them know that the tech world is FURIOUS about this because our community is very aware of what's at stake.

2) Protecting yourself online is not easy, and may be too complicated for non-IT people at the moment, but there are some simple solutions that can help security newbies create less of an information trail with just a few clicks to install eg. HTTPS everywhere, Adblock Plus, Jitsi. There are also privacy respecting search engines such as DuckDuckGo and Ixquick. Spread the word.

3) There are fresh new projects springing up all over the place to replace various insecure services eg. Diaspora* (replaces Facebook), Bitmessage (replaces email) etc... Learn, skill up, help these projects if you can... use the product, and get your friends to also... help try to start a network effect, spread the word among the tech-savvy about new tools you find - spreading the word in comments on Slashdot would be great too. Tell the authors of the products that you appreciate their efforts.

4) It has been said elsewhere, but become feirce about political involvement. Make every Slashdot comment suggesting apathy feed your anger-motivated actions.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#44211387)

Might also want to point this article out when they says they have nothing to hide and don't care:

http://www.salon.com/writer/radley_balko/ [salon.com] then click on the link to his article: âoeWhy did you shoot me? I was reading a bookâ: The new warrior cop is out of control
(for some reason, salon put a " in the URL which makes linking to the article directly really hard).

Sending in the SWAT team to break up home poker games for example.

More ominous, using the SWAT team to conduct warrantless searches of businesses and every customer on the property as part of "administrative searches" related to the business license. You literally can be totally innocent and get shot to death just by being in a business somebody in government has hard-on for.

People need to know that the 4th Amendment matters, and even the innocent can die from its abuse.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211631)

Duckduckgo tracks us too. If you go to their homepage and wait, Google will try to set a cookie. Do you see any ads on the homepage? No. They watch wherever you search. Don't be fooled into thinking one search engine is any safer than the other.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210473)

> Actually Protest This Shit

Do you? A post on Slashdot isn't going to help, you know.
Nor is writing letters or starting petitions.
You'll need to leave your house and go places.

And for the record, I've stopped protesting myself.
The facts are that the vast majority of all people, even knowing exactly what is happening, don't care.
They have enough free time to engage in their hobbies (watch sports, play computer games, browse the web, watch movies).
They have fairly comfortable lives. They don't care.
If you don't do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from the government. The end.
They record everything I do on the Internet? That's terrible... anyway, what's for dinner, any good movies on TV?
Things just aren't bad enough. Nothing will change.
What Snoden fears most, that nothing will change, is exactly what will happen.
The government knows this, they make sure things are just the right about of f'd up to prevent too many people from protesting.
This isn't new either, it has been like this since the beginning of time and it'll be like this forever.
If there ever comes a day that enough people have had enough, I'll wake up and say "me too".
Until that happens, which will probably be never, I too am going to enjoy the bread and circuses.
I only have one life, I can't spend it being upset about all the sh*t that's going on around me.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1)

russotto (537200) | about 10 months ago | (#44210771)

The Republicans like this on principle, and the Democrats like it as long as their man is in charge. So there will be no change.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 10 months ago | (#44211249)

My later comment concerning the ownership of so many, if not the vast majority, of foreign telecoms by private equity firms (private banbs/leveraged buyout firms) such as Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, etc., also regards AT&T, reconstituted thanks to Billy Clinton's signing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and historically owned by the Rockefellers, and very recently granted immunity from prosecution in their part in warrantless wiretapping, said legislation spearheaded through congress thanks to Jay Rockefeller!

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (0)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about 10 months ago | (#44211425)

Playing a little devil's advocate here but I really don't see what the big scandal is. Countries have been spying on each other forever (including allies). The only thing that's changed is the technology. Did everyone actually expect that governments wouldn't expand their surveillance to new technologies like cell phones and the internet? How naive can you possibly be?

I would be severely disappointed if they hadn't upgraded to do these things. A country cannot have an effective intelligence program without it. People on /. talk all big and bad about how freedom is more important than security but that's easy to do when it doesn't effect you. If your mom or wife is killed in a terrorist attack, you'd be screaming about how the government isn't doing enough to protect its citizens.

In short, people need to be realistic. Yeah, eventually the government is going to upgrade their tech. duh. Eventually, every country will do the same thing. duh. The focus should be on whether the spying on your own citizens is appropriate and properly monitored and logged. That's it. Everything else is a bunch of naive nonsense.

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211651)

My friend was killed on 9/11. I haven't been terrorized into thinking this domestic spying effort is a good idea.

Re: Actually Protest This Shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211903)

You mistake being "complacent" for being weary. I didn't even know what the "tuncoil hat" joke was about until fairly recently, but I understood 12 years ago that there were no citizen protections which a government will not violate in order to win while most people said "oh, they can't do that!". They can do anything, because they cannot be easily prosecuted for acting above the law, and then the powers given to them for use against US citizens by a citizen-elected Congress are truly beyond shocking. Having understood this while it was happening, I cannot pretend to be shocked now. If you are, then its in your hands to do something about it, and in that I wish you luck!

Re:Actually Protest This Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44212039)

Actually I think the "we already new this" -- IS PROPAGANDA. They already know the rules: just tell the world its OLD NEWs, and the sheeple will move along.

Confirmed information is useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210307)

What are you going to do about it?

Re:Confirmed information is useless (5, Insightful)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about 10 months ago | (#44210427)

What are you going to do about it?

Cry. In my beer. We are fucked. Might as well find a way to relax and enjoy those deep, rhythmic thrusts. Its military industrial complex on steroids. As long as there is big money involved, and all 3 branches of govt are complicit, and the govt is run by big money, there is no hope. The chance of a sea change in the US electorate that gives a shit and might effect some meaningful change, is slim to none.

Re:Confirmed information is useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210829)

What are you going to do about it?

Repent. Quit my job. Slack off. Why waste time participating in an economy if my efforts primarily benefit people whose motives I find detestable? I have enough savings to last me 30 years. Maybe it's time I started using that money for consumption and leisure instead of productive work. If it all collapses in 10 years, I got 10 more good years out of the deal than most of us.

Trolling cowards are useless (1)

boorack (1345877) | about 10 months ago | (#44210899)

Whining that for some people it is "confirmed information" is useless. The whole point of Greenwald/Snowden campaign is to provide this "confirmed information" to the masses and make masses angry enough to force some change on behalf of government (and its corporate masters). This is the battlefield and TPTBs are perfectly aware of that. So you have information blackouts in various places (eg. filtering The Guardian site for US military personel, or W. Hague issuing publication ban for UK media using some "national security" as a pretext). Whining and trolling about "confirmed information" (a.k.a "nothing to see here") is clear indication of AC being either government/corporate stooge or uninformed citizen having his brain washed by government/corporate propaganda. IF you have heart at the right side, you should pass those "confirmed information" to as many people as you can, regardless of how long did you know about this.

Re:Confirmed information is useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211065)

Move all essential commercial business and associated communications overseas. Encrypt everything. Ensure that even the encrypted traffic touches as few facilities entering or leaving the USA as possible.

What are you going to do about it?

Past tense. Already done.

Does Zuckerberg really know? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210391)

This casts a new light on Facebook, Google and Microsoft executives' denials of the NSA having "direct access" to their servers. Maybe the executives are not cleared to know what their tech staffs are doing, and the tech staffs are gagged from telling them. This won't kill the Cloud for users (many value convenience over privacy) but for anyone with confidential information, or entrusted with the private information of others - they don't know who they can really trust and what their liability will be.

People don't enjoy feeling duped. It's psychologically easier to believe that you knew this all along and you are not surprised.

The US doesn't deserve this position (2)

trifish (826353) | about 10 months ago | (#44210407)

If they treat us citizens of the EU as potential enemies who can be legally spied upon, I consider it a crime if the EU official co-operates with the US. A crime against me, as one of their voter, who are the only party that gives them any kind of power.

Re:The US doesn't deserve this position (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210525)

Don't feel bad, the US government considers US citizens as potential enemies and illegally spies on them too.

Someone define corrupition? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 months ago | (#44210503)

This kinda sounds like it to me.

Re:Someone define corrupition? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210583)

If a Republican sends questionable [wikipedia.org] texts to young people, despite no laws being broken it is corruption.

If a Democrat in the White house spies on 300 million Americans, arms Mexican drug cartels, covers up arms running through Libya by letting the ambassador get killed so he won't whistle blow, targets US citizens with the IRS based on political views, and orders his people to lie to Congress every time they end up on capitol hill, it is not corruption.

So simple answer... everything the GOP does is corruption, nothing the DNC does can be considered corruption by any definition.

Re:Someone define corrupition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211571)

The purpose of your post is to try to convert anti-government sentiment into partisan bickering so that any meaningful discussion of anything is disrupted. How is that working out for you?

Just like "information wants to be free"... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210509)

... Power wants to be concentrated.

It seems to me that as the powers of technology increase, the concentration of that power also increases. Someone will need to own those drones. Someone will need to own those routers, and backbones. Then as power is concentrated, we will reach a level of technology where power is so concentrated in so few hands that utter slavery for all is inevitable.

Proper compliance (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 10 months ago | (#44210531)

There's at least one US cellular provider which annoys the FBI by obeying the law. They have a contact point for interception requests. That phone is answered by their lawyers, who check the validity of the request before anything happens. If it's an "emergency" request prior to a court order, they insist that the requesting law enforcement agent sign a form.

The form requires full identification of the law enforcement officer, their contact information, and their supervisor's contact information. The officer must certify that a proper court order will be requested and provided to the telco within a specified number of days. The law enforcement officer has to agree that their agency will indemnify the telco in the event of any later legal dispute, and that should the agency fail to do so, the officer will be personally responsible for any penalties or legal expenses incurred by the telco.

That's what CALEA says a telco is supposed to do. The FBI hates being accountable like that.

Don't call them "security agreements" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210777)

Call them what they are, which is blatantly criminal international espionage of a US-commanded global police state that is totally out of control.

And the European spooks need some severe internal investigations to determine how they managed to so blindly compromise the sovereignty of their respective countries.

We long suspected this ... (3, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 10 months ago | (#44210537)

More added to the snowball that Edward Snowden started rolling. I accept that a certain amount of targetted monitoring is needed, but what we are being shown is on a different scale. What really annoys me is how the politicians have lied and told us that we should not worry our silly little heads. Now is the time to hold the politicians to account -- not accept the ''I will not discuss operations'' answers that they fob us off with. Time for honesty and heads to roll.

It will be interesting to see how much attention the mainstream media pay to this or if they will try to bury it.

Re:We long suspected this ... (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#44211407)

"Trust us" when this involves trusting they follow the rules voluntarily is a crock of poop.

Snowden claimed, and tested, that he could listen in on phone calls of important people without warrant and without setting off alarms.

It would be trivial for either party, or other large factions with connections, to insert an operative among hundreds or thousands of agents who listens in on political opponents. Prevention of that is the most important part of unreasonable search, not them listening to you wishing gramma a happy BD.

This is utterly disgusting. A cynic would suggest the 9/11 rah rah was coopted by politicians for just this purpose.
We can't wait! We can't even wait to build in logging and flag-raising software piped to multiple log and encryptuon points, with MD5 of the logs stored at many other points.

Straight out of the Dictator's Handbook (5, Interesting)

water-and-sewer (612923) | about 10 months ago | (#44210575)

Dude, why so surprised? You read it here first:
http://dictatorshandbook.net/book/node237.html [dictatorshandbook.net]

From the dictator's handbook, chapter nine:
You own the hardware. Internet access passes through the infrastructure of your state-owned telecommunications systems, or at least the infrastructure of private telecoms that depend on your goodwill for their existence and continued operations. As such, you have a high degree of control over what information enters and exits your national territory. The Chinese have proven you can safely filter out âoeharmfulâ information from the outside without stifling economic activity.[180]

You control the purse-strings. The Internet is run by corporations, and corporations are most influenced by economic, not political considerations. Google was forced out of China by economics, not human rights concerns; both Twitter and Facebook have refused to join the Global Network Initiative (an organization focused on the right to expression and privacy). Research in Motion (RIM) offered access to its otherwise encrypted and protected messaging servers as soon as Bahrain asked for them, prompting other nations to do the same.9.1

No better resource than the Internet has ever existed with which an individualâ(TM)s life and movements can be tracked via their cyber footprints by any curious autocrat. Imperial Russiaâ(TM)s Okhrana, the East German Stasi, and the Soviet KGB: each was feared for its ability to track and monitor its prey. But they would be astonished with how much easier technology has made their work.

Meh (-1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 10 months ago | (#44210605)

Look, every country that has the ability to spy, spies. Every country that has the ability to spy at a given level, does so. You will notice that every single country that has condemned the US for the NSA's actions has been a country that is a technological backwater. You will notice that every single country that is technological advanced at a given level has not condemned the US. This is not a coincidence.

The simple fact of the matter is that the worlds governments all spy on each others citizens and are all perfectly capable of breeding their own Edward Snowden. Disenfranchisement can happen with any government in any point in history. Governments know it and they don't want to encourage their own Snowden's. What he has to say really isn't that earth shattering, the political ramifications aren't worth it and frankly they have their own spying to hide.

No government is going to stop spying, who the hell wants to be caught with their pants down for the next 9/11, Pearl Harbor, Blitzkrieg, etc....

Re:Meh (1)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#44210763)

Thank you for propagating the status quo and enabling mass surveillance on a scale never before imaginable. Your complacency in accepting violations of constitutional rights (for Americans) and human rights (for everyone else) is commendable.

Sincerely,

James Clapper

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210791)

That was fine until the IRS started targeting individuals based on political views. Now we have spying and willingness to harass people that don't express the "correct" viewpoints.

We could say it was an isolated incident, but the entire IRS targeted 100% of groups with the words "tea party" or "patriot", not just a couple as first claimed. The director of the FBI to this day doesn't know who is investigating it to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Re:Meh (2)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 10 months ago | (#44210799)

"No government is going to stop spying..."

Are you suggesting that we replace the government we have in order to get a government that has never had the chance to start spying? Considering your statement, that sounds like the only reasonable course for citizens that do not want to be spied upon by their own government.

Re:Meh (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 10 months ago | (#44211575)

Ah, but the spying that has been going within the US has been contrary to its written law...its supreme written law. No one is arguing about spies (well, some people are, some people aren't; would be nice to get away from the institution, but then, we seem to be perpetually engaged in trying to outspy the other side), but that the spying that has been going on has violated, once again, the US Constitution. As such, this results in a supreme violation...which obviously bothers a lot of people; that the US government does not acknowledge this violation is escalating the situation from a 'don't do it again' to a 'well fuck, we've got a rotten government that needs to be replaced.' Perhaps the US is unaware that its own actions are providing automatic escalation.

Commercial and political spying (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210855)

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a statement saying that legally authorized data collection "has been one of our most important tools for the protection of the nationâ(TM)s - and our alliesâ(TM) - security. Our use of these authorities has been properly classified to maximize the potential for effective collection against foreign terrorists and other adversaries. "

That's it. Commercial and political purposes.

A look in my magic ball.. (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 10 months ago | (#44210885)

..reveals some upcoming /. titles:

US spies on non-US citizens
Western countries spy on US citizens
Western countries spy on Western citizens
Western countries spy on non-Western citizens
Non-Western countries spy on US citizens
Non-Western countries spy on Western citizens
Non-Western countries spy on non-Western citizens
US spies share information with Western spies
US spies share information with non-Western spies
Western spies share information with non-Western spies
US spies on US social networking
US spies on non-US social networking
non-US countries spy on US social networking
non-US countries spy on non-US social networking


All of these articles will spark in depth discussions about the rights of government, the rights of citizens, violations of such rights, heroes vs non-heroes, which countries have greener grass, and at the end it will be concluded that most people don't give a shit.

'Team Telecom' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210967)

I've been telling you for years, "it's The Phone Company that controls the government and all major corporations." What other entity has such access to all information and virtually all transactions, This was exposed nearly 45 years ago in a supposedly spoof film "The President's Analyst"(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_President%27s_Analyst) . It is not the government (governments) that are controlling the so called 'phone companies' it is the "Phone Company" that controls the governments. It is not many independent telcos, it is one entity, totally interconnected over the globe. It could very well be the nascent formation of "The Singularity". Be ready to bend over and kiss your monkey ass goodbye.
     

I tha8k you For your time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44211155)

thing for the you can. When the HAppiness% Another

Foreign telecoms? ? ? ? (3, Interesting)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 10 months ago | (#44211227)

Duuuuhhh. . . last we checked, most those "foreign telecoms" were owned by private equity/leveraged buyout firms such as Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, et al. Of course, the banksters (private equity category) who have long been the Wall Street overseers of the Financial-Intelligence-Complex will control the global telecommunications, as they control the global news, etc.

Should be rather obvious by this time. . .
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