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Report: Britain Has a Secret Middle East Web Surveillance Base

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the what-do-you-got-there dept.

Privacy 237

wiredmikey writes "Britain is running a secret Internet surveillance station in the Middle East, according to a recent report citing the latest leaked documents obtained by fugitive US security contractor Edward Snowden. The Independent newspaper said it was not disclosing the country where the base is located, but said the facility can intercept emails, telephone calls and web traffic for the United States and other intelligence agencies and taps into underwater fibre-optic cables in the region, the newspaper said. The Independent did not disclose how it obtained the details from the Snowden files."

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237 comments

Yes, and? (4, Insightful)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about a year ago | (#44649757)

that is what they are supposed to be doing right? Gathering intel? The problem is when they do it against their own citizens.

Re:Yes, and? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44649845)

Roses are red,
grass is greener.

When I read Slashdot,
I play with my weiner.

Re:Yes, and? (0)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44649981)

Flag on the play - I thought snowden was all about us NSA and civil liberties. This is Chelsea manning style spray and pray - indiscriminate release

Re: Yes, and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650049)

Planted information to discredit Snowden or using Snowden's name to cover for another leaker?

Re:Yes, and? (5, Insightful)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#44650109)

Snowden gave the trove of files to The Guardian at least. The specific leaks, after the initial ones, are decided by Glenn Greenwald and not Snowden.

Whether Greenwald gave some stuff to the Independent or Snowden did that earlier is unknown.

But my guess would be the whole episode of the UK Gov't detaining Mr. Miranda and forcing The Guarding to shred some systems seriously pissed off the British Press. Releasing UK-specific material is most likely payback. Spreading it around to other papers is most likely a signal that "threaten the Guardian with prior restraint, you better be ready to shut down every paper in the UK".

GCHQ and Whitehall fucked up royally with that and they are now going to pay for threatening a major newspaper.

Just a guess, mind you.

Re:Yes, and? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650345)

You may be right. From the linked article....

"But there are fears in Government that Mr Greenwald – who still has access to the files – could attempt to release damaging information.

He said after the arrest of Mr Miranda: “I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I have many more documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did.”"

Re:Yes, and? (4, Interesting)

six025 (714064) | about a year ago | (#44650415)

Whether Greenwald gave some stuff to the Independent or Snowden did that earlier is unknown.

But my guess would be the whole episode of the UK Gov't detaining Mr. Miranda and forcing The Guarding to shred some systems seriously pissed off the British Press. Releasing UK-specific material is most likely payback. Spreading it around to other papers is most likely a signal that "threaten the Guardian with prior restraint, you better be ready to shut down every paper in the UK".

GCHQ and Whitehall fucked up royally with that and they are now going to pay for threatening a major newspaper.

Just a guess, mind you.

Rather telling is that a) the story appears in the Independent and b) article makes no reference as to the source of the allegations, other than stating that the information was found in the documents leaked by Edward Snowden:

Information about the project was contained in 50,000 GCHQ documents that Mr Snowden downloaded during 2012. Many of them came from an internal Wikipedia-style information site called GC-Wiki. Unlike the public Wikipedia, GCHQ’s wiki was generally classified Top Secret or above.

The disclosure comes as the Metropolitan Police announced it was launching a terrorism investigation into material found on the computer of David Miranda, the Brazilian partner of The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald – who is at the centre of the Snowden controversy.

Prior to this story most UK articles appeared in the Guardian and clearly stated that Glenn Greewald provided the information. The game has changed, and I think it is going to get a whole lot uglier from here.

Peace,
Andy.

Re:Yes, and? (5, Insightful)

six025 (714064) | about a year ago | (#44650435)

And I should add: huge kudos to the Independent for having the balls to stand up and keep reporting in the face of what appears to be a War on Journalism.

Peace,
Andy.

Re:Yes, and? (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44650721)

But my guess would be the whole episode of the UK Gov't detaining Mr. Miranda and forcing The Guarding to shred some systems seriously pissed off the British Press. Releasing UK-specific material is most likely payback. Spreading it around to other papers is most likely a signal that "threaten the Guardian with prior restraint, you better be ready to shut down every paper in the UK". GCHQ and Whitehall fucked up royally with that and they are now going to pay for threatening a major newspaper.

Just a guess, mind you.

Yeah, and it wouldn't bee too hard to figure out where this secret location is either.
You could just pick likely places from here: http://www.telegeography.com/telecom-resources/submarine-cable-landing-directory/ [telegeography.com]
Gibraltar would be a good guess.

Re:Yes, and? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650115)

Flag on the play -

Why ?

Does the UK need to spy on the middle east ?

The British Empire of the past is OVER. The UK
is just a formerly great power which is sinking
into oblivion by its own greed, incompetence,
arrogance, sense of entitlement, and stupidity.

The glory days of the UK are in the 19th and 20th
centuries. Now, all the UK government does is act
like an eager lap dog for the bully US government.
It's truly pathetic if you observe with any amount of
objectivity.

FYI : I am not affiliated with any religious group. I am not
interested in some asshole telling me what I should believe.
What I believe is based solely on hard evidence, and the evidence
points to the UK flailing about in a grotesque pretense of
still being a great power. It's embarrassing yet hilarious at the same
time.

Re:Yes, and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44649891)

The problem is when they do it against everyone with no aim but to collect. And that that data is used later on not just for people linked to terrorists, but harassment of simple citizens, economic espionage, personal vendettas by the ones in power to get some advantages, masturbation, ...

Just like CCTV in London. Meant to prevent crime, can never achieve that (violent crimes is not affected by the presence of cameras because people don't think in that moment, other crime shifts to places without cameras). Still they have it now and use it for harassing people who litter, make graffiti, look odd, masturbation, etc.

No thank you.

Re:Yes, and? (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#44649931)

Ah, but you're missing the key point on how the "game" is played.

The GCHQ in the UK isn't allowed to spy on UK citizens, so they spy on the rest of the EU's citizens, and apparently on the Middle East.

The NSA isn't allowed to spy on US citizens, so they spy on Canadians and others.

The Canadian spy agency isn't allowed to spy on Canadians, so it spies on Americans and others.

Australia and New Zealand spy on anyone close to their networks as well.

Even the Germans are into spying.

Then after everyone has spied on the "foreigners" who aren't protected by each nation's laws, they get together, exchange their data, and end up with the intel on their own citizens, all while claiming "but we don't spy on our own citizens."

Re:Yes, and? (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#44649995)

Technically, the CSIS spies don't spy on anyone, they just have their passports counterfeited by the other agencies, but, other than that, you are correct.

The Germans aren't spying. They are "observing".

Just like the Chinese, who are spying and bribing and all the other things you think they're not doing but are.

Actually that's completely and fantastically wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650247)

What you're describing is called "reverse targeting", and it is just as prohibited as if the United States did it itself. Your comment is neither correct nor "insightful" (as it's currently modded).

The United States cannot target a foreigner to intercept the communications of one of its own citizens, nor can it use a second party nation (UK, CAN, AUS, or NZ), or anyone else, to target US citizens or anyone else it would be otherwise prohibited from targeting. Not only can it not do that, but the United States actually gives second party nation citizens the same protections (generally speaking) as US citizens, meaning we don't "spy on", say, UK citizens for them, either.

So if you want to believe that "information sharing" between the Five Eyes is designed to allow the US to skirt its own laws, be my guest; the only problem is that you would be completely wrong.

The latest declassified version of USSID 18 [cryptome.org] is an informative read.

Re:Actually that's completely and fantastically wr (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#44650349)

Uhunh. Yeah. Right. So all the "bi-lateral security agreements" that the government has bragged about are for what purpose, then?

Your NSA has been caught ignoring the rulings of the FISC that said their actions were illegal. They've been caught spying on Americans. What in all that's holy makes you think they wouldn't take data from a foreign government's spy agency when the Americans have repeatedly sent people to foreign nations to be tortured and to use that intelligence data despite the fact that it's illegal to do so?

Re:Actually that's completely and fantastically wr (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44650741)

The United States cannot target a foreigner to intercept the communications of one of its own citizens, nor can it use a second party nation (UK, CAN, AUS, or NZ), or anyone else, to target US citizens or anyone else it would be otherwise prohibited from targeting.

Care to point to the law that says that?

I'm pretty sure that what intel the US comes by without dirtying their own hands is fair game.

Re:Yes, and? (1)

greg_barton (5551) | about a year ago | (#44650267)

Which is why we need a world government.

No more "foreigners."

Re:Yes, and? (2)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44650361)

Oh, I think you'll find we have one of those. It's just that everyone disagrees about who is running it: Aliens, the Devil, God, the Jews, the Nazis, the British Monarchy, the Templars, the Roman Catholics, the Free Masons, the UN, the US, the USSR, the Bankers, the Illuminati, an AI, etc.

Tell you what. Everyone get together, and decide who is, and isn't running this Universe, and when you all agree on the same people (and I want this in writing), come and find me; I'll be busy getting high, and trying to accomplish some pleasantly futile task...futile because of what I am, and my own personal failings, and perhaps what I have set out to do, not because I'm high.

Re:Yes, and? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#44650525)

Ugh. What say we figure out how to keep a national government from sliding into tyranny for more than a couple centuries or so before we even discuss a world government? I'd hate to think how this would play out if instead of the US of A it was the US of Earth. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

There's absolutely no reason we couldn't get the same effect via international treaty. We did it with war crimes. We did it with human rights. We could do it with individual privacy. Heck, we could even do it with international corporate tax avoidance if most politicians weren't already on the corporate payroll.

Re:Yes, and? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44650749)

Which is why we need a world government.

No more "foreigners."

On the off chance your tongue is not firmly in your cheek...

If you think we have trouble controlling our own governments how successful would be be
controlling a world government which would quickly become an untouchable permanent ruling class?

You are Mad Sir, simply Mad.

Re:Yes, and? (4, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44650351)

Right, they all spy on each other's citizens then exchange data, which amounts to exactly the same thing. Honoring the letter and shitting on the spirit seems to a trend these days.

And by the NSA's own logic, exchanging data is "two or three degrees of separation," which apparently should make them equally liable. Not that government hypocrisy surprises me in the least.

Re:Yes, and? (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | about a year ago | (#44650367)

Then after everyone has spied on the "foreigners" who aren't protected by each nation's laws, they get together, exchange their data, and end up with the intel on their own citizens, all while claiming "but we don't spy on our own citizens."

When pundits refer to the USA as the dominant global superpower, I think they really mean the United Security Agencies.

Re:Yes, and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650479)

How does that really get around the restriction against spying on your own citizens? It seems pretty obvious that the collection and analysis of data on citizens is what constitutes the spying. Getting it from another country's spying apparatus is just the same as getting it from any other source. If the restriction is that easy to circumvent, why not just hire every employee as a contractor and claim that they're doing the spying?

Re:Yes, and? (1)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#44650553)

You mean like the US paying GCHQ?

Re:Yes, and? (2)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#44649979)

Exactly - I don't understand why this is either surprising. In fact my only concern is that a national paper thinks that it should publish such details. Having a foreign intelligence base in the heart of the region from where many of the terrorists come from sounds like an very sensible, reasonable thing. It's the detaining non-terrorist suspects under terrorism laws and spying on their own citizens and allies alike that is the concerning part. It appears that the press seems to have lost sight of this. Although I expect it may be somewhat related to the farce of destroying their UK-based disks and laptops.

Re:Yes, and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650277)

Having a foreign intelligence base in the heart of the region from where many of the terrorists come from sounds like an very sensible, reasonable thing.

Almost as reasonable as the UK ending its meddling in other countries which
are no longer its "territories".

Re:Yes, and? (4, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44650097)

The problem with the UK and its secret surveillance stations is in the political power it gives the host country.
Land, power, guards, a local cover story was once all post colonial joy or NATO like anti Soviet deals, training and some basic intel sharing.
eg Cold war Sweden got some airborne elint but no UK/US like sharing/resources.
The problem with the local "citizens" is once the locals find out the steps the local rulers/politicians/military have to take to keep the secret again.
Britain's Embassy in Peking was looted by "protesters" in 1967 and lost its Rockex cypher equipment.
Iran, Ethiopia and Turkey (via TPLA and TPLF) where often at issue to further UK/US sites in the ~1960's (and other sites later during the Cold War).
ie the Cld War offered sigint facilities extreme secrecy.
Now nations offer other types of sites just to show how thankful they are:
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cia-black-sites-lithuania/story?id=9400744 [go.com]
http://www.thejournal.ie/british-papers-reveal-interrogation-centre-in-derry-1023719-Aug2013/ [thejournal.ie]
"Secret British papers reveal secret 1970s interrogation centre in Derry"
Sites have many uses and can become news again years later. "subject to deep interrogation under the five techniques system the European Commission has called ‘torture’"

Re:Yes, and? (3, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44650123)

that is what they are supposed to be doing right? Gathering intel? The problem is when they do it against their own citizens.

Fuck that. Let's not spy on anyone's residential phone or internet traffic.

Re:Yes, and? (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44650411)

Nonsense. Let's spy on people, but only if they're female, between the ages of consent and too ripe, and only if it's on a Friday. And have it broadcast from Mulder.FBI.gov...for 'National Security' purposes...these are dangerous times, and we need to take extra special precautions that our women are not harmed during them...which is why they need to be placed under surveillance. As it stands, there are plenty of adolescent males at home who, during this time of sequestering, are willing to do their patriotic duty to their country, and offer their ocular services to their homeland, free of charge, so long as we are willing to provide them with an ample supply of tissues and lotion.

Re:Yes, and? (4, Insightful)

Above (100351) | about a year ago | (#44650191)

I'm thinking this may well be a middle finger aimed at the political types in the UK who had Greenwald's partner detained. It's his way of saying, this may have been about civil liberties and constitutional protections for your own citizens, but if you're going to mess with people on our side we can mess with people on your side too. A shot across their bow to give them some idea of the other information he has that he can chose to publish about, or keep secret.

Re:Yes, and? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#44650241)

It ain't a secret anymore to those of us that don't care.

I think I heard from somewhere that the president is getting his daily secret intelligence report from WikiLeaks; it's more accurate.

Dubai is full of british citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650279)

and i can almost guarantee you that the site is Dubai. nowhere else makes sense really when you think about the variables involved.

Re:Yes, and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650469)

Exactly, and where does someone who discloses this kind of revelation get their education from? Who is this information helping? WTF?

Re: Yes, and? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#44650559)

Supposed to be doing?

Yes, if by that you mean running an evil empire built on pillage and oppression.

BTW: When it's "middle east" and they don't mention the country? It's always Israel.

Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44649771)

If there is any group of people constantly on the edge of going on killing sprees on civilians, it's the muslims. Best to keep a keen eye on them.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650145)

If there is any group of people constantly on the edge of going on killing sprees on civilians, it's the muslims.

You have conveniently overlooked the Israelis and the US, with respect to
killings of civilians. The facts indicate that the two aforementioned parties
certainly deserve to be counted as contenders in these matters.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44650465)

Well, it takes some talent to get them there. First you need to starve them a bit. Then you need to eradicate all of the moderate / peaceful imams. Then you need to repress the youth, and make them feel trapped. Then you need to make them feel that violence is the only answer to solving their lifestyle problems.

Sure, it takes a large investment in that kind of control / behavioral modification, but it has worked wonders on various indigenous populations, no matter which religion they choose to identify with.

I mean, let's be honest, a fat and happy populace is not a populace which is going to attack anyone. You need to lie to them, cheat them, steal from them, every single day, from every angle, so they feel that even their emotions are on loan from you; that's when you know you have them, when they will altruistically damage themselves to be just like the false image of you. You need to remove that innermost sense of peace that humans are born with, and make them uneasy to be alone with themselves.

I hope you get the dripping sarcasm in the above statements.

Re:Good (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44650545)

And knowing who exactly they are put your government in position to give them the right push so they act. The next thing you know is that their democratically elected government got overthrown and a bunch of puppets rule there. Probably that happened in Egypt, is happening in Syria, and happened in most of the Arab Spring countries.

There is no better prediction of the future than the one that you make it happen.

Well.. (3, Interesting)

Ginger_Chris (1068390) | about a year ago | (#44649801)

As a British citizen, I'm so used to assuming that the government is intercepting every piece of electronic communication, I get really confused that other countries are annoyed they get spied on. Do these other people actually trust their governments? Because that's weird.

Re:Well.. (2)

FixedDice (2840691) | about a year ago | (#44649909)

British..US...It really makes no difference. Everything is alright as long as you smile and nod. The last thing that anyone would want to do is anger the powers that be. Miranda is a good example of how policies against terrorism can be used against the people for unjust causes.

Re:Well.. (5, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44650015)

As a British citizen, I'm so used to assuming that the government is intercepting every piece of electronic communication,

As one that lived more than half of his life in one of those European countries in the communist block, I am afraid that you are properly fucked already.
If this persist for longer (say 15-20 years... it only takes one generation of used to, everybody will be teaching it to their children!), the society you'll be living would show the same weird behaviour of its people as during the secret police in communist countries: use of paraphrases when speaking, carefully planning/doing your everyday actions so that they don't appear to have any element of verboten, every neighbour... heck even members of you family... may be turning you to the authorities.
Walk only a little in the past and you'll find Gestapo as another example.

My point is: stop being just so used to... and do something if you don't want there

Re:Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650327)

Yes we do. Our legislation concerning officials is very different from yours from the very basic assumptions and to think of it that we are in the same EU. Then again we don't have the problem of Irish and Scottish freedom fighters because our minorities are treated with respect. Oh shit, I can forget that holiday in London.
Of course, we are also annoyed because your government is likely feeding their pals in the private sector competitive intelligence. Every British citizen and corporation should be annoyed by the possibility of such free market distorting corruption. Every nation which practices active, meaning offensive, foreign intelligence gathering suffers from the same problem, though.

Re:Well.. (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44650515)

Actually, there may have been people in the US for Big Government who really did believe that their government, if given these kinds of widespread powers, would never abuse them. They've been stoically making the arguments for years at this point, jumping on everyone about how the government can be totally trusted, and how any distrust of a government (brought on by reading just about any history book) was a sign of paranoid schizophrenia.

When they heard that the NSA was intercepting every piece of electronic data flowing through the US, many of them didn't want to believe it. They still don't...

Re:Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650575)

People like you have the government you deserve. Just because they can monitor you doesn't means you should help them. If they do it illegally they can at least be punished in the future if you stupid brits get your heads out of your asses and fight back. But if it's legal they will walk free.

old news, old style (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a year ago | (#44649811)

tell me something new.

Re:old news, old style (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650759)

tell me something new.

Forgot to take your dose of Ritalin, didn't you?

news worthy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44649831)

I guess it is if you live in the middle east... but as an American this unlike the purly domestic shit is exactly what the NSA and allied signal intelligence agencies should be doing.

Re:news worthy? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44649919)

I guess it is if you live in the middle east... but as an American this unlike the purly domestic shit is exactly what the NSA and allied signal intelligence agencies should be doing.

GCHQ decided to fuck with The Guardian and with Greenwald's partner.

Greenwald said "If the UK and U.S. governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further."

A little story about a probably-sensitive GCHQ listening post seems like a warning shot in exactly that direction.

Re:news worthy? (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44649943)

GCHQ has been known to have at least one listening post in that region for some time. I believe it has even made it to the papers before, not to mention books. I can't imagine Greenwald showing that much restraint.

Re:news worthy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650321)

That's one way to look at it.

Another way to look at it is that The Guardian doesn't appear to be running with this story (yet, at least). The articles published by the BBC and the Guardian have been arguably in the public interest so far.

This particular leak, cost aside, is quite a long way off being in the public interest. It's also being led by the Independent, which along with most of the rest of the press in the UK has been pretty much silent up until now, and a follower of the leaks published in the Guardian rather than a leader.

The alternative view might be that this is a false flag. An article that can be shown to not be in the public interest and thus be used to shoot down any future publication. Possibly overly paranoid, but food for thought.

Re:news worthy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44649921)

They should establish more middle east intel sites, that's their mission but not on domestic soil. Americans aren't the ones that started this shit by flying planes into buildings and I hope the one's who did that burn forever in hell.

Re:news worthy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650171)

They should establish more middle east intel sites, that's their mission but not on domestic soil. Americans aren't the ones that started this shit by flying planes into buildings and I hope the one's who did that burn forever in hell.

You can't even use an apostrophe correctly, you stupid redneck fuck.

And if you think the current mess was "started" when planes flew into
buildings, you are badly in need of at least an 8th grade education
in history.

Seriously, don't breed, there are no jobs for the children you are likely
to produce because machines can do it all better and more efficiently.

Re:news worthy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650395)

You must be the biggest ass-hole, fuck you !!

"...not disclosing....where the base is located" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44649843)

So, it's in Israel.

Re:"...not disclosing....where the base is located (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44649893)

So, it's in Israel.

Not necessarily. Given the, um, togetherness in that neighborhood, do you think that the countries you'd really want to listen in on run their fiber any closer to the Israelis than they absolutely have to?

Re:"...not disclosing....where the base is located (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#44650005)

So, it's in Israel.

Not necessarily. Given the, um, togetherness in that neighborhood, do you think that the countries you'd really want to listen in on run their fiber any closer to the Israelis than they absolutely have to?

I see you missed the classes on How The Internets Work.

Re:"...not disclosing....where the base is located (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650251)

I don't remember the chapter on Star Of David topology?

Re: "...not disclosing....where the base is locate (1)

acb (2797) | about a year ago | (#44650341)

Too obvious. Besides, none of Israel's neighbours expects anything but the worst from it and takes appropriate precautions.

I'd guess it's a moderate Arab state trying to balance between vociferously criticising Israel/the West and doing deals with them. Possibly a former British colony, like Kuwait, Egypt or the UAE.

Re:"...not disclosing....where the base is located (4, Informative)

SpockLogic (1256972) | about a year ago | (#44650403)

The UK have sovereign bases on Cyprus, about 150 miles wet of Lebanon, and having a listening post on the top of the islands highest mountain shouldn't be difficult.

Snowden the Defector (-1, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44649865)

The Snowden leaks at this point are well past issues of Constitutional rights in the US. His leaks are directly damaging to the intelligence agencies of the US and its allies. The cover story of "whistle blower" is pure genius, it divides and confuses the public which gives him cover. It might even encourage copycats for additional damage. That is before you get to the question of friction between the US and its allies and trading partners, or the domestic political turmoil. It is truly a brilliant instance of political warfare [typepad.com] . Soon we'll no doubt get to see Greenwald add to the damage.

So, where is Snowden at these days?

Re:Snowden the Defector (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44649929)

Everything is "damage" to you people.

Re:Snowden the Defector (3, Interesting)

jpublic (3023069) | about a year ago | (#44649997)

His leaks are directly damaging to the intelligence agencies of the US and its allies.

I wish that were true. In fact, I wish his leaks do so much damage to them that it utterly destroys these parasites, but sadly, I doubt that's going to be the case.

Re:Snowden the Defector (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44650063)

It's just as well. I'm reasonably certain you won't be doing anything to prevent truck bombs from exploding at shopping malls. Might as well have someone around that will.

Re:Snowden the Defector (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650129)

It's just as well. I'm reasonably certain you won't be doing anything to prevent truck bombs from exploding at shopping malls. Might as well have someone around that will.

How about having a foriegn policy that does not make the US a world class pariah, bully and insensative jerk.

How about not creating people with a desire to drive trucks ot explosives to the mall, by killing thier friends and families, wives, girlfriends, and daughters.

How about behaving like a world citizen instead of a playground bully out to grab everbodies lunch money.

Re:Snowden the Defector (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650245)

This Jewish-Muslim thing has been going on for 1400 years. The US backed creating Israel after WW2 and upset the 'Status Quo', and then they passed it on to their kids to defend their faith, generation after generation.

The US gave lots of money to the Middle East to power our SUVs and big trucks. We also went off precious metals and on to oil to back up the US Dollar. It isn't just 'the government' doing the bad stuff, unless you ride your bike everywhere and have solar panels like me, you are part of the problem too.

Now these leaks are just exposing the capabilities and weaknesses in our defenses. I don't always agree with the offensive stuff, but you can't have peace if they are bombing you. And that goes for both sides. I' just wondering if Snowden wants America to be attacked again by basically telling people how to get around all of the preventative measures. And before you claim 'Boston', think that they might have got wise about how to pull it off already, and this just confirms they were right.

Re:Snowden the Defector (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650369)

I think I'll take the 0.0000000000000001% chance that that'll happen...

Re:Snowden the Defector (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650379)

It's just as well. I'm reasonably certain you won't be doing anything to prevent truck bombs from exploding at shopping malls. Might as well have someone around that will.

Actually what we need is fewer jerkoffs like YOU claiming everyone should
be afraid of things which don't happen and have not happened.

See, not everyone is interested in sucking up your bullshit and living in
fear. Some of us enjoy each and every single day and are not afraid
of anything. Life is unpredictable, and NO ONE can guarantee safety
in any respect. Life is best enjoyed as it comes, and there are NO guarantees.
Wise people know this and are not cowed by bullshit like you spew.

And by the way, chump, the the greatest danger anyone in the US
faces is driving a car in traffic. When are you going to do something about THAT very
real danger, asshole ? Of course doing something about traffic accident doesn't help you
gain or retain political power, so maybe that's why you are posting nonsense as you did
above. Just remember that not all of us are nearly stupid enough to believe your childlike
attempts at fear-mongering propaganda.

Re:Snowden the Defector (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44650047)

Oh come on... You know this shit's gotta happen every so often. It helps to keep the war... alive! Now they can fatten up the budget a bit and build a nice new station (like the owners burning down their own restaurant to write off and collect the insurance), and who's gonna bitch about it? Who's gonna listen? There's big money out there. Everybody wants a piece of the pie.

Re:Snowden the Defector (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44650089)

But I don't want the budget fatter. ;)

Re:Snowden the Defector (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650211)

You need professional help, because it is obvious that your mind is
not working logically.

You equate the exposure of crimes by the government with being
"damage".

Maybe your 300 pound wife believes your bullshit, but no one here does.

Remember all those times the cables were cut? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44649875)

Now we know why.

Re:Remember all those times the cables were cut? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about a year ago | (#44649901)

Wonder what happened to those poor local saps who took the fall. Hope they at least got paid.

Re:Remember all those times the cables were cut? (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about a year ago | (#44650119)

Given that western countries built the whole system, and given how willing they are to install government monitors we should assume the system was set up originally for the purpose of spying. The cable breaks are probably just accidents- or organized crime looking for stuff to sell.

Re:Remember all those times the cables were cut? (3, Informative)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#44650633)

Remember Skype's blackout? Six weeks later on 2/6/2011 they joined NSA's PRISM program. And given the P2P nature of Skype, I'm sure it was a more difficult conversion than the other services.

...running a secret Internet surveillance station (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44649911)

In the words of the famous Inspector Clouseau: "Not anymore..."

007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44649915)

Did they catch Ernest Blofeld yet?

When I'm so tired (3, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year ago | (#44649971)

that I read "Secret Middle Earth Web Surveillance" and Slashdot becomes, for just a few moments, a bit cooler.

Not just the UK (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#44649977)

Actually, there are separate ones for the UK, US, France.

And, of course, Israel.

But everyone knew that.

In case you were wondering, even if you are a citizen of the EU or US, all four listen to any email or phone call you make, even the ones you think are encrypted.

I'm surprised you didn't know this.

Re:Not just the UK (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#44650165)

I'm surprised you didn't know this.

It is just like PRISM: we knew it, but now we have proofs. That kind of disclosure has merit IMO

what country (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#44650053)

What country is it? We just have to look at where do most cables go. I bet on Egypt.

Re:what country (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650187)

http://www.submarinecablemap.com/

Egypt is a good possibility, lots of cable pass near the mouth of the suez canal. It looks like there are four main landing points in, Suez, Zafarana, Abu Talat and Alexandria. Another possibility would be Fujairah in the UAE.

dubai, duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650293)

dubai probably only exists because the intel services want it to exist. the entire state is non-sensical from any economic perspective. it has no workers, no products, no businesses other than tourism and 'financial services' and prostitution.

Your tax money at work (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44650075)

TFA

The data-gathering operation is part of a £1bn internet project still being assembled by GCHQ. It is part of the surveillance and monitoring system, code-named “Tempora”, whose wider aim is the global interception of digital communications, such as emails and text messages.

Heck, UK's economy must be booming.

Listening posts (3, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44650287)

Listening posts where always an issue for the budget conscious UK before and after the 1990's but US (NSA/mil) cash often helped keep very expensive sites running.
The region knew all about US/UK bases. The leaders and their "freedom fighters" would have be aware of:
Masirah Island, Oman (with NSA)
HMS Vacoas, Mauritius, closed 1976
Meshed, Iran lost in 1979
Mount Olympus, Cyprus, (Project Sandra/US Cobra Shoe) 1959 till?
Muharraq, Bahrain
Mutlah Ridge, Kuwait, 1961- till?
Pergamos, Cyprus 1957 -till?
Perkhar, Ceylon, 1957-65
Silvermine, South Africa (1970's)
Steamer Point and Khormaksar ~ Aden
Yarallakos, Cyprus (NSA?)
Habbaniya, Iraq till 1957
Diego Garcia 1964 - with a some slight issues for a very short time over a cash for land deal.
Optical, satellite and the govs/telcos buying/upgrading into standardised tech makes the need for many locations less of an issue.

Tedious. (0)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#44650301)

This is getting extremely tedious. The UK government has various listening posts all over the world. We've been involved with ECHELON intelligence since its inception decades ago. We've had ECHELON SIGINT stations on UK soil for decades too. Intelligence Services provide intelligence, doh, and they do it mostly by bugging, tracking and burgling. Intelligence allows your government to protect its vital interests.

There's a kind-of collective retardation in our newspapers at the moment. They seem to be suggesting that intelligence agencies do spying. Shocking Exclusive!

Re:Tedious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650423)

Not only that, but startling revelations that GCHQ has a gasp... chess club. Dark times indeed.

It's the volume of the data gathered that is the news, not the very obvious idea that spies do in fact spy. There's a big difference between believing that "spies are out there somewhere listening in on the bad guys" and "spies are out there somewhere listening in on pretty much everyone, including me" which is where I think the disconnect between public belief and reality occurs that makes this story.

Re:Tedious. (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44650483)

Why the intelligence agencies are in the press is over:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/22/david-miranda-court-victory-data-police [theguardian.com]
Using laws formed around the time of the Irish peace talks and turning it onto the UK press is not so smart.
The UK press is rather smart and knows the next step might be closed material procedures.
ie UK lawyers may never get to see much real evidence anymore, question, only a security-cleared lawyer or ‘special advocate’ might.
Welcome to a next gen Franz Kafka like trial.
So the UK press know they might be on a collective list and want to get out in front of the debate rather than face closed courts for just doing their jobs.

Re:Tedious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650509)

The retardation is all yours, young grasshopper.

The issue in the case of the US is that the US intel agencies have been
spying on US citizens without first obtaining warrants and this is ILLEGAL
under the highest law in the US.

And that IS a REAL ISSUE, whether you are mentally willing or able to grasp
it or not.

ECHELON (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650339)

Echelon has been known about for ages. Many of the allies have bases to scoop up data. their own citizens cannot be spied on, by law in some cases, but you spy on mine, i spy on yours, tradesies!

traitor (-1, Troll)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year ago | (#44650357)

Simply put, manning and snowden are traitors. Snowden is proving that he is much worse than is manning. He has just now, told AQ, again, how the west detects them. He is continuing this over and over and over.

I have been against interfering with Snowden and thought that we should just let him be in Russia. But at this time, if he suddenly dies, and all the data is grabbed, I am fine with that.

Re:traitor (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650729)

I have been against interfering with Snowden and thought that we should just let him be in Russia.
But at this time, if he suddenly dies, and all the data is grabbed, I am fine with that.

Your willingness to "not mind" if Snowden is murdered marks you as a morally bankrupt
person. And that is sad, both for you and for those whose lives will be made poorer by
knowing you.

But your assumption that "all the data" could somehow be "grabbed" marks you
as technologically illiterate. The very idea that "all the data" could somehow be "grabbed"
when there are many mirrors of the data in multiple locations makes your idea laughable,
even to ten year old children I know who are computer literate.

So you don't belong on this website because you lack the faculties
required to swim in this pool. Perhaps you can find a place on Facebook where
there are people stupid enough to accept your idiocy and the drivel you write.

It's a James Bond movie (1, Funny)

jphamlore (1996436) | about a year ago | (#44650443)

Obviously the station is on a fishing boat as in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only [wikipedia.org]

Just the U.K.? (1)

edibobb (113989) | about a year ago | (#44650477)

Britain, along with France, Germany, U.S., Russia, China, Brazil, Japan, and quite possibly Lichtenstein.

This is a secret? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650499)

His name is Lawrence, he's in Arabia. Duh.

Put some old news in a new context (3, Informative)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44650589)

like this cable cut near Egypt [gigaom.com]

in march (and probably others undersea cable cuts that happened recently close to that zone). Or it was an "oops, i did it again" from an agent, or was meant to be done that way (i.,e. an "accidental" cut by an anchor) so the company that repaired it added the extra functionality.

Re:Put some old news in a new context (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#44650683)

Six weeks between the Skype blackout (Dec. 22, 2010) and the day Skype came online with NSA PRISM (Feb. 6, 2011).

Re:Put some old news in a new context (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year ago | (#44650751)

I'm pretty sure they have other ways of installing listening devices other than cutting the cable and splicing in a "T" fitting.

Besides every BBC listening tower? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650779)

I've been in the London facilities of the BBC's worldwide translation station radio listening center. That is *not* a civilian listening station, that's an intelligence gathering center from the nature of its staffing, its security, and its software.

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