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Indian Government To Ban Use of US Email Services For Official Communications

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the international-fallout-continues dept.

Communications 219

hypnosec writes "The Government of India is planning to ban the use of U.S.-based email services like Gmail for official communications. It will soon send out a formal notification to it half-million officials across the country, asking them to use official email addresses and services provided by India's National Informatics Center. The move is intended to increase the security of confidential government data and protect it from overseas surveillance."

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Not seeing a problem with that. (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#44717325)

Frankly, I dont think the US should use gMail etc for governmental communications either.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717371)

What's the point? It's not like you can control which packets will and won't be routed through the US.
What they ought to be requiring is encryption, but we all know that's not going to happen.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717515)

I am not a network guy, but I would assume its really easy to lock down the routing of inter-agency email. Not so much for email between an agency and a non-governmental entity but those communications are far less sensitive and often aren't even confidential.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#44717839)

It's most likely going to hit a backbone that the US has control over at some point.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (2)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | about a year ago | (#44717933)

and?

It's perfectly possible to send E-Mail using SSL between servers. Google even prefers to do this. Use an HTTPS site as an E-Mail portal, and it won't matter if the communication is going through the US.

Unless the NSA has a copy of the site's key or has broken SSL crypto, they can log all the trafic they want. With perfect forward secrecy they can get the key latter, and still not know what's being said.

Note: I'm simplifying how SSL works for the sake of convenience.

If the key signing authorities are compromised (2)

Marrow (195242) | about a year ago | (#44718013)

Doesnt that pretty much defeat SSL? And what on earth would make you believe that they weren't compromised.

Re:If the key signing authorities are compromised (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44718169)

Doesnt that pretty much defeat SSL? And what on earth would make you believe that they weren't compromised.

I can create an uncompromised cert authority in the next 5 min on my laptop, and it would be effective for exchanging communication between us, if you choose to trust it.
And this should be enough as long as the emails are not stored in plain text on servers controlled by US companies. Which seems to me exactly what this ban is about, isn't it?

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44718117)

How stupid are you, really? Do you even know what SSL means? Okay, that was cheap...but you're still an idiot. SSL makes it all better...SSL prevents inspection...SSL is sekure! LOL Just keep believing that, I will keep watching your silly attempts to hide your porn downloads.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44717655)

Packet Sniffing is more of a cheap parlor trick then a good way to collect information.

For the most part our infrastructure has moved from Hubs to Switches so there are a lot less free packets bouncing around the net. Routers have gotten smarter and better so chances are it won't bother sending your packet around the world just just to go to your neighbors.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year ago | (#44717733)

Packet Sniffing is more of a cheap parlor trick then a good way to collect information.

For the most part our infrastructure has moved from Hubs to Switches so there are a lot less free packets bouncing around the net. Routers have gotten smarter and better so chances are it won't bother sending your packet around the world just just to go to your neighbors.

Route poisoning would like to have a word with you. He is waiting in Room 641A.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717759)

just just to go to your neighbors.

Just justly justifying to go to your neighbors.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44717689)

What about the packets that are NOT routed through the US, like i.e. between servers of the same country?. For internal traffic inside a country, specially official communication, it don't need to go thru US inspection and approval. More, if not all, countries should had done the same since long time ago.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44718017)

The point is that connections can be encrypted. HTTPS EDHE [eff.org] can't be passively sniffed even if you have the server's private SSL key, you need to do active man-in-the-middle. NSA can't do on a wide scale without being detected. By handing over a plain text copy to Google, you can 100% guarantee another copy is indexed by the NSA. So avoiding US providers is about "having a fighting chance" vs. "making sure they have your data".

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (5, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44717373)

Nobody should use email for official anything.

Benjamin Franklin was right. It's the Post Office. I mean, does any email provider say they will deliver through rain, sleet, snow or hail? Do you see that on anybody's TOS? Given the uncertainties of the climate these days, you'd be a fool to do it any other way.

Besides, it will slow the government down. That's always a plus.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717547)

see apocalyptic The Postman http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119925/

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (4, Insightful)

Ruprecht the Monkeyb (680597) | about a year ago | (#44717671)

Clearly you don't live in a large city in the U.S. where mail frequently disappears, often found months (or years) later in a dumpster or a postal workers basement. I'll take the same 99.99% delivery rate and the near-instant turnaround possible with email, thanks.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44717837)

Woops. Sorry. The sarcasm / humor tag failed again. Typical Slashdot crap code.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (1)

asylumx (881307) | about a year ago | (#44718103)

Besides, it will slow the government down. That's always a plus.

Can they really get any slower?

Snail mail please. (1)

mynameiskhan (2689067) | about a year ago | (#44718107)

I agree. It is despicable that my boss can order me about via email.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (5, Informative)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#44717435)

American politicians use GMail because goverement accounts are archived and the contents are considered public property and not private communication.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44717535)

And besides, if you're doing nefarious activities, you can avoid subpenas when you appear in front of Congress ... right Lois Learner?

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44718147)

Yeah, great example. Too bad there's no meat to that scandal. But a far right troll doesn't care about finicky little things like the truth, now do you?

And no, I wouldn't buy a car from you, used or new.

Posted AC because I don't want to get in the searchlight of this troll.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44718179)

I agree - entire bush white house. good thing they only had an entire illegal war to cover for.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717573)

Using the power of surveillance it will become public : http://mashable.com/2012/11/13/gmail-petraeus-scandal-security/

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44717973)

American politicians use GMail because goverement accounts are archived and the contents are considered public property and not private communication.

Ironic, since the NSA considers GMail to be public property and not private communication as well.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717447)

No government should be using a commercial email provider; sunshine laws and records laws exist for a reason. We get an email once a quarter or so pointing out that (for DoD employees), using personal email for official communications is illegal.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717565)

I thought it was already against Federal and most, if not all, state regulations to use private email services to conduct official government business.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (2)

atom1c (2868995) | about a year ago | (#44717607)

Frankly, I dont think the US should use gMail etc for governmental communications either.

I whole-heartedly agree. Alas, I believe the US Gov't is being too lenient with their communications practices; unlike the 90's where only encrypted BlackBerrys were allowed, today everybody can use their Hotmail, Gmail, or Aol account to conduct official government business.

Instead, they should endorse Lavabit-type services and setup an outbound email transport for any public-private business... not go fully commercial without proper senses of security in place.

Re:Not seeing a problem with that. (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year ago | (#44717693)

Frankly, I dont think the US should use gMail etc for governmental communications either.

The problem I see is that it wasn't discouraged and/or banned earlier. Of COURSE an entity in a different country, with no stated or even implied interest in privacy, is not a good place to conduct your nation's business. Duh! The revelations about Google (and others') cozyness with the NSA should not have been the tipping point.

Obligatory xkcd (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717341)

obligatory xkcd [xkcd.com]

Re:Obligatory xkcd (0)

atom1c (2868995) | about a year ago | (#44717571)

First Post FAIL.

how many recipients are on gmail? (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#44717365)

I bet plenty

Re:how many recipients are on gmail? (1)

aeranvar (2589619) | about a year ago | (#44717549)

This doesn't really matter. I can't believe this move is really about improving security. To paraphrase someone above in another thread, no email is truly secure. This is probably about sending a message to US tech companies and, indirectly, Congress by cancelling contracts.

Re:how many recipients are on gmail? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717811)

What contracts? The government of India already provides email addresses to their employees. They're saying "Hey, stupid employee, use this email, don't go off making a Gmail account for official business!"

Re:how many recipients are on gmail? (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year ago | (#44718005)

I think the irony is that this move will likely make their email communication *less* secure and more easily accessible by foreign intel.

Re:how many recipients are on gmail? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44718115)

This is probably about sending a message to US tech companies and, indirectly, Congress by cancelling contracts.

No, it's not. The title of the submission is just another example of bullshit Slashdot sensationalism.

What India actually said, is to only use the official Indian email system.
But when you put up a title which says "Indian government to Ban Use of Estonian Email" or "Indian Government to Ban Use of Chinese Email" or "Indian government to Ban use of Some random dickhead's Email" it doesn't get shitloads of views from anti-US fucktards looking for an anti-US story to digitally masturbate to.

Re:how many recipients are on gmail? (1)

quintus_horatius (1119995) | about a year ago | (#44718087)

It doesn't matter which email service(s) a foreign government uses, or where the mail is stored. What matters is where the email is routed on its way from sender to recipient. There's nothing to stop the NSA from reading the email if the messages or network packets are "accidentally" routed through the US on their way from one foreign address to another. Not even laws protecting citizens, since it's not a citizen's data.

Interesting Headline (1)

assertation (1255714) | about a year ago | (#44717381)

Interesting headline given the level of corruption in the Indian Government. Given that, the headline makes sense. More secrets to keep.

Re:Interesting Headline (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44717765)

So if you want to hide something you must be guilty? Considering the level of secrecy (even secret laws) and the level of persecution on possible leakers that could exist, the US government should make the dark in any foreing government shine in white light compared with the tar pit that it must have.

Re:Interesting Headline (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44717949)

So if you want to hide something you must be guilty?

If you are a government official in a democratic country, and you are trying to hide your official activities, then yes, it is a reasonable assumption that you are corrupt. With very few exceptions, government business should be conducted in public and transparently.

Re:Interesting Headline (1)

only_human (761334) | about a year ago | (#44717853)

Also interesting is that India stopped telegram service only about 45 days ago.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717385)

Diversification is good. For all the death, destruction, and injustice resulting from a world of 200 distinct governments, it would be orders of magnitude worse if there were only one. So let's keep them seperate, for the same reason you don't invest all your assets in a single company: the risk of disaster would be through the roof.

Indian govt is just jealous (2)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#44717387)

That they can't be the ones spying. Corrupt govt hating on another corrupt govt.

Re:Indian govt is just jealous (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#44717417)

That was my first thought too. It's a double win for the Indian government. They reduce the opportunity of the US spying on their communications while at the same time increase their opportunity.

Re:Indian govt is just jealous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717637)

Hardly more secure, though. Like most things Indian, the quality of the NIC sucks. They'll be sitting ducks for the Chinese hackers.

Re:Indian govt is just jealous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717699)

Well, this is a directive that effects only India's governmental bodies, not the general populace. IOW they are doing what the US and other governments around the world are doing, making sure official government communications stay within official government channels.

Re:Indian govt is just jealous (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#44717481)

i think they are just the first one to voice their jealousy...

Re:Indian govt is just jealous (1)

hilather (1079603) | about a year ago | (#44717537)

That they can't be the ones spying. Corrupt govt hating on another corrupt govt.

It's hardly hating. Given the circumstances, this will likely become the norm for all governments and quite likely businesses that don't feel like being spied on. I'd like to think this is a wake up call for all those people that want to throw their data into the cloud without giving it a second thought, but it looks like for the most part nobody cares. And apparently, anyone who does care and takes a pro-active approach will be labelled as a hater.

Re:Indian govt is just jealous (2)

oag2 (2854559) | about a year ago | (#44717545)

They're spying, too (http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-07/11/blackberry-india)--they just want to be the only ones.

Re:Indian govt is just jealous (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44717813)

Probably they have far more right on spying their own citizens, after all they elected them, than a foreing government, specially if that foreing government is known to infiltrate in social networks to influence people according to their own "defense" programs, like incitate revolutions and social unrest.

Makes sense to me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717391)

This seems total sensible, after all if you let a foreign entity run your email you don't really own the data and any data that you don't own is at risk. The real surprise is that it took the Indian government this long to realize that. Even the company I work for only lets employees use there email servers for official communications.

Re:Makes sense to me.... FTFY (3, Insightful)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#44717497)

This seems total sensible, after all if you let a foreign entity. on the cloud, run your email you don't really own the data and any data that you don't own is at risk. The real surprise is that it took the business world this long to realize.

Re:Makes sense to me.... FTFY (1)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#44717791)

I disagree, in the US Copyright is automatic and thus you do own the data, any unauthorized use by the ISP's should open them up for civil damages based on unlicensed use of copyrighted material.

a good idea. (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about a year ago | (#44717409)

it seems like a prudent move on behalf of the indian government considering the NSA has all but said they were spying on other governments. though there is the question of what system the indian government will switch to and if it gets hacked by other governments. realistically, they should be using encryption on 100% of their emails.

Re:a good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717665)

Using email for official communications or for any important message is stupid. Email is not designed to be secure. The only messages sent by Email should be the ones that the sender would not care if read aloud using a bullhorn in the center of any major city.

Re:a good idea. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#44718137)

considering the NSA has all but said they were spying on other governments

Since NSA's job is to spy on other governments, I'm not sure why they needed to "all but say they were spying on other governments".

It should be a given - "Our job is to spy on other governments. We do our job."

As a US based programmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717415)

Thanks Obama.

Re:As a US based programmer (1)

fredrated (639554) | about a year ago | (#44717495)

Figure it out, this goes way beyond Obama.

Re:As a US based programmer (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44717551)

Yeah, this is true. However, if this exposure happened under GWB, he would be crucified. Quit given Obama a pass. Treat him exactly as you would have treated GWB.

Re:As a US based programmer (2)

jd.schmidt (919212) | about a year ago | (#44717753)

Actually no, GWB would only have been attacked by the Left for the most part, the Right mostly would have defended GWB for doing what was needed to protect our country. The response from the pro defense politicians is decidedly mute, they are simply choosing not to defend he President, at least not very much.

These intrusions by the NSA are a lot like things that have been going on all along (note I did not say it was good). Basically the opportunity for progress on this issue is precisely because Obama is the President, the Left is naturally suspicious of police and spying, while the Right is simply suspicious of Obama. (FYI, my favorite story about this is back when GWB was in power the Left would complain, what if someone you didnâ(TM)t like had this kind of power, and all too often the Right would reply, but I trust the people on power right nowâ¦)

Re:As a US based programmer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717601)

Thanks Obama.

This NSA mess is not a result of anything Obama has done.

The NSA has been spying like this since it has existed. Echelon
and other signals traffic intercept arrangements have been in place
for decades.

If you actually believe that a different president will change ANYTHING with respect
to what the NSA does, you are tragically naive and myopic in a manner which is usually
seen in people who believe that Rush Limbaugh is a credible news source.

Re:As a US based programmer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717835)

No thank the lazy American public - you killed your own Democracy with as long as Im allright I dont care what the ruling class get up to.

Protect from international surveillance (2)

fishwallop (792972) | about a year ago | (#44717421)

And centralize for national surveillance

Re:Protect from international surveillance (1)

grumpy_old_grandpa (2634187) | about a year ago | (#44717867)

The summary says the requirement is for official communication. Presumably, inter-department, but still intra-government. So if one part of the Indian government has to spy on another to get information, instead of just requesting it, that's a sad state of affairs, but less of a security or privacy problem for the common citizen.

Smoke screen (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#44717423)

Its not to 'protect the data' it's to get people to use services that they have direct access too.

Every government does this.

Meanwhile at the White house (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717437)

"So now we have 1.2 bilion terrorists in India"

Missing the point (4, Insightful)

elloGov (1217998) | about a year ago | (#44717477)

USA's authoritarian, Orwellian stance is hurting American companies' ability to compete in the global market, domestic and international. It hurts the American economy.

Re:Missing the point (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#44717575)

thats the best way to make the point really. start hurting some wallets, and you'll see change a lot faster.

Re:Missing the point (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44717589)

USA's authoritarian, Orwellian stance is hurting American companies' ability to compete in the global market, domestic and international. It hurts the American economy.

I'm not sure who the subject of 'missing the point' is here, so I can't address that, but yeah - I suspect India knows that by doing this, they may spur some competitive enterprises in India to fill the gap. I'm all for world trade and such, but for Pete^W Lakshmi's sake, India's own government should be patronizing its businesses, not foreign corporations.

Re:Missing the point (1)

jd.schmidt (919212) | about a year ago | (#44717615)

OK, so which couintry exactly would YOU trust to host your data and no spy on it.

FFS, all goverments should have official email only on goverment controled system. That is not 100% safe, but why make it easier than you have to?

Re:Missing the point (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44718049)

OK, so which couintry exactly would YOU trust to host your data and no spy on it.

If you are a government, YOU are the only ones you can trust to host your data.

If you are a company, YOU are the only ones you can trust to host your data.

Having another company or country host your data was NEVER a good idea, and some of us have been saying so for some time. But all of a sudden people are realizing just how bad of an idea that was, and they're pulling back from it.

Re:Missing the point (1)

atom1c (2868995) | about a year ago | (#44717621)

Uhh, yeah... like Google is hemorrhaging cash in their efforts to stay in business... NOT!

Re:Missing the point (1)

atom1c (2868995) | about a year ago | (#44717707)

OK, more seriously... the Indian gov't is claiming that the US Gov't practices interfere with their sense of security... yet Indian businesses rely on American companies' increasing demand for IT labor just to stay afloat. The Indian gov't is being greedy and speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

If the Indian Gov't was "all that", then there should already be 99.997% uptime Indian businesses that provide all of the commercial capabilities of Gmail service and price competitiveness without depending on the US economy to keep it afloat. Such domestic players would only be subject to Indian Gov't practices and interference, but then the Indian Gov't wouldn't have a way of blaming the rest of the world for their own malpractices -- should such malpractices interfere with their commercial businesses' livelihoods.

But, no. Instead of encouraging countries to rely on their own darn selves, let's instead blame larger economies for somehow being the source of all ills. Either way you slice it, nobody should ever interpret such foreign governmental statements as jabs against other sovereign nations. Rather, they should be seen as words of encouragement that foreign nations should demonstrate their IT savvy by truly being independent from any other foreign business entities.

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717757)

Ohhh cry me a river as opposed to American businesses Using the NSA to conduct shady business.

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717823)

It hurts the American economy.

If by American you mean those who own companies or derive their living from stocks and investment in companies, then yeah, you're right.

If by American you mean the people who work for those companies, then no. It's more accurate to say that they are part of the Indian economy who will be hurt.

The economy of American (ex-)workers who make up the rest of the American population will remain about the same - just as bad as before. And these people will keep voting for the status quo as they fear losing whatever welfare they're getting today.

Now here's the ingenious part: the American investors and business owners whose economy is hurt? They're being indoctrinated to hate the American (ex-)workers, instead of their government. This same government is the one terrorizing (yes, as in terrorism) the American (ex-)workers to vote for the status quo.

Re:Missing the point (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44717857)

Missing the point 2: Is not just watching what they are doing in foreing countries, is attack too [schneier.com] , active attacks, the surveillance gives them just base data to infiltrate, corrupt, extort, steal IP, or incite unrest. It will hurt all world population, maybe less to american people, maybe more, but other countries must defend themselves against this after US started the fire.

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717953)

USA's authoritarian, Orwellian stance is hurting American companies' ability to compete in the global market, domestic and international. It hurts the American economy.

...and therefore national security.

Google getting what they deserve (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717483)

When big corporations collaborate with governments to spy on their customers, they deserve the backlash when their customers jump ship.

And the backlash cometh (3, Interesting)

cookYourDog (3030961) | about a year ago | (#44717521)

Reap what you sow, Google. As an American, I can't wait until Startmail or another non-U.S. email provider provides a decent alternative. GMail's days are numbered for me.

Traitorous NSA (5, Insightful)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | about a year ago | (#44717529)

Here we see the beginnings of real, hard evidence of just how disastrous the NSA's recent actions are to the best interests of the country.

It used to be that American IT companies were the gold standard, to the point that there almost wasn't even any pretense of competition. Google, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook -- American companies ruled the Internet.

And the NSA has turned that all to shit. Now, you'd have to be an idiot to trust any American company not to hand your data over to the NSA. And the NSA has most emphatically been demonstrated that it cannot, under any circumstances, be trusted with that data; just look at not only the overt corporate espionage, but the pervy stalking culture of the degenerates working there. Even if not for official policy directives, you can bet that some low-level flunky at the NSA will be placing insider trades based on what he reads in your executive's emails.

In other words, the NSA has utterly devastated the greatest industry the United States has ever created, and the very backbone of our economy. It's worse than if they had bombed all our ball bearing plants; infrastructure can be rebuilt, but trust? How the fuck are we supposed to rebuild that? ...and the corporate heads and legal departments wonder why they shouldn't have refused to play with the NSA and gone public at the first hint of this malfeasance, writs of classification be damned. Had Google insisted it be taken down swinging rather than play lapdog to the NSA, their brand would have been unimpeachable; rather, it is untouchable.

Cheers,

b&

Re:Traitorous NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717631)

Mod this up! USA got fucked by NSA.

Re:Traitorous NSA (3, Insightful)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about a year ago | (#44717697)

Here we see the beginnings of real, hard evidence of just how disastrous the NSA's recent actions are to the best interests of the country.

It used to be that American IT companies were the gold standard, to the point that there almost wasn't even any pretense of competition. Google, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook -- American companies ruled the Internet.

And the NSA has turned that all to shit. Now, you'd have to be an idiot to trust any American company not to hand your data over to the NSA. And the NSA has most emphatically been demonstrated that it cannot, under any circumstances, be trusted with that data; just look at not only the overt corporate espionage, but the pervy stalking culture of the degenerates working there. Even if not for official policy directives, you can bet that some low-level flunky at the NSA will be placing insider trades based on what he reads in your executive's emails.

In other words, the NSA has utterly devastated the greatest industry the United States has ever created, and the very backbone of our economy. It's worse than if they had bombed all our ball bearing plants; infrastructure can be rebuilt, but trust? How the fuck are we supposed to rebuild that? ...and the corporate heads and legal departments wonder why they shouldn't have refused to play with the NSA and gone public at the first hint of this malfeasance, writs of classification be damned. Had Google insisted it be taken down swinging rather than play lapdog to the NSA, their brand would have been unimpeachable; rather, it is untouchable.

Cheers,

b&

Exactly! Its not a done deal yet, but they are gutting a very significant industry. This is a very costly fuck up. It would be one thing if we knew the world was a *better* or safer place as a result, but I can't see how to draw that conclusion. Au contraire, they just spend a boatload of money, muddy the waters, and gut a vital industry. You can't believe anything the NSA says since being really good liars is a valued trade asset, and there is no real oversight.

Re:Traitorous NSA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717701)

Here we see the beginnings of real, hard evidence of just how disastrous the NSA's recent actions are to the best interests of the country.

Sorry, but this is all Snowden's fault. If it hadn't been for him everything would still be working as designed and no one would be (provably anyway) the wiser.

Re:Traitorous NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44718159)

Here we see the beginnings of real, hard evidence of just how disastrous the NSA's recent actions are to the best interests of the country.

Sorry, but this is all Snowden's fault. If it hadn't been for him everything would still be working as designed and no one would be (provably anyway) the wiser.

Or in short: Ignorance is strength.

Don't forget the two other wisdoms: War is peace, and freedom is slavery.

Re:Traitorous NSA (1)

thoth (7907) | about a year ago | (#44717747)

So where exactly are you guaranteed to have your data left alone? China? Russia? Israel? France?

If it's that important, encrypt before it leaves your control. No matter what the terms of service say.

Re:Traitorous NSA (4, Insightful)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | about a year ago | (#44717885)

Whilst I certainly wouldn't disagree with you over the importance of encryption...well, put it this way: when was the last time you encrypted a letter you dropped in the mailbox?

The point is that it's about as much hassle for somebody at the post office to steam-open an envelope with nobody being none the wiser for it as it is for an ISP to snoop on people's mail.

People have historically been just fine with sending the most private of letters protected by nothing more than the seal of the envelope because the United States Postal Service has a well-deserved unimpeachable reputation for being the hardest of hard-cases about protecting the sanctity of the mail.

It's not surprising that people carried that same trust over to email; it's an almost instinctual conclusion to assume the one is every bit like the other save for the mechanisms of delivery.

And, had they done it right, Google could have earned the world's trust by self-policing with the same vigilance the USPS does.

But they blew it.

Royally, and spectacularly, they blew it.

But what remains most troubling about it is that it was an official government agency that twisted their arm, even if Google shouldn't have put up with the arm-twisting.

Cheers,

b&

Re:Traitorous NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717907)

PKB. All governments everywhere are doing exactly the same thing, in or out of collusion with the NSA, to the extent they are able or can compel or buy. The Indian government in particular demanded Skype, et all allow them not just metadata, but content, on Indian telecoms. China is historically notorious for spying on its citizens. And so on. Really unfair to single out the NSA here. Perhaps it couldn't be helped; the NSA had been forced to start sharing intelligence data with the party hacks and law enforcement (DEA, FBI, IRS, HHS, DHS, Customs/ICE, etc). and so on down to the county DFCS, the city dog catcher, used car lots, and collection agencies. Maybe something had to be done, but it could have been done in a lot better way, and I'm not faulting Snowden alone here, although I pissed beyond words he's not spilling his guts to a Federal grand jury right now. ( On second thought, he probably would be dead in about 10 min. if he tried that.) Safe to say though the current administration could not do a better job of sabotaging US national interests if it were trying. Yeah you can say that about the last one, which is where the wholesale corruption of a questionable practice began (but remember it was Sen. Kennedy who hepherded Patriot Act through committee) but this one is just over the top in it's passive-aggressive double-talk, bs, and lies, along with "our turn now" complete lack of understanding.

Fucking joke is what it is. Yeah, impeach this clown, but don't stop with him.

Re:Traitorous NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44718095)

Ok, btw, don't call me cracker. I was for the guy initially, up until that asinine and insulting event in Colorado where he came off like some kind of Roman emperor-godling. I had caught too many lies by then. Yeah, pols bs and spin, but these were just bald-faced, read-my-lips-but-watch-what-I-do-cuz-I-mean-exactly-the-opposite *lies*.

Same old shit, just in blackface, used to override perfectly rational objections. Very dangerous. Like the stupid war he wants. Lefty tool of the end-times, as it were.

The shame of it is, he's smart enough to know better. That means he knows what he's doing. Think about that, folks.

Re:Traitorous NSA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717919)

I'm sorry to disappoint, but GERMANY used to be the gold standard for data centric applications.
Round comes the USA and fuc*s us over, and the administration complies. Now you never know who you can trust.

Re:Traitorous NSA (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about a year ago | (#44718099)

Yeah, because I'm sure the Russian version of these companies is going to be so much more ethical. At least we are talking about a government here, not an individual marketing the data back for money.

People who are truly concerned about the privacy of their communication don't leave 100% of the control in other companies hands.

Pariah (0)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#44717533)

Since we have to live with what was once a great nation now fallen in corruption, at least we should have some fun with it.

The old meme "in soviet union" is becoming obsolete. I suggest we start a new meme: "in nazi america".

Re:Pariah (1)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about a year ago | (#44717705)

Since we have to live with what was once a great nation now fallen in corruption, at least we should have some fun with it.

The old meme "in soviet union" is becoming obsolete. I suggest we start a new meme: "in nazi america".

And remember now, "war is peace".

Re:Pariah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717983)

The old meme "in soviet union" is becoming obsolete. I suggest we start a new meme: "in nazi america".

"In post-9/11 America."

The Revolution was the thing that changed Russia into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the kids of the 1920s may have even had an "In Tsarist Russia" meme (at least until they wound up in the gulags)

Our revolution was 9/11. We were always at risk of becoming a surveillance state, but it wasn't until 9/11 that it became a cultural thing to say "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear" with sincerity rather than irony. Because, and I paraphrase damn near every lawmaker at the federal, state, and local level, along with half the soccer moms and helicopter parents of America, "9/11 changed everything."

That was also about the time it became technically possible to acheive "In post-9/11 America, TV watches you." (Not in the sense of a camera, but the first-round of privacy concerns over TIVO and bidirectional cable boxes that were capable of monitoring real-time ratings data.)

It wasn't commies. It wasn't nazis. And it sure as hell wasn't the terrists, who despite their best efforts, haven't managed to more than a few dozen US civilians in the Continental United States since 9/12. It was us.. We, Republicrat and Demoblican alike, created post-9/11 America. The time marker was 9/11, and it had nothing to do with religion or politics.

Yakov Smirnoff showed us the only nonviolent way to deal with totalitarians: it starts by mocking them and reminding others of the contrast between totalitarianism and freedom. The meme must be "In post-9/11 America..."

tl;dr:

"In pre-9/11 America, I was free to express political opinions using my own nickname instead of being anonymous coward! In post-9/11 America, we're all free to express opinions using our real names, even when we post as anonymous cowards! What a country!"

As if that makes a difference. (2)

goffster (1104287) | about a year ago | (#44717623)

The NSA has a lot fewer legal problems intercepting foreign mail than
it does domestic.

Only now, it simply means they wont have good spam filters,
and money will now be flowing out of india to nigeria $26,000,000 at a time.

Re:As if that makes a difference. (1)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | about a year ago | (#44717831)

That's true. While the US is getting a ton of flac from every direction, those of us in the US are primarily worried about domestic spying. Anything outside the US is their jurisdiction by law. On the other hand, there are valid reasons for India to do what they are doing.

The two things India is trying to do are send a message and secure their communications. The message part is pretty obvious, but the security part is still there. They know that the NSA has access to Gmail. Anything home grown might have plenty of backdoors, but it should at least make the NSA work for it. Maybe not very hard, but at least harder than a National Security Letter written on a postit note. After all, you'd think that vacuuming up the entire E-Mail database might leave some kind of trail.

At this point I'd make a comment about Indian IT, but I've seen some good people from there. It's just like China, I've worked with someone who knew nothing, and I've worked with people who are amazing. The trick is most companies hire cheap, and that goes double for outsourcing companies. Here's hoping that the Indian government doesn't go that route. If they do, they will at least be able to understand their workers, but the quality will be as bad as a typical US contractor.

band aid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44717663)

Using regional based email providers won't solve anything if your data is traversing circuits of ISP's and telecoms that are co-operating with a the NSA or other foreign intelligence agencies.

Indian Central Monitoring System (4, Informative)

TheSync (5291) | about a year ago | (#44717683)

Of course India is setting up the Central Monitoring System (CMS) [medianama.com] essentially India's version of PRISM:

Starting from this month, all telecommunications and Internet communications in India will be analysed by the government and its agencies. This means that everything we say or text over the phone, write, post or browse over the Internet will be centrally monitored by Indian authorities. This totalitarian type of surveillance will be incorporated in none other than the Central Monitoring System (CMS)...

...the CMS was prepared by the Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TREM) and the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) and is being manned by the Intelligence Bureau.... ...The Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 enables e-surveillance. The government plans to create a platform that will include all the service providers in Delhi, Haryana and Karnataka creating central and regional databases to help central and state level law enforcement agencies in interception and monitoring. Without any manual intervention from telecom service providers, CMS will equip government agencies with Direct Electronic Provisioning, filter and provide Call Data Records (CDR) analysis and data mining to identify the personal information and provide alerts of the target numbers.

The estimated cost of CMS is Rs. 4 billion. It will be connected with the Telephone Call Interception System (TCIS) which will help monitor voice calls, SMS and MMS, fax communications on landlines, CDMA, video calls, GSM and 3G networks. Agencies which will have access to the CMS include the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Narcotics Control Bureau, and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Last October, the NIA approached the Department of Telecom requesting for connection with the CMS to help it intercept phone calls and monitor social networking sites without the cooperation of telcos. NIA is currently monitoring eight out of 10,000 telephone lines and if connected with the CMS, NIA will also get access to e-mails and other social media platforms. Essentially, CMS will be converging all the interception lines at one location for Indian law enforcement agencies to access them.

Re:Indian Central Monitoring System (1)

asylumx (881307) | about a year ago | (#44718141)

Ya, but there's a difference (from their perspective) between India monitoring the activity of Indians, and the US monitoring the activity of Indians. As much as you don't like the NSA monitoring you for no reason, wouldn't you feel worse about it if you know another country was monitoring you for no reason?

Nobody should be surprised ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44717943)

The reality is, I expect to see more governments doing this.

With the Patriot Act and all of the revelations about the NSA spying, American companies are not things you can trust. All of the cloud services ran by US companies are covered by the same thing.

I've said it before, but when you turn your corporations into arms of your security apparatus, those corporations cease to be trustworthy.

So in a few months when US companies start feeling the pinch as people do stuff like this, when they start whining about it (and the state department starts trying to pressure those countries into buying it again) ... the only reasonable response will be "sorry, but given your current laws we simply can't do that".

it all depends on who's spying department (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#44718023)

most tin-star sheriffs don't want anybody else doing their snooping. lot of that going on in the InterClouds these days.

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