Beta
×

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

Thank you!

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

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

UK Telcos Went Above and Beyond To Cooperate With GCHQ

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the gift-wrap-for-that? dept.

United Kingdom 88

An anonymous reader writes with this news from the Guardian: "GCHQ lobbied furiously to keep secret the fact that telecoms firms had gone 'well beyond' what they were legally required to do to help intelligence agencies' mass interception of communications, both in the UK and overseas. GCHQ feared a legal challenge under the right to privacy in the Human Rights Act if evidence of its surveillance methods became admissable in court. GCHQ assisted the Home Office in lining up sympathetic people to help with "press handling", including the Liberal Democrat peer and former intelligence services commissioner Lord Carlile, who this week criticised the Guardian for its coverage of mass surveillance by GCHQ and the US National Security Agency."

cancel ×

88 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

THE QUEEN IS NOT AMUSED !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244127)

Or is he ?? Elton ??

Re:THE QUEEN IS NOT AMUSED !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244243)

Elton knows that like the telcos, helping out by lubing up and spreading will only get you; overextended, stretched beyond your limit, sore and chapped. It keeps you busy, using all your resources to handle all comers at once. By the second time around, you get a bad taste in your mouth, when you're done. Here they come again with twice as many hard insertions for you to handle. Soon you are completely stuffed with their demand and handling the overflow with both hands. By the time they are done, you've got a belly full of their potent requests and it flows out like a river behind you. You collapse, completely fagged from the effort. But here they come again, your hands are tied and you are bound to satisfy their relentless prodding. Working together, you know it will all turn out. When it does, you stuff it back in and keep a stiff lower lip, bobbing furiously, meet their gaze and prepare for the flood gates to burst. Their story gets hard to swallow and you're drowning in workflow. Soon they're coming in both ears with their requests and you can smell what they want next.

For all the surveillances ... (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 10 months ago | (#45244129)

... why can't they prevent that soldier boy Lee Rigby from being chopped to death in the Woolwich area of London, by two Moslems from Africa ?

In America too ... refugees from Somalia returned to Somalia to become terrorists

If the surveillances are so effective, why can't they prevent all these from happening ?

Re:For all the surveillances ... (5, Insightful)

Narcocide (102829) | about 10 months ago | (#45244195)

What makes you think they can't? Clearly you haven't considered the possibility that despite what they say that isn't actually the agenda. This is about control of the flow of power and money. They couldn't care less how safe the world actually is. In fact they probably relish a bit of bloodshed now and then because scared sheep move much faster, and in predictable directions.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244245)

What makes you think they can't?

Physics?

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244379)

Physics?

Seriously? Do you even know what Physics is, or do you just like to throw out buzzwords in the hopes that you'll sound smart and/or relevant enough to get an Insightful/Funny score?

The actual answer is, "Limitations of communications technology." For instance, that Twitter can't convey a message that hasn't been tweeted yet. The attack happened before anyone had a chance to so much as type a "What the shit!?" Calling Police isn't any faster.

The pair were known about, even monitored, but a patrol car could have been sitting across the street and the cops still wouldn't have been able to stop them from ramming Rigby with their car. They might have been able to shoot the pair down before they started hacking into Rigby, but firearms accuracy under pressure drops way down, and the chance of hitting a bystander goes way up. And again, that's assuming that there was a cop car right there and available to intervene, which there wasn't.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244417)

I'm pretty sure that counts as "physics".

It's well known in law enforcement that someone armed with a knife that is about 20 feet away can kill a well-trained officer armed with a gun.

But of course the whole incident started with being run down with a car... so unless you want to ban all cars, and knives, and... communication has nothing to do with it.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244513)

I'm pretty sure that counts as "physics".

Name the relevant branches, and explain how they apply.

But of course the whole incident started with being run down with a car... so unless you want to ban all cars, and knives, and... communication has nothing to do with it.

Do you remember this question: "If the surveillances are so effective, why can't they prevent all these from happening ?"
And the response: "What makes you think they can't?"
That's what's being answered. Cars and knives have nothing to do with surveillance and prevention. Try to keep up.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244537)

Name the relevant branches, and explain how they apply.

For instance, that Twitter can't convey a message that hasn't been tweeted yet.

That'll be time travel for 100, Alex!

And the response: "What makes you think they can't?"

The mysterious "they" can't prevent this sort of crime, because it is physically impossible to do so.

Surveillance is useful for disrupting large, organized crimes. Running a guy over with a car, or attacking someone with a knife -- the police can't even protect themselves from that sort of crime.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244635)

Name the relevant branches, and explain how they apply.

For instance, that Twitter can't convey a message that hasn't been tweeted yet.

That'll be time travel for 100, Alex!

I'm sorry, but there is no time travel branch of physics. The correct answer is "kinetics", as the mechanical motions of fingers convert the potential energy to move into the kinetic energy to move. Oho, the time travel branch, you say?

And the response: "What makes you think they can't?"

The mysterious "they" can't prevent this sort of crime, because it is physically impossible to do so.

Surveillance is useful for disrupting large, organized crimes. Running a guy over with a car, or attacking someone with a knife -- the police can't even protect themselves from that sort of crime.

Congratulations! You've finally given a real answer to the post of the guy you originally responded to. Well, as long as you're still the AC that started with "Physics?"

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244357)

First of all, let me thank you for saying the correct phrase, "I couldn't care less", because so many say "I could care less".

But it's not a good idea to refer to the government idiots as masters and to refer to the people as sheep. It's simply not that way. I'm sure that the government people would love for it to be that way, and they may be working toward a way to fool the people into thinking it's that way, but it's simply impossible. See, in America, there are black people. Black American people will never ever ever ever ever ever be made to be sheep. Remember Rodney King? The fact that black people haven't already stormed the NSA only proves that the black people don't give a shit about the illusion of security. You are not safer if the NSA went away, and they know that.

It's people that give so much emphasis on the power behind these governmental bodies that are fucking it up for the rest of us. There's no real proof that Edward Snowden isn't working with the (world) government in a plan to give the appearance of big brother in all his glory, strength and power, just like the "Wizard" of Oz did it. After all, if the "elite" have proved anything, it's that they cannot do anything to any degree and have success, except for lying. The few that lie, lie well, however the truth is still the truth, and evolution will always continue on in line with actual truth, and never gives a shit about what humans think.

Or: (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#45244629)

"I could care less, but only just barely."

Re: Or: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45246973)

My favorite is ...but it would take too much effort.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45244499)

What makes you think they can't? Clearly you haven't considered the possibility that despite what they say that isn't actually the agenda. This is about control of the flow of power and money. They couldn't care less how safe the world actually is. In fact they probably relish a bit of bloodshed now and then because scared sheep move much faster, and in predictable directions.

What makes you think the government is so powerful that they can stop everything bad from happening? Even things dreamed up between two mates in a coffee shop without using a phone? The power of the government is vaster in potential than what it actually is. They are limited by time, space, and resources. They have a limited number of staff, and must prioritize their efforts like any other organization. Computers are both helpful and powerful in their work, but they can only do what computers do. Computers are not yet omniscient. I think your explanation has more "all knowing, all seeing, all powerful, super competent" government conspiracy theory to it than insight.

But if you disagree, then I would like to hear your thoughts on the train wreck that is the rollout of the "Affordable Care Act" (AKA Obamacare) in the US? They could avoid it, but just didn't want to? There is no incompetence or poor planning there? Is all of the super competence limited to the intelligence agencies that can prevent anything and everything bad from happening, but "just don't want to"? Or is it a deeper level conspiracy to have as many of the sick poor die off in the coming months before it is fixed so that the gap between their losing their existing coverage and gaining their new coverage both boosts corporate profits by limiting insurance payouts and limits the costs to government? Super competence blended with amoral or immoral behavior, or is it typical human competence with the usual limits of resources, or is it outright incompetence? (Exactly how many of these super competent people have you ever met that never made a mistake?)

Re:For all the surveillances ... (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#45244633)

Cold I think the Snowden news has put the 'limited by time, space, and resources" aspect to rest.
The 'limited number of staff" seems to have been fixed by many quickly cleared outside contractors over the past 10 years or so :)
Re "all knowing, all seeing, all powerful, super competent" - that would be a billing database of all calls for life. Something we know about too.
As for the Affordable Care Act and the GCHQ ... ask the CIA?

Re:For all the surveillances ... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45244745)

They are still limited since it seems that they don't harvest everything for an indefinite period, and yet are drowning in data that they can't process and ciphers they can't crack in real time.

Leaky boats don't float, at least not very well.

The billing database is certainly extremely useful, but still limited if you don't know what was said. Talks over coffee or beer are beyond them.

The ACA was an over-reaching, overweening, scheduled train wreck.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 10 months ago | (#45248651)

They are still limited since it seems that they don't harvest everything for an indefinite period, and yet are drowning in data that they can't process and ciphers they can't crack in real time.

Leaky boats don't float, at least not very well.

The billing database is certainly extremely useful, but still limited if you don't know what was said. Talks over coffee or beer are beyond them.

The ACA was an over-reaching, overweening, scheduled train wreck.

Leaky boats colonised almost every habitable island in the Pacific! (the classic proa is almost leaky by design).

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45245809)

Its simple really. Anything that happens what meant to happen.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about 10 months ago | (#45246783)

What makes you think the government is so powerful that they can stop everything bad from happening?

That's not what's been suggested. While the examples given may not be perfect, the point would be generally that a government that does such massive surveillance would seem to collect enough evidence to stop at least *some* terrorist attacks before they occur. And I don't mean the "and now that people question why we have so much surveillance power, let's make up some cases because obviously until now we didn't feel any need to justify ourselves and we'd never toot our own horn prematurely or exaggeratedly".

Even things dreamed up between two mates in a coffee shop without using a phone?

Inherently, no. But if two said mates are already listed as suspects in previous attacks or are believed to be close associates to terrorist elements, then perhaps an agent should be there to overhear their conversation?

The power of the government is vaster in potential than what it actually is. They are limited by time, space, and resources. They have a limited number of staff, and must prioritize their efforts like any other organization. Computers are both helpful and powerful in their work, but they can only do what computers do. Computers are not yet omniscient. I think your explanation has more "all knowing, all seeing, all powerful, super competent" government conspiracy theory to it than insight.

Except what you spell out is precisely the Catch-22 of it all. The organizations demand more monitoring abilities, yet it clearly isn't helping them. And if we try to curtail the intelligence monitoring by computers, then conveniently the blame is left on not monitoring enough. Clearly, though, we were already (back before the mass surveillance) at a point where too much information was coming in and not enough analysis was producing useful results, either in the list of suspects wasn't made narrow enough to devote resources or there simply wasn't enough follow-through even when there, at least in hindsight, appeared just cause for specific further monitoring.

Whether that's more of a conspiracy to not act or simply overly CYOA analysis that makes every potential suspect look like a possible terrorist, it's impossible to know because we're never given any real insight into the files that are possessed on people.

But if you disagree, then I would like to hear your thoughts on the train wreck that is the rollout of the "Affordable Care Act" (AKA Obamacare) in the US? They could avoid it, but just didn't want to? There is no incompetence or poor planning there? Is all of the super competence limited to the intelligence agencies that can prevent anything and everything bad from happening, but "just don't want to"? Or is it a deeper level conspiracy to have as many of the sick poor die off in the coming months before it is fixed so that the gap between their losing their existing coverage and gaining their new coverage both boosts corporate profits by limiting insurance payouts and limits the costs to government? Super competence blended with amoral or immoral behavior, or is it typical human competence with the usual limits of resources, or is it outright incompetence? (Exactly how many of these super competent people have you ever met that never made a mistake?)

That's SOP in the government, though. When a large project needs to be done and it's deemed as something the government isn't allowed to do internally, it's outsourced to a private firm and generally is a clusterfuck because (1) the private firm almost always overestimates how well they can deliver and (2) the government (like most managers) doesn't have a fixed design spec early enough that budget and time overruns nearly invariably occur--being in-house doesn't magically solve the problem, but it can allow for more rapid collaboration to resolve issues sooner, rather than later.

Meanwhile, everything about the intelligence agency is basically in-house and has had decades of times to work out the kinks that mar new projects. It's a really apples and oranges comparison. The truth is, like you say, that there's a general level of incompetence in the intelligence agency as a general point, anyways.

That is, the intelligence agency(ies) as a whole thinks they know a lot more than they really do. Their efforts to grab more data as a means to confirm this isn't really helping because, as you note, a lot of stuff is done outside of computers and even the computer stuff doesn't inherently correlate automagically no matter what the algorithm you try to use to do so. So, it should be expected that the scope of intelligence gathering should have marginal improvements in the quality of results.

And that marginal returns are more than enough reason to condemn the acts precisely because the acts are illegal anyways. I mean, if the NSA or GCHQ were super competent, at least then people would feel some reason to hand over their personal data as a possible trade. Instead, it's done virtually nothing for anyone. Of course, even the best case scenario would have a marginal effect anyways, given how few people are effected by terrorism. Overall, it shows just how much all of it is a waste of time, money, and liberty of the people.

At least the ACA Act is trying to effect a lot of people in a positive way. Even if it fails massively, from a utilitarian perspective it's almost certain to do more good in one month than all the spying and intelligence gathering the world have has achieved in 10 years.

But, yea, keep beating that ACA Act dead horse.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244217)

Even more to the point. Remember all those who boldly and proudly delcared as "paranoid tinfoil hatters" those who connected the dots and knew this was going on? Isn't it a little odd they aren't just as boldly and proudly proclaiming how wrong they were and how they shouldn't be so quick to dismiss? They're mighty silent on that front. Hmm weird...

Re:For all the surveillances: zero sucesses (5, Informative)

davecb (6526) | about 10 months ago | (#45244297)

Rick Falkvinge points out that "with 100% absolute certainty [we know] that the wiretapping industry – NSA, GCHQ, FRA, etc – has stopped a total of exactly zero terror plots". See http://feeds.falkvinge.net/~r/Falkvinge-on-Infopolicy/~3/0uW0HpNnG-k/ [falkvinge.net]

Re:For all the surveillances: zero sucesses (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 10 months ago | (#45246185)

Not really. The more likely chain is that the police would receive information about the plot and would fabricate the start of the evidence chain. The common hypothetical is that they'd pull someone over for a traffic violation and 'discover' something in their car that would then give probable cause for a search of other things.

Re:For all the surveillances: zero sucesses (1)

davecb (6526) | about 10 months ago | (#45252415)

I rather disagree: two counter-arguments might be
  • - that's something the security services would wish to trumpet to the skies, especially now, and
  • - we can check and see if any accused terrorists were pulled over at a traffic stop (or something equally bland)

--dave

Re:For all the surveillances: zero sucesses (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 10 months ago | (#45253459)

- that's something the security services would wish to trumpet to the skies, especially now, and

Not if it would prevent prosecution.

- we can check and see if any accused terrorists were pulled over at a traffic stop (or something equally bland)

People have done already, and there are a lot of things that look like this is at least possible.

Re:For all the surveillances: zero sucesses (1)

Xest (935314) | about 10 months ago | (#45257187)

I have to agree to some extent, there have been a number of incidents in the news over the years that just seem all too convenient to be the result of mere chance.

The problem is that we can't even tell if "an anonymous tip off from a member of the public leading to his capture and conviction" isn't a security services agent just tipping off the police with knowledge gained from interception.

It's quite possible that the police wouldn't even know the security services had tipped them off.

Re:For all the surveillances: zero sucesses (1)

davecb (6526) | about 10 months ago | (#45278557)

A late comment: In Canada, they need not convict someone in court to hold them in custody, merely get a Ministerial order, so there is no risk in publicising putative terrorist plots detected by illegal wiretaps.

As with the EU, there have been none.

--dave

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 10 months ago | (#45244367)

Surveillance by itself prevents nothing. It's only when people fear being caught by it that crime can be reduced.

The two people that attacked Rigby wanted to make it public, and others simply don't care or don't know that they're being watched.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244715)

... why can't they prevent that soldier boy Lee Rigby from being chopped to death in the Woolwich area of London, by two Moslems from Africa ?

Also for the USA, why didn't they stop the Boston bombers?

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45245425)

... why can't they prevent that soldier boy Lee Rigby from being chopped to death in the Woolwich area of London, by two Moslems from Africa ?

They were black, and they had been to Africa recently, but they were actually from British Christian families [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:For all the surveillances ... (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 10 months ago | (#45248669)

... why can't they prevent that soldier boy Lee Rigby from being chopped to death in the Woolwich area of London, by two Moslems from Africa ?

They were black, and they had been to Africa recently, but they were actually from British Christian families [bbc.co.uk] .

Muslims take apostasy very very VERY fucking seriously, maybe christians should too?

Re:For all the surveillances ... (1)

X.25 (255792) | about 10 months ago | (#45245639)

... why can't they prevent that soldier boy Lee Rigby from being chopped to death in the Woolwich area of London, by two Moslems from Africa ?

In America too ... refugees from Somalia returned to Somalia to become terrorists

If the surveillances are so effective, why can't they prevent all these from happening ?

Because that is not why they are doing the surveillance.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45248857)

You damn well know that their targets aren't really terrorists. The latter is just a veil for deeper and darker agendas such as: insider trading, finding state and corporate secrets, to name a few. Worryingly this type of NSA and GCHQ spying was approved and signed off by Obama and Cameron.

Re:For all the surveillances ... (1)

stoatwblr (2650359) | about 10 months ago | (#45252525)

Look at the history of ww2 - where inteligence services could have avoided a number of nasty defeats but didn't because Axis forces would have realised their comms were being decrypted and changed the methods used more frequently - every time that happened there was an effective 3 month blackout on breaking the keys.

Terrorism is all about asymetric warfare and cell structures to prevent knowledge of the structure being a weakness. They only have to suceed once, while the opposition has to spend massive amounts on trying to prevent them. The problem is that in trying to combat terrorism, the security services have completely gone over the line and their actions have been creating more terrorists.

Perhaps that was the intention - so that they're never out of work. But It's far more likely to be gross incomptence coupled with massive amounts of hubris.

It's for your own good... (3, Insightful)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 10 months ago | (#45244131)

This morning I saw a British politician claiming that without the ability to tap into all devices, then the public is never going to be able to be safe from terrorism. This argument fails when inevitably, knowing human nature (absolute power corrupts absolutely), the only end result must be a police state.

Re:It's for your own good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244227)

"Your papers, please."

"No, we don't need a warrant..."

"Come along with us..."

Re:It's for your own good... (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 10 months ago | (#45244311)

How did an American cop get to be a British politician? Sounds like the garbage from their mouths. Unless we can violate your rights, we can't keep you safe( as if they ever did before) Perhaps if we found all the like-minded with the same spew from their mouths, we should test their resolve by sending them into battle before anyone else. Then we will see what they are really made of.
          O.K., all you f*cking monkeys who can't figure out that profiling is not only politically correct, but essential to removing the problematic among us, here's your gun, a box of ammo and a ticket to the heart of the conflict. Man up and go protect us and our assets, asshats. We don't even need our rights violated for you to be of actual use. The more like that , there are, the less like that, there'll be. Then we can be rid of terrorists and substandard politicians and police. What brilliance! Further it could be applied in ANY country to their benefit. Send them ALL to the worst of the Mid-East and bang their heads together.
Hey, want something done right? Elect flyneye to high office and sit back, grab a beer and a smoke, because life is about to get a whole lot better.

Re:It's for your own good... (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45244391)

And in addition, it will do absolutely nothing against terrorism. Not that terrorism is actually a relevant problem in the first place...

Re:It's for your own good... (1)

fritsd (924429) | about 10 months ago | (#45244497)

This morning I saw a British politician claiming that without the ability to tap into all devices, then the public is never going to be able to be safe from terrorism.

Well, that's a half-truth, unless he/she added: "with the ability to tap into all devices, the public is never going to be safe from terrorism either."

Exercise: take the politician's sentence, and substitute s/tap into all devices/ban all cooking devices/. It makes just as much sense (a non-sequitur, I believe).

Re:It's for your own good... (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 10 months ago | (#45244961)

Well in his defense he was speaking the absolute truth. The public is never going to be able to be safe from terrorism, and total surveillance would help make us safer, from terrorism at least. I completely agree that the natural tendency of such an infrastructure is toward a police state though.

The problem is that people have a completely natural desire to be safe, but that's just not possible without completely eliminating free will, or at least restricting it to some sort of Matrix-style virtual realm where the rules are constructed to prevent harm. And consider that even in a world where the worst that can possibly happen to you is a public shunning, that will be a thing of terror to many people.

So the only real solution is to accept that we *can't* be safe, and then decide how much risk we're willing to accept in one direction to avoid extra risk in another. At present the governing sentiment seems to be "accept massive risk of creating a police state in order to avoid minor risk of terrorism", which is rather predictable given that people subconsciously weigh risk based on how often they see it (even if it's just repeats on the news of something that happened on the far side of the world), and tend to weigh immediate risks far more strongly than long-term ones (there's just not a whole lot of demand in nature for animals to be able to do risk-assessment on a generational timescale - a little "respect the wisdom of the elders" who have the life-experience to judge long-term trends goes a long way in that regard)

One possible solution is that society go transparent - technology is advancing at a rate that will soon make ubiquitous spying so cheap and easy that there's no practical way to prevent it - so make sure that *everyone* has the same unrestricted access to the surveillance network to neutralize the power imbalances that will otherwise inevitably be created (ideally with logging so that you can know *exactly* who has been watching you as well). Essentially killing privacy to preserve freedom. Privacy is after all largely a modern creation, and in fact I imagine eliminating the possibility of backroom deals by our leaders would make democracy far more viable than ever before. Of course total transparency could open a Pandora's Box of other social issues, but we've made great strides in social tolerance and acceptance in the last centuries, perhaps we're ready to tackle some new challenges.

Re:It's for your own good... (1)

Xest (935314) | about 10 months ago | (#45257207)

"The public is never going to be able to be safe from terrorism, and total surveillance would help make us safer, from terrorism at least."

I don't think that's true, the danger is you just end up with more data than you can evaluate and actually miss more threats. I suspect this is exactly what happened with both the Boston bombers and the Lee Rigby killers - in both cases the perpetrators were known to the security services, but they were placed at lower priority - a priority choice that had to be made simply because there weren't enough resources to keep track of every possible threat. If you end up with more potential threats you just end up having to spread your resources even more thinly and risk assigning resources to people who aren't actual threats whilst deprioritising those that are.

It makes more sense to target your surveillance by infiltrating agents into high risk groups and communities or spying on them specifically.

Blanket surveillance simply drastically increases the noise and further hides the signal.

Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244135)

Admiss*I*ble, not Admiss*A*ble.

You stupid fucking brain-dead morons.

Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (1)

infolation (840436) | about 10 months ago | (#45244149)

Well The Guardian newspaper, who originally ran this story, also spelled it incorrectly.

Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 10 months ago | (#45244213)

That's what the Grauniad is famous for.

Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 10 months ago | (#45250131)

And this is why the Guardian's nickname is "The Grauniad"

Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (2)

RamiKro (3019255) | about 10 months ago | (#45244283)

Both "admissible" and "admissable" are correct according to the OED.

Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (0)

Panoptes (1041206) | about 10 months ago | (#45244317)

"Both "admissible" and "admissable" are correct according to the OED."

Really? Go back and check the OED - you'll find that the only spelling is "admissible".

Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244479)

Sorry, you're wrong. [wolframalpha.com] It is a bit more rare, and it is dropping off as people like you try to stamp out alternate spellings (invention of spell-check and all that -- the reason why I spell modeling with one 'l' now, instead of two like I used to, even though both are correct)... but there is a long precedent.

Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45245741)

If somebody is committed to their particular spelling, then people really shouldn't complain, IMNSHO. Some of the world's greatest authors spent an inordinate amount of time tweaking spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules. No doubt many of the world's worst authors did the same thing, but stature shouldn't matter.

Whether a particular spelling is "correct" according to a dictionary is not definitive. It never can be, because language is an organic, living thing. If somebody is willing to stand their ground, good for them. That's far more interesting than somebody who reflexively changes their spelling the moment a person or machine tells them to.

A stupid spelling or a stupid rule of grammar can be challenged on its own merits.

Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (1)

turgid (580780) | about 10 months ago | (#45246765)

Whether a particular spelling is "correct" according to a dictionary is not definitive. It never can be, because language is an organic, living thing. If somebody is willing to stand their ground, good for them. That's far more interesting than somebody who reflexively changes their spelling the moment a person or machine tells them to.

I never used to get 100% on the daily spelling tests in primary school either. And my teacher was a right-wing bigoted, joyless puritan. She was the only teacher in the school never to go on strike when Maggie Thatcher's thugs started the destruction of the modern, progressive state education system.

A stupid spelling or a stupid rule of grammar can be challenged on its own merits.

If only.

Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 10 months ago | (#45245063)

Don't they have a pill for anal retentive people yet?

Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (1)

Svartormr (692822) | about 10 months ago | (#45249145)

Don't they have a pill for anal retentive people yet?

There's a suppository for that. >:)

Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 10 months ago | (#45251171)

I was trying hard not to see that coming . . . .

Are these the same Lords (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244143)

Are these the same dissolute Lords who ran the Lloyd's of London scam, opening it up to investment in car insurance by Americans, and then swapping the car insurance papers for asbestos insurance? And then, when sued, the plaintiffs were MURDERED? And then the plaintiffs' childrens' law offices burgled of the evidence?

Are these the same Lords who raped Ireland? Are these the same Lords who ran colonialism in the 1700s? Are these the same Lords who made millions of pounds off of whisky production, destroying their own people?

Are these the honorable British Lords who were foisted off on us in the form of such banks as Goldman Sachs?

Are these the same British Lords for whom the phrase has come about, "as drunk as a Lord"?

I thought we got rid of these British Lords, and with good reason. Can we do it again?

There's a reason I resent people calling me sir: I am not such a scoundrel as to have ever recieved a british title.

Re:Are these the same Lords (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 10 months ago | (#45244353)

" There's a reason I resent people calling me sir: I am not such a scoundrel as to have ever recieved a british title."

          Equivalent to the U.S. Marine drill Sargents mantra " Don't call me Sir, you fucking scumbag, I work for a goddamn living, now drop and give me 100 ! "
In the U.S. officers are called "Sir",ordinary men are called by rank.

Re:Are these the same Lords (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 10 months ago | (#45245085)

You err. Extraordinary men are called by rank - ordinary men are called "civilian".

Re:Are these the same Lords (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 10 months ago | (#45248695)

" There's a reason I resent people calling me sir: I am not such a scoundrel as to have ever recieved a british title."

          Equivalent to the U.S. Marine drill Sargents mantra " Don't call me Sir, you fucking scumbag, I work for a goddamn living, now drop and give me 100 ! "
In the U.S. officers are called "Sir",ordinary men are called by rank.

Whatever happened to the drill sargents instructions "The first and last thing that will come out of your mouth will be 'sir' do you understand me?" "Sir yes sir!"

Re:Are these the same Lords (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 10 months ago | (#45250509)

It disappeared into a mist of Hollywood script anxiety.
Likely it wasn't Bootcamp and was probably AIT or some specialist training after boot.
They don't waste officers on newbs.

Lord Carlisle and his fellow shills... (3)

bazmail (764941) | about 10 months ago | (#45244181)

should be kicked out of the upper house for assisting in the pro-surveillance propaganda. They helped keep things secret for fear the rule of law would be duly applied. Its a disgrace. Those shills should be locked up.

Re:Lord Carlisle and his fellow shills... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244807)

His Title of Lord should be revoked as well, unless thats automatic when being kicked out of the lords.

Also he has recently been awarded a CBE by the Queen for services to defending National Security. Also stripworthy.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/25/leaked-memos-gchq-mass-surveillance-secret-snowden [theguardian.com]

Re:Lord Carlisle and his fellow shills... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244987)

That's domestic propaganda isn't it? Is that not illegal too for GCHQ to do that?

"We are working closely with HO [Home Office] on their plans for press handling when the final report is published, e.g. lining up talking heads (such as Lord Carlisle [sic], Lord Stevens, Sir Stephen Lander, Sir Swinton Thomas)."

Prepping talking points, lining up talking heads to say them. That's domestic propaganda.

Re:Lord Carlisle and his fellow shills... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 10 months ago | (#45245793)

Locking them up won't keep them out of the upper house. Once you're in, you're in for life.

Re:Lord Carlisle and his fellow shills... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45246897)

I'm going to say the only sensible thing about this provably preventable situation: Roar!!

it doesn't matter WHO does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244215)

It isn't about us-vs-them. It isn't OK to do it because the other guy does it. It isn't OK for the other guy to do it because we do it.

Governments simply cannot be trusted to protect our privacy. Neither can private internet companies. Only by rebuilding the infrastructure from the ground up to guard privacy at all steps with strong encryption and anonymity can we do that.

Ohh wait a sec...!!! (5, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | about 10 months ago | (#45244219)

lobbied furiously to keep secret the fact that telecoms firms had gone 'well beyond' what they were legally required to do to help intelligence agencies' mass interception of communications, both in the UK and overseas.

Had this shoe been on the "other foot" - I mean in those other "non democratic countries", folks here and on other websites would be saying somethig to the effect...

"What do you expect? We're so lucky here in , where we are democratic and have 'established' rules of engagement..."

Now that this shoe is on their foot, I am anxuious to see what their rant is gonna be like.

Re:Ohh wait a sec...!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244437)

"What do you expect? We're so lucky here in , where we are democratic and have 'established' rules of engagement..."

I really don't know why people believe that. There has never been a time in human civilization where a government didn't spy on its own people. Acting surprised by the NSA "revelations", and now the EU "revelations", is just idiotic. Although, this kind of thinking might explain how patents that are "just like this other thing, but on the Internet" can get approved.

Re:Ohh wait a sec...!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45249741)

We're listening to it right now, "It wasn't bad really, we weren't spying on everybody," was the first line out of the Obama denials. Then they promised us a commission to investigate and adjust, run by intelligence insiders who were building the problem into its current state. Hillary Clinton suggested we have to have an 'Adult' conversation about surveillance. I wouldn't be surprised if the US governmental shutdown moronics was political theatre designed to give people something else to talk about besides the Snowden releases and the NSA.

They're going to keep spitballing every possible combination of words, and evading like professional politicians until we either *make* them stop the nonsense somehow or give up. Don't hold your breath for actually making them stop doing anything without a revolution though, because the Church Committee didn't seem to have much of an effect.

Tinfoil, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244231)

Yes, why would I use a VPN or Tor to buy something from a website? I'm so silly. Why, that's just like wearing a stocking over your head when you go to the grocery store. Idiots.

At least to get my CC history they have to go through my CC company or bank.

Re:Tinfoil, eh? (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 10 months ago | (#45248711)

Yes, why would I use a VPN or Tor to buy something from a website? I'm so silly. Why, that's just like wearing a stocking over your head when you go to the grocery store. Idiots.

At least to get my CC history they have to go through my CC company or bank.

Your CC history is AUTOMATICALLY routed through GCHQ so if you use TOR or VPN to use your credit card you are just revealing to them that you are an idiot. Maybe that makes you less worth watching? Dunno. Its terribly naive though.

Addicted to surveillance (1)

six025 (714064) | about 10 months ago | (#45244237)

One of the most telling omissions from the reasons GCHQ cite for keeping the surveillance a secret is the so called War on Terror. It's not mentioned at all.

Their biggest fear is / was the public finding out, and challenging their right to spy in the courts.

Something feels very wrong about that ;-)

Peace,
Andy.

Re:Addicted to surveillance (3, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45244407)

They are just being honest. The "War on Terror" is a complete non-issue. For one thing, terrorism is not a relevant threat. For another, surveillance does not help against it at all. And, and that is the real issue, why would the GCHQ do anything about terror? Whenever the population goes stupid because of another overblown terror scare, they get more money and power. While they have not (yet) sunk so deep as to create their own fake terrorists as the US TLAs have, they doubtlessly have thought about it.

Re:Addicted to surveillance (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 10 months ago | (#45244545)

Tell that to people in the UK and you will get told to F off if your lucky 7/7 killed 52 people the UK has been dealing with bombings and terrorist incidents for well over 100 years (Anarchists, IRA, Mosad, PIRA, UDA Al Kaida and lone nutters are just some of the many examples).

And thats not counting NI I know 6 people who worked for one of my ex employers from NI 2 of them are going through the truth and reconciliation process as they have had close relatives killed thats 33%

Re:Addicted to surveillance (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45248973)

As I said, the population goes stupid. Can also be well observed in your statement.

Re:Addicted to surveillance (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 10 months ago | (#45251271)

You want to tell that to one of my ex coworkers to his face whose father was killed by the IRA ?

Re:Addicted to surveillance (3, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 10 months ago | (#45244439)

The "War on Terror" has not had the jingoistic power in the UK it enjoyed in the USA. The UK was dealing with domestic terror attacks by the IRA in recent decades, and learned harsh lessons on domestic terror involving small weapons or personal explosives. Their civilian security is generally no-nonsense, and has had centuries of dealing with violent protest by under-armed civilians from occupied territories. They have certainly not always _won_ such conflicts: the USA itself was once just such a remote territory, first engaged in guerrilla warfare, later in open revolt, and certainly including what would not be called "terrorist attacks".

Re:Addicted to surveillance (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 10 months ago | (#45245765)

Thankfully, jingoism is not a disease that readily affects many people in Britain. There's a reason (and a good one at that) that we view flying the Union Jack or Flag of St George with distaste except in specific sets of context (sporting events, royal things, etc.), contrasted with the idolisation of the flag in the States.

Being happy with and supportive of your country is a wholly different thing to being a Nationalist. Thank god we have the sense in this country to keep the two separated.

Re:Addicted to surveillance (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 10 months ago | (#45246985)

Yeah except that we've rejected it too much, gone too far. So much so that the whole British identity is crumbling and various elements of the UK like Scotland are going for independence.

Re:Addicted to surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45247291)

It worked for the USA, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of Ireland. Now if you could just get it to work for Elephant & Castle.

Re:Addicted to surveillance (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 10 months ago | (#45250145)

You say that as if it is a bad thing. If the Scottish want to be independent, it's their right, they ought to have the right to self-determination. "National identity" is grossly overvalued.

Re:Addicted to surveillance (1)

stoatwblr (2650359) | about 10 months ago | (#45253831)

Various elements, just like various elements in the USA want various states to cede from the Union.

In the USA those elements are treated as domestic terrorists. In the UK they're tolerated and allowed to put their reasoning in public, where it can be torn apart in public.

Yes, the SNP has a majority in the scottish parliament, but that doesn't mean they'll pull off a referendum to cede from the UK. The vast majority of scottish are far too pragmatic about the economic consequences to even consider it.

Re:Addicted to surveillance (1)

Xest (935314) | about 10 months ago | (#45257241)

National identity is nonsense anyway. You have no more kinship with the guy you've never spoken to down the road than you do some random bloke over in Sao Paolo.

Just because you live in the same country is meaningless. My whole family line is as English as they come, we've always lived here, my family has always lived here but I frankly associate more with the Scandinavian way of thinking on most issues than I do middle England with their Daily Mail and UKIP fascism.

National identity is exactly the kind of nonsense jingoism being spoken about above. It's a tool of populism for the simple minded, those who vote BNP and UKIP. You are who you are, you live in the country you live in and you want it to be run the way you want it to run, you want it to be a good country in what in your eyes constitutes good, and that's okay. You can even keep your national history and be proud of it or not. None of that needs the great mythical national identity though. National identity is just a way of pretending you're special as a person as opposed to those of other nations. You're not.

Re:Addicted to surveillance (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#45244815)

The GCHQ always held the view that letting people know they are been watched changes everything and went to great lengths never to be seen in the press or courts too much.
Better to get info out as to ensure a flow of intel was always safe for much larger issues.
The UK political class wanted action - over Soviet embassy staff before WW2, in WW2, with spies in the cold war, in Ireland. The GCHQ always seemed able to keep from been seen too much until the 1980/90's with new crime fighting efforts. The UK police, press and courts noted something amazing - EU wide tracking, complex computer logs and strange new 'experts' with no pasts.
The people been watched quickly found out thanks to 'friends' in the police/gov/press and the GCHQ was proven right - don't use the data in such a direct way.
The political class is addicted to the ~"GCHQ" like files they read as they have been since the 1930's. The real mystery is the feelings of the big telcos 'brands".
The big telcos are no longer just UK exchanges owned by the UK public with technicians helping with a phone or a duplicate new UK/US telco satellite system.
If the long term top telco staff have two hats - on for the UK gov and one with the 'brand' as a day job - what else was reported on internal to the 'brand'?

I'm shocked! (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 10 months ago | (#45244239)

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you! Who would have thought they would bend over backwards to help the spooks? /sarcasm>

Re:I'm shocked! (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 10 months ago | (#45244557)

In parts of the UK telecoms employees where considered "crown" employees and where targeted just as Police and prison service where and until recently telcoms employees where civil servants - Postwar GCHQ was formed partly by transfers from the GPO.

What about the rest of the story? (1)

rcamans (252182) | about 10 months ago | (#45244253)

China, Russia, Japan, Korea, Israel, Egypt, Syria, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Greece? These guys have been intercepting phone conversations, bugging people,following people, and spying / surveiling a very long time. At least some of them started out doing it to "criminals", alleged and otherwise, but you got to know the programs had spillage and collateral damage right from the start. And what gov operation didn't grow? What gov operation didn't stay clean? Most all of these guys are dirty, it is just a question of how dirty.

Telcos Found to Play All Sides of the Field (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45244265)

Lord Carlile Decrites The Guardian's Spying and Reporting on GCHQ's Spying and Reporting on Population
New Demands on Telcos to Grant Random Angry Moms Access to PM's E-Mails Uncalled-For Extended to Alll Members of Parlament
MILF Hunters Gain Access to "Angry" Moms Facebook Pages, Repost Nude Photos With Telcos Help
Telcos Reach Record Profits As Everyone Keeps Cramming Money in Their Hands For Information That Isn't Theirs

State of play over State snooping. (1)

auric_dude (610172) | about 10 months ago | (#45244309)

We may know what happened last year https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/211553/31176_HC_547_ISC.PDF [www.gov.uk] and may have some idea of what is happening of late http://isc.independent.gov.uk/ [independent.gov.uk] all of which might add some background to articles published by TheGuardian.

Blair loyalists head all major UK companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45245213)

You sheeple just don't get it. No matter that you have a vague idea of how things went down in Soviet Russia, and Nazi Germany (and present day Russia and China), you fail to understand the exact same mechanisms can and do apply do so-called Western 'democracies'.

When Tony Blair rose to power, he was a monster unlike any ever seen in modern UK politics. His project was to place his loyalists in the command and control positions throughout the entire UK, and to use this power-base to influence and guide the rest of the world. Blair created 'Common Purpose' and Academy schools to recruit, train and place legions of Blairite psychopaths into positions of power and influence. Most of these people don't think or know they are loyal to Blair's ongoing agendas- like in the examples I mentioned at the top, these individuals think they are 'loyal' to the 'heart' of Britain.

Blair sought and achieved complete unification of every aspect of societal function in the UK. Politics, business, military, church, education, mainstream media, independent media- Blair took control of it all. And like his blood brother Putin (who Blair effectively placed in power by protecting Putin against any sanction by the EU or USA), Blair ensures his iron grip of the UK continues whether he has a formal title of leadership or not.

Of course every Telecom company is an extension of the total surveillance projects Tony Blair is forging in Britain. You would not doubt this about telecom companies in China or Russia, and Blair's grip in the UK is VASTLY greater than that of Putin or the communist party in China.

Tony Blair wants WW3, and is personally responsible for the horrors you have seen the West inflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Blair created a fake 'inter-faith' religious organisation (the reason he 'converted' to Roman Catholicism) that he heads. He uses it to infiltrate into the societies of nations like Libya and Syria, so he can begin the process of recruiting traitors against their regimes, who will later form the leadership of so-called revolutionary forces.

War Wars require at least the passive support of the sheeple. Getting that 'support' requires absolute control of the mainstream and independent media (a given, obviously), control of the education programs most sheeple children receive in school (again another given) AND a completing of the feed-back loop by reading the minds of the sheeple in as close to real-time as possible. This is where intelligence agencies come in. The 'King' wants to know what the 'people' 'think'. Are they ready to back a war that will lead to the deaths of so many of them?

In the past, getting answers to these questions was a very imperfect process. Today, the NSA and GCHQ gather the thoughts of hundreds of millions of Humans daily. When Blair pukes his lies about the government of the Syrian people using chemical weapons, for instance, team Blair has real-time feedback about how these lies are playing with the sheeple. In this specific case, despite the best efforts of people like the owners of Slashdot, the people of the West said "F**k you Blair and Obama, we will NOT support another of your genocidal wars."

Doesn't matter though. Blair holds all the cards, and is having new ones printed daily to add to his hand. The sheeple will simply be attacked with new programs over and over until they are worn down and say "yes".

I'm sure Lord Carlile had no choice... (1)

sydbarrett74 (74307) | about 10 months ago | (#45249609)

...but to co-operate because GCHQ probably has a compiled a blackmail dossier full of juicy shit on him.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

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

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

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

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>