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EU Parliament: Other Countries Spy, But Less Than the UK, US

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the devils-you-know dept.

EU 170

itwbennett writes "An E.U. Parliament survey of 5 member states found that 4 of the 5 (U.K., France, Germany and Sweden) engage in bulk collection of data. Only the Netherlands doesn't, but that's not because it doesn't want to. In fact, The Netherlands is currently setting up an agency for that purpose. France, which summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain allegations that the NSA spied on Alcatel-Lucent, ranks fifth in the world in metadata collection. And Sweden? Its National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) is alleged to have been running 'upstreaming' operations (tapping directly into the communications infrastructure as a means to intercept data) for the collection of private data — collecting both the content of messages as well as metadata of communications crossing Swedish borders through fibre-optic cables from the Baltic Sea."

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170 comments

Problem? (2, Insightful)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 6 months ago | (#45243049)

I still don't see the problem. Spying on foreign countries has happened since they were invented, it's entirely legal and expecting it not to happen strikes me as hopelessly naive.

Re:Problem? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243087)

Spying on foreign countries is feasible when there is an immediate threat. In a globalized world where most countries sort of "work together" and their borders become blurry (from an industrial point of view) it does more harm than good. Companies fear industry espionage and pull back or limit interaction with those "excessively spying" countries and that harms global economy which eventually boils down to every single one of us.

Re:Problem? (3, Interesting)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 6 months ago | (#45243113)

The Chinese have been into industrial espionage more than anybody for decades and it doesn't seem to be limiting trade much. That's not a convincing argument. On the other hand, I do support making it illegal to pass information from government spy agencies to private companies.

Re:Problem? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243169)

The Americans have been into industrial espionage more than anybody for decades

I know we get annoyed with the old FTFY but you're kinda asking for it. :)

Re:Problem? (0)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 6 months ago | (#45243255)

Every country does it. The Chinese based whole industries on it, as a proportion of economic output they're by far the worst. I'm not saying America doesn't, but your fixed it actually broke it.

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243315)

Given how the NSA has been caught passing info to US companies I think we can say that the US and China are in the same league. We know we only see the tip of the US industrial espionage iceberg and I postulate it's because they're better at it than the Chinese. I don't actually care which one is ahead. It's a light-hearted comment about pots and kettles.

Re:Problem? (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45244111)

Given how the NSA has been caught passing info to US companies I think we can say that the US and China are in the same league. We know we only see the tip of the US industrial espionage iceberg and I postulate it's because they're better at it than the Chinese. I don't actually care which one is ahead. It's a light-hearted comment about pots and kettles.

I've seen this allegation like fourty times, and nobody has actually substantiated it. They have claimed that the NSA has vague claims to have done industrial espionage in Snowden's docs. But the docs don;t explain what the NSA means when they say that. Everyone assumes it's that Apple gets detailed specs on every Samsung prototype the way Chinese defense contractors get the schematics for US warplanes, but you don't do that kind of shit without being caught. Which is why everyone knows that France and China do it, despite the fact neither has a Snowden.

I suspect that the NSA is actually blowing smoke up Congress' ass. They intercepted a communication that somebody found oil in Saudi Arabia back in the 40s, and sent it to Shell, and they've been justifying their budget with the intelligence committee on the basis of "Industrial Espionage" every year since then.

Re:Problem? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45244165)

They intercepted a communication that somebody found oil in Saudi Arabia back in the 40s, and sent it to Shell, and they've been justifying their budget with the intelligence committee on the basis of "Industrial Espionage" every year since then.

So you're sure that the Soviet Union, Russia, China, Iran, and the rest had nothing to do with it? The Soviet an Russian fleets? The Soviet and Chinese nuclear missiles aimed at the US? The wars around the world? There isn't enough reason there for signal intelligence?

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243359)

It's a small step going from listening to politicians, to subverting someone into doing something, to blowing up stuff.
So, I suppose you really don't mind if some buildings in your beloved NYC blew up again, do you? Good.

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243869)

And how does listening to private citizens with no ties to crime or terrorism from friendly countries help prevent buildings from blowing up?

Re:Problem? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45244043)

"The Americans have been into industrial espionage " - America was built on it

Re:Problem? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#45243363)

Yeah, but how many countries can count on them offering so crappy worker protection that companies don't care that they're being spied on.

Re:Problem? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243181)

Bullshit. Spying on allies is often as important as spying on "immediate threats". I, for one, hope that the US is spying on Israel and that the information gathered has prevented them from pulling us into a war with Iran.

The issue isn't spying but the scope and the escalation. Violating the privacy of millions of citizens for a dragnet is not just spying but a violation of sovereignty. The same applies to escalating the spying up to the phones of heads of state. Effectively, the US just built an espionage nuclear weapon. Now the rest of the world is going to do the same, meaning everybody is fucked. The unwritten lines of common decency that restricted spying based on an actual purpose have been crossed. Now we are in the land of spying on everybody and everything with the goal of just holding the information until it becomes useful. Privacy has just taken a mortal blow.

Re:Problem? (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about 6 months ago | (#45243233)

bingo
Animal Farm, now with computers. And Internet. Now watch for all kinds laws against keeping electronic tabs on one's rulers.

Re:Problem? (1)

Linzer (753270) | about 6 months ago | (#45243633)

I, for one, hope that the US is spying on Israel and that the information gathered has prevented them from pulling us into a war with Iran.

Interesting point, but don't you think there are ways to achieve that without spying on Israel? Intelligence on Iran, added to shared knowledge with Israel, should be enough. Really, one could figure out that it would be silly to go to war with Iran, based on publicly available information alone.

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243775)

It is politics. Maybe it can be fixed. But are you willing to risk millions of lives on a foreign political system that makes even ours look reasonable?

Netanyahu has been trying to get the US to go to war with Iran since the 90s. He's just been re-elected. And US politicians in both parties have said that we will always have Israel's back. So how do you stop the US from being dragged into a war? There aren't a lot of tools available, but knowing their plans and leaking them to the press can help to give the US President and our diplomats more leverage. And knowing when your 'ally' is going to act up to try to derail a peace agreement with Iran is also crucial information.

It is not simple. And I'm not usually a person who says "the ends justify the means", but when it comes to stopping a war and saving thousands of lives and stopping the displacement of millions, I am fine with the spying. I would prefer than an 'ally' that fights to get civilians and our troops killed would lose that title, but it is not going to happen soon and we both know that.

Re:Problem? (1)

amjohns (29330) | about 6 months ago | (#45243907)

Not at all. By necessity, Israel is one of the best countries at deception, and they use that against everybody.

Given their nature to overreact to threats, I'll sleep much better if ALL the UNSC countries are heavily spying on them, and calling them out when something sketchy is brewing. Looks like they're about to re-invade the West bank?? Bring that up in the spotlight!

Re:Problem? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45244133)

I, for one, hope that the US is spying on Israel and that the information gathered has prevented them from pulling us into a war with Iran.

Interesting point, but don't you think there are ways to achieve that without spying on Israel? Intelligence on Iran, added to shared knowledge with Israel, should be enough. Really, one could figure out that it would be silly to go to war with Iran, based on publicly available information alone.

Depends on how much you trust Netanyahu.

I don't trust him one bit. I suspect that if the IDF told him they could save one Jew by leveling a building where 100 innocent gentiles live the only reason he'd hesitate is PR (note that the US is actually better than this, the point of using drones is you can wait until the one bad guy in the building is in the car with his innocent, but not-that-innocent family members and only kill three or four instead of 100). I further suspect that he believes Israel was more secure in the 60s, when it didn't have an official US Alliance, and therefore did not have to tow the American line on anything.

I can't tell you whether I'm right about Netanyahu. I can tell you that the Israelis who will admit to thinking always vote for him; and moreover much of America, including a much larger proportion of American Jews then Bibi would like, share my suspicions. The only way to reduce those suspicions, and maintain a relationship of any sort with Israel is for the NSA top spy on every damn thing Netanyahu does.

Re:Problem? (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#45243637)

In a globalized world where most countries sort of "work together" and their borders become blurry (from an industrial point of view) it does more harm than good.

Seems to me that in those circumstances, spying is even more important. After all, just because Germany or France say they support us in something doesn't mean they actually do. They have their own agendas and interests. As the French president used to say: countries don't have friends, they only have interests. The reason the Europeans are making such a fuss about this is because their formerly great and powerful spy agencies can't keep up anymore.

that harms global economy which eventually boils down to every single one of us.

Trade restrictions, subsidies, regulations, bailouts, and other misguided government policies do a lot more harm than a little spying. And if spying prevents the US from being conned by its allies, then it's actually good for the global economy.

Re:Problem? (2)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 6 months ago | (#45243685)

Seems to me that in those circumstances, spying is even more important. After all, just because Germany or France say they support us in something doesn't mean they actually do. They have their own agendas and interests. As the French president used to say: countries don't have friends, they only have interests. The reason the Europeans are making such a fuss about this is because their formerly great and powerful spy agencies can't keep up anymore.

That does play in to this a bit, but it's not the main reason. A good reason to make a fuss is that there is popular public opposition to having the NSA and GCHQ hoovering up our data. It's political capital for opposition politicians, and a massive pain in the arse for the leaders who know their own security services are not much better. The UK government, in its long-running role as the poodle of the US, is way to deeply involved to be able to decry any NSA activities. This is why Cameron's sops to concerns around NSA activities will always be couched in vehement criticism of Snowden. To use an analogy, Cameron accepts that some people may be worried by the brutal stabbing that took place in the prison exercise yard, but he's way more bothered by the "snitch" who disclosed the name of the attacker.

Re:Problem? - Just wait for it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243719)

As a country that largely depends on other countries, the US should be quite concerned with their worldwide image. In the past few month they have shown that they cannot be trusted with anything. This will bite them in the a** rather sooner than later. And even if they really wanted to change something (which they don't), it's too late for that anyway as it is incredibly hard to rebuild trust and reshape public opinion. Germany said, US-German friendship cannot be taken for granted anymore, China wants to deAmericanize the world. If worldwide industry outside of the US feels the same, the US will slowly become irrelevant.

Re:Problem? (3, Insightful)

amjohns (29330) | about 6 months ago | (#45243897)

Absolutely wrong. In many cases, sprying on countries prevents an immediate threat! That said, you have to be sure you're getting accurate data, and not repeat the iraq invasion fiasco.

Should the west stop spying on Iran, and just wait until the day they announce "We've got nukes!"? I think most people would rationally say no way. Should US stop spying on China's buildup of missiles aimed at Taiwan?

But besides the purely miltary applications, here's another equally valid one [wikipedia.org], well documented by the EU in their Echelon investigations: The US spied on Saudi Arabia and airbus, and found the Saudis were bribed by Airbus to win a massive airplane purchase, over Boeing. When the US blew the whistle, a new clean competition ended up with the US manufacturer winning. That probably saved or created thousands of jobs, clearly protecting US financial well-being. If they had waited until the winner was announced, they would have never known the bribes happened in the first place, so preemptive spying saved jobs, which protects the economy.

Re:Problem? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45244097)

That makes intuitive sense.

But historically the French have been the most enthusiastic industrial spies because it's pretty hard to figure out where major French Companies (ie: the "National Champions") start and the state ends. But the French are doing ok in economic terms. The country doing the best economically over the past decade (the Chinese) engage in industrial espionage on such a massive scale that most businesses won't let you take your normal employee laptop to China. They figure someone will sneak into your hotel room and install spyware, so they better not use the machine their network trusts.

In other words industrial espionage seems a lot like taxes. Businesses bitch about both, but they still do more business in spy and tax-happy areas then outside of them.

Re:Problem? (3, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45244203)

Spying on foreign countries is feasible when there is an immediate threat.

Waiting until there is an "immediate threat" before building an intelligence apparatus isn't really feasible. Your statement is nonsense.

In a globalized world where most countries sort of "work together" and their borders become blurry (from an industrial point of view) it does more harm than good.

Because knowing about wars or impending wars, the results of natural disaster, or economic dangers isn't helpful in managing a nation's affairs?

Companies fear industry espionage and pull back or limit interaction with those "excessively spying" countries and that harms global economy which eventually boils down to every single one of us.

That doesn't seem to have stopped investment in China, does it? Everyone knows about problems of massive IP theft when dealing with China, either purely for sales, for manufacturing, and yet people keep selling, building, and developing in China. Similar things occur in other countries as well.

I think you have several ideas that sound good in theory, but don't match the actual reality much.

Re:Problem? (2)

maroberts (15852) | about 6 months ago | (#45243111)

Entirely legal depends on which country you happen to be in when you're spying!

The current spying argument is silly though. Nations have a clear duty to both protect and maximise the benefit to their own citizens. Some people and nations are or may be hostile to others, and it is only natural to want to determine real intentions.

To counterbalance this, I fully accept that no one should make it easy for conversations to be listened to.

Re:Problem? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243173)

There's nothing legal about it; it is entirely outside the scope of the law.

What you mean is that it is common practice to keep an eye on your enemies and on your friends since it allows you to prepare for what's coming. And everyone does it from the youngest age, through gossip and eavesdropping.

The problem here is the scale at which it can be practiced nowadays by the most powerful entities. You should always be wary of that kind of concentration of power. The strong often abuse their power.

A state maintains itself by keeping its own citizens under control and keeping at bay outside threats. But in modern times, for economical reasons, the outside threat is quite weak. States have every incentive to cooperate with each other. All the power granted by this collection of information is thus turned towards the only outlet: population control and the erosion of freedom. This is hardly comforting...

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243531)

A state maintains itself by keeping its own citizens under control

This does not compute in a democracy.

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243561)

And yet here we are...

Re:Problem? (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about 6 months ago | (#45243817)

Yes, it does. If you want to keep that democracy for very long, you'd better have a way to remove the nastier elements who would seize your defenseless democracy for themselves.

Re:Problem? (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#45243647)

The problem here is the scale at which it can be practiced nowadays by the most powerful entities. You should always be wary of that kind of concentration of power. The strong often abuse their power.

You should. That's why Americans should complain about being spied on by American spy agencies, and French should complain about being spied on by French spy agencies, and Germans should complain about being spied on by German spy agencies: it's your own government that has power over you, not foreign governments.

All the power granted by this collection of information is thus turned towards the only outlet: population control and the erosion of freedom.

Unfortunately, that's not being addressed. Europeans don't seem to care that their own national governments spy on every aspect of their lives.

Re:Problem? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243737)

Europeans don't seem to care that their own national governments spy on every aspect of their lives.

This quote is so stupid, you'd have to be an american to write it.(Or I guess generalisation is only bad when done to americans...)

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243989)

Or in the US (and the UK) they're so used to being monitored by their respective governments they assume it's this way for everybody else. It's the kind of disbelief I imagine GDR citizens would feel on hearing a Frenchman could cross the border in to Belgium without risk of being shot.

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243651)

There's nothing legal about it; it is entirely outside the scope of the law.

Whose law?

Re:Problem? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45244187)

Apparently you have read a lot more dystopian sci-fi then US history.

In the US it's typically low-level groups several tiers below the NSA that do oppressing. In Michigan recently we has something called a "Grosse Pointe System," where real estate agents with no legal powers would keep blacks/Jews/Italians/etc. out of Grosse Pointe simply by utilizing their free speech rights to lie. "I'm sortry Mr. Cohen, there simply are no homes in Grosse Pointe that suit your needs, let's try the West Side." Slavery was enforced by US citizens with no governmental power over Americans who were not allowed to be US Citizens on the technicality they were black. The Fugitive Slave Sct was Federal Law, but it was enforced by Sheriff's in the tier below the tier below the Feds. Japanese internment was Federal, but if it hadn't happened the state or California would have Done Something, and in that era States Doing Something about non-white minorities generally involved a lot of ignoring genocide on the legal basis that nobody credible (ie: white) would testify.

Even in Europe the central state has lost a lot of power in the past few decades. Some of it has gone to the EU, which (like the US Federal government), probably won't engage in massive campaigns of repression because it's Democrat and it's unlikely Swedes and Greeks will ever Democratically agree on who should be oppressed. Other elements have simply faded away. During WW2, for example, most European states had huge militaries containing a full 10% of the population. Since they were almost all-male, that works out to 20% of the men, and probably more like 50% of the men who were physically capable of fighting. Very few European countries could do that today, largely because they don't have the tax-base and they don't have authorization from the EU to borrow money.

Re:Problem? (5, Insightful)

bkmoore (1910118) | about 6 months ago | (#45243193)

Yes, a certain amount of spying is expected and allowed. An ambassador is basically a legalized spy who has diplomatic protection and is allowed to work in the open.

The problem is that the NSA is not following the same priorities as the State Department. How many European political leaders will give the American diplomats their private phone number in the future? The NSA's spying on allies is destroying any future back channel communication abilities that we may have. The conspiracy theorist in me would be saying it's intentional so that the NSA becomes the ONLY source for intelligence gathering in the American government.

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243275)

The NSA has reignited a spying arms race. Thank you USA. NOT.

Re:Problem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243287)

Yeah, right, all the spying by EU nations from TFA was instituted in last 5 months after Snowden's revelations.

The race was on all the time, it's just now they know how far ahead US went.

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243909)

Yeah, right, all the spying by EU nations from TFA was instituted in last 5 months after Snowden's revelations.

The race was on all the time, it's just now they know how far ahead US went.

I'm pretty sure you haven't kept updated on those organizations considering your stance on the subject.
The Swedish organization that was mentioned have traditionally only been using mean available to the general public, that is record radio signals, something that everyone could do. They didn't start monitoring cables until the US started to apply pressure on Sweden. Their current operation is part of the NSA machinery and all the gathered information is sent overseas to the US.
There is a similar operation going on in Australia.

Your argument is essentially "Look, not only is NSA spying on everyone, we get others to spy on out behalf, therefore it can't be wrong!"

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243889)

An ambassador is basically a legalized spy who has diplomatic protection and is allowed to work in the open.

An ambassador's staff, okay. But the ambassador is usually just a figure-head, campaign contributor, millionaire, etc.

Re:Problem? (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 6 months ago | (#45244151)

It depends on where the ambassador is. The US ambassador to Denmark, for instance, is basically a plum political appointment for a major supporter who likes the idea of living in Denmark, knows how to speak Danish, and has some friends or family in Copenhagen already. But the US ambassador to Russia is a senior career member of the US Foreign Service, because they want someone in Moscow who is less likely to screw things up than the political payback guy would.

So, for example, the current US ambassador to Germany is John Emerson, who has no foreign policy experience before his appointment and got his appointment by helping Bill Clinton and Barack Obama's campaign in California. By contrast, J Christopher Stevens, the ambassador to Libya killed in the Benghazi attack, had about 20 years of diplomatic service in the Middle East, serving in Israel, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and several Middle East-related posts back in Washington DC.

Re:Problem? (4, Insightful)

kermidge (2221646) | about 6 months ago | (#45243221)

What the problem is as seen by a number of people including the original submitter of the Patriot Act to Congress, is the wholesale collection by the NSA of all the electronic communications _of its own people_ - to no known good purpose and in direct contravention of law, the Constitution, and what some might even quaintly characterize as morality.

To state it somewhat differently, Optimal Cynic (now there's a fine thought, that handle, and a heavy responsibility to live up to), the problem is not about having an agency tasked with foreign signals intelligence (one of the NSA's founding tasks; there are several more including cryptanalysis of said signals and cryptography in aid of securing our own communications) "spying" on the communications of other governments.

The problem as talked about here and elsewhere since, what, June?, is the total Hoovering of all internal electronic comms, on the off chance that sometime between now and the heat death of the Universe some citizen might have some electronic intercourse with someone from another country and that that communication might somehow possibly have some relevance to some potential investigation of someone else who talks with someone else who is also from another country and that what is talked about might be flagged for inquiry as being somehow inimical to the interests of this country or of its safety or that of its citizens. Or so the ostensible reasoning goes.

The totality of this has been done in secret from the secret court charged with issuing warrants and conducting oversight and from the Congress which set out as part of the Patriot Act a section setting up such court, etc., and which is supposed to be in charge of oversight which includes being fully briefed on what said court and agency are doing vis-a-vis their tasking. This isn't following the comms of a suspect under investigation via warrant and foreign intel as is done in normal fruitful investigations by police agencies, this is the complete sucking up of all electronic comms excepting garage-door openers on everyone inside our borders. Just in passing, the agency has consistently lied about this to the secret court and to Congress. Well, technically, no; the lies changed in light of every new revelation as to what they were doing, so it might be better to say repeatedly than consistently.

D'you begin to get a glimpse or glimmer that the problem is not spying on others, but on us? (I think it might have been Shaw, "The ability to see things as they are is called cynicism by those who haven't got it." May have been Bierce. Or even Wilde; they were all pretty sharp.) Anyway, do you see, optimally or otherwise?

Re:Problem? (1)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 6 months ago | (#45243261)

"he wholesale collection by the NSA of all the electronic communications _of its own people_" - which is why I specifically said "on foreign countries".

Re:Problem? (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#45243277)

The problem for the EU is they now know their NATO generals are more loyal to the USA and seem to have taken segments of the EU telecommunications industry with them.
The EU now has their own EU generational telco staff reconnecting the EU communications networks for a few foreign governments.
Who can EU courts trust as expert witnesses? Who can EU political leaders trust during hearings to provide any form of a truthful statements?
Who can a right/right wing or centre EU political leader trust in their own office not to be helping a foreign government if they call for an investigation?
Can they trust their security detail to look after their phones? Who selected and worked with the security staff?
If top EU staff did this for the USA at one point in time, would they do it for Russia? Russia might offer a better gas deal for information on just a few escaped business oligarchs.
If top EU staff did this for the USA at one point in time, would they do it for China? China might offer a better export deals for information on a few separatists or cult members.
If top EU staff did this for the USA at one point in time, would they do it for a multinational? A multinational might offer a larger amount of export jobs for information on trade unions, environmentalists or peace groups.
If top EU staff did this for the USA at one point in time, would they do it for a bank? A bank might offer some top regional jobs for information on any embarrassing tax investigations.
Once the rot in the mil/private/public telecommunications sets in - haggling about the price is the only real question.

Re:Problem? (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about 6 months ago | (#45243347)

Wow, yes, no doubt; problems aplenty. I fear the repercussions will be a long time unfolding, will get worse, and will do some lasting harm.

I'm a U.S. citizen and wish no harm to my country. This in no way means I can excuse what it's government, or some parties in that government, have done. Doing the harm was easy, "because we can", but making things right is not a gimme.

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243721)

The problem is indeed with the drag net strategy. Keeping an eye on potential enemies is legitimate. Collecting bulk data with no reason at all is questionable. The Netherlands has the highest rate of (warrantless) wiretapping of any European country (1 in 1000), far exceeding the US rate [slate.com], but it is the only country mentioned that does not engage in bulk collection of data without specific reason. Isn't this the more reasonable alternative?

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243225)

The problem is one of scale. The 'person of interest' is now everyone. Everywhere. All the time.

And that's just not cool. Or a good thing for anybody.

Not to mention. All our spying... On everyone. Have we prevented or stopped one bad thing ever? Nope!
So not only is it a giant waste of money. They're incompetent. Thats such a crap deal for everyone paying for this stuff. ie... taxpayers.

It needs to stop. Now.

Especially since everyone doing it... Is having major budget problems. We're wasting money. And wasting it in amazingly stupid ways...

And you want to argue thats ok? Well... Fuck you man. You pay for it then. I don't wanna.

foreign != fair game (4, Insightful)

jopsen (885607) | about 6 months ago | (#45243243)

I still don't see the problem. Spying on foreign countries has happened since they were invented, it's entirely legal and expecting it not to happen strikes me as hopelessly naive.

Spying on citizens of foreign countries is still a violation of the human rights convention. It's not legal!
Spying on foreign diplomats is a violation of Vienna convention, tapping into foreign government networks is an aggression (act of war, US. govt. said so a while ago) not legal without prior declaration of war (not all declarations of war are legal either).
Sure "legal" is hard to define, but let's just say there's nothing honest, fair or acceptable about spying on your allies!

On topic, I don't see a problem with having some level of surveillance, but it must be transparent!
If you tap cables or whatever, let the public know and make sure access, disclosure and queries are all subjected to public court hearings.
Then it's fair, honest and acceptable, let's call that "legal".

Re:foreign != fair game (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45244261)

People are incredibly naive.

How could you have a relationship with Israel, at any level, without spying? The Israelis have an explicit policy of not telling anyone which hair-raising schemes they are involved in in the Middle East, so you have no way of knowing whether their latest proposal to you is an honest proposal and not a Byzantine Scheme against some Lebanese terrorist without spies.

How can the Baltic states, allied with the West, trust they are truly protected from Russia without spies? So we don't like Putin. Hitler hated Stalin so much that the first person gassed was Stalin's son, and Hitler still traded them to Russia.

How can the US know that France isn't about to turn over the latest F-35 data to Russia in exchange for Renault getting a contract without spies?

How can you arrange a relationship with Finland without spies? They were forced (due to geography) to spend the entire Cold War pretending to be Soviet Allies. Why couldn't Putin bully them into giving up those F-35 specs?

To an extent I get how you can argue the Danes, Norwegians, etc. have earned the right not to be spied on. But the world is not tiny little Scandinavian monarchies which refuse to do anything anywhere, and therefore have not done anything wrong to anyone since the 19th century. It's everyone. And of the everyone's I've mentioned, the only country I actually think would be wrong to betray it's US Allies in the way I mentioned is probably France. It's not like the Finns asked to live right next door to 150 million people who think a political leader isn't doing his job if you can't use his name to scare the children.

Re:Problem? (5, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#45243251)

Spying was never legal. This is the main mistake you make in your assertion. Only your own spies had some legal cover in your own country. But in every other country, your spies are criminals.

Re:Problem? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#45243313)

Re But in every other country, your spies are criminals.
What about the local staff helping with maintenance or contract work at very secure telco sites in the EU? If they sold out the US and UK - who next for the right price?

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243923)

What about the local staff helping with maintenance or contract work at very secure telco sites in the EU? If they sold out the US and UK - who next for the right price?

Contract work generally includes an NDA. Selling out would also be illegal.
Depending on local legislature private entities could be considered being of "national interest". For example a nation could consider a car manufacturer of national interest since the factories will be used for building tanks in case of war. In those cases selling out could not only be illegal but also criminal.

Re:Problem? (2)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#45244223)

They are guilty of conspiracing with a foreign intelligence agency while being in a position of power, which doubles the penalties at least in Germany.

Re:Problem? (1)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 6 months ago | (#45243317)

Legal according to the laws of the country that sent them. Obviously spying is illegal according the country being spied on, duh. That's irrelevant though - it's the sponsoring government that matters in this case.

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243351)

Why is the sponsoring country more relevant than the country in which the act was performed?

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45244073)

because its up to the sponsoring government to put 'gentlemans deals' in place that you dont shoot each others captured spies etc but do some horse trading for an exchange.

this means they get some of their spies back if they really want them

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243365)

It's *outside* the law. Law of one country does not cross borders to another country, unless you believe you're above every other country out there *cough cough*

Captcha: expunge

Re:Problem? (1)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#45244229)

That's completely relevant, it is the only relevance there is. Of course no one will hold the NSA responsible in the U.S. for spying for instance on Brazil, but Brazil is entitled to the extradiction of every single person to Brazil that helped bugging the Brazilian president.

Re:Problem? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45244269)

Spying was never legal. This is the main mistake you make in your assertion. Only your own spies had some legal cover in your own country. But in every other country, your spies are criminals.

NSA spies can't be charged under any countries laws. They are officers of their country's government, engaged in actions against other countries governments. Those other countries new the US had an NSA when they recognized us, and they knew it was engaged in SigInt.

If they were using some German national to give them info on Merkel that guy could be charged, but actual officers of a sovereign government recognized by every government, spying on members of that government, are perfectly within their rights.

There's a reason that within the entire history of the CIA only one CIA agent has ever been convicted of anything, despite the CIA engaging in escapades a lot more escapadish then sitting at a computer reading files.

Now the Euros might charge some NSA guys for massive data surveillance on people who have nothing to do with any governments, but they ain't gonna do it for merely spying on the Chancellor of Germany.

Re:Problem? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#45243357)

Morally if not legally, a distinction can be made between spying on the governments of other countries and spying on the people of other countries. An interest in military matters is obviously an essential part of national defense. Monitoring political situations is important in foreign policy. But mass-collecting phone calls and emails from tens of millions of people is another thing altogether.

Re:Problem? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45244299)

There's a definite legal distinction here.

There is no treaty that says governments give up the sovereign right to spy on each-other. AFAIK there are no national statutes banning spying on governmental authorities by other governments. Spying on governments is a right governments have, kinda like Bolivia has the right to have a Navy despite the fact it hasn't had a coastline since 1883. Which means that Germany probably does not have a law that could be used against the NSA.

OTOH it does have strong privacy laws, and those could possibly be used against the NSA because there's no inherent sovereign right to spy on random chick's phone calls. I doubt they will use those laws -- the French and Brits would probably insist the sovereign right to spy includes the right to spy on anyone, because historically that's what both countries have done -- but they could conceivably make an anti-NSA case in their courts for ordinary people. OTOH they cannot make a case on behalf of the Chancellor.

It is mostly the systematic and amount (1)

aepervius (535155) | about 6 months ago | (#45243585)

Spying used to be a punctual stuff. You could only do as much as you could field agents, double agents, and other folk. Maybe a tapping ehre and there. But with the systematic bulk spying the NSA did, spying become a liability for the economies and diplomatic relationship between countries. It also has a shilling effect. Will me critizing the war in Irak bite me in the ass, later ? In a world where such data is lost among a sea of other, probably not and I can be a voice among other. In a world of systematic saving that in a DB for political and linking to real ID and spying purpose ? maybe (*).


(*) replace me with any young person wanting later to go into politic, or being in a firm attempting to contract bid or whatever.

Re:It is mostly the systematic and amount (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45244323)

Don't worry about Iraq War criticism. Everybody criticized that war, including Obama. Moreover I doubt they have mechanisms to a) figure out you criticized the war and b) do anything to you.

The only case I can think of where the US government had personal data on a large group of people analogous to Iraq War critics, and actually managed to get it's act together enough to use it on them was Japanese Internment. And in practical terms being interned was probably a better alternative then being left at the mercy of the residents of California. There probably would have been lynchings, state laws against the Japanese, pogrom-style riots, etc. That doesn't come close to justifying the Internship policy morally, but it does illustrate that you should not worry about the Feds using your personal data to hurt you.

The problem is ... (3, Insightful)

golodh (893453) | about 6 months ago | (#45243657)

that it's now out in the open.

Don't kid yourself that the EU didn't know the NSA was hoovering their data. They knew (with the probable exception of bugging their embassies), and they were doing approximately the same thing.

Only ... as long as that was done in secret, only a handful of intelligence professionals, senior military officers, senior civil servants, and politicians charged with intelligence oversight knew about it (and in particular the public and parliament didn't). And such people see data-collection in a different light than the public, because they depend on it to do their jobs.

It was also readily deniable by politicians (in the absence of hard evidence to the contrary), and isolated cases where evidence did surface could be dismissed as "incidents". So it didn't have a big political dimension. As it is now, John Q. Public (who never cared before) has suddenly found out and decided he resents it. This leaves the responsible politicians embarrassed and in need to be seen to respond to it (and do something about it). In other words: it all got a political dimension.

That's the downside of Snowden's revelations, and that's what's meant by the claim that those revelations are "damaging".

My personal guess is that it will lead to a tightening of rules (for the next 10 years) for data storage by Internet companies and will cause the bill for tapping communications in the EU, Brazil, and other countries to go up and the volume and quality to go down somewhat.

What will definitely not happen is that this sort of thing will stop. Just consider: there are milions of muslims within the EU with ties to a range if Islamic nations, and if even 0.1% of them radicalise you have a steady supply of terrorists. And given the EU's openness (not to mention its porous borders) you are going to have international terrorists within your borders.

The EU knows this full well and also knows that it doesn't have the wide signals interception coverage the US has. So their intelligence professionals will advise their governments that it's in their national interest to cooperate with the US and not to make massive data collection by the US (or even data-sharing) unreasonably hard or even impossible.

Only ... the NSA must in return accord them the courtesy of staying off the front page. Nobody likes to be embarrassed, and politicians can afford it less than most.

Re:Problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243711)

Fascist brainwashed cunt.

Re:Problem? (1)

sI4shd0rk (3402769) | about 6 months ago | (#45243743)

You don't see the problem with spying on countries that are not actively hostile towards you? Well, I do. Just because it's legal doesn't make it okay.

and expecting it not to happen strikes me as hopelessly naive.

And perhaps we're also naive for expecting the government to not violate the constitution, but they still shouldn't do it.

Re:Problem? (1)

Ries (765608) | about 6 months ago | (#45243785)

It's not the spying itself, it is that, it is used to gain a competitive advantage by leaking gathered information to US (in my case) "defence" companies.

You do see a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243825)

If it's China spyng or cracking into you US systems.

You see a problem if it's some aspie looking for the hidden proofs of Area51.

You see a problem when you think that some NSA insider may be giving information from your internal secret governments to, for example, Russia.

It's odd how "Everyone else does it!" is only an ecuse for the USA's spying.

"Well, the USA does it, so why is use doing the same thing a problem" is never going to work for, for example, Snowden, Manning, Julian Assange, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, et al.

Re:Problem? (1)

wmac1 (2478314) | about 6 months ago | (#45243919)

In most countries if you arrest a spy she/he will receive a death penalty. See the problem? You can spy but when it is known you will pay the costs and you will be punished. Is that normal to you?

In this case US deserves to be sanctioned, economically, politically and in any possible way. If it is not, it is because those countries are either not capable to punish the US or ...?

Re:Problem? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#45244365)

Yeah, but if you're an officer of a foreign government you don't get the death penalty. You get sent home with a really testy note. Which means the NSA guys are fine, can't be executed, and since they're already home all that can happen is the testy note bit. The people who'd get shot would be the humans who told the NSA info, which is nobody because the NSA doesn't spy by asking people questions (Human Intelligence or HumInt), it spies by listening in to people's electronic conversations (Signals Intelligence or SigInt).

This officer of a foreign government thing is really important. In the US Civil War out-of-uniform scouts would be hanged for spying. This didn't stop anyone from sending out such scouts, but it did mean they all kept an element of their official uniform near-to-hand so that if they got caught they could surrender and be Prisoners of War. And if you're a 10-man Confederate patrol, and only three of you are put on butternut hats in time, seven of your buddies hang.

Whelp, that does it (4, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 6 months ago | (#45243101)

The bastions of civilization are threatening my rights to privacy and it seems to be a systemic problem across many nations and interests.

The question I have is, if 'everyone' (almost) is doing it, when do us sheeple get to say 'no' and have it count for something?

I ask this question, and nothing seems to change. I vote for people I see as less persecuting, and the problems get worse. My fellow compatriots get angry, protest and demonstrate, try to keep the issue in the light, and we are largely ignored. Fellows that whistleblow are retaliated against, persecuted, and no positive action taken.

When do we get to remind politicians that they are servants of the people and that the government should act in our interest, not its own?

<metadata>Dear NSA, I'm not having subversive thoughts, so please don't interpret my post that way.</metadata>

Re:Whelp, that does it (0)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 6 months ago | (#45243125)

You remind them when it's so important to you that you get off your ass and organize people to organize people and you make it your life. The more who do that, the less that 'life' lasts.

Re:Whelp, that does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243145)

As he stated, it doesn't work. All that happens is you get one of two jackasses that pretend to be on your side until they get elected, then it is back to business as usual.

Re:Whelp, that does it (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 6 months ago | (#45243215)

Let's point to the Tea Party and Occupy movements as an example. What started as a grassroots LIBERTARIAN movement that was protesting how screwed up the financial system was, incredible wealth disparity, a cultural and institutionalized student debt system that was getting worse, upper class favoritism (see bank bailouts vs housing debt bailouts and 'too big to fail'), once it started going and it seemed like Washington and Wall Street were finally under pressure to consider change in favor of the public, the whole movement was hijacked by conservative extremists practicing wealth protectionalism and brinksmanship, the opposite values of what the movement started with.

Slick judo-diversion of momentum got us into a worse mess than when the protesting started. In effect, what we did and fought for was used against us, and by the time we realized it, it was too late.

That means organized protesting and normal modes of civil disobedience are no longer an option, and that is if we ever get enough people stirred up about it after such a crushing and disheartening defeat of values.

Re:Whelp, that does it (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 6 months ago | (#45244313)

It should be pointed out that Occupy's story was different than the Tea Party's.

The Tea Party tapped real anger and real opinions of a lot of Americans, but did everything in its power to try to take that anger and turn it into simply easy votes for the Republican Party candidates. What's gotten the Republican Party into trouble lately is that they forgot that when you have organized passionate people, they do what they want to do rather than what you want them to do. The other factor is that movement conservatism (basically a system of a few billionaires hiring a cadre of political lackeys to work at their think tanks, media organizations, and Congress) has abandoned moderate conservatism in favor of the Tea Party because the Tea Party will lower their taxes more, which is their only real political goal.

The Occupy movement's story, on the other hand, never really had the support of the Democratic Party apparatus, in large part because the Democratic Party leaders support Wall St even though their rank-and-file membership does not. The FBI coordinated (illegal) police attacks on protests around the country, and no level of government or either major political party has raised any kind of stink about the obvious and documented cases of unjustified police violence against citizens (e.g. Anthony Bologna pepper-spraying people who had broken no law and had not resisted police in any way).

Re:Whelp, that does it (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 6 months ago | (#45243527)

The first step is to stop using the word "sheeple."

Re:Whelp, that does it (1)

ImOuttaHere (2996813) | about 6 months ago | (#45243603)

The word "sheeple" more than adequately describes the actions of citizens who do nothing.

America, look in the mirror and you will see the embodiment of the word "sheeple". Correcting the ills of your country will take action, not talk, nor worrying, nor hand-wringing, nor anything else that prevents you from getting off your collective asses and _doing_ something about what's been forced on you while you've been distracted by the myriad unimportant distractions you call living.

The first step is to stop using the word "sheeple."

Re:Whelp, that does it (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about 6 months ago | (#45243827)

Yeah, but it marks you as an arrogant idiot, which is why I didn't read anything more than the first line of your post. If you want to have your voice heard, don't say stupid things.

Re:Whelp, that does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243901)

> Dear NSA, I'm not having subversive thoughts, so please don't interpret my post that way.

This indicates how much you have lost. I assume you are from the US from your article, but that you think you need to include that, even half-in-jest, shows how fucked up things are.

Couldn't Care Less (4, Insightful)

some old guy (674482) | about 6 months ago | (#45243151)

I really couldn't give a fsck what one government does to another government. They all suck.

What I DO care about is my own corrupt, power-mad government spying on me and my fellow citizens as if we are all suspect.

Re:Couldn't Care Less (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243183)

you are also the first to ask "why didn't they do anything to stop it" when something bad happens.

Re:Couldn't Care Less (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#45243283)

Where the USA/UK got in, so will Russia, China, then banks, big pharma, agribusiness, oil, a few foreign princes and then drugs and organised crime.
Thanks to the junk US export crypto you will have a lot of groups buying into the same EU telco networks and software.

Less Funding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243185)

How dare you do... exactly what we do but with more money!

Disgraceful company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243217)

Get your act together Sweden. We expect better from you.

Re:Disgraceful company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243293)

Indeed, not one of our greatest moments. Unlike what's happening across the pond at least we can say that our program is signed into law and is not secret in any way. It's still a disgrace though. Sorry.

Re:Disgraceful company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243669)

Didn't really expect Sweden to be part of something like this, as those Nordic countries are usually quite bullshit-free.

That's not the problem (4, Insightful)

Cyvros (962269) | about 6 months ago | (#45243241)

The problem isn't so much that countries engage in spying. That's to be expected, really. The problems are in 1) how they go about doing it, 2) whom they're targeting and 3) what data they're collecting. So if they're 1) using backdoors in consumer products without use of warrants, 2) targeting members of the public without necessarily having good cause to do so and 3) collecting everything they possibly can, then there's a big problem. Spying on other countries or persons of interest with good cause and/or warrants is what these agencies generally do. What the NSA and GCHQ in particular are doing is far more than this and far more invasive for what seems like little meaningful return and at the risk of their reputations and their respective countries' reputations.

Re:That's not the problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45243375)

The notion that some agency is above the law and secretly so is a worriesome reinforced breeding ground for psychopatic behaviour.
The return is complete population control, culling strategies, predictive manipulative simulator, what if-analysis and total loss of individuality except for the grossly incompetent and adolescent behaviour outlet.

Captcha: finely

Sweden's FRA was set up to help the US (5, Informative)

Troed (102527) | about 6 months ago | (#45243381)

Wait what? It's no secret that the reason FRA exists is to tap the underwater cables carrying almost all of Russia's traffic and hand it over to the US. There was an uproar against the creation of FRA in Sweden - but it was met with statements from our prime minister to the effect of "It's best for us all if we don't talk about this anymore".

Earlier documents put in context with recent revelations show that Sweden has been systematically wiretapping Russia on behalf of the United States. This is clear after putting a number of previous questionable agreements and developments in context today.

http://falkvinge.net/2013/07/07/documents-sweden-wiretapping-russias-international-traffic-for-the-nsa/ [falkvinge.net]

Re:Sweden's FRA was set up to help the US (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#45243409)

The UK had an electronics intelligence agreement with Sweden - a swap of airborne electronics intelligence collection for ground station work i.e. third party.

Re:Sweden's FRA was set up to help the US (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45244315)

A., you may recall that Sweden was subjected to many, many intrusions by Soviet aircraft and submarines over the years. Protecting Swedish sovereignty required difficult measures, including attempts to sink the submarines. And then there was the famous "Whiskey on the rocks" incident (see below). The US assisted Sweden with technology to make its defenses more effective. After a long pause following the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russians have resumed the former Soviet practice of probing the air defenses of nations in that region and are regularly intercepted by NATO air forces.

Soviet submarine S-363 [wikipedia.org]

In October 1981, the Soviet submarine S-363 accidentally hit an underwater rock about 2 km from the main Swedish naval base at Karlskrona, surfacing within Swedish waters.[1] The boat's presence coincided with a Swedish naval exercise, testing new equipment, in the area during the same days. Swedish naval forces reacted to the breach of neutrality by sending an unarmed naval officer aboard the boat to meet the captain and demand an explanation. The captain initially claimed that simultaneous failures of navigational equipment had caused the boat to get lost (despite the fact that the boat had already somehow navigated through a treacherous series of rocks, straits, and islands to get so close to the naval base).[1] The Soviet navy would later issue a conflicting statement claiming that the boat had been forced into Swedish waters due to severe distress, although the boat had never sent a distress signal but rather attempted to escape.[2]

The Soviet Navy sent a rescue task force to the site in Sweden, commanded by Vice-Admiral Aleksky Kalinin[3] on board the destroyer Obraztsovy; the rest of the fleet was composed of another destroyer of the Kotlin class, two Nanuchka class corvettes and a Riga class frigate. Sweden's centre-right government at the time was determined to safeguard Sweden's territorial integrity. As the Soviet recovery fleet appeared off the coast on the first day, a fixed coastal artillery battery locked onto the ships, indicating to the Soviets that there were active coastal batteries on the islands. The fleet did not turn immediately and as they came closer to the 12-mile (19 km) territorial limit the battery was ordered to go into war mode on its targeting radar, turning it from a single frequency mode to a frequency-hopping mode. The Soviet fleet reacted almost immediately and all vessels except a heavy tugboat turned and stayed in international waters. Swedish torpedo boats confronted the tugboat, which left as well.

Re:Sweden's FRA was set up to help the US (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#45243759)

Uproar against FRA? No, they have been around since the 40's and there was no uproar at that point. What happened recently was that they got approval to not only listen in on wireless radio communications but also wired communications, *that* was what the uproar was about.

They failed to treat it as an allegation. (0)

sethstorm (512897) | about 6 months ago | (#45243413)

France, which summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain allegations that the NSA spied on Alcatel-Lucent, ranks fifth in the world in metadata collection.

The only reply due to France is that they must first produce Edward Snowden - in the flesh - so that he can be taken into custody by the US Government. Otherwise the information is to be treated as a baseless allegation. The same can apply for any country or any source.

Never mind that we haven't heard from despotic countries like China and Russia aside from them being worse to their own for much longer.

Spam-Collectors? (1)

MS (18681) | about 6 months ago | (#45243557)

As more than 90% of all e-mails are spam-mails, will the NSA & Co. also collect all of that trash? Or have they good filters at hand to avoid filling their storage capacities with junk? What filters are they employing? If their filters are good, and the monitor *all* national and/or worldwide traffic, they could do us all a big favour and filter out that junk! Or even better: identify and eliminate the sources of this nuisance. Thanks in advance!

Spying is the wrong word: Mass Surveillance (1)

amck (34780) | about 6 months ago | (#45243627)

"Spying" is misleading when what we're really talking about it mass surveillance.

Its one thing to say "Countries have always spied on each other", when it used to mean having one or two "diplomats" at the embassy and debriefing businessmen when they came back from trips to X. Its a very different affair when intelligence gathering means everyone in the country is effectively targetted (70m phone calls a month is hardly discretely targetting a country).

Mass surveillance is to spying as martial law is to policing. Instead of spying for some slight advantage, slightly corrupting negotiations between friendly countries, we now have NSA ops dictating the landscape: the communications tools used worldwide are by default cracked; the US is setting out to use this advantage to screw its partners, and they're _not_ happy about it. "Business as usual" cannot continue on these terms, and some readjustment is being demanded.

Jews... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45244271)

It's JEWS who are behind all of this, as usual. The eternal Jew, sucking his host dry.

http://www.john-friend.net/2013/10/holohoaxsters-preparing-for-future.html

Boo hoo, the poor Jew... what will he do...

No more 'goyim' to leech off, what will the poor Jew do? Leech off his own kind?

A parasite cannot live off of another parasite.

Sandy Hook was a Jew lie - Youtube 'Sandy Hook actors'.

The 'Aurora shootings' were another blatant Jew lie.

9/11 - did 3,000 people really die? Read the CNN 9/11 Memorial - why do only half of the 'vicsims' have photographs? Why are most of the memorials written by strangers? Where are the family members? On the anniversaries of 9/11, there should have been about 20,000 family members - AT LEAST, of the alleged 3,000 victims, who lived in or near New York, and would have attended. Where were they all?

The 'holocaust'. Did 6,000,000 really die? www.zioncrimefactory.com

Quick, mod me down before the truth gets out.

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