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Spy Expert Says Australia Operating As "Listening Post" For US Agencies

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the can-you-hear-me-now dept.

Australia 165

First time accepted submitter ozduo writes in with news about Australia's alleged involvement with the ongoing NSA spying program. "Intelligence expert Professor Des Ball says the Australian Signals Directorate — formerly known as the Defense Signals Directorate — is sharing information with the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA is the agency at the heart of whistleblower Edward Snowden's leaks, and has recently been accused of tapping into millions of phone calls of ordinary citizens in France, Germany and Spain. Mr Ball says Australia has been monitoring the Asia Pacific region for the US using local listening posts. 'You can't get into the information circuits and play information warfare successfully unless you're into the communications of the higher commands in [the] various countries in our neighborhood,' he told Lateline. Mr Ball says Australia has four key facilities that are part of the XKeyscore program, the NSA's controversial computer system that searches and analyses vast amounts of internet data. They include the jointly-run Pine Gap base near Alice Springs, a satellite station outside Geraldton in Western Australia, a facility at Shoal Bay, near Darwin, and a new center in Canberra."

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lolwut? (4, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45287717)

"Intelligence expert Professor Des Ball says the Australian Signals Directorate â" formerly known as the Defense Signals Directorate â" is sharing information with the National Security Agency (NSA).

Let's rewrite that to be a bit more accurate and a bit less, er, leading:

One of America's closest allies and long-time member of ECHELON recently reminded the world that they haven't stopped sharing intelligence.

Re:lolwut? (3, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45287779)

ob. link [slashdot.org] .

From the linked article [archive.org] there:

Together with the giant American National Security Agency (NSA) and its Canadian, British, and New Zealand counterparts, DSD operates a network of giant, highly automated tracking stations that illicitly pick up commercial satellite communications and examine every fax, telex, e-mail, phone call, or computer data message that the satellites carry. ...
According to the former Canadian agent Mike Frost, it would be "nave" for Australians to think that the Americans were not exploiting stations like Kojarena for economic intelligence purposes. ""They have been doing it for years," he says. ""Now that the Cold War is over, the focus is towards economic intelligence. Never ever over-exaggerate the power that these organisations have to abuse a system such as Echelon. Don't think it can't happen in Australia. It does."

My, how much progress we've made in fifteen years...

Re:lolwut? (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45287857)

My, how much progress we've made in fifteen years...

We've made considerable progress in 15 years. 15 years ago, nobody thought the internet was much more than an academic curiousity. All the big players today didn't exist 15 years ago -- Google, Facebook, eBay, Amazon... didn't exist. 404 Business Not Found. But 15 years ago, and people seem to forget, the telecommunications networks that the internet was built on, and later developed a symbiosis with, was being tapped, surveilled, and that data shared with these same governments; As they had done since a few years after WWII, when the world leaders held summits and asked: How can we prevent the next Nazi Germany? And the answer was the same one that won the Allied Powers WWII: Computers. Cryptography. Information Awareness. Back then, information awareness came down to radios, radars, and phone lines, but the doctrine hasn't changed in 50 years: Knowledge of the enemies communications and positions is what wins wars. It's how Germany kicked the everloving shit out of Europe -- blitzkrieg. Be fast. Go unseen. Rain death from above. And be gone before the enemy can mount a response.

And people act like this is some kind of new thing... like the mentality and the methodologies being used by the NSA and its foreign counterparts are this big revelatory thing. But it's not. Not when you understand that we have our eyes and ears everywhere -- you can't move an army anywhere on Earth without us (and by that, I mean America and her allies) knowing about it, and being able to respond with lightning speed. This is common knowledge today. From satellites to realtime worldwide communication... intelligence assets can now be placed, developed, analyzed, and acted upon through the chain of command in less time than it takes you to brush your teeth in the morning.

Which means there's only one place left a threat can hide: By being small and decentralized... by flying under the radar.

And lookie lookie -- what's the NSA been up to these past few years? They aren't just tracking standing armies now. They aren't even just tracking companies, factories, and infrastructure that those armies would need for logistics. They've gone right now to street level. They're going house by house, cable by cable, looking for anyone and anything that could still fly under the radar.

Good? Bad? Depends on who you ask. But the one thing I've gotten real damn tired of hearing on Slashdot and hundreds of other websites is the tired mantra of "Oh noes! The NSA is spying on us!" ... without bothering to answer the question of why much beyond "Because they're just evil, you know." People have developed the NSA's true motives in their minds about as well as Hollywood develops Star Trek villains! "I'm gonna be bad because... I feel like being bad."

Re:lolwut? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45287925)

without bothering to answer the question of why much beyond "Because they're just evil, you know."

The reason people don't bother is because the answer is irrelevant; their actions are morally wrong and unconstitutional. Freedom is what matters.

Re:lolwut? (5, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#45287953)

While you make a nice speech you have a huge misnomer in your statements. We are not seeing a "spying on enemies and troops"! If it was only spying on the military of foreign agencies, people would not have an issue with it. It is spying and tracking individuals who are NOT military. It is spying on allies with the same fervor you would an enemy. It is spying on businesses who are not working for a foreign military.

This spying has resulted in squashing free speech in the US, Germany, the UK, Italy, etc.. These are not military actions by foreign enemies, these are people that are not content with what their selected leaders are doing. Police show up before rallies in both countries (I have friends and relatives in Germany and live in the US) and start arresting people. They insert agent provocateurs in some of these events to disrupt movements (Canada, the US and Germany are all proven to have done this).

This spying has resulted in massive misinformation campaigns against real world problems. They can see where people are getting data and disrupt communications. They see hot debate topics and flood the media outlets with disinformation and ad homimen when they can't disrupt the data.

If it was _only_ military spying like you hint at we would probably be happy about it, but even this has become either a honey pot or distortion. Look at the whole of the Middle East as well as North Korea for examples.

The fear people have is that this data is being gathered for the same reason the SS cataloged and monitored every German. Do something someone does not like and you are a "sympathizer" and killed or jailed. We already see buds of this happening.

Nothing good can come from this level of spying and information gathering. Nothing! To claim that we all claim "Oh noes" without considering all of the facts and consequences based on historical evidence is not only unfair, but absolutely wrong. Perhaps _you_ have not paid attention or not weighed much, but many of us have!

Re:lolwut? (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#45288179)

Nothing good can come from this level of spying and information gathering. Nothing!

I quite agree, s.petry! Even if you did for some reason trust the current people in power for the rest of time, they won't stay in power. Even if the current people have good intentions for such abuses of power, that doesn't mean a future more ruthless regime won't take their place. In fact, such a regime might be more likely to happen as a result of this spying and data collecting!

Re:lolwut? (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45288181)

Nothing good can come from this level of spying and information gathering. Nothing!

Exactly.
This level of distrust BY our government breeds hatred and distrust OF our government.
This can't end well.

Re:lolwut? (5, Insightful)

readacc (3401189) | about a year ago | (#45288207)

The thing that will really turn someone's head is if you question whether your Government is one of the "good guys". If it can be shown that, say, the US aren't the good guys, then and only then will it click in people's brains that perhaps all this collection of data on citizens might actually be cause for concern.

Yes, some Governments are worse than others, but it takes the first step in realizing that all Governments look out for themselves first and their citizens a distant second, before you realize why pervasive surveillance is a problem

Re:lolwut? (-1)

cavreader (1903280) | about a year ago | (#45288225)

Since when has free speech been squashed in the US?

"massive misinformation campaigns against real world problems" This pretty much describes anyone who is hyperventilating about this whole spying non-sense. People are acting like their nefarious plans to overthrow the government have just been uncovered and they have to start all over. And for the record the US constitution only applies to US citizens but everyone else is fair game.

"They see hot debate topics and flood the media outlets with disinformation". The general public does a much better job than any government could ever do in this regard. Anyone wishing to have a meaningful discussion about the NSA also needs to factor in all the other countries who do the exact same thing. It's not a "two wrongs make a right" argument it is just putting the whole issue into context.

Re:lolwut? (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45288295)

Anyone wishing to have a meaningful discussion about the NSA also needs to factor in all the other countries who do the exact same thing. It's not a "two wrongs make a right" argument it is just putting the whole issue into context.

I really don't care if Russia or New Zealand spy on every single citizen in their respective countries.
I do care if my government is reading my email.

That other countries do it is no excuse, and I see no reason to consider that fact, even for "context".

Our government should be spending its resources preventing foreign governments from accessing our
mail, tapping our calls, and tracking our communications, and generally hardening our internet.
Instead they are doing exactly the opposite.

Re:lolwut? (2)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year ago | (#45288583)

Free speech has been squashed in America, since the law enFORCEment started publicly torturing protesters and the court system was blatantly abused with false accusation and extended trials where the travail through that court system was the punishment (lawyers fees as fines and of course imprisonment during the trial process, with bail blocked by false claims of terrorist like activities).

As for on the record according to you human rights only applies to US citizens, well, screw you, "everyone else is fair game", you don't even try to hide your psychopathy, seriously sick stuff.

Re:lolwut? (5, Informative)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#45288621)

Since when has free speech been squashed in the US?

Is this a serious question? Did you bother to stop and read any history at all, look at any recent laws at all, or read what I wrote above?

You do realize that we have "Free Speech Zones" in the US as of very recent laws, and those zones still require permits in most cases. Go find 100 other people to gather with you in protest and see what happens (No, I won't bail you out). You do know that at least 2 teenagers went to jail for posting on Facebook with the exact same terminology that young men have used as intimidating rhetoric for centuries. You do realize that there are countless News outlets that do not release any "Press" that the Government does not approve first (New York Post has had several whistle blowers which should be a quick Google start).

To claim that we are not as bad as another country does not change facts, it makes you look like an idiot. It's like a Chinese person arguing that China is better than North Korea because in China they only go to jail for life for protesting, they don't get killed for it. They are also squelching free speech, only the methods and punishments are different.

This pretty much describes anyone who is hyperventilating about this whole spying non-sense.

Then you go from a failure to think critically directly to an ad hominem and appeal to emotion. So far, I don't think very highly of your comments. You can't discount anything I claimed, you simply ignore it and slander anyone that does not agree.

The general public does a much better job than any government could ever do in this regard.

Idiocy! If the public is uninformed or intentionally mislead, that is not the public's fault. This is not an uncommon issue, and has happened time and time again through history when power gets entrenched in the same hands for too long.

And for the record the US constitution only applies to US citizens but everyone else is fair game.

That statement is a lie. Go read the US Constitution. You don't even have to study it, just read it.

Anyone wishing to have a meaningful discussion about the NSA also needs to factor in all the other countries who do the exact same thing

On that statement I will tell you that you are either a sock puppet or lack any critical thinking abilities. Don't bother to reply, either shill somewhere else or try and heal your broken head.

Re:lolwut? (4, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45287983)

You can read the classic sock puppets out on any NSA story on slashdot. I think they still try and post about "fear" and 'not' looking at global finance for insider trading in some desperate struggle for legitimacy.
With every Snowden news report they look more and more lost. The world now understands the reach and fascination the NSA has with all calls, faxes, emails, chats, logs, junk encryption. Now they also understand how their own govs staff and contractors subvert their own govs over generations.
What was sold as looking outward at the Soviet Union only was also always inward too. Everybody understands now and many crypto developers will be much smarter. US tech brands will be enjoyed but never trusted again.

Re:lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288031)

15 years ago, nobody thought the internet was much more than an academic curiousity.

Oh? Perhaps you've hard of the "dot-com bubble"? That period when everyone suddenly decided that anything "...on the internet" was a guaranteed awesome business model and it was like a mad rush to get a business online or especially to set up a start up. When venture capital was raining from the sky and you weren't a real shop unless everyone had an Aeron chair. Yeah. That started in 1997. Sixteen years ago.

All the big players today didn't exist 15 years ago -- Google, Facebook, eBay, Amazon... didn't exist.

Coincidentally, it was in 1998 I first joined eBay and first shopped at Amazon. I wasn't exactly late to the party, but both had still been around for a couple years by then. Thanks for letting us know you weren't around then though.

Re:lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288057)

Fifteen years ago the web, not just the internet, was exploding, Netscape was out, and the First Bubble was expanding at ludicrous speed.

Go Sox!!!!!!

Re:lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288121)

Also, amazon was a thing.

Re:lolwut? (2)

Tofof (199751) | about a year ago | (#45288145)

All the big players today didn't exist 15 years ago -- Google, Facebook, eBay, Amazon... didn't exist.

2013 -15 = 1998.

Google: September 4, 1998. Ebay: September 3, 1995. Amazon: July, 1994.
For values of 'all' that equate to 'none but one', sure, that statement is true.

The rest of the statement reads just as similarly to a memorandum from the Ministry of Truth.

Re:lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288161)

it's git, always trying to whore points with lies

Re:lolwut? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#45288147)

15 years ago, nobody thought the internet was much more than an academic curiousity.

Um, no.

Re:lolwut? (1)

tragedy (27079) | about a year ago | (#45288153)

Good? Bad? Depends on who you ask. But the one thing I've gotten real damn tired of hearing on Slashdot and hundreds of other websites is the tired mantra of "Oh noes! The NSA is spying on us!" ... without bothering to answer the question of why much beyond "Because they're just evil, you know."

I think most of us have asked and answered that question. The obvious answer is _power_, just as you say. Theoretically, the NSA is meant to amass this power on behalf of the people. The problem is that they're obviously using these capabilities for power _over_ the people. Evil? Not sure. Corrupt? Pretty much by definition considering the principles in the corruption (the fact that we're now constantly being told that the constitution doesn't mean what we think it means, is just more corruption).

Re:lolwut? (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45288171)

It would be fine if the NSA watched the US borders, and the Australian Signals Directorate watched the Australian borders.

But that isn't what is happening. The NSA has taken it upon itself, even before 9/11, to monitor every aspect of American life, and
I'm sure the Australian Signals Directorate is doing the same down under.

I'm not so naive as to believe there aren't people IN the US and IN Australia and IN Great Britain, that want to do damage to their country.
But that's a local police matter, not something that should be trusted to national agencies with worldwide scope.

Watching everyone isn't the answer, in fact its more a cause of hatred of one's own country than a cure for it.
I can't remember a time when Americans distrusted their own government as much as they do today.

Re:lolwut? (1)

Dynedain (141758) | about a year ago | (#45288329)

We've made considerable progress in 15 years. 15 years ago, nobody thought the internet was much more than an academic curiousity

Bullshit, 15 years ago, AOL was sending floppies and CDs to everyone in America. The internet was still novel for most people, but it had grown orders of magnitude outside of academic circles.

The biggest reason why the major players of 1997's Internet aren't major players in 2013's Internet are because most of them* went under in the Dot-COM bubble.

*Amazon.com re-branded/launched in 1995 and by 1997 was already the biggest online retailer except for perhaps EBay (also 1995). BTW, why didn't EBay make your list (or for that matter, Yahoo, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Cisco, Disney/Go.com, Slate/MSNBC, or a slew of others)?

Re:lolwut? (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#45288357)

The problem is we have yet another fascist-leaning government running the spy agency in question. They kowtow to corporatism. The ignore the will of the people. They publicly and blatantly take bribes. They launch the police against their own people should they protest their behaviour. They launch wars and kill millions over resources.

And all while flag-waving patriotism claims this bullshit is "freedom" and "democracy."

What a farce the world has become.

The Nazis could only dream of achieving what the US has done with their hegemony.

Re:lolwut? (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#45288427)

Before you deny it, maybe you should read Mussolini's definition of Fascism. [fordham.edu]

The most important point he makes? Give the people just enough decision making power for them to believe they're in control, while reserving the true decision making power for the state.

Re:lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288915)

15 years ago, nobody thought the internet was much more than an academic curiousity.

15 years ago we were well into the dot-com boom.

All the big players today didn't exist 15 years ago -- Google, Facebook, eBay, Amazon... didn't exist. 404 Business Not Found.

Google was founded just over 15 years ago. Ebay was around 18 years ago. Amazon was selling to the general public 19 years ago.

And people act like this is some kind of new thing... like the mentality and the methodologies being used by the NSA and its foreign counterparts are this big revelatory thing.

Attacking a straw man there. No, "people" aren't "acting like this is some kind of new thing". It just happens to be a very hot topic at the moment - for good reason, considering current events.

But the one thing I've gotten real damn tired of hearing on Slashdot and hundreds of other websites is the tired mantra of "Oh noes! The NSA is spying on us!" ... without bothering to answer the question of why much beyond "Because they're just evil, you know." People have developed the NSA's true motives in their minds about as well as Hollywood develops Star Trek villains! "I'm gonna be bad because... I feel like being bad."

Another straw man. Whether the ends justifies the means is in question. Whether "the ends" exist at all is not in question. Of course they have a reason for doing what they do - otherwise they wouldn't be doing it at all. It's quite possible that there isn't a single person on the entire planet that holds the ridiculously cartoonish outlook that you are mocking.

Re:lolwut? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#45288459)

This is totally "GCHQ isn't the only agency spying on their citizens for the US. We do it too!"

Re:lolwut? (1)

thesupraman (179040) | about a year ago | (#45287797)

Dont worry, they are busy spying on themselves for the Americans..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waihopai_Station
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangimoana_Station
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9070435/Controversial-GCSB-laws-pass-by-two-votes

They are, after all, part of the same 'club'.

I bet politicians from both are now (if they didn't realize/get reminded earlier) aware that they are owned..
After all, all their dirty little secrets will be as useful to the 'protectors of the free world' as those of the evil
Germans and French!

After all, we must all be protected from any form of true democracy and/or choice!

Re:lolwut? (1)

thesupraman (179040) | about a year ago | (#45287803)

Oops, was meant to go on the thread below about the kiwis ;)

You hint at it... (2)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#45287883)

I'll go a bit further and say the obvious implication which you hint at. It's not a "listening post for the US", it's a "partnership in a massive world wide spying program". Germany, Spain, Italy, UK, Australia, Canada, they are all in on it.

Funny that all of these people are bitching about the US doing it when they are not complaining about their own countries collusion and benefits from this spy ring.

Re:You hint at it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45287905)

I'll go a bit further and say the obvious implication which you hint at. It's not a "listening post for the US", it's a "partnership in a massive world wide spying program". Germany, Spain, Italy, UK, Australia, Canada, they are all in on it.

Yes! It's almost as if they have a military [wikipedia.org] alliance [wikipedia.org] going back decades [wikipedia.org] .

Re:You hint at it... (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#45288127)

Are you trying to claim that the NSA was only spying on military targets for military purposes? No, don't answer that because that's what you are trying to claim. Please go back to the pr0n site and let the grown ups talk.

Re:lolwut? (3, Interesting)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | about a year ago | (#45288443)

The most embarrassing thing about this (for me anyway) is that New Zealand is also complicit in this arrangement. As I understand it our Waihopai facility near Blenheim (attacked by activists in 2008, they were acquitted in 2010 [stuff.co.nz] ) is an important part of the surveillance programme. I expect to see a similar article about us in due course.

I jeered at the trio when I saw the original news item. At the time I called them Luddites, trespassers and vandals, unaware of the larger issue they were taking on. For shame! When the NSA scandal broke I suddenly understood what they were about and realised they were actually everyday garden-variety heroes standing up for something they believed in.

Re:lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288593)

Australia's most important service to America: they moderate all the stuff in r/new over the night so that Americans can have fresh r/aww, r/funny, r/pics etc to look at every morning. :-D

p.s. I stayed up one night to watch it; I was told there would be Kangaroos and upside down text, but the usual memes determined that was a lie. :(

Blame it on the Kiwis. (1)

retech (1228598) | about a year ago | (#45287729)

Yeah they've gotta keep an eye on those damn kiwis and their international threat to a 70hr work week.

Re:Blame it on the Kiwis. (1)

thesupraman (179040) | about a year ago | (#45287809)

Dont worry, they are busy spying on themselves for the Americans..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waihopai_Station
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangimoana_Station
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9070435/Controversial-GCSB-laws-pass-by-two-votes

They are, after all, part of the same 'club'.

I bet politicians from both are now (if they didn't realize/get reminded earlier) aware that they are owned..
After all, all their dirty little secrets will be as useful to the 'protectors of the free world' as those of the evil
Germans and French!

After all, we must all be protected from any form of true democracy and/or choice!

(repost after putting on the wrong thread above, damn!)

Re:Blame it on the Kiwis. (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45287895)

After all, we must all be protected from any form of true democracy and/or choice!

The people who work at these agencies would probably remind you that without all this surveillance, you'd be hiding under your bed waiting for the next terror attack or IED. Democracy would be on the evening news every night waving a flag over the bodies of its adherents while its opponents marched in the streets, celebrating victory after victory.

People forget that we do have enemies; There is more than one way to organize a society, and a lot of people feel like the best way to deal with a society different than your own, is to advocate, encourage, and even practice violence against them "so they know their place." Are the threats as big as they say? Are the sacrifices we've made to keep those threats at bay worth it? I don't know. But don't you dare get on a soap box and preach about "true democracy" without answering the question: How do we protect it?

You do not just get to handwave away the threats. You have to answer them -- even if it's just to say "Then that is the price we will pay." It's okay to say everything they're doing is wrong; Afterall, this is a democracy right? But if you won't suggest an alternative, then you don't really care about democracy. You just want to rage against "the man" and be a rebel without a cause. You want to feel righteous, but without all that hard work of enduring tensions, making compromises, and reasoning out not what's best for you -- but what's best for an entire country.

And if you do that, then I have no respect for you. You want to bitch about the NSA? Okay, fine. I grant you that. But what's your alternative? Put something on the table for the rest of us to discuss, or give up your chair for someone who's willing to not just talk about democracy, but sit down and actually do it.

Re:Blame it on the Kiwis. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45287967)

The people who work at these agencies would probably remind you that without all this surveillance, you'd be hiding under your bed waiting for the next terror attack or IED.

Well, of course they would say that; that is by no means a surprise.

And whether it's true (highly unlikely) or not is irrelevant.

People forget that we do have enemies

No, they don't.

But if you won't suggest an alternative, then you don't really care about democracy.

It's because I care about freedom that I oppose the NSA's actions.

You just want to rage against "the man" and be a rebel without a cause. You want to feel righteous, but without all that hard work of enduring tensions, making compromises, and reasoning out not what's best for you -- but what's best for an entire country.

Individual rights should not be 'compromised' away. The constitution should not be 'compromised' away.

But what's your alternative?

How about... no more unconstitutional/immoral spying? I'm not compromising on that.

or give up your chair for someone who's willing to not just talk about democracy, but sit down and actually do it.

You don't seem to like it when others put forth answers you believe to be vague, yet here you are using the word "democracy" every other sentence; it doesn't even seem to make sense.

Re:Blame it on the Kiwis. (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year ago | (#45288131)

You do not just get to handwave away the threats. You have to answer them -- even if it's just to say "Then that is the price we will pay."

Okay: then that is the price we will pay.

More precisely, that is the price we might pay. Personally, I think the price will be a lot lower than you say--but I'm willing to take that risk. Because there is nothing al-Qaeda or any other bunch of troglodytes is going to do to us that's worse than what we can do, and are doing, to ourselves.

Happy now?

Re: Blame it on the Kiwis. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288175)

I'm going to suggest that "that's just the price of freedom" is indeed the correct answer to the NSA's spying.

I don't hide under my bed at night in fear of Jamal the Jihadi being angry at me. After all, I have an organization that's spent more money than every terrorist organization in the history of the world just to spy in me to worry about. They have millions of agents and kill more people every year than all of the above mentioned terror organizations put together ever.

They have this favorite tactic wherein a missile is fired from a multimillion dollar flying death machine called a drone...and they kill the all the innocent men, women, and children nearby just to get one guy that pissed them off.

And unlike the foreign "terrorists", these terrorists are right there outside my window.

Summary - if the U.S. Government scares you less than Hezbollah you are an idiot.

Re:Blame it on the Kiwis. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45288247)

Well GIT it gets a bit complex.
Say your Australia and have sent a group of special forces soldiers on a drunken gap year "tour" of the world. Fit, bright, accents, real "fake" passports and they blend in perfectly. Australia did not tell any other nation about such missions.
30, 20, 10 years ago some Australian telco/crypto expert shares upgrade details with the NSA and GCHQ.
Australian military encryption is good but not really hardened in many places via unique networks.
That phone home safe house in suburbia is now not so safe.
So what happens when the GCHQ and NSA, contractors and their 'staff' some with other loyalties to distant faiths or nations stumble over this 'gem' in their region?
Thats why most nations really think about who gets to set their deep domestic networking hardware and software.
What's best for an entire country is simple - keep your codes, telco system safe. Once other nations and their "cleared" contractors know - thats getting to be a long list.

Re:Blame it on the Kiwis. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288601)

But don't you dare get on a soap box and preach about "true democracy" without answering the question: How do we protect it?

You do not just get to handwave away the threats. You have to answer them -- even if it's just to say "Then that is the price we will pay." It's okay to say everything they're doing is wrong; Afterall, this is a democracy right? But if you won't suggest an alternative, then you don't really care about democracy. You just want to rage against "the man" and be a rebel without a cause. You want to feel righteous, but without all that hard work of enduring tensions, making compromises, and reasoning out not what's best for you -- but what's best for an entire country.

You know, as someone that lives in a democracy where I feel I can actually have a part in the decision making process I don't have any urge to rage against "the man", simply because "the man" works for me. If you have a controlling ruler class "the man" you are doing democracy all wrong. Just saying. Maybe OP doesn't feel it's democratic anymore, when one of your own agencies is breaking the laws and getting away with it?

Re:Blame it on the Kiwis. (0)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year ago | (#45288615)

The reality here is that the surveillance is more about rich versus everyone else and their desire to maintain global control by being able to totally control the financial sector at all levels and to control all democracy by having a complete record of all possible political candidates and their families in order to extort compliance. Also the new threat of applying security levels to everything, employment, the right to travel, communications access, basically monitoring everyone's activities in order to put select individuals on non-persons lists. Also the blatant targeting of people with smoke and mirrors prosecutions, where the cases fall apart but by this time those victims have spent tens of thousands of dollars in lawyers fees and, spent months even years in jail, along with threats to similarly target their families, all with a whoops tee hee when it all falls apart but those victims still end up us non-persons. This is not about terrorism this is all about turning all of the poor and middle class into terrorists who need to be watched and monitored all of the time and if the step out of line brutally crushed, this is all about the psychopathic greed of the 1% and where they are trying to take the whole of the world. All of the spying has been politically approved and the public has been lied too and their rights stripped away.

Re:Blame it on the Kiwis. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288735)

... you'd be hiding under your bed waiting for the next terror attack ...

The USA has invaded Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Afghanistan, Iraq. In the name of freedom it has created dictators and civil wars. Added to that are assassinations in Pakistan and Yemen. No, if I hide under my bed, it will be to avoid the USA.

... Are the sacrifices we've made to keep those threats at bay worth it? I don't know.

And you're not demanding an answer from your government like you demand from me. Patriotism is the "refuge of the scoundrel" because it argues for 'the greater good' without being accountable for the sacrifices it forces down my throat.

... preach about "true democracy" without answering the question ...

There have been many threats to US democracy: The civil rights protest in the '60s, anti-war in the '70s, anti-nuclear in the '80s, anti-capitalist in the '90s, anti-war in the '00s, anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage protests in the '10s. It's strange how the US survived all these threats and no public servants died. In hindsight, these protestors never had the ability to damage government process or power; ie democracy. What they threatened was the stability of the elites; those capitalist figureheads who 'deserve' government handouts and then treat their employees and fellow citizens with such contempt.

... if you won't suggest an alternative ...

If you don't think there's an alternative to being treated as a terrorist or traitor then, yes, my disgust at the behaviour of so-called public servants is incomprehensible to you. In the past, there was a limit to the number of unimportant citizens the government could watch: Terrorist attacks and mass shootings could easily occur. Yet terrorists of today have the same success as they had in the past. A "war on terror" and a new, improved 'big brother' hasn't provided an alternative either.

Re:Blame it on the Kiwis. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288623)

Kiwis are New Zealanders. What you said makes about as much sense as calling everyone in the US Mexians. The article is about Australia. Calling us roo's might be more accurate. (Roo is short for kangaroo, which live in Australia, not New Zealand.)

And this is news.. (2)

Billlagr (931034) | about a year ago | (#45287735)

How? I'm an Aussie, and this is no great unexpected revelation. Pine Gap is a joint Aus/US operated facility, and I'm pretty sure that nobody really thought that it was just a nice place meeeting place for American and Australians to swap recipes.

Re:And this is news.. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45287835)

The problem for Australia is the legality of 20 years of 'privacy' laws and gifting Australian only data to the USA.
Australia was great for Rhyolite satellite ground station back in 1970 and no encryption was added to save weight. Australia traded its location over generations for US hardware, staff and a constant flow of data.
Australia is also on a network that was once Intelink-C so you have a lot of chatter world wide bringing staff/contractors generational closer to each other than to any elected Australian government.
We saw that with Germany where one branch of the gov 'gives' a German cleared encrypted phone while another German group works with the US gov to subvert all German encryption.
The "revelation" should be of a wake up call to old and new Australian political parties and their relationship with 'expert' gov security staff. Who's side are they really on long term?
How safe is that fast optical internet per politicians office?
Gone are the days of 'just for' watching Japan, China, the Middle East or Soviet Union. Australia always watched inwards and in the digital age everybody is in on the big privacy joke.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/12/telstra-deal-america-government-spying [theguardian.com]

Re:And this is news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288831)

Murdoch is doing pretty damn well keeping any talk of backstabbing our own citizens and such nonsense as climate change from being headline news. Just recently the climate change authority that was fired, and subsequently saved thanks to community donations, just put our a really damning report that made it to page 20 right in the little tiny corner of the page. Murdoch oh holy one, please save us from ourselves!

Re:And this is news.. (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#45288173)

So?
Oh, you mean to say "I'm implicated"?

So, let's get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45287757)

Publicly acknowledged NSA listening posts are sharing information with the NSA... ...No shit sherlock...

I see how this guy got his Phd.

Huge surprise. (5, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | about a year ago | (#45287761)

The fact that the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia have a very close relationship surprises exactly whom, these days? I mean, it goes back to WW2, if not before, and each country has its own reasons: the UK gets to exert significant influence over the world's dominant power, Canada wants the US to help pay for the resources to defend the high Arctic, and Australia found out during WW2 that due to geography, the US was a much more reliable guarantor of security than the UK.

Re:Huge surprise. (4, Informative)

legoblocks (3415897) | about a year ago | (#45287767)

Exactly. AKA Five Eyes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UKUSA_Agreement [wikipedia.org]

Re:Huge surprise. (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | about a year ago | (#45288315)

Australia, Britain, Canada, America have a bunch of cooperation agreements to share military resources, intelligence, strategy. Not really surprising. Look up TTCP, ABCA, ASIC, CCEB.

Re:Huge surprise. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45287871)

Australia found out during WW2 that due to geography, the US was a much more reliable guarantor of security than the UK.

Didn't really have much to do with geography -- more to do with the fact that GB was rather busy defending herself against the Germans (and then rebuilding, once they were defeated); whereas the US was already fighting the same Japan that threatened Australia.

Re:Huge surprise. (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about a year ago | (#45288001)

That might have something to do with the fact that the USA and Australia are on the Pacific, and the UK isn't.

Re:Huge surprise. (1)

quenda (644621) | about a year ago | (#45288837)

That might have something to do with the fact that the USA and Australia are on the Pacific, and the UK isn't.

Not really. If Britain was not struggling to avoid total invasion by Germany, British Singapore would never have fallen to Japan.
Britain would have had no trouble projecting sufficient power there, were it not all tied up in Europe and North Africa.

Re:Huge surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288075)

...which is because of geography.

Re:Huge surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288035)

The fact that the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia have a very close relationship surprises exactly whom, these days? I mean, it goes back to WW2, if not before, and each country has its own reasons: the UK gets to exert significant influence over the world's dominant power, Canada wants the US to help pay for the resources to defend the high Arctic, and Australia found out during WW2 that due to geography, the US was a much more reliable guarantor of security than the UK.

I think Canada wants the US to help with defence because the US wanted it that way, not the other way around.

Just look at the Avro Arrow and all the fun conspiracy theories that go with it.

Re:Huge surprise. (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about a year ago | (#45288101)

Not invalid, I suppose, but consider it this way: by outsourcing primary defense to the USA, Canada has been able to position itself as the Luxembourg of North America.

Re:Huge surprise. (1)

hairyfish (1653411) | about a year ago | (#45288099)

The fact that the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia have a very close relationship

Hey, hey don't forget little old New Zealand. There are 5 eyes you know, not four...

Re:Huge surprise. (2)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | about a year ago | (#45288233)

New Zealand does not share the same relationship with the US (though yes, they are part of the five eyes SIGINT). Since the 80's up until 2008 NZ was considered a friend, but not an ally [fas.org] . Condoleeza Rice used the ally word in 2008 and it was shocking. The US only started allowing NZ warships into their ports in 2012 and NZ still doesn't allow US warships because of their nuclear ban. Definitely not on the same level as Aus/UK relations, though its thawing.

Re:Huge surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288675)

I believe that any little contretemps over nuclear ships and ANZUS wasn't allowed to get in the way of the important business of spying on people in the South Pacific for the benefit of the US.

Re:Huge surprise. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45288111)

Not really. Australia had its own views post ww2 after learning the fine art of radio and codes alone and at war. Some suggested going alone and protecting Australia in 1945. Senior Australian mil staff recalled the mess Australia was left before and during ww2 with poor weapons, poor equipment and no good intel or code breaking help.
Australia had the skill sets and staff after ww2. Canada was the same after ww2 and took years to really come around the requests of GCHQ and NSA to finally totally sell out.
Each nation understood the pact, the deal, the loss of any privacy vs a dreamy peace time "guarantor". They sold it to their countries and staff as an outward looking system to "defend" their nations but the individuals doing the negotiations at the time knew exactly what they had signed away.
Years later Snowden and may other whistleblower filling in the gaps with crypto history.
The US and UK where to get everything telco from Australia, NZ ...Australia, NZ got most of the rest of the world back ;)

really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45287765)

Wow, we've known about these sites in Australia since the 80's. This is a long term relationship and program.
But lets not mention the new building in Canberra, for which the plans were known to have 'leaked' well before the building was built.
I guess slashdot didn't exist in the 80's, I only came here in 99. Old news is good news!

Re:really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45287891)

6-1 in the 7th inning stretch, with a bit of luck the sox will win!

Five Eyes (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about a year ago | (#45287783)

How exactly is this news? It's even on Wikipedia--the Five Eyes [wikipedia.org] (FVEY, i.e., the English-speaking countries, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, and the United States) share just about everything. There's also the even MORE exclusive sharing group that excludes New Zealand -- ACGU -- Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and the United States (I believe the origins of this clique go back to some disputes around US nuclear warships berthing in New Zealand).

The arrangement is specifically designed so that, for instance, the NSA can spy on British citizens for the Brits (or vice versa) without breaking any local laws. Each country has geographic regions of specialty.

Re:Five Eyes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288129)

Actually Canada gets shafted a lot on the information sharing because the US doesn't need them to provide satellite downlink and RF listening sites.

Re:Five Eyes (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45288141)

The next step is the NSA news about politicians, finance and religious leaders.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-10-30/nsa-tapped-pope-spied-vatican-prevent-threats-financial-system [zerohedge.com]
and e.g. MUSCULAR http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-10-30/how-nsa-spies-your-google-and-yahoo-accounts [zerohedge.com]
"You can't get into the information circuits and play information warfare successfully unless you're into the communications of the higher commands in [the] various countries in our neighbourhood" is the real news, i.e. the US is 'in' the Australian telecommunications system - hardware and software vs the classic 'base' or just the international optical submarine "site".

Re:Five Eyes (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45288215)

The arrangement is specifically designed so that, for instance, the NSA can spy on British citizens for the Brits (or vice versa) without breaking any local laws. Each country has geographic regions of specialty.

All pretense of that have been dropped.
Both the US and the Brits have brushed aside any such local laws. Probably the Australians as well.

Spy Expert... Yeah sure. (1)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | about a year ago | (#45287791)

I do believe they read a Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on it once...

Don't think it can't happen in Australia, It does. (4, Interesting)

sd4f (1891894) | about a year ago | (#45287867)

"Don't think it can't happen in Australia, It does."

What a lot of Australians don't even realise is that anything can happen, our political system guarantees almost no rights to citizens, with only one real recourse; you can vote for another politician at the next election. Problem is, when the two-party system moves in step, there's pretty much nothing that can be done, and the general apathy of the public ensures that nothing will be done.

It is my understanding, that in the USA, the spying conducted by the NSA is probably illegal. The problem in Australia is, as far as I'm aware, there's no problem with the parliament passing a law permitting or compelling third parties to spy or provide data, so whatever had been happening, is perfectly legal here, and the public at large doesn't care.

Re:Don't think it can't happen in Australia, It do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45287997)

It's not illegal. No crimes have been reveled.

And I don't understand why exposing this is relevant. Except for the media to exert their power to control the population by controlling the people who might vote for someone through this type of drama. And to make more money for selling ads since they are getting page views from the conspiracy theorists who will be the ones that get blamed the next time the terrorists can get around the security...along with the media. But, the media makes lots of money when there is a terrorist attack.

Re:Don't think it can't happen in Australia, It do (1)

sI4shd0rk (3402769) | about a year ago | (#45288119)

What's this? More garbage from a bootlicker? What a surprise!

Re:Don't think it can't happen in Australia, It do (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45288177)

AC its not legal from an insider trending point of view. At lot of people are seeing luctrative deals in the making before they reach the press.
Exposing this is very relevant as where the NSA can get "in" so can Russia, China, other 'friendly' countries, wealthy multinationals, ex staff (lost job), former staff (private sector for hire), then down to telco 'staff' and finally crime groups with cash to buy skilled people.
All this hardware and software does not exist as some 'secure' base in the middle of Australia air gapped under a dome. The encryption is now out as a joke and installed Australia wide.
In the rush to help the USA, Australia has set some very low crypto telco standards.

Re:Don't think it can't happen in Australia, It do (1)

hairyfish (1653411) | about a year ago | (#45288115)

What a lot of Australians don't even realise is that anything can happen, our political system guarantees almost no rights to citizens,

Yeah that sounds all scary the way you wrote that but it overlooks one fact, Australians have it pretty bloody good. A good litmus test of any system is to see what results it produces, and having traveled extensively I can confidently say that based on my own personal experiences, the Australian system is is one of the best. Sure we may not have a bill of rights or a cool-as-fuck constitution like our American friends. And we may have monkeys running the show and no real choice of leadership, but it seems to all work out ok in the end. She'll be right mate! cor struth blimey crikey dick cobber....

Re:Don't think it can't happen in Australia, It do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288619)

It's pure luck we arn't getting it worse. There is nothing to protect the citizens, we are just lucky all the incredible power (that american politians can only dream about) is in people's hands, that are to lazy to do anything with it. Don't get on their bad side though, because there isn't much, if anything, holding back the shit storm they can throw at you. Just recently a women in a goverment department made an anonymous comment online and lost her job for it.

Re:Don't think it can't happen in Australia! (1)

sd4f (1891894) | about a year ago | (#45288731)

It's not the system though, it's the culture. Australia has historically been a fairly egalitarian society; far more so than the UK or the USA. That counts for a lot to this issue, because as a generalisation, for a lot of the time politicians actually worked to make the place better. I really don't think the system does anything when you have a country built around respect for your fellow citizen, because the system only serves as a constraint to prevent "bad things" from happening.

I think we are seeing a culture struggle, where you have the inner city middle class, who either directly or indirectly, work for the government, and then the suburban working class, who are engaged in small business, trades, manufacturing, pretty much everything else which isn't government work or something where you can maybe apply a communication or arts degree. The pendulum is swinging to those inner city people who invariably are in bureaucracies, government consultants, journalists and media people; positions of influence, and they have far more ready access to politics than your average dunny diver. As a result, they are writing the script to which politics is played. I think it's resulting in a culture struggle, and it's quite noticeable that you are starting to see that broad generalisation of inner city people feel superior to other Australians, and in a Randian manner, feel that their superiority entitles them to a greater say.

Re:Don't think it can't happen in Australia, It do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288755)

... it seems to all work out ok in the end ...

Australia has given the USA tax breaks, military support, favoured trading status for decades. Now Australia has anti-terror laws, airport scanners and other security theatre.

Australia is getting 'stop and frisk' and civil forfeiture (anti-gang) laws. Plus more anti-terror laws permitting detainment without due process. How many people have complained about the erosion of civil rights? People think totalitarianism happens overnight. Wrong, it happens just like this.

Re:Don't think it can't happen in Australia, It do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288677)

"The problem in Australia is, as far as I'm aware, there's no problem with the parliament passing a law permitting or compelling third parties to spy or provide data"

You mean like the Patriot Act? You're right that would never happen in America.

Unsuitable Locations (2)

asifyoucare (302582) | about a year ago | (#45287921)

Alice Springs, Darwin, Geraldton - all of those are very poor places to intercept large amounts of important traffic. Canberra, of course, is a good location to intercept government and embassy traffic, but that is new. I think I recall reading that Geraldton is used for communications to submarines.

Most of the major cables come into Sydney. I suppose they could capture the data in Sydney and then send selected data to Alice Springs, but why would they bother doing that rather than just having operations in Sydney.

I suspect there is large scale traffic monitoring, but these facilities don't seem to be relevant to it.

Re:Unsuitable Locations (2)

lennier (44736) | about a year ago | (#45288065)

Alice Springs, Darwin, Geraldton - all of those are very poor places to intercept large amounts of important traffic.

In the Internet era, sure. But you have to realise that Pine Gap (and its cousin, NZ's Waihopai) was built in the 1970s, to catch satellite transmissions rather than cable. Hence the big domes hiding big dishes (so you can't see what satellite they're pointing at).

It's always possible that Pine Gap does more than one thing. There were persistent rumours for a while that it was also an emergency Undisclosed Location ("we must eliminate the mineshaft gap, Mein President!") since the centre of Australia would maybe be one of the safest places left on Earth after a nuclear exchange. OTOH, as a major US military company town Alice would probably be the first place in Australia to be hit, so maybe not so much.

It is funny seeing people constantly 'rediscover' common knowledge like this. I was wondering when Pine Gap was going to get its fifteen minutes in the Snowden spotlight.

Re:Unsuitable Locations (1)

lennier (44736) | about a year ago | (#45288109)

Correction: While Pine Gap began development in 1970, Waihopai wasn't built until 1989. But both bases roots are in the pre-public Internet era and have strong links to satellites; Pine Gap seems to be more closely involved with various US military space communications than just plain eavesdropping.

Re:Unsuitable Locations (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45288243)

I suggest those locations are probably still used for some satellite traffic, but these days satellites have very tightly controlled footprints.

These sites are more likely used for combat info systems, these days. (Drones, etc).

The cable landings are where the tap occurs. Most internet traffic goes by cable.

Re:Unsuitable Locations (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45288351)

Yes the 'You can't get into the information circuits and play information warfare successfully unless you're into the communications of the higher commands in [the] various countries in our neighbourhood" is the fun story not the older sat or known Cold War mil communication or fancy drone flying networks.
This is the US in Australian domestic telco hardware and the software code.

Re:Unsuitable Locations (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45288341)

You would just mirror the data like room http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A [wikipedia.org] .
Australia is full of public, totally private, commercial and banking networks, splitters - who would notice another cleared contractor on site?
A lot of brands for local exchange backhaul but very little actual state wide or international.
The data could end up at any secure location for filtering and long term storage. Lots of different optical was rolled out over the years under many brands.
The tech is now so cheap national or state police can even have a go for some types of data within bulk internet traffic.

Australians are the kings of apathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45287947)

http://www.afr.com/p/technology/telstra_fbi_spy_deal_just_rules_CUzdjvJkBO99zIMP1RnpSI

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/fbi-gets-access-to-telstra-records-20130712-2pvl6.html

Sorry, but we as Australians don't give a fuck. We didn't care about no WMD (or faked dossiers), we don't give a fuck that all of our data is being provided to foreigners either.

She'll be right

Re:Australians are the kings of apathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288185)

Nor do we care about moronic state premiers introducing bungled, knee-jerk laws against bikies that have given police carte blanc to stop, search and interrogate any small group of motorcyclists. These laws against association paved the way to any contrary political party being declared a criminal organisation. Not only that, but they use the fucking ARMY to raid private property. The ARMY. That's fucking martial law.

I used to think Australia was the best country on Earth. It started over 20 years ago with mandatory bicycle helmets. We're all frogs, slowly boiling. None of the idiots here care. They voted Tony fucking Abbott in as Prime Minister for fucks sake. Tony fucking Abbot!? To quote graffiti on Harold Park Raceway from about 30 years ago; "Australians are bloody minded sheep." Fuck this shit, I'm out of here.

That Palin Thing says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45287963)

"How's that hopey-changey stuff workin' out for ya?" :: winks :: :: snaps gum ::

Re:That Palin Thing says... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45288009)

"How's that hopey-changey stuff workin' out for ya?" :: winks :: :: snaps gum ::

As much as I think Obama is a two-faced prick, the vision of Palin with unfettered access to CIA killbots and the world's largest surveillance database is pretty chilling...

Plus! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45287993)

Australia, in addition to being one of our Valued Partners in Totally Legal Intelligence activities, is crucial to the supply of judicial marsupials that help keep these activities legal.

If FISA were denied the lovable noses and endearing antics of the noble Kangaroo, and forced to make do with goats or something, we'd be in serious trouble inside a week! Why, it might get as bad as that time, during the Church Commission, when we had to pretend to be reformed characters. That was harrowing.

Red Sox Win!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288083)

Oh yeah baby!

Enough already (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about a year ago | (#45288089)

Why don't we just assume that someone is spying on our online activities all the time. It's a lot easier to keep track of and the only point of releasing new "leaks" in this drib and drab fashion is just to keep Snowden's name in the news.

Re:Enough already (1)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about a year ago | (#45288195)

That's when you ask yourself the question: What are they distracting me from noticing?

I mean.. really, this has been in the news for a few months now, I think we all get it. NSA has their grubby fingers into everyone's data. More revelations telling the us the same is just distraction. We know. What I don't know, is what is going on that someone feels the need to keep out of the limelight? Just my 2 cents.

Re:Enough already (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#45288385)

The problem is the weakened junk encryption. Thats really no fun and has to be fixed. Most in the academic, crypto and developer community where still giving the sock puppets the benefit before Snowden. Its a bit like 1946 commercial/gov use of ENIGMA - the extra rotor does nothing. The world was foolish for ~60 years vs few months of reality?

a WASP (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#45288167)

stings.
Got that?

Forget all the rhetoric about free democratic etc.
Take names of those in power. Kickass time will
be there one day.

Gett'n Better 'N Better 'N Better ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288273)

Man O Man.

Glad that Safe Way has a large supply of cheap Orvile Popcorn and Jack Daniels.

WoW. :)

Yep, since WWII (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288277)

Nothing changed here in over 70 years...

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288535)

Everyone is the US's poodle. Film at 11.

Really. Who didn't think that the Aussies are in the US' pocket?

Gidday NSA! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288597)

Welcome to Australia, when installing your equipment, please make sure you watch out for the Redback spiders and Brown snakes. And the sharks if you are. Oh, and the Stone fish and the Blue ringed octopus if you doing the undersea cables. Actually the Funnel web spiders are a bit nasty too, along with all the other spiders. I've also hear there is a native plant that thinks fibre cables are tree roots and tried to tap into them, like you do, so watch out for that happening on your cables.

Oh and we have trained the red belly black snakes to protect our pits so watch out for them. http://images.smh.com.au/2011/01/13/2131885/telstrapitmain-420x0.jpg [smh.com.au]

  Just don't steal our beer. Cheers.

Wow?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45288711)

Are you really telling me that us aussies have mindless, power hungry, arrogant, corrupt, greedy, despot politicians voted in under the false belief of democracy who actually do not really try and improve the life of their citizenry?

Well blow me down, who would have though that eh?

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