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Singapore & South Korea Help NSA Tap Undersea Cables

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the friends-in-need-with-lots-of-guns dept.

Communications 137

An anonymous reader writes "Singapore and South Korea are playing key roles helping the United States and Australia tap undersea telecommunications links across Asia, according to top secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Indonesia and Malaysia have been key targets for Australian and Singaporean intelligence collaboration since much of Indonesia's telecommunications and Internet traffic is routed through Singapore. The NSA has a stranglehold on trans-Pacific communications channels with interception facilities on the West coast of the United States and at Hawaii and Guam, tapping all cable traffic across the Pacific Ocean as well as links between Australia and Japan. Japan had refused to take part."

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137 comments

Hello, everyone. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512791)

It's ok, please start typing in comments at this time. Thank you.

The reasons many countries helped NSA (3, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 5 months ago | (#45512925)

As more and more of the leaks have been revealed, more and more countries are being linked to the Global NSA Franchise.

Those countries don't do stuffs for nothing - and the fact that so many countries have helped doing all the dirty works for NSA means that, in return, USA did something else for them.

But what can the government of the United States do to return the favor ?

Money ?

Nope. USA is bankrupt.

Fame ?

Nope. Everybody knows how popular it would be to be included in the "Uncle Sam Lapdog" list.

Power ? Longevity ?

Nope and Nope.

But there is one thing that Uncle Sam can do for them - Uncle Sam let them to live for another day.

One thing that everybody has witnessed and knew is this --- when and if Uncle Sam wants you to die, you will.

Look at what happened to Saddam Hussein.

Look at what happened to Qaddafi.

Even when Uncle Sam does not kill you, you will still end up in a very terrible place --- go ask Manuel Noriega how he felt, after being Uncle Sam's lapdog for ages, Uncle Sam turned against him.

There are, of course, _some_ lucky souls who managed to stay alive, no matter how many times Uncle Sam wants to do them in.

Cuba's Fidel Castro, for example.

But Fidel is an exception, rather than the rule.

I will not be surprised with the threats leveled by Uncle Sam against Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore or to whoever was in charge of the South Korean government - and again, both of those countries are themselves in _ VERY PRECARIOUS _ situation.

South Korea has to face with the fruitcakes from the North.

Singapore ? It's but " A tiny red island in the vast green sea ", as had uttered by one of Indonesia's former leader.

USA does not even need to threaten them much to get them to carry out all the dirty deeds --- all USA needed to do is to tell them that, if you don't do this for me, when you're in trouble, I won't help you.

That is all to get both South Korea and Singapore to get going.

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512965)

You're not bankrupt when you owe others in currency that you can print.

The USA can and does "lend" itself and friends trillions of US dollars out of thin air. Oil and plenty of other stuff is sold in US dollars.

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#45513185)

And if you dare pondering to sell your oil for anything but Dollars ... well, see Saddam.

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (0, Troll)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 5 months ago | (#45513023)

Am I the only one ?

Who finds this annoying ?

Should demonstratives be separated by paragraphs ?

Does every single sentence justify a new paragraph ?

Does text look more intelligent if it takes up more space ?

Do spaces belong before question marks ?

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 months ago | (#45513133)

Most of us just don't give a damn. If you don't like to read creative writing, just shut your computer off, stop watching television, and don't go out. You can train the members of your family to only write in the ways that you approve of. Obsessive compulsives shouldn't be forced to deal with the rest of us assholes. Just go into your cave, and ignore us. It's better for everyone that way.

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 5 months ago | (#45515121)

Erm, this is *news* for nerds, not *creative writing* for nerds.

E. E. Cummings need not apply for the role as an editor.

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513345)

And I care why?

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513443)

You probably mean "Why would I care?" or, probably better, "Why do I care how he chooses to format his comment?"

When you respond with "And I care why?" you appear childish and/or semi-illiterate. There is a fine line between being a grammar-nazi and attempting to write in such a way as to help people to understand what you mean. Caring how people perceive you is, perhaps, less important than I make it out to be but trying to write well is good exercise for the mind, something I bet you don't get enough of.

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (1, Interesting)

fatphil (181876) | about 5 months ago | (#45515017)

No, you are not. However, if you look at what used to be one of the most respected sources of news in the world, namely the BBC, and analyse the paragraph structure of the news stories on their website, then you will see a depressingly similar correlation; one which I view as an indication that their presumed audience is one with a 10-word attention span, at most:

Every

Sentence

Seems

To

Get

Its

Own

Paragraph.

(And "Nasa" has apparantly become a word, mumble grumble...)

Just print more of 'em (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 5 months ago | (#45513071)

"Money ? Nope. USA is bankrupt."

When you're a country, being bankrupt doesn't mean you don't have a money. You can always "print" more. Or maybe the US should start paying their snoops in Bitcoins?

Re:Just print more of 'em (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 5 months ago | (#45513535)

People don't seem to notice that EVERY country is running out of money and yet, there are very, very rich people offshore. We don't actually know how rich some people are -- but consider that all the banks that LOST MONEY, had a bundle as they were ripping off a lot of mortgage lenders for years, and getting high rates of return for years and then suddenly it went "poof" to someone, somewhere...

Here in the USA, the government has no money to solve problems, but they've been able to fund "economic easing" for about $1 Trillion a month. It's amazing how it's "not money or an expense" when it "eases" the rough time for banks but it's a huge expense when it turns into school lunch money or teacher wages (but somehow, those aren't created jobs, eh?)

The world economy does not work the way people think it does -- there is more OWED in this world than OWNED and nobody is bankrupt unless a consortium of banks say they are bankrupt. It's just like Taxes and the Stock Market; there are two sets of books. In one set of books, GM runs a deficit for decades, in another, the stock goes up -- which is the truth? Who's asking the question?

If YOU are asking the question, the USA is too broke to be bribing for the NSA, if a multinational corporation is asking, "no problem." The USA is broke because we are in debt to the same corporations who are rigging the game, and I'm sure there are favors the Dutch make to the USA and they are too broke for those. It's called "an exchange." The same way that Credit Card agencies never actually pay anything but the difference between debits and credits and don't actually finance you anything when you make a purchase.

Re:Just print more of 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45514131)

Printing more Dollars does not create more money. It just deflates the value of the Dollar. We don't owe countries US Dollars, we owe them Euros, Pounds, Rubles, or what have you. Printing more money would actually make it *appear* as though we owed more money since more US Dollars would be needed to equate the same amount of foreign currency.

You want to take the Trillions in debt down to billions? Start burning money. The amount we owe won't change, but the numbers will look good.

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513265)

From what I have seen the US pretty much strong armed smaller nations into deals like this.
But I guess we will have to wait and see how strong arms were used.

I don't know how it has been in other nations but in mine there have been the occasional murder of a high government official by a random madman without motive over the years. I wouldn't be surprised if that turns out to be not as random as previously thought.

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45514077)

I don't recall the US declaring bankruptcy.

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45515039)

You forgot that Bankruptcy H. Obama was elected President?

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 5 months ago | (#45514153)

Money is still a powerful reason. No money for country, but yes money for individual people in key places. If you can just say "let there be money" and trillons appear out from thin air, money is no problem for you, and is a great motivator for those people.

Also, being into the snooping business for years ensures that whoever is ethical enough to refuse money can probably be blackmailed with ease, and if is not that person could be someone over them (going up enough you always find people with less ethics, more greed, and more things to hide from the general public, specially in countries where culture or religion could make really harming that some things become public).

Also, there are trade agreements, US is not the only country that is partially (totally?) managed by big corporations and fortunes, even without spending a penny, just lowering the barriers for some products, giving trade secrets, getting beneficial court decisions and so on could mean a lot for those companies. And i.e. Samsung is from South Korea (hint, if well is not US based, well could be planting NSA backdoors in their products on the light of this revelation).

Re:The reasons many countries helped NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45515205)

The Zionist are not bankrupt. Singapore the Israel of SE Asia.

Why are they doing this? (4, Interesting)

it0 (567968) | about 5 months ago | (#45512827)

So I guess everybody is helping the US out with spying and such, but what is their motivation?
1) They think it's the right thing to do?
2) There is some (in)direct monetary gain?
3) They also get spy data?
4) They think the US is awesome?
5) All of the above?
6) Other?

I feel like i just wrote a poll, but I'm geniunly interested for some insight.

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512863)

For scraps that fall from their master's table.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512869)

My .02 satoshi:
    All governments like their own foreign intelligence service.
    Foreign intelligence come up with "better" or at least "more" results when they gang up.
    There is zero parliamential control over any foreign intelligence service, anywhere in the world.
    All governments leave their respective foreign intelligence do whatever they want as long as "results" come in.
    N.B. Nobody gets to actually verify any of these "results" because they are "secret".
    Thus, we are all at the mercy of ganged up foreign intelligence services, world-wide.

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 months ago | (#45512883)

I was actually considering a VPN service that terminates in Singapore - they're generally very good about economic freedom.

Now, no. Will other privacy-concerned people follow suit? Will we make enough of an impact that the VPN provider will need less space in the Singapore data center? Will those effects accumulate and hurt their local economy?

Anybody know what the current reputation of The Netherlands is?

Current reputation of The Netherlands (3, Informative)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 5 months ago | (#45512937)

Anybody know what the current reputation of The Netherlands is?

Awful. The prime minister even refuses to say anything bad about the unlawful interceptions, because "it could harm our interests as well". Clearly "our interests" do not include the interests of the citizens. And our domestic affairs minister wants to give the police unwarranted tapping powers with the possibility to install spyware, only controlled by their own organisation.

Disclaimer: I live there.

Re:Current reputation of The Netherlands (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 months ago | (#45513007)

Thank you for the information. The other two choices from this vendor are the US and the UK. On to the next honeypot, errr, vendor, then.

Re:Current reputation of The Netherlands (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513103)

With those alternatives, I would choose the Netherlands.

Re:Current reputation of The Netherlands (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#45513199)

I'd get two, one in Iran, one in the US, encrypt both and chain them. Of course both will be tapped, but they will most certainly not cooperate. So one knows where you're coming from and one knows where you're going to, but neither knows both ends and either would have to break the encryption to the other machine to tap into the traffic.

Re:Current reputation of The Netherlands (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 5 months ago | (#45513475)

I doubt any company on the planet exists that provides this service, considering the US's stance towards cryptography, let alone Iran in general.

Re:Current reputation of The Netherlands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513483)

I derped reading what you wrote. Ignore me.

Re:Current reputation of The Netherlands (2)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 5 months ago | (#45513009)

When it comes to spying on citizens, the Dutch have a rather poor track record, with a history of phone taps and other activities. Ever since the Dutch joined the war on terror with a number of soldiers in the Afghan province of Uruzgan, ties with the NSA are rather close.

Sources (in Dutch):
1. Support of previous post (minister not wanting to criticize NSA): http://nos.nl/artikel/578418-rutte-kaken-op-elkaar-over-nsa.html [nos.nl]
2. Thousands of phone taps already as early as 2009: http://www.nrcnext.nl/blog/2009/09/10/nederland-is-kampioen-afluisteren/ [nrcnext.nl]
3. Ties with NSA since Uruzgan: http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2013/11/23/nauwe-banden-nsa-en-nederlandse-inlichtingendiensten-dankzij-uruzgan/ [www.nrc.nl]

Re:Current reputation of The Netherlands (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 5 months ago | (#45513319)

There was an interesting article on BBC site about the referendum in Switzerland. It ended :

Switzerland's system of democracy means citizens can call nationwide votes on issues that concern them.(*)

I considered that interesting because such explanation means also that all other citizens in old democracies in the West cannot really do anything on issues that concern them - such concept is foreign to them i.e. requires an additional comment. Seems like the whole concept about letting people decide is gone from Western democracy - the only thing we directly decide is what asshole is holding office and in US even this does not hold true as many presidential campaigns show and gerrymandering in lower layers of democracy ensure.

* - The full article is here [bbc.co.uk].

Re:Current reputation of The Netherlands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45514085)

The situation is the same in Sweden.

The government refuses to comment. Last time mass surveillance was up for discussion, the asshat prime minister said, and this is an amateur translation: "Everybody benefits if we drop this subject".

It's not an exact translation of "Alla tjÃnar pÃ¥ att debatten lÃgger sig" but the best I can do.

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45513109)

they're generally very good about economic freedom.

Now, no. Will other privacy-concerned people follow suit?

No, because most "privacy-concerned" people already understand that "economic freedom" just means the freedom for people to gain unlimited power, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513609)

If everyone uses that freedom, there should not be a problem.

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 months ago | (#45513155)

Doesn't matter very much what the Netherland's reputation is, if the NSA straddles the backbones that serve the country. I really don't understand how anyone has missed that vital fact. The US knows where all the cables are. If they don't control either terminus, they can just splice in to the damned thing any where they find convenient.

Today, NO ONE has a good reputation for privacy. NO ONE can guarantee that the five-eyed-googly-monster isn't reading your every exchange. (Or, would that be the five-googly-eyed monster?)

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#45514455)

They are in NATO and have very strong sharing links for signals and telco taps going back to the 1980's with in the EU and for the UK and USA going back decades.

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

Burz (138833) | about 5 months ago | (#45515157)

There are plenty of places that get favorable press for "economic freedom" because they ignore the dealings of (only) the wealthy. As far as overall freedom is concerned, however, I wouldn't place Singapore far from Dubai. Online traffic is intensely political now- not merely "economic activity".

I think everyone concerned about privacy should look at I2P instead of VPNs... having "private" in the acronym doesn't mean that in 2013 they are much good in actually protecting privacy. Only a proper darknet can prevent the who, where and when metadata from being exposed by basic traffic analysis.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512895)

Why does the weak serve the strong? Because it has no alternative.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512943)

Liberty or death. Don't tread on me. I am not a number, I am a free man.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513027)

free to die.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513049)

Better to die free than live as a slave.

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45513115)

Is that a suicide note?

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513119)

I have something to say! It's better to burn out than to fade away!

Re: Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513367)

There can be only one!

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512897)

They are US allies and they need US support if there is a war especially between South Korea and North Korea. If they don't help, USA would terminate the sales of advance fighter jets to them and they will be dead meat if a war broke out. Have you forgotten what George Bush said after Sep 11. "Either you are with us or against us." Do you think these countries dare to piss off USA ? I am sure they filter away their own leaders conversation before they pass the intels to NSA. Which help to protect their own privacy.

Re:Why are they doing this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512927)

They are US allies and they need US support if there is a war especially between South Korea and North Korea. If they don't help, USA would terminate the sales of advance fighter jets to them and they will be dead meat if a war broke out. Have you forgotten what George Bush said after Sep 11. "Either you are with us or against us." Do you think these countries dare to piss off USA ? I am sure they filter away their own leaders conversation before they pass the intels to NSA. Which help to protect their own privacy.

Stick some asshole full of himself up there to hold the title of Biggest Dick with the Biggest Stick who likes to reiterate the fuck-you-very-much policing attitude of the US a lot during interviews, sprinkled with anti-terrorism semantic for justified flavor. Our new method of international diplomacy. We'll save millions on pointless positions within consulates and embassies.

Works like a fucking champ when you're this corrupt.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513113)

If they don't help, USA would terminate the sales of advance fighter jets

They could still buy even more advanced French or German-British fighter jets.

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

no_go (96797) | about 5 months ago | (#45513533)

The French/Germans/etc do not have:
- ELINT / SIGINT capabilities on par with the US (at least in terms of volume capability)
- Fully staffed military base(s) nearby.
- Readiness to go to war (politically and psychologically)

The South Koreans ARE on the front-line of a cold war that could become extremely hot, and I guess they feel the need to:
- Not antagonize the only ally with real capability to help them if the North starts shooting.
- Have access to some intelligence regarding NK and the PRC.

As for Singapore, it's not much different. They are dwarfed by neighbors that have immense populations hand would be able to over-power them easily.
Compound that with the imbalance of wealth between citizens of Singapore and it's neighbors, and you have a situation which can easily be exploited by politicians that may want to "extend their reach" and provoke a war.
This means that Singapore needs allies to balance this situation (US and Australia). That means:
- Keeping on good terms with prospective allies
- Have access to some intelligence regarding their neighbors.

Re:Why are they doing this? (2)

jeti (105266) | about 5 months ago | (#45512915)

The US doesn't really need oil from the middle east. Europe and Asia do.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513035)

Yet, the Saudis own half of America.

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

Splab (574204) | about 5 months ago | (#45513205)

Out of curiosity, do you happen to be American?

Europe sure as heck doesn't *need* the middle east for oil, we have huge oil fields in the north sea, which is quite capable of sustaining us should shit hit the fan. On top of that, we are working very hard on getting rid of our dependency on oil, so no, we don't *need* them.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513713)

Europe sure as heck doesn't *need* the middle east for oil, we have huge oil fields in the north sea, which is quite capable of sustaining us should shit hit the fan.

That's just plain bullshit.

the EU’s increasing dependency on energy imports from non-member countries. Indeed, more than half (54.1 %) of the EU-27’s gross inland energy consumption in 2010 came from imported sources.

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Energy_production_and_imports [europa.eu]

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#45512929)

2) direct.
3) they think so or at least think they'll learn how to do it(right after the usa tap is their own tap).
4) they're buying jets with sw from usa anyways.

6) they think they can from 3) gain info to control political power and their own budget in their own country.

Self-interest (5, Insightful)

golodh (893453) | about 5 months ago | (#45512975)

Nations usually act on a single motivating factor: self-interest.

Given that we're asking this question on a US forum we can take it as granted that 60% of the readers couldn't find either country on a map and that 90% have zero knowledge of their political and historical position. So about 90% will be ill-equipped to understand where Singapore's and South-Korea's self-interests might lie. But now that the question is asked, we can remedy that.

South Korea, needs the US to help defend themselves against neighbours who would be prepared to wage a full-scale war against them (North Korea). The US are pretty much the only ally of note and value they have, and they know it.

Singapore is surrounded by neighbours that completely dwarf them (Malaysia, Indonesia) only 50 years ago encompassed them (Malaysia), have an Islamic majority (Malaysia) or a virulent Islamic minority (Indonesia) and are debating whether to become a fully Islamic state (Malaysia).

Both countries have brought about an economic boom and depend on security (i.e. the absence of shooting wars), good trade relations with the West, open sea lanes and suchlike.

In both cases a critical part of their national security is having accurate information on what their neighbours are really up to. And in both cases the only serious partner is the US. As a stabilizing factor, a main ally, or a party with whom to trade information that they themselves cannot collect (like e.g. satellite coverage, ocean reconnaissance, comprehensive traffic monitoring etc. etc.).

For countries like that, helping the US eavesdrop on message traffic makes an uncommon lot of sense and is a small price to pay.

Whilst Snowden's relevations may have a beneficial effect on US *domestic* intelligence oversight, having such data-collection arrangements splattered on the front page are detrimental to the collective national security of the US, Singapore, and Korea.

Turn it any way you want, knowing what people are up to gives you a head start in dealing with them, and the US have been a stabilizing factor in Asia for 60 years or so. Eroding this data-collection capability is the price we pay for openness. I'm not certain if the price is too steep, all I'm saying is that it's a very real price we pay. Even if not everybody realises it or wants to hear about it.

Re:Self-interest (5, Informative)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 5 months ago | (#45513095)

" Singapore is surrounded by neighbours that completely dwarf them (Malaysia, Indonesia) only 50 years ago encompassed them (Malaysia), have an Islamic majority (Malaysia) or a virulent Islamic minority (Indonesia) and are debating whether to become a fully Islamic state (Malaysia). "

Minor correction with Indonesia. Like Malaysia, Indonesia is a Muslim-majority state. In fact, the majority is greater in Indonesia (at least 90% IRC). Malaysia in fact has a rather large, non-Muslim ethnic Chinese minority, which have been discriminated against per official policy.

The problem with the Snowden revelations is likely to come more from Malaysia, which has adopted a more consistently anti-Western stance than Indonesia, which had been more business-like in its dealings with the West.

Re:Self-interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513187)

Nations usually act on a single motivating factor: self-interest. (...)

Correction: Politicians usually act on a single motivating factor: self-interest (in the name of nations).

Re:Self-interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513307)

Nations don't act at all, governments do. You're right about the self-interest bit though.

Re:Self-interest (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 5 months ago | (#45513329)

That's right, when the bad guys know what people are up to, they have a head start in fucking them over. Viewed this way, perhaps the price you talk about is not too steep at all.

NSA scratches my back and I'll scratch NSA's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513389)

Politicians don't act in their *COUNTRIES* interests they act in their *OWN* interests.

It isn't BRITAIN (the country) that decided to tap the internet traffic, Snoopers Charter could not be made law because nobody wanted it. It's a FEW PEOPLE in power who gain from this. They gain INTEL, maybe even against their competing politicians and in turn they agree to do the surveillance. It's pure self interest.

It's NSA scratches my back and I'll scratch theirs.

In Singapore it will be a few politicians that made that choice, and the simple fact it was kept secret shows it doesn't have widespread agreement within Singapore.

The claim to need SECRET surveillance is bogus, the spooks wanted Snoopers Charter, but if it had been made law, then it would be known and NO LONGER A SECRET. So how can it be necessary to keep this secret?! Likewise New Zealand passed a law making the surveillance legal. John Keys passed it. Making what was secret illegal surveillance into non-secret legal surveillance. Yet it's not secret now, so it can't work, because it's no secret, thus why make the law if it can't work because its no longer secret!???

In each case there are a few people who do this. In the USA, it's Dianne Feinstein and Mike Rogers that are determined to do this, no matter how much evidence they need to hide, or how many lies they need to tell.

Re:Self-interest (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 5 months ago | (#45513485)

I think the "self interest" here is that likely the same Multinational corporations (especially banks) are pulling the strings, and that the rivalry between many nations is more show than the public might think.

The real security threat is the public. Al Qaeda and groups like that are useful tools that show up when someone needs invading. There might be "al Qaeda" people with real anger issues, but they only get reported on when there is "stuff that needs taking."

The real hub-bub here with leaks of all this spying isn't from the major corporations, but the medium-sized that might actually be surprised about it. There are actually people making good paychecks out there, who believe what they see on the TV News. No really, people do think we invade countries to liberate people, -- I'm not kidding, they do.

Re:Self-interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513685)

Fuck Singapore and South Korea. It is unequivocally not our problem what happens to them.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513139)

So I guess everybody is helping the US out with spying and such, but what is their motivation?
1) They think it's the right thing to do?
2) There is some (in)direct monetary gain?
3) They also get spy data?
4) They think the US is awesome?
5) All of the above?
6) Other?

I feel like i just wrote a poll, but I'm geniunly interested for some insight.

Those are good questions not so much for a poll but for the media to try to find the answers.

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 5 months ago | (#45513183)

They get to divert attention from their own crimes and failures. Don't think they don't spy too. And have other problems they wish to go unremarked. The US is a great whipping boy. Blame every domestic problem on the US. Say the US bullied them into it. Works most of the time. Helps that it is true some of the time too.

But that's not the diversion that I find most troubling. Yes, this spying is problematic, but that's not the biggest issue we face. While we're busy swilling down scandalous headlines about spying and massive financial fraud on Wall Street that has gone largely unpunished, the Earth wobbles ever closer to a disastrous climate shift. We're rocking the Earth, and it will be a hell of an ugly train wreck if it goes off the rails. The most insane part of it all is that we have concentrations of idle wealth and idle, unemployed hands that aren't being put together to get moving on the urgently needed work we could do to head this problem off. Those who've done all they could to seize power with entirely too much success have no vision, no sense of responsiblity, they seem only to want to enjoy continuing to satisfy their control freak natures and indulge in their odious and very wrong fantasies of their innate superiority to the rest of us that of course justifies thenselves in their own minds if no one else's. They're frighteningly foolish. To see this, consider the propaganda they spew, trying to paint Global Warming as propaganda no different really than their own brands of lies. And the rest of us? Grumble under their heels and live with it because it's not bad enough to be intolerable.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513245)

So I guess everybody is helping the US out with spying and such, but what is their motivation?
1) They think it's the right thing to do?
2) There is some (in)direct monetary gain?
3) They also get spy data?
4) They think the US is awesome?
5) All of the above?
6) Other?

I feel like i just wrote a poll, but I'm geniunly interested for some insight.

7) A deep desire to avoid the US coming over with 400.00 troops to bring them democracy.
8) Because the were threatened with economic consequences if they did not.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513273)

7) Previous politician in your position was murdered by a random madman/drug addict, it would be unfortunate if that happened again.

Re:Why are they doing this? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#45514129)

Re Why - Chai Keng, Singapore, RAF was used by the ~GCHQ from ~1945-71 as a "black station" hidden under RAF site cover.
i.e. Singapore and Hong Kong where both open to the UK and the US was very interested in the flow of regional Russian signals.
The motivation is the same as an Australia, Canada, NZ or other EU country - after generations it becomes 'tech' addictive to support the UK and USA.
Top staff like the trips to the UK or US and seem to get on better with the UK and US than their own govs.
Very few nations get spy data - only Australia, Canada, NZ, UK really had that dreamy top position. Other nations offered their entire countries telco infrastructure to the NSA for the hope of 'consideration' in other mil areas. Trade deals, help with telco sat deals, help with mil signals (vs all telco taps), US mil equipment - the US always ensured some non crypto "thanks" for the top mil staff of helper nations.
The 'monetary gain" would be more in insider trading - at an individual level been seen to be so lucky and would stand out.
The 'monetary gain" at a national level for been so trusted by the USA for regional sat/telco work would be massive.
The "right thing to do" - all nations know what happens when you trust your codes and telco system to another outside power- your staff get divided and political leadership is betrayed by its own trusted tech staff.
More as a generational habit that top staff get to share into at a set rank or clearance and their private/gov telco helpers - a crypto cult that spans 10's of years and flows in one direction - back to the USA.

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45514521)

It's called a reciprocal "arrangement"
It went on (and is still going on) for years between the US, Britain, Australia and Canada.
We aren't allowed "by law" to spy on our folks in our country....so you do it and we'll spy on your folks in your county.
It's always been going on, since the days of telegraph.
Your privacy is an illusion, it always was....

Re:Why are they doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45515309)

Zionism to rule the world. Creation of money is now in the hands of banks rather than the govt with our electronic and plastic (card) currency. Just wait and see pray hopefully you will not see in your lifetime the 'Messiah' the Jews are waiting for, declare himself. And he will take all for a ride.. If you truly want to know a bit of what is going to do take a look at the series called the arrivals.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512875)

Is everyone in on this? I can't help but to feel this is the biggest conspiracy ever.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512905)

Animal life is the biggest conspiracy ever. How dare animals be mobile while plants are stuck to the ground. It's so unfair.

Re:WTF (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#45514239)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_and_Mitchell_defection [wikipedia.org] in late 1960.
"Our main dissatisfaction concerned some of the practices the United States uses in gathering intelligence information ... deliberately violating the airspace of other nations ... intercepting and deciphering the secret communications of its own allies ..."
There where so many hints going back to the 1960's - both in terms of physical world wide hardware, books, magazines, interviews.
The only conspiracy was getting to publishers, courts, the press, academics and ensuring 'less' got out until the 1970-80's.
The other conspiracy is all the staff in so many nations been trusted, paid well, given great pensions and having top clearances, setting crypto standards seem to have been more interested in helping the US and UK.
If the US and UK where allowed 'in' - who else got the codes, the cell or exchange computer links, setting taps codes or been warned of when a number was under investigation.

let's get some crap out of the way (-1, Flamebait)

hxnwix (652290) | about 5 months ago | (#45512887)

You're not important enough for anyone to care about your private communications.
All countries spy.
I, for one, think it's hot that the NSA sees my sexts.
If the NSA didn't do this, we'd already be dead.
Everybody already knew the NSA does this, so it doesn't matter.
It's not espionage if it's the data wasn't encrypted.
The constitution is a ball of twine to be picked at until nothing remains.
Burma shave.

This fucking bullshit dispensed with, you are now free to have a meaningful conversation.

Re:let's get some crap out of the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512945)

You're not important enough for anyone to care about your private communications.
All countries spy.
I, for one, think it's hot that the NSA sees my sexts.
If the NSA didn't do this, we'd already be dead.
Everybody already knew the NSA does this, so it doesn't matter.
It's not espionage if it's the data wasn't encrypted.
The constitution is a ball of twine to be picked at until nothing remains.
Burma shave.

This fucking bullshit dispensed with, you are now free to have a meaningful conversation.

Since we're getting crap out of the way, how about starting with your post? Effing troll.

Re:let's get some crap out of the way (3, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 5 months ago | (#45513137)

Ah the Poe's Law Troll, one of my favorites. However, I'll oblige.

You're not important enough for anyone to care about your private communications.

Until you are. Then you're fucked, even if it's a bullshit reason, like making anti-NSA political statements on the Internet, while also being an OS developer and having knowledge of unpatched OS exploit vectors, and developing your own cryptographic ciphers. Then you may find your router firmware mysteriously bricked by an exploit gone wrong -- You see, upon suspicion of odd things going on in my network (like 350 MB uploads in the middle of the night when no one was using the net to IP addresses owned by the US government) I cleansed my systems and replaced my router and its firmware, but caused it to still be fingerprinted as stock. That's called a canary, and my canary is dead. When I look at things from an intelligence perspective, It seems like I might be interesting to them, even though I'm a pacifist not a terrorist.

I'm not sure who wants into my systems or for what purpose. However, condoning such actions against citizens is abhorrent. If they showed up at my door step with a warrant I'd shake their hands and give 'em few cases of my homebrewed beer to take home and help them to everything they want to know -- That's what they should be doing. Now, I have to assume it's malicious attackers or enemy state actors. It's really not helpful to be at war with your allies... I don't think we should have to live in fear of whether or not the NSA style spying will be leveraged against citizens, or make the governments of our world illegitimate by violating citizens trusts and rights. Regardless if they are "legally" allowed, it means nothing if your populous abhors the action and despises the state for it. We should not have to wonder; We should know we can trust that our governments are not evil -- We should be able to prove it. We shouldn't allow them to do anything we don't know about. In the NSA's case they lie to their overseers. The threat such actions pose to national integrity and stability is far too a high a price to pay. The risk is too damn high.

I, for one, think it's hot that the NSA sees my sexts.

When the government retroactively declares your "sexts" to be offensive and illegal material they probably won't arrest you for it -- Unless they decide that they don't like you for some other reason. This is how police states operate. [youtube.com] Anything you say or do can and will be used against you. They will not have the obligation to use the information they have to exonerate you. In fact, once they "like you" for a crime the states will employ the practice of Parallel Construction. [wikipedia.org] And no matter how sexy, your sexting habits may be just the ticket to nail you for something else. In other words: We shouldn't help them fuck you. They should have to work for the taxes we pay.

If the NSA didn't do this, we'd already be dead.
Everybody already knew the NSA does this, so it doesn't matter.

This line of reasoning is pure bullshit. We suspected, but we didn't have evidence, and given that Habeas Corpus is now eliminated upon mere accusation of threat it does matter more than ever before. Those who love their country are not so content to have it turned into the same things their soldiers fight against. The greatest risk is that the honorable will STOP fighting for those who are seen as dishonorable when countries become like the enemies the soldiers were trained to despise. The NSA actions, and the spying actions like them by countries world wide are threats to national security and national sovereignty of all the world's peoples.

Finally, the terrorist threat is pathetic, though they say it's nothing to sneeze at the flu kills six times more Americans than a 9/11 scale attack [cdc.gov] every year. The threat of falling down in the bathtub is greater than the terrorist threat. Accidents and Heart attacks have killed FOUR THOUSAND times more people than a 9/11 scale attack since 9/11. That means Cheese Burgers and Cars are FOUR HUNDRED times more dangerous than terrorists. Yet, without a second thought we will drive our fast cars to fast food restaurants, and Actively despise anyone fucking with our Freedom to eat French Fries. The NSA does not need to protect us from terrorists with telephones. They should be at war with McDonalds and Sports Cars if they really wanted to protect us -- We don't want or need them to "protect" us. I certainly don't condone spending tax money on such pointless things.

It's not espionage if it's the data wasn't encrypted.

When data is encrypted, they take license to purchase black-market exploits and deploy them against you. The NSA use a system called FOXACID. [theatlantic.com] Other nations are suspected of taking similar measures. All modern OSs are vulnerable to zero-day exploits freely purchasable on the black market. Once infected all the encryption in the world is pointless.

The constitution is a ball of twine to be picked at until nothing remains.
Burma shave.

That is what they want you to believe; However, if such things should be dismissed so easily then so too should the risk of terrorist threat.

This fucking bullshit dispensed with, you are now free to have a meaningful conversation.

Dispensing bullshit is not the same as dispensing with the bullshit; Regardless of intent, you've done the former. Furthermore, when the citizens are scared to say dissenting things about their governments' actions they can't have very meaningful conversations.

When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.

- Thomas Jefferson

The governments don't seem very scared -- They're not jumping to right the wrongs they've let happen against us. When I remember the brave men who sacrificed for my freedom, I refuse to let my fear sway me from exercising those rights -- If I don't hold up my end of the deal, then they have died for nothing.

Re:let's get some crap out of the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513211)

You are in complete agreement with the above post. Read it again. hxnwix pre-empts a list of terrible arguments that always appear and claims that they are all "fucking bullshit" (his own words).

Re:let's get some crap out of the way (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 5 months ago | (#45513861)

Regarding the "nothing to hide" argument: there have been cases of NSA employees using these systems to stalk and harass ex-lovers. Not to mention cases of mistaken identity, typos on warrants, and simple incompetence. Legal protections and limits on government power aren't about having something to hide. They are about the fact that government is no more trustworthy than any other organization.

Re:let's get some crap out of the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45515259)

If they showed up at your door, you'd be kicked and thrown to the ground and have your belongings strewn about your house (best case). Worst case: your pets, along with you, are executed with assault rifles in your own home. This is how our insane and morally bankrupt militarized police agencies deal with search warrants now.

Drop an Anchor (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512901)

Maybe "Dropping Anchor" is code for wire tapping without permission. The old "a boat dropped anchor on the cable" so the internet is a trickle in Australia for 3 days trick.

"I'm just going to go drop an anchor on this call"
"We were dropped anchor off the coast of China last week"

Why is this criminal behavior tolerated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512953)

The culture within these organizations must change. Promoting and accepting criminal behavior, ignoring laws is totally unacceptable.

Re:Why is this criminal behavior tolerated? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#45514307)

Generations of top cleared staff got the keys to their countries telco networks for 'spy' hunting.
Generations of top cleared staff got the keys to their countries telco networks to help allies...
There was always feel good feedback to the local teams or a perfect cover story for the split/hardware/sites/code.
Who do you report to in "your" part of the world about a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A [wikipedia.org] ?
Top staff would be in on the cover, lower ranking staff would not have the clearance and trust that its just 'contractors'.

No wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45512989)

Singapore government are spineless ass lickers but since money is their god, they will have charged NSA dearly for this!

wait a second! (5, Interesting)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 5 months ago | (#45513057)

that makes me ponder, were these cuts accidental or red herrings?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/06/georgian-woman-cuts-web-access [theguardian.com]
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=4267160 [go.com]
http://tribune.com.pk/story/527148/undersea-internet-cable-cut-effects-50-of-pakistans-traffic/ [tribune.com.pk]
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/mar/28/damaged-undersea-cable-internet-disruption [theguardian.com]

i'm aware you can tap fiber without disrupting it but it's underwater which seems difficult to start with and it doesn't mean all the cuts were by the NSA. (since apparently everyone is spy happy)

everything is suspicious now :((((

Re:wait a second! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513123)

Actually slashdot is posting these articles to measure the level of suspicion of the people and report back to NSA.

Re:wait a second! (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 5 months ago | (#45513341)

Yea... I've got an even better one for you. Remember when there was that big scandal about Google Street View cars getting caught "accidentally" wardriving [latimes.com] and everyone couldn't believe they could have done such a thing on accident?

I had almost forgot about it too.

Re:wait a second! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513569)

Possible. Cutting the cable creates an excuse for downtime that nobody is suspicious of. Best time to rig whatever equipment is needed for the data collection while fixing the cable itself.

Re:wait a second! (3, Interesting)

coofercat (719737) | about 5 months ago | (#45513705)

What's to say they didn't really cut the undersea cable? How about they cut it on nice-and-cosy dry land, but told you it was actually an undersea problem?

Or... how about they wanted to cut the cable on dry land, but couldn't because it would disrupt everyone using it. Instead, they called up their pals in the Navy and asked them to rent a ship and drop anchor on the cable. At the same time, they cut the cable on dry land, added in their splitters and then let the cable company repair the under-sea problem. When the cable company lit the cable up again, they recalibrated it for the repair to the undersea cut, and the split cut, but never knew about the split cut.

Or... how about they just got into the cable companies ahead of time and tapped it right there, and actually the anchor drops were real accidents?

Either way, the cables got tapped, and we got screwed over.

undersea cables cut? remember? (2)

Infestedkudzu (2557914) | about 5 months ago | (#45513241)

too lazy to find links. but a handful of undersea cables were 'mistakenly' cut by various excuses. I'm sure many people knew it was b.s. and that the gov was splicing them.

Re:undersea cables cut? remember? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513353)

When the undersea cable was cut off the coast of Egypt, it also severed classified networks in Iraq (where I worked at the time). That one really was a drug anchor. Posting anon because I already modded; this is all unclassified info.

Look over there, the small fry is getting away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45513471)

Says the kingpin.

Don't trust! (2)

p51d007 (656414) | about 5 months ago | (#45513775)

You know...up until a few years ago, I use to think that the USA was above board, but, more and more, I'm starting to wake up to the fact that the government of the USA does not have it's citizens best interest in mind. Sad, but the only difference between spying from China, Russia, Iran, USA is the language they speak, and the flag they fly.

What about Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45514197)

http://captiongenerator.com/9908/Hitler-not-pleased-with-Bitcoin

What are friends for? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#45515223)

And Japan? Need we remind them what happened the last time they opposed the Good ol' USA? It would be best for everybody if 'all the ships sailed in the same direction'.

New cyber axis (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 5 months ago | (#45515227)

Having so much NSA associated countries could be a hint of a new world order appearing, no more first/second/third world but the ones with the USA in this and the rest attacked ( puttng backdoors in their networks [www.nrc.nl] for future action, causing unrest in population using social networks, and of course, stripping all their populations from a basic human right) by them sometimes without noticing that. So far the confirmed list of the NSA associated countries include UK, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, South Korea and Singapore, but that list could include other close to US countries like Chile, Colombia, Panama, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Spain and France, maybe with different grades in that organization.

The rest of the countries could try to join to protect themselves from this (in South America and Europe several seem to be going in that direction) or try to resist by themselves in a way or another. Considering all that was disclosed since June, and all that is going from there this decade probably will bring a lot of changes to the world.

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