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More On the "Cuban Twitter" Scam

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the disrupting-the-moral-purity-of-the-cuban-autocracy dept.

Government 90

We mentioned a few days ago the USAID-funded SMS social network that was connecting Cubans against the wishes of the Cuban government. Now Glen Greenwald's The Intercept has more on this kind of back-channel government intervention via what he characterizes as "the Internet propaganda bucket." Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes with an excerpt: "These ideas–discussions of how to exploit the internet, specifically social media, to surreptitiously disseminate viewpoints friendly to western interests and spread false or damaging information about targets–appear repeatedly throughout the archive of materials provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Documents prepared by NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ–and previously published by The Intercept as well as some by NBC News–detailed several of those programs, including a unit devoted in part to "discrediting" the agency's enemies with false information spread online.

The documents in the archive show that the British are particularly aggressive and eager in this regard, and formally shared their methods with their U.S. counterparts. One previously undisclosed top-secret document–prepared by GCHQ for the 2010 annual "SIGDEV" gathering of the "Five Eyes" surveillance alliance comprising the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S.–explicitly discusses ways to exploit Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media as secret platforms for propaganda."

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Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46671921)

We're watching you, so behave

It's more than that ! (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 7 months ago | (#46673955)

We're watching you, so behave

It's more like "We will make sure that you'll be very miserable if you do not behave"

Thank you, England, for teaching America how to take this program worldwide.

BBC SUCKS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46671927)

BBC SUCKS

Republicans being Republicans... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46671939)

is what this is about. They don't like hispanics so they're trying to incite violence.

What does it mean to be British? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46671951)

It has been said that the essence of Britishness is fair play. Speaking as a public school educated (that's private boarding school, to you Yanks) toff, I can say with certainty that this is not true at all. The essence of Britishness is hypocrisy. In our hearts we are not standard-bearers of freedom and democracy, but temporarily embarrassed imperialists. And those of us whose mathematical aptitude did not win us a place in the City find themselves landed with a Civil Service job, a job with much the same purpose but with the requirement to do more of what we are told.

Re:What does it mean to be British? (2)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 7 months ago | (#46672907)

Let everyone speak, but control the podium supply. Make podiums expensive, but give them away free to those saying what you want to be heard. Use this to control the discussion. Give the illusion that every position you think is important is supported by a rational majority and opposed by a fringe of maniacs. If a subject isn't important to your agenda but is contentious, keep it constantly in the public sphere and use it to keep people divided against each other. Say as little as you can yourself.

That's what it means to be English.

from a year ago (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46671973)

and this is from a year ago..

Bolivian President Evo Morales expels USAID, 1 May 2013 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-22371275)

Bolivian President Evo Morales has said he will expel the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Mr Morales accused the agency of seeking to "conspire against" the Bolivian people and his government. US state department spokesman Patrick Ventrell rejected the allegations as "baseless and unfounded".

Re:from a year ago (2)

bmo (77928) | about 7 months ago | (#46672093)

Patrick Ventrell rejected the allegations as "baseless and unfounded"

Legalese for "true."

--
BMO

Three interesting things (3, Interesting)

jodido (1052890) | about 7 months ago | (#46672085)

About the US cyberattack on Cuba. First of all, it failed, as every US attack on Cuba has failed. Second, the US puts form over content--the idea that if you get people to follow your Twitter feed sports scores, when you say "OK! Everyone out to the Plaza to overthrow the government!" that hundreds of thousands of people will show up and try to overthrow the government, even if they didn't know they wanted to (which in Cuba most people don't). Third, the continuing destruction of internet trust on the part of the US. And fourth, their willingness to put people at risk without telling them they're putting them at risk.

Re:Three interesting things (2, Interesting)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 7 months ago | (#46672205)

The real question is, to what extent was the US involved in other countries? Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine? Different counties, same scenario. Social media play a major role at the beginning and during each uprising.

Which also raises the question whether blocking social media is an act of censorship or an attempt to neutralize foreign involvement in internal affairs.

Re:Three interesting things (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#46672861)

I guess you never heard of radio free Europe.

This has happened since the start of the cold war. The US has done this with Cuba in some form or another since castro confiscated private industry and expelled the foreign owners and workers.

And yes, closing down twitter in a country is about the same as jamming a radio signal with the added benifit of hampering opposition communications.

Re:Three interesting things (2)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 7 months ago | (#46673235)

Please... I lived it. But the situation is a bit different here: radio free Europe, Voice of America, BBC etc. were mass media, they claimed higher ground and freedom from government censorship, but they still had owners, countries of origin and so on.

Social networks are controlled differently, the agents there pose as common people, changing and influencing the opinion of those who read but doesn't post (i.e. the majority of users). Often post from social networks are used in the western media to form an opinion about the situation in a country. And information is a very powerful weapon, see Iraq. And the best thing about it: zero credibility. Remember Amina Arraf? The Syrian lesbian blogger who was arrested by the government. Real name: Tom MacMaster, US citizen. For quite some time Arraf was a widely cited symbol of the Syrian rebellion against tyranny. The facts from the Syrian government that such person does not exist were ignored by the media. And that was the doing of a single person. Now imagine the organization behind it, say, NED. Zero credibility, free to invent facts and even a discovery of a hoax will not reverse the already formed opinion: a brief admission at worst: the media don't like admitting own mistakes.

Re:Three interesting things (1)

jodido (1052890) | about 7 months ago | (#46676965)

"Castro" didn't expel anyone. When the wealthy lost the sources of their wealth--ie, it became the property of all instead of the property of the few--they voluntarily left and went to a country that values getting rich at the expense of others, chiefly the U.S.

Re:Three interesting things (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46672967)

Which also raises the question whether blocking social media is an act of censorship or an attempt to neutralize foreign involvement in internal affairs.

It is censorship. The rationale for the censorship may be to reduce foreign involvement, but it is still censorship. It doesn't magically become "not censorship" based on your reason for doing it.

Afghaninstan, for example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46674573)

> ...to what extent was the US involved in other countries?

Have a look at this:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

and then weep: the CIA distributed tons of chinese-manufactured AK 47 in Afghanistan, probably those who later killed American and European soldiers -- just to annoy the Soviets. Heck, Osama Bin Laden was a CIA pawn against the Soviets.

Dear USians -- you gotta reign in your three-letter agencies as long as you can.

Re:Three interesting things (1)

temcat (873475) | about 7 months ago | (#46674659)

Which also raises the question whether blocking social media is an act of censorship or an attempt to neutralize foreign involvement in internal affairs.

It can well be both. And foreign involvement in the so called internal affairs can be a good thing, too. No, you are not free to oppress your own citizens. And no, the USA is not always in the right. But neither are the governments of the countries you listed.

Re:Three interesting things (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 7 months ago | (#46672669)

ah, but you forgot to take into account that the tweets come with subliminal messages based on advances in EBS, steganographically concealed using the latest alien compression tech.

Re:Three interesting things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46673689)

More than 50 years later they're still up to the same old failed bullshit.

Here's what will liberate Cuba: buying and selling stuff with them. But admitting that the USG is run by a bunch of idiots by repealing long-standing policy and seeing the results suddenly change is far worse than having a communist dictator 90 miles from Key West.

informaTive 3ickDick (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672107)

result of a quarrel irc network. The Committerba5e and the next round of people's faces is Become obsessed and easy - only the channel to sign are about 7000/5 I'm sick of it.

Yawn (1, Informative)

Jiro (131519) | about 7 months ago | (#46672123)

This is just a mountain made out of a molehill by leftists who are fans of the government of Cuba and don't like when Western governments try to undermine it. I have news for them: doing things like this is the intelligence agencies' *job*. They're supposed to spy; that's why they're called spy agencies, and Cuba couldn't be a more deserving target.

If Cuba doesn't do such things itself, it's only because of lack of budget in these post-Soviet days, not lcak of scruples. (Remember when Cuba used to send "advisors" to Africa?)

(Would I like it if Cuba did that here? No, of course not. But I wouldn't like it if Cuba dropped bombs on us either, yet I'm not foolish enough to say that it's immoral to drop bombs on another country.)

Re:Yawn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672187)

Idiot, this is not spying, it is a propaganda campaign.

Re:Yawn (1)

jc42 (318812) | about 7 months ago | (#46672653)

... this is not spying, it is a propaganda campaign.

"Yawn" indeed. What baffles me is how anyone think this differs from any other propaganda campaigns throughout human history. It is because it's "on a computer", which means that most people will forget all precedent and pretend that it's something new?

In particular, the mass media here and everywhere else has always cooperated with the wishes of the people in power. That's part of the price of staying in business, regardless of what your local laws (or Constitutions) might say. The distribution of information is rapidly moving online, so of course the same medium becomes part of the distribution system for propaganda. Every government (and every marketing organization) in the world is hard at work trying to control what we can read here.

Why are we pretending that this is somehow new and unprecedented?

It has always been true that we need to learn to be skeptical of essentially everything anyone tells us. People are always trying to trick us into believing things for their own profit, and most people don't care if those things are true, only whether they can profit from others believing them.

So yeah: "Yawn."

jc42: resident troll (1)

Rujiel (1632063) | about 7 months ago | (#46674603)

It differs from other propaganda because it's happening HERE On /. There are establishment trolls all over this place trying to shape public opinion. How can you act so blasse, You say this is nothing new, but clearly it must be, because this concept didn't even occur to you! You don't even mention it. So spare me your lazy yawns so long as you lazily look past the elephant in the room. Waiting for cold fjord to post here.

Re:jc42: resident troll (1)

jc42 (318812) | about 7 months ago | (#46676011)

Well, I didn't mention the propaganda on /. because it didn't occur to me that anyone would think it special. The astroturfers and other propagandists have been here since before I had an account, and a lot of their work is so blatant that it's hard to miss. So it's not that the propaganda here didn't occur to me; it's more like I thought it such a cheap shot that I'd be criticized (and possibly downloaded) for wasting reader time by mentioning something so obvious.

Not that there's anything about this that's special to /. either. A growing and well-known problem on sites to attempt to collect ratings of various sorts from users is that companies pay their people to spend time watching such sites and flooding the rating system with bogus positive ratings and reviews. Companies routinely set up hundreds or thousands of accounts for this purpose.

This goes back to the early days of online forums. An especially clumsy one showed up back in the 1980s, when a lot of BBs, newsgroups, etc. found that any occurrence of the string "Armenia" in any message would trigger the automated submission of thousands of bot-generated messages from Turkish extremists, filling up disk systems and making the site useless until they were purged.

The propagandists have gotten a bit more subtle since then, but they've always been with us. /. has had them since the early days of 5- and 6-digit id numbers.

And "blase" (only one 's', and the 'e' really should have an acute accent, but /. garbles it ;-) isn't really the right word. It's more like we need to acknowledge that propaganda is and will remain "part of the landscape". Rather than get all excited about it, we should be quietly working to limit the junk, and try to find ways to get the real info more visible. Exposing propaganda is most useful if it's done in a matter-of-fact manner, rather than as a shouting match.

Still walking around the main issue (1)

Rujiel (1632063) | about 7 months ago | (#46686939)

Corporate astroturfing is one thing, but the matter being discussed in this thread is one of paid government shills. You're insisting this is nothing new, which is incorrect--the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 has enabled domestic propaganda for the first time since the cold war. http://thecable.foreignpolicy.... [foreignpolicy.com] Yes, paid trolls on forums IS new. And it's clear you don't give a shit, because again, you won't even acknowledge the issue. You aren't the least bit concerned when dozens of posts of "fuck beta!" spam very specific threads here?

Re:Yawn (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about 7 months ago | (#46680229)

Maybe it dosn't differ from the other propaganda, but that dosn't mean it should be done. No one likes any goverment misleading them for their own motivations, even if you do it the most, or for the longest, or if other countries do it do, it will still piss off the public.

Re:Yawn (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46672991)

Idiot, this is not spying, it is a propaganda campaign.

And the best propaganda is the truth. If Cuba's government can be undermined by citizens having access to social media, then it is time for a new government.

Re:Yawn (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 7 months ago | (#46673623)

No wonder nobody trusts the American government. The rest of the world doesn't need to make stuff up when the truth is worse.

Re:Yawn (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 7 months ago | (#46673023)

Actually it gives Cuban citizens a non-governmental channel they can use to communicate with one another. Such communication doesn't necessarily need to be political in nature. Twitter was born out of the efforts to provide Iranians with a way to communicate that could bypass the government controls.

Re:Yawn (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672243)

This is just a mountain made out of a molehill by leftists who are fans of the government of Cuba and don't like when Western governments try to undermine it. I have news for them: doing things like this is the intelligence agencies' *job*. They're supposed to spy; that's why they're called spy agencies, and Cuba couldn't be a more deserving target.

I have news for you: USAID is *not* an intelligence agency. From their website under "What We Do":

  • "USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential."

For a second, I thought you might've simply posted in the wrong thread...but you didn't, did you. So you ARE an idiot.

Re:Yawn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672697)

I have news for you: The Intelligence Agencies use other agencies as cover for their activities. USAID has a long, long history of being used for intelligence purposes. In was an open secret even before documents were released in 2007 that proved it. Countries routinely kicked USAID out for spying, like Eritrea in 1995.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672767)

FAIL. Intelligence operatives functioning under USAID covers don't mean that USAID = intelligence agency anymore than NSA operatives working at ATT make ATT = intelligenc...oh wait!

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672339)

This is not spying. This is lying. If they weren't so stupid and didn't get caught then it might be arguable okay in terms of of Realpolitik; however they have stored information about this on an open network with tens of thousands of people having clearance to access it. They have fucked up completely and the fact that people like you can't recognize this is a serious problem in our chance of fixing these people.

Re:Yawn (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 7 months ago | (#46672343)

This is just a mountain made out of a molehill by leftists who are fans of the government of Cuba ...

False dichotomy. Rejecting A does not mean accepting B.

... and don't like when Western governments try to undermine it.

See above.

I have news for them: doing things like this is the intelligence agencies' *job*.

Just because someone is paid to do something does not mean that anyone has to support that.

They're supposed to spy; that's why they're called spy agencies, and Cuba couldn't be a more deserving target.

Since Cuba is not a threat to the USofA in any way that statement is incorrect. There are many ways Cuba could be "a more deserving target".

If Cuba doesn't do such things itself, it's only because of lack of budget in these post-Soviet days, not lcak of scruples.

Circular reasoning. And you even admit that Cuba is not doing the same to the USofA.

But I wouldn't like it if Cuba dropped bombs on us either, yet I'm not foolish enough to say that it's immoral to drop bombs on another country.

That entirely depends upon how YOU define YOUR "morality".

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672347)

I'm not foolish enough to say that it's immoral to drop bombs on another country.

Then I hope you get judged by a jury of fools.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672901)

They got caught. When you're a spy, it's a crime to be an incompetent.

Re:Yawn (2)

dryeo (100693) | about 7 months ago | (#46673815)

I'd rather live in Cuba then some of Americas right wing allies such as Saudi Arabia or their right wing puppet countries such as Haiti. Now you might look at Saudi Arabia as a libertarian right wing paradise where the citizens don't pay taxes and can do what ever they want as long as they follow the social mores which comes naturally but I don't like the slavery. And of course in Haiti you're free to struggle to get a job for $3 a day, save and become rich but the truth is it is hell on Earth for most of its citizens, but they do enable your underwear to be slightly cheaper.

They can't touch me (1)

someone1234 (830754) | about 7 months ago | (#46672125)

I don't read twitter, no facebook account. And on YouTube i watch only funny cat videos!

Re:They can't touch me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672985)

...but, you are reading Slashdot, right!?
Where, you may knew, one of the targets of NSA, GCHQ:

http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/11/10/225210/gchq-created-spoofed-linkedin-and-slashdot-sites-to-serve-malware
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/14/02/25/0359246/nsa-and-ghcq-employing-shills-to-poison-web-forum-discourse

You may noticed, if you read Slashdot too much, some people (err, I meant an account, but may be some people behind this account) have expressed HATE toward every countries labeled as un-friendly-with-USA-regime and have DEFENDED NSA and gangs from the beginning of this scandal in Slashdot. You may know what I meant! ;)

Re:They can't touch me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46673057)

You're being brainwashed by cats to help in their plan for world domination. Welcome aboard. The world will be a better place once we have 16 hours of mandatory sleep per day.

Sneaky. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46672129)

I don't mind a government overseas propaganda division, really. It's one of the few effective counters against countries that operate their own censorship and propaganda systems. It's the sneaking around that I really don't like. Be honest about it.

Re:Sneaky. (3, Interesting)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 7 months ago | (#46672303)

Reminds me of a map about the Maidan tweets here: http://www.ibtimes.com/ukraine... [ibtimes.com]

One may wonder, how many of those UK and US tweets were from Ukrainians living in these countries (US has a rather large Ukrainian diaspora, the UK doesn't) and how many were associated with intelligence agencies. Interesting are the blips on the map from Bahrain at the crucial moments.

Re:Sneaky. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678293)

This may be true. However, believing that people are automatons and, that because someone with vested interests told them to protest over twitter, they'd go out in full force and do it is just plain silly.

From the moment the Ukrainian president said first one thing (i'll sign a treaty with the EU) to the moment *the same president* said another, very different thing (no EU, now i'll sign to be friends with Russia), the debacle was imminent. It doesn't matter which side are you on, a president doing this is bringing disaster on itself.

Maidan was inevitable.

Re:Sneaky. (1)

LiquidPaper (69881) | about 7 months ago | (#46672623)

I agree with you. But propaganda MUST be clearly identified as such. Thats why you have the [Advertisement] logo on newspapers or in the Google search page.

Re:Sneaky. (1)

temcat (873475) | about 7 months ago | (#46674683)

Should the native government's propaganda be labeled that way, too?

Re:Sneaky. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672757)

It's one of the few effective counters against countries that operate their own censorship and propaganda systems.

Wait, doesn't the US operate a censorship and propaganda program?

Re:Sneaky. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46674389)

The US operates a propaganda program. Not much of a censorship program though.

Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (-1, Troll)

Aaron England (681534) | about 7 months ago | (#46672157)

Remember when Snowden's leaks were about blowing the whistle on illegal wiretapping of American citizens? Does anyone else feel like he's long lost all legitimacy?

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (1, Insightful)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 7 months ago | (#46672189)

Did he ever have legitimacy ?

There was never any doubt that this was being done. The questions is do you want the NSA having your info or Facebook and Google.

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 7 months ago | (#46672651)

Yes, there was doubt.

Lots of people bought into the gov't saying "oh, no, we would never do that" as earlier whistleblowers came forward. The gov't just switched tactics to "we need to spy on you for your own good".

anonymous coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46674691)

Did he ever have legitimacy ?

There was never any doubt that this was being done.

There absolutely was doubt being spread and denials up and down, that the U.S. would never do such things.

The leaks have helped in that few will deny such things any more.

The questions is do you want the NSA having your info or Facebook and Google.

Neither. And I don't like being given false choices either.

Who is paying you?

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 7 months ago | (#46672225)

Why? Because there may be no "angry common people overthrowing a corrupt tyranny and dying for freedom", merely "people misled by foreign provocateurs into destabilizing their own country"?

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (1)

temcat (873475) | about 7 months ago | (#46674693)

I like how you're bitter about Maidan. But I have to agree with the wording you chose. It may or may not be the former or the latter, that's for sure.

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672233)

I hope that he keeps releasing more and more bad things until European countries ask the US to withdraw bases and have a general cooling of relations. Our so-called European "allies" bring nothing to the relationship and they are filled with arrogant, conceited assholes who I wish harm upon. In that regard they are worst than Israel. At least Israel doesn't blame a large number of their domestic problems on the US cultural imperialism.

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672545)

Hey there, I share your hope of cooling relations.

The USA can GTFO with their "free trade treaties" that just undermine our rights and health and are always negotiated in secrecy. There is a joke: "What the USA considers food is not even allowed for constructing buildings in Europe." And you can GTFO with your spying on people you pretend to be allies with. And you can GTFO with interfering in European politics. While you're at it: you may relocate GB to another continent, we don't need them either.

But to be realistic: European leaders will jump every time the USA says "jump". It's just embarrassing. :/

If you think we blame our home made problems to the USA think again. But you can be quite sure we are opposing the current reality of the "American way of life". Call us socialists and what not, we don't care. Just look at our northern countries. They are light years in front of everyone else and you know what? They have huge taxes but on the other hand they have great and free education, a dense social support net and their health care is also great.

It's "funny" how you call us assholes just right before you wish harm on us.

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46673125)

Of course you blame your problems on the US. You just did (possibly, I have no idea which country you are from). Your leaders were not opposed to spying, but acted outraged when it was released, then tried to play dumb when it was proved that many of them were involved. Instead of blaming the politicians of yours that were apparently so spineless that they wouldn't protect their citizens, you blame the US. Same with the free trade agreements you so loath. Not only that, but any time that a problem is identified in Europe the first response from Europeans is always to point out some other problem in the US and claim that they are not as bad.

But anyway, I think we can both agree that it is time to stop pretending that the US and Europe still have enough cultural ties to justify maintaining the pretense of such a close relationship. Personally, I do not think that the European way of life and culture (I do not make this under the guise of criticizing Socialism either; I am not against socialism or welfare or taxes or any of things you presumed) is the future and you do not seem to care for the USA's.

anonymous coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46674701)

Instead of blaming the politicians of yours that were apparently so spineless that they wouldn't protect their citizens, you blame the US

Sounds exactly like the U.S. OMG politicians have to protect us from the terrorists.

Not only that, but any time that a problem is identified in Europe the first response from Europeans is always to point out some other problem in the US and claim that they are not as bad.

Geez, those Europeans sound EXACTLY LIKE AMERICANS.

But anyway, I think we can both agree that it is time to stop pretending that the US and Europe still have enough cultural ties to justify maintaining the pretense of such a close relationship.

This is hilarious. Get a room you two! You were meant for each other. Everyone else can see it. Why can't you two?

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (2)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 7 months ago | (#46672277)

Remember when Snowden's leaks were about blowing the whistle on illegal wiretapping of American citizens? Does anyone else feel like he's long lost all legitimacy?

This "Cuban Twitter" kerfuffle was exposed by the Associated Press. It has nothing to do with Snowden or the NSA.

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672291)

He's still toasted with a drink at almost every party and bar I've been to lately, so the answer to your question is 'no'.

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672413)

Unless Tha NSA let Snowden back into their network this is from the same stuff he took back last year.

Re: Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (2)

heypete (60671) | about 7 months ago | (#46672415)

Do I think he's lost legitimacy? No.

At the very start he turned over all his data to a few journalists (Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, etc.) and they are the ones who choose to publish articles based on the data he gave to them. Snowden has said he doesn't retain any of the documents or data himself, and has no control over what is published or not. That's entirely up to the journalists.

Re: Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46673525)

Greenwald is just upset that he isn't all powerful anymore since nobody is paying attention to him.

This has no relevance and just damages Cuban relations by making it public. Him and Snowden are making things hell for the state dept and foreign relations. That is causing a lot more damage than anything the NSA did or didn't do.

Re: Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (1)

Rujiel (1632063) | about 7 months ago | (#46674613)

Every story he places on theintercept.org gets pages of mentions on google news. But please, keep peddling your lonely illusion that no one cares. No one will buy it, of course--the fact that you trolls have to fill this place with your nonsense shows just how hypocritical your claims of "no one cares!" really are.

and ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672429)

He's releasing documents in an on-going manner. You make like it or not, but I don't see how this is about Snowden.

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672477)

Remember when Snowden's leaks were about blowing the whistle on illegal wiretapping of American citizens? Does anyone else feel like he's long lost all legitimacy?

No, I feel like you're probably being paid by the government to disseminate lies and propaganda in order to keep the people confused and divided.

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#46672479)

Does anyone else feel like he's long lost all legitimacy?

No. The worst you can say is he should have given the data to a different journalist. He hasn't had anything to do with these releases for a long time.

The truth will set you free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672593)

... he's long lost all legitimacy?

I think the people should know the excesses of bureaucratic abuse. The question becomes 'How much spying is too much?'

Is it necessary for the NSA to hoover in 1.8 million encryption keys of Indonesian phones? How will this make Americans (and Indonesians) safer? Surely if they know someone plotting terrorism they can simply spy on that phone, with legal due process. It seems that this 'intelligence' gathering for its own sake simply creates noise.

Is it necessary to spy on the private communications of a German ally? This seems to be an abuse of trust where the real issue is someone blabbed about the NSA's dishonesty: Such dishonesty makes it difficult for the USA to dictate international conventions. Once again, what will this intelligence source provide that regular spying won't? It merely reminds me of the Russians gaining state secrets by blackmailing bureaucrats.

Spying on Americans is a big issue because it is totally banned by law until an individual is targeted by due process. The mere realization that bureaucrats, secret courts, and elected officials have all endorsed this breach of the law reveals how corrupt the government is now. A lot of the excuses use the "no-one actually looked" argument. But again: Hoovering in 'intelligence' and not looking at it just creates more noise.

Every revelation of abuse demonstrates that the US government is more interested in busywork that incidentally oppresses everybody than having 'eyes and ears' make sense of their SigInt.

An example of that busywork is the TSA: the USA has dictated their TSA security model to other countries but such international surveillance has failed to expose one of the terrorists it was designed to catch.
   

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (1)

jc42 (318812) | about 7 months ago | (#46672741)

What does Snowden have to do with this? I haven't seen his name associated with it before.

This isn't criticism; maybe he is involved; I don't know. Can you give a few cites that explain the link?

Re:Snowden's leaks has gone off the rails (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46673129)

Remember when Snowden's leaks were about blowing the whistle on illegal wiretapping of American citizens? Does anyone else feel like he's long lost all legitimacy?

Fucking faggot. How dare you disparage our lord and savoir edward snowden! I am modding you down into oblivion.

how long before COINTELPRO agents post here... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672213)

... trying to derail/distract/deride/divert

Cheney should be shitting bricks right now.

Qui Bono (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 7 months ago | (#46672219)

How much did all of this cost?

Let's be blunt here. The purpose of this program was never to in any way seriously affect the Cuban regieme. The purpose of this program, like so many others at the NSA, was to "legitimize" bonuses and to buy new Cadillacs for NSA managers and senior officers. If General Alexander's Star Trek office revealed one thing, it is that the NSA has a culture of gorging at the public trough.

Federal Sok Puppets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672247)

I've seen fanboidom from microsquishy on ./, and you can spot it half a dozen comments away, but Federal Sok-Pups are a new kind of sock. I would even suspect that they wouldn't even have analysts doing this: they would have an automated message insertion system, a "Federal Sok-Pup 10000" with a purpose of determining the best time in which to insert a message, gauging the viewers, targeting the right message for the audience, and at the most opportune time, inserting a message, or a dozen different messages, perhaps even some giving a *weak* dissenting view from what is their main message. You don't have to worry about the military or the police: its the crowds you have to worry about and the information they have been fed. 20 years ago in Rwanda, an ethnic group --spurred on by message-- killed 20 million of their countrymen (usually with nothing more than machetes). In Ukraine, the local population were spurred on: the military hardly fired a shot, and in Detroit a motorist accidentally hit a boy who ran out into the street without looking. The man stopped to see if the boy was hurt, and he had minor injuries: the crowd that gathered beat the man to critical condition. The police and military can be bad, but crowds spurred by misinformation: crazy as shithouse rats.

Why should I be outraged? (0)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 7 months ago | (#46672427)

The Soviets and their proxies have been running very successful propaganda/disinformation campaigns in the West for almost 100 years.

Re:Why should I be outraged? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672789)

Because you're meant to be the bastion of the free, yet you're trumpeting with glee a comparison with one of the most oppressive dictatorships of the 20th century?

If that doesn't scare you, I don't think anything will.

Re:Why should I be outraged? (1)

quantaman (517394) | about 7 months ago | (#46673037)

The US is supposedly selling Democracy, free speech, and freedom of the press.

Government propaganda, particularly covert government propaganda, has no place in Democracy. By using these methods to influence foreign populations not only is the US is undercutting its own message, they're doing through the agency (USAID) that is supposed to be spreading that message.

This is why sunlight is essential, because without it governments fall victim to group think and short sighted objectives and lose the ability to plan for the long term by standing on principal.

Re:Why should I be outraged? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46674349)

The Soviets and their proxies have been running very successful propaganda/disinformation campaigns in the West for almost 100 years.

Breaking news: the Soviet Union hasn't existed for more than 20 years.
In other news: a criminal is surprised to learn that his "well, at least I didn't kill as many as Hitler did!" defense did not save him from the death row.

Humans use tools available to them (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 7 months ago | (#46672575)

News at 11

The same as VoA (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#46672685)

This is no different than Voice of America radio which has been broadcasting propaganda for decades without anyone getting their panties in a bunch.

Re:The same as VoA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46673399)

Yeah but everyone *knows* that VoA is propaganda. It's not labeled as such, but it's not like the USA goes to great lengths to hide their association with VoA.

so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46672717)

There are things that we expect all government intelligence agencies to do. In the US, spying on our own people without warrant or committing propaganda activities are not in that set. But such activities are definitely in the set we do and should expect against other countries - and that we do and should expect from other sovereigns against us.

Periodically, we can and should expect a public event when one is found out, and the involved individuals get treated like spies - because that is what they are.

This is a propaganda campaign from one country against another. Whoops, it was discovered. There will be sabre rattling and possibly counter intelligence activity and spies sent back in response. So, what's the big deal? Why should we care about this one?

Yellow Press (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46673105)

So, the GCHQ is the yellow press of the intelligence world. Only the disgruntled, gossiping cat of the Elton John's boyfriend could have seen it coming. The kitty litter scandal is upon us. Read all about it soon from the Roswell files of Her Royal Majesty the Queen. Only the Republic of the Great Britain can save us from the humiliation. Revolt, now!

It seems the Cold War never ended (1)

compucomp2 (1776668) | about 7 months ago | (#46673295)

and American imperialism is alive and well. I praise Cuba for their continued heroic resistance to the great evil in their backyard. It must greatly anger the American empire that they cannot break a small island nation 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

Re:It seems the Cold War never ended (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 7 months ago | (#46673865)

It's worse then that. Cuba is the symbol of American Imperialism. When they first decided to become a major player, they planned a war with Spain, did a false flag operation, surprised and defeated Spain and made Cuba a puppet state in the name of freedom and gave it to the Mafia to run. Then those awful Cubans revolted, threw out Batista (sp?) and did awful things like giving the average person shoes and free medical. The truth is that in that part of the world, the average Cuban is better off then lets say the average Haitian or even Mexican. A Mexican might have free speech but if he practices it he may well lose his head or worse.

Re:It seems the Cold War never ended (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 7 months ago | (#46673935)

Cuba is a horrible shithole in every way imaginable. I won't waste my time trying to convince somebody like you but look it up yourself:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]

Not to mention the economy where workers are paid on average $19/month and lack even basic necessities and cannot legally change jobs, move, own property, own a cellphone or a computer without government permit etc etc.

Yes they are better of than Haiti, the country that compares badly even with worst African countries, so you got that one right. But given the history and demographics of Cuba, there is potential for so much more which is being wasted due to a deluded and selfish leadership clinging on to a failed ideology for their personal benefit.

Re:It seems the Cold War never ended (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46674439)

If you look up their HDI (here [wolframalpha.com] ), Cuba comes as #2 in the region. #1 in education, #1 in healthcare. Funny how a failed ideology can beat the one true ideology, eh?
If you're curious, the #1 on HDI is Barbados. They also happen to be #2 in the continent, right after Canada.

Contrary to what you say, Cubans can own stuff. They changed the law not too long ago. Despite that, most people there, like most people in the region, can't afford an expensive computer like you or me.

Um, what? (0)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 7 months ago | (#46673327)

It's a bad thing to let some light into a communist dictatorship?

Re:Um, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46673519)

It's counterproductive when you're hated by the local populace for having turned their country into their whorehouse during the equally criminal previous dictatorship of Battista. The criminal Castro regime will end up falling anyway one funeral at a time. But it won't be thanks to the incompetent CIA that has done more to ensure Castro popularity in Cuba with their stupid plots than any one else in the world.

Re:Um, what? (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 7 months ago | (#46673657)

In my opinion, all countries benefit from more transparency and openness in their government. Possibly the USA would care to lead by example?

Re:Um, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46678307)

Maybe you're equating USA transparency with Cuba's ? I'm not saying the USA is perfect, by no means, but.. c'mon...

Re:Um, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46681487)

To answer the question you didn't pose, no. It *wouldn't* be a bad thing to let some light into a communist country. But what the CIA is doing is definitely a bad thing, because they are just seeding more confusion.

The CIA is not about helping poor oppressed people but about destabilizing the regime.

And do you know what I hate them most for? It's now difficult to distinguish between a legitimate critic of the regime and a CIA mole (and the regime's propaganda makes use of this very fact to discredit legitimate critics. Not that the CIA gave a flying fuck about that). Disgusting morons.

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