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British Spy Chiefs Secretly Begged To Play In NSA's Data Pools

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the please-sir-I-want-some-data dept.

United Kingdom 43

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Britain's electronic surveillance agency, Government Communications Headquarters, has long presented its collaboration with the National Security Agency's massive electronic spying efforts as proportionate, carefully monitored, and well within the bounds of privacy laws. But according to a top-secret document in the archive of material provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, GCHQ secretly coveted the NSA's vast troves of private communications and sought 'unsupervised access' to its data as recently as last year – essentially begging to feast at the NSA's table while insisting that it only nibbles on the occasional crumb."

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43 comments

Nibbling on Occasional Crumb (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886741)

We now know the chief's mustache is from the NSA's chocolate pie... or perhaps a dirty Sanchez.

Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886845)

"Great Britain" does not deserve the word "Great" anymore because it is now nothing more than a client state of the United States of America.

As a client state, Britain (without the word "Great") must beg its master for everything.

NSA's treasure trove was not the only thing that Britain feasts on the leftover from the USA --- The ICBMs that Britain's submarines use, the Trident, was passed down from USA.

Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (5, Interesting)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#46887121)

The "Great" in Great Britain never meant great as in supa-dupa.

It derives from the French "Grande" as in "big", referring to the Island of Britain as the larger part or Brittany, with the smaller part being Brittany in the North of France. This goes back to the Norman conquests, where the French though they owned it, but once they got there, the locals quickly absorbed them into the borg and they decided they were British after all.
 

Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46887575)

The "Great" in Great Britain never meant great as in supa-dupa.

It derives from the French "Grande" as in "big"

False.

The English word "grand" derives from the French word "grand(e)". "Great" derives germanic orgins "grautaz", which has cognates in French as "gros(se)". Source: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=great

I'm pretty sure your historical facts are slightly wrong, as well, but I need to get to work now and don't have time to look it up and vefify.

Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#46889817)

>I'm pretty sure your historical facts are slightly wrong

That's why I work in tech.

Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#46887667)

It's not cognate with the French word, it's simply a translation of the meaning. "Great" in English means "large or immense".

Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 3 months ago | (#46888123)

It also means splendid or super. "He's a great leader" doesn't mean "he trains a secret paramilitary group of obese men"

Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#46888309)

Given that the "large" meaning seems to be older, I am going to give that one priority when interpreting sentences from now on. Especially where leadership is concerned.

Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 3 months ago | (#46888057)

So, Grande Britain?

Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 3 months ago | (#46896693)

Sorry, Starbucks has the trademark for using the word 'Grande' in that sense.

Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (1)

Pussers (1985522) | about 3 months ago | (#46888957)

"Great" used as it is in "The Greater Atlanta area"

Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889351)

David Cameron's hostility to immigration is immensely ironic given there isn't any British in Britain.

British identity is built on myth of heritage from ancient Brits. Th r alleged biological and cultural connection to ancient Brits is even more trivial than modern Greeks to ancient Greeks. The really is modern Brits come from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds but are pressured to conform to the state myth of common British heritage.

For instance, the mayor of London Boris "Johnston" is direct descendent of Ottoman Turk Ali Kemal Be. Boris's like last name would be a Turkish Kemal had his grandfather not changed it to sound more English. Even the Queen herself doesn't have British heritage. Her Grandfather King George was ethnically German (descended from long line of Germans) He changed his German name of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to a more English sounding "Windsor".

 

Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (1)

smugfunt (8972) | about 3 months ago | (#46895831)

It derives from the French "Grande" as in "big", referring to the Island of Britain as the larger part or Brittany

'Great' became part of the official title when Scotland joined Britain (being England and Wales) in 1707. Before that it was only occasionally used, when it was necessary to distinguish Britain from Brittany, mostly in Latin or French. So 'derives' is not correct IMHO.

The suspence is killing them (1, Offtopic)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 3 months ago | (#46886781)

They want to find out if the NSA knows who Grace Murdoch's father is.

Re:The suspence is killing them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46890423)

How is that offtopic? It was that little scandal that had had Blair "begging" Bush to go to Iraq with him. This one went down just like the movie.

Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886841)

Why the hell is the introduction and title written that way? It sounds so........ melodramatic and retarded.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (5, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 months ago | (#46887143)

It really depends on how you see the role of the GCHQ vs the NSA.
The NSA had the computers and total control over sealed parts of shared US/UK bases. The GCHQ had the global locations and very ,very skilled staff but no real way into NSA global efforts even within the UK.
The Falklands, UK role in former Yugoslavia showed an even more clear lack of good UK crypto use or true UK global reach.
At any point in time the NSA could shut out or totally turn off the GCHQ product stream depending on US policy or political mood.
The UK likes to talk of its special relationship and joint facilities but knows a lot of other nations are now on the special US helper list (for NSA locations, "shared" sites) and other nations expect nothing back from the NSA unlike the UK.
The UK will always recall Diego Garcia in the 1970's and UK only efforts in Cyprus (and many other UK only regions) as been sticking points with the USA.
The result is a lack of sharing in both directions been used as a tool. NSA/GCHQ sites, Polaris, Super Antelope and Diego Garcia all showed the very real limits to US/UK relations in the past.
Now the UK is left with the result of the past budgets cuts from the 1960-80's and is totally dependant on the USA and NSA in many key ways. The US can offer all to the UK, some or none. The UK has its own sites for Ireland, and the Middle East but lacks its own NSA like total global reach.
The upper levels of the UK gov have also gotten a taste for the NSA product over decades. What this new news shows is a new hint at the decades old dance between the NSA, US gov and a UK addiction to total information awareness with limited funds.
So for years you had the useful sock puppets talking of the Anglosphere and that "special relationship" forged in past wars been about total trust and sharing.
Reality is much more complex per US political decade, UK budget related cuts and is very much controlled by the USA.
The UK faces losing a world wide database of realtime calls, voice prints, faxes, emails, networking and banking intel via the US and having to fall back on UK only efforts.
With only UK sites for Ireland, the Middle East and help from New Zealand, Australia, Canada it would be "dramatic" form the UK perspective after enjoying the global NSA efforts and long term storage.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (2)

dhaen (892570) | about 3 months ago | (#46887215)

Very insightful. Wish I had some mod points...

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (2)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 3 months ago | (#46887345)

One very interesting source of accounts on US/UK spy relations can be found in the novels of John LeCarrre. Especially the earlier ones, the Smiley trilogy for instance. It's fiction of course, but very well-informed, and written by a former spook.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (4, Informative)

Xest (935314) | about 3 months ago | (#46887651)

Sure but GCHQ is only part of the intelligence picture, MI6 is one of the single greatest HUMINT organisations in the world, putting the CIA to shame, and second only to perhaps the likes of Israel's Mossad.

Britain's immigrant built cultural links with countries like Pakistan and previous laissez faire attitude to middle eastern and asian terrorist organisers living in exile has allowed it to build up impressive intelligence assets that many countries could only dream of. The equation changed slightly since al qaeda affiliates decided to bite the hand that fed it, but it's far from over. There's a reason groups like the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is based in London and comes up with perhaps the most accurate analysis of casualties in the world in the conflict there. Although the likes of Mossad's tradecraft skills tend to outweigh those of MI6, the network of activists, and agents MI6 has contacts with and links to is pretty much unparalleled.

This isn't to say the CIA hasn't made massive in-roads since 9/11, and didn't have areas of expertise before (like in Afghanistan, vs. the soviets - but guess who helped get the CIA in touch with the jihadis back then in Pakistan in the first place?).

The foundations of MI6 and it's broad and pretty much unrivalled network can be put down to the idea that whilst Britain's empire involved a break up with other nations, it still made sure it never lost contact on the ground.

Britain still has a lot of value to the US, the US would be far more prone to internal terrorist attacks without human intelligence from MI5, and MI6 through their broad network of contact with activists living in the UK. Part the reason that the Boston bombings were a succesful attack is because Chechnya is one of the few areas where Britain doesn't have such substantial ability to cooperate.

Regarding GCHQ specifically though, the UK is a major global telecommunications hub, for the NSA programmes to be effective it needs support from major hubs in every continent. The UK is their European partner, they'd struggle to find another with both the willingness, resources, and telecommunications links. To have the European aspect of their global spying program go dark would be a massively crippling blow to the whole programme so even there there is still some hefty leverage.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889225)

Most Brits are decent people but the GCHQ and the ultra nationalist government David Cameron make me sick. The British government seem to keep trying to drag us into their wars. They also seem to be racist..

As a Canadian, I now prefer our association with the formerly British commonwealth be severed completely. This is long overdue anyhow. We are a tolerant multicultural country and this should be reflected in our international politics We shouldn't be catering to the intolerant ultra nationalism of Mr. Cameron and cohorts.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (1)

Xest (935314) | about 3 months ago | (#46889477)

I'm a bit baffled by your post. I actually agree the UK has a major problem with nationalism - hence the rise in the UKIP vote, but I'm struggling to see how David Cameron can be framed particularly as a nationalist or a racist, and I'm not sure what wars your referring to, when is the last time we had a war? the short skirmish in Libya? We've been pulling out of and scaling down military intervention drastically in recent years - what you accuse him of is more a trait of two prime ministers past - Tony Blair.

Camerons party does have some frustrating nationalist and far right elements, but he's on the more liberal end of it.

But your post gets even more baffling when you talk about being Canadian - Harper is far more right leaning than Cameron ever has been.

I'm really not convinced you know much about British politics or even your own politics as your spouting terms like ultra-nationalism and racism at someone who can be accused of neither. It's the likes of Liam Fox and pretty much the entirety of UKIP that can be accused of that, but not Cameron, not Osborne, not Boris and the like, and certainly not the likes of current Labour or the Lib Dems, or the Greens. The vast majority of British politicians do not share the far right view that the worst elements of the Tory party and UKIP do, whilst far right Tories like Liam Fox are pretty much identically aligned to people like your PM - Harper. If you genuinely think the British Conservatives are racist, or nationalist then you've clearly not been paying attention to what's been going on in your own back yard - the UK's current Conservatives are pretty tame compared to Canada's conservatives, which is a shame, because it was you putting us to shame when you used to have more liberal leadership. We've had a role reversal since then - whilst the US and UK moved away from Bush/Blair era politics you guys seemed to move towards them.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46890065)

Frankly I'm a bit mystified by your post.

Cameron is clearly a xenophobe for allowing xenophobic elements in his party. His ridiculous "go home campaign" should have been a slight clue of this to you. Lets remember he's also the paranoid nationalist fanatic that gave clearance to the GHCQ to do things like violate people's privacy (pretty sure using Yahoo to secretly take peeping tom webcam pictures of millions of people in their homes is a *criminal* violation of right to privacy) Then don't get me started on Cameron's warlike attitude to middle easterners.

As for Harper, I don't support him. He's a born again fundamentalist Christian hawk that;s a mini-me bush (and I say this as someone who's not religious that comes from a christian family). The only reason Harper keeps getting elected is because the Canadian left has divided itself into many parties. Most Canadians can't stand Harper.

Trying to associate British nationalist extremists like Cameron as being as tolerant to multiculturalism in Canada is absurd. There is no ethnic Canadian identity. Canadian identity is an political identity not an ethnic one. Within Canada we celebrate various identities not only a Canadian one. You try to pawn yourself off an anti-nationalist but given your defence of extreme nationalists in British you seem to be one yourself.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (1)

Xest (935314) | about 3 months ago | (#46897357)

"Cameron is clearly a xenophobe for allowing xenophobic elements in his party."

This just highlights your ignorance of politics. A leader (thankfully) of a party doesn't have full reign to do everything he wants without question, he's accountable to his party and it's members. Whilst as I said there are some far right members of his party, that doesn't mean all of them are. The Tory party has long been in a battle between the more liberal, and the far right, people like Cameron and Osborne have been pushing to the more liberal side, the fact he is party leader means that a majority of Tories sit at the liberal end of the spectrum.

But he also can't simply remove the less desirable members, nor can he ignore them because if he does there's a risk he loses his leadership post and a far-right Tory leader gets in in his place. Politics is a tough balancing game, and what you're asking for is a liberal dictator - one that highlights your views and ignores others, that is not what Cameron is and that is not how British politics work.

Could he walk away from the party in protest? Sure, but I like the idea of one of the UK's only two electable parties being handed entirely to the far right. Most of the far right in the party are of the older, baby boomer generation. In a decade many of these people will be dead. Better to keep fighting them until then when their ideas die off.

"Lets remember he's also the paranoid nationalist fanatic that gave clearance to the GHCQ to do things like violate people's privacy "

Actually that was the far-left Labour government, did he continue it? sure, but most of this started under Blair (centre right Labour) and escalated under Brown and his cronies (far left). This is also something that other governments have engaged in from Canada's Conservatives, to Australia's "Liberals", to America's Democrats. Putting it at the foot of the UK is a joke when it's endemic throughout the five eyes nations, and a number of others to boot.

"Trying to associate British nationalist extremists like Cameron as being as tolerant to multiculturalism in Canada is absurd."

Calling Cameron an extremist is absurd. It highlights the fact you don't have the slightest inkling as to what an extremist is. If Cameron is an extremist what does that make people like Liam Fox? Sarah Palin? Osama Bin Laden? If you start calling the centre-left or centre-right extremists then you've nothing to label the left, right, extreme left, and extreme right. It just makes you out as a bile fuelled idiot who can't talk rationally on the subject.

"Most Canadians can't stand Harper."

Yet time and time again you guys keep voting for him. How many times now have you handed the largest party status to him? How many elections have you had? What's the tally at now, 3, 4? even higher?

"There is no ethnic Canadian identity."

What complete and utter nonsense, Canada equally has it's race based gangs that simply do not integrate well such as the Vietnamese gangs running growhouses in Vancouver, the large Chinese contingent in Toronto, the Somali groupings in Ottawa, to the people who view themselves as ethnically French in Quebec and the Inuit who have been shit on ever since everyone else started arriving on their shores. I find it astounding that I don't live their but understand Canada better than you - perhaps you need to actually step outside of your basement sometimes or something? Diversity is still greater in Britain largely because of our long history - we have more people from more places than Canada (we have double the population for starters).

All that's before the numerous times Canadian politicians have raised concerns about the loss of Canada's historically Western European foundings to large influxes of Asian immigrants and suggestions Canada should examine prioritising applications from Western European immigrants (and statistical evidence suggesting it does).

"You try to pawn yourself off an anti-nationalist but given your defence of extreme nationalists in British you seem to be one yourself."

Right, and you're an idiot that has not the slightest grasp about the divides in your own country, no idea what extremism is. No wonder you post anonymously, I probably wouldn't want to identify myself against my own idiocy if I was you either.

The only extremist here is you - someone who thinks even the centre right is extreme, the fact that you hold that view implies you have literally zero tolerance from what I can only assume are centrist or left leaning views. The fact that you believe a politician that pushed through gay marriage, and that has been fighting hand and tooth against the actual extremists to keep us in the EU, is an ultra-nationalist extremist is absolutely fucking hilarious and shows how utterly far from reality you are on this topic.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46890199)

Incidentally, if you are going to lecture about Canada try to learn something about it first.

Even under incompetent Harper (whom I personally see as having racist leanings given his militant war-like attitudes to international politics), our government is one of most ethnically diverse governments in the world.... far more so than David Camerons "go home" *racist* government.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (1)

Xest (935314) | about 3 months ago | (#46897287)

Um, my girlfriend and her family are Canadian, as are many of our friends. I seem to know more about it than you which should be embarassing.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46890577)

We need to leave the commonwealth. Harper is clearly in the nationalist religious extremist neo-con camp (even wanted us to go to war in Iraq for non-existent WMDs) He's creating wedges between Canadians (especially French Canadians and various Canadian Muslims that are being isolated by Harpers hawkish views).

British people are generally awesome even if intolerant brutes like Cameron exist (who's seems to be having an identity crisis and takes it out on immigrants). However, we shouldn't show any special preference to any country. Canada is a country for all people no matter what your faith (or non-faith), ethnicity or sexual preference.

The far right wing nuts try to associate tolerance with meaning a negation of ethics through subjectivism but this is far from the reality Tolerance of difference doesn't mean that every Canadian can do whatever they want. We all stall have to obey Canadian law and make an effort to contribute positively to our adopted homeland.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (1)

Xest (935314) | about 3 months ago | (#46897409)

"British people are generally awesome even if intolerant brutes like Cameron exist (who's seems to be having an identity crisis and takes it out on immigrants)."

When you understand the politics that have been almost tearing apart the Conservatives for years you begin to understand that identity crisis. The problem is that it's a party sharply divided by the right/extreme right old guard, and the younger, more modern minded centre-right liberal conservatives. There isn't enough strength behind Cameron's younger more liberal side of the party to oust the old guard yet, and so the old guard remains essential to them getting elected but the pendulum has long been swinging in their favour because the old guard and their supporters are slowly dying off.

So whilst Cameron is inherently centre-right and liberally minded, he risks being overthrown and the party being taken back (at least temporarily) by the old guard which is even worse. So he has little choice to passify them with things he personally doesn't want - like anti-immigration and anti-EU policies.

If the Tories were comprised wholly of people with the leaning of people like David Cameron, Boris Johnson and George Osborne it would not actually be a bad centre-right leaning party, it'd put most liberal parties across the globe to shame. But the reality is it's not that, it's a party where the old guard still have too much power, it's just a case of fending them off until they die off.

When you look at him and what his party does now you'll probably better understand the contradictions and the reasons why, and why Cameron is vague about some issues - he doesn't support them but has to to stop his party falling apart. This is a problem the Tories have been wrestling with since Thatcher, and is why Thatcher was ousted. In this respect the rise of UKIP is probably doing the Tories some good - all the extremists are fucking off their until they die, leaving the Conservative Party to the more liberal and centrist elements.

FWIW I personally identify most closely with the centre and centre-left so probably wouldn't vote for the Tories even if the non centre-right elements had fucked off. Unless of course the alternative was a completely lame centre/centre-left like current Labour.

Re:Going over my head, perhaps, but..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889487)

Yeah, James Bond was fiction. During the cold war one of the biggest problems facing US intelligence was how riddled with Soviet spies British intelligence was. This notion of a global network of master spies is complete and utter fantasy.

"Secretly Begged" (3, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | about 3 months ago | (#46886847)

Isn't that pretty much the same as talking to yourself?

Re:"Secretly Begged" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46887941)

There wasn't anything especially secret about it - other than it didn't get reported by the media. You can bet we went to the meeting with a suitcase of cocaine and a bus load of hookers to "secretly beg" for the NSA's help.

The 'special relationship' isn't especially two-way - it's probably 70/30 at best, so we've got to pretty much beg for anything we want to do, whilst simultaneously giving just about everything we have away for free.

Whatever went on, it won't stop - every budding Prime Minister in history who's said "we'll reduce ties with the US" has ended up bending over and winking on demand. The US has something on us (or them personally), and keeps threatening to use it.

Re:"Secretly Begged" (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 months ago | (#46889239)

re "The US has something on us (or them personally), and keeps threatening to use it."
The UK enjoyed breaking most European powers codes in the 1920-30's and its political class became addicted to the insider knowledge cross referencing a world of diplomatic and military communications.
During WW2 ENIGMA offered the UK even more near the end of the war- almost realtime communications in plain text.
After WW2 the UK still had the code skills and bases around the world. The UK could also ensure many of the new post ww2 allies would standadize with weak TEMPEST ready encryption machines offering the US and UK almost realtime communications in plain text again.
Where the US won was in emerging digital storage, satellites and raw cpu power costing US tax payers billions over projects that the UK never had post ww2.
The US was able to leverage emerging digital database and networking over decades for land (shared US/UK sites) and finally political control.

Re:"Secretly Begged" (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 3 months ago | (#46890469)

Britain's breaking of the ENIGMA code in WW2 would not have been as timely as it was without the 2 Polish scientists who figured it out first and rushed to get the information to England just before the Germans invaded Poland. They also lucked out and were able to retrieve one of the ENIGMA machines off a German sub they sunk before the German captain and crew could destroy it. Like most scientific discoveries it was a case of standing on the shoulders of those before them that made the advances possible. As far as I remember I don't think there was one encryption scheme during WW2 that wasn't broken by the combatant countries except for the US cypher system based upon the Navajo language. Of course back in WW2 they didn't have access to super computers to do the bulk of the work. The scientists and engineers of that era still make today's scientists and engineers look like amateurs in some key areas.

MayDay! MayDay! MayDay! This is MH370. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886903)

We are lost and presumed dead. Goodnight. Over. But at least we didn't die in Oklahoma.

Call it a test drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46886911)

Then they can start building a similar setup.
And be a remote site for US data.
A storage array remote sync to the UK, and a fast format.
Then the weasels here can say, "We are not (currently) saving any data on US citizens )
A resync the arrays from the remote site and back to work, until the next report to Congress.

And the US can test it's scanning/people control software on London.
They have more street cameras than anyone else (?)

Go Weasels !

Re:Call it a test drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46887703)

Pot meet Mr Kettle , Whilst our current and the ALL the previous shower of shits in the uk have got so high of the sense of power they get from their NSA sugar daddies they dont want go give it up.

That does not excuse the use your American masters use their compliance for to end run around your own laws.

The whole world knows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46887127)

If one ignore the sensationalism these days everyone in the whole world knows USA and UK spy agencies have kid to uncle or glove in hand relationship with each other.

Mloody Burber! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46887411)

Sit in your ass munching chairs, ye bastard foes who much my dirty shits.

If you're technology is paramount to doing good, ye bastards wouldn't be in some dark alley of some special hidden agency spending our taxes without any accountability?! Would ye be so kind as to put on public record how many times you read peoples' emails and didn't find anything? How many times ye did find something? Now, if ye be reading this message, I ponder the great expense of wasting so much of the tax dollars that could have been spent making the world a better place so a few nutjobpeople wouldn't be so likely to want to destroy it... Oh that'd be too good for you, you'd rather read people's emails and get your jolly rogers off spying on some girl's skype videocalls to her bf?

"You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight? Aye, fight and you may die, run and you'll live. At least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!"
--William Wallace

Where's the fight in your fags? Where's the balls attached to your thang? From the lot of you, you might have one and a half balls, counting generously.

-The Culling Timer

Pee in the data pool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888079)

The NSA really had to pee in the pool, but they knew there was that pink dye that reacted with urine. So they said "hey, come stand near me" so no one knows who exactly peed in the pool.

Big Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888307)

Anyone with a lick of sense has been aware all along that the very people making the biggest stink about this are, themselves, hip-deep in the same pile of shit. I notice a distinct lack of righteous anti-establishment warriors in this thread, too; others of this type have quickly grown to 500 posts or more. Can't blame them... crow is a bit stringy and greasy, after all.

So much for the Special Relationship (0)

sandbagger (654585) | about 3 months ago | (#46888499)

When British Politicians want to feel good about the UK's place in the world, they talk about the special relationship. It's a bit of wordage for home consumption that
they use to say 'We're America's most important ally.'

It's nonsense. That visiting US politicians are politely hectored into saying it, much to the glee of this or that foreign minister, is proof of bugger all. The UK is treated like a large unsinkable aircraft carrier parked off of Europe. That Israel has NoForn access to the NSA treasure troves is proof of where the US's preferences lie.

Nationalist idiocy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889063)

The funny thing about all this extreme nationalist security craziness...

There is no such thing as an "American people". America is a country of immigrants. Imperialist europeans invaded the Americas (taking the lands of the indigineous native indians by force) and formed an "American" politcal identity. All an "American" is people from various ethnic backgrounds that get pressured to be assimilated into into an unhyphenated American identity. Everyone play pretends they have common heritage. Anthropologists call this nationalist phenomena an "imagined community"

As for the allege "British"... yup there also is no such thing as a "British people". The modern British identity is based on state sponsored fiction of common heritage to ancient Brits (which is why many Scots want out). Even the Queen herself isn't "British". The house of Windsor, is the result of anti-German sentiment during WW1. The "British" king at the time (George V -- who was first cousins with Russian Tsar Nicholas II) changing the "British" Royal House's German name of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to sound more modern English. If one looks at the real ethnic heritage of George, one finds a long long line of German ancestors. Even modern English language has essentially nothing to do with the Runic alphabet dialect of the original Brits which is today framed as "old English" . The original Brits (long gone) were a separate people than the Angles, Jutes, Saxons, and others that immigrated into Britain and formed a modern "British" identity in the early 18th century.

But hey... we need weapons of mass distruction and to spy on everyone like the gestapo to protect ourselves from the "invaders".

Who Wants to Listen to Goldman-Sachs, KBR, et al? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889381)

Everyone! But only the US government can do it freely and profit from it. It's called "insider trading", except here the "insider" is the US government.

No wonder our economy's tanking - the spies are tapping to the financial analysts' phones and buying/selling stocks/bonds/whatever long before the rest of the economy can even begin to know what's happening.

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