back to article NSA hacked China's top carriers in hunt for SMS data - report

PRISM snitch Edward Snowden responded to the US government formally charging him with spying on Friday with fresh revelations that the NSA hacked China’s three state-run telcos in a bid to nab SMS data. In another carefully-timed disclosure, this time to Hong Kong’s Sunday Morning Post, Snowden handed over confidential documents …

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Espionage, really?

The only one that should be charged with espionage here is the U.S. itself.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Espionage, really?

Yup. Enquiries about our privacy work have gone through the roof, and question no1 is always the methods to protect from US intercept, even from small Mom & Pop shops that barely know how to operate a computer. It's interesting they're not worried about hacking in general (they should be), just the US. I didn't see such a reaction when the news was all about the alleged hacking by the Chinese.

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Unhappy

Re: Espionage, really?

"It's interesting they're not worried about hacking in general (they should be),"

Yes, maybe they should but at least they didn't vote the hackers (crackers?) into office.

The government is doing this to the people, with the peoples' money, for the government.

So excuse us if we hold our ruling elite to a higher standard, we are supposed to be the masters not them, they're supposed to be our servants (Hollow laughter in background.)

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Big Brother

Voted into office?

And who could they have voted in that wouldn't stand for this behaviour from the NSA? If all the parties have the same stance on important issues like this, what has happened to democracy?

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@Martijn Otto

If you think for one nanosecond that the US is the only country spying on another country...you are sorely misinformed Sparky. Keep dreaming.

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Re: Espionage, really?

PRISM snitch Edward Snowden responded to the US government formally charging him with spying on Friday with fresh revelations that the NSA hacked China’s three state-run telcos in a bid to nab SMS data.

O.K., I have no problem with Snowden pointing out that the NSA is spying on US citizens without a warrant.

But coming public with revelations that the NSA merely did what it was supposed to do by hacking foreign networks? Snowden just lost my support.

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Re: @Martijn Otto

"the only country spying on another country"

That's just it. It has always been big government on big government Cold War type action and it sold rather well, just look at the money the James Bond franchise makes. Unfortunately something happened when everyone just started to get along as it were and sure there was still spying but the big tension filled headlines about nuke missiles, nuke subs & spy vs spy faded to be replaced by "War on [insert nonentity here]". There was the war on drugs where we spied on Moriega and Escobar to take them down and followed it with the war on terror and spying on the Taliban and Saddam and it all looked like big government vs either government or international crime syndicate which many people thought was fair. The problem is it wasn't just that and still isn't, it is government vs the people - We the People.

Lots of people contend the second amendment is pointless because a US citizen armed with an AR15 rifle is no match for an armed battalion with tanks. It's more than likely true but it's no less true that a US citizen armed with the Constitution is no match for the current police state that swerves, jukes and spins its way through secret courts, specious claims of national security, dismisses habeas corpus by labeling someone a terr'ist and decrees by fiat a person so labeled is guilty until proven innocent.

Constitutional Convention anyone?

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Boffin

Re: breakfast Re: Voted into office?

"....If all the parties have the same stance on important issues like this, what has happened to democracy?" In the US you have several independent congressmen and senators, but there hasn't been an even remotely viable third party since Ross Perot. Protest groups like the Greens, Code Pink, etc., regularly campaign and get nowhere because their limited scope of interest usually doesn't appeal to the broader electorate. Same goes in the UK where we regularly have dozens of tiny groups entering candidates for local council or MP elections and just as regularly see them lose their deposits. Do not equate a lack of success of the niche minority politicians with a lack of democracy.

Of course, the tiny minority groups will shriek about proportional representation, knowing full well all that does is allow them to get their snouts in the trough without actually changing anything. Indeed, all it usually does is produce joke governments like those of Italy where corruption is rampant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Prism Scandal

American Spy clouds are dust...

...give us client side hard encryption & controls and working data-canaries then we might start thinking about it

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Pot, meet Kettle

I find it ironic that the US has long since considered Chinese device manufacturers untrustworthy enough to bar them from bidding on major infrastructure projects on the grounds they might implement back-doors to spy on their networks … now there's alleged evidence of the NSA doing exactly this to China's main networks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pot, meet Kettle

They didn't consider them untrustworthy, they _knew_ they were untrustworthy, although not for the reason you might think. It's not because they are foreign, after all we trust the brits. It's because they are not capialist enterprises and therefore cannot be reliably bought.

Nothing scares your average western govt. more than somone who isn't motivated by money.

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Re: Pot, meet Kettle

That doesn't seem to stop the NSA using the Linux Kernel … after all, how did we get SELinux?

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Re: Stuart Longland Re: Pot, meet Kettle

".....now there's alleged evidence of the NSA doing exactly this to China's main networks." Yeah, I wonder if Snowden stopped off in Beijing on the way to Moscow to pick up a cheque. How do you think the US authorities got the proof that they needed before they could convince Obambi and co to stand up and say publicly that the Chinese government was behind hacking attacks on US companies - they hacked bits of the Chinese infrastructure. If you are surprised to hear that then your days must be filled with wide-eyed wonder. Now, stop for a second and think - who really gains from what Snowden is shrieking about, and the obvious answer is China. Ever stop to wonder why Snowden's first stop on his "flight to freedom" was part of China? Ever even take a second to consider what his motivation has been seeing as he seemed quite happy to take Uncle Sam's cash for quite a while before he suddenly developed a convenient conscience? Oh, sorry, did I interrupt your mindless bleating and ask you to actually think for a second?

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Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

Snowden has presented evidence for his claims. You have none for your baseless speculation. And your claim that he should somehow have "developed a conscience" without taking the NSA job and thereby finding out what they were doing is blatantly impossible. Try thinking for a second yourself.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

Oh, and while I'm at it, the answer to your "who really gains from" what Snowden has revealed is every single one of us who now have the ability to hold our governments to account and demand our privacy and rights be respected better than they have been doing lately. Some small propaganda victory for the Chinese is a trivial consequence compared to the very real benefits for all us western citizens.

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Re: Stuart Longland Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

"..... You have none for your baseless speculation....." Give it a while, I'm pretty confident that time will expose Snowden's real motivations.

".....And your claim that he should somehow have "developed a conscience" without taking the NSA job and thereby finding out what they were doing is blatantly impossible....." Really? But you and so many of the other sheeple posting here seem to have a shrieking aversion for the NSA and CIA yet have obviously never worked in a secure environment, let alone for a security agency. So that means, if you want to pretend having a job with he NSA is a prerequisite to having an opinion, by your own measure, all your bleating is just the blind parroting of the tinfoil brigade, based on a complete lack of knowledge. Thanks for clearing that up. It would seem very obvious that it would be impossible for anyone with half a clue to approach a job with the security agencies WITHOUT already having a pretty jaundiced view of what the work was likely to entail. Obviously, my asking you to stop and think really was just too much for you.

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Re: AC Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

".....every single one of us who now have the ability to hold our governments to account and demand our privacy and rights be respected better than they have been doing lately....." Oh puh-lease, get off your moral hobbyhorse! Is that more of the blindfolded "99%" male bovine manure? Did you ever stop to think (rhetorical question as it seems independent thought really is too much for you) that some of us are not only happy our governments are using such program's as PRISM, but actually think we should be going further. Because one right I really value is not being blown up or having the aircraft I'm travelling in deliberately crashed into a building by some Islamist nutjob. A second right is hoping my government is doing something to stop foreign companies hacking our businesses. Unlike some of you clueless clowns, I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earh.

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Re: Stuart Longland Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

I was going to say that you missed out 'sheeple' in your earlier post, but I see that you've used it now - excellent work!

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Re: Pot, meet Kettle @Nicho

Trust me, I have just been to China, they are *very* motivated by money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

@Matt

Relax. Calm down. Breathe.

It may be worth keeping a few things in mind.

1 - Snowden exposed something. I must thank whoever came up with this one: "those who have nothing to hide need not fear whistleblowers". If all was honky-dory there wouldn't have been such an upset because let's be honest, it wasn't exactly *news* for anyone who has ever been near security, privacy or work with a protective marking.

2 - such privileges and powers as deployed by the NSA and other actors require aggressive supervision or they will be abused for all sorts of stupidity. Time to haul these people back into their box. The final authority in a democratic state is the tax payer. If they are not, it's time to stop pretending it's a democracy.

3 - I would suggest you tone down your assumptions about others on this forum. You really have no clue who some of the people are here, nor are you likely to find out.

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Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

"Because one right I really value is not being blown up or having the aircraft I'm travelling in deliberately crashed into a building by some Islamist nutjob."

And China's chock full of them isn't it.

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Re: AC Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

"....Relax. Calm down. Breathe....." Sorry to disappoint you, but just because you lot froth at full volume, doesn't mean those of us with a clue are raging. It's more likely we're laughing at your childish naïveté. Believe me, if anyone from GCHQ or the NSA can spare the time to look at your dribblings it is probably as light relief.

"......Snowden exposed something...." Seriously? It was news to you?!? Which sandpit have you been keeping your head in?

".....such privileges and powers as deployed by the NSA and other actors require aggressive supervision or they will be abused for all sorts of stupidity....." So where does it say in anything Snowden sold to the papers that there is no supervision? Indeed, Snowden's latest non-news is the RULES the NSA use! Sounds supervised and regulated to me.

".....Time to haul these people back into their box....." What, all the sheeple bleating on here you mean?

"....The final authority in a democratic state is the tax payer....democracy...." EXACTLY! So, if you think we're all just dying to swallow the same tinfoil-wrapped bumph you have been spoonfed, please do waste your time and money starting a new political party and standing for election. Don't be surprised when Joe Public ignores you and you lose your deposit. Oh what, do your convictions that you are "righteous" not extend to actually doing something democratic about it other than wasting bandwidth?

".....I would suggest you tone down your assumptions about others on this forum....." What, so you trumpet free speech, democracy and rights, only just as long as the speaker agrees with your POV? What you are actually admitting is that you are anti-democracy and don't give a jot for free speech.

".....You really have no clue who some of the people are here, nor are you likely to find out." What's that, a playground threat? If I wanted to find out who you are I could always ask the NSA if they have been watching the Kindergartens.

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Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

".....And China's chock full of them isn't it." It is full of government-controlled agencies that are using malware and other hacks to attack Western businesses (http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-04/24/akamai-state-of-the-internet), or were you having your afternoon nap when that was revealed? And that's ignoring the links the Chinese have from years of supplying Islamist terror-sponsoring countries like Pakistan, Iran and Sudan.

Oh, and if you want to know why you don't hear about Islamist terrorists in China? That's because they go waaaaaay beyond anything the CIA has done - even the Gitmo and rendition staple bleats - in their dealings with internal Chinese terrorism (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4435135.stm). But I expect that's news to someone as blinkered as you.

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Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

Just weigh up the risks of getting blown up by some nutjob vs the complete loss of every citizens privacy.

These actions should be balanced, and right now we are not in a civil or world war which would warrant such a hideous invasion of privacy. Many many more people die every day from preventable accidents and health issues or wars. You are being made fearful by the terrorists and are scared enough to just hand our most private lives which have nothing to do with govt away. It will not stop them.

The sooner everyone can by default have encrypted communication the better, it's not even if the current government is malicious or not, (a future one may be) , it's also the fact that governments are generally a bit incompetent and someone will just leave a USB key on a train one day

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Matt

Matt! Go easy, 'co I'm getting RSI in my right forefinger from applying a downvote to all your mad, ranty, illogical posts.

If, as you seem to think, these programes are effective in intercepting terrorist or criminal communications, leading to the guilty being stopped, where's the success in stopping drugs coming onto our streets? Where's the success against organised crime? Against people trafficking? Money laundering ? Against fraud, against counterfeiting, against forgery? Where's the success in clawing back the proceeds of crime?

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Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

"But I expect that's news to someone as blinkered as you."

Wow, you're awfully good at drawing a conclusion as the extent of someone's views and insight on the basis of a one-sentence post.

You really need to calm down a bit. Some very childish ranting you've embarked upon here, full of personal insults thrown at people that you don't know.

I'm not suggesting you calm it down to protect the sensibilities of the the commentards-in-general. More to save you embarrassing yourself any further with the rather petulant style you seem to have adopted.

Deary me...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

@Matt Bryant

Now, stop for a second and think - who really gains from what Snowden is shrieking about

You're a bit behind the times with that argument. If you want to follow the money you ought to start with tracking who suddenly got billions allocated post 9/11. Who did no longer face close budget scrutiny? Who was suddenly allowed to go all deep invasive on the tax payer? Who has blown gazillions on scanners that either didn't work, were discarded as a safety issue months later or were never deployed at all?

If you want to bring up such arguments you really ought to start at the beginning. The more I see what is happening now, the more I am inclined to discard my initial cynicism for claims that 9/11 was not all what it seemed. The "follow the money" argument tends to work really well if you want to get an explanation for seemingly unexplainable events and it frankly pisses me off that oinks like you are now posting love messages to the NSA instead of having the brains to ask questions.

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Re: some of us are happy with PRISM

@ Matt

some of us are not only happy our governments are using such program's as PRISM, but actually think we should be going further

OK, you're entitled to your opinion, but why don't you make their life easier then and post all your details online here? PIN codes, your annual income, the last 3 tax submissions you made, a couple of utility bills, the 50 last people you called (including their numbers, we can't have them feeling left out because *you* have this opinion, damn their rights), 50 emails and, hmm, say, 30% of your address book. Alternatively, put it on a Google resource, that way they'll have it straightaway, and just post a link here because to do this right you have to go all public - because the number of entities that have uncontrolled access to this data is so massive you might as well post it on your Facebook wall in "public" mode. Pics of the wife and kids (if exists) also, of course.

Don't forget details of your passport and social security number, that saves the NSA the trouble leaking it through an "error" at their, umm, "partners" if you piss them off so you suffers some nice juicy identity theft problems.

Come on, Matt, put your money personal information where you mouth is.

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Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

But also:

"Did you ever stop to think [...] that some of us are not only happy our governments are using such program's as PRISM, but actually think we should be going further"

You *are* the meek.

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Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

"not being blown up or having the aircraft I'm travelling in deliberately crashed into a building by some Islamist nutjob"

You seem to be forgetting who really instigated all of this so that they could justify the control they now have.

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Re: Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

"The meek shall inherit the Earth"?

Reminds me of an office visit repair job I did, decades ago, when I saw on a wall somwhere:

"The MEEK shall inherit the SHIT!"

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Re: Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

And, then I did a Spoonerism or two on that:

"The CHIC shall inherit the MITT"

"The Sheik shall inherit the mitt"

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Re: some of us are happy with PRISM

>>> Come on, Matt, put your money personal information where you mouth is.

I see no reply, you think he finally read his own post?

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Re: sventamagotchi Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

"....the complete loss of every citizens privacy....." Nice bit of hyperventilating melodrama, but the evidence so far shows anything but a complete loss of every citizens' privacy.

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Re: AC Re: @Matt

".....where's the success in stopping drugs coming onto our streets?...." You are assuming they are not effective, whereas the police in the UK and US regularly record seizures that are the result of "intelligence":

http://www.insightcrime.org/news-briefs/central-america-drug-seizures-up-30-in-2012-us

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15613803

As far back as the '90s the DEA were remotely intercepting the calls made by members of Pablo Escobar's cartel in Colombia all the way from Fort Worth, Texas - how do you think they were doing that, by really big binoculars and lip-reading? The Colombian electronic surveilance team that eventualy tracked Escobar to his Medellin hideout were supplied with French equipment to hide US involvement, except they were given the list of kit to get and trained in its use by US technicians, and the numbers to watch for from the DEA. Ever since, Escobar's competitors in the drug trade have spent small fortunes annually on trying to beat US surveilance, which kind of implies they think it's effective.

Unfortunately, many of the successes of the authorities are simply not reported as they are not considered newsworthy. But sensationalist announcements of "leakers" and "threats to privacy"? Well, you're just showing exactly how the media love to whip up a froth on those. HTH.

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Re: I like poodles Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

All that post and not one thing to add to the conversation? Not one original thought or argument, no insight, in fact nothing other than a desperate attempt to actually not discuss the poits raised as you simply can't. This is my surprised face, honest. You guys really don't like it when you meet someone outside your tiny-minded cliques that can actually explain the gaping holes in what you have accepted as "the truth", do you?

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Re: AC Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

"....If you want to follow the money you ought to start with tracking who suddenly got billions allocated post 9/11....." Really? Gee, I sense that someone only went looking where they were sure to find reports of the "corruption" they wanted to see. The many successes of the security forces both in the UK and the US never get reported, whereas the few failures or mishaps (such as bad scanners) get whipped into a froth by the sheeple. Did you ever stop to think maybe the security services were UNDERFUNDED pre-9/11? What am I saying - of course you never thought that because it doesn't fit in with your carefully pre-formed The Man is BAD mantra.

Instead of just looking for ways to feel bad about your own government, why don't you stop to ask why hasn't there been another spectacular terrorist attack in the US like 9/11? AQ and co didn't decide they'd "won" and call it quits, and it's not like bin Laden was short of cash nor means. What stopped him was the global war on terror, end of, regardless of what you want to believe.

If you want to pretend otherwise, please do explain why you think AQ didn't manage another similar attack in the US? Care to explain how the majority of AQ's operatives ended up dead, on the run or in Gitmo if it wasn't intelligence that lead to their captures or deaths? Do you seriously think the CIA went out and just knocked door to door in Pakistan to find them? Or that the US forces went into Afghanistan in the first place without knowing exactly where the relevant AQ and Taleban centres of coms were? You do know that as soon as the Allies said they were going to invade the Taleban instructed all their members to ditch their mobile phones - ever stop to wonder why?

Do you seriously think that, after they shot Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev that the authorities just said "Hey, let's not look into who they were talking to that may have influenced them"? I bet one of the first things they did was ring up the NSA and start looking at who owned the mobiles the Tsarnaevs had been calling and texting in the last year. It's probably a core part of their current investigations.

Take your time, consort with the rest of the sheeple, it will be interesting to hear what male bovine manure you come up with to avoid admitting that the authorities that you are whining about have been doing their jobs.

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Re: AC Re: some of us are happy with PRISM

".....but why don't you make their life easier then and post all your details online here? PIN codes, your annual income, the last 3 tax submissions you made, a couple of utility bills, the 50 last people you called (including their numbers, we can't have them feeling left out because *you* have this opinion, damn their rights), 50 emails and, hmm, say, 30% of your address book....." Because, whilst I don't have a problem with the authorities knowing even half of that list, I wouldn't trust you lot of numpty, Anon-hugging skiddies with the time of day, you're far too likely to try to do something stupid with it. Just look at all the Anons caught because they were convinced "I'm smarter than The Man, I can do what I like". They did stupid crimes and got caught. Exposing your secrets to morons like that is the real privacy threat.

"....put it on a Google resource...." Are you kidding? Lots of people ALREADY put up waaaaaay to much personal info on gormless sites like Facebook. I bet you do, you sound like just the type of right-on sheep that has a Facebook account listing everything right down to the brand of toothpaste you use twice daily. It probably wouldn't take longer than five minutes in the right type of IRC channel to trick you into giving up as much info as needed. All I'd have to do is pretend to be Julain Assange, and that I need a "true believer" to let me clone their passport to escape Evil Britain (oh, and credit cards, just in case those sneaky border guards have come prepared), and you'd be jizzing all over your keyboard in your eagerness to "help the Great One"!

".....Don't forget details of your passport and social security number....." I already posted that I have signed the OSA, which means my name (and passport number, social security number, driving licence number and probably a few other items) are already on at least one watchlist. Every time I travel abroad it gets noted somewhere. Am I bothered? Not in the slightest.

".....put your money personal information where you mouth is." Your mouth is evidently with the rest of your head - so far up your rectum you have zero chance of actually spotting a clue, let alone getting one.

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Re: BlueGreen Re: Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

".....You *are* the meek." Having travelled to countries with truly nasty regimes and security apparatii, I can say it is very comforting to return to our shores and wallow in the meekness. But don't mind me, you and the rest of the sheeple just carry on sipping your lattes and bleating amongst yoursleves about how you're saving the World one gap yeaaaaaah at a time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

[bla bla]

Take your time, consort with the rest of the sheeple, it will be interesting to hear what male bovine manure you come up with to avoid admitting that the authorities that you are whining about have been doing their jobs.

:). You must have signed the OSA as a soldier or similar, because I cannot see you get a clearance above BC other than by mistake. Not only does your choice of words and limited vocabulary show you've never been near anything more confidential than where your mother hides the biscuits, it also shows you would not be trusted with anything above Confidential because you are too easily goaded into, frankly, stupid public statements without exercising any kind of restraint.

Ah, yes: Having travelled to countries with truly nasty regimes and security apparatii.

QED.

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Re: little Re: some of us are happy with PRISM

"....I see no reply...." Patience, Grasshopper.

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Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

"....because I cannot see you get a clearance above BC other than by mistake....." <Yawn> It is not an offence to admit you have signed the OSA. It is also not strictly an offence to state what level of clearance you may have had at one time or another, though if you are above enhanced baseline then you'd probably get a slap on the wrist for publicly admitting it. And seeing as I post under a nom de plume you aren't getting anything by it anyway. So you'll understand when I tell you to go have sexual relations elsewhere if you seriously want anyone to believe you actually know anything about the security ratings or practices covered by the OSA.

"....Not only does your choice of words and limited vocabulary....." I was always taught to consider the capabilities of the audience one is addressing - sheeple need short words, as you have proven with such unintended eloquence. I'm also technical, which means I usually reach for the quickest and simplest tool to get the job done, and leave the flowery quotations to those whose job it is to do nothing more than flowery quotations. I'm guessing the latter is the only role you might be equipped for.

"......too easily goaded into, frankly, stupid public statements....." Aw, was that supposed to be your best shot? As you mentioned, it is common knowledge that all soldiers sign for baseline clearance, as do many civil servants, so merely saying you having signed the OSA gives nothing away. Oh, sorry, did that destroy the one attempt at a point in your whole post? Whoops! Have another go, I'll try not to make you look so stupid so quickly next time. Oh, and I'll even throw in a few long words as long as you promise to go look them up in the dictionary before trying to reply. BTW, can you try something on-topic, preferrably related to Snowden, as it would probably be less confusing for the other sheeple. I will wait for you to watch Oprah if you're running a bit short of ideas.

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Re: BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

If you want the government to do more data collection specificallly without your knowledge, you've voided your right to call other people sheeple.

Your response does not change that. You are particularly a fool if a collar round your neck brings you a sense of security: you are a sheeple. You remain the meek.

Now to the rest:

"Having travelled to countries with truly nasty regimes and security apparatii, I can say it is very comforting to return to our shores and wallow in the meekness"

No, you wallow in accountable democracy and a stable society, and that's something I hugely appreciate too, and wish to preserve. Why? Because I was born in one of those horrible countries, and have too much insight into their workings. I'd rather keep our government as clean and transparent as possible.

Do not confuse meekness with an appreciation of belonging to one of the world's less unpleasant countries, not even as a rhetorical tactic.

"But don't mind me, you and the rest of the sheeple just carry on sipping your lattes and bleating amongst yoursleves about how you're saving the World one gap yeaaaaaah at a time."

Beyond an insight into your condescension, totally content free. Try not typing it next time.

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Re: BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

"If you want the government to do more data collection specificallly without your knowledge, you've voided your right to call other people sheeple....." How? You are asuming that compliance equates to sheeple simply because you want to believe it is so, because you want to believe Big Brother is watching you all the time, every day, without pause. The difference is I am quite happy to trade some tiny likelyhood that there may be a minor invasion of my privacy in return for the benefits such intel gives our security forces and police. And please note that nothing that Snowden has "revealed" shows in any way that I am currently having my privacy "invaded" in any way, shape or form, thanks. PRISM is not a wide filter it's a narrow tool. GCHQ's Tempora is a much bigger tool but is again just a time-limited holding tank, the limit is the number of analysts that can be assigned to look at the data before the age limit, so again it has a narrow focus. The UK has a population of about 50 million people alone, on top of which Tempora is gagging down most of Europe's and a lot of trans-Atlantic traffic, so probably getting on for a half-a-billion people's worth at any time. Snowden claims they have 300 GCHQ analysts and 250 NSA bods doing nothing but Tempora analysis, which would mean a ratio of roughly a million subjects per analyst. The chance that either PRISM or Tempora during their existance has even ever looked at any of my coms is so infinitely tiny as to be laughable! I'm probably much more likely to be hit by lightning or a meteor! Because I am of ZERO interest to them, just like the vast majority of the World's population.

".....Your response does not change that....." My response does not change the fact that you do not want to see the facts, that you are happier living out your paranoid delusions. I do not expect to change that, but I will enjoy poking fun at you and the rest of the sheeple.

".....You are particularly a fool if a collar round your neck brings you a sense of security: you are a sheeple...." OK, have you ever had a reason to ask for assistance from the police? Did you insist the police came into existance only when you needed them, then vapourised themselves the minute they had dealt with your problem? Did you insist that, whilst they dealt with your issue, the police went around blindfolded, just in case they happened to see innocent people engaged in legal activities? But, surely, if the police saw innocent people then their privacy was invaded! <Insert sheeple shrieking here> Did you you insist the police only listened to you when you were talking about your problem and then insisted they had earmuffs on the rest of the time? Lieber gott! They might have overheard INNOCENT CONVERSATIONS!!!! <Insert more sheeple hyperventilating here> THE POLICE WERE SPYING ON YOU AND EVESDROPPING ON YOUR EVERY SPOKEN WORD!!!!! <Insert sound of sheeple blundering round in circles whilst bleating at top volume> But if the police had been blindfolded and earmuffed, do you think they would have been any good at detecting and preventing an unrelated criminal act before it had happened? Do you think it is a good idea that the police might be able to prevent a crime rather than just turning up afterwards, especially if that was a violent crime against someone you actually cared about? Oh, so you actually DO support a little monitoring by the police then? How's that collar?

".....You remain the meek....." I would smilingly suggest it is more that I remain simply a lot more realistic, and a lot less prone to melodrama, and definately a lot less easily led than yourself. Consider yourself well and truly laughed at!

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Re: BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

"How?"

Because I don't want far-reaching infrastructures built *behind my back*. I want these things, if they are to be developed at all, to be done where I can see them. Where I can have some input into their extent. I'm not against them necessarily, just against them being done without the input of the huge bulk people whose privacy they will affect.

"because you want to believe Big Brother is watching you all the time, every day, without pause"

No, I don't. I want accountability and transparency. See above paragraph. If the general public desire this level of intrusion, so be it, it is after all a democracy, but as a prerequisite they need the knowledge of it.

"And please note that nothing that Snowden has "revealed" shows in any way that I am currently having my privacy "invaded" in any way, shape or form, thanks"

Unless you have access to the full info of what's going on, you don't know.

Also you gloss over the kind of well recognised phenomenon that power structures start to work to their own ends, rather than those they serve e.g. "Two reviews to investigate Lawrence smear claims" <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23026324>. This is so common you have to be wilfully blind not to see the risks.

Oh, BTW there were claims that the US used echelon to give their aerospace companies financial advantage in large military tenders (this is going back a few years though, I'm damn sure they wouldn't do that these days. Would they?)

"PRISM is not a wide filter it's [...] a million subjects per analyst. The chance that either PRISM or Tempora during their existance has even ever looked at any of my coms is so infinitely tiny as to be laughable! I'm probably much more likely to be hit by lightning or a meteor!"

Agreed. If you concentrate on human analysts, the final link, yes. However there are these things called computers which can do a lot of data mining. Which I might be ok with if I knew what was going on. Which I don't and you don't and if it hadn't been for this guy, almost no-one would.

Also what I do may not be entirely legal. I like drugs and if I want to get hold of e.g. some acid (virtually impossible these days) I don't see its any business of the government, despite class a's being very illegal and this data could be linked to me automatically via a web of contacts, which could be auto mined then turned over to the police. I don't see any problem with prostitution provided both parties are in free consent, yet ditto that can dump people in trouble due to fucked up morality (as I see it). Government's business? I'd say no, unless it was non-consensual in which case it's rape at least.

Answer me: do you think that, if it does not affect wider society, what I do with my body re. drugs or what a woman does with her body re. a willing sale, should be any business of the government?

But you seem to believe the gov't is a warm fuzzy entity which can only do the right thing. You are a sheeple.

"Because I am of ZERO interest to them, just like the vast majority of the World's population."

Hmm. Who said something about 'truly nasty regimes and security apparatii'? That most of the world live under? That might want to monitor their population? For fear of political opposition amongs those being governed? Answer me: is this a valid point?

(assorted stuff about the police)

I support the police in the main. They need a certain amount of info to do their job. This I accept. I want some input into the quantity and kind they are getting. IOW, transparency and accountability.

"I would smilingly suggest..."

More content-free condescension. About the only thing I can extract from it is that you're the adult and we by dint of not being you, are foolish children.

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Re: BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

Oh dear, Matt, have you downvoted me without responding to my points? Have I ruined the smile on your face with my post?

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Re: BlueGreen Re: BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

".....Because I don't want far-reaching infrastructures built *behind my back*.... I want accountability and transparency......" The GCHQ IMP that became "Tempora" was publicly disclosed in 2008, there was even an El Reg article on it (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/19/ukgov_uber_database/) then and plenty since (hint - do an El Reg search for "Interception Modernisation Plan"). I suppose you can't help it if you're just ill-informed and unaware, but in future do try and keep up before bleating so energeticly.

"....Unless you have access to the full info of what's going on, you don't know...." Whatever, that rather weak bit of paranoid dribbling just makes me suggest you loosen up the tinfoil hat.

".....This is so common you have to be wilfully blind not to see the risks....." No, this is what happens when you are desperate to find anything to back up your whacky conspiracy theories, and seize on any unrelated matter as "proof" it must be The Truth! Please do show me the GCHQ involvement in the alleged Lawrence "smear" investigation.

"....there were claims that the US used echelon...." There's a tramp that hangs around the London Bridge area that swears he's Elvis, I suppose you believe his claims too?

".....if it hadn't been for this guy, almost no-one would...." HTH. See link above.

"....I like drugs....." This is my surprised face. Next time, please try posting AFTER the trip.

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Re: BlueGreen BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

"The GCHQ IMP that became "Tempora" was publicly disclosed in 2008"

So you are saying that all this was in the public domain already? And that the extent of PRISM was already known? And all the stuff coming on on June 6th to US and UK papers was already available?

You are pointing out a part issue then pretending that that's the same as the entire problem. It's not. It's part of the problem (as are you, with your let-the-government-do-my-thinking-for-me view on life).

So, let's get to the core of it. I said: "I want accountability and transparency" - do you agree that this is a good thing, or not?

"Whatever, that rather weak bit of paranoid dribbling just makes me suggest you loosen up the tinfoil hat."

Until you have full knowledge of a thing, you don't know the full knowledge of a thing. Until Snowden spoke up, you had very little knowledge of the extent of this. You've avoided that and instead you post more vacuous condescension.

"No, this is what happens when you are desperate to find anything to back up your whacky conspiracy theories, and seize on any unrelated matter as "proof" it must be The Truth!"

I'm asserting that oppressive governments wish to, and increasingly do, monitor their own citizens for political rather than moral reasons. You ducked the question because you didn't want to answer it; that if you had it would have undermined your point. Let me repeat the question; try to answer it this time:

>>> . Who said something about 'truly nasty regimes and security apparatii'? That most of the world live under? That might want to monitor their population? For fear of political opposition amongs those being governed? Answer me: is this a valid point?

"Please do show me the GCHQ involvement in the alleged Lawrence "smear" investigation."

You deliberately misrepresent me by invoking GCHQ involvement. Nowhere did I say that. I was making the wider point that "...that power structures start to work to their own ends, rather than those they serve", giving a known example. IOW, power corrupts - do you agree that lots of info + secrecy is ripe for breeding corruption?

You avoided the question because it undermined your point.

re echelon you said "There's a tramp that hangs around the London Bridge area that swears he's Elvis, I suppose you believe his claims too?"

Well, fair point. Here's <http://cryptome.org/echelon-ie.htm> "The Brussels report which identifies Ireland as ECHELON's new recruit says: "there is wide-ranging evidence that major governments are routinely using communications intelligence to provide commercial advantage to companies and trade." "

-and-

<http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/820758.stm> "But a report published by the European Parliament in February alleges that Echelon twice helped US companies gain a commercial advantage over European firms. "

So, now I've provided some evidence, will you accept that abuse of these monitoring systems for commercial advantage is a real risk? I mean, you shouldn't need me point that out but apparently...

"This is my surprised face. Next time, please try posting AFTER the trip."

I'm not on anything at the moment. That is a crude attempt to not answer the question. Let me repeat:

"do you think that, if it does not affect wider society, what I do with my body re. drugs or what a woman does with her body re. a willing sale, should be any business of the government?" - Please answer this question.

You also did not address my point that data analysis with computers can be far more extensive than that done by humans, and that these can be used to bring to the attention of humans details about e.g. sexual or drug practices or political attitudes that the government should not have any right to know about. Please address this point.

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Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

It is also not strictly an offence to state what level of clearance you may have had at one time or another, though if you are above enhanced baseline then you'd probably get a slap on the wrist for publicly admitting it "Admitting"? That's your problem right there. You read far too much into statements. The correct verb would be "alluding to", and that's OK for the same reason you always brief someone in Parliament from public sources: plausible deniability.

I was always taught to consider the capabilities of the audience one is addressing - sheeple need short words, as you have proven with such unintended eloquence. Bull. It's not about the style of words you use, it's quite simply because there are certain terms you would use as a direct reference to information. Those who have been near that data would have picked it up, those who pretend won'^t even spot it. *That* is efficiently, because it immediately identifies the wannabees. I don't buy it that you multiple ways of expressing yourself, from a sheer statistical point of view it appears you're stuck in a certain regrettable MO.

I'll try not to make you look so stupid so quickly next time LOL. Sorry to deflate that opinion of yourself, you lack any standing to make anyone "look" anything. Now go and compose some more love letters to the NSA and GCHQ. Give them something to laugh about because that I must admit, you're good at making people laugh. Maybe we'll get you a clown icon and call it Matt.

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