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back to article US: We spied on you Europeans but we can still be chums. Right?

High-ranking Eurocrats are expected to begin crisis talks on digital surveillance with American officials on Monday. Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė, whose country will take up the EU presidency today , said she hoped to piggyback discussions on Edward Snowden and the PRISM system on top of trade talks. The EU and the …

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Summary of talks

European State: "How dare you justify snooping on our data!"

NSA: "We will share the data that has IP addresses within your country, with you! Half price..."

European State: "Cool."

Subesquent press release in European State press: "We have let America know our feelings on this matter and have come to a satisfactory outcome. Our citizens can now know that they are protected due to our dilligence and fortitude"

European State Secret Service: Hey, we stop forking out so much money for our own snooping - NSA is giving it away!

NSA: Ok, dodged that one. We now have extra funds for some decent PR for recuiting...

/cynicism

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Summary of talks

USA: Ok, "I understand you're annoyed. What with us looking at what your citizens are up to."

France: "We are shocked, shocked I say"

Germany: "It is unacceptable"

UK: "Oh, that's all right, old chap. We knew you were up to something. We got the gen from the NSA memos to the President".

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Stop

Re: Summary of talks

Whilst the French may indeed be crying 'Zut Alors' I suspect the French DGSE might be trying to keep them quiet...... all these countries spy on one and other.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Summary of talks

In additional private meetings:

NSA (anonymous via third party): "You know we are simply amazed at how many MEP's and Eurocrats are kiddie porn site browsers / tax dodgers / or engaged in extra marital wa-hey. It would be a shame if that information were to leak. Fortunately we have your help keeping people like Snowden in check. Don't we [no question mark]"

MEP's and Eurocrats: "So, pretty please, do you agree to our plan."

NSA (anonymous via third party): "We'll think about it. Don't call s we'll call you. Oh and by the way, the US government delegation is offering really good trade terms. Agree to them."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Summary of talks

European State(s): "How dare you justify snooping on our data!"

*France adjusts recording microphone*

*Germany refocuses spy camera*

*Britain rummages through USA's briefcase in the next room*

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Re: Summary of talks

The difference is that I suspect the French secret service isn't handing over Airbus's business data to Boeing - I suspect GCHQ+NSA are.

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JLV
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>French secret service isn't handing over Airbus's business data to Boeing

I suspect it would make more sense if the French were to hand over Boeing data to Airbus.

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Re: >French secret service isn't handing over Airbus's business data to Boeing

I doubt that the NSA deliberately spy on Boeing to give the data to the DGCE,

But I suspect that GCHQ and the UK security services consider the special relationship with America as more important than British industry. So I don't imagine that they filter out interceptions on British companies before handign data over to the USA

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Re: JLV Re: >French secret service isn't handing over Airbus's business data to Boeing

"....the French were to hand over Boeing data to Airbus." More likely the Dassault Group. Allegedly, etc.

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Re: all these countries spy on one and other.

except of course for the ones who can't because they don't have the means to do so.

To the extent the trade negotiations discuss spying, it will be kabuki theater to reassure everyone. They can't actually dig too deep, because they can't publicly disclose that for the first time in his life, what The Big 0 has been saying publicly is true: everybody spies on each other, even if the public proclamation is that gentleman don't read each others mail.

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They don't like it up 'em, do they?

Politicians, quite prepared to snoop on us, but when someone snoops on them, they go apeshit.

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If they've got nothing to hide, they've got nothing to fear.

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They're politicians, of course they have something to hide.

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Unhappy

"hey're politicians, of course they have something to hide."

Something they should start to remember with regard to their citizens.

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Devil

"Something they should start to remember with regard to their citizens."

The citizens know where the politicians live... also good information.

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"We have the US attorney general’s letter to the EU"

A bit like Hitler's letter to Chamberlain. If the EU appeases the USA over this, it will only be another nail in our coffin.

“I don’t seek an apology from anybody"

Quisling.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "We have the US attorney general’s letter to the EU"

+1

You can always trust a latvian politician to play the big scary russian card. You can also always trust her to appease. Same as 60 years ago. So she is a quisling all right. On more than one level.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "We have the US attorney general’s letter to the EU"

Of course. Any time there is any mention of economic or social reform, or getting snouts out of troughs .... and Lithuanian but you are entirely correct in any case. Does she look poor or malnourished to you? ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "We have the US attorney general’s letter to the EU"

Did someone mention snouts and troughs?

"It is the sight of Squealer walking upright, on his hind legs. At this moment, all of the pigs leave the farmhouse in single file, all upright on two legs. Finally, Napoleon emerges from the farmhouse, upright and carrying a whip."

From: http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/animalfarm/10/

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If anybody is more concerned about their current use of the cloud because of the Snowden business, then they really walked into the situation with their eyes shut.

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Big Brother

True

But its better to open your eyes late than never...

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Anonymous Coward

"If anybody is more concerned about their current use of the cloud because of the Snowden business, then they really walked into the situation with their eyes shut."

The whole world does it. People just dont care less. As long as whatever it is suits them, they dont care what or how its being done unless it goes wrong.

It's deserved.

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"The whole world does it. People just dont care less."

They care more?

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In the end NOTHING will change...

The EU will say : "please... pretty please... pretty please with sugar on top ?"

And the US will say : "aarghh... allright then... we won't do it again... pinky swear !"

And the snooping will continue anyway, because the USA thinks it's job is to police the globe...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In the end NOTHING will change...

They police the globe because they get asked to - ex: Syria's civilian population begging for US intervention. And before you go "What about Afghanistan or Iraq?" Sometimes when you mess with the bull you get the horns. Price of doing business.

But you are correct. Nothing below the surface will change, just a lot of words saying they will.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In the end NOTHING will change...

"Syria's civilian population begging for US intervention."

BS - the Syrian people have seen the effects of US humanitarian intervention in Libya, and it is the last thing they want. Those screaming for intervention and arms are al Qaeda supporters. NATO is training and arming (via 3rd parties) al Qaeda, even thinking of handing over stingers to the 'right' people. What could possibly go wrong!

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Re: In the end NOTHING will change...

The US got the policing the globe job because - once theyd gotten rid of the isolationists - they had to go through with that navy "second to none" and an impoverished Britain had decided having an Empire was too much bloody hard work there was no one else and it could afford to. Not that it was a good idea.

Perhaps if the US had not had an unfettered post-WWII industrial dominance, then perhaps there would have been four or more major powers rather than three (with one aided by their two mates).

Ah, if only someone had suggested that round windows looked better on the Comet, perhaps someone else's aviation industry could have discovered metal fatigue the hard way and Vickers would be celebrating 100 years of crossing the Atlantic....

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404
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Thank you, graeme

your 'round windows on the Comet' comment led to two very enjoyable hours of Aviation history - the water tank testing of the Comet's fuselage was particularly impressive.

Thanks again!

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Re: Thank you, graeme

I had the unalloyed pleasure of going into the Nimrod at our local aviation museum on Tuesday. Comets were kind of in mind.

The 50s and 60s were a glorious time for aviation, if you ignore all the crashes, project cancellations, companies folding and so forth. An out-pouring of ideas never to be repeated. By comparison what have we had in the last 20? Improvements in efficiency and construction but no really new concepts. IMHO.

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MJI
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Re: Siria

Best thing is not to get involved, it is going to go pear shaped, someone will be worse off regardless of outcome so just do not get involved.

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Re: In the end NOTHING will change...

We KNOW its out job to police the globe because every stinking time you guys get upset, you come wailing to Daddy about it. Personally I'd like to let the lot of you stew in your own juices since you never want to do the smallest thing to prevent it before it reaches catastrophic levels, but we're stuck in the stew too.

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Re: the last thing they want.

Right, that's why their signs are written in Arabic AND English. Because they don't want the Americans to know and will keep out.

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Re: Tom 13 Re: the last thing they want.

".....that's why their signs are written in Arabic AND English....." I was witness to a very carefully prepared "spontaneous" protest in Beiruit in the '80s, complete with marshals that guided the "protestors" past the CNN camera crew, and made sure they were holding their banners up the right way seeing as the carriers couldn't speak a word of the English slogans painted on the banners.

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The 'cloud' is like the English Weather

Pisses all over you when you least expect it.

Just don't sign up with any Cloud hosting company that is American or has an American subsidiary.

One with no US presence at all preferably. That way they can't use US laws to bypass EU/local ones to snoop on your data.

Then the bead of GCHQ will say,

Just be good chaps and send everything to/from the cloud in clear and don't use that silly encryption. That way we won't need to snoop on your cloud systems and we will be positive that you aren't a terrorist/paeophile/ general bad guy that needs 'taking out'.

What a load of D**kheads if they think we will fall for that one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The 'cloud' is like the English Weather

"One with no US presence at all preferably. That way they can't use US laws to bypass EU/local ones to snoop on your data."

Don't quite think Kim Dotcom would agree with you there...

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We understand your concern

but if you'd like a tip about some shares that will be worth buying this afternoon about 2.30 or so...

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The "special" relationship

is beginning to sound more like Stockholm syndrome

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Big Brother

Is there any point?

They probably already know what our side are going to say anyway...

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tying trade talks to this, while hypocritically claiming shock yet doing the same things themselves, just makes governments look petty and narrow-minded, and politicians look like fools. Next they'll do something completely stupid like tie the trade negotiations to protection for films / tv for purely selfish (and blatantly silly) reasons. Oh, wait ...

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Anonymous Coward

Clouds - nope!

When I looked into cloud storage 2 or 3 years ago before all the hype I chose Humyo - a UK company - precisely because they were based in London, NOT the US. Which put my data under UK data protection laws. it was later bought by Trend and moved to Germany. I closed my account.

I use my own private NAS now that's not online and secure portable storage. Don't trust anyone, me. Cynical old git.

Nuf Sed.

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Re: Clouds - nope!

Ironically it is probably more secure form the NSA in Germany than in the UK. The only thing limiting NSA spying in the UK is how quickly GCHQ can send them the data.

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Re: Clouds - nope!

"When I looked into cloud storage 2 or 3 years ago before all the hype I chose Humyo - a UK company - precisely because they were based in London, NOT the US."

And that, ironically, refutes the whole basis of the Cloud - that you don't care (or, perhaps, even know) where you computing is done and your data is stored.

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Re: Clouds - nope!

But if you read about the cyberwar capabilities the US has and is planning to extend, you start to realise that data may be no safer on your own system than in the cloud anyway. For example, and just as a taster:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/18/opinion/schneier-cyberwar-policy/index.html

and I assume the US aren't alone in this. Would anyone like to 100% guarantee their system can resist an attack from a state as determined as this to get at your data?

Increasingly, I think the solution has to be technological as no-one can apparently be trusted with anyone's data these days. What technologies are needed, I have no idea, unfortunately.

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Big Brother

Re: Werner McGoole Re: Clouds - nope!

"But if you read about the cyberwar capabilities the US has and is planning to extend, you start to realise that data may be no safer on your own system than in the cloud anyway....." You need to start thinking about how the NSA et al will be targetting clouds, how they will be selecting targets for more aggressive monitoring and possible hacking. I expect their selection criteria will be something like this:

1. Are the actual cloud systems in a non-friendly (i.e., one that does not allow NSA/GCHQ snooping)?

2. Is the cloud provider owned or funded by a person or persons of interest (at the moment, that probably includes being funded by a Qatari-based investment bank)?

3. Do other people of interest already buy services from that cloud?

4. Are there encrypted streams not using OTS encryption tools exiting or entering the cloud in question (and where do they go to)?

5. Do any of those encrypte streams exit to TOR, non-friendly nations, or other clouds/companies/people already of interest?

Other possible reasons for the NSA to take an interest are if your cloud provider employs only foreigners from certain groups (such as Pakistan). Whilst you may not know these thing when you sign up for a cloud, and they are unlikely to tell you up front as your legitimate business may be being used to provide cover for their nefarious activities, when the Police turn up with a search warrant it is your business that will be offline whilst all the servers and storage are searched.

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"High-ranking Eurocrats are expected to begin crisis talks on digital surveillance with American officials on Monday."

Yeah and if by some freaking miracle anything other than "Sorry we bothered you." comes out of the mouths of the toadying EU politicians on Monday, pigs will fly, the sky will suddenly piss page-3 birds and chocolate coins, and rainbows will come out my arse!

Waste of time them going isn't it? We all know full well what's going to happen, the US gov and the NSA will bend the EU delegates over the table for a damn good caning for their insolence!

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@Amourous Cowherder

>>rainbows will come out my arse!

That happened to me after eating chicken in Eygpt :(

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Anonymous Coward

never underestimate the predictability of stupidity ...

(is that from "Snatch" ?)

I have spent the past 3 years banging on to all and sundry about the risks of cloud storage *Especially* when a US company is involved (note: physical location is irrelevant. US companies have to do Uncle Sams bidding *wherever* they are based.). Mainly due to have actually read the PATRIOT act. Mostly to a "yeah yeah" from customers.

*Now* they start bitching as if nobody told them. Well *I* did. Shame they didn't listen.

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Nonsense, we can trust US cloud providers

We can absolutely trust them to send regular summaries to the NSA, and fork over everything any time the NSA so much as twitches its pinky.

Funny how, when it comes to our privacy and personal life, companies fall over themselves to obey gubbermint spooks, but when it comes to paying taxes, no spook can seem to find them anymore to bring in the dollars.

Leaves me baffled, I must say.

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What is all this c**p about Cloud??

So let's see the US can walk in to a data centre and say open your draws to me baby anytime they want? Nope, big fail they need to have a warrant from a federal court issued by a judge who has heard the reason why they want the information. Now consider the UK.

Spy walks in to minister's office and says sign this bit of paper I need to go look at the files of some bloke or other who telephoned his granny a known member of Saga that terrorist organisation (always banging on about the rights of old people). Minister says oh alright then off you go sunny jim.

Now which of those two scenarios is scarier? When you talk about the PATRIOT Act you talk about something focussed on terrorism, when you talk about RIPA you talk about people lying about where they live in respect to a school!

All countries have cottoned on to the fact that they can capture the metadata related to telephone and internet traffic and pretty much every country with a few spare million is doing it to a greater or lesser extent, the big issue is what are the legal controls around this and believe it or not (and most won't) the US actually has slightly better legal controls over this than most of the European states where State Security falls in to a nice grey zone where the DPA or its equivalent in the rest of the EU States does not apply.

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