Re: Who Exactly is Freaking Out About This?
I'm not sure what country you live in.
From my POV, GCHQ, my own countries spy agency, knows that almost every COTS encryption used by the British Government, its commercial industries , and by influential people from every walk of life (including MPs) is worthless when used against the NSA (and anyone else who has discovered those back doors via leaks or investigation).
In the meantime, the NSA watches on as the GCHQ develop the capability to hack large US providers.
And then what?
Teams of Americans in the US spying wholesale on everyone of interest in the UK. If they spot any illegal activities by a pleb they flag that up to GCHQ who then go get a warrant (if they still need those). If what they spot is commercially sensitive or potential blackmail material on someone of importance, then they pass that onto the Department of Commerce, or squirrel it away for later use. After all, you never know when you might need a bit more leverage on a British MP (or PM) .
And of course, lets have the GCHQ perform a similar role for the NSA, except that the GCHQ capability is much more limited and apparently not yet completed. And I'm guessing some quiet words have been had with people in positions of actual power in the US about what not to use. I'm not sure we can say the same about British MPs etc.
Maybe the NSA revealed this on the proviso that GCHQ wouldn't tell anyone about it , but "promised" not to spy on any non-terrorists in the UK. And if the US gives you a dollar and a promise, well, at least you got a dollar.
In summary, these spy agencies are colluding with each other to spy indirectly on their own citizens, and don't give a shit about the implications of this for their own citizens security. And as the relationship appears to be a lot more weighted towards the US, it's the UK that is getting screwed over the most.
Next time we go to war with someone at the US's behest, ask yourself if that decision was influenced by some private bit of embarrassing data somewhere that would make sure someone would never be elected again if it came out.
And of course you don't have to take the step of blackmailing people in most cases. If you feel someone might not be suitable in a certain position, and would likely go public to reveal the blackmail rather than roll over, then just leak the info anyway , to the press or their party/company. Then watch them vanish, leaving the way open for someone more palatable.