Symbolism can be a powerful weapon.
It establishes an air of FUD to discourage. Nothing more, nothing less.
GCHQ spooks reportedly rocked up at The Guardian's London headquarters and oversaw the destruction of some computer hardware - because the machines may have stored copies of documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The move came after the newspaper's editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger refused to comply with demands to …
I'm worried this is getting completely out of hand. Even El Reg might be cruising for a bruising.
It's reminding me strongly of "the dark actors playing games" just before the government murdered Dr. David Kelly CMG.
Those dark actors are clearly very pissed off once again and now no one but them has any rights.
"A complete load of symbollocks."
Twelve months ago a lot of folks would have said something like that in response to claims that representatives of the NSA and GCHQ etc were recording the contents of our every phone conversation and our every email (on the basis that we are all potential terrorists, or it's just collateral damage, or whatever).
Maybe Kelly was killed, maybe he wasn't.
Either way, the "security" forces are now known to be way way way out of control. Some people may have suspected as much a year ago, now there's proof.
"Twelve months ago a lot of folks would have said something like that in response to claims that representatives of the NSA and GCHQ etc were recording the contents of our every phone conversation and our every email"
I'm not even slightly convinced that's true. Everybody knew about POTUS invoking executive privilege with regards to ATT + tap/trace which was enough to confirm the story.
I don't think anybody knew they were quite so brazen or that GCHQ were so obviously breaking UK law - and boasting about it - though.
This really pisses me off, no-one has the right to determine when a debate is over, especially not the government.
The whole thing sounds like someone had a hissy fit, and didn't think things through.
Next thing will be 'D' notices (if they still exist), best of luck with that in our internationally connected world.
Basically dear chappies, democracy is over, everyone back to feudalism. I think the tipping point has been reached where "they" can just go "we've got you by the scroat" and don't really care about putting a public spin on anything anymore. The problem with a internationally connected world is that the man with the biggest fuck-off internationally connected data centre is king.
Would make for an interesting court case if somebody did ignore and D notice and was repeating something previously reported elsewhere and abroad.
It is, and the idea of voluntary censorship as regards national security issues is a laudable one...
... when used in the right place, to protect operational security and save lives. Mis-using them to stifle public knowledge of the invasion of privacy and in vague sweeping terms is NOT the right way to use them and undermines the whole idea. They should be used very sparingly, not whenever an inconvenient matter is brought up in the media.
""I shall not invoke The Mustachioed One Who Shall Not Be Named, "
Excuse me but please treat the gentleman with the respect he deserves.
That's Lord "Two Resignations" Mandelson to you, matey.
Anyone got any green slime, and Milibandelson's itinerary?
Regardless of whether they did the job themselves or intimidated a 3rd party into doing it, the criminal damage charge should stick, just the same as you can be charged for assult without actually touching a person.
In addition to the Crminal damage charge, it then becomes interesting under our Terrorism legislation, as anybody who undertakes criminal damage, or the threat of criminal damage, for the purpose of political, religous or idealogical goals is a terrorist.
So whether this action was polictically motivated, or was genuinely done for a valid legal reasons, with appropriate judical authority, given law is a idealogical construct, we now have terrorists running GCHQ!
I am not sure whats more worrying that they were told to destroy the hard drives or that the people telling them to do that honestly thought that would solve the problem and there wouldn't be backups anywhere else.
You can fit a lot of data on a micro SD card that could easily be taken in and out of buildings without being noticed (even if your are searched it would need to be a fully body search to find it)
These days law enforcement agents are overworked. They need to be given a break. So here are our guidelines to citizens to help those who protect us all let off some steam, and "make them feel better"!
If you get stopped by police for driving in the wrong lane / having a broken tail-light: let them puncture your tyres and smack the bonnet and windscreen with a jemmy, it will make them feel better!
If you get stopped by your neighbourhood wardens for acting in a drunk and disorderly manner (walking across the street when the light is red): let them kick your head in and knee you in the stomach a few times, it will make them feel better!
If you get audited by the tax man and he can't read your handwriting: let him seize you by the hair and thrust your head under water in the sink for a couple of minutes, it will make him feel better!
If you get stopped by the security forces for being too tall / too black / being in possession of a camera / wearing a rucksack: don't move and let them just shoot you, your sacrifice will make them feel better!
If you are accused by MPAA of downloading songs or films illegally from the Internet: let them take your family hostage and work them in the mines for life, it will make them feel better!
And always remember, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear!
Thank you for your cooperation
After reading all these articles I was incredibly confused by the arrest of David Miranda partner of Glenn Greenwald. For ages I legit thought that by partner they meant 'gay other half' and not 'works with him at the newspaper'. Been sat here thinking "Why would the guy keep this confidential stuff on his other halfs laptop? What the hell are they doing? Attacking his loved ones to get to him?"
Please tell me I'm not the only one who made this mistake.
Additionally, I cannot help but see the guy from whitehall as the PHB, or see the entire situation roll out as a BOFH script.
"I want you to delete all the information from your hard drives"
"The information isn't on our hard drives, it's on the cloud"
"But it could be on the hard drives right?"
"Well yes, the same way it could be written down on a piece of paper in that filing cabinet."
"So will you give us the iniformation on the hard drives?"
"Okay, here is all the information on those harddrives regarding snowden" *hands over an imaginary box* "Would you mind signing this to show you recieved the documents?" *Holds out an imaginary pen and clipboard to sign*
"Listen, I just want the information on those hard disks, would you stop being difficult"
"Would you stop being ignorant? We do not have the information, we do not have it here nor there, we do not have it anywhere, we do not have it in our SAN, we do not have it whitehall man"
"Look, just give us the information we want from those hard drives, or we'll wipe the lot of them."
"WE DON'T HAVE THE INFORMATION!"
"Fine, have it your way, boys wipe the hard drives."
"Do you want to wipe the backups too?"
"Nah, just the main drives should be fine."
I would not be at all surprised if many of the junior folks at a number of government agencies very much disagree with what's been coming out as much as the rest of us. However, they can't do anything about it without throwing their entire lives away as Snowden has. After all, everything from themselves and all their friends and families has been caught in the net too.
So, when the higher-ups order you to go out and do something that you know will draw even more negative publicity to themselves and what they've been doing,you don't point out that they're making a PR disaster worse, you happily comply.
"Please tell me I'm not the only one who made this mistake."
You aren't the only one who made this mistake.
We use the word partner to mean boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband/whatever far more than is necessary, which leads to exactly this misunderstanding when it's used in another context.
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