back to article Paris terror attacks: ISPs face pressure to share MORE data with governments

Government ministers from European states, who met in Paris today in the wake of the atrocious attacks that stunned the French capital's population last week, have called on internet firms to do a better job of cooperating with spooks and police to help them fight terrorism. In a joint statement (PDF) from a number of Europe's …

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Didn't take the spineless molluscs very long to pull the only stunt that their hindbrains can still generate.

How are Ukraine and Lybia coming btw? More 100% Euro-Successes that will blow in our faces like overcooked pastrami. Don't even mention the Euro-destroying Draghi on the economics front.

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Separately, the U.S. administration confirmed it would convene a meeting on 18 February to discuss tackling the global fight against Islamic extremism.

Which is entering YEAR 15 at LEAST (does blowing up aspirin factories in Sudan by Clintonian Cruise Missile count?). I suspect this means more droning of weddings, Loya Jirgas and suspicious meetings of dangerous children, and possibly double taps to get red crescent workers.

Not enough blowback yet? Apparently not. Where is my "change" btw?

Note that the US needs more drone operators, they are actually planning to pay bonuses to attract more of the armchair warriorsstarship operators.

We are far gone and going deeper fast.

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Anonymous Coward

Well it is expected

I do not see how it could have helped

Nearly all recent developed world terror attacks share the same pattern:

1. Attackers were known to the security forces

2. Attackers under surveillance so the ISPs _WERE_ cooperating already to the maximum extent technically possible

3. In ~ 50% or so cases (Adebolajo, etc) attackers were either supposedly informants or there was an attempt to make them such

4. Attackers were all internal - not imports and cross-border attacks like Mumbai or the stuff in Africa

5. Attackers were specifically noted as "subjects of interest" by at least one other country even in cases where countries do not openly cooperate much. Boston bombers by Russia to US, Charlie Hebdo attackers by US to France, etc.

If they are incapable of following people that are top priority on their "attention list" already, what else do they f*** want? Stalin as a head of state? Or Kim Chen X (for a given value of X)?

Can I make an alternative suggestion? Instead of asking ISPs to cooperate more - tell the "UK/US Strategic Ally" (named this way on the same page as Paris reports in Guardian today, World section) to F*** OFF and sell its oil elsewhere. Yes, that same ally whose princes tend to attend the same private school as the UK ruling class. The same ally that we have stopped investigating for corruption in military equipment sales. Yes, that one. The one.

There is surplus on the world market, we can live without financing their extensive support for extremism.

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Re: Well it is expected

An excellent analysis in my opinion. Maybe it's not "more" surveillance but perhaps "better". And by better, take the info you have and follow up. Time after time, there's no follow-up or even a cursory check. The agencies say "yeah, we had that one on our radar to take a look at.." but they didn't even examine it, or follow up.

We don't need more slurping and privacy invasion, we just need the agencies to concentrate on processing the info they already get instead of collecting it.

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The number of people killed in Paris is roughly about two months worth of the number of children killed as bystanders by drone strikes. The difference being of course that we are killing those children to Fight Terrorism!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well it is expected

1. Attackers were known to the security forces

And they carried out their attacks a few months after they had been downgraded as a risk, when the security services started to concentrate on other subjects. Curious, no?

Maybe GCHQ et al should spend a bit more time looking into who might be spying on them, or passing on internal information, before they increase the amount of clearly ineffective spying on the rest of us?

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WTF?

Re: Destroyed All Braincells

"....Libya...." Hold on a sec, weren't you and your chums claiming only not too long ago that Libya was part of that "wonderful" Arab Spring, and all due to the Great Revelations brought to us by Bradley/Chelsea Manning? Seems that much repeated claim has been forgotten now that the Arab Spring has turned into such a big mess (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30003865).

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" a lot of haystacks in which terrorist needles can hide. That is why our security services need to be given access to the data they require to help to keep us safe"

Conveniently forgetting that one of these particular needles was an ex-con and a known suspect who was on US no-fly lists. So, once again, the security services* f**cked up because instead of using existing powers to obtain warrants to track a known suspect, they were collecting as much data as possible on everyone and then trawling that for possible suspects.

And after this approach has once again failed, the answer is to do what???? To gain more access to more haystacks to look through for the same number of needles.

The incompetence would be unbelievable, except that it is sadly all too clear.

*In this case the French ones, but the UK, US etc ones are doing the exact same thing

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Re: Well it is expected

"1. Attackers were known to the security forces"

You forgot "0. Create circumstances for extremism to flourish'

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Anonymous Coward

More competence need not more power

These security service people don't need more power, they need to be competent.

The brothers were under surveillance until 6 months before the attack. I look forward to hearing the reasons why the surveillance was dropped in the followup debriefing - though I guess it will be withheld in the name of 'national security'.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well it is expected

You should also consider that the armed police in a car outside of the Charlie Hebdo offices had also just been stood down a month or so ago...

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Re: Destroyed All Braincells

"....Libya...." Hold on a sec, weren't you and your chums claiming only not too long ago that Libya was part of that "wonderful" Arab Spring, and all due to the Great Revelations brought to us by Bradley/Chelsea Manning? Seems that much repeated claim has been forgotten now that the Arab Spring has turned into such a big mess (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30003865).

Well, in fairness I've also seen it claimed by many (yourself included) that more surveillance powers are required for security services to fight terrorism. We then find out that those same services are already surveilling well beyond their remit (apparently this is fine because they don't care about normal people) and yet they still completely failed to prevent the Paris attacks, done by people who were already on their radar as persons of interest.

If the security services are already just blanket scoffing all the data they can get their hands on, and yet they still fail to prevent these atrocities, then it would appear that blanket scoffing of data isn't working too well. It would also appear that the criteria they use to downgrade potential threats are also flawed (these people apparently having been downgraded prior to going on a rampage).

Now I've done some thinking on this, and if you truly want to wipe out internal terrorism (aka a 0% chance of a terrorist event occurring in-country), the only viable solution is permanent surveillance of the entire country. Anything that is not under constant surveillance has the potential to be used by terrorists for secret meetings, so everything has to be under constant surveillance or the whole exercise is pointless; someone will inevitably slip through and people will die anyway.

So you have to be comfortable with GCHQ filming you on the bog, and filming your kids in the bath, if you truly want to prevent terrorism. Terrorists are apparently perfectly capable of using encryption to avoid detection, they are also going to be perfectly capable of using sign language in an unmonitored bathroom to avoid detection. On the plus side, it would also make it impossible to commit a crime and remain undetected, and it would be impossible to go back on your word without facing the consequences, as we would have recordings of all actions and conversations available for evidence at trial.

It does, however, also allow those people collating and reviewing the surveillance the ability to choose what to disseminate, and what not to disseminate, and as such I could not countenance it without hard proof that those people were truly incorruptible.

How far would you be comfortable for government surveillance to go? 24/7 monitoring of everything, or something short of that (which would allow terrorists enough leeway to continue to meet and plan in secret)?

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Re: Well it is expected

"We don't need more slurping and privacy invasion, we just need the agencies to concentrate on processing the info they already get instead of collecting it."

This applies across the board.

The police studiously ignored reports of people with firearm licenses who were exhibiting signs of instability - one of the main contributors to Dunblane being able to happen as a f'instance, then kneekjerked and used their collossal fuckup as an excuse to attempt to criminalise thousands of law-abiding gun owners.

Giving the "agencies" _more_ indiscriminate scraping powers is simply going to result in them being able to pile the bullshit higher and deeper, whilst not being able to see the forest for the trees.

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Of course the fact that the perps were well known to the authorities and had a prior history of crime and violence will be conveniently ignored.

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Anonymous Coward

@G.D.

It's almost as if the authorities wanted this to happen.

No wait, surely not...

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Re: @G.D.

It's the snappy, snarky, faux-witty comments such as this which betray the generalized emotional youth, immaturity, and inexperience in the World beyond the keyboard and screen of most of the audience here.

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Re: @G.D.

Ahhh - that explains the single downvotes through this thread.

Look mate, I am sure that you are the most wise and experienced human alive but some of us use snark and humour to comment and this does not render us 'immature'. When you are faced with an opponent who will largely do what they want regardless of what others think, sometimes ridicule - however ineffectual - is the only response.

Whatever the threats we face - however scary or credible - the simple fact remains that our politicians, collectively, are talking up bravery the and the preservation of freedom but making laws that discard the former and curtail the latter.

My own Prime Minister said:

"We will defend our values. What we can never do is compromise our values in defending them."

What exactly are our values? I think one of the key values of what we consider our progressive, modern, liberal western societies is that we have privacy and freedom to live our lives without our governments constantly looking over our shoulders. Evidently our politicians don't believe this to be an important 'value'.

Rubbish.

Our country and others like us might hold up multiculturalism and freedom of expression and our inclusiveness as core values but all those are predicated on the foundation of letting people just live their lives in peace and this is what our seemingly inexorable transition to a surveillance state is destroying.

What happened in Paris is not something one would wish to happen to anyone and many people can look at that (and other such attacks) and see themselves or their loved ones there - what if that was my wife/son/father/friend?

But, that is the risk we take - when that risk eventuates as real loss, that's when bravery and 'not giving in to fear' is tested. When it's just a risk, we can discount it; when it's made real we must confront it.

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Re: @G.D.

It reminds me of the virus writers versus anti-virus vendors setup. Many people were convinced that the two sides were cooperating, if not one and the same.

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Re: @G.D.

RE:

"What happened in Paris is not something one would wish to happen to anyone and many people can look at that (and other such attacks) and see themselves or their loved ones there - what if that was my wife/son/father/friend?"

But those anguished folks aren't the one's who're blowing up buildings and shooting non-Muslims.

Our Western Civ, philosophical meanderings will not defeat our butchering Muslim enemy. Nor will futile reposte-snark and ill-advised humor.

Our Western Civ. philosophical meanderings are rendering us very vulnerable right now. Our problem is learning how to apply our Muslim enemy's tactics and strategy against our Muslim enemy.

Neville Chamberlain seems to be, retrospectively, the epitome of gentlemanly, impeccable Western Civ.

Alas, that didn't serve us very well. So, the previously reviled Winston Churchill was finally sought after and became elected. Then ignominiously defeated in election while he was at Potsdam with Truman and Stalin. [Bless him, did he think then, "You're welcome"?]

Churchill's acerbic wit was/remains lightyears away from the limp humor you advocate and which we see so much of here.

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Re: @G.D.

But those anguished folks aren't the one's who're blowing up buildings and shooting non-Muslims terrorists.

Our Western Civ, philosophical meanderings will not defeat our butchering Muslim terrorist enemy. Nor will futile reposte-snark and ill-advised humor.

Our Western Civ. philosophical meanderings are rendering us very vulnerable right now. Our problem is learning how to apply our Muslim terrorist enemy's tactics and strategy against our Muslim terrorist enemy.

You seem to be conflating "muslim" with "violent psychopath using religion as an excuse" so I've edited your quote for you. Dumbfuckery of that magnitude (conflating "westerner" with "those soldiers here shooting or drone striking innocents") is what they do, not what we should do. We should be taking the moral high ground and not be contributing to any escalation of violence, because escalation of violence never ends well. I learned that quickly enough at school, I had assumed all schoolkids did.

Much like the escalation of surveillance that this thread is actually about, in fact. I am struggling to think of one positive (i.e. benevolent to its citizens) historical use of a surveillance state, and I can think of a couple of negative uses right off the bat (the words "secret police" have a negative connotation for a reason, it seems).

Also, kudos for at least not using the phrases "fight fire with fire" or "you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs", even if I was getting that kind of vibe from some of your references.

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Boffin

Re: FormerKowloonTiger Re: @G.D.

"......non-Muslims......" One of the victims in Paris was a French Muslim policeman, Ahmed Merabet, who was trying to intervene. In fact, the majority of the victims of extremist Muslims are other Muslims, most of them peacefully just trying to get on with their lives.

".....Churchill's acerbic wit...." Churchill, having fought Muslims, had no illusions about "Mohammedism", referring to it as the most retrograde theology (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_River_War#1899_unabridged.2C_two-volume_edition). Strangely, and little reported in the West, but Egyptian President Al-Sisi has also commented on "retrograde extremism" and insisted Islam must "modernise" (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4612771,00.html). So I'd have to disagree with your portrayal of all Muslims as enemies

".....Neville Chamberlain seems to be, retrospectively, the epitome of gentlemanly, impeccable Western Civ......" Neville Chamberlain often gets poor press as some type of bumbling gent desperate for peace, but he was no fool. Whilst he did initially underestimate Hitler's willingness to lie, cheat and break treaties, when he went to Munich in 1938 he went to buy time for Britain to re-arm. As it was, even though he hoped the Munich Agreement had bought "peace in our time", he had learned enough about Hitler at that point to not trust him, so Chamberlain presented a public face of calm whilst accelerating British re-armament. If Chamberlain had really been fooled by Hitler then he would have scaled the expensive re-armament program back. It was Chamberlain's accelerated re-armament program that actually put RAF Fighter Command in the position of being able to fight the Battle of Britain.

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And so it begins.... Again.

The Paris shooters were already on the naughty list, but surveillance (apparently) was stopped six months ago to "concentrate on other targets". More impinging on everyone else's freedoms would have made exactly zero difference***.

I can't bloody wait to see what Obama and Cameron are going to cook up; but I'd lay reasonable odds that it's exactly this sort of ineffective, fatuous bollocks.

***Actually it might make a difference in that you'd be creating more people with hostile feelings towards the state. I'm not quite at the terrorism stage; but every time Teresa May opens her mouth it does create a desire in me to go over there with a fish that you can get a good swing with.

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A fish? How sporting of you. Here... I'll give what we use in the States... Louisville Slugger, 33 ounce, Hank Aaron Special. At least your hands won't smell bad from the bat.

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@Mark 85

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhJQp-q1Y1s

At least that's what I suspect moiety was referencing. Certainly it feels that way - that we keep getting slapped and slapped until it just has to be let out at some point.

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@ moiety

Completely with you re the fish. A good solid slap in public with a wet fish hits just the right note of contempt and derision, and the long term fallout from a culinary assault is politically terminal - Prescott never quite lived down the eggs.

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Facepalm

Ah... thanks Dan. I missed the reference. I'll go stand in the corner and then write: "Check for Monty Python references before responding 1000 times". I don't deserve to be in IT anymore....

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I wasn't specifically thinking of that sketch; but it is, of course, impossible to plot any sort of fish-based assault without it coming to mind. I went with the imagery because it's fun and also -as dan1980 pointed out- that's what it feels like she's doing to us.

Also, it occurs, that you could alter the fish according to the utter fatuousness of the policy. Maybe some hefty pilchards for a light offence and a solid trouting for a big gaffe. I even thought of a 'verbal warning' version where you show a puffer-fish a picture of a predator just before impact. The victim, anticipating a mid-level carping would be delightfully surprised when the fish gently bounced from their face with a 'poink' sound. No idea if it'd work.

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@moiety

Never discount the insult of the (red) mullet, with its distinctive aroma and scaly skin, which irritates the slapee.

Kudos for "a solid trouting" and "mid-level carping".

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"Kudos for "a solid trouting" and "mid-level carping."

I think that a fora such as this is no plaice for such comments but shows what kind of pond life inhabit therein. I must skate off now, toodlepip.

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"I think that a fora such as this is no plaice for such comments"

Codswallop.

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Unhappy

The gubbermint bar-stewards are getting worse.

How do they come to the conclusion that there is any connection at all between the two?

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Re: The gubbermint bar-stewards are getting worse.

"How do they come to the conclusion that there is any connection at all between the two?"

By the first law of publicity, "Be seen to have a pro-active response, even if it's cobblers"

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They already had the info and did nothing

…I'm sure that getting three times more data is going to be so useful. They'll be even less able to find the needle if the haystack when the haystack is three times bigger.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They already had the info and did nothing

That's the trouble with asymmetric non-state actors, the greater the assymmetry, the more effective the little ba*ds become. We should have learned that lesson in Vietnam when guys in black pyjamas carrying AK47's sent home the most powerful army in the world.

In many of these latest atrocities, useful information and intelligence was either completely ignored or forgotten in electronic haystacks.

Look at 9/11, where agency non-communication led to the creation of a monster called Homeland Security. Perhaps if the different agencies had just talked to each other, instead ?

And it was Russian security agents who warned the FBI about the Boston marathon bombers. Apparently they didn't get the memo.

There are now millions of people on no-fly lists (including these latest dick heads who killed the cartoonists). That didn't help though, cause they probably just rode on the metro.

And these are the intelligence failures we hear about. We aren't allowed to know about the successes. That's a big problem. Sounds like they have too much intelligence and are not using it properly, pun intended

Trillions of dollars spent on star wars, land wars, airport security, drone attacks and mass surveillance haven't made us much safer, quite the contrary. Instead we've just become poorer and more scared. Despite the horror of what happened in Paris, I believe many people were secretly relieved to discover that an Islamic terror cell was actually just a small band of no-hopers who couldn't make it a 100 miles away from the scene of the crime. State asymmetry then paid off and showed the bogeyman in his true light.

IMHO, more special forces and spooks who get symmetrically and pre-emptively close, personal and occasionally terminal with the bad guys, unpleasant as that may be, are what is really needed. We do not need more people sitting in air-conditioned bunkers moving joy-sticks and scanning emails to find these people, since it seems clear we already know where most of them are.

We can do without the politically correct hand waving and story telling as well. Terrorists are not the unfortunate victims of mass hysteria and insanity. They are not deserving of our understanding or our pity. Many have been groomed from an early age, are militarily trained and are being directed either remotely or locally by people who truly hate the West. We need to stop treating them like juvenile delinqents and more like the harbinger of an invading army. The French definitely got that last part right this week. If you want to go to Syria and play soldiers, be prepared to face terrorism charges when you come home. If you want to take on a modern nation state, be prepared to end up on a slab.

Although, personally I have no problem with anonymous civilians making their web sites a lot harder to reach, either. We all need to do our bit.

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FAIL

Re: They already had the info and did nothing

Give them more surveillance capability and they will certainly drown. The powers that be need more brain cases on the front lines to keep on top of the EXISTING data collection activities. Also I though that computers and data bases were supposed to help sort/organize the data. I guess that they have not got to that concept yet.

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Meh

Re: They already had the info and did nothing

This pasted quote needs to be repeated out loud, very slowly, at every opportunity, heavily emphasizing the "all".

"We all need to do our bit."

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Re: They already had the info and did nothing

"We should have learned that lesson in Vietnam when guys in black pyjamas carrying AK47's sent home the most powerful army in the world."

Armed with AK47's, SAM-2, SAM-7, RPG-7, PT-76 AFV's, the best Soviet made packable artillery, and the full mobilised support of the North Vietnamese government. This was not an action by "non-state Actors". In fact Giap even pulled the Warsaw manoeuvre during the Tet offensive to make sure there wouldn't be any uppity South Vietnamese banging on about liberating themselves, and that the job would be finished by the NVA.

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Re: They already had the info and did nothing

"And these are the intelligence failures we hear about. We aren't allowed to know about the successes"

Au contraire, even the tiniest pseudo-successes are trumpeted from the rooftops (before being debunked*). The fact that we haven't heard of any big successes means there haven't been any. And I'm sure we hear a lot less about failures, since they would be covered up as much as possible.

*eg CIA reports to congress and Pro-torture politicians emphasised heavily the "successes" of theeir torture program, but from the CIA's own internal report, they themselves concluded that exactly zero useful intelligence was gained from torture that they hadn't already obtained from normal interrogations

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Anonymous Coward

half of the week only

For half of the week, I've been wondering, as a french, who had been laughing at Cabu's drawings (rest in peace, mate) for more than 25 years, how long it would take, for those waste of space lot, to wield the "more surveillance" stick.

Answer: half a week.

As has been said already, the murderers were all already monitored for terrorism, and subsequently, recently removed (lack of means I think) from the "really dangerous" list, by someone who is really not going to be promoted* ...

Therefore, more surveillance would have achieved nothing, in this case, as interpretation was the problem, not monitoring means.

In the next 2 years, we'll probably have, in France, as a Hollande legacy, every single copper (national or not) being able to tap into every citizen's communications, without any judge to even be aware. Heck, probably any civil servant (that's a lot of people) will be able to do this in 2 years, as easily as looking for online geography maps ...

Fortunately, they won't be able to tap into TOR communications. If you're french, use TOR, for every single internet connection, even www.liberation.fr.

* I take this back. He's already given a huge promotion, as a gift for not telling how he fucked up. France rewards incompetence.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: half of the week only

Ah the TOR argument. I am far from the paranoid type but I can say this with some certainty.

If all your communications are tapped you can essentially scan every TOR exit node can you not? If you use any TOR exit in the EU they can then map the common bits from each exit point and then have you.

So monitoring everything in a way could be a case of trying to defeat TOR.

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Re: half of the week only

You need to read, AC, or work for NSA.

Have those 2:

https://www.torproject.org/about/overview.html.en

http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/28/7458159/encryption-standards-the-nsa-cant-crack-pgp-tor-otr-snowden

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Big Brother

They're marching in support of freedom of speech!

Obviously that means we need to watch everyone more, like the Stasi did.

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Re: They're marching in support of freedom of speech!

Ahhh. But these clever blighters are going to remove and otherwise erode our freedom of speech (terrorist have the right as well as anybody else) and in doing so they will have to worry less about protecting it.

I even saw a pundit compalining about the lack of surveillance cameras in Paris as opposed to London. Where I live I can travel miles without being spied on.

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Again, the answer seems to be 'we need more powers'

You'd almost think this latest inciident was the latest in a long tine of such either orchestrated or 'allowed to happen' to further the goals of some shady global dark agency with an agenda and a detailed game plan.

Either that or the politcos have so little clue they think if they pump all the information on everyone in the world it will create a computer system that can predict the who when and where of any crime like in Minority Report.

Perhaps accurate for Cameron, who seems to think CSI is a docu on real policework.

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Megaphone

time to open up a security firm in France

the gravy trains about to roll in lads.

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Competence or Incompetence

The incompetence of the French police in not using data they already had, was only exceeded by the terrorists themselves in their "synchronised" attacks. Synchronised out of time by about 5 hours is like the rotation of the moon around the earth being synchronised with the earth around the sun. Steve Bell's cartoon in the Guardian at the time summed it up with the the terrorist saying "Why are the f*ckers still laughing at us?". This doesn't even take into account that if they had waited a month Charlie would have died a natural death due to bankruptcy and is now likely to bounce back stronger than ever.

Hopefully Charlie Hebdo will be able to continue with their new found support and attack incompetence wherever it occurs.

It is also a shame that some imam didn't point out to the brothers that committing suicide while shooting at people doesn't make you a martyr.

Note to would-be martyrs: Look up the story of Alban (now a saint) and Verulamium.

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They want Facebook to monitor our speech?

How can they, when these lives have been lost defending free speech, possibly be asking internet companies to monitor and report what we are all saying online? It is just sickening!

Will Charlie Hebdo's next cartoons be reported to the government by their email company as subversive?

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Unhappy

Once more, with feeling

(And maybe the last time before some low-level functionary can just type in a query to find out who that disrespectful fucker JustaKOS is)

Predictably, they use a convenient set of deaths to push an agenda which will only add to the haystacks they already can't sift for the really dangerous people.

Regretable.

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Re: Once more, with feeling

At least this should mean the end of the speculation about Theresa May as a future Prime Minister. What was needed, on this day of remembrance and outrage, was something statesmanlike and thoughtful. Instead we got a grubby political land-grab. End of Mrs. May's campaign.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Once more, with feeling

(Oops - looks like the down-voter has arrived.)

Anyway, it would be nice to think that TM has dropped herself in it, but I doubt it. We have had a consistent approach in this area from Blair through Brown to Cameron, and from all the Home Secs that have been put up to front these measures.

TM is just the latest spokesdroid - do voters really care? I don't think so and, besides, if they did care, who could they vote for outside of the top 3 parties (who are all singing from the same sheet)?

It's a steamroller, and it won't stop.

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