back to article Dutch MEP slams 'cowboy practices' of GCHQ 'n' pals following Gemalto allegations

As news of the alleged hack of encrypted SIM-card producer Gemalto by the NSA and GCHQ spreads, a Dutch MEP is demanding to know what the European Commission is going to do about what could constitute a serious breach of EU law. According to a new report from Glenn Greenwald, mouthpiece of rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden, …

  1. DavCrav Silver badge

    "How is it possible that they have developed so much capacity, while the rise of IS stayed unnoticed?”"

    If this Dutch MEP wants to know about the rise of IS/SIS/ISIL he can just look at Wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant

    I mean, it's one thing to criticize the US and UK governments for hacking into stuff, but to then say they didn't know about IS seems a bit weird. Of course they knew. But what, exactly, could they have done? Military intervention in Syria? Tried that, didn't get through Parliament or public opinion. Increasing troops in Iraq? Not going to be popular when people wanted them out in the first place. Etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I mean, it's one thing to criticize the US and UK governments for hacking into stuff, but to then say they didn't know about IS seems a bit weird. "

      You never heard about irony? Like the MEP said, govs and secret services demanding more surveillance because of the "terrorists" and only cared about IS when they needed? I have no sympathy much less respect for these people demanding more powers.

    2. John Deeb

      DavCrav: "... then say they didn't know about IS seems a bit weird."

      The larger point is here of course the failure of proper intelligence reaching the desks of policy makers and ideally entering their minds. Despite all the high tech cowboy spying and drone flying, enormous intelligence errors appear to occur more as rule than exceptions, for example: Iraqi WMD, linkage between Iraq & Bin Laden, 9/11 hijack & crash threat, airspace readiness, Iranian nuclear bomb and consequences of meddling with Libya and Syria for regime change.... all disastrous advices and reports if not meddled with by politicians of course - hard to say at times.

      The moral of that story is that computers, hacked or not, like communications, hacked or not, rarely make a government or a human being for that matter one ounce wiser. Any seasoned IT professional should already know that! If anything, computers and modern communications dumb down, overreach, distract and inflate in spades. Especially politicians seems to be vulnerable - even more so than teenagers!

      1. asdf Silver badge
        Headmaster

        > consequences of meddling with Libya and Syria for regime change.... all disastrous advices

        You forgot Ukraine.

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      But what, exactly, could they have done?

      I know... BOMB LYBIA!! DRONE YEMEN!!! Hell yeah.

  2. malle-herbert
    Facepalm

    It's "she" not "he"...

  3. Stuart 22

    Simples!

    Re-issue all SIMs and bill NSA/GCHQ for the cost. Well it is Friday and one can dream ... of invisible ink and one-off pads.

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Simples!

      That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

      First, Gemalto does not make SIM cards for phones.

      Second, the telephone companies were hacked, not their SIM cards.

      Finally, sending the bill to GCHQ or the NSA, based upon allegations only would only turn things into a diplomatic incident.

      So, what you are advocating for is a costly and lengthy process that mitigates less than nothing whatsoever, then billing two national governments over a mere allegation.

      One that I find bizarre, as the NSA uses Gemalto cards themselves.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Omg...

    "Sophie in't Veld was more outspoken: “Year after year we have heard about cowboy practices of secret services, but governments did nothing and kept quiet! In fact, those very same governments push for ever more surveillance capabilities, while it remains unclear how effective these practices are."

    The Duch MEP nailed it! Red faces, ears burning etc,etc :)

    "In't Veld believes the time has come for answers. “How will the Commission investigate these allegations which, when confirmed, would constitute a serious breach of European data protection legislation? How will the Commission act against illegal hacking activities by EU member states on the territory of other member states?”

    The day the City lose power (and it will), I bet british politicians will be very "pro-european"...and as usual, the Comedians, sorry, Commissioners at the Commission will do nothing for now.

    ""If the average IT whizzkid breaks into a company system, he'll end up behind bars," said In't Veld, adding that "hacking a SIM card manufacturer in another EU country" could hardly be within the law"

    Everybody knows that the whizzkids are ugly trolls and eat to much pizza, they deserve to go to jail.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Politicians, what are they good for?

    Absolutely Nothing. They can't tell the good guys from the bad nor do they care. They just want to ride the gravy train and dupe the gullible along the way.

    1. AbelSoul
      Trollface

      Re: Politicians, what are they good for?

      Absolutely Nothing.

      Say it again, y'all!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All your SIMS are belong to us !

    There is only one solution to circumvent this - old style snail mail !

    1. bed

      Re: All your SIMS are belong to us !

      And the resultant steaming open of envelopes...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The "Law of the Jungle".....is still the only law

    that terrorists like ISIS or Boko Haram pay any attention to.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: The "Law of the Jungle".....is still the only law

      Relevance?

      1. Dan Paul

        Re: The "Law of the Jungle".....is still the only law

        My post is a response to the last paragraph of the article. I'm pretty sure it's relevant.

        "If the average IT whizzkid breaks into a company system, he'll end up behind bars," said In't Veld, adding that "hacking a SIM card manufacturer in another EU country" could hardly be within the law, unless it was the "law of the jungle".

  8. JaitcH
    Thumb Down

    "... mouthpiece of rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden"

    Why the snide remarks?

    Would have thought El Reg had more class.

    1. Vic
      Joke

      Re: "... mouthpiece of rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden"

      Would have thought El Reg had more class.

      First time here?

      Vic.

  9. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    One just can't get the right class of spooky staff these days, can one.

    Dutch MEP slams 'cowboy practices' of GCHQ 'n' pals following Gemalto allegations.

    And asks what the EU Commish is going to do about it

    That’s easy to answer truthfully, Jennifer. Diddly squat, which translates for our foreign viewers and readers as absolutely nothing effective. ’Tis norm for such form and phorm and phishing.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: cowboy practices

    Shame on you, Sophie in't Veld, for sullying the good reputation of cowboys by associating them with the NSA and GHCQ!

  11. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    so all gemalto's prating about secure this and secure the other is total bollocks.

  12. BobRocket

    Politician sees bandwagon..

    Jumps on.

    http://www.xkcd.com/1170/

    (oh, hold on, wrong one)

    http://www.xkcd.com/353/

    (that's better).

  13. All names Taken
    Alien

    Fade to gray

    As the US and the UK fade into self imposed and self inflicted (they shooda known beta?) obscurity maybe the new orders if China, Rusland and Germanies will be more peaceful, peaceable and based on law?

    1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: Fade to gray

      Not if there's money to be made.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        50 Fails of Gray

        At least Lenovo has been good enough distract everyone's attention with more snooping scandal AKA Superfish. Hard to tell who the good guys are anymore, assuming they ever existed in the first place,

    2. Dan Paul

      Re: Fade to gray

      Really, I don't know If I have ever read a more deluded comment here.

      You could hardly accuse the Chinese, Russians and Germans of being peaceful, peaceable or lawful.

      Invading your neighbors and killing millions on a regular basis is not considered peaceful, peaceable or lawful.

      That rules out all three examples. Just remember, there is no one without blame in this game.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sanctions

    The best option here is to severly punish both the UK and US governments to the tune of tens or even hundreds of billions of Euro in penalties.

    Sanctions would be easier to implement against the US as they're not part of the EU but the UK should not be allowed to get away with this either.

    What's happened here is the US and UK have given specific permission to hack the shit out of other European entities.

    There is no reason at all to believe they only did this once, on the contrary, it's probably the way they operate on a day to day basis.

    1. Dan Paul

      Re: Sanctions

      Sanctions? That's the "best" option you can come up with?

      ALL secret service agencies spy on each other and the general populace and they ALWAYS will. As long as terrorists hide behind women and children and in the general populace, security agencies must look at ALL forms of communications to find the terrorists and prevent them from acting out. The fact is that each of these European countries HAVE THEIR OWN SPY AGENCIES and the ALL DID THE SAME THINGS AS WE DID.

      Last time I remember we Americans decided Europe wasn't worth the trouble, all your countries leaders came looking for help after they got embroiled in another World War.

      Maybe we should go full isolationist and let Putin and ISIS have their way with you.

      It seems that you like being told what to do instead of having to think for your selves.

      1. BobRocket

        Re: Sanctions

        As long as the secret service agencies view women and children and the general populace as terrorists, their work will never be complete.

        Bigger (undefined) threat = Bigger (defined) budget.

        A successful security agency should get smaller over time, it is a symptom of failure if they request an ever growing budget.

        If you want to stop radicalisation then shut down the (rogue, they all play that) security services, Jihadi John would be just another average programmer if MI5/6 hadn't got involved.

        Funny how Jihadists weren't a problem whilst the agencies were tied up in NI

  15. crayon

    "I mean, it's one thing to criticize the US and UK governments for hacking into stuff, but to then say they didn't know about IS seems a bit weird. Of course they knew."

    Yes of course, seeing as it is they, along with the despotic Gulf monarchies who have supported and funded the rise of the IS.

    "Despite all the high tech cowboy spying and drone flying, enormous intelligence errors appear to occur more as rule than exceptions, for example: Iraqi WMD, linkage between Iraq & Bin Laden, 9/11 hijack & crash threat, airspace readiness, Iranian nuclear bomb and consequences of meddling with Libya and Syria for regime change.... all disastrous advices and reports if not meddled with by politicians of course - hard to say at times."

    There were no intelligence errors. What there was was a concerted effort by bloodthirsty warmongers (mostly on the left side of the pond - but Blair was very eager to please his master) in using whatever feeble excuse they can make up to get rid of Saddam and install a compliant, puppet government in Iraq. It didn't work in Afghanistan, it didn't work in Iraq, it didn't work in Libya, it is backfiring in Ukraine and it won't work in Syria. Will they ever learn? Probably not, but it sure does help with arms exports.

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