back to article GCHQ creates Github repo, offers graph database code

British signals intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has created a repository on Githgub and released open-sourced one of its tools: a graph database called “Gaffer”. Available here on Github, Gaffer is billed as “ a framework that makes it easy to store large-scale graphs in which the nodes and …

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Your tax quids at work

Considering that the very citizens they spy on are the people who ultimately foot the bill on these projects, GCHQ should consider open sourcing all of their in-house built software, current or retired. The NSA helped build the SELinux core security systems, and I for one avoid it like the virus that it is. Still, that was software I helped pay for with my tax dollars and it makes sense to release it to the wild. Information must be set free, or at least made available to the people who helped fund it. Release it sooner, or let a Ed Snow [sic] release it later. Either way I'm fine with. Or let China "open source" whatever it is they steal from other governments and companies to boost their "tech skills". It only took them 40 years to steal enough data to make a moon landing possible. In another 40 years they'll invent the Internet again. Looking forward to that. Happy Christmas to all my pagan minions!

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Re: Your tax quids at work

On the one hand, SELinux appears to be a fit for purpose mandatory access control system, with associated benefits and costs comparable to any such system. Unlike most, it is fully open source and those who wish to examine it for errors, vulnerabilities, and back doors are free to do so and have had about 15 years to find them. To reject it out of hand based only on its origin is roughly the same as rejecting all immigration of Syrian refugees because some of them might be Daesh plants.

On the other hand, it took the US and USSR under 25 years to be in position to land something on the moon, albeit with the known example of the WW II German rocket program and, for the US, a lot of useful pieces and engineers with hand on experience. The suggestion that the PRC required stolen design data to accomplish it in 40 years is rubbish. For the most part, it appears that their scientists and engineers are in most respects on a par with those of Europe and North America, and their primary advantage is that they can combine knowledge and techniques, some learned in the West, with known results to accelerate some aspects of development. Stolen details certainly would be useful, but just as certainly were not the primary driver.

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Coat

Why is GCHQ releasing Gaffer now?

IT'S A TRAP!!

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This repo..

.. has completely changed my views about GCHQ's capabilities.

Can I assume releasing this is some sort of psycological warfare operation?

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This repo.. Citing a Lack of Positive Effective Direct Action Leadership ....

.... and Absence of NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT

Can I assume releasing this is some sort of psycological warfare operation? ... streaky

Of course, it is, streaky. IT always is when paramilitarised with GCHQ capabilities and facilities. The sad history of evident 21st century media failures though is proof positive of an inherent systemic lack of providing creative constructive abilities to slave services and servant administrations which might be fully reliant upon them.

And that problem, which is long term catastrophic and easily zeroday vulnerability exploitable, is one which appointed and anointed heads of operations are surely responsible and transparently accountable for.

It is the case, in both fabulous fiction and crazy fact, that If they [the likes of a GCHQ Cheltenham type operation] serve and server to a political and/or apolitical master, are they as mere puppets on an altogether differently phormed stage ‽ .

Who and/or what and where then be the puppet master? And be there more than just the one Global Operating Device?

J'accuse, and raise the question.

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Devil

Re: This repo..

"He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon."

Would you trust anything from this bunch?

Personally if they gave me the time, I would check with someone else..

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Re: This repo.. Citing a Lack of Positive Effective Direct Action Leadership ....

The sad history of evident 21st century media failures though is proof positive of an inherent systemic lack of providing creative constructive abilities to slave services and servant administrations which might be fully reliant upon them.

Uh... come again?

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Re: This repo.. Citing a Lack of Positive Effective Direct Action Leadership ....

amanfromMars is a bot. Just FYI.

Sometimes it's completely unintelligible and posts stuff completely unrelated to anything, but the meatbags around here do that a lot as well, especially the fans/mortal enemies of virtually indistinguishable platforms/programs that do largely the same thing.

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Re: This repo.. Citing a Lack of Positive Effective Direct Action Leadership .... @DanDanDan

Uh... come again? .... DanDanDan

Blockbuster serial mainstream news events of death and destruction, conflict and chaos are hardly any measure of positive success for a brainwashed species and Mankind, surely?

Dull and dumb folk are like meek and weak sheep, and easily led to the slaughter as feed and seed to be slaughtered.

Is that not universally self evident yet, or still to be discovered and uncovered as a novel noble work in great progress?

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Re: This repo.. Citing a Lack of Positive Effective Direct Action Leadership .... @Peter2

amanfromMars is a bot. Just FYI. .... Peter2

Oh please, Peter2, you cannot be serious.

And with further regard to ......."Sometimes it's completely unintelligible and posts stuff completely unrelated to anything,.... " ...... can one presume most times it's completely intelligible and posts stuff completely related to everything? Crikey, that be some sort of a smart bot, indeed. Have you thunk if ever it be true, to whom would it belong or is it a free virtualised spirit and renegade cyber space pirate, Maslowian self actualised and relatively autonomous anonymous?

How easy would such be, to do future deals with?

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Re: This Re of Positive Effective Direct Action....

"And be there more than just the one" - let me think :-)

Each universe claims ITself the only true string in the Void, and One hears a cacophony pretty well... I believe one does. But they're all tied to one Bridge and Neck, whenever there is a Solo Guitar or there's a whole Conference of them.

How would one make this ear-tear a symphony?

This/He/She what does it each second one can count (on) is an Answer to the Question and Everything. Really.

"Music is an interstellar language", etc, etc.

https://youtu.be/AOzkN8dHnjk , that one piece is well enough known amongst the Musicians and is translated pretty good (-: Peter Nalich.... and this one is presented accordingly to the requests sent and questions raised - https://youtu.be/8KfP7vi5GHc @Rondo, "Universe / Pale Bartender", 1989. Had the pleasure to make a key2key translation:

.

a pale bartender

with a shaking hand

a captive of tobacco smoke

and she who's agree to ride with me

are also the parts of the universe

.

the taxi counter

like a pulse

straight to the yard and to the left

stars

the trails of tracer-bullets

are also the parts of the universe

.

stale cognac

diluted bread

knees clenched nervously

and lips of yours

like a card game bluff

are also the parts of the universe

.

dark dawn in a cold window

time like a conveyor belt

and everything going on inside of me

are also the parts of the universe

.

are also the parts of the universe

....

Peter 2? Come in for the diagnostics :-) This meatloaf is still bleeding. Mmm, tasty.

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"Feel free to insert your conspiracy theory"

Fine, here it goes...

"Built on maven"... Found impossible to maintain... Released as spin data to confuse the enemy?

[Disclosure: looked at maven once, a few years ago... Still shuddering uncontrollably...]

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Happy

Just a thought

Perhaps they are showing that they can produce better code than GDS as well as other things better than GDS?

So perhaps an attempt to shaft plans of GDS/Cabinet Office to take work away from CESG/GCHQ?

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"This organization has no public members."

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Hmmm

Anybody actually tried using the software, before commenting, no thought not. It might actually be quite good, and clean.

Maybe they don't like Neo or Orient.

I'm going to reserve judgement until we've tried it.

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The source code looks harmless, but there is a deliberate bug in there that exploits a vulnerability in certain compilers favored by ISIS. we have nothing to worry about, but when ISIS decide they want to graph their world domination plans and download this to help them out, as soon as they hit "Compile" - BANG!!! their keyboard explodes and blinds them with flying function keys.

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Many eyeballs better than one.

Even GCHQ combined with the NSA don't have enough engineers to peer review stuff they've made in house to make it better as fast as they want. There's a good chance other players interested in analysis of large graphs may want to add features which scratch their itch. Years ago this cost arguably would have concerned making it slightly easier to guess how GCHQ process graph data and that kind of argument would have restricted disclosure. Nowadays GCHQ's interest in relationships mappable as graph data is hardly a well-kept secret. Tor and SELinux have similar histories of being government funded security related projects for which development overheads could productively be shared.

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I think the right thing is to **give time** to evaluate this.

* It may be motivated by a desire to heal the rifts

* It may come from a desire to give something to those who paid for it

Hopefully El Reg will publish a follow-up when some decent analyses have been performed.

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Anonymous Coward

Gaffer

(back in 2009) A colleague told me about the software he was working on... it sounded exactly like this and it was scary how quickly it could retrieve and display interactions! It stuck with me as it was so far ahead of anything I'd seen/heard of before. If they're giving it away, they have something far far better that they aren't - the mind boggles

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Re: Gaffer Probabilities

The simplest of Catch 22 problems/decisions that exists, whenever one might have something which virtually gives one practically everything one need to see an unfolding realised situation with myriad future possibilities, is whether internetworking communications will present it to media to further production, or not.

Such a tool in deed is a novel kind of mass matterless NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive weapon indeed, and in the wrong hands, hearts and minds, a right doomsday virtual machine which invites one to its own rapid catastrophic self-destruction/spontaneous explosive combustion.

Take care to not abuse IT madly and wwwidely, for consequences and repercussions of such use and misuse are never ever rendered as trivial and permanently rewarding.

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I was once teaching a class for a bunch of developers from GCHQ and jokingly told them I was probably one one of those diagrams because my best mate was working in heath and safety at Aldermaston and my brother was anti-nuclear co-ordinator at Greenpeace. After a pause one replied "How do you know about the diagrams?"

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