Hello Pot, this is kettle. Gee we have both been on this stove for a long time, look at your black bottom!
Poverty-stricken dictatorship North Korea says the leak of NSA web-snooping project PRISM shows that the US is the “kingpin” of civil-rights abuses. An op-ed in the Norks' state newspaper Minju Joson declared allegations of American spooks trawling through phone and internet usage records indicate that we're all “subject to …
Wednesday 19th June 2013 08:48 GMT Anomalous Cowshed
It depends how you define rights abuses
If rights abuses = having all the technology needed to record and eavesdrop at will on every conversation, then it seems the US is now confirmed as undisputed king.
If rights abuses = keeping your people in artificial poverty, forcing them to spend every moment of their day doing exactly what the government says, having their own kids spy on them and throwing them into the gulag if they even dare to criticise the Dear Leader, then North Korea ain't doing too badly on this score either.
Wednesday 19th June 2013 08:58 GMT Titus Technophobe
Wednesday 19th June 2013 11:03 GMT Uncle Slacky
Wednesday 19th June 2013 17:46 GMT Sir Runcible Spoon
Re: It depends how you define rights abuses
"A thought the batshit paranoid free speech 'stazi' community of commentators might occasionally bear in mind when bleating on about the tyrannical dictatorships of the US, UK, Sweden etc. etc"
Whilst I understand where you are coming from, Gitmo bay, renditions and the UK helping them do it are hardly above reproach in terms of human rights.
There are still people in this country being held without charge indefinitely and allowed no legal representation. How does that add up in your utopian society then?
Wednesday 19th June 2013 08:52 GMT Anonymous Coward
Wednesday 19th June 2013 09:03 GMT Anonymous Coward
Meandering Dictator 1 Freedom-Loving-Capitalists 0
If its a Pot vs Kettle scenario, let's make it relative:
"Kids Playhouse 'Kettle' (aka N.K., population 24million full of starving people led by Nutter) calls Restaurant-Kitchen Pan-set (US pop 316million, armed to the teeth, with a demonstrable tendency to invade & kill thousands in the interest of "Freedom') ...Black...
Of course, as Obama & chums have now shown the World that their version of "freedom" involves full on surveillance accompanied by shady & fuzzy 'because we know things' justifications ever so reminiscent of the Soviet Union that was (rightly) condemned so vociferously for decades...
...theUS glass house is now broken, dictatorships/et-al please line up here with your flimsy and instantly acceptable explanation as to why it's alright for you to monitor your citizens as well.
US seeing the 1st examples of what happens when they employ questionable tactics in monitoring people, they take a long leap off the moral high-road into the slums with the majority of other, dodgy, Countries.
Wednesday 19th June 2013 09:10 GMT Tom_
Wednesday 19th June 2013 09:27 GMT Anonymous Coward
Pot - Kettle - Black... etc
What you have to ask, is what would Obama and the reaction of the US be if PRISM was a Nork/Chinese/Russian/<insert dictator of choice here> operation?
They would, no doubt, be banging on about invasive, oppressive surveilance by a dispicable regime and an abuse of human "rights".
As the saying goes, "one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter" and the same would seem to apply to invasive, oppressive surveilance by your own government.
Wednesday 19th June 2013 15:32 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: Pot - Kettle - Black... etc
Indeed. Which puts the pious protests from the Chinese and the Russians into a rather hypocritical light too. That it's a PR disaster for America is certainly not in doubt, but given a whistleblower from Russia or China the situation would (and probably will, within a year or two) be absolutely reversed - except that since no-one will be particularly surprised by the "revelations" it won't make such big news...
Wednesday 19th June 2013 09:30 GMT Anonymous Coward
NK are a vision of the hell we dont want. So bad that they are only pointed at occasionally because their oppressive state control is a vision of horror for those who love freedom.
So I hope the US pay attention and I hope obama pays attention. Bush started down this bad road with good intentions (and the people debating his intelligence). Obama is a lot more calculating and a lot brighter and is purposefully continuing down the bad road.
I like the US (bit less in recent times) but there is no doubt that they are moving into dangerous territory with the excessive surveillance and rights issues. Even if obama has no intention of misusing these powers he is not going to be the president forever.
Wednesday 19th June 2013 09:38 GMT Anonymous Coward
Just because he's a mental dictator...
...doesn't mean in this case he isn't right.
It's obviously not about terrorism. 50 terror plots foiled because of PRISM? Utter bullshit.
PRISM only started in 2006/7. In the few years between 9/11 and PRISM starting up, it was the height of the Afghan and Iraq wars, and yet we didn't have monthly terror outrages without PRISM 'protecting' us.
And one of the Boston bombers was posting extremist stuff on Facebook quite openly and they never rumbled him. So this system is quite evidently no fucking use at all for detecting terrorists.
The people they are really after are anti-government activists, civil-rights proponents, whistleblowers, political opponents, environmentalists and so on - all the people who probably felt that the government wasn't interested in them, and assumed therefore their communications were safe. The government can get warrants on terrorists if it needs to. It cannot get them to observe some union agitator or anti-war activist. Which is exactly why it wants access to EVERYTHING without any warrants.
Besides, the average American is at far higher risk from serial killers, kidnapper-murderers, mafia hitmen, and so on. But we're supposed to believe they're spending billions on various invasive security measures to detect a couple of nutters with pressure cookers (who they apparently cannot spot, despite them posting nutty islamic extremist stuff on facebook).
Anyone who says they've not nothing to hide and doesn't mind being surveilled should be forced to have cameras and microphones fitted in every room of the house, and if they object, should get a bag over their head and carted off to some secret gulag for months of waterboarding. Because they clearly are doing something in their own house they don't want the government to see.
Wednesday 19th June 2013 09:43 GMT Suricou Raven
We are not the target audience.
The piece was written for domestic consumption. The people of NK were raised with news like this every day - I imagine most of them believe it by this point. They'll know their own government is an oppressive dictatorship, but probably think the rest of the world is even worse.
Wednesday 19th June 2013 09:54 GMT Maharg
Below is a transcript from a speech made in Pyongyang Yesterday.
Dear esteemed Citizens of the Glorious and Mighty Democratic People's Republic of Korea, this is the Great Successor, the amazing god like and quite tall supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.
Once again the evil Americans and their leader, the devil Obama, who is quite short by the way, has proved how evil and devil like they are.
Our great technology is so advanced and our countries forces so brilliant that we have discovered, without any help, that the American Government is monitoring its own citizens in evil ways using something called the Western Internet, we don’t mean monitoring in the same way the Glorious and Mighty Democratic People's Republic of Korea does, which is to ensure our citizens continue to be the happiest and most fortunate in the world, we mean in an evil and not nice way.
For those of you who do not know, the Western Internet is a system of evil, it is used by western imperials to control and lie to its citizens with brainwashing, this brainwashing is so terrible that it actually weighs down a westerners head, making them very short, and so I, the fantastic and stunningly handsome and very tall supreme leader tower above them. I also have a very large penis.
Unfortunately a small number of our own citizens have been exposed to the terror that is the Western Internet, but fear not, the Glorious and Mighty Democratic People's Republic of Korea will be finding these citizens and ensuring there safety and well-being in one of a number of fun love happy holiday camps we have installed around the country, to protect these fun love happy holiday camps we have to heavily secure them and keep the contents secret because so many citizens want to get in!
We ask any of our citizens that have been exposed to this Western Internet to promptly report to the nearest Police Officer who will act swiftly to beat the evil from their face. Do not inform your family, as this will bring shame and infertility to them.
Once again, dear Citizen I salute you!
Your Great Successor, the extremely tall supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. age 29 ½
Wednesday 19th June 2013 10:48 GMT Lord Elpuss
Wednesday 19th June 2013 11:05 GMT DrXym
While PRISM is not a good thing
There is an ever so slight difference between a backend which can perform traffic analysis and a totalitarian state where people starve to death, where all communication is monitored and censored, where there is no free speech of any kind, where people can find themselves and their families in labour camps for the slightest infraction and the typical response to the internet is "what's an internet?"
Wednesday 19th June 2013 15:13 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: While PRISM is not a good thing
There is an ever so slight difference between a backend which can perform traffic analysis and a totalitarian state where people starve to death, where all communication is monitored and censored..
Thanks DrXym for pointing out that the PRISM backend is only half the story. The massive array of front-end technologies of the NSA include National Security Letters, FBI CALEA/Lawful Interception APIs (which have been forcefully mandated worldwide WITH China(HK) & Russia in all the committee meetings since the 90's) and the various cable/fibre/satcom taps run out of Field Station 83 (Harrogate) etcetera
Taking the FBI/NSA CALEA/Lawful Interception APIs alone - their misuse in Greece recently led to the death of the engineer nearest to the system; whilst these same standardised APIs are used for the happy smiling Russian СОРМ-1 & СОРМ-2 (Система технических средств для обеспечения функций оперативно розыскных мероприятий) and other chilling interceptions around the world.
In view of the upcoming about-turn Doha discussions with the Taleban ragheads, and the US/Western upside-down support for al-Qa'ida in Syria - North Korea is not on my holiday list this year - but I wouldn't rule it out for a
potential beach holiday destination at Majon Beach Resort in 2016. BTW. Is NORK in Eurasia or Eastasia?
When did we agree to the installation and operation of both the NSA front-end AND the NSA back-end technologies that really have made any future societal developments impossible, for any given society? Where any world citizen may soon find themselves arrested just for calling a Banker a "Financial Terrorist"
Wednesday 19th June 2013 12:54 GMT Anonymous Coward
What gives the US the holy right to spy on everyone else?
First let me say, that accusation by NK is obviously a bit rich. I have an EU think-tank buddy who visits NK frequently. He reports that the people there are heinously oppressed and deceived. Some think 'the great leader' has powers to control the weather or even fly. You wouldn't believe the brainwashing, but all that is dwarfed by the very real poverty and extreme hunger....
That said, I don't think its a case that the US is an abuser, its that it simply doesn't care. It spends all its freshly minted ponzi scheme dollars on its military programs, with nothing for education in the ghettos or policing its cities i.e. Detroit for example. America is all about its elite and the elite just don't care.... So guess who speaks for the country? ... Its takes money to win elections and being bought and paid for through fundraising is the name of the game. But what gives the US the holy right to spy on everyone else? After all its only concerned with looking after its own selfish interests....
Last note, be careful if you're travelling here folks. The US as you know has lax gun laws and police force numbers have been decimated by cutbacks. So getting held up at gunpoint is common, though its not widely reported by the MSM. I find Asia and South American to be safer, if you can believe that!
Wednesday 19th June 2013 17:34 GMT Johnny Canuck
I was talking to a North Korean the other day and we were arguing about who has the freest state. I told him I could walk into the President's office and pound on his desk and say "Mr. President, I don't like the job you are doing". The North Korean laughed and said he could do that too. Dumbfounded, I asked "Really?". and he replied "Certainly, I can walk into Glorious Presidents office, pound on his desk and say Mr. President, I don't like the job the American President is doing!".