back to article NSA hacked China's top carriers in hunt for SMS data - report

PRISM snitch Edward Snowden responded to the US government formally charging him with spying on Friday with fresh revelations that the NSA hacked China’s three state-run telcos in a bid to nab SMS data. In another carefully-timed disclosure, this time to Hong Kong’s Sunday Morning Post, Snowden handed over confidential …

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  1. Martijn Otto

    Espionage, really?

    The only one that should be charged with espionage here is the U.S. itself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Espionage, really?

      Yup. Enquiries about our privacy work have gone through the roof, and question no1 is always the methods to protect from US intercept, even from small Mom & Pop shops that barely know how to operate a computer. It's interesting they're not worried about hacking in general (they should be), just the US. I didn't see such a reaction when the news was all about the alleged hacking by the Chinese.

      1. nematoad Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Espionage, really?

        "It's interesting they're not worried about hacking in general (they should be),"

        Yes, maybe they should but at least they didn't vote the hackers (crackers?) into office.

        The government is doing this to the people, with the peoples' money, for the government.

        So excuse us if we hold our ruling elite to a higher standard, we are supposed to be the masters not them, they're supposed to be our servants (Hollow laughter in background.)

        1. breakfast
          Big Brother

          Voted into office?

          And who could they have voted in that wouldn't stand for this behaviour from the NSA? If all the parties have the same stance on important issues like this, what has happened to democracy?

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: breakfast Re: Voted into office?

            "....If all the parties have the same stance on important issues like this, what has happened to democracy?" In the US you have several independent congressmen and senators, but there hasn't been an even remotely viable third party since Ross Perot. Protest groups like the Greens, Code Pink, etc., regularly campaign and get nowhere because their limited scope of interest usually doesn't appeal to the broader electorate. Same goes in the UK where we regularly have dozens of tiny groups entering candidates for local council or MP elections and just as regularly see them lose their deposits. Do not equate a lack of success of the niche minority politicians with a lack of democracy.

            Of course, the tiny minority groups will shriek about proportional representation, knowing full well all that does is allow them to get their snouts in the trough without actually changing anything. Indeed, all it usually does is produce joke governments like those of Italy where corruption is rampant.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      @Martijn Otto

      If you think for one nanosecond that the US is the only country spying on another country...you are sorely misinformed Sparky. Keep dreaming.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: @Martijn Otto

        "the only country spying on another country"

        That's just it. It has always been big government on big government Cold War type action and it sold rather well, just look at the money the James Bond franchise makes. Unfortunately something happened when everyone just started to get along as it were and sure there was still spying but the big tension filled headlines about nuke missiles, nuke subs & spy vs spy faded to be replaced by "War on [insert nonentity here]". There was the war on drugs where we spied on Moriega and Escobar to take them down and followed it with the war on terror and spying on the Taliban and Saddam and it all looked like big government vs either government or international crime syndicate which many people thought was fair. The problem is it wasn't just that and still isn't, it is government vs the people - We the People.

        Lots of people contend the second amendment is pointless because a US citizen armed with an AR15 rifle is no match for an armed battalion with tanks. It's more than likely true but it's no less true that a US citizen armed with the Constitution is no match for the current police state that swerves, jukes and spins its way through secret courts, specious claims of national security, dismisses habeas corpus by labeling someone a terr'ist and decrees by fiat a person so labeled is guilty until proven innocent.

        Constitutional Convention anyone?

    3. BillG Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Espionage, really?

      PRISM snitch Edward Snowden responded to the US government formally charging him with spying on Friday with fresh revelations that the NSA hacked China’s three state-run telcos in a bid to nab SMS data.

      O.K., I have no problem with Snowden pointing out that the NSA is spying on US citizens without a warrant.

      But coming public with revelations that the NSA merely did what it was supposed to do by hacking foreign networks? Snowden just lost my support.

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prism Scandal

      American Spy clouds are dust...

      ...give us client side hard encryption & controls and working data-canaries then we might start thinking about it

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pot, meet Kettle

    I find it ironic that the US has long since considered Chinese device manufacturers untrustworthy enough to bar them from bidding on major infrastructure projects on the grounds they might implement back-doors to spy on their networks … now there's alleged evidence of the NSA doing exactly this to China's main networks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pot, meet Kettle

      They didn't consider them untrustworthy, they _knew_ they were untrustworthy, although not for the reason you might think. It's not because they are foreign, after all we trust the brits. It's because they are not capialist enterprises and therefore cannot be reliably bought.

      Nothing scares your average western govt. more than somone who isn't motivated by money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pot, meet Kettle

        That doesn't seem to stop the NSA using the Linux Kernel … after all, how did we get SELinux?

      2. It'sa Mea... Mario

        Re: Pot, meet Kettle @Nicho

        Trust me, I have just been to China, they are *very* motivated by money.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Stuart Longland Re: Pot, meet Kettle

      ".....now there's alleged evidence of the NSA doing exactly this to China's main networks." Yeah, I wonder if Snowden stopped off in Beijing on the way to Moscow to pick up a cheque. How do you think the US authorities got the proof that they needed before they could convince Obambi and co to stand up and say publicly that the Chinese government was behind hacking attacks on US companies - they hacked bits of the Chinese infrastructure. If you are surprised to hear that then your days must be filled with wide-eyed wonder. Now, stop for a second and think - who really gains from what Snowden is shrieking about, and the obvious answer is China. Ever stop to wonder why Snowden's first stop on his "flight to freedom" was part of China? Ever even take a second to consider what his motivation has been seeing as he seemed quite happy to take Uncle Sam's cash for quite a while before he suddenly developed a convenient conscience? Oh, sorry, did I interrupt your mindless bleating and ask you to actually think for a second?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

        Snowden has presented evidence for his claims. You have none for your baseless speculation. And your claim that he should somehow have "developed a conscience" without taking the NSA job and thereby finding out what they were doing is blatantly impossible. Try thinking for a second yourself.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Stuart Longland Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

          "..... You have none for your baseless speculation....." Give it a while, I'm pretty confident that time will expose Snowden's real motivations.

          ".....And your claim that he should somehow have "developed a conscience" without taking the NSA job and thereby finding out what they were doing is blatantly impossible....." Really? But you and so many of the other sheeple posting here seem to have a shrieking aversion for the NSA and CIA yet have obviously never worked in a secure environment, let alone for a security agency. So that means, if you want to pretend having a job with he NSA is a prerequisite to having an opinion, by your own measure, all your bleating is just the blind parroting of the tinfoil brigade, based on a complete lack of knowledge. Thanks for clearing that up. It would seem very obvious that it would be impossible for anyone with half a clue to approach a job with the security agencies WITHOUT already having a pretty jaundiced view of what the work was likely to entail. Obviously, my asking you to stop and think really was just too much for you.

          1. Jon Double Nice

            Re: Stuart Longland Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

            I was going to say that you missed out 'sheeple' in your earlier post, but I see that you've used it now - excellent work!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

        Oh, and while I'm at it, the answer to your "who really gains from" what Snowden has revealed is every single one of us who now have the ability to hold our governments to account and demand our privacy and rights be respected better than they have been doing lately. Some small propaganda victory for the Chinese is a trivial consequence compared to the very real benefits for all us western citizens.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: AC Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

          ".....every single one of us who now have the ability to hold our governments to account and demand our privacy and rights be respected better than they have been doing lately....." Oh puh-lease, get off your moral hobbyhorse! Is that more of the blindfolded "99%" male bovine manure? Did you ever stop to think (rhetorical question as it seems independent thought really is too much for you) that some of us are not only happy our governments are using such program's as PRISM, but actually think we should be going further. Because one right I really value is not being blown up or having the aircraft I'm travelling in deliberately crashed into a building by some Islamist nutjob. A second right is hoping my government is doing something to stop foreign companies hacking our businesses. Unlike some of you clueless clowns, I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earh.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

            @Matt

            Relax. Calm down. Breathe.

            It may be worth keeping a few things in mind.

            1 - Snowden exposed something. I must thank whoever came up with this one: "those who have nothing to hide need not fear whistleblowers". If all was honky-dory there wouldn't have been such an upset because let's be honest, it wasn't exactly *news* for anyone who has ever been near security, privacy or work with a protective marking.

            2 - such privileges and powers as deployed by the NSA and other actors require aggressive supervision or they will be abused for all sorts of stupidity. Time to haul these people back into their box. The final authority in a democratic state is the tax payer. If they are not, it's time to stop pretending it's a democracy.

            3 - I would suggest you tone down your assumptions about others on this forum. You really have no clue who some of the people are here, nor are you likely to find out.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: AC Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

              "....Relax. Calm down. Breathe....." Sorry to disappoint you, but just because you lot froth at full volume, doesn't mean those of us with a clue are raging. It's more likely we're laughing at your childish naïveté. Believe me, if anyone from GCHQ or the NSA can spare the time to look at your dribblings it is probably as light relief.

              "......Snowden exposed something...." Seriously? It was news to you?!? Which sandpit have you been keeping your head in?

              ".....such privileges and powers as deployed by the NSA and other actors require aggressive supervision or they will be abused for all sorts of stupidity....." So where does it say in anything Snowden sold to the papers that there is no supervision? Indeed, Snowden's latest non-news is the RULES the NSA use! Sounds supervised and regulated to me.

              ".....Time to haul these people back into their box....." What, all the sheeple bleating on here you mean?

              "....The final authority in a democratic state is the tax payer....democracy...." EXACTLY! So, if you think we're all just dying to swallow the same tinfoil-wrapped bumph you have been spoonfed, please do waste your time and money starting a new political party and standing for election. Don't be surprised when Joe Public ignores you and you lose your deposit. Oh what, do your convictions that you are "righteous" not extend to actually doing something democratic about it other than wasting bandwidth?

              ".....I would suggest you tone down your assumptions about others on this forum....." What, so you trumpet free speech, democracy and rights, only just as long as the speaker agrees with your POV? What you are actually admitting is that you are anti-democracy and don't give a jot for free speech.

              ".....You really have no clue who some of the people are here, nor are you likely to find out." What's that, a playground threat? If I wanted to find out who you are I could always ask the NSA if they have been watching the Kindergartens.

          2. I like noodles
            Thumb Down

            Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

            "Because one right I really value is not being blown up or having the aircraft I'm travelling in deliberately crashed into a building by some Islamist nutjob."

            And China's chock full of them isn't it.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

              ".....And China's chock full of them isn't it." It is full of government-controlled agencies that are using malware and other hacks to attack Western businesses (http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-04/24/akamai-state-of-the-internet), or were you having your afternoon nap when that was revealed? And that's ignoring the links the Chinese have from years of supplying Islamist terror-sponsoring countries like Pakistan, Iran and Sudan.

              Oh, and if you want to know why you don't hear about Islamist terrorists in China? That's because they go waaaaaay beyond anything the CIA has done - even the Gitmo and rendition staple bleats - in their dealings with internal Chinese terrorism (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4435135.stm). But I expect that's news to someone as blinkered as you.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Matt

                Matt! Go easy, 'co I'm getting RSI in my right forefinger from applying a downvote to all your mad, ranty, illogical posts.

                If, as you seem to think, these programes are effective in intercepting terrorist or criminal communications, leading to the guilty being stopped, where's the success in stopping drugs coming onto our streets? Where's the success against organised crime? Against people trafficking? Money laundering ? Against fraud, against counterfeiting, against forgery? Where's the success in clawing back the proceeds of crime?

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: AC Re: @Matt

                  ".....where's the success in stopping drugs coming onto our streets?...." You are assuming they are not effective, whereas the police in the UK and US regularly record seizures that are the result of "intelligence":

                  http://www.insightcrime.org/news-briefs/central-america-drug-seizures-up-30-in-2012-us

                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15613803

                  As far back as the '90s the DEA were remotely intercepting the calls made by members of Pablo Escobar's cartel in Colombia all the way from Fort Worth, Texas - how do you think they were doing that, by really big binoculars and lip-reading? The Colombian electronic surveilance team that eventualy tracked Escobar to his Medellin hideout were supplied with French equipment to hide US involvement, except they were given the list of kit to get and trained in its use by US technicians, and the numbers to watch for from the DEA. Ever since, Escobar's competitors in the drug trade have spent small fortunes annually on trying to beat US surveilance, which kind of implies they think it's effective.

                  Unfortunately, many of the successes of the authorities are simply not reported as they are not considered newsworthy. But sensationalist announcements of "leakers" and "threats to privacy"? Well, you're just showing exactly how the media love to whip up a froth on those. HTH.

              2. I like noodles
                WTF?

                Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

                "But I expect that's news to someone as blinkered as you."

                Wow, you're awfully good at drawing a conclusion as the extent of someone's views and insight on the basis of a one-sentence post.

                You really need to calm down a bit. Some very childish ranting you've embarked upon here, full of personal insults thrown at people that you don't know.

                I'm not suggesting you calm it down to protect the sensibilities of the the commentards-in-general. More to save you embarrassing yourself any further with the rather petulant style you seem to have adopted.

                Deary me...

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: I like poodles Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

                  All that post and not one thing to add to the conversation? Not one original thought or argument, no insight, in fact nothing other than a desperate attempt to actually not discuss the poits raised as you simply can't. This is my surprised face, honest. You guys really don't like it when you meet someone outside your tiny-minded cliques that can actually explain the gaping holes in what you have accepted as "the truth", do you?

          3. sventamagotchi
            Childcatcher

            Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

            Just weigh up the risks of getting blown up by some nutjob vs the complete loss of every citizens privacy.

            These actions should be balanced, and right now we are not in a civil or world war which would warrant such a hideous invasion of privacy. Many many more people die every day from preventable accidents and health issues or wars. You are being made fearful by the terrorists and are scared enough to just hand our most private lives which have nothing to do with govt away. It will not stop them.

            The sooner everyone can by default have encrypted communication the better, it's not even if the current government is malicious or not, (a future one may be) , it's also the fact that governments are generally a bit incompetent and someone will just leave a USB key on a train one day

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: sventamagotchi Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

              "....the complete loss of every citizens privacy....." Nice bit of hyperventilating melodrama, but the evidence so far shows anything but a complete loss of every citizens' privacy.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: some of us are happy with PRISM

            @ Matt

            some of us are not only happy our governments are using such program's as PRISM, but actually think we should be going further

            OK, you're entitled to your opinion, but why don't you make their life easier then and post all your details online here? PIN codes, your annual income, the last 3 tax submissions you made, a couple of utility bills, the 50 last people you called (including their numbers, we can't have them feeling left out because *you* have this opinion, damn their rights), 50 emails and, hmm, say, 30% of your address book. Alternatively, put it on a Google resource, that way they'll have it straightaway, and just post a link here because to do this right you have to go all public - because the number of entities that have uncontrolled access to this data is so massive you might as well post it on your Facebook wall in "public" mode. Pics of the wife and kids (if exists) also, of course.

            Don't forget details of your passport and social security number, that saves the NSA the trouble leaking it through an "error" at their, umm, "partners" if you piss them off so you suffers some nice juicy identity theft problems.

            Come on, Matt, put your money personal information where you mouth is.

            1. little

              Re: some of us are happy with PRISM

              >>> Come on, Matt, put your money personal information where you mouth is.

              I see no reply, you think he finally read his own post?

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: little Re: some of us are happy with PRISM

                "....I see no reply...." Patience, Grasshopper.

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: AC Re: some of us are happy with PRISM

              ".....but why don't you make their life easier then and post all your details online here? PIN codes, your annual income, the last 3 tax submissions you made, a couple of utility bills, the 50 last people you called (including their numbers, we can't have them feeling left out because *you* have this opinion, damn their rights), 50 emails and, hmm, say, 30% of your address book....." Because, whilst I don't have a problem with the authorities knowing even half of that list, I wouldn't trust you lot of numpty, Anon-hugging skiddies with the time of day, you're far too likely to try to do something stupid with it. Just look at all the Anons caught because they were convinced "I'm smarter than The Man, I can do what I like". They did stupid crimes and got caught. Exposing your secrets to morons like that is the real privacy threat.

              "....put it on a Google resource...." Are you kidding? Lots of people ALREADY put up waaaaaay to much personal info on gormless sites like Facebook. I bet you do, you sound like just the type of right-on sheep that has a Facebook account listing everything right down to the brand of toothpaste you use twice daily. It probably wouldn't take longer than five minutes in the right type of IRC channel to trick you into giving up as much info as needed. All I'd have to do is pretend to be Julain Assange, and that I need a "true believer" to let me clone their passport to escape Evil Britain (oh, and credit cards, just in case those sneaky border guards have come prepared), and you'd be jizzing all over your keyboard in your eagerness to "help the Great One"!

              ".....Don't forget details of your passport and social security number....." I already posted that I have signed the OSA, which means my name (and passport number, social security number, driving licence number and probably a few other items) are already on at least one watchlist. Every time I travel abroad it gets noted somewhere. Am I bothered? Not in the slightest.

              ".....put your money personal information where you mouth is." Your mouth is evidently with the rest of your head - so far up your rectum you have zero chance of actually spotting a clue, let alone getting one.

          5. BlueGreen

            Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

            But also:

            "Did you ever stop to think [...] that some of us are not only happy our governments are using such program's as PRISM, but actually think we should be going further"

            You *are* the meek.

            1. dssf

              Re: Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

              "The meek shall inherit the Earth"?

              Reminds me of an office visit repair job I did, decades ago, when I saw on a wall somwhere:

              "The MEEK shall inherit the SHIT!"

              1. dssf

                Re: Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

                And, then I did a Spoonerism or two on that:

                "The CHIC shall inherit the MITT"

                "The Sheik shall inherit the mitt"

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: BlueGreen Re: Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

              ".....You *are* the meek." Having travelled to countries with truly nasty regimes and security apparatii, I can say it is very comforting to return to our shores and wallow in the meekness. But don't mind me, you and the rest of the sheeple just carry on sipping your lattes and bleating amongst yoursleves about how you're saving the World one gap yeaaaaaah at a time.

              1. BlueGreen

                Re: BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

                If you want the government to do more data collection specificallly without your knowledge, you've voided your right to call other people sheeple.

                Your response does not change that. You are particularly a fool if a collar round your neck brings you a sense of security: you are a sheeple. You remain the meek.

                Now to the rest:

                "Having travelled to countries with truly nasty regimes and security apparatii, I can say it is very comforting to return to our shores and wallow in the meekness"

                No, you wallow in accountable democracy and a stable society, and that's something I hugely appreciate too, and wish to preserve. Why? Because I was born in one of those horrible countries, and have too much insight into their workings. I'd rather keep our government as clean and transparent as possible.

                Do not confuse meekness with an appreciation of belonging to one of the world's less unpleasant countries, not even as a rhetorical tactic.

                "But don't mind me, you and the rest of the sheeple just carry on sipping your lattes and bleating amongst yoursleves about how you're saving the World one gap yeaaaaaah at a time."

                Beyond an insight into your condescension, totally content free. Try not typing it next time.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

                  "If you want the government to do more data collection specificallly without your knowledge, you've voided your right to call other people sheeple....." How? You are asuming that compliance equates to sheeple simply because you want to believe it is so, because you want to believe Big Brother is watching you all the time, every day, without pause. The difference is I am quite happy to trade some tiny likelyhood that there may be a minor invasion of my privacy in return for the benefits such intel gives our security forces and police. And please note that nothing that Snowden has "revealed" shows in any way that I am currently having my privacy "invaded" in any way, shape or form, thanks. PRISM is not a wide filter it's a narrow tool. GCHQ's Tempora is a much bigger tool but is again just a time-limited holding tank, the limit is the number of analysts that can be assigned to look at the data before the age limit, so again it has a narrow focus. The UK has a population of about 50 million people alone, on top of which Tempora is gagging down most of Europe's and a lot of trans-Atlantic traffic, so probably getting on for a half-a-billion people's worth at any time. Snowden claims they have 300 GCHQ analysts and 250 NSA bods doing nothing but Tempora analysis, which would mean a ratio of roughly a million subjects per analyst. The chance that either PRISM or Tempora during their existance has even ever looked at any of my coms is so infinitely tiny as to be laughable! I'm probably much more likely to be hit by lightning or a meteor! Because I am of ZERO interest to them, just like the vast majority of the World's population.

                  ".....Your response does not change that....." My response does not change the fact that you do not want to see the facts, that you are happier living out your paranoid delusions. I do not expect to change that, but I will enjoy poking fun at you and the rest of the sheeple.

                  ".....You are particularly a fool if a collar round your neck brings you a sense of security: you are a sheeple...." OK, have you ever had a reason to ask for assistance from the police? Did you insist the police came into existance only when you needed them, then vapourised themselves the minute they had dealt with your problem? Did you insist that, whilst they dealt with your issue, the police went around blindfolded, just in case they happened to see innocent people engaged in legal activities? But, surely, if the police saw innocent people then their privacy was invaded! <Insert sheeple shrieking here> Did you you insist the police only listened to you when you were talking about your problem and then insisted they had earmuffs on the rest of the time? Lieber gott! They might have overheard INNOCENT CONVERSATIONS!!!! <Insert more sheeple hyperventilating here> THE POLICE WERE SPYING ON YOU AND EVESDROPPING ON YOUR EVERY SPOKEN WORD!!!!! <Insert sound of sheeple blundering round in circles whilst bleating at top volume> But if the police had been blindfolded and earmuffed, do you think they would have been any good at detecting and preventing an unrelated criminal act before it had happened? Do you think it is a good idea that the police might be able to prevent a crime rather than just turning up afterwards, especially if that was a violent crime against someone you actually cared about? Oh, so you actually DO support a little monitoring by the police then? How's that collar?

                  ".....You remain the meek....." I would smilingly suggest it is more that I remain simply a lot more realistic, and a lot less prone to melodrama, and definately a lot less easily led than yourself. Consider yourself well and truly laughed at!

                  1. BlueGreen

                    Re: BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

                    "How?"

                    Because I don't want far-reaching infrastructures built *behind my back*. I want these things, if they are to be developed at all, to be done where I can see them. Where I can have some input into their extent. I'm not against them necessarily, just against them being done without the input of the huge bulk people whose privacy they will affect.

                    "because you want to believe Big Brother is watching you all the time, every day, without pause"

                    No, I don't. I want accountability and transparency. See above paragraph. If the general public desire this level of intrusion, so be it, it is after all a democracy, but as a prerequisite they need the knowledge of it.

                    "And please note that nothing that Snowden has "revealed" shows in any way that I am currently having my privacy "invaded" in any way, shape or form, thanks"

                    Unless you have access to the full info of what's going on, you don't know.

                    Also you gloss over the kind of well recognised phenomenon that power structures start to work to their own ends, rather than those they serve e.g. "Two reviews to investigate Lawrence smear claims" <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23026324>. This is so common you have to be wilfully blind not to see the risks.

                    Oh, BTW there were claims that the US used echelon to give their aerospace companies financial advantage in large military tenders (this is going back a few years though, I'm damn sure they wouldn't do that these days. Would they?)

                    "PRISM is not a wide filter it's [...] a million subjects per analyst. The chance that either PRISM or Tempora during their existance has even ever looked at any of my coms is so infinitely tiny as to be laughable! I'm probably much more likely to be hit by lightning or a meteor!"

                    Agreed. If you concentrate on human analysts, the final link, yes. However there are these things called computers which can do a lot of data mining. Which I might be ok with if I knew what was going on. Which I don't and you don't and if it hadn't been for this guy, almost no-one would.

                    Also what I do may not be entirely legal. I like drugs and if I want to get hold of e.g. some acid (virtually impossible these days) I don't see its any business of the government, despite class a's being very illegal and this data could be linked to me automatically via a web of contacts, which could be auto mined then turned over to the police. I don't see any problem with prostitution provided both parties are in free consent, yet ditto that can dump people in trouble due to fucked up morality (as I see it). Government's business? I'd say no, unless it was non-consensual in which case it's rape at least.

                    Answer me: do you think that, if it does not affect wider society, what I do with my body re. drugs or what a woman does with her body re. a willing sale, should be any business of the government?

                    But you seem to believe the gov't is a warm fuzzy entity which can only do the right thing. You are a sheeple.

                    "Because I am of ZERO interest to them, just like the vast majority of the World's population."

                    Hmm. Who said something about 'truly nasty regimes and security apparatii'? That most of the world live under? That might want to monitor their population? For fear of political opposition amongs those being governed? Answer me: is this a valid point?

                    (assorted stuff about the police)

                    I support the police in the main. They need a certain amount of info to do their job. This I accept. I want some input into the quantity and kind they are getting. IOW, transparency and accountability.

                    "I would smilingly suggest..."

                    More content-free condescension. About the only thing I can extract from it is that you're the adult and we by dint of not being you, are foolish children.

                    1. BlueGreen

                      Re: BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek will inherit the Earth."

                      Oh dear, Matt, have you downvoted me without responding to my points? Have I ruined the smile on your face with my post?

                    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      Facepalm

                      Re: BlueGreen Re: BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

                      ".....Because I don't want far-reaching infrastructures built *behind my back*.... I want accountability and transparency......" The GCHQ IMP that became "Tempora" was publicly disclosed in 2008, there was even an El Reg article on it (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/19/ukgov_uber_database/) then and plenty since (hint - do an El Reg search for "Interception Modernisation Plan"). I suppose you can't help it if you're just ill-informed and unaware, but in future do try and keep up before bleating so energeticly.

                      "....Unless you have access to the full info of what's going on, you don't know...." Whatever, that rather weak bit of paranoid dribbling just makes me suggest you loosen up the tinfoil hat.

                      ".....This is so common you have to be wilfully blind not to see the risks....." No, this is what happens when you are desperate to find anything to back up your whacky conspiracy theories, and seize on any unrelated matter as "proof" it must be The Truth! Please do show me the GCHQ involvement in the alleged Lawrence "smear" investigation.

                      "....there were claims that the US used echelon...." There's a tramp that hangs around the London Bridge area that swears he's Elvis, I suppose you believe his claims too?

                      ".....if it hadn't been for this guy, almost no-one would...." HTH. See link above.

                      "....I like drugs....." This is my surprised face. Next time, please try posting AFTER the trip.

                      1. BlueGreen

                        Re: BlueGreen BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

                        "The GCHQ IMP that became "Tempora" was publicly disclosed in 2008"

                        So you are saying that all this was in the public domain already? And that the extent of PRISM was already known? And all the stuff coming on on June 6th to US and UK papers was already available?

                        You are pointing out a part issue then pretending that that's the same as the entire problem. It's not. It's part of the problem (as are you, with your let-the-government-do-my-thinking-for-me view on life).

                        So, let's get to the core of it. I said: "I want accountability and transparency" - do you agree that this is a good thing, or not?

                        "Whatever, that rather weak bit of paranoid dribbling just makes me suggest you loosen up the tinfoil hat."

                        Until you have full knowledge of a thing, you don't know the full knowledge of a thing. Until Snowden spoke up, you had very little knowledge of the extent of this. You've avoided that and instead you post more vacuous condescension.

                        "No, this is what happens when you are desperate to find anything to back up your whacky conspiracy theories, and seize on any unrelated matter as "proof" it must be The Truth!"

                        I'm asserting that oppressive governments wish to, and increasingly do, monitor their own citizens for political rather than moral reasons. You ducked the question because you didn't want to answer it; that if you had it would have undermined your point. Let me repeat the question; try to answer it this time:

                        >>> . Who said something about 'truly nasty regimes and security apparatii'? That most of the world live under? That might want to monitor their population? For fear of political opposition amongs those being governed? Answer me: is this a valid point?

                        "Please do show me the GCHQ involvement in the alleged Lawrence "smear" investigation."

                        You deliberately misrepresent me by invoking GCHQ involvement. Nowhere did I say that. I was making the wider point that "...that power structures start to work to their own ends, rather than those they serve", giving a known example. IOW, power corrupts - do you agree that lots of info + secrecy is ripe for breeding corruption?

                        You avoided the question because it undermined your point.

                        re echelon you said "There's a tramp that hangs around the London Bridge area that swears he's Elvis, I suppose you believe his claims too?"

                        Well, fair point. Here's <http://cryptome.org/echelon-ie.htm> "The Brussels report which identifies Ireland as ECHELON's new recruit says: "there is wide-ranging evidence that major governments are routinely using communications intelligence to provide commercial advantage to companies and trade." "

                        -and-

                        <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/820758.stm> "But a report published by the European Parliament in February alleges that Echelon twice helped US companies gain a commercial advantage over European firms. "

                        So, now I've provided some evidence, will you accept that abuse of these monitoring systems for commercial advantage is a real risk? I mean, you shouldn't need me point that out but apparently...

                        "This is my surprised face. Next time, please try posting AFTER the trip."

                        I'm not on anything at the moment. That is a crude attempt to not answer the question. Let me repeat:

                        "do you think that, if it does not affect wider society, what I do with my body re. drugs or what a woman does with her body re. a willing sale, should be any business of the government?" - Please answer this question.

                        You also did not address my point that data analysis with computers can be far more extensive than that done by humans, and that these can be used to bring to the attention of humans details about e.g. sexual or drug practices or political attitudes that the government should not have any right to know about. Please address this point.

                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                          FAIL

                          Re: BlueGreen BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

                          "So you are saying that all this was in the public domain already?....." Nope, just that the majority of it was well-known and the rest not only reasonably expected but actually LESS than what some of us expected. Which probably means there is other stuff going on even Snowden doesn't know about.

                          ".....You are pointing out a part issue then pretending that that's the same as the entire problem....." Your problems have nothing to do with PRISM or IMP, they probably go back to your childhood.

                          "....as are you, with your let-the-government-do-my-thinking-for-me view...." What you mean to say is that I am a problem for you because I do not thinkt he way you want me to think. Unlike you, I have travelled and seen some of the World, and those experiences lead me to judge the current levels of "privacy invasion" as very minor. If you want to pretend otherwise because it allows you to herd with the other sheeple and bleat in tune then that's your call, just don't expect the rest of us to unquestioningly follow your stupidity. You post about having a taste for dropping acid and then want to lecture others about giving in to peer pressure? Get a clue!

                          ".....So, now I've provided some evidence...." LOL! You can tell you don't actually work in a job where actually having to provide evidence or proof of anything is involved! You linked to a Cryptome article that has no proof, just makes same vague accusation about some EU report that itself also has no proof, just more vague accusations. Indeed, I'm betting you have not even read the actual report you mentioned (available here http://www.fas.org/irp/program/process/docs/98-14-01-2en.pdf), otherwise you would know all it does is make some very broad assumptions and insinuations, repeats a lot of rumours and allegations, and provides NO VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE of any individual case of the NSA or GCHQ passing on commercial intel to favoured companies. Try again!

                          "......That is a crude attempt to not answer the question....." All the questions were more than just answered, your pathetic arguments were completely bulldozed!

                          ".....Please answer this question......" I have no personal issue with you wanting to drop tabs or gargle bleach in the sanctity of your own home, your poison is your choice. But when it impacts on others - and buying illegal substances encourages organsied crime which leads to a lot of misery for a lot of people - then YOU are the one who should be asking yourself what impact your selfish and illegal acts have.

                          ".....You also did not address my point that data analysis with computers can be far more extensive than that done by humans....." Computers are best at pattern-matching in volume, but it takes a human being to decide the pattern that needs to be searched for. If you have a limited number of analysts then they are limited in the number of patterns they can work with and adapt or evaluate at any one time. You also need a human analyst to take the resulting data and look for the actual intelligence contained. The limit is therefore still the number of analysts. And then there is the further limtiing factor of the number of investigators available to act on the intel eventually provided. It's great knowing that Abdul in Birmingham has called three dozen buddies in Quetta in a week, but it takes actual bods on the ground to go out and start watching either Abdul or the buddies in Quetta, which means there are even more limiting factors. Oh, sorry, was that a few steps too much for you to follow?

                          1. BlueGreen

                            Re: BlueGreen BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

                            mmkay...

                            "Nope, just that the majority of it was well-known and the rest not only reasonably expected but actually LESS than what some of us expected"

                            So you admit this was new information after all. Finally.

                            "Your problems have nothing to do with PRISM or IMP, they probably go back to your childhood."

                            MBZCC.

                            "What you mean to say is that I am a problem for you because I do not thinkt he way you want me to think"

                            In a sense, yes. I mean I find it disturbing that you willingly accept a child's status in society ("please look after me, I can't do it myself"). Ben franklin, someone who is smarter than you said it well 'Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety'. You deserve neither, by definition you are a sheeple. Feel warm in that wooly coat? It's yours until the farmer wants it...

                            "You post about having a taste for dropping acid and then want to lecture others about giving in to peer pressure? Get a clue!"

                            It's my choice. I like my hallucinogens. I respect other people's rights to take/not take drugs, provided they do so responsibly.

                            "just makes same vague accusation about some EU report that itself also has no proof, just more vague accusations. Indeed, I'm betting you have not even read the actual report you mentioned "

                            You really aren't very bright. At all. Ok, from said PDF, section on Disseminating economic intelligence:

                            Point 98: "One such document consists of minutes from an August 1994 Commerce Department meeting [intended] to identify major contracts open for bid in Indonesia in order to help U.S. companies win the work."

                            Point 99: "In the Un i ted Kingdom, GCHQ is specifically required by law (and as and when tasked by the British government) to intercept foreign communications "in the interests of the economic well­being of the United e K i ngdom ...in relation to the actions or intentions of persons outside the British Islands". "

                            Point 100: "In Australia, commercially relevant Comint is passed by DSD to the Office of National Assesments, who consider whether, and if so where, to disseminate it. Staff there may pass information to Australian companies if they believe that an overseas nation has or seeks an unfair trade advantage. Targets of such activity have included Thomson­CSF, and trade negotiations with Japanese purchasers of coal and iron ore. Similar systems operate in the other UKUSA nations, Canada and New Zealand. "

                            Point 101: "In 1993, former National Security Council official Howard Teicher described in a programme about Menwith 62 Hill how the European Panavia company was specifically targeted over sales to the Middle East. "I recall that the words 'Tornado' or 'Panavia' ­ information related to the specific aircraft ­ would have been priority targets that we would have wanted information about". "

                            P102: "In 1994, NSA intercepted phone calls between Thomson­CSF and Brazil concerning SIVAM, a $1.3 billion surveillance system for the Amazon rain forest. The company was alleged to have bribed members of the Braz i l i an government selection panel. The contract was awarded to the US Raytheon Corporation ­ who ining announced afterwards that "the Department of Commerce worked very hard in support of U.S. industry on this king pro j ect". "

                            There's more. You ignore what's put in front of your nose if it suits you.

                            You are the sheeple.

                            "But when it impacts on others - and buying illegal substances encourages organsied crime which leads to a lot of misery for a lot of people "

                            Agreed. I don't touch coke & opium derivatives for exactly this reason. Should governement control my access to these things by making them illegal and thus by creating an artificial scarcity, encourage organised crime? (acid is cheap and easy to make if you can get the precursors, so organised crime would be uninterested). If my drug-taking habits harm no-one, they cannot by definition be selfish.

                            Also curious is your invocation of the word illegal, as if that alone meant one should or shouldn't do a thing. I find inflexible people fall back to shouts of illegal=wrong without thinking about the underlying morality.

                            "Computers are best at pattern-matching in volume, but it takes a human being to decide the pattern that needs to be searched for"

                            Yes. That's actually easy to specify (part of my job, in a simple sense). Computer then does the heavy lifting. Spits out results after 10 mins of work for me to assess. One guy (me) can do a huge amount of this with one fat multicore 64 gigabyte computer. It's very easy to analyse one's browsing & contacts to detect, as I said, "sexual or drug practices or political attitudes that the government should not have any right to know about"

                            I don't think you understand this at all. In fact you appear to understand little, or perhaps you are still trying to duck the question.

                            I repeat my question for a second time, as you still fail to answer it:

                            >>>>>> . Who said something about 'truly nasty regimes and security apparatii'? That most of the world live under? That might want to monitor their population? For fear of political opposition amongs those being governed? Answer me: is this a valid point?

                            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                              FAIL

                              Re: BlueGreen BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

                              "....So you admit this was new information after all....." No, I'm am saying it is not news to those of us with a clue. That is why it is news to you. You have demonstrated this quite clearly by claiming IMP was some great and unknown secret, which I demonstarted was just stupid seeing as there was a Reg article on it in 2008. Simple solution - go get a clue, do some actual research, then come back when you're better prepared. Until then you're just wasting bandwidth with your bleating.

                              "..... I mean I find it disturbing that you willingly accept a child's status in society...." Seeing as I have demonstrated that I know far more than you about the matter, it would seem that you are bleating from the position of the uneducated child, not me.

                              "....."please look after me, I can't do it myself"....." LOL! Yes, I do pay taxes because I WANT someone else (police, MI5/6) to look after me and keep criminals and terrorists away. By your logic I'm a "child" because I buy milk and meat from a store rather than keeping cows of my own, or buying cable from Sky rather than running my own TV channel and ISP, or not being a dentist and fixing my own teeth, or going to hospital rather than performing brain surgey with a mirror and a kitchen knife! Of course I want to be looked after in those regards because it means I can get on with doing what I want to do. Do you even understand what society is? It is NOT having to do everything for yourself because you can pay to have others do certain tasks for you, some of those being paid for by taxes. Seriously, if the best you can do is whine "nahnah, you're a child", you had best just give up now, you are simply not equipped to discuss the matter.

                              "....You ignore what's put in front of your nose if it suits you......" Oh, this will be fun! ".....One such document consists of minutes from an August 1994 Commerce Department meeting..." Where are the docs? It is just another repeated rumour. "...."In the Un i ted Kingdom, GCHQ is specifically required by law (and as and when tasked by the British government) to intercept foreign communications "in the interests of the economic well­being of the United e K i ngdom...." Again, no proof that ANY actual commercial secrets have been stolen by GCHQ. "....Staff there may pass information to Australian companies if they believe that an overseas nation has or seeks an unfair trade advantage...." Again, no actual case for when this is alleged to actually happened. "....I recall that the words 'Tornado' or 'Panavia' ­ information related to the specific aircraft ­ would have been priority targets that we would have wanted information about...." Again, no actual PROOF that any communications were actually intercepted using those keywords. ".....The company was alleged...." So, where is the actual case SHOWING charges for corruption that was only ALLEGED? Surely if the Brazillian authorities were presented with clear evidence of corruption there would be a criminal case to show the fact? But there isn't, beacuse YET AGAIN it is just rumour and conjecture. Once again, you fail to understand the difference between evidence and rumour and conjecture, which probably explains a lot of the whacky conclusions you seem to have come to. You have failed to prove a single example. Try again, just try a LOT harder.

                              "....You are the sheeple....." So, I know a lot more about the matter and you know about as much as a child, and I know the difference between evidence and rumour and you do not, but I am the sheep when all you do is rebleat nothing but childish rumours and conjecture? ROFLMAO!

                              "....I don't touch coke & opium derivatives for exactly this reason....my drug-taking habits harm no-one...." So who supplies the chemicals either for you to make acid or the finished product? The same criminal gangs that peddle coke and opium. You really are simply too naive for words. LSD is a class A drug for a reason. As a mental amplifier it exaggerates your mood, which explains why you are such a paranoid tinfoil-wearer. Personally, I've never been so bored that I'd need LSD, but then I'm not a child.

                              ".....as if that alone meant one should or shouldn't do a thing....." Like I said, you want to make the stuff yourself from legally purchased ingredients and do it in the privacy of your home then I'd say that's your stupid choice, please go ahead and give society a break from your tediousness. But if you're buying it off street dealers then you're funding other crimes, which does make it a public and legal matter as it then goes on to affect others. Instead of "thinking" if the illegality meant one should or shouldn't do a thing, you should actually be thinking of the entire consequence of your actions. But that would probably be just too much for you to cope with.

                              ".....I don't think you understand this at all...." Oh puh-lease! Try multiplying by one million and you have the probable load on one Tempora analyst. And tehy are not just looking for some vague leaning, they are looking for very explicit evidence. If it was so easy as you insist then why would Google need massive datacenters for the much, much much simpler task of trending for advertising? It is YOU that fails to understand that, mainly because you DO NOT WANT to understand that. Monumental fail!

                              ".... Who said something about 'truly nasty regimes and security apparatii'? That most of the world live under? That might want to monitor their population? For fear of political opposition amongs those being governed? Answer me: is this a valid point?" What I was trying to point out to your drug-addled brain was that there are far worse regimes in the World doing a lot worse and for far less noble reasons. Your problem is you know next to nothing about our country's security practices, as displayed by your ignorance of IMP, so it really is asking too much to expect you to be able to consider foreign practices. Maybe when you leave school.

                              1. BlueGreen

                                Re: BlueGreen BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

                                "No, I'm am saying it is not news to those of us with a clue"

                                You were implying it was publicly available. Now you're saying the smart people guessed ie. that it was *not* publicly available. So it was publicly available and it's not publicly available. Basic logic fail, matt.

                                "Seeing as I have demonstrated that I know far more than you about the matter, it would seem that you are bleating from the position of the uneducated child, not me"

                                You've shown as much grasp of the situation and its possibilities as your grasp of windows server security, and according to another poster <http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2013/06/26/hp_storeonce_has_undocumented_backdoor/#c_1874126>, your knowledge of cisco switches and routers. Ben franklin Vs matt - matt loses. You are the sheeple.

                                "LOL! Yes, I do pay taxes because I WANT someone else (police, MI5/6) to look after me and keep criminals and terrorists away. By your logic I'm a "child" because I buy milk and meat from a store rather than keeping cows of my own [...]"

                                You confuse society, industry and agriculture with government. The former provide services, the latter, an overarching governance. I don't expect adults to cultivate their own food, I expect them to think for themselves. Something which you've admitted you don't want to do, you sheeple.

                                "Oh, this will be fun! [...] So, where is the actual case SHOWING charges for corruption that was only ALLEGED? [...] Again, no actual PROOF that any communications were actually intercepted using those keywords"

                                "Again, no proof that ANY actual commercial secrets have been stolen by GCHQ. "

                                They were *legally required to*. My god you are tungsten carbide grade stupid.

                                Let's take a specific example I quoted: "In 1993, former National Security Council official Howard Teicher described [...] was specifically targeted over sales to the Middle East. "I recall that the words 'Tornado' or 'Panavia' ­ information related to the specific aircraft ­ would have been priority targets that we would have wanted information about".

                                Now they looked for those keywords during interception. That is spying. Whether they found such keywords or not does not change the fact that they were looking. If police listened in to your conversations without your consent hoping to hear you talk about your sexual exploits (for example) but found nothing of interest, they've still been monitoring you. That they found nothing interesting does not change that it is a monitoring you. This invalidates your claim that it is all "rumour and conjecture". I can express that in predicate logic if you wish, if that would help you? Doubt it.

                                You are an idiot.

                                "ROFLMAO"

                                Yep, twitter-level idiot confirmed.

                                "So who supplies the chemicals either for you to make acid or the finished product? The same criminal gangs that peddle coke and opium. "

                                No you prat. Precursor chemicals do not all come from criminal gangs. They can be bought off the shelf, so to speak, although in this case I understand sales of said precursors are monitored. Honestly you are clueless. And if you don't want to buy them, there are alternatives. Lord, you suck at this.

                                "As a mental amplifier it exaggerates your mood"

                                Clueless prat. Try learning about the subject first (q.v. your knowledge of windows server & cisco networking kit).

                                "you should actually be thinking of the entire consequence of your actions"

                                This is a good point. We agree. I try to.

                                "Oh puh-lease! Try multiplying by one million and you have the probable load on one Tempora analyst"

                                Wut? A computer can look for correlations a million times faster than a human. You don't understand these 'computer' things.

                                "Google need massive datacenters for the much, much much simpler task of trending for advertising"

                                Reference please, because I don't believe google doesn't need them for serving ads, it's for crawling and correlations for web searches. They've got to crawl and cruch terabytes for google searches. They sell advertising on top of that. So: provide evidence that they need datacentres primarily for 'trending in advertising'. Evidence please. I will acept a European Parliament report. BTW matt bryant would like this to be true != proof.

                                "What I was trying to point out to your drug-addled brain was that there are far worse regimes in the World doing a lot worse and for far less noble reasons"

                                Ah finally! Third time lucky! you admit that these monitoring facilities can be used "far worse regimes in the World doing a lot worse and for far less noble reasons" such as monitoring for political dissent. At bloody last. And having admitted that, you still go along with having your patch of grass willingly monitored? You content little sheeple. Get your head down and graze.

                                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                  FAIL

                                  Re: BlueGreen BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

                                  "You were implying it was publicly available...." So The Reg article I linked to from 2008 was not publicly available? You are a very pitiful joke.

                                  "....and according to another poster...." You're not even good enough at cyberstalking. Go read my response it that thread. BTW, it has nothing to do with the current discussion, so your claim is just as silly as all your others. Once again, you lose, back to the flock you go.

                                  ".... My god you are tungsten carbide grade stupid....." I am stupid because you cannot provide any verifiable evidence to back up your claims? A novel if more than slightly dubious theory.

                                  "....Lord, you suck at this...." I will admit I do not have the obvious expertise you show in drug abuse, seeing as I am smart enough and well-adjusted enough not to use drugs. You very obviously are not smart or at all well-adjusted. It's not really an area I'd like to claim any personal knowledge of as it really marks you out as worse than just a clueless sheeple. Oh, and do you make all your own LSD? I bet not.

                                  "....I try to...." So you buy drugs from criminals but don't think that is a problem for society in general? Try a lot harder.

                                  "....They've got to crawl and cruch terabytes for google searches...." Yeah, that would be the trending analysis I mentioned. Duh!

                                  "....you admit that these monitoring facilities can be used "far worse regimes in the World doing a lot worse and for far less noble reasons" such as monitoring for political dissent...." Once again, all you are doing is extrapolating some vague argument to make a melodramatic and extreme hypothesis. The PRISM and Tempora tools could be used to capture the number of people that express a preference for peanut butter over marmalade, but I doubt if they are. You fail to show they ARE being used to look for "political dissent", and until you do ALL you are doing is bleating your gormless paranoia, just like the rest of the sheeple.

                                  "....And having admitted that..." See? Where do I admit anything fo the kind? You so want it to be so that your drug-addled brain warps the information to what you want to see. There really is no helping you, you're just too far gone to probably be able to survive outside of a padded cell without the support of the rest of the herd. I pity you.

                                  1. BlueGreen

                                    Re: BlueGreen BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

                                    "So The Reg article I linked to from 2008 was not publicly available? "

                                    No, the full details released by snowden weren't publicly available, you prat. Stop trying to mix the two to confuse the issue.

                                    "Go read my response it that thread"

                                    Your response to him looks valid. I withdraw my suggestion taht you don't know network hardware. I still maintain you don't know windows server given that you provably did not know it did not come with preset account + preset password. Please acknowledge you were wrong, ta. Oh, you can't. Damn shame. You'll just have to tap the downvote button with you pretty little hoof.

                                    "I am stupid because you cannot provide any verifiable evidence to back up your claims?"

                                    You prat, I gave (among other evidence) a specific quote from National Security Council official Howard Teicher stating that that's exactly what they were doing. Denying what's in front of you does not reinforce your position, idiot. Also my quote that "GCHQ is specifically required by law (and as and when tasked by the British government) to intercept foreign communications "in the interests of the economic well­being of the United e K i ngdom ..." is ignored by you because that would lose you the argument. By law. They must. You stupid. Perhaps short words in pairs will sink in?

                                    "I will admit I do not have the obvious expertise you show in drug abuse"

                                    No fool, you don't, nor do you acknowledge that necessary precursors can be obtained without going through criminal gangs.

                                    "Oh, and do you make all your own LSD? I bet not."

                                    Of course not! that's why I said it was virtually unobtainable these days! There are substitutes though, perfectly legal. Keep going with the 'abuse', 'well adjusted' and 'smart'. It shows you can't distinguish illegal from immoral ie. you're the inflexible thinker I was referring to. It's possible to use (not abuse) drugs. Still, you're right, you have no knowledge of the subject, nor any desire to understand it - rigidity of thinking - that's for sheep that you hypocritically accuse everyone else of being.

                                    "So you buy drugs from criminals but don't think that is a problem for society in general? "

                                    See above comment about legal methods and the confusion in your mind between legal & moral. You are not bright nor flexible in thought.

                                    "Yeah, that would be the trending analysis I mentioned. Duh!"

                                    No you utter prat, you referred to "trending for advertising" (your words) which is not the same as crawling and making weighted URL link associations. Computers are hard for you. And you still haven't provided the evidence I asked for. Evidence please, sheep.

                                    "(monitoring for political dissent) [...] but I doubt if they are"

                                    You doubt that oppressive governments want to or are trying to monitor political dissent? Like, for example, China?

                                    You utter sheep.

                                    Not peanut butter vs marmalede, prison vs freedom. "but I doubt if they are" - that's your level of response to vile governments? You'd rather deny that people live under these hideous regimes than admit you're wrong. You actually would deny other people's oppression exists than admit failure.

                                    "Where do I admit anything fo the kind?"

                                    By admitting that you'd rather have government do your thinking for you, you sheep. By wanting more government monitoring without public accountability, you sheep.

                                    You also fail to acknowledge that you couldn't distinguish between commerce/society/industry, and government.

                                    Nor do you admit that you don't understand how effective simple data mining can be.

                                    Your true value as a human is showing through like rot on a fallen tree. (shrug)

                                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                      FAIL

                                      Re: BlueGreen BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

                                      "..... a specific quote from National Security Council official Howard Teicher stating that that's exactly what they were doing....." Just for fun, let's look at your example of the Uber Nasty NSA giving commercial intel to US companies, shall we? So they were watching the Saudis for the keywords Panavia Tornado, and when they may have seen them you claim they passed the info on to US companies so they could steal the deal! But the Saudis still bought Tornados, which implies either the passing of the intel never happened or simply was of so little value as to make bugger all difference. S not much of an example of the all-encompassing evil you claim it to be then.

                                      Which brings us neatly to the core sheeple bleat - "these tools are being used to identify political dissidents". What a load of cobblers! Echelon has been in service since the '60s, so where are the Gulags and/or láodòng jiàoyǎng re-education centers for all the dissidents the US is supposed to have identified and "oppressed"? Tempora has been in operation in the UK for eighteen months, plenty of time to hoover up twits like yourself, so where are the lists of "disappeared"? In fact, please do explain how you personally are being "oppressed" by the NSA or GCHQ or anyone?

                                      Seriously, I'm actually starting to feel bad about exposing your continued stupidity. It's pitifully embarrassing, like being forced to have a playground scrap with the school's mouthy paraplegic spastic.

                                      1. BlueGreen

                                        Re: BlueGreen BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

                                        Same shit all over again but it doesn't matter. Your response before last told me what I needed to know, that you'd put your ego and desperate desire to 'win' an argument over evidence (depressing), thinking for yourself (you are a simple conformist, well, that's how it is) -- but above all, your morality.

                                        You'd spend your own morals like coin rather than admit failure.

                                        You'd prefer to deny human rights abuses by evil governments than admit you were wrong on a thread that probably no-one else but you and I are following now.

                                        Your own morality, for god's sake... you've chosen to negate your your own humanity... for nothing but trying to get one over on one single guy you accuse of being a sheep...

                                        You are what you are. I've upvoted your post as a goodbye present.

                                        (shrug)

                                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                          FAIL

                                          Re: BlueGreen Re: BlueGreen BlueGreen Matt Bryant says: "I really don't think the meek...."

                                          <Yawn> Sorry, did you say something? All I heard was more bleating.

                                          ".....over evidence...." What evidence? Where is the evidence this is oppressing you at all you clueless, hyperventilating, melodramatic, conspiracy-junkie, drug-junkie sheep? YOU HAVE NOTHING! Go back to your flock and tell them your herders have been feeding you a line of male bovine manure for years, and it's about time you lot grew up and started thinking for yourselves.

                                          "....You'd spend your own morals...." You buy drugs which fund organised criminal activity and you want to talk morals? Seriously?

                                          "....You'd prefer to deny human rights abuses....." What human rights abuses, where is this fictinal evidence you keep claiming to have but at every turn is nothing but rumour and suspicion? Again, YOU HAVE NOTHING!

                                          ".....you've chosen to negate your your own humanity...." That's rich from someone that enjoys humanity so much they have to take perception-altering substances in order to get their kicks. Stop wasting your life on that shit and get out and see the World, some of it is actually quite beautiful and fascinating. For a start, I would suggest you need to get some better and more intelligent friends if you have to take drugs to enjoy spending time with them.

          6. Rick Giles
            Black Helicopters

            Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

            "not being blown up or having the aircraft I'm travelling in deliberately crashed into a building by some Islamist nutjob"

            You seem to be forgetting who really instigated all of this so that they could justify the control they now have.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

        @Matt Bryant

        Now, stop for a second and think - who really gains from what Snowden is shrieking about

        You're a bit behind the times with that argument. If you want to follow the money you ought to start with tracking who suddenly got billions allocated post 9/11. Who did no longer face close budget scrutiny? Who was suddenly allowed to go all deep invasive on the tax payer? Who has blown gazillions on scanners that either didn't work, were discarded as a safety issue months later or were never deployed at all?

        If you want to bring up such arguments you really ought to start at the beginning. The more I see what is happening now, the more I am inclined to discard my initial cynicism for claims that 9/11 was not all what it seemed. The "follow the money" argument tends to work really well if you want to get an explanation for seemingly unexplainable events and it frankly pisses me off that oinks like you are now posting love messages to the NSA instead of having the brains to ask questions.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: AC Re: Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

          "....If you want to follow the money you ought to start with tracking who suddenly got billions allocated post 9/11....." Really? Gee, I sense that someone only went looking where they were sure to find reports of the "corruption" they wanted to see. The many successes of the security forces both in the UK and the US never get reported, whereas the few failures or mishaps (such as bad scanners) get whipped into a froth by the sheeple. Did you ever stop to think maybe the security services were UNDERFUNDED pre-9/11? What am I saying - of course you never thought that because it doesn't fit in with your carefully pre-formed The Man is BAD mantra.

          Instead of just looking for ways to feel bad about your own government, why don't you stop to ask why hasn't there been another spectacular terrorist attack in the US like 9/11? AQ and co didn't decide they'd "won" and call it quits, and it's not like bin Laden was short of cash nor means. What stopped him was the global war on terror, end of, regardless of what you want to believe.

          If you want to pretend otherwise, please do explain why you think AQ didn't manage another similar attack in the US? Care to explain how the majority of AQ's operatives ended up dead, on the run or in Gitmo if it wasn't intelligence that lead to their captures or deaths? Do you seriously think the CIA went out and just knocked door to door in Pakistan to find them? Or that the US forces went into Afghanistan in the first place without knowing exactly where the relevant AQ and Taleban centres of coms were? You do know that as soon as the Allies said they were going to invade the Taleban instructed all their members to ditch their mobile phones - ever stop to wonder why?

          Do you seriously think that, after they shot Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev that the authorities just said "Hey, let's not look into who they were talking to that may have influenced them"? I bet one of the first things they did was ring up the NSA and start looking at who owned the mobiles the Tsarnaevs had been calling and texting in the last year. It's probably a core part of their current investigations.

          Take your time, consort with the rest of the sheeple, it will be interesting to hear what male bovine manure you come up with to avoid admitting that the authorities that you are whining about have been doing their jobs.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

            [bla bla]

            Take your time, consort with the rest of the sheeple, it will be interesting to hear what male bovine manure you come up with to avoid admitting that the authorities that you are whining about have been doing their jobs.

            :). You must have signed the OSA as a soldier or similar, because I cannot see you get a clearance above BC other than by mistake. Not only does your choice of words and limited vocabulary show you've never been near anything more confidential than where your mother hides the biscuits, it also shows you would not be trusted with anything above Confidential because you are too easily goaded into, frankly, stupid public statements without exercising any kind of restraint.

            Ah, yes: Having travelled to countries with truly nasty regimes and security apparatii.

            QED.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

              "....because I cannot see you get a clearance above BC other than by mistake....." <Yawn> It is not an offence to admit you have signed the OSA. It is also not strictly an offence to state what level of clearance you may have had at one time or another, though if you are above enhanced baseline then you'd probably get a slap on the wrist for publicly admitting it. And seeing as I post under a nom de plume you aren't getting anything by it anyway. So you'll understand when I tell you to go have sexual relations elsewhere if you seriously want anyone to believe you actually know anything about the security ratings or practices covered by the OSA.

              "....Not only does your choice of words and limited vocabulary....." I was always taught to consider the capabilities of the audience one is addressing - sheeple need short words, as you have proven with such unintended eloquence. I'm also technical, which means I usually reach for the quickest and simplest tool to get the job done, and leave the flowery quotations to those whose job it is to do nothing more than flowery quotations. I'm guessing the latter is the only role you might be equipped for.

              "......too easily goaded into, frankly, stupid public statements....." Aw, was that supposed to be your best shot? As you mentioned, it is common knowledge that all soldiers sign for baseline clearance, as do many civil servants, so merely saying you having signed the OSA gives nothing away. Oh, sorry, did that destroy the one attempt at a point in your whole post? Whoops! Have another go, I'll try not to make you look so stupid so quickly next time. Oh, and I'll even throw in a few long words as long as you promise to go look them up in the dictionary before trying to reply. BTW, can you try something on-topic, preferrably related to Snowden, as it would probably be less confusing for the other sheeple. I will wait for you to watch Oprah if you're running a bit short of ideas.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

                It is also not strictly an offence to state what level of clearance you may have had at one time or another, though if you are above enhanced baseline then you'd probably get a slap on the wrist for publicly admitting it "Admitting"? That's your problem right there. You read far too much into statements. The correct verb would be "alluding to", and that's OK for the same reason you always brief someone in Parliament from public sources: plausible deniability.

                I was always taught to consider the capabilities of the audience one is addressing - sheeple need short words, as you have proven with such unintended eloquence. Bull. It's not about the style of words you use, it's quite simply because there are certain terms you would use as a direct reference to information. Those who have been near that data would have picked it up, those who pretend won'^t even spot it. *That* is efficiently, because it immediately identifies the wannabees. I don't buy it that you multiple ways of expressing yourself, from a sheer statistical point of view it appears you're stuck in a certain regrettable MO.

                I'll try not to make you look so stupid so quickly next time LOL. Sorry to deflate that opinion of yourself, you lack any standing to make anyone "look" anything. Now go and compose some more love letters to the NSA and GCHQ. Give them something to laugh about because that I must admit, you're good at making people laugh. Maybe we'll get you a clown icon and call it Matt.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: AC Re: AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

                  "....You read far too much into statements....." Really? So all you sheeple bleating and frothing about Snowden's revelations as somehow meaning The Man is listening to their every word and following their every click, and you want to pretend I'm reading too much into statements?!?!?!

                  "....Bull. It's not about the style of words you use, it's quite simply because there are certain terms you would use as a direct reference to information....." So you want to claim you have worked with and identified the linguistic patterns of every single one of the disparate groups that have had security clearances at any time, that you are familiar with the way they all act/work/talk? Yeah, right! Pull the other one, it's got bells on it. I wouldn't even hazard a guess at how many groups there are that access such data that I don't even know exist, let alone how they talk, so I feel quite comfortable in saying you are talking complete cobblers.

                  "...... *That* is efficiently, because it immediately identifies the wannabees...." Oops, I think you just highlighted your status as wannabe - in the UK we don't put asterisks around items we want to highlight, that's a Yank habit, which merans there is SFA chance that you have done anything other than read about the OSA. Busted!

                  ".....Sorry to deflate that opinion of yourself, you lack any standing to make anyone "look" anything....." I don't need to do anything, as the above exposure of your wannabe status shows, you're more than capable of making yourself look stupid!

                  1. BlueGreen

                    Re: AC AC Stuart Longland Pot, meet Kettle

                    "in the UK we don't put asterisks around items we want to highlight, that's a Yank habit [...] Busted!"

                    Matt Bryant, you are *truly* a prize twat.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Proud to be called a sheeple.

        (re: Monday 24th June 2013 08:17 GMT)

        Ah, the "sheeple" pejorative. A term used only by elitists who belive that they're special and better than everyone else because they have some kind of secret knowledge that raises them up to a higher level of understanding.

        Let's get this completely straight: you're calling me a "sheeple" because I don't just unquestioningly believe everything I'm told. By you, as it happens, but normally I would have thought "sheeple" means someone who *does* unquestioningly believe what they're told - by the government, in particular. But here I am, not believing what the government says - which you, in this case, agree with - and you're calling me "sheeple" for not just taking their word for it. This is in fact a rather unique use of the word, so I should give you some credit for that.

        Also, I didn't "shriek" anything. Everything I wrote in my posts was calm and measured; you're the one who's reacting hysterically. Because that's what's going on here: you claim something, based on no knowledge, and I expect some kind of evidence and won't just take your word for it, and so you're getting all emotional and angry and now you're calling me names; my refusal to think exactly as you think must be frustrating your narcissistic self-image.

        So, yeah, I'm proud to be called a sheeple by you. Because apparently that's what you call the non-gullible.

  4. url
    Paris Hilton

    I'm gonna guess

    that China will now ban all Cisco equipment from their networks citing unspecified backdoors etc.

    Paris ... backdoors

  5. url

    can't edit .....

    China Unicom quietly replaced all Cisco routers at a key backbone hub in Wuxi, Jiangsu last year, according to the National Business Daily.

    from:

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1266821/us-hacks-chinese-mobile-phone-companies-steals-sms-data-edward-snowden

  6. larryk78
    Facepalm

    Beijing personally intervened in the matter

    You shouldn't anthropomorphise cities... they don't like it.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Beijing personally intervened in the matter

      A fat and smoke wreathed old man waddled into the meeting room, coughed a few times and said, "Hey, let him go", then glared at everyone in the room. The people around the table avoided looking at him and muttered, "Ok Jing, ok".

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    US.. complains Hong Kong authorities not authoritaian enough.

    Is that like trying Julian Assange for Treason (He's Australian at the moment)?

    Have they issued an international arrest warrant or are they under the delusion that a US arrest warrant is good anywhere?

    Because if they haven't a "request to hold him" is just that, a request, which can be ignored or refused. He has committed no treason against China and AFAIK no crime while in Hong Kong.

    Let's not forget that back in the day the US seemed to have trouble picking up convicted IRA and loyalist terrorists on the grounds their crimes were "political."

    Pot meet kettle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US.. complains Hong Kong authorities not authoritaian enough.

      Pot meet kettle.

      I think it's more a case of reaping what you sow. From a publicity and image management point of view there is really nothing worse than being found out to be a hypocrite - certainly as an entire state it's embarrassing to have the world realise what you were really legalising while trying to impose disclosure laws on other nations. It puts a bit of a nail into the whole "freedom and democracy" marketing thing.

      You should brace yourself - this is going to result in more media spin in the next months than what emanated from the UK Blair government over a full decade. There is a LOT to bury.

      1. Gordon Pryra

        Re: US.. complains Hong Kong authorities not authoritaian enough.

        Its the reaping what you sow bit that gets people the most.

        So much hate for one country, not really down to what they are doing, after all most of the big 3 could be classed as evil states (China, USA n Russia are hardly nice regimes)

        It is the hypocrisy that really pisses people off. China and Russia don't spout it half as much (actually we aren't 100% sure what China are telling us, but we know the mad bastards don't give a monkeys about what we think)

        That said, a lot of the smaller country's should be glad that the USA's is so large, it hides the crap we do. Rather the USA is a target than a small backwater like the UK or just the K when the Scots bugger off.

    2. g e

      Re: US.. complains Hong Kong authorities not authoritaian enough.

      They had problems picking up the IRA, yep, but not funding them.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: They had problems picking up the IRA

        Most of us had no problems with them being picked up. In fact, most of us would have preferred they just shot them and saved the rest of the expenses. It was your buddy Ted "Lifeguard" Kennedy who kept getting in the way. You know, protector of the people and advocate for universal health insurance.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US.. complains Hong Kong authorities not authoritaian enough.

      I don't recall them ever having a problem picking up IRA.

      There'd always be a car waiting at the airport to pick them up and take them to the fundraiser, then deliver them safely back, along with a boatload (literally) of guns, mortars, rockets, explosives, etc.

      With "allies" like the USoA, who needs enemies?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: US.. complains Hong Kong authorities not authoritaian enough.

        Yep, they appear not to like the idea that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter when the events are occurring on their doorstep. I feel sorry for the populous and those caught up in the events but as someone who saw their home town bombed by the IRA - oh the delicious irony for the US leadership. Not nice is it?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: US.. complains Hong Kong authorities not authoritaian enough.

          The IRA a bit like the Palestinians eh? Fighting against ethnic cleansing by a conquering power? Or is it hypocrisy?

  8. smudge Silver badge
    FAIL

    How much mores does he have?

    The thing that strikes me about Snowden, and even more so about Bradley Manning, is the sheer volume of material that they apparently had legitimate access to.

    I guess that Snowden's information is probably all related, but Manning's certainly wasn't.

    Whatever happened to good old compartmentalisation, need-to-know, or whatever you want to call it? Poor protection of information by the US authorities.

    1. Justicesays

      Re: How much more does he have?

      Mandatory Access Controls (MAC).

      Ironic because the US invented them.

      I'm guessing that once you move beyond a small group of technically skilled and "conscientious" (about their jobs, anyway) people to a larger audience comprised of political appointees, career civil servants and third party contractors any kind of access controls or security go out of the window. Those that insist on trying to keep them in place end up out on the street when some PHB cant get some nugget of information to his mate over in the state department.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How much mores does he have?

      128GB on one USB Key (quite expensive though: http://www.mymemory.co.uk/USB-Flash-Drives/Kingston/Kingston-128GB-DataTraveler-HyperX-3.0-USB-Flash-Drive)

      That's a lot of data - assuming it's mostly text based even if he only had one key.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is getting better and better...

    or sadder and sadder?

    Anyhow, bring on the popcorn. This is a thriller, better than *any* current movie!

    (Still a very serious issue though; sorry about the sarcasm)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is getting better and better...

      sorry about the sarcasm

      Good heavens, no, that ought to be encouraged. Irony is even better.

  10. All names Taken
    Joke

    Data cloud storage issues?

    "The three have a combined subscriber base of over one billion."

    Well we had just better build a new super data store in Iowa super-pronto quickly just before the tish hits the fan no?

  11. Alan Brown Silver badge

    "..it could have allowed NSA operatives to access internet data on millions of Chinese citizens"

    Or given them a base to launch cyber attacks against other nations.

    Do you really think the NSA just LISTENS?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: "..it could have allowed NSA operatives to access internet data on millions of Chinese citizens"

      ".....Do you really think the NSA just LISTENS?" Thumbs up, but I would suggest the NSA itself does not do the hacking but passes it to another organisation for reasons of deniability. The NSA has a remit that does not include aggressive hacking. I have no doubt that someone somewhere is carrying our US government-sanctioned hacking based on information which originated at the NSA.

  12. Rick Giles
    Black Helicopters

    "complained that the Hong Kong authorities should have arrested the whistle-blower"

    Hong Kong didn't want to because they felt that the US should be getting tit-for-tat. And I agree.

  13. Stephen Gray

    US of A government chasing a US citizen? I don't care. I'm sure they'll murder or at the least rendition him to some offshore concentration camp. To be honest why didn't he just leave and get another job somewhere that didn't offend his sensibilities?

  14. Matt iRant
    Trollface

    Matt: Why do you rant so much?

    "If you are surprised to hear that" / "who really gains from what Snowden is shrieking about, and the obvious answer is China"

    So we shouldn't be surprised, but China should? If even *I* suspect it then it is likely that China already *knows* what is going on. So really, all China gains is the ability to say 'I told you so' in public. EVERYONE gains the knowledge of exactly what the US is doing behind closed doors, enabling the voting public to make a better informed choice about how they cast their vote next time.

    "yet have obviously never worked in a secure environment, let alone for a security agency"

    I'll just straight up ask - are you claiming to have worked in a secure environment yourself (no, washing dishes whilst being detained in a mental institution doesn't count) or for a security agency?

    If you are not prepared to publicly answer this question in the affirmative then please stop continually insinuating that you have insider knowledge. If you avoid answering this question I (and hopefully others on this forum) will come to the conclusion that you are most likely playing the same game as the skiddie anons play when they claim to have hacked loads of s00p3r s33kr3t d4t4 when all they have is a list of user IDs.

    "having a job with he [sic] NSA is a prerequisite to having an opinion"

    Well it appears that it would help in making that opinion an *informed* opinion. Quite a lot of us would like to be able to have an informed opinion in political matters without having to resort to a career in the security services. Having a democratic process is all very well and good, but being able to choose a candidate means very little if we have no information on what they (or their unelected subordinates) (are likely to) do in our name.

    " Don't be surprised when Joe Public ignores you and you lose your deposit. "

    Yes, and you know why anyone campaigning on these issues is likely to loose? Because the 'sheeple' (to use a word you seem so fond of) are likely to disbelieve the claims being made. Every time someone stands up and says 'look what is being done in our name!' the same old tired voices (that's you and your ilk) come out of the woodwork playing the "conspiracy theorist" FUD card.

    Without people like Snowden stepping in to provide confirmation, there is no chance of anything changing, because the 'sheeple' won't believe until they are shown proof - they prefer to believe (to continue the metaphor) that the shepherds are looking after the flock because they are benevolent rather than because they are fattening them up for the slaughter. It is in fact this very point that makes those working in the security services so scared of the Snowden/Manning types - it is not a fear of the nominal 'enemy du jour' finding out (because it is generally assumed that they already know all the dirty secrets) but the fear that the 'sheeple' will stop listening once they realise how much BS they are fed.

    I would therefore like to ask you a very serious question: What is the point of Democracy if the voters do not know what is being done (or likely to be done) in their names?

    "Oh what, do your convictions that you are "righteous" not extend to actually doing something democratic about it other than wasting bandwidth?"

    Please do tell - what have you done recently to aid or participate in the democratic process?

    By that I mean something YOU have chosen to based on your own convictions, not a task handed down to you by another. Personally, I have spent over 200 hours of my free time and risked several hundred pounds of my own money so far this year on trying to effect change on one of the issues I hold close to heart. Real citizen politics like filing FOI requests and negotiating official complaints and ombudsman procedures. All of this whilst also working full time and paying taxes.

    Looking at your posting history it seems you have posted here about every 15mins during the working day every working day for the last few months. Why don't YOU spend your time doing something democratic rather than wasting bandwidth?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Matt i Rant Re: Matt: Why do you rant so much?

      "So we shouldn't be surprised, but China should?...." Why would China be surprised? Maybe it's not the Chinese, maybe they are just lucky, and maybe the money (and direction) are coming via a third party such as Wikileaks. Maybe Snowden was the last member of Lulzsec and is intending on living off their pilfered Bitcoins! I am suggesting that Snowden is being paid by the Chinese as I think it is a more likely motive than his suddenly devloping a conscience over what are, at best, very minor invasions of privacy, and a lot less than what anyone with half a clue would have been expecting the security services to have been doing for decades even before 9/11. Oh, I'm sorry - did you really not think the security stuff were doing these kinds of things? It must be so embarassing for you to be exposed as not having half a clue on a public forum, especially when you're so convinced of your own moral superiority.

      ".....all China gains is the ability to say 'I told you so' in public....." Dear simpleton - is anyone currently lambasting China over their much more intrusive controls over their peoples' communications and Internet access? Nope, because all the sheeple are very helpfully bleating and shrieking about Snowden's "revelations". China most definately gains from the affair as it makes it much harder for the US to criticise China's actions, giving China a much freer hand to operate their clandestine networks. Meanwhile, any US Internet-based security apparatus is going to be operating for the next year at least with one hand tied behind its back, spending half their time answering Congressional committees and the like. So, yes, China definately has a motive and much to gain.

      ".....are you claiming to have worked in a secure environment yourself....." Yes. I would have thought the bit about the OSA would have given that away to even the most stupid sheeple, but you seem to be setting new records for obtuseness.

      "....Yes, and you know why anyone campaigning on these issues is likely to loose?....disbelieve the claims being made........" Because the electorate rarely support one-issue politicians, nothing to do with not believing. I bet that if you asked people in the street wehther they believe the US spies on people they'd probably say "yes", the difference is they don't think it is the massive, burning issue you sheeple have been told to make it out to be. The public tend to have important stuff to worry about, like jobs, taxation, and security. Which really must upset people like you that like to think your minorty bleating is The Truth. It is YOUR failure to comprehend that not everyone is so wrapped up in hating The Man which is the problem.

      ".....what have you done recently to aid or participate in the democratic process?....based on your own convictions......" I voted, which was all I felt the need to do, thanks. Oh, and just to upset you, I'll admit I voted Tory. Enjoy!

      "..... I have spent over 200 hours of my free time and risked several hundred pounds of my own money....." Oooh, Our Saviour is here! Seriously, several hundred pounds? I spent much more than that on charitable donations, and they probably did a lot more direct good than your pointless freedom of info requests! Tell me, did your FOIRs dig any wells, feed any kids, rebuild any homes? Like fudge they did - all they did was pander to your own self-centered belief that you are somehow more righteous and important than the rest of us. Get over yourself.

      ".....Looking at your posting history it seems you have posted here about every 15mins during the working day every working day for the last few months....." I hope you don't work in anything involving mathematics or analysis as your claim is widely off the mark. Actually, I find your claim to having any form of employment pretty dubious but then you could be on one of those youth employment schemes, painting over graffiti or the like. I suppose that would account for your finding it unusual that some of us might actually have access to the Internet whilst we work.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry for the ad hominem, but

    ...Matt is clearly the kind of raving nutjob that would have given Goebells a standing ovation. I wonder if he can make a post without mentioning tinfoil, sheeple, or bleating.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry for the ad hominem, but

      I actually had a discussion with people about this. In general, the quality of El Reg comments is quite high (and usually there is a good bit of black humour in it too), but there are a few people around that make me think of Bones in the old Star Trek series proclaiming "it's life, Jim, but not as we know it" (and no, that does not include Amanfrommars whom I haven't seen online for a while - hope he's alright).

      Oh well, they are amusing in their own little ways. Even they occasionally manage to say something useful, if not you can always wind them up by doubting their expertise and sit back. I haven't spotted a pattern yet that tells me when exactly they take their meds, though. I wouldn't want any of them to choke on their pills...

    3. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Sorry for the ad hominem, but

      You forgot trying to come up with as many derogatory terms for people and companies (except his beloved HP of course) not to mention of course every possible attempt at belittle the poster of the post he is responding to.

      Quite sad really. And that childish behavior really undermines any possibility of any credibility in any of his postings.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Down Syndrome not across Re: Sorry for the ad hominem, but

        Aw, look at all the ickle sheeple huddling up for comfort. What a touchie bunch they are, they must have really got bullied a lot at school. It's very clear when they have run out of spoonfed arguments when they all start sharing complaints about "the non-believers being mean".

        ".....Quite sad really......" I think it is much sadder that you lot constantly fail to provide any form of credible argument for your beliefs before falling back into whining and crying. Quite terrible that someone probably worked hard to put you through school and that is the best you can muster? What a disappointment you must be to them. If it was so important to you why can't you actually provide some form of original thought and opinion, or has Oprah not been on today to tell you the latest trendy viewpoints?

        "....undermines any possibility of any credibility....." You better hope so seeing as your posts contain nothing in the way of logical argument capable of countering my points. Shall we see if I can help you seeing as you're failing so far? The NSA was officially established on 24th October 1952 - what did you think it did between then and 9/11 if you and the rest of the sheeple want to insist 9/11 was the kickstart for its powers? Do you even know which organisation it grew out of (AFSA) and why the CIA suggested it needed to be established? Any idea what organisations predated AFSA? Every stop to think that the first telephone recording devices were marketed in the 1890s? Wire-tapping was legal by court order in the States in 1928, so what the fudge do you think they were doing before Snowden got chatty? You really have got a lot of catching up to do.

    4. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: AC Re: Sorry for the ad hominem, but

      "....Matt is clearly the kind of raving nutjob that would have given Goebells a standing ovation...." <Yawn> I'll take your suggestion more seriously when you manage to convince me you actually know even the slightest bit of historical fact about Goebbels (note - not "Goebells"). At that point I might even give some weight to your consideration that I am "some kind of raving nutjob", but until you can prove you're not retaking the third grade for the fifth time - which seems much more likely given the quality of your post - I feel quite comfortable in my sanity, thanks.

      ".....I wonder if he can make a post without mentioning tinfoil, sheeple, or bleating." I have a Nigerian friend that gets very amused by the way some PC people just can't use the word "black" to describe him. He can be the only black guy in the room and they will desperately look for some other way to single him out. I, on the other hand, have no problem with calling a spade a spade. In a similar way, why should I search about for some other metaphor for your sad condition when the ones mentioned are so apt? Enjoy!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But...but...it's not rational...

    Last year 25,580 died in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Private ownership and operation of vehicles is still permitted.

    The US also averages 31,755 gun deaths each year as a function of gun violence, with an average of 66,795 injured. Private ownership of guns is still permitted.

    Last year 9 people were killed and 9 injured in the US as a result of domestic terrorism. As a result, the citizens of the US must endure invasive body searches at airports, have their email and web searches spied on, and can be placed on a "no fly" list without explanation at the whim of an official, amongst other restrictions.

    To me, this does not seem rational.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: But...but...it's not rational...

      Look, what you say is true but that's not what is getting a lot of peoples' backs up.

      "As a result, the citizens of the US must endure invasive body searches at airports, have their email and web searches spied on, and can be placed on a "no fly" list without explanation at the whim of an official, amongst other restrictions."

      That goes for the remaining 95% of the Earth's population as well, and we have no vote in deciding who makes up these one-sided global rules.

      Citizens of the USA had the chance to vote for the present US government. I,and the vast majority of humanity, did not, so by what rights do the US government get to look over my shoulder and spy on potentially everything I do?

      Ever hear the phrase " No taxation without representation"? How about " No spying without accountability"?

  17. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    US party problems and polls

    "And who could they have voted in that wouldn't stand for this behaviour from the NSA? If all the parties have the same stance on important issues like this, what has happened to democracy?"

    This is exactly the problem. The Republicans and Democrats in the US act effectively as a single party, pointing fingers at each other for any problem while, on the whole, they have nearly identical views. Dems and Reps both prefer huge, expensive, and intrusive government. Both CLAIM they want to cut spending, and blame the other party for the excessive spending (but of course neither actually makes any move to cut spending even if they are dominant for a few years.) You seriously look at these parties actual behavior (as opposed to rhetoric) and they are nearly identical with just minor differences in their party lines. Both parties have now stood up to support the illegal and unconstitutional actions of the NSA. Don't blame me, I voted libertarian.

    The big thing that needs to be fixed -- political polls. I have received two political polls over the phone. The first asked if I was voting Democrat, Republic, or undecided. Well, no, I wasn't voting Dem or Rep and I was not undecided, I voted libertarian. The pollster had nowhere to register my choice, I let them know they should tell their bosses the poll is invalid if it doesn't at least have a choice of "other" or "someone else". The other one was automated, and when I dialed "9" for "somebody else" it said my choice was invalid and hung up on me. These polls are then used by the mainstream media, to supposedly represent the view of the people, even though the poll is flawed. Too many people in the US pay too much attention to polls, and the polls will not even permit a third party even to show up. In a few cases, a third party candidate has gotten as high as 20% on properly designed polls, while of course not showing up (since they aren't an option) on the polls carried on the broadcast networks. I can't change people's attitudes -- people have said they really don't like who they are voting for, but they think they are "throwing away their vote" unless they vote for who they think may win. No kidding. I point out throwing away your vote is voting for someone you don't want in office, and they just look befuddled. I think this is pretty dumb, but nevertheless this means flawed polls deny 3rd parties any of these people's votes where they otherwise may have gotten some.

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