back to article Snowden to warn Brits on Xmas telly: Your children will NEVER have privacy

Celebrity whistleblower Edward Snowden will hit Britain's TV screens tomorrow to warn families: "A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all." The ex-NSA sysadmin – temporarily exiled in Russia after leaking documents about the US and the UK's massive internet surveillance operations – will give this …

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  1. Conor Turton

    Yawn

    We grew up in the cold war and with the IRA. Tell us something we don't know.....

    1. Paul_Murphy

      Re: Yawn

      Well it's one thing to have a defined and definite enemy, as with the cold war and the IRA, but it's another to have a society systematically trawled for all it's information regardless of it's value.

      I'm all for finding and thwarting terrorists - but the NSA and GCHQ have been busy intercepting internet traffic and, it is alleged, this has not made any substantive impact on terror attacks.

      I think that Snowden is right, has taken extreme risks in what he has done and it's instructive that the one place that he has been able to find asylum was, up until recently, the very worst of countries (we assumed) for monitoring it's citizens.

      1. Slawek

        Re: Yawn

        "this has not made any substantive impact on terror attacks."

        The interceptions did work. Firstly, there has been no major terrorist attack in USA for quite a few years. Secondly, how do you think "martyrdom" of so many senior commanders of Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan was facilitated?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yawn

          Firstly, there has been no major terrorist attack in USA for quite a few years.

          Given the number of school shootings I reckon the fear factor was present already. No need to sponsor a couple of bad guys to push through more laws (that's the logical conclusion to the question "who benefits from all of this?" aka "follow the money").

          Secondly, how do you think "martyrdom" of so many senior commanders of Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan was facilitated?

          Given the amount of non-combatants killed (the euphemism "collateral damage" is IMHO too nice), it amounts to shooting 100 people in a shopping centre and then proudly announcing you must have killed at least one thief.

          Now before you go into a rant of "you weren't there", please do not think I'm discounting the terrorist threat. I'm simply asking for some trustworthy indication that it really was worth the money and the loss of our way of life. IMHO, just using 10% of what was thrown out as a pool for reward money would have been just as effective. I can't see any of those goons stay alive that long if the reward for their head was to the tune of double digit millions (or, expressed in another form, the price of ONE of those guided rockets they sent into Bagdad).

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Yawn

          > Secondly, how do you think "martyrdom" of so many senior commanders of Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan was facilitated?

          By real inteligence work, not stopping little old Canadian ladies flying to Florida to go on a cruise - because you had hacked her Canadian medical records and found she had once been treated for depression

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Yawn

            How does real intelligence work without leads? And how do you get leads from organizations whose rite of passage involves acts that cannot be condoned by any western power (such as the confirmed killing of an American soldier--treason under the Constitution) and who make sure to know where all your family live first?

          2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

            Re: Yawn

            Also, it is a matter of record (from the capture of Bin Laden) that the "terrorists" did not use the internet, or even permanent mobile phones, for communication for the very reason that they believed such would be intercepted. For this very reason, runners and "trusted men" were used to carry spoken, and rarely written, missives from one "cell" to another.

            It is by the intelligence forces own admission that this is they reason, they say, that it took so long to capture Bin Laden and track down other "Significant Targets".

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              Re: Boring Bernie Re: Yawn

              "Also, it is a matter of record (from the capture of Bin Laden) that the "terrorists" did not use the internet, or even permanent mobile phones, for communication for the very reason that they believed such would be intercepted. For this very reason, runners and "trusted men" were used to carry spoken, and rarely written, missives from one "cell" to another....." Wow, you're so blinded by your paranoia you're even desperate to translate a SUCCESS of the NSA/GCHQ operations into an issue? This massively disrupted their communications and limited Al Quaeda's ability to act, to such an extent that discord broke out amongst the different branches in different countries. Even today in Syria, despite the massive funds thrown at the rebels by the Qataris and the Saudis, Zawahiri is still unable to effectively control his minions and even the Arab press are picking up on it (http://www.albawaba.com/news/al-qaeda-syria-nusra-islamic-state-of-iraq-512999).

              ".....It is by the intelligence forces own admission that this is they reason, they say, that it took so long to capture Bin Laden and track down other "Significant Targets"." Yeah, it's so bad that we forced them to run and hide, crippling their ability to attack us. I suppose you groupthink it would have been better to have Bin-bag Laden still alive and able to talk to as many Islamists as he liked whenever he liked? Because removing the the NSA and GCHQ from the beat would be just like removing beat Bobbies from towns - just encourage and facilitate criminals. The NSA and GCHQ prevent attacks on us by limiting the enemies' ability to communicate, they are simply not interested in listening to the bleating of the sheeple. Indeed, they probably see it as part of their job to ensure the freedoms that allow the sheeple to bleat so long and hard (and they probably get the bonus of laughing long and hard at the sheep).

              1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

                Re: Boring Bernie Yawn

                Well, I am very happy that the methods created by the NSA are working so well, as you have explained.

                No need for any MORE measures to limit our freedoms then.

                P.S. Could you learn to use paragraphs please? It'd make your nonsense easier to read, if not digest.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Stop

                  Re: Bombastic Bernie Re: Boring Bernie Yawn

                  "....No need for any MORE measures to limit our freedoms then....." Actually, I'd be most amused if you can post any actual evidence of ANY of your freedoms being limited. No, not your paranoid fantasies but actual and real proof. LOL, that should keep you busy for a while.

        3. Don Jefe

          Re: Yawn @ Slawec

          No new terror attacks does not mean that increased security has been effective. It means there have been no recurrences of an extraordinarily rare event (terror attacks on the US).

          The amount of terror attacks now is no less than it was in the 80's or 90's, it's just a rare thing and that makes the effectiveness of any security measures nearly impossible to measure in a meaningful way. Nobody know if the increased security helped, it sure didn't help in Boston, a city scared of a Lite-Brite. The security is there to make you feel better, if they happen to catch somebody that's a bonus.

          Unfortunately, the only people they catch are the idiots and those who got setup by law enforcement from the get-go. We've created more terrorists that we've defeated because we keep taking unstable loudmouths, pumping them up and pressuring them into doing something, then arresting them as terrorists. I'm not sure empowering lunatics as a plot device in National Security Theater is really returning the results we'd like. The actual committed, and not retarded, terrorists still get through the defenses at the same level as before, it just costs us a lot more money to not stop them.

        4. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

          Re: Yawn

          It's been a while since I saw any blue elephants stampeding down my high street.

          I guess the surveillance, monitoring and spying on me protects us from those too. Well done GCHQ!

          {$Sarcasm}

    2. Beau
      Flame

      Re: Yawn

      Yes,you are right, I lived with the cold war and the IRA, and close enough to hear the bangs, more than once.

      Most of us survived both, and without all this shit that is going down now.

      Just remember, " Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." and that was said by a Yank! "Benjamin Franklin"

      What a bloody sad joke that seems to be today!

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Yawn

        My parents lived through two world wars - my mother in London during the Blitz. If she were alive now she would be reduced to tears at the betrayal of all they fought for.

        Yes, there's a lot you don't know.

        1. Nuke
          Holmes

          @Will Godfrey - Re: Yawn

          Wrote :- " my mother in London during the Blitz. If she were alive now she would be reduced to tears at the betrayal of all they fought for."

          She was fighting for privacy? None of the people I know/knew who lived or fought in the war ever mentioned privacy as their objective. In fact most mentioned quite different things from each other (although mere "survival" comes up quite often) and certainly none of the things that present day politicians claim the war was for. These and others try to hijack the "high ground" for their own present-day issues which in most cases would be quite alien and bizarre to someone who actually lived in 1940.

          One thing is certain - most of those who lived in 1940 would be in tears like your mother over the mess that the UK is in today, and I'm not thinking of privacy.

          1. Don Jefe

            Re: @Will Godfrey - Yawn

            If privacy is what you think is the issue in all the Snowden stuff you've really, really missed the point.

            The issue is the secret expansion of government authority and the ever widening gap between those who govern and those who are governed. So yes, WWII vets were fighting against invasion of privacy, but only as a side effect of totalitarian government.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Will Godfrey - Yawn

              The issue is the secret expansion of government authority and the ever widening gap between those who govern and those who are governed. So yes, WWII vets were fighting against invasion of privacy, but only as a side effect of totalitarian government.

              I'm not much for emotive words, but you can summarise it IMHO much quicker: freedom. There is an awful lot of work going on that seems to have as single aim to establish a worldwide panoptikon. Yes, we have to catch bad guys, but the means for that already existed. Instead, resources are simply wasted on things that do not contribute one iota to the whole "bad guy catching" idea, but instead create the potential for more good people to be labelled as bad as and when convenient.

              Until we have transparency in the need and use of all those "special" powers, the question "what do you have to hide?" should be asked by us. Continuously.

          2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

            Re: @Will Godfrey - Yawn

            I agree with you - they didn't fight for Privacy; that's a relatively modern jingoism.

            They fought to retain *our* liberty from oppressive would-be totalitarian masters. And its that that we are giving away today without a beat, in return for shiny apps and social toys.

            It's not *just* privacy, we are also giving up our will and our intellect.

        2. fandom Silver badge

          Re: Yawn

          " If she were alive now she would be reduced to tears at the betrayal of all they fought for."

          She has my sympathies, but she would need to accept that all that fighting to let Stalin invade and subjugate half of Europe went down with the Berlin wall.

          Seriously, the past isn't as nice as we like to believe.

          1. bigtimehustler

            Re: Yawn

            Right....and without all that fighting Germany may have beaten Russia with only one front to fight on then the world would have been better, is that actually what your suggesting? I think you'd find the world would have a whole lot less ethnic variety.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: bigtimebleater Re: Yawn

              ".....then the world would have been better, is that actually what your suggesting? I think you'd find the world would have a whole lot less ethnic variety." And there we have the other staple, knee-jerk response from a sheep when facts are presented which upset their trendy and revisionist view of history - "Fascist!" Did I in any way say I supported Nazism or agreed with Hitler? No I didn't, so - to be quite frank - you can go shove your blinkered preconceptions up the hole you spoke from you ill-educated moron.

            2. fandom Silver badge

              Re: Yawn

              "is that actually what your suggesting? "

              If you meant me, no that's not.

              What I am suggesting is that the UK went to war to stop Germany from invading Poland, well that sounds nice.

              But at the end of the war Poland was still invaded, together with quite a few other countries, and the UK was fine with that.

              Really, I am not criticizing them, they had been fighting for years, they couldn't go on, I understand completely, I really do, who cares about central Europe anyway.

              What I don't understand, and what I do criticize, is looking back at WWII like some epic battle between good and evil in which good won.

              That wasn't it, WWII was Realpolitik through and through and the Allies let Stalin invade and subjugate half of Europe, evil won with the help of the UK and the USA.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: battle between good and evil

                Great Britain was not under threat, Hitler would have left us alone, for Great Britain it was an unnecessary war.

                But I think it was the right thing to do fighting hitler, but it destroyed out empire to do so. it is just a shame as usual the USA was late to the party and in doing so dragged out the war.

                And left half of europe to Stalin...

                Blame not GB for the problems you see, GB was bankrupted fighting Germany... Blame the USA, they are the ones that had the funds available to continue and defend the rest of europe against Stalin if they needed to...

                1. boltar Silver badge

                  Re: battle between good and evil

                  "Great Britain was not under threat, Hitler would have left us alone, for Great Britain it was an unnecessary war."

                  Oh right, like he left Poland alone after signing a non aggression pact? Like he left the soviet union alone after signing a pact with then in 1939?

                  I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume perhaps you come from an alternate universe rather than you just being another in a long line of woolly headed liberal revisionist idiots.

              2. Amiga500

                Re: Yawn

                You need to brush up on your history

                "What I am suggesting is that the UK went to war to stop Germany from invading Poland, well that sounds nice"

                I recall Britain went to war because Germany invaded Poland, so as the country was already invaded

                "But at the end of the war Poland was still invaded, together with quite a few other countries, and the UK was fine with that"

                Doesn't make sense

        3. Scorchio!!

          Re: Yawn

          "My parents lived through two world wars - my mother in London during the Blitz. If she were alive now she would be reduced to tears at the betrayal of all they fought for."

          My mother is 93, lived through bombing in Birmingham, Manchester and then Bristol, worked in precisely the sort of field in question and understands the importance of meta data. Many people interacting in this debate are behaving like Web 1.0 virgins, as if someone behind a web site is taking note of their every deed, and this is utter bunk. There are not enough people to pay attention to all of the communications in question, it simply is not possible. Analysis of meta data will certainly help uncover links between known suspects and others above and below them in the chain of command, and that is the point to intelligence and security.

          "Yes, there's a lot you don't know."

          Oh and you know it, right? Spare me the spooky rhetoric, it belongs on the Guardian's pages, along with the Web 1.0 virgins, 9.11 conspiracy theorists, bearded open toed sandal wearers and vegans.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Yawn

      That's the great news though.

      With all this security our kids will grow up in a world with no crime or terrorism

    4. solo
      Facepalm

      Re: Yawn

      My friends also yawned on me on the barbeque grill and ridiculed me for not having a tweetbook account.

      They said that I just don't care enough for them and miss all the snaps they take.

      I am feeling sad. Tomorrow I'll reactivate those accounts. I think what I'll do with this freedom without those friends. I am really sad :( and yawning. I think my 2 year child can yawn and wait for playing while I check those snaps.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Yawn

        I occasionally open a Facebook account and then 'nuke' it; I use it to track down and communicate with people I've not seen for some while. Facebook and the other social networking devices are insecure; forget the state, the threat comes from your fellow 'digital citizen'.

        I've always had difficulty with social networking which seems to me like a perpetual narcisstic round robin. I don't have a blog and I've not had a web site for some 12 years or more. Perhaps I'll have another one soon, but that is as far as I will go. Anyone who communicates freely and without using encryption - unless their communications are bland and valueless - has a problem of their own making.

        From very early on in my digital life (now on the 3rd decade of digital communication) I used PGP when I needed to keep the state and others out. I don't knowingly communicate with criminals of any sort, and I don't use the net for anything controversial, nor off line come to that. I read all of the hissy fits and I wonder if people realise that state surveillance in the pre-digital eras of intelligence and security was very common (the practise of steaming open envelopes has a very obvious digital parallel, and the post office was routinely used by the intelligence and security services of this country), and done to intercept and watch a variety of criminals, terrorists and spies from other states or private organisations.

        Of course regulation is required, but you dear citizen are every bit as dangerous as that which you claim to abhor. The screaming and weeping that I observe is pure hissy fit, and my response to people is that they should grow up and use encryption, along with a battery of other security devices, too lengthy to list but definitely aired in the Reg time and again. The weeping and rhetoric is, well, pathetic and risible. Now arrow me down, you know that you'll get a kick out of it, and I'll be amused to hell at the evidence of children in the process of a fit of self righteousness.

    5. xyz

      Re: Yawn

      My ground rule regarding all this is ...How far would Nelson Mandela have got if he kicked off now? Nuff said.

      1. boltar Silver badge

        Re: Yawn

        "My ground rule regarding all this is ...How far would Nelson Mandela have got if he kicked off now? Nuff said."

        Yes, Mandela - that messiah of the right on politically correct establishment who in actual fact did f*ck all sitting in a prison for 27 years until De Klerk decided it was time to end apartheid , mainly due to sanctions crippling the south african economy. But hey, its so much simpler for right-on politically correct liberals to pretend Mandela performed miracles and was virging on sainthood, instead of the reality which was he was an ineffectual marxist terrorist who was nothing more than a empty totem.

        But now we have black rule in SA , and with it the usual corruption and slow slide down to the bottom economically and socially that has come with it everywhere else in Africa. Oh happy days.

    6. Scorchio!!
      Thumb Up

      Re: Yawn

      "We grew up in the cold war and with the IRA. Tell us something we don't know....."

      Indeed. The irony of Snowden's hissy fits? They're made from that bastion of autocracy, Russia.

  2. NomNomNom

    :O

    "I am still working for the NSA right now."

    Hmm how revealing. They say the truth hides in plain sight, well this is that happening here.

    "They are the only ones who don’t realize it."

    A hat tip to the existence of an inner shadow NSA which even the NSA are unaware of.

    On that note I haven't heard anything from David Icke recently which is odd. It's probably nothing, there isn't always a connection behind a coincidence, but thinking people like you and me are now few and far between, they've made sure of that, so we have to be careful. Remember: vigilance not diligence.

    1. Don Jefe
      Thumb Up

      Holy shit! If you rearrange the letters and an 'A' the secret name of the shadow NSA decodes as NASA!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Don Jefe

        Add an extra 'T' as well, and the secret name is revealed as SANTA. They have a very long list and they sure know who's been Naughty or Nice.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: JustaKOS Re: @Don Jefe

          "Add an extra 'T' as well, and the secret name is revealed as SANTA."

          By Jove you're onto something here!! Scrap that extra 'A' and rearrange but add a 'Y' and you get "Nasty", which certainly seems to be the NSA'a actual raison d'être, even if they don't actually put "we fuck people over" on the flashy logo. Clearly an Example of Something!

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Anon Cluetard Re: JustaKOS @Don Jefe

            "....which certainly seems to be the NSA'a actual raison d'être, even if they don't actually put "we fuck people over" on the flashy logo...." And you have evidence of them f*cking anyone over, or can we assume you are another AC acting on "what you've been told" rather than from verifiable facts?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Don Jefe

          However contrary to Don Jefe post, if you rearrange THESE letters then you do get something worthy of attention.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Why would you rearrange the letters? Unless you just like wasting your own time...

    2. codeusirae
      WTF?

      Dear NomNomNom ..

      "On that note I haven't heard anything from David Icke recently which is odd. It's probably nothing, there isn't always a connection behind a coincidence, but thinking people like you and me are now few and far between, they've made sure of that, so we have to be careful. Remember: vigilance not diligence."

      Are you trying to discredit Snowden by associating him with David Icke?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: codeusirae Re: Dear NomNomNom ..

        ".....Are you trying to discredit Snowden by associating him with David Icke?" Hmmm, I'm not sure even Mad Icke would want to be associated with Snowdope, but I suspect Icke was probably on the C4 list of people "out-there-enough" for their "alternate" (which actually just seems to be bad taste shock-jock) Christmas speech. I can almost imagine the discussions in the C4 Central Committee:

        Controller: "OK, who can we get for the Alternate Chrimbo Speech after Ahm-mad-in-a-dinnerjacket?"

        Producer1: "Er.... How about David Icke? We could spike his drink and hope he goes off on one about aliens invading and the end of the the World again."

        Controller: "Hmmmm, not controversial enough, and half our audience are too young to remember him and the other half will be too stoned or drunk to. Anyway, we need to display our anti-Yank credentials. What do we have scheduled for the rest of Christmas Day?"

        Producer2: "Cheap Yank sitcom repeats."

        Producer3: "I know - Kim Chung- whatshisface, that guy from North Korea!"

        Controller: "OK, fits the anti-Yank agenda and definitely scores high enough on the weirdo scale, but does anyone know if he's available? And cheap."

        Producer1: "Could be a problem - last time his dad asked for thirty cases of Courvoisier and total dominion over Wales."

        Producer3: "Ian Watkins? He could do a special message for the children?"

        Controller: "No, we need someone that is going to at least appear lucid whilst talking complete bollocks, make us look hip'n'trendy, and be really cheap seeing as we blew the budget on Friends....."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: codeusirae Dear NomNomNom ..

          I wouldn't be surprised if there was an element of Daily Mail reader baiting by the Guardianistas but I don't think they do it just to demonstrate their edgy credentials.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: codeusirae Dear NomNomNom ..

          Nurse! Old man Bryant is out of bed again.

          Please increase his medication.

          1. Scorchio!!

            Re: codeusirae Dear NomNomNom ..

            "Nurse! Old man Bryant is out of bed again.

            Please increase his medication."

            Does your mummy know that you are posting again? Small wonder you are anonymous. Allegedly.

        3. Scorchio!!
          Happy

          Re: codeusirae Dear NomNomNom ..

          "Producer3: "I know - Kim Chung- whatshisface, that guy from North Korea!""

          Now that reminds me of one of the lines from a Brosnan Bond episode. Something along the lines of 'remind me to get a new anger management therapist'.

          Merry Humbug to you. I'm sure the rest of the digiterati here will respond nicely too. Heh.

        4. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

          Re: codeusirae Dear NomNomNom ..

          "Producer3: "I know - Kim Chung- whatshisface, that guy from North Korea!"

          Controller: "OK, fits the anti-Yank agenda and definitely scores high enough on the weirdo scale, but does anyone know if he's available? And cheap."

          Producer1: "Could be a problem - last time his dad asked for thirty cases of Courvoisier and total dominion over Wales."

          I oft don't agree with MB on things, but that was bloody funny. Still chuckling now! :D

      2. Scorchio!!
        Devil

        Re: Dear NomNomNom ..

        Son of David Icke. Watch out now, NSA lizard's gonna gitchya.

  3. Downside

    Kids DON'T WANT privacy

    I don't know if he's seen Facebook or used snapchat recently, but keeping things private seems the last thing the youth of today want.

    But as for mass survelliance, a quick check of the crime clear up rate would suggest that criminality is still, on balance of probability, something you can get away with. That would tell me that for all the "woo, scary" big brother bullsh*t, it mainly doesn't work. So good luck to the NSA etc monotoring every communication, they will never crack every case and have a working pre-crime unit.

    For the tin-foil hat brigade, someone once said to me "if you want to keep something a secret, don't tell anyone", Good rule of thumb, that.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

      I think you've missed the point somewhat - since twatbook is so new there are no social cautions about using it - hence people have dived into it willy nilly. As social media matures as a concept so will our treatment of it. I wouldn't be surprised to see managing your online identity taught alongside sex ed and home ec in schools some day.

      It's not about a binary choice between using social media and not doing so - it's about giving everyone - kids included - enough information to make a conscious and informed choice over if and how they use it.

      1. Joseph Lord

        Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

        I don't care if today's kid's don't want Privacy, the next generation might and I certainly want it, at least at times. You would probably have to work quite hard to find a picture of me online and certainly one of my child even if you were a 'friend' on FB.

        And there are already teaching in schools not to give personal data to strangers online (and this is 5 and 6 year olds in Year 1).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

        As social media matures as a concept so will our treatment of it.

        Not without some serious education. As one of the authors of the Hacker Highschool materials I would urge anyone with talent in that area to contact Glenn Norman - we need to educate those kids in THEIR language before they are indoctrinated too far. Because that's what it is: indoctrination.

      3. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: Gordon aged 10 Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

        ".....since twatbook is so new...." Someone too young to remember dialup bulletin boards?

      4. Suricou Raven

        Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

        We might be happier if the massive collection of data were being used for law enforcement purposes to benefit everyone. If, upon finding your house broken into and burgled, the police could run a few database queries and announce that the spy systems recorded a suspect phone spent half an hour in the vicinity of your house earlier and detected a laptop querying for an ESSID matching your home network from a new location.

        Or even if the police would just use it to more efficiently identify and convict drug dealers. How about if every stolen mobile phone and laptop was met by tracing the device and catching whoever stole it?

        But that isn't what we get here. The collected information is classified very highly. Even the existance of it is classified highly. It isn't being used to benefit the people. It's being used for political purposes. The only way this will ever be used to catch criminals is if they happen to offend someone rich or powerful enough to justify breaking out the secret toolbox. Another case of one law for the rich and powerful, another for the commoners.

    2. Robin Bradshaw

      Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

      "But as for mass survelliance, a quick check of the crime clear up rate would suggest that criminality is still, on balance of probability, something you can get away with."

      You are assuming that the object of mass surveillance is preventing crime, rather than facilitating it.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

      If Snapchat announced that everything those under 18 send will automatically be forwarded to their parents, I think you'd find today's youth do care about privacy.

    4. Don Jefe

      Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

      Kids don't understand what privacy is. Privacy to most of them is being able to sneak in a beer or a cigarette with no one watching. Abstract concepts like hyper aggressive behavior control (advertising) are beyond them. They'll discover what privacy really means one day, but to kids and young adults our definition of privacy is about as relevant as what kind of denture cream Grams uses.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

        I don't know. What happened back in the old village days when everyone pretty much knew what everyone else was doing because there were enough eyes and gossip to go around?

    5. Chairo
      Holmes

      Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

      If you have children over 5 years, you can do the following experiment to test this statement.

      Try the following:

      - sneak silently to your kid's room

      - suddenly open the door

      - quickly step aside, to avoid being hit by any item your kid is throwing at you. (optional)

      Now again, what did you say?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

      Give it another 5 years and you won't be allowed to go on a plane, buy a car or file your tax returns unless you have some sort of digital footprint. Heck some plane companies already check passengers for their Facebook accounts, you don't have one? Well that's odd?! Come over here in this room with the nice man in the suit we need a chat about why we can't snoop in the obvious places, what are you hiding friend?

      My aunt doesn't have a passport, a driving license, my uncle and aunt don't have a computer, mobile phones or tablets. My cousin has tried to get them going on one but they simply can't see the point. That's the honest truth. They refuse to have credit or debit cards. They do everything face to face in banks and government offices and they only use cash. They hated having to get a bank account when their pensions were no longer collectable from the post office. It's not paranoia, they simply cannot be arsed with modern life being so damned complicated. They are not alone. There are thousands out there who are not traceable and they don't appear "on grid" they're not enemies of the state or freaks, their simply not into modern life, they won't an easy time but to the government they're almost dissidents.

      When I first started playing with technology many years ago, this is not a nice world anymore. I am almost ashamed that I helped create this world. I was one of those 8bit micro kids, brainwashed in junior school to push technology as the saviour of freedom. It's brought some marvellous advancements, like the medical sciences and it's brought us so much free time we don't know what to do. It's also making us slaves to the machines, suspects in the eyes of the governments around the world. It's sad, sad world we all helped create. We need to ensure we fight to ensure that we not all "guilty until proven innocent", that we are as we should be, "innocent UNLESS proven guilty".

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

        "....t's sad, sad world we all helped create...." Oh STFU you hyperventialting, melodramatic, whining sheep. Please do explain what is so "terrible" or "sad" about your comfortable lifestyle, maybe you'd rather swap it for living in a hut in the jungles of the Central African Republic, wondering which "freedom-fighter" group or militia is going to hack your arms off, that's if you don't die of malnutrition or some easily curable diseas first. What a complete load of baloney. When did being such a whining ingrate become so fashionable?

        1. bigtimehustler

          Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

          Its not so much how the situation is right now, but this is the tip of the iceberg, we keep on allowing whatever surveillance new technology allows and the precedence is very much set to suggest the governments of the world will keep demanding more and more. Ultimately, the only thing that really keeps governments in line is the underlying worry that if they do anything too bad the population will revolt, thats much harder and easier to stop if your surveilling everyone all the time, so it provides successive governments with more room to do what they please will still making sure control is in place. The people who think we are worried about now or actually are worried about now are missing the point...its what things are like in 20, 30 50 years time i worry about and why people should ask questions and worry.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: bigtimebleater Re: Kids DON'T WANT privacy

            "......its what things are like in 20, 30 50 years time i worry about and why people should ask questions and worry." Of course, because - seeing as we actually have no idea what will happen in even twenty years - it is quite easy for you to indulge in rampant, hysterical, paranoid fantasy and pass it off as intelligent thought. It's just as valid to say we should forget all about it as the Aztecs said the World is due to end next year (or whenever). It is quite obvious the only fact displayed in your posts is your limited grip on reality, lack of perspective, and complete surrender to irrational fears.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: bigtimebleater Kids DON'T WANT privacy @Matt Bryant <various times>

              Wow. Seems every topic has someone who'll be inspired to Eadonesque temper tantrums.

  4. Khaptain Silver badge

    Definition required

    Can someone please define privacy before getting involved in a debate.

    Is it the right to remain anonymous whilst doing something legal.

    Is it the right to remain anonymous whilst doing something illegal.

    The NSA, GCHQ are doing what they have always done, it just seems that now most people actually hand them their details on a plate. You want Facebook et al to remain free, Ok no problem but there is a price to pay.

    The internet does not force you to do anything that you don't want to do. If you want privacy; don't do anything in public. The internet is after all very much a public affair..

    This is a debate that could go on for ever but at the end of the day each person is responsable for his own acts.

    1. Awil Onmearse

      Re: Definition required

      Here is a clue what privacy isn't - it isn't anonymity, and here's the proof:

      A conversation between two parties may be private but simultaneously not anonymous.

      Privacy is the most fundamental protection an individual has. Without it all other protections, rights and freedoms are as good as worthless.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Definition required

        "Privacy is the most fundamental protection an individual has. Without it all other protections, rights and freedoms are as good as worthless."

        Well, what happened back in the old days when there was basically no expectation of privacy because everyone in the community kept up with you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Definition required

          Well, what happened back in the old days when there was basically no expectation of privacy because everyone in the community kept up with you?

          You answered that one yourself. It was one of the attractions of the Big City..

        2. Awil Onmearse

          Re: Definition required

          "Well, what happened back in the old days when there was basically no expectation of privacy because everyone in the community kept up with you?"

          Back in the "old days", people were owned as property, What on earth are you trying to say?

        3. Red Bren

          Re: Definition required

          "Well, what happened back in the old days when there was basically no expectation of privacy because everyone in the community kept up with you?"

          You kept up with everyone else, so there was a balance. You also knew who could be trusted with sensitive information and who could be relied on to gossip to anyone who would listen. You had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

          Now the balance has been upset. Governments routinely snoop on their own and other nations' citizens, with no oversight - they "keep up with you" while ensuring you cannot do the same with them, all justified using the opaque and unassailable argument of "National Security"

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Definition required

            "You kept up with everyone else, so there was a balance. You also knew who could be trusted with sensitive information and who could be relied on to gossip to anyone who would listen. You had a reasonable expectation of privacy."

            But when the community is small enough or connected enough, then it's hard to hide things from ANYONE because SOMEONE with loose lips will notice and spread the word. The very FACT you were trying to cover things up DREW attention to you. Before it was the rumor mill, then it was the tabloids, now it's the Internet.

        4. DaveHS

          Re: Definition required

          In the old days it was difficult to keep anything private from ones peers because people were involved with each other- nosy if you like. At the same there were "firewalls" against the wider dissemination of personal information especially upwards. Group solidarity gave some protection to dissidents provided that their peer group did not disapprove of them too strongly. Individuals who passed inappropriate information upwards were soon identified and sanctioned as narks, creeps, bosses men, grasses quislings or whatever.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Definition required

            But the firewalls were all relative and based on a level of trust. What happens when no one trusts each other anymore because everyone has a chip on someone else?

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Definition required

          In the old days, no one had "Expectation of Privacy" because "Privacy was Assumed" when at home back from the community.

          1. Don Jefe

            Re: Definition required

            Indeed, privacy within ones own castle walls was assumed. It speaks volumes about how society as a whole has built a 'safe by default' mindset that is impractical and frankly, dangerous both physically and to our societies.

            Instead of seeing the others in our community as people just like ourselves (except they have poor choice in paint colors and really ought to tend their yard better) we see them as either an active, or potential, paedo/terrorist/serial killer.

            We've built an unnecessary and foolish 'extra line of defense' into our families and communities that we're so busy guarding we never see the actual enemy when/if he does approach. Anybody alive and working in physical security will tell you guarding against unknowns and/or every conceivable risk is the best way to have your defenses breached and go broke.

            You defend against the known and maintain agility and extra capacity to deal with unknowns. Defending against and unknown is the height of folly, cause it's unknown you know...

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Definition required

              "You defend against the known and maintain agility and extra capacity to deal with unknowns. Defending against and unknown is the height of folly, cause it's unknown you know..."

              The trouble is, what if every threat against you, known AND unknown, is EXISTENTIAL? The one threat that's no holds barred is the existential threat: deal with it or die, no exceptions.

              1. Don Jefe

                Re: Definition required

                Two things: An unknown cannot be a threat, existensial or otherwise. Calling something unknown a threat is not only dangerously unbalanced behavior in a world with more unknowns than knowns, it's simply not a valid sentence.

                Lastly, lots of people suffer from a serious deficiency in risk assessment and risk management capabilities. Because of that they overvalue possibilities, no matter how unlikely, and deem them all existential. The fact of the matter is the overwhelming majority of Humans will never face an existensial threat.

                If we assume a natural death (old age, disease, accident) is not an existensial threat, but a certainty, then only a minuscule minority will face such a threat. A person facing two existential threats in their life is a statistical anomaly. If someone faces three or more, valid, existential threats in a lifetime that person is the threat, not the other way around. A serious examination of reality and perhaps a raging substance abuse problem would be in order.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: Definition required

                  Ever heard the phrase, "What you DON'T know can kill you"? Just because you don't know of a threat doesn't remove it as a threat. A snake in the grass, a hidden hole in the ground, a sniper on the roof. If it can hurt or kill you, it's a threat regardless of your knowledge of it. And think about how the Cold War played out: two superpowers each staring at an existential threat in the opponent. Existential threats trip human instinct and there's basically no way we know to defuse that.

                  1. Don Jefe

                    Re: Definition required

                    Well sure, unknowns can kill you, but until it has presented itself it is a mere possibility, not an actual threat. You can't prepare, or even begin to prepare, for possibilities, for unknowns, you simply don't know how. By attempting the impossible you are reducing the effect of your defensive resources. You're looking in all the wrong places, because you don't know where to look, or even what you're looking for. You're running full-tilt down a road and won't even notice when the possibility became a threat.

                    Running wide open, all the time, is simply bad math. Even apex predators rest. In fact an aware restfulness is their default state. They are aware of their situation and are able to respond with blinding speed if a threat arises. They are able to instantly mobilize all their defensive resources because those resources weren't used up running around in a state of constant near panic.

                    It's popular with Humans right now to do exactly the opposite: Run wide open, all the time. Stretching resources that far, all the time is a guaranteed path to failure. Like a rubber band that's stretched taut all the time, it stretches further and further as its cellular structure is gradually torn apart and fails completely when you change its state. We add more and more people, always looking out for everything, and they consistently miss the actual threat.

                    The other type of existential threat is the kind on which you have no input or control. In your Cold War example there was precisely zero you could do about that. Nothing. Why worry over it? Why expend your resources in vain and leave yourself open to a threat that can actually harm you? It's a dangerous waste. There is absolutely no difference between a paranoid man who dies from potassium deficiency because all yellow foods have mind control drugs in them, and a man who is hit by a bus while keeping an eye out for an asteroid. Both wasted what life they did have in constant fear that served no purpose. Where's the fun in that?

                    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                      Re: Definition required

                      "Well sure, unknowns can kill you, but until it has presented itself it is a mere possibility, not an actual threat. You can't prepare, or even begin to prepare, for possibilities, for unknowns, you simply don't know how. By attempting the impossible you are reducing the effect of your defensive resources."

                      Two words: contingency planning. Learn to expect the unexpected.

                      "The other type of existential threat is the kind on which you have no input or control. In your Cold War example there was precisely zero you could do about that. Nothing."

                      That's assuming helplessness, but we can't think that way. Because, while the threat exists, it's hard to tell whether or not we CAN or CANNOT influence the threat. Indeed, in the Cold War, many times the actions of each side caused reactions on the OTHER side, giving concrete evidence of having an influence.

                      1. Don Jefe

                        Re: Definition required

                        Ok. You're spot on that you have to be prepared to deal with the unexpected, but the more resources you allocate to the unknown the less capable you are to deal with any threat when/if it does appear. Every specific defensive tactic you employ prior to identifying the threat weakens your responsive capabilities unless you are extraordinarily lucky and the threat targets that specific resource. But hinging your defense/safety on luck isn't much of a security measure.

                        Expected the unexpected is one thing, actually devoting resources to an unknown always results in a suboptimal capabilities. Take the F-35 for instance. That aircraft is probably the best extant example of allocating resources to unknowns. That plane is epically awful, if it weren't so expensive it would be hilarious. It's a weapons system designed for any situation, and does nothing well. It doesn't even fly well. It can't meet its most basic requirement because its over resourced. Its over preparedness also make it extremely expensive, so much so that on order to maintain it, other less complicated and more effective resources had to be eliminated to pay for it.

                        It's the same thing with what we're doing right now. We are devoting resources to unknowns and the end result is that nothing works well, even when no threat is evident. A system that can't maintain steady idle is a system that fails when stressed.

                        Your last paragraph is another great example of the folly of over preparedness: The inability to assess and manage risk was a known weakness in the USSR. They were terrified of 'The West' and they could not discriminate between threat/non-threat: Everything was a threat!

                        So we exploited their fear. We scared them into allocating resources to unknowns and we eventually destroyed their economy. The country destabilized itself by using all its resources against possibilities, they left themselves vulnerable to internal stresses and they collapsed. They couldn't fix any of their problems because their national resources were tied up in SB-22 mobile launch platforms. We forced the USSR out of existence because we scared them.

                        Losing your country seems like a strange price pay for security doesn't it? You'd think we'd know better, but here we are acting out of fear of everything and bleeding countries and continents to death. We're acting just like the Soviets did and we're experiencing what they did, a gradual weakening of political structure and a rise in defensive spending, and paranoia, looking for enemies in your ranks, suspecting everyone. I'm not sure who decided we would let terrorists pick the music, but they did, and we're dancing to it, right towards impotence and poverty. That's not what I call defense.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Definition required

      The internet does not force you to do anything that you don't want to do. If you want privacy; don't do anything in public. The internet is after all very much a public affair..

      It's not that easy. Most adults without a tech background have no idea just how much data they hand over when using online resources, and the sole aim of the likes of FB and derivatives appears to be to goad our kids into an online life before they are old enough to realise the damage that can cause to their lives.

    3. Don Jefe

      @Khaptain

      You're absolutely correct, we do need a definition of Privacy. The challenge is that capitalized Privacy is a concept, not a thing. Concepts tend to defy universal definition because they mean something different to everyone.

      As a civilization, we have chosen a hierarchical, top down process (government) to draw the boarders around a concept and define it for everyone within their territory. The primary role of any government is to define concepts. Every single act of government is either defining or defending those definitions. Rebels and insurgents are those who disagree with the governments definition of those concepts. In a democracy the definition of a concept is (in theory) a reflection of the voters. In a dictatorship a concept is whatever Admiral General Aladeen says it is. In a theocracy a concept is defined by a god (in theory).

      The flaw in defining a concept, regardless of who is doing it, is that some concepts, like privacy or freedom, exhibit behaviors with an analogue in Heisenberg Uncertainty. The more you define those concepts, the more you change their meaning: If Freedom is defined, it is no longer freedom, it has become something else entirely. Simply by defining Freedom you have eliminated it, for it to exist it cannot be bound, at all.

      Similarly, some concepts, such as Freedom are also digital. They are or they are not, they are not subject to analog or quantum definition or analysis. It is impossible to subject those concepts to anything beyond yes/no, is/isn't, 0/1 because the concept has ceased to exist once you try. You can't have a little Freedom, or most of Freedom, you either have all the Freedom or none of it.

      It's a very big mess all the way around. A government must define concepts, or it is not a government. However, in defining concepts it also eliminates those concepts from existence within its territory. Therefore a government can never be successful, it can never fulfill its purpose for being. All governments are failures by default from the instant they are created.

      The side effects of failure through existence are how you end up with a country like the US which enshrines Freedom but denies women the freedom to show their titties outside of a windowless room but gives me the freedom to buy the .50 BMG mobile anti-aircraft emplacement I use to vaporize groundhogs. A country where you are free to extort money from sick people but not free to grow certain plants. A country where I'm free to advance my knowledge as far as I like, but I'm not free to share it with whoever I please. A country where I'm free to buy whatever I want (see cannon) but I'm not allowed to purchase software or music, only license it, where buying something does not transfer its ownership. A country where private corporations and law enforcement are free to access to my banking and healthcare records for no apparent reason, but I'm not allowed to withdraw more than $50,000 cash without filing out forms, waiting 48-72hrs and getting phone calls, and once a visit, from the FBI, because you're only free to move finite amounts of cash around.

      None of it makes any sense and it's all royally fucked up.

    4. bigtimehustler

      Re: Definition required

      Simple, its the right to remain anonymous until its been proven something illegal has taken place and only then should your identity be made available, through a court order with the evidence of the illegality shown to them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    video address is already available to watch online for those

    who want to sign in. Not I, says the writer of this message.

    1. croc

      Re: video address is already available to watch online for those

      You have a serious lack of imagination.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Protection and Respect

    Hi,

    Over many years I have been trusted with Data and the respect that comes with that trust. I just hope Mr Putin switches of the Gazprom account at Mr Snowdons safe house and he turns into a snowman.

    Right is right, wrong is wrong.

    C.

    1. croc

      Re: Protection and Respect

      Stating that "Right is right, wrong is wrong." is merely stating the obvious. What is NOT obvious, however, is whether or not you can be trusted to know the difference.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Protection and Respect

      "Right is right, wrong is wrong."

      ..and your definitions of "right" and "wrong" are the correct ones, yes?

      Maybe my definitions don't match with yours. Are you right or am I right?

      You might want to debate your definitions of "right" and "wrong" with various people from various countries around the world.

    3. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Re: Protection and Respect

      @ AC Weds. Dec. 25th 00:54 GMT

      OK, you have been trusted with data....

      -Who holds the data? The local library? ConglomoMegaCorp? GCHQ or NSA? A charitable NGO?

      -Who is the data about? Business customers? Taxpayer records? Sweet old Mrs. Jones from down the street's phone, email and internet browsing records? Foreign agents working for potentially hostile regimes?

      -How is the data going to be used? Upselling someone to additional services? Linking people to certain misdemeanors that happen in their neighborhood? A background check that is required for employment or government benefits? Collecting a list of people opposed or in favor of a certain political or public policy course of action? Making sure that the government has a list of people who have paid their taxes?

      -What safeguards are on the data and the processes around the use of the data to make sure that there are no false positives and user error is minimized?

      -What are the potential consequences of being in the database you have been trusted with? Does the subject get a an email saying that our after-Christmas sale is coming and now is the time to save!, save!!, save!!!? Do the subject get blackballed from receiving a government clearance, contract or permit? Do the police come around asking discrete questions to the subjects friends? Does somebody read whatever of the subject's correspondence and conversation transcripts of that might be able to be retrieved? Do you get a late notice saying that your account is past due, and can you please send in a payment? Does the subject's bank account get frozen and you find the cops waiting for him with a pair of handcuffs and a SWAT team? Does your wife or employer find out something that can damage your home or business relationships?

      -Who's respect and trust did you earn? Your customers, who are looking for quality footwear at reasonable prices? The guy running accounts receivable, who wants to wheedle every penny out of customers that he can? Your boss? The local citizens who enjoy your hometown's public recreation program? Some empire builders whose priorities might be viewed as misplaced or shady by the public at large? Law enforcement? Relief workers building schools for Congolese war orphans?

      Depending on answers to the above, what is broadly considered "right" might change. So without THAT data your point is rather facile and it comes across as a rant about how important you are and how Snowden has offended or wronged you or your beliefs in some as yet unknown way.

  7. Shannon Jacobs
    Holmes

    Channel 4 is quite intrusive

    Sorry, too much intrusion from the website for me to watch the message about intrusion on privacy. Is that part of the parody?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Channel 4 is quite intrusive

      I lied to the site to watch it in the US. Sue me, Abraham.

      C.

  8. phil dude
    Joke

    the end of common sense....

    The problem is the spying was a bit of a shock, but not a real surprise. The attempt to weaken the security of all devices, is much scarier. The fact that *we* are paying for this abuse, is probably the worst of all worlds.

    Probably scariest of all, is building surveillance tools that could be used for *political* as well as *criminal* purposes. The fact that "terrorism" has become the proxy for every excuse the government has to hide its dealings from our elected representatives.

    The fact of the matter that there is no terrorism. It is criminal behaviour plain and simple. I don't care which made up deity/cause you kill for, it is still an act of depravity. The "oxygen of publicity" only works because a small brutal act can manipulate the public if it is sufficiently depraved. And all the players take advantage of this. The media amplifies crimes out of reasonable proportions to sell newspapers. The government amplifies crimes out of all proportion to justify its own existence and "keep us safe" (tm). And groups looking for power without merit, "claim" responsibility.

    And this is Christmas, and the war is over.

    P.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: the end of common sense....

      Not so much a surprise, but it was the end of the time when we could convince ourselves it wasn't happening.

      There was a time when you installed software on your computing device and it just did what it said on the tin. That just isn't true when it comes to phones. Ironically, for some reason I trust W8 less than W7 just because it has a phone-like interface. I find I have an irrational philosophical dislike for the latest windows and OSX versions because of what I've seen on mobile devices. I wonder if anyone else feels the same. I now consistently lie when registering for things and use my own domain with multiple email addresses to prevent consolidators tying things together behind the scenes. I don't trust google either.

      There was a time when we thought, "I'm too insignificant to spy on." It turns out, it isn't true. Perhaps the NSA/GCHQ isn't after me, but the fact that they are building infrastructure so that no-one can escape is downright creepy. In the old days, if you disagreed with the government you could move, go somewhere where no-one knows you. Now, everywhere is homogenising and its beginning to feel claustrophobic.

      The next time the economy collapses and a group becomes a scapegoat for things that have gone wrong. It is going to be very ugly indeed.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: P.Pee Re: the end of common sense....

        ".....The next time the economy collapses and a group becomes a scapegoat for things that have gone wrong. It is going to be very ugly indeed." Aw, your paranoia was quite entertaining, right up to that bit of silliness. You really need to peel back the tinfoil and realise that the NSA and GCHQ have been doing this for decades, and long before the Dummicrats cooked the mortgage market and triggered the most recent economic crisis.

    2. auburnman

      Re: the end of common sense....

      "The problem is the spying was a bit of a shock, but not a real surprise. The attempt to weaken the security of all devices, is much scarier. The fact that *we* are paying for this abuse, is probably the worst of all worlds"

      Agree with that wholeheartedly. I think most of us suspected that the spy agencies overstepped their written remits and broke the law, but we assumed this would be the occasional risk taken to catch someone almost certainly involved in espionage or terrorism. To wake up to the fact that they are doing it all the time to pretty much everyone, and the various governments and courts haven't just accepted this but legalised it, is chilling.

  9. chrisp1141

    I find it interesting how so many of the same people who are against the NSA spying are also using facebook and google. There's an argument to be made that those companies are much worse than the NSA. If you don't want to be a hypocrite, then quit google and facebook and switch to privacy-based sites, such as Ravetree, DuckDuckGo, HushMail, etc. You may not be able to get away from the NSA, but at least you can prevent google and facebook from exploiting the crap out of you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you're not an expert you can easily get sucked in by those new "we will protect your privacy" services that show up. I recently did a check on VPN providers, and just took the first 10 that showed up in Google (below the sponsored links) who purported to keep you safe as part of their sales arguments.

      EIGHT out of those 10 where US based, so were basically lying, ditto with many email services - hell, I've even found people on LinkedIn that advertise themselves as specialists providing Swiss level security, and when I started data mining I found them using Gmail. How is the average man in the street going to tell them apart from the good guys?

      Answer: not yet, but I have some fairly evil solutions for that coming. Publicly.

    2. Red Bren

      @chrisp1141

      "There's an argument to be made that those companies are much worse than the NSA."

      I can choose to use the services of Google et al, or their competitors, or none at all if I want. It's a free market and I decide if I want to exchange personal data in return for their services. There is no equivalent free market in espionage. I don't get to choose which government agencies snoop on me, what personal data they gather or who they share it with, and I certainly don't get anything in return.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: @chrisp1141

        "..... I certainly don't get anything in return." You get the freedom to spout your tinfoil-attired claptrap. I just feel sorry for any NSA or GCHQ employee that has the misfortune to read your dribblings.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Matty B

          "You get the freedom to spout your tinfoil-attired claptrap."

          Actually he had this freedom before the "security" services were able to snoop all and everything. Prism and the various add ons have merely created a new enemy in the form of government, rather than defending anybody against anything.

          All the attacks foiled in the UK appear (from the more detailed and authoritative press reports) to have been stopped by good old fashioned policing or by luck, not by mass surveillance and recording. Look at the murder of Lee Rigby - how the f*ck was he helped by all this surveillance? FFS, MI5 even knew years ago about the two primitive, thicky arsewipes behind the crime. Maybe if they put more resource into proper security actions instead of ineffective but sexy, glitzy hi tech big budget data scooping then they would have stopped these two. The same applies to the Boston bombers in the US.

          But people like you Matt, you're a Christmas gift to SIS and the politicians. Your (worryingly) devout belief in the benefit, the moral rectitude, of mass surveillance, your willingness to swallow all the bilge served up to justify it, regardless of the evidence. You throw around terms against other commentards like "tin foil hatters" and "sheeple", but if there's anybody believing myths and hopelessly following the government line, then it's you, Mr Bryant.

          However, as its Christmas I'll raise a glass to you, Matt, and hope you and your family have a good one.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Ledwhinger Re: @Matty B

            "Actually he had this freedom before the "security" services were able to snoop all and everything...." A freedom that was guarded before by security services that simply used the means available to them. The NSA and GCHQ are just examples of those same services, only now they have far superior tech. Guess what, dumbie - spying existed long before the NSA or GCHQ or even before the existence of the USA. It is your inability to see that round your "cool" blinkers that is the really funny part of the tragedy. You are like a wind up toy - "today I want you to bark about the NSA" - and off you go. To be honest, the predictability of you and the other sheeple is getting pretty yawntastic.

            ".....All the attacks foiled in the UK....." Apart from the fact I seriously doubt you even know a fraction of what goes on, you are also desperate to deny the effectiveness of such work is in that it also STOPS nutters like Bin-bag Laden communicating easily and effectively with his followers.

            "..... Look at the murder of Lee Rigby....." oh, you want to cherry pick the example where there was no external communication, just two sad jihadi nutters? Smart choice of example - not! Why don't you stop and ask yourself how the drones keep finding the AQ and Talebint leaders despite them trying to hide out in Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia? Oh, sorry, that would require you to do some actual independent thought, obviously not your strong point. One can only hope they cover it on Oprah for sheeple like you.

            ".....But people like you Matt, you're a Christmas gift to SIS and the politicians...." Aw, does it hurt that not everyone shares your "enlightened POV"? We must all just be very stupid not to see "The Truth" like you do, right? Well, there must be a lot of us stupid people because every election shows you're just the tiny and tinny minority. But you can always take comfort in the fact you're probably keeping tinfoil companies afloat.

            1. Serge 2

              To: Matt Bryant

              You either are a troll or a complete idiot.

              Quick look through your post history reveals that you mostly get down-voted on your comments, yet you just keep talking. The things that you have said before (not just here) reek with ignorance of an overwhelming proportion and mostly lack intelligence. You have been mostly down-voted in your comments since as far back as 2008.

              Do us all a favour, since your comments aren't contributing much, please just shut up mate.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Serge 2 Re: To: Matt Bryant

                "You either are a troll or a complete idiot....." Gee, you provide such a detailed argument for either - not! It obviously really upsets the sheeple to hear a dissenting voice, you lot really prefer the idea of everyone bleating in unison.

                ".....Quick look through your post history reveals that you mostly get down-voted on your comments....." So what you're saying is you base your analysis of an argument not on the intrinsic points of the message contained, but instead you default your independent thought and only place value on the votes for or against and insist that everyone should do the same. In short, you are admitting you are the epitome of a sheep, just following the herd. That is just sad. Consider that most sites will contain a core of "like thinkers" that huddle together for the sense of belonging, that different sites will attract different core groups, and that if you desperately ignore those outside the core then all you will end up with is a bleating herd of sheeple, not actual debate, conversation or real discussion. But then I suspect sheeple like you just don't feel comfortable with real debate, it upsets you to think what you have been told is The Truth might actually not be so. You would prefer to hide away from any such discomfort, lest your fragile bubble be popped.

                "....The things that you have said before (not just here) reek with ignorance of an overwhelming proportion and mostly lack intelligence....." Yet I note, whilst you most obviously disagree, you are unable to post any form of counter. In short, you have the unquestioning baaaaah-lieve of the typical sheeple. It does you zero favours to even try and discuss ignorance when your attempt at a response is so easily shown to be nothing more than spittle and bleating. After all, if we look at YOUR rather short list of posts, we find such delightful eloquence as this:

                "Posted in US DoJ: Happy b-day, Ed Snowden! You're (not?) charged with capital crimes

                Posted Sunday 23rd June 2013 22:08 GMT Serge 2

                Re: Not exactly...

                I hope you get aids"

                Such stunning eloquence, brimming with insight and rationality - not! I can only guess the target of your playground shrieking thought it was far funnier and illuminating as to your limited mental capacity to not complain about your obnoxious ranting, and instead leave it on record for everyone to laugh at. I suppose you can take some comfort from the thought that, despite your failings everywhere else, at least you managed to provide unintended humour.

                "....Do us all a favour...." Who is "us"? Are you really so arrogant in your stupidity as to think you really speak for all the readers? I would suggest you do yourself a favour, get over yourself, and then try really hard to actually formulate some type of argument. For a real challenge, you could even forego your inevitable attempt to regurgitate something you have been told is "cool" to say. Then again, maybe that should wait - baby steps and all.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ledwhinger @Matty B

              We must all just be very stupid not to see "The Truth" like you do, right?

              We don't all think you're stupid Matt, we do however wonder about how you fit the pieces (which have so far been revealed) together in your head?

              For example, you have no doubt heard Mr Clapper stating about how the NSA/GCHQ deal is about searching for a needle in a haystack. That doing so is of no value if they don't have the complete haystack.

              How does that fit together in your head?

              Do you:

              Assume they're only matching details of known bad guys and trying to link them to other bad guys? Assume they don't even bother to analyse all the information which doesn't link directly to a known bad guy?

              If so how does this mass surveillance provide any protection against all the bad guys they don't know about, and can't link to a known bad guy?

              Do you:

              Assume that brief contact with a classified bad guy doesn't make you a surveillance target? That information on you will be disposed off because you've only ever had one brief point of contact with a known target?

              If so how does this mass surveillance provide any protection against bad guys who aren't already known but who might have irregular brief contact with an already known about bad guys?

              Can you see how this all has to work?

              That the only way for the haystack to be of any value is for all the information to be analysed, and for a 'big picture' of everyone to be established. So that when a brief contact between an unknown and a known bad guy happens, the unknown can be 'checked' to establish if this new contact is more than an incidental contact. Without that ability the haystack cannot provide any value.

              By virtue of that, this is a mass surveillance program, which HAS to be aimed at baselining EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE.

              Mr Bryant from Britain wants to fly to China on a US Air Plane. US Air is required to report that to Homeland Security, who pass it along to the NSA, where they can check he isn't a known bad guy, or a contact of a known bad guy, or someone a known bad guy buys a newspaper from on every second Friday (dead drop like). Mr Bryant did what? To have his entire life mapped/tracked like that?

              We all know Mr Bryant isn't a risk to society, Mr Bryant himself maintains that he poses no risk to anyone else, that he has no plans to commit any violent acts against anyone. That he won't be acting to overthrow the government of any nation.

              Why do NSA/GCHQ need to know the name/DOB/Marital status of everyone Mr Bryant has emailed in the last 30 days?

              Why do NSA/GCHQ need to know the name/DOB/Marital status of everyone Mr Bryant has in his email client address book?

              And it's no good trying to argue that they don't need to know it, because if they don't know it how can they possibly know if you've had any contact with a bad guy? How can they know if your brief wrong number telephone conversation with the known bad guy, wasn't him issuing you orders to blow up a US flight to China? So they have to know it, and they have to keep track of it... of you, of everyone you are in contact with, of every phone call you make, of every email you send, of every internet site you visit.

              Their electronic record of Mr Bryant is of no value at all if they don't have that information, because they could easily be missing the one point of contact you previously had with a known second bad guy. They know that... that's the business they're in.

              Protestations about how they don't need to keep such a record of you are meaningless, because if they don't they know they will have no way to identify/check you should a brief contact happen.

              And it's not just you, it's everyone you know, everyone you care about, everyone you talk to, everyone you email.... Lest they miss you getting orders to blow up that US Air flight on it's way to China...

              That's the surveillance society you're supporting Matt. If you're OK with that, good for you... I'm not.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: obnoxiousMoron Re: Ledwhinger @Matty B

                ".....Assume they're only matching details of known bad guys and trying to link them to other bad guys?...." I suggest you don't give up the day job, intelligence (both the field and the characteristic) is obviously not for you. Firstly, it is very obvious that they will be watching the known players to see if they lead them to fresh players, then checking who those new players have talked to, etc., etc. That is simple police work and is how ordinary police build up a picture of a criminal organisation.

                "....this is a mass surveillance program, which HAS to be aimed at baselining EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE......" There is no doubt the secret services will also be screening ALL coms for certain phrases, this is how they turn up leads on new players. The wheat is sorted from the chaff and the chaff - which in this case probably represents 99.99999% of conversations or messages - is discarded without ever having even been examined by a human being. There is no need to build a "baseline" on idiots like you that think your trendy baaah-lieves make you such rebels. Don't worry, your online dribblings are safe, they most definately fall in the chaff category.

                ".....That's the surveillance society you're supporting Matt....." Once again, I'll try and use an analogy even a moron like you can understand, if you concetrate real hard and get an adult to help you with the long words. A Bobbie walking his beat observes hundreds of perfectly harmless human activities and interactions whilst he is looking out for a criminal activity, some of which may be embarassing to the citizens but which do not constitute a crime. You are suggesting that the Bobbie is thererfore "spying" on us all with the express intention of later blackmailing us all with those embarassing events, and should be blindfolded until and only when a verified crime is happening right in front of him. How you expect him to see the crime and remove the blindfold in time to catch the criminal is beyond you, you simply insist that his "spying" is such a threat to your privacy that it is more important than actually catching criminals. In short, you have given in to the fear of the non-existant "privacy invasion" and failed to see the reason the Bobbie is walking the beat in the first place - to protect you. Indeed, you have so crippled yourself with that fear that you now ignore all evidence to the effectiveness of the Bobbie in reducing crime and instead bleat that the Bobbie must be removed from the beat, leaving the criminals unopposed. Even a complete cretin like yourself must surely be able to see that removing all the Bobbies from their beats might not be a good idea?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: obnoxiousMoron Ledwhinger @Matty B

                  "There is no doubt the secret services will also be screening ALL coms for certain phrases, this is how they turn up leads on new players. The wheat is sorted from the chaff and the chaff - which in this case probably represents 99.99999% of conversations or messages - is discarded without ever having even been examined by a human being. There is no need to build a "baseline" on idiots like you that think your trendy baaah-lieves make you such rebels. Don't worry, your online dribblings are safe, they most definately fall in the chaff category."

                  But they can't discard the information after just one screening because it may well be that what was once considered an innocuous phrase becomes a keyword for the bad guys that's only discovered after work elsewhere uncovers a connection. So the information has to be retained for a considerable length of time in order to REscrape it for new connections that weren't known before the fact.

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    Stop

                    Re: obnoxiousMoron Ledwhinger @Matty B

                    "....So the information has to be retained for a considerable length of time in order to REscrape it....." Apart from the fact we already know it is held only for a very short time (six months to two years in the EU at the tracking level by EU directive, which is actually WORSE than the US), once again the data is not actually read by a human unless it proves not to be chaff, and will be discarded if it is chaff. So all you have done is highlight the fact it still will not be read and will still be discarded UNLESS it actually proves to be a lead. Thanks for undermining your own weak argument.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  @Matt Bryant

                  I could respond by calling you names in return, however I grew up and developed the ability to discuss things with reasoned arguments, so I don't feel any need to call you names.

                  Do feel free to keep behaving like a six year old towards anyone who dares to challenge something you say though, if for no other reason than it clearly demonstrates the level you are capable of engaging in discussion at.

                  Now back to the points of discussion.

                  There is no doubt the secret services will also be screening ALL coms for certain phrases, this is how they turn up leads on new players. The wheat is sorted from the chaff and the chaff - which in this case probably represents 99.99999% of conversations or messages - is discarded without ever having even been examined by a human being. There is no need to build a "baseline" on idiots like you that think your trendy baaah-lieves make you such rebels. Don't worry, your online dribblings are safe, they most definately fall in the chaff category.

                  You don't need to worry your little head about how I'm sitting here worrying about the intelligence services gathering my information, I served my time, and demonstrated my allegiance, so I have no such worries.

                  You really don't seem to have grasped how this intelligence is being used.

                  As you have all the answers though explain this. If they're not profiling everyone everywhere, why do they need to collect the contact lists from everyones online email accounts? And why keep re-collecting them?

                  According to your stated opinion, they don't need to do this, because they know all you ever post is drivel, and that it can safely be discarded, without them ever needing to track who you're in contact with.

                  ".....That's the surveillance society you're supporting Matt....." Once again, I'll try and use an analogy even a moron like you can understand, if you concetrate real hard and get an adult to help you with the long words. A Bobbie walking his beat observes hundreds of perfectly harmless human activities and interactions whilst he is looking out for a criminal activity, some of which may be embarassing to the citizens but which do not constitute a crime. You are suggesting that the Bobbie is thererfore "spying" on us all with the express intention of later blackmailing us all with those embarassing events, and should be blindfolded until and only when a verified crime is happening right in front of him. How you expect him to see the crime and remove the blindfold in time to catch the criminal is beyond you, you simply insist that his "spying" is such a threat to your privacy that it is more important than actually catching criminals. In short, you have given in to the fear of the non-existant "privacy invasion" and failed to see the reason the Bobbie is walking the beat in the first place - to protect you. Indeed, you have so crippled yourself with that fear that you now ignore all evidence to the effectiveness of the Bobbie in reducing crime and instead bleat that the Bobbie must be removed from the beat, leaving the criminals unopposed. Even a complete cretin like yourself must surely be able to see that removing all the Bobbies from their beats might not be a good idea?

                  Now that has to be the all time most stupid statement I think I have ever seen you make. If I were you I would email El-Reg and ask them to remove the statement where I compared the fallible human memory of a man, to a permanent computer record, seriously you should be fucking embarrassed to make such a stupid argument as that on a tech site.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @Matt Bryant

                    I should just spend some time covering this very specific claim of yours.

                    How you expect him to see the crime and remove the blindfold in time to catch the criminal is beyond you, you simply insist that his "spying" is such a threat to your privacy that it is more important than actually catching criminals. In short, you have given in to the fear of the non-existant "privacy invasion" and failed to see the reason the Bobbie is walking the beat in the first place - to protect you

                    You see I know the bobby on the beat doesn't give a fuck about protecting me or mine, I know full well he doesn't give a fuck about detecting or solving crime.

                    I know from very personal experience.

                    I know what it means to have scum skulking around gathering your personal details to use "however they like". And I use the term scum because that's what those who believe they have a right to gather your personal details are. I know I've been stalked.

                    I know full well that the only person who I can trust with my (and my childrens) safety is me.

                    I know the only person who is interested in crime being committed against me is me.

                    I know te bobby won't do fuck all about it even when you put it right in front of his face, with the relevant section of criminal law which shows it is a crime.

                    I also know that those who chose to act like scum stalkers (skulking around) gathering the personal information of others, deserve to be treated like the nasty little scum that they are. That's why when I'm good and ready I shall take a knife to the individual who decided she could stalk me.

                    Now why don't you tell me again about how that bobby is there to protect me?

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      WTF?

                      Re: @Matt Bryant

                      "....You see I know the bobby on the beat doesn't give a fuck about protecting me or mine, I know full well he doesn't give a fuck about detecting or solving crime....." And there we have it, the exact type of bitter, shrieking statement you expect from the typical sheep. "All coppers are bent", etc. Classic fail of the bitter paranoid.

                      "....I know from very personal experience....." Don't tell me, they busted you for being drunk and disorderly one night and you've harboured a grudge ever since? Don't tell me, you're convinced the NSA had the pub bugged and tipped off the coppers that you'd had one too many Babychams?

                      "....I know full well that the only person who I can trust with my (and my childrens) safety is me....." Posted from your bunker in Montana? ROFLMAO!

                      "....I know te bobby won't do fuck all about it even when you put it right in front of his face, with the relevant section of criminal law which shows it is a crime....." Details, please, just so we can all have a laugh at your backstreet lawyer take.

                      ".....That's why when I'm good and ready I shall take a knife to the individual who decided she could stalk me....." You do realise that posting a threat of violence, even if not directed at the post's audience, can still be an offence, right? Duh! Seriously, I suggest you stop now and go seek professional help, you obviously have a lot of issues you need to work through.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: @Matt Bryant

                        such as demonstrating in your post of 03:31GMT on 27th Dec that you don't understand how they can use patterns of communication to trace out networks

                        Aha I get it now, you have a reading comprehension problem. I defintely covered that in my posts, in fact I covered it in quite a bit of detail, all about how they have to track you, and eevryone else, so that they can trace out communication networks.

                        Seriously, I suggest you stop now and go seek professional help, you obviously have a lot of issues you need to work through.

                        Do have fun trying to get the Police interested won't you, I long for the day when they get to stand in the dock and explain why they choose to ignore the crimes which were committed against me.

                        As for you and your belief that those you support are entitled to stalk any damned one they please be wary of the consequences of such beliefs... they can have consequences, I can assure you of that. For me it's a personal one to one thing, but history alone should make you wary of granting unlimited powers such as those you defend, to government.

                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                          FAIL

                          Re: obnoxiousSaddo Re: @Matt Bryant

                          "....I defintely covered that in my posts...." No you didn't. You also failed to give any MOTIVE for the NSA or GCHQ to do what you claim they are doing for any other reason than to fit in with your narcissistic and paranoid delusions. Get over yourelf, you're simply not interesting, either to the security services, the politicians or probably to the majority of readers of this thread. If you do want to maintain that your are THE Most Important Person in the World, and that by intercepting your comms the security services somehow gain some incredible insight that lets them seize all power in the universe, please do explain your fantastical abilities. Please note that THINKING you are the centre of the universe is not going to be enough.

                          "....I long for the day when they get to stand in the dock and explain why they choose to ignore the crimes which were committed against me....." If you think you have a case then go to a solicitor and take it up with them, they can open a public case even if the Police and CPS don't think there is grounds. My betting is you won't because you're happier wallowing in self-pity and blaming it all on "The Man" rather than having to realise you dug the hole you're sitting in.

                          ".....granting unlimited powers....." <Yawn> yeah, it's like they can CONTROL me just by seeing who I texted last week! Not. Seriosuly, get a grip and seek help.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: obnoxiousSaddo @Matt Bryant

                            No you didn't.

                            Yes I did... oh hang on it's panto season... so that should be "Oh, yes I did!"

                            If you think you have a case then go to a solicitor and take it up with them...

                            It was you who stated "posting threats online is an offense". Maybe you should tell that to the Police, they seemed to think it was my responsibility to hide away from those who choose to threaten my life online. The entire conversation between two of them where they were planning to have me killed was of no interest to them at all. Like I said, have fun trying to get them interested.

                            As for me attempting to get the system which was so uninterested in protecting me, involved in doing something about the threats which were made against me, that they advised me to run away and hide from the nasty men... yeah right... I'd rather deal with it myself, thanks. That way I know it'll be dealt with. There's no wallowing, just an acceptance that the justice system doesn't serve justice or have any interest in doing so. It's sole purpose is to serve the personal interests of the officers of the court.

                            <Yawn> yeah, it's like they can CONTROL me just by seeing who I texted last week! Not. Seriosuly, get a grip and seek help.

                            I want to see you say that to the face of one of the blokes who was snatched from the streets of Britain, spirited away to another country and tortured by the CIA/MI6.... or do they not matter because they're not you?

                            Is that it Matt, is it just down to the fact that as long as it isn't going to be you who gets your entire life fucked by this kind of spying, then it doesn't matter worth a jot to you? Civil Society, the rule of law, innocent until proven guilty by due process... are all of those of no value to you whatsoever? Because you're alright Jack!

                            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                              FAIL

                              Re: onnoxiousSaddo Re: obnoxiousSaddo @Matt Bryant

                              ".....Yes I did...." No, you didn't, you just made a load of unfounded and alarmist claims, without a shred of evidence to back them up. Probably just like your claims of being stalked and "plotted against". Like I said, if you have any real evidence then take it to a solicitor and they can advise you how to raise a case and complain to the relevant authorities if you really have been ignored by the Police. Just don't be too upset if the solicitor laughs at your paranoid fantasies.

                              "....I want to see you say that to the face of one of the blokes who was snatched from the streets of Britain, spirited away to another country and tortured by the CIA/MI6...." As I recall, that would be a big, fat no-one. All the sheeple's usual bleating points refer to Islamist numpties caught in Afghanistan. Please do provide details of anyone snatched from the streets of the UK that claims to have been "tortured" by the CIA or MI6.

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                Re: onnoxiousSaddo obnoxiousSaddo @Matt Bryant

                                No, you didn't, you just made a load of unfounded and alarmist claims, without a shred of evidence to back them up

                                Ooohhhh Nooooo I didn't...

                                That was you... it was you who claimed that the intelligence services weren't misusing the data... that they weren't even accessing most of it.

                                I only pointed out how that must be completely wrong, otherwise they wouldn't be insistent upon having the entire "haystack" available.... as per the evidence given to parliament and the US congress.

                                So come on then Matty-boy, where is your evidence to support the claims you've made about how the security services aren't using most of the data?

                                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                  FAIL

                                  Re: obnoxiousMathsFailureRe: onnoxiousSaddo obnoxiousSaddo @Matt Bryant

                                  "....I only pointed out how that must be completely wrong, otherwise they wouldn't be insistent upon having the entire "haystack" available...." Having the metadata available in the "haystack" is a long, long way removed from the all-encompassing intrusion you and the rest of the sheeple are insisting on bleating about. You have scared yourselves so stupid you can't even see the difference.

                                  "....where is your evidence to support the claims you've made about how the security services aren't using most of the data?" There is NO EVIDENCE the security services ARE reading even actually reading the tiniest fraction of the actual content. So go stick your head back in the herd, have a natter with the rest of the sheeple, and see if you can actually put enough braincells together to understand the maths - tiny fraction DOES NOT EQUAL most.

                                  1. Anonymous Coward
                                    Anonymous Coward

                                    Re: obnoxiousMathsFailureonnoxiousSaddo obnoxiousSaddo @Matt Bryant

                                    Having the metadata available in the "haystack" is a long, long way removed from the all-encompassing intrusion you and the rest of the sheeple are insisting on bleating about. You have scared yourselves so stupid you can't even see the difference.

                                    Correct, metadata can be far more damaging than the actual content. It's use relies upon interpretation.

                                    There is NO EVIDENCE the security services ARE reading even actually reading the tiniest fraction of the actual content. So go stick your head back in the herd, have a natter with the rest of the sheeple, and see if you can actually put enough braincells together to understand the maths - tiny fraction DOES NOT EQUAL most.

                                    Correct again, you haven't produced a single piece of evidence to support your claims, because there is none. You're just out here ranting your pet theories against anyone who dares challenge your personal views.

                                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                      FAIL

                                      Re: obnoxiousMathsFailureonnoxiousSaddo obnoxiousSaddo @Matt Bryant

                                      "....Correct, metadata can be far more damaging than the actual content...." WTF? You make less sense with every post! You moan about privacy intrusion but then claim the metadata, which does not contain any actual information on what you said or did, is somehow MORE damaging than the content!?!?!? Seriously, go take a chill pill and try THINKING it through.

                                      "....Correct again, you haven't produced a single piece of evidence to support your claims, because there is none. You're just out here ranting your pet theories against anyone who dares challenge your personal views." Pot meet kettle, the only two differences being you don't actually have any theories of your own you're just being led round by the nose like the rest of the herd; and you are a paranoid pot that is letting your fears completely cloud what little rational ability you may have (and, going by your posts, I'm being very genearous in suggesting you have any rational ability).

                                      1. Anonymous Coward
                                        Anonymous Coward

                                        Re: obnoxiousMathsFailureonnoxiousSaddo obnoxiousSaddo @Matt Bryant

                                        You make less sense with every post! You moan about privacy intrusion but then claim the metadata, which does not contain any actual information on what you said or did, is somehow MORE damaging than the content!?!?!? Seriously, go take a chill pill and try THINKING it through.

                                        Matt, do try to get a handle on what it is your defending here old chap. Metadata can be far more damaging than actual content, just about everybody who isn't associated with a spy agency, or the governments who run them, agrees on that.

                                        Pot meet kettle, the only two differences being you don't actually have any theories of your own you're just being led round by the nose like the rest of the herd; and you are a paranoid pot that is letting your fears completely cloud what little rational ability you may have (and, going by your posts, I'm being very genearous in suggesting you have any rational ability).

                                        My post history on this subject says otherwise.

                                        You need to get past the idea that the only people who might object to mass survellience are people with something to hide, and they're being driven by fear. You couldn't be more wrong, many of us who object don't have anything to fear, and have happily given our private information to the relevant authorities when required to do so.

                                        Our objections are based on ethics. I for example have at times had access to vast swathes of personal information on individual people from my country. I work in IT so it's hardly a surprise that I might have been in a position at some point to access such information.

                                        Ethically obtaining access to information you have absolutely no reason to access, is wrong... I don't care if you're a spy, a bank IT worker, a medical receptionist, or a binman.

                                        If you require access to an individuals personal communications we have a perfectly good system for obtaining it, one where you demonstrate reasonable cause to a judge and he issues you a warrant. A system which was specifically designed to stop the state embarking upon fishing expeditions into the private and personal lives of citizens.

                                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                                          Re: obnoxiousMathsFailureonnoxiousSaddo obnoxiousSaddo @Matt Bryant

                                          ".....just about everybody who isn't associated with a spy agency, or the governments who run them, agrees on that......" Really? So please do list these "everybodies" and point to where they say metadata is more dangerous than the content of any communications. Oh, and whilst you're at it, please do link to proof the NSA or GCHQ are collecting and analysing message content on everyone as you sheeple claim.

                                          ".....My post history on this subject says otherwise....." Yeah, whatever you want to baaaah-lieve.

                                          ".....You need to get past the idea that the only people who might object to mass survellience are people with something to hide....." YOU need to get past this rediculous idea that mass surveillance is taking place, because even Snowdope's own statements make it very clear the metadata collection is NOT mass surveillance or interception but TARGETING information for very limited surveillance of specific individuals. Before you do so you probably need to see a specialist about that irrational paranoia of yours.

                                          ".....one where you demonstrate reasonable cause to a judge and he issues you a warrant...." So you were simply too blinded by your paranoid fears to read about the FISC? Your silly paranoia is so easy to debunk it's almost childish, so I have to say your claim of having "worked in IT for years and handled lots of private data" (what, as a tape monkey?) is obviously just another fantasy.

                  2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    obnoxiousInfant Re: @Matt Bryant

                    "I could respond by calling you names in return, however I grew up and developed the ability to discuss things with reasoned arguments, so I don't feel any need to call you names...." What, you're older than six?!? I would have been ashamed to post such mindless bleating aged six as you posted! And what arguments, you posted SFA other than regurgitated baloney.

                    ".....You really don't seem to have grasped how this intelligence is being used....." But the fact is YOU don't know, all you have a wild accusations, such as demonstrating in your post of 03:31GMT on 27th Dec that you don't understand how they can use patterns of communication to trace out networks. In fact, you completely fail to supply anything other than fantastical paranoia.

                    "....Now that has to be the all time most stupid statement I think I have ever seen you make...." So I would assume it would be easy for you to debunk then? Oh, but you don't, instead you just bleat and whine some more. Maybe you need the help of a six year old?

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Happy

          @Mattie Bryant

          ""..... I certainly don't get anything in return." You get the freedom to spout your tinfoil-attired claptrap. I just feel sorry for any NSA or GCHQ employee that has the misfortune to read your dribblings."

          Many thanks for offering us so many opportunities to down vote you.

          Truly a generous Christmas spirit.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

            Re: John Smith IQ of 19 Re: @Mattie Bryant

            "....Many thanks for offering us so many opportunities to down vote you....." If it keeps you sheeple off the street and busy then it's a win-win.

      2. Suricou Raven

        Re: @chrisp1141

        No, you can't choose not to use them. Every 'like' button you see, every twitter icon or... er, whatever google+ uses. They are all little tracking bugs. Even if you've no account with them, you can be confident they still have a profile on you. Even if it is a comparatively sparse one, no more than a list of websites visited.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @chrisp1141

        You really think Google gives you option? Try Lightbeam add-on in firefox to peek into how hundreds of these advertising b**ards chase you on any site you visit.

        Also, please read EULA of any such site if you really have option to opt out of data-gathering :)

        Also, these companies are neither better nor worse than NSA, because at the end both promise goodwill but no accountability.

    3. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Facepalm

      @chrisp1141

      And once again I repeat the point that Facebook, Google, et al. are VOLUNTARY and COMMERCIAL services. That means that you don't have to use them, and if you do then you can quit if you are dissatisfied at any time and if enough people quit with you, these companies suffer badly and even go out of business.

      The NSA/GCHQ on the other hand will NEVER go out of business, unless they upset their political masters to a shocking degree (how many government agencies can you name that were actually closed outright? Not many I bet). That's because you are FORCED to pay their budgets through your taxes, under threat of fines, liens and prison. And unlike Facebook and Google, you have no ability to remove your data or stop supplying new data to the NSA or GCHQ and you can't find the NSA/GCHQ privacy policy anywhere, nor can you find out nearly as much about what the NSA or GCHQ do with your data as you can pick up from Facebook and Google. Also, the NSA and GCHQ have many friends in law enforcement, security and other parts of government, and if you end up on their shit list they can shut you down financially, politically or criminally. All FB or Google can do is delete your posts or block your emails on certain subjects or to certain other users.

      So tell me more about how Google and Twitter are out of control, but the GCHQ and NSA are comparatively benign in comparison.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Marketing Twat Re: @chrisp1141

        "....the NSA and GCHQ have many friends in law enforcement, security and other parts of government, and if you end up on their shit list they can shut you down financially, politically or criminally...." So please do provide some examples of this mythical tyranny in operation, or can we just assume it is all trendy male bovine manure?

        1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Marketing Twat @chrisp1141

          Well Mr. Bryant (I won't sink to your level and call you an obscenity rather than address the substance of your arguments).

          1) How about the people who are getting picked up for drug violations based on the NSAs cooperation with the DEA in the U.S.? Did ALL those "random traffic stops" and raids (that were actually instigated by warrentless communication intercepts) actually involve truly guilty individuals? How much cash and property were taken via civil forfeitures that the now cash and property-deprived defendents did not have the resources to fight? We also know from the Snowden leaks that the NSA has links with the U.S. Treasury Department (think: IRS) and the FBI and Justice Departments. Plus of course they have links with the White House and many Senators and Congressmen on Capitol Hill.

          2) We had to find out 1) above from the Snowden leaks. That's because the NSA is a secret organization. And because its a secret organization its links with law enforcement, etc. are secret (the DEA in the case above specifically instructed its agents to withhold or lie about the source of their probable cause for their enforcement activities). So your answer to this secrecy is to ask me to prove that secret exchanges of information intentionally conducted outside the public's knowledge are happening? That would be a Kafkaesque joke, if it weren't for the Snowden file releases.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Marketing Noob Re: Marketing Twat @chrisp1141

            ".....rather than address the substance of your arguments...." Well, you post something with actual substance rather than paranoid whimsy and I'll return the favour.

            "....Did ALL those "random traffic stops" and raids (that were actually instigated by warrentless communication intercepts)....." And again you're talking out of your rectum - all intercepts were authorised under the FISC, so they WERE warranted. Also please provide PROOF of any claimed information transfer which was unwarranted. Most drug dealers, like most other criminals, get caught through usual causes - doing stupid things which draw attention to themselves or consorting with other known criminals already being watched.

            ".....We had to find out 1) above from the Snowden leaks...." Snowdope revealed nothing of the kind. Indeed, he only revealed anything to those that simply didn't know much, the majority of his revelations have been public knowledge or educated conjecture for years. Don't bitch at me because you simply fall in the clueless camp.

  10. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    An Alien XSSXXXX Concept or SMARTR App .... for Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems*

    On the subject of Snowden's internal protests to bosses, NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines told the Post: "We have not found any evidence to support Mr Snowden’s contention that he brought these matters to anyone’s attention."

    And now that they have been brought to everyone's attention, VV? Bury your empty, as in intellectually challenged, head in the sand and do nothing better and make everything worse?

    Is that AIMadness, as defined by Einstein ........ "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    If that be the case and the planned course of future action for the NSA/CSS, then are they in serious immediate need of New and Better Beta Intelligence for Remote Virtual Command and Control of Human Perception and ITs Media Hostings and Presentations of Realities, and be failing spectacularly in their prime mission directive .... Survival/Provide and Protect Vital Information for the Nation without which America would cease to exist as we know it

    *NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT for Universal Virtual Forces with Immaculately Resourced Assets ... [which be what Dr Richard Haass and Harvard professor Meghan O'Sullivan be presently missing for progress in their currently, quickly-going-nowhere-intelligent-with-nobody-deliberations with primitive beings and primed natives/the ignorant and arrogant of orders in ancient wannabe lead worlds]

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: An Alien XSSXXXX Concept or SMARTR App .... for Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems*

      ""Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

      Thing is, when you do the same thing over and over and ACTUALLY GET a different result, you're praised for your persistence.

    2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      Re: An Alien XSSXXXX Concept or SMARTR App .... for Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems*

      I'm almost willing to pay to see a debate between AMfM and MB....

      ...they are about as coherent as each other. Of course, AMfM is far more polite.

  11. Salts

    Ah the Nanny Sate is just not what it used to be

    http://www2.tv-ark.org.uk/pifs/

    Still can't find the Issac Newton video.

    Sorry if I hijacked the thread, just had so much fun with the link :-)

    Tinfoil hat in place, did you notice the good ones stopped with Mrs T :-)

    Merry Christmas to all

  12. croc

    Is it just me or does that recording look a bit like something done in 3ds Max? Look at the obvious neckline, where white neck meets tanned body... I mean, let's make it glaringly obvious. OK, tin foil hats back on, all.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ok, heres a nice Christmas-time conspiracy theory to reflect on while recovering from lunch...

    - governments are increasing surveillance of, err, everybody

    - the financial authorities are bringing in new rules about the treatment of bank deposits, to make it clear that they are to be treated as unsecured assets of a bank should it collapse

    - some banks are transferring (very) large trading liabilities to their retail arms

    Now, if you regard the financial market economy as being a mostly separate entity from the 'real' economy (they have, after all, become increasingly disconnected), then large losses in the former can be tolerated provided they are balanced by matching gains. So, a major bank collapsing need not bring down the rest of the financial world provided it has significant assets that can be used, immediately, to compensate its secured creditors (i.e. other financial institutions). Since governments have done nothing to separate the different types of banking operation, the best approach would be to assign highest risk liabilities to the retail bank part since that is where most of the realisable assets exist, Its also the main mortgage seller within the overall bank, which means it could also foreclose on mortgages (especially the taxpayer-backed ones) if that makes it easier to raise cash for said creditors.

    The only flaw is that back in the other world some people may object to losing all of their savings, so it would be best to have measures in place to keep any eye on them - the government guarantee would not apply, partly because it relies on nobody actually claiming on it and partly because the depositors would receive shares to a matching value in the reconstructed bank (which might never actually be created).

    Hence the finance world can clear up the cloud of debt still hanging over it in a controlled manner with a manageable amount of damage (to itself), and the impact on the 'other' economy will provide new areas of opportunity.

    Ridiculous, of course.

    Oh, did you see the comments from the IMF praising the Cyprus operation that took a percentage of all bank deposits and recommending it to other governments for consideration ?

    1. Suricou Raven

      Finance has reached a point where it is so heavily abstracted from reality that it's impossible for a non-specialist to have the foggiest idea what is going on. Non-finance experts can just about get the idea of a 'share' - but beyond that, it may as well be magic.

      It's no wonder people are looking at gold or bitcoins. A sort of financial nostalgia, for times when money was money, and not actually a representation for something going on in an incomprehensibly complex network of debts.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr. Desperate

    Because he is of no real importance, like a cockroach Snowden keeps popping up with his self serving wisdom for the world. Thankfully he will soon be exterminated like any other cockroach.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mr. Desperate

      Because he is of no real importance, like a cockroach Snowden keeps popping up with his self serving wisdom for the world. Thankfully he will soon be exterminated like any other cockroach

      Do you extend the same degree of relevance to the opinions of others? You know, for example to those who think it would be OK to exterminate, nasty little fascist spys who have deluded themselves into thinking they are entitled to invade the lives of other people (like cockroaches).

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If your children have done nothing wrong, they've got nothing to hide.

  16. solo

    Not all lose privacy

    NSAs and GCHQs of all the nations are fighting hard for their privacy.

  17. Hckr

    All I heard from that white knight, was... WHITE NOISE!!!

    Sounds like an old fart, just bla bla bla, and no facts!

  18. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Alien

    Earth to Snowden

    Privacy?

    Can you say google?

    Or how about Facebook Bitch?

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Re: Earth to Snowden

      One more time!! Facebook and Google--your involvement is voluntary and can be terminated if you aren't happy. If these organizations piss off the citizenry, they go out of business

      NSA/GCHQ--funded in perpetuity by taxes we are forced to pay, so they can piss off as many citizens as they want and stay in operation, as long as the budget-minders in DC or Whitehall are kept happy. Their access to your data is also mandatory.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Marketing Noob Re: Earth to Snowden

        ".....Their access to your data is also mandatory." Their interest in your data is nonexistent. Seriously, I know marketing is all about spinning a tale to suspend reality, but I think you really need to leave the IT discussions to those with at least one foot in reality, mmmkay?

        1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Marketing Noob Earth to Snowden

          If the NSA's interest in my data is so non-existent, why are they fighting so hard to keep my data in their "haystack" in the face of now TWO outside reviews (Pres. Obama's panel and DC circuit court judge Leon) who both say that their 10 year-old counter-terrorist haystack hasn't actually countered any terrorists?

          That makes it either a waste of money or an intrusive extension of government, perhaps both. Why not shut the metadata snooping program?

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Marketing Noob Re: Marketing Noob Earth to Snowden

            "....why are they fighting so hard to keep my data in their "haystack"...." They are not fighting to keep the metadata indefinitely so please stop fantasising that they are.

            "....and DC circuit court judge Leon...." Judge Leon's judgement has been countered by that of another federal judge in striking down the inevitable ACLU case (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/25529677). Judge Pauley ruled that the NSA surveillance was a valid, legal and valuable tool in fighting Al Quaeda. And Obambi's announcement of a review is just window dressing for his Faithful. You really need to pay more attention.

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Alien

        @Marketing Hack... Re: Earth to Snowden

        First my posts end up going through their lame moderators who take their sweet time posting. (Especially over a holiday... )

        To your point:

        "One more time!! Facebook and Google--your involvement is voluntary and can be terminated if you aren't happy. "

        You do realize that if I happen to be at a friend's party, and they take my photo and post it on FB without my permission, I have no recourse to force FB to take it down? They may have decided to use FB, I didn't.

        As to Google... Look at every web page and see the hooks to Google's analytics? Do I have a choice there?

        Or communicating with someone who has a google gmail account? Or if their company uses Google?

        Or if I talk to someone who has an android phone? Sorry, no freedom on my part there.

        As to the NSA, they have a mandated purpose. Spying on you, noting that you're wearing day old tidy whites that aren't so white, isn't high on their list of things to do.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you believe that...

    ...you'll believe most anything. Snowden is just a snow job.

  20. chrismeggs

    I am new to this group. I joined to enlarge my comprehension, scope and depth of the problems at hand.

    This conversation thread has done none of those things, it has in fact made me wonder whether I could ever get that from a group with people like these contributors as it's members.

    Please stop.

    Now.

  21. Dylan Fahey

    If you have some time in May 2014

    We're having a little get together in DC. You're all invited.

    http://www.erikrush.com/operation-american-spring-scheduled/

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