back to article Remaining Snowden docs will be released to avert 'unspecified US war' – ‪Cryptome‬

All the remaining Snowden documents will be released next month, according t‪o‬ whistle-blowing site ‪Cryptome, which said in a tweet that the release of the info by unnamed third parties would be necessary to head off an unnamed "war".‬ ‪Cryptome‬ said it would "aid and abet" the release of "57K to 1.7M" new documents that …

  1. Bloakey1

    I just had to make this post otherwise war would have started. Now that I have made the post you will be OK and might expect a sudden outbreak of peace.

    Thank me folks and send all contributions to:

    Saviour of the planet

    Rue Merde de Taureau

    Cojones

    Lisboa

    Please respect my privacy and my forthcoming move to climes that allow me to go topless in the winter.

    XX

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Bloakey1

      No, no, send me the money, I have their plans for invading Mars!!!!

      PS; - Cash only, thanks, 'cos The Man watches those bank transactions, obviously....

      PPS;- And no Bitcoins!

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Bloakey1

        "I have their plans for invading Mars!!!!"

        I didn't know they had found oil on Mars?

  2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Hmm. Moral ambiguity engaged.

    I personally view Snowden as a hero, not a traitor. I had viewed Cryptome as the same. The in both cases is largely the same: no "core dumping of material that could get other people killed" style leaks. Effort went into classifying the data into stuff that was important enough to tell, but wouldn't compromise lives.

    In Snowden's case, he seemed to put the effort into classification and giving his thoughts and opinions on the information he purloined, but then he gave it to a third party, so that multiple individuals could do an ethics pass, in recognition that his own ethics were insufficient to such a task. That, to me, is an important differentiator here: it said to me that Snowden wasn't out to "harm" the USA, but legitimately felt he was "doing the right thing".

    From the sounds of it, Cryptome may be about to end that. If this article is right, Cryptome is intent on releasing data others had looked at and said "no, this isn't something that should be released, it will legitimately put US national security (and potentially human beings) in jeopardy".

    These "others" who passed an eye over this data and withheld it are not individuals deeply embedded in the "classify everything" culture of spies and embarrassed politicians. They were withheld by journalists; ones well known for a deep and abiding belief that the people "have a right to know what their government is doing in their name."

    If journalists who believe deeply in freedom of speech, governmental transparency and accountability have looked at these documents and said "no, don't release these" then by what ethical standard does Cyrptome believe it should do so?

    I'm not fond of the NSA. I think Alexander and Clapper are both sociopaths and traitors to their own people. But this...

    ...something about this doesn't smell right at all. It doesn't seem like the Cryptome of old. It certainly doesn't seem kosher, based on the limited amount of information available.

    Unless that "war" they are trying to prevent is with Russia (or China?) and they've brought in a number of high ranking military and political experts that can say with high levels of confidence "yes, releasing this information that is obviously damaging to US national security and operational assets in the feild will prevent this otherwise inevitable war" then I am rather less than okay with this.

    "Your governments are spying on you and here's how" strikes me as something we should all know. The vague and fuzzy details of this we've been given so far don't directly place people in danger. But from the sounds of it, there is real, honest-to-goodness dangerous info under discussion here. Might just be the bridge too far.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Reading too much in to it?

      The reference to "war" might be nothing to do with real guns & bombs war but something related to silencing those who are doing the (fairly responsible) releasing so far. Recently Cryptome have been a bit paranoid about site access, etc, though maybe with good reason.

      Time will tell.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        If Cryptome release information so sensitive that internationally renowned journalists refused to release it because they are "paranoid about site access" then, to be blunt, they deserve to be locked away for a long, long time. I can think of no ethical or logical contortions that justify that rationale.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Internationally renowned journalists?"

          You mean journalists who have willingly blasted their own countries' policies under pain of pain or worse?

          Sooner I see a unicorn in my backyard.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            "You mean journalists who have willingly blasted their own countries' policies under pain of pain or worse?"

            So your view on life is "never question the state"? Are you a Cardassian, by any chance? Obsidian Order?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              My view is "Question the state at your own peril." Odds are if you REALLY challenge the state, they'll find a way to shut you down.

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                If the only thing you care about is yourself, and fuck everyone else (alive now or those who are to come) then you are a sociopath. At which point, I have no respect for you, or your opinions. Questioning the state bears risks, yes, but freedom isn't free.

                Some things absolutely are worth dying* for.

                I would say that "our fundamental, inalienable rights as defined under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights" defines what I would die for. What I wouldn't die for is "the state". Neither mine, nor that rather evil behemoth to the south of us are worth anything close to that kind of sacrifice.

                Ultimately, that's what it comes down to, isn't it? What would you die for? Would you die to protect the "right" of someone else to hold power over yourself and others? Be that a religious leader, a dictator or a plutocracy? Would you die so that the rich can stay rich and the poor can be kept poor? Would you die so that those who have a dissenting opinion are denied the right to voice it?

                Would you die to protect civil liberties? The rights earned in blood by our ancestors? Would you die to protect your family? What about your neighbour's family? Your sibling's family?

                Or would you do everything you can - sacrifice anyone and anything - to cling to one more second of life? What is the measure of you, man?

                *Or being surprised by what you can live through.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "Freedom isnt free..."

                  You hit the nail on the head there - but not for the case you make.

                  Government surveillance is exactly the price we have to pay for freedom - and it has always been this way - when the IRA were blowing pubs up it was going on, in the cold war it was going on, through both world wars it went on - and it will continue to be that way in the future.

                  It is a basic necessity of survival to know more about those who can hurt you than they know about you.

                  There is no such thing as freedom - get used to it.

                  1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

                    Re: "Freedom isnt free..."

                    "Government surveillance is exactly the price we have to pay for freedom - and it has always been this way - when the IRA were blowing pubs up it was going on, in the cold war it was going on, through both world wars it went on - and it will continue to be that way in the future."

                    True to an extent - the government need to keep an eye on the baddies - the problem is when they decide that every person on the planet is a baddie, and start watching everyone. And then we get the 'everyone is a potential terrorisit' issue - anyone want a cup of tea at Wimbledon?

                  2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                    Re: "Freedom isnt free..."

                    "Government surveillance is exactly the price we have to pay for freedom"

                    Bullshit. A false sense of security and freedom are not the same thing. In fact, they're generally antonyms. Also: there is no perfect security, even if every one of us were monitored all the time.

                    As for your "there is no such thing as freedom - get used to it" line...if that were the world we lived in, where there was truly no hope of ever pushing back the darkness and rekindling the light of civilization...then I wouldn't be here, typing on a forum.

                    This Frenchman will never collaborate with the Reich.

                  3. Warm Braw Silver badge

                    Re: "Freedom isnt free..."

                    >Government surveillance is exactly the price we have to pay for freedom

                    Except that, despite all that IRA surveillance, the government managed to lock up a lot of the wrong people. And in order to conduct this sureillance, the government facilitated acts of terror itself. And the "right" people that it was their policy to lock up are now, it would seem, embedded firmly in the present government of Northern Ireland.

                    And, despite all the cold war surveillance, most of the major spies managed to work undiscovered for a very long time before mostly escaping the country. Meanwhile, MI5 were busily vetting over 6000 posts at the BBC to ensure that continuity announcers weren't slipping left-wing propaganda into the shipping forecast.

                    Espionage is mostly a game. The reality is that the spooks don't know what they think they know and what they do know is usually used against people who aren't real threats to the nation, merely threats to established political and financial interests.

                    If it were true that you could trade freedom for security, you'd have a point. Unfortunately, the only people who are offering you that deal are bad guys too.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "If the only thing you care about is yourself, and fuck everyone else (alive now or those who are to come) then you are a sociopath. At which point, I have no respect for you, or your opinions."

                  Well, isn't that exactly the stance of the US establishment (NSA, Pentagon, etc.)? In which case why are you worried about them being harmed? Ultimately, if leaking secrets lead to people dying it's not a lot different from allowing other people to die because you didn't leak, which, to me, seem to be the choices here (just based on track-record, not based on Cryptome's strange claims). The US is upset because the people who are in danger after the leak are Americans. But the US isn't the whole world and I don't count each American death as worth 10000 non-American deaths as they seem to.

                  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                    "Well, isn't that exactly the stance of the US establishment (NSA, Pentagon, etc.)? In which case why are you worried about them being harmed? "

                    I'm not. I give negative fucks about the USA. But I recognize their right to defend their national interests as is defined in international law.

                    Similarly, I give zero fucks about Matt Bryant, and if a rock from space burrowed it's way through the atmosphere and struck him dead, I would laugh uproariously and then continue about my day. But I recognize his rights as defined under the UDHR.

                    As much as I wish both parties would evaporate into a cloud of "no longer present on Earth" in short order, that doesn't mean I would either act to make that occur or encourage others to do so. They have rights that are defined in international law, and as much as I dislike the entities involved, if those rights are to apply to any of us, they must apply to all of us.

                    1. dan1980
                      Pint

                      I half-suspect Trevor is simply making a point here - contrasting concern for a person's life with concern for their rights.

                      Still, I feel a need to point out that I, personally, would be upset if Matt were stuck dead by a bit of space stuff. I most certainly would not laugh 'uproariously'.

                      I nearly never agree with Matt but then I suspect that few of us here really relish the chance for a good, solid session of agreeing with each other . . .

                      Here's to Matt!

                      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                        Pint

                        Re: dan1980

                        "....few of us here really relish the chance for a good, solid session of agreeing with each other ....." A uniform World without any dispute would be very boring.

                        Old Irish toast - Here's to your wives and girlfriends, and here's praying they never meet!

                        1. dan1980

                          Re: dan1980

                          Sláinte!

                      2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                        Suffice it to say that you're a better person than I.

                      3. dan1980

                        Down-voted for saying I'd be upset if another human being (whom I converse with, however indirectly) was killed.

                        Wow.

                3. Shane 4

                  Good point but it can go all out in the other direction as well depending on your love for someone or something.

                  I would kill everyone on the planet to save my pet dog if it was the only choice as I love her more than anything else, Doesn't make it right though. lol

            2. dan1980

              @Trevor_Pott

              "So your view on life is "never question the state"? Are you a Cardassian, by any chance? Obsidian Order?"

              "Cardassian"? "Obsidian Order"? What are you on about man!?

              Clearly Matt's a Vorta.

        2. Uncle Siggy

          "If Cryptome release information so sensitive that internationally renowned journalists refused to release it because they are "paranoid about site access" then, to be blunt, they deserve to be locked away for a long, long time. I can think of no ethical or logical contortions that justify that rationale."

          Are you joking? Those "renowned journalists" are paid agents for corporations. I wonder what corporate interests are at risk by the release of this information. Justification? What justification was needed for the Murdoch skullduggery that went on in recent years? Cryptome have perfect examples to follow.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Potty

      Aw, crappola, I have to up-vote Potty! Are there pigs flying outside?

      "....then by what ethical standard does Cyrptome believe it should do so?...." Yeah, who knew Putin had a Cryptome admin login!

      1. Hit Snooze
        Stop

        Re: Potty

        Trevor Pott is voting to protect the USA and Matt Bryant is giving him an upvote... <looks outside and sees a dog and cat playing with each other>.

        I'm... I'm not sure if I can handle this new version of the Matrix.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Hit Snooze Re: Potty

          "....I'm... I'm not sure if I can handle this new version of the Matrix." I'm off to buy a lottery ticket!

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Hit Snooze Potty

            "I'm off to buy a lottery ticket!"

            Yeah, we'll all win this week. How much is the jackpot again? That'll be a quid each if we're lucky even in this version of the matrix

        2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Potty

          Every nation has the right to defend it's own interests. That's pretty much the defining characteristic of sovereignty. How those nations go about it determines the character of the society they will create and nurture.

          I'm not at all okay with the society the powers that be want to create in the US, but I recognize the right of the US to defend it's own national security, to the extent that those rights are recognized in international law.

          Where I differ from the ultraconservatives is that I believe that "the people" are citizens of the state, not subjects. That is to say, I believe that the citizens rule the government, they are not ruled by their government. I believe that citizens have an innate, inalienable right to know what the government is up to and doing in their name. They do not have to merely "shut up and do as they're told" by the state.

          In my world view people like Snowden are necessary and good...within certain bounds. I.E. that when they disclose "top secret" information it is done with some forethought and consideration of the fullness of consequences, preferably by having multiple someones take a go at the ethics of the whistleblowing.

          I am emphatically against the willy-nilly spraying of national secrets to and fro. There are absolutely some things that must remain secret, at least for the duration during which they have a real world operational impact on the legitimate national security interests of a sovereign state.

          "The fact that we are spying on you" and "here's a basic idea of how we're spying on you" are not legitimate secrets for a nation to keep from it's people. Revealing these secrets won't present an impact on ongoing operations, though they might cause some embarrassment to politicians who must now answer tough questions.

          Good. It will hopefully lead to more oversight, transparency and accountability. Maybe even a push to develop new technologies that better enable targeted (as opposed to dragnet) spying.

          "These are the exact details, including model numbers and firmware revisions of the tools we are using to spy on you" absolutely would be a breach of national security for any nation. With that information the bad guys could find a way around the existing programs. They might even be able to identify informants and off them. That's a no-no.

          Similarly, the kinds of details that could "prevent a war" usually mean putting feild assets - human beings serving as spies or informants - in the direct line of fire by outing them. That doesn't serve the state or the people. It's just malicious and legitimately could be viewed as helping the enemy.

          I don't personally view the USA as an ally. I think that they are a malicious nation with hostile intent towards my own nation, and every other nation on Earth. I will continue to strongly encourage other nations to seek economic and military independence from that particular foreign power, and especially the sociopaths that run the joint.

          ...but regardless of my feelings towards the nation, it does have the right to protect it's own national security. The right of the citizens to know what's up with the spooks is not absolute, and has to be balanced against the right of state to keep things secret in order to find out where the bad guys are.

          I had thought that Snowden's approach to how and the reporters involved leaked only specific documents was judicious, and helped to maintain a balance that the powers that be in the USA obviously can't maintain on their own.

          From what the article says, Cryptome's planned actions are too far towards the other side. Too much disclosure in the name of the citizen's rights to peek under the covers.

          I seek a balance between the competing requirements of a complicated and messy reality. If that sometimes means getting an upvote from someone like Bryant...well...

          1. T J

            Re: Potty

            Word

          2. Faye Kane, homeless brain

            Bullshit!

            > The right of the citizens to know what's up has to be balanced against the right of state to keep things secret

            Sorry, the NSA abused the privilege of "we won't tell you, but trust us". Now they will get it taken away for a while.

            faye kane ♀ girl brain

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: Faye Re: Bullshit!

              I find it quite ironic that you are bleating about 'privacy' when you are so happy to put so much of your self-abusive lifestyle online (complete with pics) for all to see. Or are you merely trying to drum up some traffic for your blog?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Potty

          "I'm... I'm not sure if I can handle this new version of the Matrix."

          Already started, the war has. Early the US decided to start, lesson have they to teach Cryptome. War on Sanity they have declared. Doomed we all are. Sense Potty is making...

          Problem with language have I!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Could possibly be something related to how Iran and USA are working together to create a new balance of power in the M.E using ISIS as an agent of chaos.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Given that the register itself decided to publish snowden materials that other media outlets had reviewed and decided not to publish are you going to put them in the same bucket as cryptome?

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        To be honest, when I first read it, I was shocked and upset. I circled that one a few times, and eventually sat down with some veteran local journalists and several members of the Canadian military to ask them their opinions.

        We had a spirited debate about the topic, but the general consensus - which I supported - was that the public interest in the information that El Reg revealed outweighed the potential risks. We looked at it from a lot of angles, but it basically boiled down to "this information was already out there for those who were interested in seeking it out." That means that nation-states, terrorists and so forth could have found the info with minor effort long before that article was published.

        What's more, the article didn't reveal sorted details. A Google Maps image and and a "you are here, doing this" is highly embarrassing, but after hours of gnawing on it, none of us could find a way that this would compromise an individual or the UK's national security, especially given that the info was already out there, if you cared to look.

        So, that specific incident was a case of "I think the other journalists called it wrong by withholding this info, and El Reg called it right." These are bound to happen, and maybe - just maybe - Cryptome has made a similar call here.

        That said, Cryptome is making a huge bugaboo out of this info by saying "it can stop a war". Any information that can do that is highly sensitive. More so than "oh, look, here's the physical location of a data processing center that snoops traffic in the middle east, but which wasn't a surprise to anyone who cared to rub 12 neurons together."

        So either Cryptome is talking up muchos big time unwarranted hype...or they're playing a game of international chicken that is orders of magnitude more dangerous than the article El Reg spat out. There isn't enough information at this juncture to know which.

        1. Titus Technophobe
          Thumb Up

          Hmm

          I find myself almost wholeheartedly agreeing with Trevor .....

          1. dan1980

            Re: Hmm

            First Matt and now Titus . . .

            We may just have a candidate for Post of the Year. (I tried really hard to foist another 'T' in there.)

  3. OrsonX

    Cryptome

    I think a targeted drone strike would do the job.

    El Reg might want to retreat to the bunker as well given their recent disclosures.

    Going on similar "Snowden" stories the comments here will be ~8:1 in favour of releasing the info (& against a targeted El Reg/Cryptome strike); my question is, why do you all think that releasing classified info is in your interest or the countries? I for one think that the people releasing the info should be put in jail for a long time.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Cryptome

      The issue is not about releasing classified information for the hell of it.

      It is about showing the public when they have been lied to by the leaders, or in a number of cases where the (majority) of leaders have, it appears, been lied to by the agencies that are supposed to be under their control.

      Can you suggest a better route to defining what those agencies should be doing? So far our leaders have not been willing or able to, or are in favour of that but not telling us.

      The success of democracy depends on an informed public, and if we are not being told honestly the magnitude and general nature of such activities, we are not able to exercise that right.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Paul Crawford Re: Cryptome

        ".....The success of democracy depends on an informed public....." Seriously, if you didn't have a good idea what the NSA and GCHQ were up to then you were just ill-informed.

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: @Matt Bryant

          A number of folk had a good idea of what NSA & GCHQ were up to, but were labelled as tin-foil hat wearing nutters by the press in general. That label turned out to be wrong.

          The same goes for the degree of cooperation between USA-based corporations and the NSA. True, they had little choice in most cases but they hardly bleated when being paid for services rendered, and only made a lot of noise now they are loosing business world-wide due to the distaste about the dragnet operations.

          I certainly don't approve of the whole-sale release of information that puts informants lives at risk, but equally I can't see another way of persuading the public to notice what is done in their name, and with (some of) their taxes.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Paul Crawford Re: @Matt Bryant

            "....but were labelled as tin-foil hat wearing nutters by the press in general...." Apart from the sheeple's fave columnist, Duncan Campbell (LOL, he must be sooooo pissed at the short attention span of the sheeple!), ECHELON was examined by an EU committee in 2000 with a public report published in 2001. Then there was William Binney, Thomas Drake, Mark Klein (who broke the AT&T involvement in NSA linetaps in 2006), etc., all public whistleblowers going right back to Perry Fellwock's leaks in 1971! If you have been asleep it is your fault, not because the lack of information out there for years. What, were you waiting for the special on Oprah to do the research for you?

            1. Originone

              Re: Paul Crawford @Matt Bryant

              Seems to me that that the Oprah Special is exactly what's needed to persuade the ponderous mass of the "sheeple" that this is something that matters. It doesn't matter if, like you, some inquiring types had done the research themselves and could list a sting of obscure names going back to 1971. It is not until now with the far ranging and ongoing releases by Snowden that the issue has made it into the minds of Joe Public in a way that might actually affect real change.

              Really you're just saying 'I worked it out already because I'm smart and if you didn't then you're dumb'. Well that's nice bully for you but what have you done with that knowledge, what could you have done with it, to change things. Nothing, small groups and individuals no matter how smart no matter how obvious it was to them had the means or the power to change it. Getting the "Sheeple" on side by making it an Oprah Special is really whats needed to see anything change.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Boffin

                Re: Originone Re: Paul Crawford @Matt Bryant

                ".....Really you're just saying 'I worked it out already because I'm smart and if you didn't then you're dumb'....." Actually, it's more that too many people are intellectually lazy nowadays. Maybe it is something to do with information overload or simply the ease with which information can be acquired that seems to dull the thirst for knowledge in the Playstation generation. I know I'm smart but I also know there are a lot smarter people than me in the World, it's whether they can apply those smarts that makes the difference. People that claim a passionate opinion on a subject but then turn out to know SFA about it are, IMHO, lazy, uninformed or dishonest.

                ".....Well that's nice bully for you but what have you done with that knowledge, what could you have done with it, to change things...." Your other poor assumption is that I would want to change things. I have seen a lot of the World and it is not a pretty place. As an example, whilst Russell 6 and I might disagree over whom is the party that wants 'strife in the Middle East', he has at least got into the area and seen the difference in attitude of the people on the ground.

                BTW, Russell, ISIS's administrative 'efficiency' is a copying of Hezbollah's equally effective 'hearts and minds' strategy in Lebanon, no need for some hidden 3rd party, TBH, just lots of Qatari and Saudi money. Just like the Taliban, they want to be taken seriously as state builders rather than just goatherds-turned-jihadis. One of the reasons the Iraqi Sunnis are rebellious is because they see themselves as missing out under the Shia-dominated Maliki administration, so they will support groups like ISIS if they open schools and clinics and make the buses run on time, plus tell them they are 'Allah's chosen children'. When Maliki's Shia forces then come in and bomb the schools and shoot the clinic staff it will only add to the resentment. Otherwise keep up the good work and keep safe.

                1. russell 6

                  Re: Originone Paul Crawford @Matt Bryant

                  Hi Matt. It is true that Hezbollah are also very organized but they too are an Iranian proxy. There is an interesting report today from the French Foreign Minister that ISIS in Syria are selling oil to the Syrian Government, why would they do that unless there is a certain amount of collaboration between them. Considering that Assad is supported by Iran it just goes to show that there are wheels within wheels.

                  I find it interesting that the news of ISIS selling oil to Assad hasn't been reported in any of the British press.

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    Boffin

                    Re: Russell 6 Re: Originone Paul Crawford @Matt Bryant

                    ".....I find it interesting that the news of ISIS selling oil to Assad hasn't been reported in any of the British press." Probably because the British public are more interested in the Rolf Harris trial. But theories on Assad's backing ISIS to weaken moderate Sunni opponents was reported in Time in January (http://world.time.com/2014/01/27/syria-assad-geneva-al-qaeda/). The theory goes like this:

                    1. If Assad turns the Western view of his opponents into 'AQ-linked terrorists' rather than 'freedom fighters' then it reduces the likelyhood the West will intervene in Syria. The fact that ISIS spend a lot of time killing off the other Sunni leaders that oppose Assad is a bonus. So Assad has a believable motive.

                    2. Iran wants a radical Sunni rebellion as it either forces the US to back Maliki or allows Iran free-reign to send troops and tanks to Iraq to 'help'. Of course, such Iranian troops would then be welcomed by Assad not to stop at the border but to carry on into Syria as well. If America steps in then it commits the US to another long and expensive grind which will only damage relations with their Sunni allies (in Iraq, Saudi and Qatar) with Iran likely to step in as soon as the Yanks leave a second time. So Iran has a reasonable motive for supporting Assad in bolstering ISIS.

                    3. Those politicians in the West not keen on intervention can use it as an excuse to call for non-intervention 'because they are AQ'. That gives some politicians a reason to leak the story to friendly journos. More motive for Assad.

                    4. Those politicians (and 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys') looking for a profit and influence can use the 'nastiness' of ISIS to call for sanctions against Assad to be dropped. Billy Hague raised the point at The Hague, but France thinks they have an advantage seeing as they have previously sold weapons to the Assad regime and offered them to the rebels. So again, more motive for Assad to push the story out there.

                    The point it falls down on is I don't see why ISIS would need the money seeing as they have plenty from their Wahhabi donors. I'm also not sure they have the technical knowledge to run a refinery. But the Assad regime has a long history of clever propaganda ploys....

        2. BlueGreen

          Re: Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

          > Seriously, if you didn't have a good idea what the NSA and GCHQ were up to then you were just ill-informed.

          Lovely logic - "if you didn't know you should have guessed harder". Neat little model of democracy you've got there, eh, lambchop?

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: BoringGreen Re: Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

            "....Lovely logic - "if you didn't know you should have guessed harder". Neat little model of democracy you've got there...." Typical sheeple denial, blame their own lack of knowledge on 'The Man' or 'The System'. All those men I listed were public whistleblowers with prominent court cases and extensive publicity. Fine minutes on Wikipedia would have given you all of them and more than an inkling of the actual systems behind the majority of Snowjob's 'revelations'.

            You lot are addicted to the spoonfed mentality, totally reliant on others to provide your knowledge and opinions and incapable of spending five minutes on the Web doing a little research. It's not like the old days, where my generation had to go down the library and hunt through microfiches of old newspaper articles, or try and find secret bulletin boards, the Internet has put a mountain of information within your reach from home, you're just too lazy or stupid to make use of it. Whilst your politics are stupid enough, what really irritates me about people like you is you are so unable to make use of what my generation built for you.

            1. BlueGreen

              Re: BoringGreen Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

              Hello my little grass-munching self-proclaimed carnivore preying upon us sheeple

              > All those men I listed were public whistleblowers

              so whistleblowers like snowden are a good thing, right? Or is it one kind of whistleblower good, another kind bad, according to lambchop's preferences.

              from prior post:

              > ECHELON was examined by an EU committee in 2000

              And the evidence of echelon was hearsay, wasn't it, pretty much like the evidence provided by snowden which according to you was hearsay. So one hearsay good, another bad, according to plumpo.

              Oh! and from a very recent prior post by our little plumpgasm here:

              "

              ".....Bodies in the EU say it likely is illegal....." Politicised bodies with no legal standing,

              "

              Remember that lambchop? So one EU committee examining echelon is quoted by plumpo and That Is Good whereas when I quote one it gets slagged off as having 'no legal standing'. Which is it, cotton-bud? One or the other. Oh, and BTW I see you've (finally) stopped claiming that the EU's civil liberties committee has 'no legal standing' after me pointing out several times that it clearly did, and gave a ref. Wrong again plumpness.

              > You lot are addicted to the spoonfed mentality, [...] my generation built for you.

              MBZCC

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: BoringGreen Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

                "....so whistleblowers like snowden are a good thing, right?...." It is not whether they are 'good' or 'bad', it is the fact that they brought copious amounts of information into the public arena that you and your fellow bleaters knew nothing about, which demonstrates your complete hypocrisy in claiming you have a self-formed opinion when it is very obvious your knowledge extends only as far as a piece of excrememt known as Jack.

                ".....And the evidence of echelon was hearsay...." Wow, you really are desperate to deny your ignorant denial! All those I named stood public trials, real evidence was presented in court and is a matter of public record. The 'evidence' for Merkel's phone conversations having been intercepted is simply nothing by comparison and definitely has not withstood examination in a court of law. Stop wasting everybody's time and go and actually learn something.

                ".....So one EU committee examining echelon...." The committee published a public report on ECHELON, your committee published nothing more than politicised whimsy backed by no legal authority, and definitely not a legal judgement or even a legal case. Your trying to equate the two is simply too childishly desperate for words.

                ".....I see you've (finally) stopped claiming that the EU's civil liberties committee has 'no legal standing' after me pointing out several times that it clearly did...." Unlike you I don't simply repeat falsehoods in the baaaah-lief that it makes them truths. I have already shown the legal body in question is the European Court of Justice, it is simply that you are desperate to ignore that fact.

                1. BlueGreen

                  Re: BoringGreen Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

                  Bryant, Bryant, burning bright / did he who make us sheeple make thee?

                  > It is not whether they are 'good' or 'bad', it is the fact that they brought copious amounts of information into the public arena

                  You mean like snowden?

                  > All those I named stood public trials, real evidence was presented in court [about echelon] and is a matter of public record.

                  Really, you carnivorous little sheep? I may be wrong here, it's been quite a while. So post ref showing that echelon was tried in a court, show this public record and I'll retract what I said.

                  > The committee published a public report on ECHELON, your committee published nothing more than politicised whimsy backed by no legal authority

                  So 'my' committee is "politicised whimsy backed by no legal authority" whereas yours... is different? Oh, and for the umpteenth time, it DID have legal authority, like I posted here

                  > Unlike you I don't simply repeat falsehoods in the baaaah-lief that it makes them truths

                  (giggle) see link above plumpness.

                  > I have already shown the legal body in question is the European Court of Justice

                  Nice try plumpness. The ECoJ had nothing to do with my argument, but nice attempt at diversion.

                  Look, stop being a dick and rejoin the human race will you.

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: BoringGreen Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

                    "....You mean like snowden?...." Fail again! Apart from the fact those gents stood trial whereas Snowjob ran to hide behind Pooties' skirts, the whole point was to show that you were ignorant of the large amount of information out there pre-Snowjob. You are just desperate to deny you were remarkably ill-informed, despite your pretence at knowledge.

                    ".....So post ref showing that echelon was tried in a court, show this public record and I'll retract what I said....." I never said ECHELON was put on trial (how do you try a surveillance system?!?), what I clearly stated (and you are desperately evading again) is that those people stood public trials where the evidence of their whistleblowing was examined, including the information they leaked. It's also long past the point where a retraction would save you face, you really do need to just go do a lot more reading before your next attempt to look even vaguely intelligent.

                    "....it DID have legal authority....." Once again, your civil liberties commission has authority to make policy about laws, not to enact them and definitely not to try them as a court of law. For the EU laws covering privacy, that job belongs to the Euro Court of Justice. Once again, you simply repeating an idiotic statement (or falsehood) repeatedly will not make it reality. You posted a link to the CLJHA committee homepage, please do go there and show me the bit where it states they try cases? You can't, because they don't. Click on the link for 'Work in progress' and find me a court case - oh, you can't, because all their work is just policies and strategies and other bureaucracy. Once again, you fail. They have zero actual legal authority, they're just another bunch of unelected Euro bureaucrats. So, now we have established beyond a doubt that you are talking male bovine manure, please go back to the ECoJ search tool I linked to and find me the case for the EU trying the NSA or GCHQ for 'illegal activity'. And don't come back until you do (which should give the rest of us a break from your dribbling stupidity for a few years at least).

                    1. BlueGreen

                      Re: BoringGreen Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

                      Hello plumpness vicious carnivore

                      > Fail again! Apart from the fact those gents stood trial whereas Snowjob ran to hide behind Pooties' skirts, the whole point was to show that you were ignorant of the large amount of information out there pre-Snowjob.

                      You said "it is the fact that they brought copious amounts of information into the public arena". Snowden did. Whether anyone stood trial is irrelevant to the release of the information. So snowden did good like the others did good, right?

                      > never said ECHELON was put on trial

                      you are correct

                      > what I clearly stated [...]is that those people stood public trials where the evidence of their whistleblowing was examined, including the information they leaked

                      Ref please, and I'll retract. If I don't provide evidence which I need to retract my statement then you are conceding that I am correct.

                      > Once again, your civil liberties commission has authority to make policy about laws

                      At least you've given up on the 'politicised whimsy' line and gone to 'unelected Euro bureaucrats' (giggle).

                      Anyway, you said they had no legal standing. Again, from their website, the link to which you cannot apparently click (bit of footrot paining you there, plumps?)

                      "

                      The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) is in charge of most of the legislation and democratic oversight for policies linked to the transformation of the European Union in the area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ) (art. 3 TEU).

                      "

                      So it "...is in charge of most of the legislation..." but has no legal standing?!

                      > Euro Court of Justice blah blah

                      Plumpo tries the distraction technique again. Falls flat on face again. Breaks fearsomely sharp canine.

                      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                        FAIL

                        Re: BoringGreen Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

                        So you're still desperately trying to avoid admitting you knew nothing about the NSA or GCHQ pre-Snowden? It's getting very boring reading your dribbling evasions.

                        "....Whether anyone stood trial is irrelevant to the release of the information...." Quite the opposite, it shows character and a determination to stand up for what they believe in, taking responsibility for their actions. They also didn't run away and give reams of information to unfriendly states or try making a living off their leaks. Snowjob very obviously thought his leaks were a lifetime ticket on the gravy train in some South American dictatorship, only he got stuck in Moscow instead.

                        The fact that you don't even know about Perry Fellwock, whose revelations of ECHELON led to the changes in law and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, is simply shocking. You are simply not equipped for the debate.

                        "....tries the distraction technique again...." I supplied facts and verifiable information to show how ill-educated on the matter you are. In short, as usual, I won again, and you just failed again.

                        1. BlueGreen

                          Re: BoringGreen Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

                          Hello plumpkins lethal pile of muscle and teeth

                          > So you're still desperately trying to avoid admitting you knew nothing about the NSA or GCHQ pre-Snowden?

                          Sure I knew. What we didn't know before snowden was (prick up those tiger ears plumpo) was the extent of the surveillance. That's what snowden revealed. That's what you've been whinging about all along.

                          > Quite the opposite, it shows character and a determination to stand up for what they believe in, taking responsibility for their actions

                          Like snowden.

                          > The fact that you don't even know about Perry Fellwock,

                          ... is true but irrelevant. Since you have not provided the info I sought, I cannot retract my statement. You therefore concede I'm correct.

                          > I supplied facts and verifiable information to ...

                          ... divert from the fact you got caught out claiming that the EU's Committee on Civil Liberties didn't have legal standing. Didn't work (again). Sorry, my little cotton bud, hope the tooth is feeling better.

                          Now, from the wiki page about fellwock (ta for the ref) it says something really striking. Let me post it in full because it deals with EXACTLY the concerns that every person has here, but passes you by totally, and will do forever I suspect (words are of Frank Church regarding the Fellwock revelations):

                          "...[T]hat capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such [is] the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology... I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return

                          Sadly, sheep are cute and tigers are beautiful, but neither are intelligent.

                          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                            FAIL

                            Re: BoringGreen Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

                            ".....What we didn't know before snowden was (prick up those tiger ears plumpo) was the extent of the surveillance...." You are such a bad loser! Shall we recap? Tapping of submarine cables - already known. Efforts by the NSA and GCHQ to break popular encryption - already known. Ability to track individuals on the Web - already known. Ability to hack email accounts - already known. Ability to intercept phone calls and automatically listen for keywords - general knowledge back in the Eigties! Ability of the US authorities to patch into US companies' network and systems - already known. Ability for the US authorities to serve warrants to gain access to online data held by US companies - already known. Program's by the NSA and GCHQ to develop wiretap systems and code - already known. All Snowjob provided was a few codenames and some diagrams, and all you are doing is showing your lack of knowledge.

                            ".....Like snowden...." Snowjob hasn't taken responsibility for his actions, all he did was take a load of documents and run to where he thought he could sell them.

                            "....claiming that the EU's Committee on Civil Liberties didn't have legal standing...." They do not have the legal authority to pass a judgement on a breach of EU law, only the Euro Court of justice does. You are again repeating a falsehood in the farcical baaaah-lief that doing so will somehow make it true. It won't, so just grow up and admit you were wrong.

                            ".....If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country...." So now you want to claim Obambi is a despotic tyrant? I'm sure the melodrama of Chruch's hypothetical case appealed to your sheepleness, but it seems you have again struggled to separate fact from hypothetical fantasy. But at least you're finally admitting you knew SFA about Fellwock.

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: BoringGreen Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

                              > ".....What we didn't know before snowden was (prick up those tiger ears plumpo) was the extent of the surveillance...." You are such a bad loser! Shall we recap? ...

                              You know what, I didn't know all of that and I'm mighty grateful to Snowden for revealing or at the very least highlighting the crap that's going on. It's certainly helped me find the motivation to improve on my communication security.

                        2. BlueGreen

                          Re: BoringGreen Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty

                          PlumpkinsTerrifying Predator, ewe just boring now and I have things to do TTFN. Back soon I'm sure as ur good fun.

        3. TeeCee Gold badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Paul Crawford Cryptome

          Trouble is that you can deluge the Great Unwashed with information. It won't stop half of them being convinced that the moon landings were faked, the pyramids were built by aliens and we were made by the Sky Fairy.

          That statement sort of implies that Democracy requires an electorate capable of making decisions based on hard data in order to work. If so, it's fundamentally fucked and we should get rid of it now.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Paul Crawford Cryptome

            Okay TeeCee, who is qualified to lead us as a benevolent dictator? McCarthy? Bush the lesser? Gandhi? Kofi Annan? Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi? Tony Abbot? What about Matt Bryant? You? Personally, I vote Elon Musk.

            How are we to decide upon who's magnanimity we are to rest our future? In whose hands do we balance between liberty and security if not those of the people who must live with the consequences?

            1. moiety

              Re: Paul Crawford Cryptome

              The problem isn't who's in the chair now; but who could be in the chair in the future. The classic oft-cited case of the IBM census is a case in point...the people involved thought they were filling in a standard census form and couldn't have known at the time that it would lead to some seriously horrible repercussions less than a decade later.

              Information can be misused and the real problem with it is that once it's out there, it's there forever. You never know if the next guy in the chair is going to have a hard-on for people called 'moiety' or use of the word 'sheeple' (I might even vote for that) or be -for example- a devout muslim and crack down on the use of beer (that'd be all of us fucked).

              We probably aren't going to stop the information hoovering...if I was a spook then I'd be hoovering up everything I could get my hands on too. What we do need to do is regulate it and limit the storage time.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cryptome

        And the registers article about the facility in the middle east which other journalists had decided not to publish falls into which category?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Cryptome

          I think it falls somewhere between "material classified for the hell of it" and "material classified for a good reason." At the time the facility was set up there was probably a good reason to classify that particular aspect of it's operation.

          "Tapping all fibre pipes for the purpose of dragnet surveillance" was not going to come as a shock to nation-states or terrorists, but the ability to do so was rare and incredibly expensive. That meant that taking out that facility could have severely crippled UK intelligence gathering capability and hence would have been a priority target for many groups.

          Today, everyone knows about the fibre tapping, and we've moved from "difficult and expensive" to "mundane and industrialized." You don't need a footbal feild full of servers to tap the stream and nose out juicy bits of data any more. You can do that in a half rack, and stream the bits you want to store to storage located at ???.

          Today's spies don't have to worry about building mega-facilities to tap fibre. "Distance to storage" and "amount of signal interference" are of greater concern than "physical space to store compute" or "availability of electricity and cooling." You can park a sub on top of a fibre pipe and get all the juicy goodies you want, or send a squad with truck out into the hills.

          So, what does the information released by The Register really do? That base was already a generic "UK military be here" target long ago. It was long suspected of doing SIGINT work, and after Snowden, anyone who actually cared to try to pin down the locations where this was taking place would have added A and B and said "oh, there's one."

          Maybe it causes the UK to beef up security a little, or add a few more keywords to their SIGINT search filters. It doesn't make the facility more or less of a target because the period during which taking that place out would have truly made the UK vulnerable has already passed.

          Now, it's existence and purpose are a footnote in history. Interesting not because of what it does, but because of the political machinations that allowed it to exist in the first place. That means revealing it's existence doesn't compromise operational security, but it does call into question the actions of politicians and spooks, and may embarrass some people.

          Good.

    2. dan1980

      Re: Cryptome

      If the idea is that people must be prepared to give up a bit of liberty for a bit of security, doesn't it follow that it is an equally valid choice if people want to give up a bit of safety for a bit of liberty? That was, after all, the very point of the American Revolution (as well as similar struggles around the world), wasn't it?

      No one wants to put lives at risk for nothing*, but if this is a trade (liberty for security) that is made for us, enmasse and without our consent, then how are people to make their governments understand that we don't want the trade being made for us.

      I mean, you can't have an open discussion with the government because they have consistently hidden their activities and then lied to us about it. How can you tell your government how you wish to be governed if they won't tell you what they are doing and don't ask your permission before doing it?

      It's a minefield and there are difficult decisions that have to be made, but this situation is one of our governments' making and there are people out there desperate to find a way to make their leaders understand. Not everyone shares their position but however incensed anyone here may be that someone would release information that threatens security, you have to understand that there are other people just as incensed that the government destroys their civil liberties.

      * - At least no one worth listening to.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: dan1980 Re: Cryptome

        "If the idea is that people must be prepared to give up a bit of liberty for a bit of security, doesn't it follow that it is an equally valid choice if people want to give up a bit of safety for a bit of liberty?..." Yes. All societies are based on compromise, the difference being in a democratic society the people exercise a measure of choice over what they compromise on. That being so, you need to convince the majority that giving up either liberty or security is a good idea, and at the moment the vast majority are happier (though maybe not happy) with the idea of security.

        "....but if this is a trade (liberty for security)..." So where is it shown this is a trade-off? How are you any less at liberty post-Snowjob's 'revelations' than you were before? In essence, show me the 'harm', a request the sheeple that bleat here are very keen not to answer.

  4. Bloakey1

    <snip>

    "...something about this doesn't smell right at all. It doesn't seem like the Cryptome of old. It certainly doesn't seem kosher, based on the limited amount of information available"

    <snip>

    He is by any definition of the term a "traitor". Personally part of me would not be moved if he was shot tomorrow along with that other chap whose name is now lost to our 7 minute attention spans, as for poor old Chelsea well who cares?

    But, but ... part of me salutes them, it is probably my programmed / unconditioned civilian side so I am effectively caught twixt a rock and a hard place.

    I am sick and tired of the self publicist / self exoneration of all of this and the fact that others will get hurt particularly if they do a core dump of non controlled data. Should what cryptome are saying be true, then may the devil take the hindmost.

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Edward Snowden is not a traitor by the definition that counts: Article III, Section III of the Constitution. He broke rules, and may be honorable or not depending on one's opinion, but a traitor he is not.

  5. phil dude
    Black Helicopters

    great quote from the whedonverse...

    The character Lindsey tells Angel that Hell is already on Earth and *the* apocalypse is in full swing

    "What? Did you think there would be a starting gun? We are already 1000 years in to the fight between good and evil and you are already 2 soldiers down."

    "Heroes don't accept the world the way it is, Heroes fight to change it".

    They talk about art imitating life, but look that viciousness of the corporate structures that are the govt, newspapers and their brazen attempts to silence criticism.

    It might be that being well informed nowadays, is simply being able to articulate the list of things you cannot know about because the information is privileged in some way....

    P.

  6. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    A comment from the slaves.

    ...military officials, who argue the dump of intelligence documents have set intelligence efforts back years....

    Oh? Good!

  7. Kevin Hutchinson
    FAIL

    Inept

    Really, they've got $14k and can't sort out their hosting? They specialize in security issues and their site gets hacked with malware? Color me confused.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Inept

      I think the issue is more finding a hosting provider who has enough grunt to handle attacks, enough control over the platform to allow the client to implement strong security (everything up to the edge hardware), and enough moral fibre (or however you want to phrase it - madness, heroics, etc) to agree to risk charges of assisting treason (if US based) or the weight of the US administration falling on them (if non-US) should it turn out to be something genuinely heavyweight that turns the tables - it could be enough to take a hosting business completely off the net if their DC is raided and their hardware taken away.

      There's more to hosting potentially dodgy/compromising security info than just paying someone to host a blade server with your data on it - this stuff is a massive hot potato these days.

    2. Olius

      Re: Inept

      Fail? Really? REALLY? They're in posession of a massive cache of documents stolen from the largest, best funded gang of cyber criminals in the world, who have potentially compromised the bios and microcontrollers of a good percentage of the hardware in the world, have already been attacked. I think being a bit choosy about their providers is kinda fair.

      Not sure why they don't release as an encrypted tarball by torrent and later give the passwords to a few people. Then they don't need hosting and the cache itself is safely in the public domain.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Inept

        Because the contents are probably too big to torrent properly before the contents are fingerprinted and everyone and their mother who touches it gets fingered. One thing BitTorrent is NOT is anonymous. But then again, on the Net, anonymity and efficiency are at odds, as efficiency requires statefulness which by definition leaves traces that can be assembled in Jigsaw-like attacks.

        IOW, Cryptome can't rely on BitTorrent and the content's too big for something like Freenet.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "withheld for national security-public debate [sic]".

    "The site clarified that will not be publishing the documents itself" [sic]

  9. Paul 87

    Do we need to know every little thing that the "government" choses to do in our name? I don't think that's the case, there are things which happen which quite frankly, I don't want to know the details about because I don't want to worry about the things which are stopped from happening.

    Do I think that we also need more transparency on the subject, yes, but also bearing in mind that only a fool believes that the Internet, a tool designed to share, gather and collate information is private. If I want to keep something a secret, I don't publish it online, and heck, if I can avoid it, I don't put it on a computer at all, because that's just basic uncommon sense.

    In fact, I'd go as far to say as that we have more to fear from what is undertaken by private companies than government agencies, precisely because they do have a greater level of oversight and morals which are stronger than "Well can we get sued for this and if we do get sued, do we make more money than we're likely to lose"

    1. Steven Roper

      No, we don't need to know everything our governments are doing in our name. We do, however, need to be able to know anything our governments are doing in our name. Transparency doesn't mean forcing everyone to constantly monitor governments' actions, it means having the ability to expose any action that people would have a good reason to object to.

      You might not want to know the details, but those who have the means to stop the government from acting unjustly may need to know the details in order to prevent it from doing so.

    2. dan1980

      'In fact, I'd go as far to say as that we have more to fear from what is undertaken by private companies than government agencies, precisely because they do have a greater level of oversight and morals which are stronger than "Well can we get sued for this and if we do get sued, do we make more money than we're likely to lose"'

      What I think you're saying is that private corporations are more problematic because they only follow rules they absolutely have to.

      Good reasoning but the bit you fail to notice is that, whatever the motives, the rules governing corporations are, by and large, available to the general public. Contrast this with what is now known without a doubt to be he case with our governments, which is that the 'rules' governing them are kept secret from the public.

      Representative Democracies work on a basic principle, which is that our elected representatives are empowered to make decisions on our behalf. When the head of the NSA is able to lie to those elected representatives, in what way do you have a democracy at all?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But business can do one thing a country can NEVER by definition do. They can go TRANSnational, and once a company goes transnational, the rules change. Now a company can play different company's rules to its benefit and to our detriment. It's now beyond one company's ability to stop.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Democracy and Freedom in the west is & always has been simply an illusion.

    Our Governments spy on us and have more info on us than the Chinese, Russian & North Korean governments ever had on their citizens, and they are increasingly curtailing our Freedoms.

    it won't be long till the day comes when you will be punished for past actions criminalised in the future (except where it is rightly so like those found guilty in operation yew tree).

    Whilst i can never condone the release of info that will put peoples lives in jeopardy, the info released so far has highlighted & raised the importance of info security and data retention to the public at large, & they are rightly questioning the need for large scale data retention.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "[...] (except where it is rightly so like those found guilty in operation yew tree)."

      It is my understanding that the Yew Tree defendants can only be prosecuted according to the laws that were extant at the time of the alleged offences. A judge has already said in one guilty verdict that he therefore could not give the higher sentence that is now available under current law.

      However - what has changed recently is in what is considered evidence. Previously each offence was considered on its own facts. Now the prosecution attempts to prove the case by saying that the defendant appeared capable of committing the alleged offences. To do this they present many witnesses who allege similar things, not necessarily illegal, about events that are not in the trial. They apparently do not have to produce any evidence to support their testimony about something they allege happened to them or someone else.

      In the failed case against the former Deputy Speaker the Police had actively sought such people to provide the bulk of their material. This strikes me as a dangerous change akin to accepting hearsay bordering on character assassination.

      These cases are complicated by the payment of Criminal Compensation awards only if the defendant is found guilty. Apparently the sums are quite substantial. There was at least one case that collapsed when an alleged victim broke down in court - and admitted he only made his false testimony because the Police sought him out and told him how much compensation he could claim.

      The Police and CPS have a narrow line to walk between seeking impartial justice - or boosting their own career progression. Human nature and institutions can be a bad combination for everyone concerned.

    2. Bumpy Cat

      Bad but could be worse

      Yes, GCHQ and NSA are far too intrusive and need their leash yanked severely. We are, however, far better off than citizens of Russia, China and North Korea. Ridiculous hyperbole annoys me, because people in those countries genuinely have a horrific time.

      In NK, the police will shut down power to your building, then check what DVD you are watching - if it's not approved, your entire family goes to a labour camp.

      In China, protesting against your six-day, 12-hours-a-day workweek, or the fact that your drinking water comes from a black river, is likely to get you in jail as well.

      In Russia, if you're not a wealthy, well-connected biznesman, anything you own or do can be taken from you at any time.

      We in the West are incredibly lucky to live where we do, and maintaining this society requires commitment and vigilance. Saying "Well, we're just as bad off as North Koreans" is not only offensive and stupid, it's surrendering to apathy about the state of our society.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "it won't be long till the day comes when you will be punished for past actions criminalised in the future (except where it is rightly so like those found guilty in operation yew tree)."

      How will they do that without running afoul of Article I, Section 9, where it explicitly states that ex post facto (read: retroactive) laws are forbidden? The only way they can do that is to amend the Constitution to remove that restriction and our governments lack the unity for such a front or they'd have already altered the Fourteenth Amendment to deal with immigration and "birther" issues. Either that or ignore the Constitution itself as "ink on a page". But once you do that, you de-legitimize yourself as a government, meaning it devolves into anarchy.

  11. Chris T Almighty

    Does it matter any more?

    The reaction of most people seems to be 'Whatever". People seem to be willing to sacrifice privacy for "protection from the terrorists". Will a mega release change any opinions? I doubt it, so this probably will do more harm than good.

  12. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Just do IT ..... and put the perverse corrupt beast out of its pathetic systemic misery

    In fact, I'd go as far to say as that we have more to fear from what is undertaken by private companies than government agencies, precisely because they do have a greater level of oversight and morals which are stronger than "Well can we get sued for this and if we do get sued, do we make more money than we're likely to lose" .....Paul 87

    How very odd that you would think one is any better or any worse than the other, whenever they are both in cahoots and competition and opposition to each other, Paul 87.

    If y'all know what is going on and what is being planned to happen, who do you think has everything to fear? The wannabe dodgy perpetrators or the ignorant hapless victims?

    Do you know what is happening and would you be able to believe it if it wasn't hosted and posted by mainstream media brainwashing channels...... perception management machinery ..... Global Operating Devices, or would it be as an explosive surprise to you whenever the markets crashed because the machinery was crack hacked and the charade was no longer viable?

    Take a walk in the sun and a stroll in the dark web side of life and avail yourself of the realities of your current position in present situations ..... Caveat Emptor …… This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to potential future losses, significant amount of indebtedness, competition, commercial agreements and strategic alliances, seasonality, potential fluctuations in operating results and rate of growth, foreign exchange rates, management of potential growth, system interruption, international expansion, consumer trends, inventory, fulfillment center optimization, limited operating history, government regulation and taxation, fraud, and new business areas.

    What are you? Men or mice? Squeak up now or forever hold your peace.

    1. Bloakey1

      Re: Just do IT ..... and put the perverse corrupt beast out of its pathetic systemic misery

      <snip>

      "What are you? Men or mice? Squeak up now or forever hold your peace."

      Hmmmm and ad hominem, that obviously strengthens your argument and adds credibility to your cause. Bravo.

      I strongly suspect that a lot of people hereabouts are more "man" than you will ever be [1]. Take your name for example why not just post as anon.

      El Reg, any chance of a killfile setup to deal with people like this? We could call it a Mars bar.

      1. For whatever definition of man you seem to be choosing.

  13. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Every answer begats more questions....

    So the "last" of the archive is being released soon....

    I would have assumed that Snowden would have a rather large hole-card somewhere that will never be played unless some action were taken towards him. I do have to wonder if his hole-card is about Putin since that's his safe harbor.

    Avert a war? Unless there's something very specific and fairly recent, I can't think of anything that would prevent a war. Cause a few maybe... but then again, I'm not the most creative "outside the box" thinker.

    BTW, Mr. Pott... the idea (unless you're of a certain religious persuasion and want your 72 virgins) is to not die for your country/belief but to make the other guy die for his. Ok.. bad attempt at humor but it's been a tenet of the US Marines for as long as there been US Marines.

    1. Bloakey1

      Re: Every answer begats more questions....

      <snip>

      "(unless you're of a certain religious persuasion and want your 72 virgins)"

      <snip>

      72 Virgins? I find that thought horrifying. I want two old slappers and a beer fridge that is perpetually full and that will be me.

      As for making the other person die, yes. We however are tied down with rules of engagement, the Geneva convention, Western morals and mores, religious aversion to killing and another myriad of things that makes us less efficient against fundamentalists or nutters of any persuasion.

      As we used to say when I wore the green "Cry ribbet and let slip the frogs of war"!

  14. russell 6

    Something to think about

    Please don't shout at me for posting this but I have a lot of direct experience in the Middle East and if Cryptome aren't playing silly buggers, it could be related to what is happening in Iraq with ISIS. http://russellchapman.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/isis-and-islamic-state/

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Something to think about

      I just had to upvote you for the link. That's the best summary of the events and players I've seen so far. Thanks for sharing.

      1. russell 6

        Re: Something to think about

        Thank you Trevor. My aim is simply to shine a light into dark corners.

    2. Bloakey1

      Re: Something to think about

      Howdy Russel, have an upvote.

      Interesting article, I also have quite a lot of experience in these areas and have noted similar things in ISIS. You mention how efficient they are at getting infrastructure etc. up and running. Well so were Hezbollah {1.} after they defeated the Israeli's in their last adventures in Lebanon. Before you knew it, food, tents, fuel etc, was there for the poor and needy and people who traditionally had at best antipathy to Hezbollah were proud at what they had achieved. The same goes for various disasters etc. the boys were there and people were looked after.

      The fingerprint on this one is Iran and the Israeli's know it. The finesse and as you say attention to detail regarding expenses etc. is not a typical Arab / Magreb thing {2.}. Israel is now trying to bolster and support the Kurds and "The times they are a changing".

      Having said that Al Quaeda was a US creation and caused similar havoc but showed what could be done by determined chaps. Come back Biggles, Bertie, Ginge and Josh, your country needs you.

      1.. Have used common spelling

      2. Typical not really the right word as there is no such thing.

      1. russell 6

        Re: Something to think about

        Thanks Bloakey. I agree with you. This has got Iran's prints all over it. Them Persians be clever blighters, in an evil genius sort of way.

        You can be sure as hell that this has got KSA seriously worried, why else would they be trying to patch things up with Iran now. Yesterday I was speaking to a Jordanian friend, I asked him about Ma'an down in the south and he said there are areas where the police don't go, it is too dangerous, he also told me there are a lot in Zarqa and Mufrak who are ready to join ISIS. Ironic as this is where Zaatari refugee camp is also. Jordan has a big pot of poo bubbling under the surface. Methinks this Islamic State is just getting warmed up.......

        Sykes-Picot is finished, that's for sure.

        1. Bloakey1

          Re: Something to think about

          Cheers Russel.

          I think Al Quds is deeply involved and apparently all leave is cancelled ! I have always said that while the US was diplomatically plaing poker with the Iranians, the Iranians were playing chess. they are well educated, skillful, dedicated and are intellectually well suited to think in Operational, tactical and strategic depth. This is definitely looking like their baby and so far the Shia seem remarkably untouched despite all the brouhaha about volonteers being called up etc.

          Agreed about the KSA, Turkey will probably come in on their side if necessary despite their past problems. The border must be protected will be their attitude and a bolstering force even if it is the traditional enemy is far better than ISIS knocking on the front door with an 'invitation' to join the caliphate.

          Jordan has traditionally been relatively unstable so no surprise if the excrement hits the helical rotating device. Now where will the Palestinians go with this? They have spent years trying to achieve some action and then ISIS trot up and show how it should be done.

          On a more positive note this could be the one thing that unites Lebanon and I fear their traditional instability makes them vulnerable to attack from Syria.

          Sykes - Picot, all those straight lines? Who would have thought it would all go wrong. El Awrence saw it coming way back.

          I err, cough, hmmm, lived in Beirut in the early eighties and every facet of the divisiveness was there, Shia, Dervish,Christians, Sunni, Druze, even Wahabi and then there were all the sub divisions of those. They fought like cat and dog for no apparent gain.

          Through all the fighting the Moscow Narodny bank in Beirut whose structure featured a large amount of glass was untouched. Funny that! I also found out there that Libya was the world's biggest producer of tractor parts. All of those grey boxes of the ammunition type were marked "Tractor Parts Lybia".

          Anyway. Iran seems to have secured it's borders in a devilishly fiendish plot worthy of Enid Blighton.

          1. russell 6

            Re: Something to think about

            The Persians have been planning since the overthrow of the Shah. They have always had hegemonic ambitions. Iran and Russia together make quite a alliance. I'm waiting for the chaos to start effecting oil supplies, this would give a huge injection of cash to Russia, which it desperately needs and I think Iran will use ISIS to do this as a way of helping its comrade. What you say about the Shia in the south east being pretty much untouched was one of the things I noticed too. I wrote about it recently that it would be a strong indicator of who was running ISIS.

            As for KSA, considering the fact that they have been working in collaboration with Israel and Jordan regarding Syria and that Egyptian President Sisi has close ties with KSA I think it is more likely this group will make an alliance along with UAE in the face of the threat. Turkey has allowed ISIS to ship huge numbers of "tractor parts" from Libya across its border into Syria. Turkey has a force inside Syria, ostensibly to protect the tomb of Suleyman Shah, very close by is an ISIS base. When Erdogan sent the force he was quoted as saying “Right now, the issue is not about ISIL”, so if he wasn't worried about them at the time then what was/is he up to?

            I can potentially see a lot of Palestinians in Jordan joining the cause as they are treated very much as 3rd rate, possibly also a number of Syrian refugees, they will never be able to go back to Syria as it is today, they might feel it is a better bet than being stuck in a refugee camp in the desert.

            Can anything unite Lebanon??? Some of my family have left recently, it isn't a healthy place to be. Way too divided. Last time I was there I was followed by one of their muppet security guys in a very obvious shiny black 4x4 while I was wandering around, managed to lose him fairly quickly.

            I know what you mean about the Russian bank not being touched. Maybe it was so beautiful nobody wanted to damage it ;) I used to joke back in the 80's that the IRA must be sponsored by the big construction companies, they were making a fortune off of them.

            1. Denarius Silver badge
              IT Angle

              Re: Something to think about

              USSR diplomats were kidnapped once in Lebanon civil war. Within hours beaten to death bodies of male relatives of local insurgent leaders were being thrown over compound walls with a note saying one of these every hour or less until our people are back, safe and untouched. Anything Russian was left alone after that. Apparently they speak the same language as the locals.

              Does Rumsfeld still believe in in "Once you have them by short and curlies, their hearts and minds will follow." ? Now here is the $64 question. If the spookeries surveillance was worth a damn, why is ISIS and current mess a surprise ?

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Denarius Re: Something to think about

                ".....why is ISIS and current mess a surprise ?" It's not a surprise. The real sign it was going to kick off big time was the American and European refusal to get involved in Syria, it gave the jihadis the realisation that they could start on building a 'caliphate' without interference. No-one else was going to stop them. And that's the real surprise - that the rest of the World, after castigating the US and allies for wading into Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan, that moaned about them trying to be World police, then were actually surprised when the US and allies said they weren't going to do it in Syria. Just look at how the same handwringers are now insisting the US 'sorts out' the problems in Iraq.

                And that's because, without the muscle and money provided by the West, the UN is a toothless talking shop. There is zero chance of the local countries sorting it out as they are the ones stoking the problem. Just look back through the last sixty years and see if you can find ANY successful major UN peacekeeping exercise that didn't depend on the US, the old colonial European countries or Australia to provide the money or the hardware. TBH, I'd tell Obambi to make his priority getting on with the fracking and drill everywhere there is oil in the US whilst developing better electric cars, and take a leave out of Pootie's book and sell the excess gas cheap to friendly Europeans.

  15. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Trouble is

    the mass release of 'information' does'nt stop a war from happening... it starts it.

    While the release of information regarding what the NSA/GCHQ and 2/3rds of the west's spying agencies are doing to us and passing to each other maybe in the realms of illegality, the release of so much other info could be seen as a direct attack on the capabilities of GCHQ etc to intercept and decode the correct messages

    After all.. if we know enemy elements are using a nokia phone, and we know howto track that one and decode everything coming from it and suddenly the target knows his calls are being tracked...

    But then some of you would be happy with everything any government does released instantly onto the internet, perhap I could interest you with the mathematics of designing H-bomb warheads that can fit into a MIRV.....

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Trouble is

      "perhaps I could interest you with the mathematics of designing H-bomb warheads that can fit into a MIRV....."

      It's been 50 years. Do you honestly think that The Register's readers couldn't build a relevant miniaturized implosion core if we wanted to? I personally don't know the math off the top of my head, but I know enough to know what questions to ask and where to find the answers. The rest is learning and simulating. That can be done on Amazon these days.

      No, civilians - and for that matter most nations - don't have nukes because they simply have no use for nukes. Nukes are great for establishing you as a sovereign power, but they suffer from three fatal flaws.

      1) They're outrageously expensive.

      2) They're absolutely useless unless you have multiple launch systems that can participate in MAD.

      3) Unless you have the conventional resources of a nation-state you can't defend them against the current signatory powers of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty who will take your toys away from you.

      Even a "terrorist" has no use for a nuke. Let's say some crazy ISIS Jihadi blows up New York. They don't gain anything by this. They don't fracture the USA, sow terror or otherwise do anything but kill a few infidels. What they absolutely will do is cause the entire rest of the world to unite against Islam, get the entire middle east turned into a sheet of glass in retaliation and trigger an anti-religious genocide the likes of which this world has never seen.

      They know it. We know it.

      Even if you were completely batshit crazy and wanted to wipe out a city or two...you don't need a a MIRV to do that. You can pack relevant "kaboom" onto trucks or boats and get things into the city in far more mundane ways.

      If you're really smart you wouldn't even use a nuke; every major city in the world has radiometric sensors so good luck with a nuke. If you want an earth-shattering kaboom go with fuel air bombs. Pretty much untracable, and from they pack the punch of a small nuke. (Especially since you need to detonate the nuke somewhere around 1700 ft in order to actually make use of the plasma shockwave.)

      Of course, MOABs are flash-and-gone. If you had access to fissionable material - which to make your fusion MIRVs you'd need - then why not just build a dirty bomb? If you're truly nuts and want to kill a lot of people in a horrible fashion that's pretty much the worst possible way. Or you could poison water supplies. Or...

      *shrug* I could do this all day. The last time I played this game I think I hit 83 different designs before I ran out of ideas. My point is this: the overwhelming majority of people, including "terrorists" have no use or desire for weapons of mass destruction. Unless you are already a powerful nation-state, they don't offer the individual or the organization any value, and cost them rather a lot.

      There are always crazies, like those wackos that murdered cops in Nevada a few weeks back, or folks like McVeigh. It is for this reason that we control access to the kinds of materials necessary to make the really neat toys. That's part of the "eternal vigilance" price of freedom.

      But you can't control knowledge. The genie, once out of the bottle, doesn't go back in. There are literally millions of people on this planet that could build you a basic gun-type fission bomb from memory. Hundreds of thousands that could design you a fusion bomb with a little effort. Any wacko at any time can kidnap and torture these people until they give up the how.

      But he can't do a damned thing unless he can get the fissionable material. Or a metric tonne of Strychnine. Or...

      People who have the resources to get WMDs have thus far been reluctant to actually use them. That limits the terrorists to small-scale attacks that at best wipe out a few city blocks or a subway station.

      If you want to fret about something, freak out about the concept of "designer DNA". This is a thing that you can do, if you have the right equipment. The skillset and knowledge are about where nuclear weapons were in the late 50s.

      Give it 60 years, and there will be millions of individuals capable of designing "printing" DNA, then injecting it into a bacterial host of their choice. How do you control that? The raw resources required to do this are impossible restrict and the fundamental knowledge is already in the public domain. All that is required is commoditisation of the technology, something that is already being worked on.

      The true "threat" to our individual and national security is not going to come from the sharing of government secrets, because the technologies the government developed were developed under the watchful eye of true paranoids. They worked out how to control those kinds of technologies long before we proles ever heard of them.

      The "threat" techs are those coming out of the commercial and academic sectors, where they go through layers of peer review and even commercialization before the paranoids ever get involved and go "hey, wait, this could go really badly."

      A terrorist with a nuke will only get himself and his entire religion wiped off the face of the Earth. A lone nutjob isn't going to get the material to ever build one...but both of them could be building designer plagues within the next 50 years and we'd not only be unable to figure out who unleashed them, we might not be able to contain them.

      1. dan1980

        Re: Trouble is

        @Trevor Pott

        Between you and Russell, I think I'm starting to prefer Matt's posts!

        Tallying up my drinking and general bad-living, I reckon I just might miss the worst of the world being created. It's the weakest possible position but, it might make the shortness of this existence slightly less upsetting, on balance.

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Potty Re: Trouble is

        "....Let's say some crazy ISIS Jihadi blows up New York. They don't gain anything by this. They don't fracture the USA, sow terror or otherwise do anything but kill a few infidels. What they absolutely will do is cause the entire rest of the world to unite against Islam...." Well, yes and no. You could say exactly the same about the idea of crashing airliners into city center offices, but one group of jihadis thought it was a great idea. You also don't seem to realise that there are jihadis that want a war with 'the West', they see it as necessary in uniting the Islamic people and ensuring what they see as Islam's rightful rule of the World. You are making the mistake of thinking those with a different upbringing and culture will weight up situations and make the same judgement calls as you.

        ".....But you can't control knowledge. The genie, once out of the bottle, doesn't go back in. There are literally millions of people on this planet that could build you a basic gun-type fission bomb from memory. Hundreds of thousands that could design you a fusion bomb with a little effort. Any wacko at any time can kidnap and torture these people until they give up the how...." True. The problem, as Saddam found, was merely gaining access to the high-tech materials for the high-tech delivery system his ego required, not the knowledge. Had Saddam put the same efforts into 'suitcase' nukes we would have really been in trouble.

        "....A terrorist with a nuke will only get himself and his entire religion wiped off the face of the Earth...." Unlikely. For a start, our own democratic laws would not allow us to blame all of a particular religion for the acts of a small group of adherents. All out war works best against other nation states, not multi-regional terror groups. As was pointed out around the time of 9/11, despite the atrocity, it did not justify dropping a nuke on Mecca just because AQ were Islamists.

        1. dan1980

          Re: Potty Trouble is

          Ahhh!!!!

          First Matt agrees with Trevor and now I am agreeing with Matt!

          On Matt's first point - that some in the Islamic world want a war with 'the West' - I would add that a good portion of those people not only believe that an Islamic state is ordained by heaven, but are willing (even eager) to die to help fulfil that goal.

          The argument that a jihadi wouldn't risk bringing the ire of the rest of the world down on Islam simply doesn't work when discussing people for whom a martyr's death is not merely a price to pay but a goal in itself.

          Now, those organising and leading these groups may well make more sober assessments but if they've done their job well enough in convincing their followers that a martyr's death is desirable, how will you prevent them from seeking that which you have promised them will be glorious?

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Potty Trouble is

            "The argument that a jihadi wouldn't risk bringing the ire of the rest of the world down on Islam simply doesn't work when discussing people for whom a martyr's death is not merely a price to pay but a goal in itself."

            I never said that you would have trouble finding jihadis willing to blow themselves up. You seem to be conflating the willingness to die of footsoldiers with the willingness to sacrifice their entire cause.

            A jihadi believes that if he dies, he goes to heaven, but as a general rule they are fighting to spread the influence of their culture and religion throughout the world. That is what is worth dying for, and why they're getting into heaven.

            If Jihadis nuke a western city then I fucking promise you that all our treaties and social progressiveness, the Geneva convention and the laws of war will amount to nothing. The world will unite as it never has before and expunge those fuckers from the planet. We may not wipe out Islam in it's entirety, but we absolutely would wipe out every single fundamentalist Islamic on the face of the Earth. Every single last fucking one of them.

            Understand that there are tens of millions of westerners ready to pick up the sword right now, today and make that happen. And we haven't even had a nuclear incident. If a fundamentalist Islamic group nuked New York, or London, Tokyo or Seoul the public's tone would change from conciliatory to "bloody vengeance" in less time than it takes to flip a transistor.

            Remember: 50% of the UK wants to bring back the death penalty. 50%! The numbers in Canada, NZ, Oz and so forth are not that different. We're willing to compromise our morals for petty crimes of passion.

            8 million dead in an instant, 25 million more slowly dying of radiation poisoning and the economy collapsed to the point that an entire nation has suddenly hit an additional 15% unemployment?

            Yes, we'd kill for that. We'd kill hundreds of millions to avenge that. We would kill and kill and kill some more until the threat posed by those who believe the same as the bastards who used the nuke was 100% completely eliminated. We might even be willing to live in Matt's desired dystopia of zero civil liberties. All given up in exchange for the illusion of freedom.

            But do not kid yourself - any of you - into thinking that we westerners are so much more highly "evolved" than the same nutjobs murdering women for going to school. Push us far enough and we are every bit as savage and brutal as they are.

            So I stick by what I said:

            You can find an infinite number of peckerheads willing to blow up a nuke in the middle of downtown New York, but the kind of people who can actually get hold of the good to make it happen are absolutely not crazy enough to actually do it. They know that they will gain nothing and lose everything.

            For those who want to die, there are any number of methods available, ones that don't involve everything they believe in being expunged from the earth in an act of overwhelming vengeance.

            1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

              Re: Potty Trouble is

              I only used nukes as a example of information that should'nt be on general release

              What if the NSA secrets to be released shows their technical capability to stuff up anyones cell phone network? and worse still it discloses the methods used?

              Would a jihadi be interested? perhaps .. perhaps not, an enemy country? of course in a passing manner.

              Who would be interested? why the spotty 17 yr old moron* keen to impress the other 17 yr olds infesting an IRC chatroom.

              "I took down O2's network all day today hur hur " sort of thing

              Boris

              *I say moron, more like an IQ of 145 and the maturity of a 3 yr old

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: Potty Trouble is

                Absolutely correct, but the ability to stuff up O2's network is not on the same scale as a nuclear attack, and you fucking know it.

                Worst case scenario, a few people die because they can't reach 911 and a small hit to the economy as corporate chaos reigns for a few hours. That's not even on the same level of risk or threat as millions dead and tens of millions more dying horribly and overwhelming the medical systems of entire nations.

                I am entirely willing to risk some spotty teenager stuffing up the phone network in order to know what my government is up to. Quite frankly, I think someone has to stuff up the phone network from time to time so that we don't get complacent about technological security, and pay the coppers to protect critical infrastructure. (See: asshats attaching SCADA systems on the interbutts without UTMs in the middle.)

                Liberty isn't an acceptable price to pay for the illusion of security.

                There is, of course, a balance. We shouldn't make fissionable material available to anyone who asks. We shouldn't be selling strychnine or TNT to those who don't have a damned good reason to use it, and preferably licensing and safety training. Guns should require licensing and safety training to acquire and guns that have no purpose other than war (such as full auto rifles, rocket launchers, etc) absolutely shouldn't be allowed in the hands of civilians. (Or even Police!)

                It is a question of risk management. Public safety is important, at a large enough level. By the same token, civil liberties are not "mere conveniences," but of fundamental importance. That means we must find a balance.

                Absolute security is impossible. So is absolute liberty. So we must take a pragmatic approach to finding the balance. Restricting the availability of fissionable material is not a major restriction on liberty: it's dangerous even to those who know what they are doing, and there are very few legitimate uses for such material in the civilian sphere. By restricting the availability of fissionable material we gain a huge amount of security, and we do so by giving up virtually nothing.

                This story changes dramatically when we talk about government surveillance. Knowing that you are watched at all times is a massive psychological burden. It absolutely changes what you are willing to say or do. Anyone with even the most basic understanding of history lives in fear because we know that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and those in power do not tolerate dissent.

                So allowing our government to surveil us - and more horribly, allowing them to do so utilizing unknown methods at unknown times, with unknown capabilities - places the entire citizenry on the defensive against their own government, even if we aren't rounding up jews in the streets quite yet. It becomes an exercise in terror by the state when suddenly those who are rounded up using these secretive powers are tried in secret courts and given unknown sentences, especially when combined with laws that allow the police to pick up anyone they want and detain them without arrest (or the right to call family/employer/etc) for 30 day. Or 90 days. Or more!

                The "security" purchased here is minimal, but the loss of liberty is profound. In the name of "protecting" us, the government has created an environment in which the only thing that prevents them from rounding up every political dissenter and "dissapearing" them is the magnanimity of those currently in power.

                And those currently in power have absolutely no moral qualms about sending UAVs to kill people. By the thousands, if necessary. Death by robot without trial, a judgement made at the executive level, in secret. The claim is that they are killing to protect us, but there's no way to be sure. It is one more example of "the citizenry are allowed to exist and go about their lives only because the state chooses to allow them to."

                Do you not understand the difference? One thing - restricting access to fissionable materials - is clearly a very minor loss of liberty for a very clear security benefit. The other amount to the use of secrecy and murder-without-trial by the state to generate terror amongst the citizenry in order to keep them in line out of fear. That is the exact opposite of liberty.

                And Obama is one of the good guys.

                If McCarthy or Hoover were alive today with the sort of power now held by the American government that society - all our societies - would be much, much darker.

                So who's next? Every 2 years congress shuffles. Every 4 years the executive does. If we give up the liberty of "knowing what the hell our government is up to, why it is up to that and how it is accomplishing that" then we are handing a cowed and defeated citizenry to the next group of power hungry narcissists that happen to buy their way into the beltway.

                What would you call an Islamic nation with that kind of control over it's people?

                Now, imagine that the next president - and most of the next Congress - were ultra-right-wing fundamentalist Christians. How is that any different?

                We probably shouldn't tell the people the exact model number and firmware of the devices used by the NSA to scan the stream for keywords. We probably shouldn't tell the citizenry the details of how the FBI pull up phone records at a moment's notice.

                We absolutely should tell the people that it is being done, why, and with a general idea of how. That way the people can have an informed discussion about the risks, pressure their representatives to set limits, create oversight and demand adequate transparency. We can build a society where we are all aware of the compromise between liberty and security, and where we don't have to live in fear of the government listening to everything we say, where dissent isn't suppressed and the ghost og McCarthy will never again be allowed to haunt us.

                If the risk taken for that level of liberty is that some spotty teenager might be able to down the cell network for a few hours, so be it. We'll figure out how he did it and prevent him from doing it again.

                But I, for one, do not acknowledge the "right" of the state to incite terror amongst it's subjects in an effort to cow them into submission. I will not allow my nation the ability to spy on me without a warrant in the name of protecting me.

                If you cannot understand the difference between the levels of risk discussed then quite frankly you shouldn't be allowed anywhere near government. Or computers, for that matter. Your ability to understand the basic concepts of risk management are at best compromised...but in reality, damned near non-existent.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  WTF?

                  Re: Potty Trouble is

                  ".....Absolute security is impossible. So is absolute liberty. So we must take a pragmatic approach to finding the balance...." Agreed, so what you need to do is calmly and rationally convince the majority of where you want the balance to be set. Simply screaming and bleating like headless sheep that 'EVERYONE'S coms are ALL being listened to ALL the time' is neither rational nor calm, merely amusing.

                  ".....Knowing that you are watched at all times is a massive psychological burden. It absolutely changes what you are willing to say or do....." Only if you wear tinfoil. The rest of us, especially those that understand the technical and manpower limitations, just shrug as we realise there is very little chance of anything Joe Average says or does ever gaining even passing interest to the spooks.

                  "..... It becomes an exercise in terror by the state when suddenly those who are rounded up using these secretive powers are tried in secret courts and given unknown sentences...." And this has happened where? Not in the US or UK. If you wish to pretend otherwise then please supply a ref, otherwise admit that is just a melodramatic 'worst case scenario'.

                  "......especially when combined with laws that allow the police to pick up anyone they want and detain them without arrest (or the right to call family/employer/etc) for 30 day. Or 90 days. Or more!...." I think what you mean is without charge, they have to be arrested at least on suspicion of having committed a crime before they can be held for questioning under terror laws, and they are allowed legal representation from the moment they are arrested. Sorry, but again, if you want to pretend otherwise has happened in the US, UK or even Canada, please do give a ref.

                  ".....The "security" purchased here is minimal...." The people that attended the Christmas lights ceremony in Portland in 2010 might want to argue against that (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/25/us_judge_rules_warrantless_snooping_okay_in_terrorist_bomber_case/). The victims of 9/11 can't argue anything anymore.

                  ".....And those currently in power have absolutely no moral qualms about sending UAVs to kill people...." Yeah, like all those drone strikes in the UK and USA I'm always not hearing about. Drone strikes are used by the US for very specific targets in areas where there is no practical chance of capturing the target without significant loss of life to both the attackers and locals. I'm beginning to think your viewpoint has been totally formed from watching "The Bourne Legacy" whilst stoned.

                  ".....the government has created an environment in which the only thing that prevents them from rounding up every political dissenter and "dissapearing" them is the magnanimity of those currently in power....." Well, that and the fact we have a legal system that would send them to prison, you mean? Seriously, are you posting from an alternate reality? Your view of the US seems to be extremely distorted or just plain irrational.

              2. Denarius Silver badge
                Thumb Down

                Re: Potty Trouble is

                Boris, you did not read the articles published 20 years ago on how to build a nuclear device published in USA and copied in Oz among others. Data came from publicaaly released information. The point was just how hard and dangerous it is to make nuclear devices for the builders, not targets. No way to tell, but I suspect it might have encouraged non-nation actors to skip the idea. Meanwhile, while nations can make such devices I wonder what the effect of using a nuclear device by anyone in the Middle East might do to the various fighting groups there ? My enemies enemy is my friend is a stupid idea, but a common threat can create the oddest bedfellows.

            2. Denarius Silver badge
              Meh

              Re: Potty Trouble is

              no the west would not. Too many don't believe in evil of any kind and would ask what we did to upset islamics. The ruling elites would want to ensure they get to cream off war profits first. Just as happened after Sept 11 attacks.

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: Potty Trouble is

                The Sept 11 attacks don't even count as a skirmish. A couple thousand people died. Minor infrastructure damage. The difference between that and a nuke is something you are obviously completely incapable of comprehending.

                Yes, the Sept 11th attacks didn't catalyze the west to retribution, because they weren't that big a fucking deal. Americans were shocked out of their belief that their vaunted exceptionalism protected them from the consequences of their own foreign policy hitting them on their soil. That's unfortunate - and it really sucks for the families of those killed - but it is not even remotely, not even within several orders of magnitude - close to a nuclear attack.

                America got pushed into the dirt by the nerd they were busy bullying. The rest of the world pretty much said "saw that coming" and went on their merry. American then killed one million people in Iraq in retribution - a nation that had nothing at all to do with the Sept 11 attacks - and got bogged downing in Afghanistan getting it's ass handed to it by a bunch of cave-dwelling lunatics. (To be fair, we ALL got our asses handed to us in Afghanistan, including Canada. Mind you, at least some of our war dead are because the Americans decided to bomb us.)

                When America actually identified the people responsible - the whackos in Afghanistan - for Sept 11th, her allies rallied to her side and we marched on the people responsible. We did it according to the rules of war because the act in question - the Sept 11th incident - did not in any way warrant an abrogation of the various treaties that determine those rules of war. Put simple: Sept 11th wasn't a big enough deal to warrant tearing down hundreds of years of international agreements about conduct during a war. The threat was not big enough.

                Nuke a city, and that changes. In an instant the threat moves into the realm of "absolutely must be terminated at all costs." With a nuclear attack - and only an attack of that scale - would western nations be willing to switch from "defensive aggression" to "conquer with an eye to eradication."

                If you cannot see the difference between the two levels of incident, there is something very wrong with you.

            3. Faye Kane, homeless brain

              nuke NY effect? Wrong.

              ==-

              > "If Jihadis nuke a western city then I fucking promise you that we will expunge those fuckers from the planet."

              Oh that were the case, my angry little warmonger! But alas, it will not be so. Not as long as Obama runs this circus.

              He will publicly disapprove of the nuking of NY in no uncertain terms, then assure us that his harsh words will get the suicidal insaniacs to see the error of their ways, lay down their arms, and with a tear in their eye, join hands with him across the Table of Brotherhood so that we may, together, build a new future for all the Children of the Earth.

              He's not only a campaign-liar; he's also criminally naive and totally ineffective.

              -- faye kane ♀ girl brain

              sexiest astrophysicist you'll ever see naked

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Potty Trouble is

          Anyone consider that someone with a nuke would use it 50 miles over South Dakota? One weapon, massive EMP impact of a scale most civilian and even some military tech wouldn't be able to withstand (it's plain hard physics in the way, pal). THEN you rush in like a nightmare.

          Until someone finds a way to use a nuke to set off a supervolcano, this is probably the best bang for the buck you can have with one weapon.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Potty Trouble is

            How do you get it 50 miles up without an AEGIS cruiser picking it off?

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Go

              Re: Potty Trouble is

              "How do you get it 50 miles up without an AEGIS cruiser picking it off?" Or, hopefully, how do you gather the tech and people to build a launch platform that can put your device 50 miles up without coming to the attention of the spooks? Saddam tried to get round the CIA's attention by buying medical equipment (lithotripters) from Siemens to strip down to build nuclear triggers, but it didn't work, the CIA found out and stopped the sale at the supplier (Thomson-C.S.F.).

    2. Denarius Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Trouble is

      Boris, Boris, Boris. Spook troll are you ? You should know that competent spies assume that all comms may be tapped and agents followed. NSA et al is nothing new for the bad guys. The few new bits like remote turning on of mobile phones on was spotted soon after the first drone strikes. The degree of surveillance of people who have nothing to with war de juer is the issue Snowden blew whistle on.

  16. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

    Very strange behavior out of Cryptome

    I thought Cryptome was mirrored to hell and back anyway? Are all of their older mirrors suddenly not good enough (even though they were fine for Cryptome for years)? Or are the mirrors gone nowadays? There used to be a Mirror I used more than the actual domain because it was much faster for me but I haven't used it in years and I don't even think I still have the URL or ipv4 address anyway, since my internet speeds got better after many years and thousands of dollars, and Firefox came out which seemed faster than IE and Opera at loading basic pages back then, which is what Cryptome is really, a bunch of text and some hyperlinks with an image from time to time, so I didn't need the mirror anymore. But at one time they did exist and there were a number of them. And the USB stick isn't a new idea either, they've had DVDs with every article ever published by them for quite awhile. The USB stick would be better for users, including myself, though so I hope they do indeed change formats.

    But what gets me is that I'm honestly kind of (very) surprised George Young made a statement like the war thing though, thats pretty fucking delusional sounding and based on his past writings he doesn't seem to be too prone to delusions of grandeur, he actually seems to be very modest about the service that cryptome provides and not overly paranoid though he's been in nearly every federal agency's crosshairs at one point or another, if you've followed his organization for any length of time. So either he's really got something big, like as in bigger than anything anyone's ever leaked before or else someone's doing a lousy job of attempting to discredit them by trying to make them sound insane. A bunch of 18 year old Privates and Specialists fresh out of Psychological Operations AIT being led by a 22 year old 2nd Lieutenant could do better, so if anyone's trying to discredit Cryptome, its probably no one any good at this sort of thing, which suggest a whole host of "hacktivist" organizations who are still sippin' on Julian Assange's Kool-Aid to me.

    A remote possibility also exists that he's actually trying to sound delusional and insane, which is a type of game theory strategy where leadership appears to have gone completely off the deep end and starts acting bizzare and unpredictable, his advisors start making public noises about the same, and it forces an adversary into negotiating from an unprepared position to try and hold off the unstable leader which usually doesn't go well as the adversary who's been acting crazy has been in preparation for negotiations the entire time and already knows what they're doing, allowing them to exploit any slips from the adversary who isn't prepared for it. Kissinger and Nixon managed to pull this off several times with the Chinese, the Vietnamese and the Soviets so there's historical precedent for successful application of that strategy at least with States and their leadership.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Very strange behavior out of Cryptome

      The insanity could be a form of warrant canary.

    2. Havin_it
      Headmaster

      George?

      GeorgeJohn Young

      If you're going to come on like his BFF, you might try and get his name right.

  17. John Savard Silver badge

    Dismayed

    While I felt the U.S. government overreacted to Snowden's initial revelations, some later ones have included information that would tend towards damaging legitimate U.S. intelligence capabilities.

    As I believe the U.S. is a democracy and not an aggressor, I find this distressing. This announcement that efforts will be made to cripple the NSA in order to prevent the U.S. from launching a war of aggression next month does not, therefore, strike me as either a good thing or justified. Instead, it seems to me that the cause of freedom is going to be harmed for the sake of paranoid fantasies.

    On the other hand, if Cryptome was simply fooled by an NSA plant intended to discredit Snowden, that wouldn't exactly be something I'd have hoped for either.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What I'd like to see...

    A list with the full disclosure of all of the perversions of each and every government minister in every country for the last 50 years, so that they cannot be blackmailed any more.

    1. Havin_it

      Re: What I'd like to see...

      Nixon: whores

      Ford: drunk whores

      Carter: potatoes

      Reagan: reverse cowgirl

      Bush: broccoli

      Clinton: Need I bother?

      Bush The Revenge: shoe fetish

      Obama: Jury's still out, but my money's on some unspeakable act involving a Nobel prize

  19. Tank boy
    FAIL

    Just trying to stay relevant or keep himself out of the gulag. Whatever dude, intel on the battlefield changes within seconds, you've been on the run longer than that. Release the documents, we all could use a good laugh at things you stole from forever ago.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Erm, no

      A list of informants names and addresses could still put them in danger many decades in the future, so should never be published.

      Proof that the NSA was spying on the leaders of friendly nations would still be relevant for as long as people identify with those nations - which is longer than the nation itself continues to exist.

      If proof was published showing that the French secret service had detailed knowledge of everything most US citizens were doing last decade, would they be happy about it?

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Erm, no

        "A list of informants names and addresses could still put them in danger many decades in the future, so should never be published."

        Probably true.

        "Proof that the NSA was spying on the leaders of friendly nations would still be relevant for as long as people identify with those nations - which is longer than the nation itself continues to exist."

        Maybe, but people need to know the harm their governments have done if we are to learn from the mistakes of the past and correct them. Would you prefer the Germans covered up WWII, denied the holocaust and the existence of the Nazi party?

        "If proof was published showing that the French secret service had detailed knowledge of everything most US citizens were doing last decade, would they be happy about it?"

        No. And they'd demand reparations, or at the very least promises it wouldn't happen again, with some form of monitoring that would ensure this. International policy regarding privacy might very well move forward at that point,and we might see positive social change.

        We need to know the ills our governments have done in our name so that we can prevent them from being repeated.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Erm, no

          Phrased that badly - the first is an example of something that probably shouldn't ever be published and the second an example of something that must be published - and will be important forever.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Erm, no

            I'd say "how the state uses dragnet surveillance to monitor everyone, everywhere and ultimately is allowing entire nations to sleepwalk into McCarty's wet dream of suppressing dissent almost before it happens" is both something that is important forever and must be published. Not only is it relevant today, but our descendants will need to know exactly how the fuck we let it get to this point, why we let the coming dark era of state terror (in the name of "protection") ever happen, and how they can prevent that from ever happening again.

            We study the Nazi rise to power for a reason: this cannot be allowed to happen again. Our descendants will study the mistakes we are making today for the exact same reason.

  20. TheColinous

    Earlier WikiLeaks got into a spat with Greenwald over not naming a country in one of the NSA-stories, and threatened that they would publish these files.

    Could this be about that?

    I wonder where WikiLeaks got the files if that's the case. I think Snowden decided to go to journalists after the cack-handed way the Iraq- and diplomatic files were handled.

    1. Benjol

      It was Afghanistan, and so cack-handedly redacted by the Intercept that I suspect they wanted it outed (though I can't work out why they'd go about it that way).

  21. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Sticky Sweet ASS Protection Forces .....

    ”I have their plans for invading Mars!!!!"

    I didn't know they had found oil on Mars? …. TheVogon

    Greetings, TheVogon,

    Can you imagine the enigma and Mars invaders’ dilemma in discovering their more valuable intelligence an Earthly treasure more sought after and powerful than wealth with command and control of oils and gold, and the rare gems and intricately manufactured and expense laden baubles which are supplied to have something designedly new for native purchase? The enigmatic dilemma being, the intelligence discovered is most adept at uncovering any and all information IT needs to feed and seed for effortless resourceful maintenance of alien8dD source security and positive mutually advantageous reinforcement of universatile virtual protection forces …. and thus is quite independent of Earthed Control and both Primitive and Sub-Prime Optimal Command.

    Do you imagine it would be a monumental and quite titanic global mistake by Earthed networking systems to try to implausibly deny and practically prevent Key CodedD messages with Freely Available Information from and/or for such a more powerful and valuable intelligence source and otherworldly resource? A global mistake which would extract and exact upon its leading proponents, the necessary penalty to ensure such will never ever be considered in any way an APT ACT to be applied again?

    Recently Cryptome have been a bit paranoid about site access, etc, though maybe with good reason. …. Paul Crawford

    Hmmm? One might like to ponder on the site’s success being responsible for a bit of Cryptome’s paranoia.

  22. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Meanwhile, elsewhere .... and in Fabless Labs with Comfy Slabs and Inviting Beds

    of Intriguing Engagement for Creative Productions

    That statement sort of implies that Democracy requires an electorate capable of making decisions based on hard data in order to work. If so, it's fundamentally fucked and we should get rid of it now. ….. Tee Cee @Re: Paul Crawford Cryptome

    Okay TeeCee, who is qualified to lead us as a benevolent dictator? McCarthy? Bush the lesser? Gandhi? Kofi Annan? Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi? Tony Abbot? What about Matt Bryant? You? Personally, I vote Elon Musk.

    How are we to decide upon who's magnanimity we are to rest our future? In whose hands do we balance between liberty and security if not those of the people who must live with the consequences? …. Trevor_Pott replying to Tee Cee @Re: Paul Crawford Cryptome

    [And oh how do I miss here, the ease of the old days, whenever every Registered posted communication was individually effortlessly date and time stamped for simple clearer and highly accurate referencing, and it did provide one with so much more revealing informative latent metadata for inclusion in deeper analysis of both post and poster. Any chance of that mega feature being relaunched, El Reg]

    The bottom line, T_P, is that the masses don’t get to decide, but are fed and watered and sprinkled with the fairy dust that is called democracy and fairly elected representation, to deliver to them the illusion and delusion that they do. Those and/or that which think they be qualified [for who is to say that it is not a virtual computer machine algorithm fronting for and running democracy in the same way as it is running electronic trading market bourses] autonomously assume and presume command and control in silent stealthy secrecy and in order not to be held personally responsible and accountable for corporate failings and crimes against humanity, invest heavily in all manner of practical and virtual security and military protection and try to protect themselves in veils and layers of obfuscation and prevarication/exceedingly slow and preposterous judicial procedure and national security letter and matter invocation …. which all be only smoke and mirrors to hide the truth of the fiction from the reality of facts.

    If systems are hiding from the masses the reality of the way they are governed and provided for, are the masses living in false world and alternate virtual reality space aided and abetted by media moguls and minions. And that is a/the fact which spins the fiction of there being a physical reality hosting their existence and over which they can exercise power and future direction with democratically elected representative control, rather than it being a virtual reality play and Great IntelAIgent Game stage for leading media players and they be just the audience in the pits and grandstands suffering their indulgences and follies.

    And this be a teaser trailer for ITs AI Mega Media Mogul BlockBuster and Big Brother Dam Buster Games Franchise ….. for Political Systems Virtual Makeover and Takeover with Deep Pools and Dark Webs of Astute Active Adept Adaptable Apps.

    All enquiries please to GCHQ IC Enterprises. The natural first stop and prime shop for all things smarter in enterprises with intelligence communities and IntelAIgent Communities and answers for your questions. Agents are available to take your calls whenever not otherwise engaged in listening to your calls.

    No, we don't need to know everything our governments are doing in our name. We do, however, need to be able to know anything our governments are doing in our name. Transparency doesn't mean forcing everyone to constantly monitor governments' actions, it means having the ability to expose any action that people would have a good reason to object to.

    You might not want to know the details, but those who have the means to stop the government from acting unjustly may need to know the details in order to prevent it from doing so. …. Steven Roper

    Quite so, Steven Roper, and they do have that facility and are now better able and enabled to exercise it, and it is causing quite a stir and more than just a kerfuffle for the powers that be and used to be all powerful but not now all knowing. Hence all the crazy growing idiotic chaos of late.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Meanwhile, elsewhere .... and in Fabless Labs with Comfy Slabs and Inviting Beds

      "The bottom line, T_P, is that the masses don’t get to decide, but are fed and watered and sprinkled with the fairy dust that is called democracy and fairly elected representation, to deliver to them the illusion and delusion that they do. "

      You're at least partly right, alien man. But the key to understanding here isn't that the illuminati are running the world, or that each nation is a dictatorship. It's far simpler - and more terrifying - than that.

      The truth of the matter is: noone's in charge. That's sort of the point. Yes, the masses are malleable; anyone who knows a damned thing about group dynamics knows just how vulnerable we are to psychological manipulation, even when we know we're being played.

      This is offset to some extent by genetic factors: we're not all equally vulnerable, and some of us are more genetically inclined towards risk aversion and hatred of change. It's also offset to some extent because there are multiple parties all pulling us in various different directions, so in some small ways the various powermongers cancel eachother out.

      There's also the part where the real power is exercised not by the elected official, but by the civil servant, the appointed judge and other elements of the bureaucracy that we don't directly select.

      Despite all that, we do select our leaders, and our leaders ultimately select the bureaucracy. If - and I realise the unlikeliness of this - we could all come together and elect a completely new group of politicians with a mandate to clean house we could in fact force radical change. Not bloody likely, but the possibility exists. If something truly horrible were to happen we may just exercise that option.

      What are the alternatives? Abject submission? At least the illusion of control over our government gives some hope that if someone were to seize the reigns outright we might fight back.

      If we simply roll over and let a corporatocracy take over, or a dictator, or even an insane machine...we lose the illusion, and with it, hope.

      I don't know about you, but I'd rather live in a worth with hope than without. Even if that hope is ultimately an illusion.

      But me, I don't buy the illuminati theory. The more time I spend with people who are worth millions and billions of dollars the more I realise that most of them have outrageous egos. They won't work together. Not to rule us, not for any reason. They could - the technology and the science exist to allow the well resourced to dominate us utterly - but their own raw ambition and fractious nature will keep them fighting eachother instead of coalescing into the super secret boogyman of peasant-squishing doom.

      Unless, of course, that's just what they want us to believe... :)

      1. Tail Up

        Re Re Etc

        Great thoughts indeed, Trevor_Pott. With one small, and maybe not so meaningful add-on.

        This is Criminal. Everything you criticise, everything you are voting against - on and on, resultlessly - is done to you and yours by the Criminal - a faceless, but having oh so well known names a person. We write books abouth these oh good fellas, and make films about them. We are proud to be familiar with them. We happily lend them a couple of bucks when they can't find a handkerchief. And at the same time we prefer not to notice that we are being fcuked by the Criminal - not in what ports many would think in a second, no - the Criminal are the greatest perverts ever, and they are using the fissures of our cowardly souls. A simple workout, as they say in gyms. And while we deliberately fool ourselves and our next generations with arguing whos democracy is better or whos autoritarian ways are worse, the fissures become yet wider.

        Fear of truth this is. Bullied sissy pants. Just do it.

        http://youtu.be/PNCtySFhz0U

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    meanwhile back at the topic

    is the USA or its owners planning another war. ? What issues could assist in deciding this ?

    Economy: recovery and no jobs for the proles, so an external enemy is needed to pacify the peasants into dying for the good of military industrial complex CEOs to bring an old cliché up to date..For a little while crude oil supplies improved as demand reduced due to other energy supplies coming on-stream. Who does that bother ? Crude prices seemed to drop also.

    So now Iraq Mk3 is on and oil prices are up, a nice shiny new enemy that fits all the Hollywood ideals of bad guys has appeared and strangely, the fuzz and spooks main response is more spying on citizens using new disturbance in middle East as justification. For a conspiracy theory, it can hold water. Lastly, all those nice new killing machines that the US congress wont buy.

    Given that no spook operation can be said definitely to have stopped terrorist attacks anywhere, and the spookeries and FBI ignored the data they had, it makes me wonder what is so important about maintaining the ineffective expensive mass surveillance. Have the new aristocrats decides the peasants can be fooled all the time and the return of absolute monarchy by another name is coming real soon now ? This would need mass control and the spooks seem to doing just that.

  24. Faye Kane, homeless brain

    The NSA abused the privilege of "we won't tell you, but trust us". Now they will get it taken away for a while.

    If America's reputation is damaged by the truth, then they deserve it. (I live here, BTW). Hopefully, one final, huge docs-infomation explosion will reign in the bastards and force the politicians to move their attention away from the bribery trough and towards passing restrictions on the NSA. The spooks will have shamed this country in the face of the world for the last time.

    faye kane ♀ girl brain

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