Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Aneristic Illusions => Topic started by: Junkenstein on June 06, 2013, 02:19:29 pm

Title: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 06, 2013, 02:19:29 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22793851

Quote
The US National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans, according to the Guardian newspaper.

The British paper published what it said was a secret court order directing the Verizon company to hand over electronic data on all its customers on an "ongoing daily basis".

Civil liberties groups said the details of the report were "stunning".

The US government, security agencies and Verizon have not commented.

The US Center for Constitutional Rights said it appeared to be "the broadest surveillance order to ever have been issued".

Quote
Former Vice President Al Gore said in a tweet: "In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?"

Two Democrat senators have been pressing the Obama administration to be clear about the scope of its public surveillance.

Last year, Mark Udall and Ron Wyden wrote to US Attorney General Eric Holder saying they believed "most Americans would be stunned" by the government's "secret legal interpretations" of the Patriot Act.

The White House came under heavy criticism last month after papers were leaked showing it had gathered the phone records of journalists at the Associated Press.

Nixon was truly ahead of his time, he just thought too small.

If you do it to everyone it's normal and ergo "Fair". Why these people are not funding googleglass and the inevitable competitors is beyond me. I would have thought such a device to be like all their birthdays, Christmases and various similar holidays come at once for them.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 06, 2013, 02:28:35 pm
What's interesting about this, is that it is targeting Verizon's business customers - not personal phone usage.

I've heard suggestions it may be linked to suspected Iranian hacking....but no-one seems to know anything.  I certainly don't think they're cracking down on insider trading, money laundering and fraud in the banking system, for example  :lol:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 06, 2013, 02:46:00 pm
Iranian Hacking? That's an angle I hadn't considered. Seems to be going after it in a really bad way if that's the case.

Quote
I certainly don't think they're cracking down on insider trading, money laundering and fraud in the banking system, for example 

Well perhaps they are. If I was running an unpopular cartel, I'd consider sacrificing the runt of the group for some public good-will.

Bilderberger is meeting this week too. It'll be interesting to see if a financial institution hits the rocks before the end of the year.

Not that any of these things are possibly connected.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 06, 2013, 09:07:46 pm
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/06/18796204-critical-tool-top-lawmakers-defend-nsa-snooping-on-verizon-phone-records?lite

doo bee doo bee dooooooo....

Someone please explain to me this "change" thing?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 06, 2013, 11:29:38 pm
I asked some Obama supporters for their comments, Dok.  They said this is totally different to Bush, because Bush broke the law, whereas Obama used changed laws and statutes to undertake it.

I then asked them if ethics are determined by legality and I got banned.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 06, 2013, 11:45:34 pm
I asked some Obama supporters for their comments, Dok.  They said this is totally different to Bush, because Bush broke the law, whereas Obama used changed laws and statutes to undertake it.

I then asked them if ethics are determined by legality and I got banned.

Yes, I am no longer welcome in democratic circles, myself.  My father and I enjoy a particularly ferocious disagreement on this sort of thing.

He's not HAPPY about any of this shit, but he feels he has to hold up the side, if you catch my drift.

A good son would respect that and leave the subject alone.  A bad son would take advantage of him having his hands occupied by holding up the side.

Dok,
Picked his pockets while he stood there and watched.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 07, 2013, 12:00:00 am
I'm pretty sure this is the "change" we all believed in.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 07, 2013, 02:06:31 am
I asked some Obama supporters for their comments, Dok.  They said this is totally different to Bush, because Bush broke the law, whereas Obama used changed laws and statutes to undertake it.

I then asked them if ethics are determined by legality and I got banned.

 :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on June 07, 2013, 04:07:42 am
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/obama-administration-nsa-verizon-records

Quote
The scale of America's surveillance state was laid bare on Thursday as senior politicians revealed that the US counter-terrorism effort had swept up swaths of personal data from the phone calls of millions of citizens for years.

After the revelation by the Guardian of a sweeping secret court order that authorised the FBI to seize all call records from a subsidiary of Verizon, the Obama administration sought to defuse mounting anger over what critics described as the broadest surveillance ruling ever issued.

...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html

Quote
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track one target or trace a whole network of associates, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.

The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”

PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Bush’s secret program of warrantless domestic surveillance in 2007, after news media disclosures, lawsuits and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced the president to look for new authority.

Congress obliged with the Protect America Act in 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with U.S. intelligence collection. PRISM recruited its first partner, Microsoft, and began six years of rapidly growing data collection beneath the surface of a roiling national debate on surveillance and privacy. Late last year, when critics in Congress sought changes in the FISA Amendments Act, the only lawmakers who knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

...


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/

Quote
NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program
Published: June 6, 2013
Through a top-secret program authorized by federal judges working under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the U.S. intelligence community can gain access to the servers of nine Internet companies for a wide range of digital data. Documents describing the previously undisclosed program, obtained by The Washington Post, show the breadth of U.S. electronic surveillance capabilities in the wake of a widely publicized controversy over warrantless wiretapping of U.S. domestic telephone communications in 2005. These slides, annotated by The Washington Post, represent a selection from the overall document, and certain portions are redacted.

...

(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/images/prism-slide-2.jpg)
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/images/prism-slide-4.jpg)
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/images/prism-slide-5.jpg)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 07, 2013, 04:19:01 am
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/
http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/06/06/prism-by-the-numbers-a-guide-to-the-governments-secret-internet-data-mining-program/
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2040991/report-nsa-prism-program-spied-on-americans-emails-searches.html

Glenn Greenwald was the first one to release it, he was on Piers Morgan earlier saying he knows that he has the right and the obligation to report on what his government is doing and the justice department can pound sand. There is no amount of sugar or distraction that can get rid of this pit in my stomach.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 07, 2013, 04:20:06 am
Wow, fucked up!
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on June 07, 2013, 04:21:30 am
I just threw a bunch of link up in the Many Bloodsucking Insects thread..... We were probably posting at the same time, lol.

:: edit :: it's been merged, see above post ::
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 07, 2013, 04:30:47 am
Oh, oops, merge or delete this one?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 07, 2013, 04:33:30 am
Apple fought for five years, Twitter is still fighting. Skype didn't want to give in so MS bought them to bring it into the fold.

In secret courts. Because we don't even get to review the reasons the government thinks it's okay to violate rights anymore. Fucking fuckasspisschristshitfuck
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 07, 2013, 04:47:32 am
FUCKING HELL
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 07, 2013, 05:21:48 am
Hi, I've merged these topics into one, so we can better keep track of the discussion.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 07, 2013, 05:47:37 am
Yay smart mods!
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 07, 2013, 05:53:58 am
Hi, I've merged these topics into one, so we can better keep track of the discussion.
Thanks :)


...Entirely too-high signal-to-noise ratio to protect us all from terrorism.

...Considering that, besides donating to your group of choice fighting against this shit...

Signal to noise ratio.

...How could we, as concerned citizens amp the noise aspect of the raw data?
Since apparently we need minding For Our Own Good...
...I try that myself with marketing software BTW, I use a fake birthdate, age, and zipcode whenever I join a new site.


Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 07, 2013, 06:02:19 am
So, according to the White House, "It [the Verizon phone program] allows counter terrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States”.

But the collection order only allows metadata to be collected.  That means no listening in on the content of the calls, no subscriber names.  I mean, you can do a hell of a lot with that metadata, once run through other surveillance programs, which is exactly what is occuring here. 

Here is an example of what you can do with metadata (http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/dead_drop/nsa/what-we-know-about-the-nsa-metadata-program.php):

Quote
What can you learn with metadata but no content?

A lot. In fact, telephone metadata can be more useful than the words spoken on the phone call. Starting with just one target’s phone number, analysts construct a social network. They can see who the target talks to most often. They can discern if he’s trying to obscure who he knows in the way he makes a call; the target calls one number, say, hangs up, and then within second someone calls the target from a different number. With metadata, you can also determine someone’s location, both through physical landlines or, more often, by collecting cell phone tower data to locate and track him. Metadata is also useful for trying to track suspects that use multiple phones or disposable phones.

In regards to PRISM:

Quote
The presentation claims PRISM was introduced to overcome what the NSA regarded as shortcomings of Fisa warrants in tracking suspected foreign terrorists. It noted that the US has a "home-field advantage" due to housing much of the internet's architecture. But the presentation claimed "Fisa constraints restricted our home-field advantage" because Fisa required individual warrants and confirmations that both the sender and receiver of a communication were outside the US.

Actually, with FISA, all the government has to do is:

Quote
(A) a statement of facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the tangible things sought are relevant to an authorized investigation (other than a threat assessment) conducted in accordance with subsection (a)(2) to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, such things being presumptively relevant to an authorized investigation if the applicant shows in the statement of the facts that they pertain to—
(i) a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power;

(ii) the activities of a suspected agent of a foreign power who is the subject of such authorized investigation; or

(iii) an individual in contact with, or known to, a suspected agent of a foreign power who is the subject of such authorized investigation; and

(B) an enumeration of the minimization procedures adopted by the Attorney General under subsection (g) that are applicable to the retention and dissemination by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of any tangible things to be made available to the Federal Bureau of Investigation based on the order requested in such application.

OMG onerous restrictions!  "We need to tap these phones because, uh, Al-Qaeda and Iran and stuff."
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on June 07, 2013, 12:30:43 pm
Here in Turkey, they can jail reporters (OMGZ TERRORISTS), they can shoot protesters in the face with cans of tear gas, they can arrest people for posting on social media... but they still need a warrant to looks at your phone records.

 :lulz:

The world just gets more and more fucked up.

Ironically, I talked with an AKP supporter yesterday, he said basically the same thing Dok's dad said. He didn't approve of the situation in Turkey, but you gotta support your side or "those other guys" will take over.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 07, 2013, 01:38:56 pm
I asked some Obama supporters for their comments, Dok.  They said this is totally different to Bush, because Bush broke the law, whereas Obama used changed laws and statutes to undertake it.

I then asked them if ethics are determined by legality and I got banned.

Yes, I am no longer welcome in democratic circles, myself.  My father and I enjoy a particularly ferocious disagreement on this sort of thing.

He's not HAPPY about any of this shit, but he feels he has to hold up the side, if you catch my drift.

A good son would respect that and leave the subject alone.  A bad son would take advantage of him having his hands occupied by holding up the side.

Dok,
Picked his pockets while he stood there and watched.

Yeah, I know people like that.  I understand the impulse, I would not be keen to see the Republicans in power again either, but with this kinda shit going on, who can tell the difference anymore.

Greenwald has been advised by his legal friends, of which, as a former lawyer, he has many, that the administration may come after him now.  I don't know if they mean pulling a Julian Assange on him, or a lesser, but equally vile amount of intimidation and coercion on him and his sources.  Greenwald lives at least part of the time in Brazil, which might mean surveillance can occur against him and spurious accusations about foreign powers can be bandied around freely.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 07, 2013, 04:44:32 pm
If they take Greenwald I am storming the fucking Bastille.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 07, 2013, 04:51:58 pm
Greenwald's kinda a douche, IMO.  Prime example (http://exiledonline.com/glenn-greenwald-of-the-libertarian-cato-institute-posts-his-defense-of-joshua-foust-the-exiled-responds-to-greenwald/).

Which is not to say if the US government tries to go after him in any way it wont be a majorly dickish move that I will criticize endlessly.  Nor does it invalidate his reporting.  But I just wanted to put it out there.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 07, 2013, 04:57:31 pm
Some of my best friends are douches. Most of them, actually.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 07, 2013, 05:06:24 pm
Do some of your best friends also defend apologists for foreign dictators engaging in massacres because their critics attack their shitty sponsors?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 07, 2013, 05:11:29 pm
Do some of your best friends also defend apologists for foreign dictators engaging in massacres because their critics attack their shitty sponsors?

I couldn't follow your link to read the article, sorry. Some websites have decided our household is for assholes and won't load ever.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 07, 2013, 05:13:09 pm
Quote
It’s hard to believe that this is really Glenn Greenwald since he makes statements here that are easily debunked and patently false, whereas the real Glenn Greenwald has a reputation for operating on a more sophisticated and intelligent level. On the other hand, this comment did come from Brasil, and even Glenn has been known to have his down days, so we’re going to go on the assumption that this really is Glenn Greenwald and respond as follows:

1. Where is the “blatant misinformation” in this article? Please back up your wildly unfounded assertions. Are you saying that there is no evidence whatsoever that up to 70-plus were massacred in Kazakhstan? Or that Chevron is a partner with the state oil company whose subsidiary sparked the massacre? Please explain your accusation, specify exactly where in the article this “blatant misinformation” is.

2. We are aware of your little mini-spat with Joshua Foust, and we are aware that you would and should normally be on the opposite end of a defense-industry flak, warmonger and attack-troll like Foust. That is why we were deeply bothered—we would say “shocked” but we’re growing used to this, and have added Greenwald’s reaction to the growing ledger we’re keeping on Glenn Greenwald’s questionable ethical behavior. A principled Glenn Greenwald would not prioritize the petty hurt feelings of a defense-industry flak over defending the massacred victims in Kazakhstan and the role Chevron has in Kazakhstan’s state oil firm—instead, what we see here is this real-world, petty Glenn Greenwald placing his own hurt feelings above his supposed principles, forming common cause even with a warmonger and massacre-denier. That’s pathetic—Greenwald’s fans expect him to show a greater commitment to his principles than this.

3. Greenwald falsely claims that The Nation “had to retract” our piece about the TSA and John Tyner. In fact, the Nation did not retract that piece. The Nation did not retract the piece because all of the facts were correct. That is why the piece is still up. Will Glenn Greenwald now apologize for falsely claiming that The Nation retracted our article?

The Nation apologized to Tyner (but did not retract the piece), and the only reason why the Nation apologized was because it was forced to by a hysterical campaign led by Glenn Greenwald and his libertarian comrades. The Nation apologized without knowing that Greenwald was privately coaching Tyner at the time that Greenwald attacked Ames and Levine’s article in The Nation. We repeat: Greenwald was coaching Tyner, according to email threads leaked to The eXiled, and Greenwald did not disclose this. Why didn’t Glenn Greenwald disclose his relationship to John Tyner?

Moreover, Tyner has since admitted that he deceived the public and that he had in fact planned his “Don’t Touch My Junk” stunt–the Nation apology was based on believing Tyner hadn’t planned his “Don’t Touch My Junk” stunt. Did Glenn Greenwald know that Tyner was deceiving the public when he claimed he hadn’t planned his “Don’t Touch My Junk” stunt? If so, why didn’t Greenwald disclose this? Why didn’t Glenn Greenwald disclose his own deep libertarian ties, and ties to the Koch-founded Cato Institute, going back several years, when Greenwald attacked our article exposing the Koch-funded libertarians leading and fronting the anti-TSA media hysteria? Why hasn’t Glenn Greenwald apologized for not disclosing his conflict-of-interest? Also, John Tyner has come out in favor of privatizing the TSA, against unions, against gay marriage, against drug legalization and as a follower of racist libertarian Murray Rothbard, promoter of David Duke’s candidacy, contradicting the progressive Jimmy Stewart image that Greenwald painted in his article defending the Koch-linked libertarians behind the anti-TSA media hysteria.

4. Glenn Greenwald claiming he only wrote “2 freelance articles” for the Cato Institute is offensive it’s so utterly absurd. We know it. Glenn knows it. For one thing, one of those “free-lance articles” was nothing resembling a “freelance article”—it was a major policy whitepaper, a one-year massive report that included numerous speaking engagements on behalf of the Koch-founded Cato Institute. And let’s not forget, the Cato Institute was originally founded as The Charles Koch Foundation of Wichita. We merely copied the phrase “Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Institute” from the description used by numerous mainstream media outlets across the country over the past few years.

[...]

But even if Greenwald’s ties to the Cato Institute didn’t go deeper, the idea that taking money from the Koch brothers for a one-year drug-decriminalization project shouldn’t be disclosed each time Greenwald attacks progressives while defending the Kochs’/libertarians’ pet projects—as when Greenwald defended Citizens United, much to progressives’ confusion, or when Greenwald attacked our article in The Nation about the Koch-funded libertarians leading the anti-TSA union campaign—is plain wrong and ridiculous. Payoffs and influence-peddling usually come in more subtle forms than payments marked “BRIBE.” In Russia, bankers would pay off government ministers not by giving them money earmarked “Vzyatka” but rather by giving them a “book advance” on a completely unrelated, intellectual endeavor. But even in Russia, bribery schemes like that, which clearly tie the recipient of that money to the donor of that money, led to ministers being fired. So when the Koch brothers pay for Greenwald to spend a year on a policy whitepaper, even on something as “benign” as a drug policy whitepaper, we don’t see it as benign when Greenwald simultaneously protects libertarians, defends Citizens United, and attacks journalism critical of Koch-funded libertarians.

We find it disturbing that Greenwald never said a single critical word about his benefactors the Koch brothers until a Weekly Standard interview with Charles Koch in March 2011, which finally elicited a mildly critical column (by Greenwald’s standards) of his Koch benefactors.

We believe that when you take money from the Koch brothers and a notorious corporate-rightwing libertarian outfit like the Cato Institute, that you should disclose your conflict-of-interest when you attack the credibility of journalists who expose Koch-linked libertarians running the TSA media hype, as we did at The Nation, or when Greenwald defends the Citizens United decision against progressives, as Greenwald did in 2010, much to progressives’ confusion.

5. As to why we never referred to Glenn Greenwald as “Glenn Greenwald of the ACLU” the reason is simple: We (and many other progressives) find it far more disturbing that Greenwald would take money from the Koch brothers and not disclose this relationship when discrediting critics of Koch-backed libertarians, or when defending Citizens United as Glenn has done. And we find it disturbing that when principles are at stake–a defense industry flak covering for a Central Asian despot’s massacre– versus Glenn’s personal hurt feelings and his friendships to fellow libertarians, Glenn Greenwald sides with his fellow libertarians and his petty feelings over principles.

UPDATE! Holy shit folks, you can’t make this up…Glenn Greenwald–we swear this is true, we’ll post a screenshot shortly–anyway, Glenn Greenwald actually tweeted to his libertarian comrade Joshua Foust his righteous indignation at The Almighty Exiled Censor’s patented troll-trapping policy. Greenwald called our policy, and we quote, “the most basic violation of ethical Internet journalism imaginable”. That’s Greenwald of the Cato Institute to Joshua Foust of the American Security Project, agreeing that the most, very worst of all journalistic violations is not lying, not taking money under the table, but what the Almighty Exiled Censor does here on these pages, fully disclosed. You can’t make this up, folks. Oh, how the mighty have fallen… More coming…
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 07, 2013, 05:23:36 pm
Hello to all our bot friends at Amazon Technologies who are keeping an eye on this thread.

Does the NSA have a backdoor into your servers as well?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 08, 2013, 12:09:30 pm
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/06/nsaverizonobama-connecting-the-dots-or-not.html

Suggestions that the Verizon data collection may be a form of a stealth kickback - the government pays Verizon for its data, Verizon continues to fund Democratic politicians with deals like the one Obama got in 2012 - which put more than $450,000 in his campaign coffers.

I doubt it's the whole story, but it's a worthwhile reminder that there is a political economy and, while mostly underreported on, it does exercise subtle influence over such decisions.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 08, 2013, 12:16:56 pm
The UK's GCHQ also accesses PRISM, it seems

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jun/07/uk-gathering-secret-intelligence-nsa-prism

Quote
The UK’s electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence from the world’s biggest internet companies through a covertly run operation set up by America’s top spy agency, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

The documents show that GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, has had access to the system since at least June 2010, and generated 197 intelligence reports from it last year.

The US-run programme, called Prism, would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside the UK.

The use of Prism raises ethical and legal issues about such direct access to potentially millions of internet users, as well as questions about which British ministers knew of the programme.

In a statement to the Guardian, GCHQ, insisted it “takes its obligations under the law very seriously”.

And here is an excellent example of what you can do with metadata

http://www.zeit.de/datenschutz/malte-spitz-data-retention
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 09, 2013, 08:51:28 am
 Under the heading of "things just keep getting better and better"...I hadn't seen this older article...
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/

Quote
Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013.


Quote
According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target...

Quote
“The deep web contains government reports, databases, and other sources of information of high value to DOD and the intelligence community,” according to a 2010 Defense Science Board report. “Alternative tools are needed to find and index data in the deep web … Stealing the classified secrets of a potential adversary is where the [intelligence] community is most comfortable.” With its new Utah Data Center, the NSA will at last have the technical capability to store, and rummage through, all those stolen secrets. The question, of course, is how the agency defines who is, and who is not, “a potential adversary.”
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 09, 2013, 04:32:18 pm
The Guardian's final scoop for the internet this week is the Presidential directive on cyberwarfare

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/07/obama-cyber-directive-full-text

When read carefully, this seems to link PRISM and the Verizon actions into a wider context, that of using US corporations to oversee US cyber operations overseas and surveillance at home.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 09, 2013, 06:11:16 pm
HA HA
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22832263

Quote
"Law-abiding" citizens have "nothing to fear" from the British intelligence services, the foreign secretary says.

William Hague said reports that the UK's eavesdropping centre GCHQ had circumvented the law to gather data on British citizens were "nonsense".

But he refused to confirm or deny claims GCHQ has had access to a US spy programme called Prism since June 2010.

HA HA HA

Quote
"The net effect is that if you are a law-abiding citizen of this country going about your business and personal life, you have nothing to fear about the British state or intelligence agencies listening to the content of your phone calls or anything like that.

"Indeed you will never be aware of all the things that these agencies are doing to stop your identity being stolen or to stop a terrorist blowing you up tomorrow."

HA HA HA

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 09, 2013, 06:57:07 pm
According to that logic, people should never lock their doors or use PIN numbers on their bank accounts.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 09, 2013, 07:13:00 pm
This is a laugh:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/week-transcript-sen-dianne-feinstein-rep-mike-rogers/story?id=19343314&page=4#.UbSTg_bipr1

Quote
So here’s what happens with that program. The program is essentially walled off within the NSA. There are limited numbers of people who have access to it. The only thing taken, as has been correctly expressed, is not content of a conversation, but the information that is generally on your telephone bill, which has been held not to be private personal property by the Supreme Court.

If there is strong suspicion that a terrorist outside of the country is trying to reach someone on the inside of the country, those numbers then can be obtained. If you want to collect content on the American, then a court order is issued.

So, the program has been used. Two cases have been declassified. One of them is the case of David Headley, who went to Mumbai, to the Taj hotel, and scoped it out for the terrorist attack.

You mean DEA informant (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/16/AR2010101604458.html) David Headley, and the successful (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Mumbai_attacks) Mumbai terror attacks, which almost caused a war (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8401391/WikiLeaks-hoax-phone-call-brought-India-and-Pakistan-to-brink-of-war.html)?

Clearly this program is a great success.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 10, 2013, 12:25:20 am
You mean DEA informant (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/16/AR2010101604458.html) David Headley, and the successful (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Mumbai_attacks) Mumbai terror attacks, which almost caused a war (http://dawn.com/2008/12/04/top-clubs-to-compete-in-golf-tourneys/)?

Clearly this program is a great success.
last link goes to golf tourney news...While I find the idea of golf causing political unrest interesting, I think you mislinked.

Edit: sorry, hit to change on this post my mistake.  It is past midnight.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 10, 2013, 12:39:53 am
Fixed.  Sorry, it is past midnight.  Which also explains why I accidentally edited your post too, though I think I restored it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on June 10, 2013, 02:39:32 am
Quote from Mrs LMNO:

The fear of a  surveillance state is like the fear of death. Both are inevitable, and you're powerless to prevent either. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 10, 2013, 03:05:29 am
http://obamaischeckingyouremail.tumblr.com/
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 10, 2013, 03:37:14 am
http://obamaischeckingyouremail.tumblr.com/

 :lulz:

(https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/2373790464/hA1D67492/)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 10, 2013, 04:46:22 am
This just got interesting (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22836378):

Quote
A former CIA technical worker has been identified by the UK's Guardian newspaper as the source of leaks about US surveillance programmes.

Edward Snowden, 29, is described by the paper as an ex-CIA technical assistant, currently employed by defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

The Guardian said his identity was being revealed at his own request.

The recent revelations are that US agencies gathered millions of phone records and monitored internet data.

A spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the matter had now been referred to the Department of Justice as a criminal matter.

The Guardian quotes Mr Snowden as saying he flew to Hong Kong on 20 May, where he holed himself up in a hotel.

He told the paper: "I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded."

They're going to extraordinarily rendition this kid and happy slap him around every CIA "black-site" on the planet before bringing him back to the US for a show trial.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Don Coyote on June 10, 2013, 05:42:26 am
This just got interesting (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22836378):

Quote
A former CIA technical worker has been identified by the UK's Guardian newspaper as the source of leaks about US surveillance programmes.

Edward Snowden, 29, is described by the paper as an ex-CIA technical assistant, currently employed by defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

The Guardian said his identity was being revealed at his own request.

The recent revelations are that US agencies gathered millions of phone records and monitored internet data.

A spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the matter had now been referred to the Department of Justice as a criminal matter.

The Guardian quotes Mr Snowden as saying he flew to Hong Kong on 20 May, where he holed himself up in a hotel.

He told the paper: "I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded."

They're going to extraordinarily rendition this kid and happy slap him around every CIA "black-site" on the planet before bringing him back to the US for a show trial.

I've been chewing on this all day. On the one hand I applaud the man for doing this, but on the other hand, it was a really really bad idea.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 10, 2013, 05:48:40 am
Sometimes, you gotta take one for the team, even if you know it's going to end badly.  And he certainly has no illusions about that, it seems.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 10, 2013, 06:18:13 am
(http://24.media.tumblr.com/514f719a0944520cf2bfd70b837593be/tumblr_mo3lfzxkDz1sumx0go1_500.jpg)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 10, 2013, 07:06:25 am

They're going to extraordinarily rendition this kid and happy slap him around every CIA "black-site" on the planet before bringing him back to the US for a show trial.
:sad:
Because that IS the kind of world we live in.
A very fucked-up one.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 10, 2013, 08:11:00 am
Understatement of the year to date:

Quote
Asked what he thought would happen to him, he replied: "Nothing good."

If he's still alive by the end of the year, he will probably wish he wasn't.

His best-case seems to be some kind of Assange situation, and it's debatable how well that's working out for him. If that kid has any family he'd be smart to get them as much media time as possible ASAP.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on June 10, 2013, 08:43:04 am
"interrogation" then solitary for couple of years
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 10, 2013, 01:47:20 pm
Part China, Part related:
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/chinas-hacking-army-is-making-a-laughing-stock-of-america

Quote
This weekend, two of the world's most powerful men met at a summit in California. American President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, were in Rancho Mirage to smooth over the bumpy issues that have been causing some awkward tension between their respective countries, the most pressing of which being the almost constant allegations of cyber espionage. That, and making the most of multiple opportunities to smile for the cameras, incessantly shake hands and generally look relaxed about being in the same room together. 

But no matter how wide and chummy the smiles, the fact remains that the cyber-war between China and the US is still very much ongoing, with countless hacking accusations already being thrown around this year. The most recent report accused China of hacking into US networks and stealing blueprints of missile systems and military aircraft. And – as you might be aware of from that time US troops exploded their own multi-million-dollar stealth helicopter on the side of Bin Laden's compound – America aren't too keen on other countries getting a look at their sophisticated killing technology. (Although, coincidentally enough, it's been alleged that Pakistan allowed China to do just that before clearing away the wreckage.)

In the wake of last week's massive leak about the secret American surveillance programme PRISM (which secured direct access to the servers of Google, Facebook, Apple and other huge US online companies), the issue of cyber security and the protection of intellectual property became a domestic issue for many Americans. So the line, "The United States and China [can] work together to address issues like cyber security and the protection of intellectual property," in Obama's opening speech was a little uncomfortable, to say the least.

Given US/UK involvement, it seems plausible to me that China/Russia at the least will be operating similar systems if not accessing directly.

Quote
Just like those Corc sandals, there aren't really any downsides to stealing someone else's work. And, as Joseph pointed out to me, China definitely doesn’t care who it hacks, who it steals from and if it eventually ends up getting rumbled.

“China is seen as the biggest threat in cyberspace,” he told me. “I think it’s impossible to think they’re the only serious threat; there are a number of other countries doing things, but they seem to care more about their operational security – they don’t want to be identified as the source of a given breach, whereas some folks in China clearly do not care if we know it’s them.”

From that, I would guess that this implies that China has already got some sensitive information and is choosing when and whether to release it. It'd surprise me if China was totally unaware of projects like this. Looks like a mix of IP and privacy breaches.

The IP angle does make more sense thinking about the emphasis placed on the business usage. However, trying to protect IP and Patents from China makes about as much sense as invading Russia in Winter. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 10, 2013, 02:30:57 pm
This has more to do with cyberwarfare being the only domain in which China has an edge over the USA.

By making lots of scary noises about Chinese superiority, American justifies to its domestic audience the vast scale of spending on cybersecurity which, contrary to all claims, is offensive in nature, to erode Chinese unconventional superiority in this area.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 10, 2013, 03:12:38 pm
"Because China" is a lot better reasoning than the shitty statements given so far.

I'd guess that the above reason would probably do quite well with the US electorate if it was pitched in such a way to not indicate US deficiencies. I guess admitting any failure or weakness where China is concerned is a big political no-no.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 10, 2013, 03:14:58 pm
This just got interesting (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22836378):

Quote
A former CIA technical worker has been identified by the UK's Guardian newspaper as the source of leaks about US surveillance programmes.

Edward Snowden, 29, is described by the paper as an ex-CIA technical assistant, currently employed by defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

The Guardian said his identity was being revealed at his own request.

The recent revelations are that US agencies gathered millions of phone records and monitored internet data.

A spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the matter had now been referred to the Department of Justice as a criminal matter.

The Guardian quotes Mr Snowden as saying he flew to Hong Kong on 20 May, where he holed himself up in a hotel.

He told the paper: "I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded."

They're going to extraordinarily rendition this kid and happy slap him around every CIA "black-site" on the planet before bringing him back to the US for a show trial.

I've been chewing on this all day. On the one hand I applaud the man for doing this, but on the other hand, it was a really really bad idea.

Given the fact that nothing will happen because of what he did, yes.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 10, 2013, 03:18:07 pm
No.  The idea is to build up China as a scary evil HACKER STATE that is penetrating virgin American soil with impunity, and so the DHS and NSA and Pentagon need another trillion to defend the homeland, kthanxbai.

Whereas the truth is, in most cases the acts of espionage are low level (though still disturbing), and there is the problem of attribution, which most policymakers and intelligence people are not aware of, because oh god what is this i are not good with computer.  So, China and Iran and Russia are probably getting blamed for large-scale organized crime hacks.

China does have superiority in this sphere.  It's been looking at it since 1999 as part of its "Assassin's Mace" series of asymmetrical, unconventional warfare plans should war between the USA and China ever occur.  It's also the only sphere in which China has such an advantage.

And so that advantage must be destroyed.  While claiming, of course, such measures are for defensive purposes, even a cursory reading of the cyberwarfare directive from the White House shows that this an offensively minded program aimed at using the infrastructure of US basd companies to project power and control over the internet on a global level.  Full spectrum dominance, yo.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 10, 2013, 03:18:56 pm
I do get the reaction though. As soon as you leak anything, you have to assume you're getting black-bagged and going missing for a few years. At least by making his name and face public it becomes a little trickier to forget about you. That said, Bradley Manning's trial only started recently.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 10, 2013, 03:21:51 pm
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/10/18877589-nsa-leak-source-edward-snowden-faces-doj-investigation-and-diplomatic-game?lite

Quote from: DOUBLESPEAK OF THE YEAR AWARD
The disclosures led President Barack Obama to declare: “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls.” Late last week, the president defended the programs and said Americans must understand that there are “some tradeoffs” between privacy concerns and keeping Americans safe.

Jesus, this guy sounds like Dick Cheney.   :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 10, 2013, 03:26:04 pm
I'm sure there was a pretty famous quote about exchanging liberty for safety.


Not like any of you Americans would know it though.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Don Coyote on June 10, 2013, 04:14:27 pm
I'm sure there was a pretty famous quote about exchanging liberty for safety.


Not like any of you Americans would know it though.
Franklin was an extremist terrorist.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 10, 2013, 04:16:27 pm
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/10/18877589-nsa-leak-source-edward-snowden-faces-doj-investigation-and-diplomatic-game?lite

Quote from: DOUBLESPEAK OF THE YEAR AWARD
The disclosures led President Barack Obama to declare: “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls.” Late last week, the president defended the programs and said Americans must understand that there are “some tradeoffs” between privacy concerns and keeping Americans safe.

Jesus, this guy sounds like Dick Cheney.   :lulz:

I kinda wish it were, because if Cheney were saying it, some of the Democratic base might rouse themselves to actually argue against this shit.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 10, 2013, 04:16:45 pm
I'm sure there was a pretty famous quote about exchanging liberty for safety.


Not like any of you Americans would know it though.
Franklin was an extremist terrorist.

It was Lord Acton.

Benjamin Franklin was a shameless epigram whore, and he ripped off anyone that was too dead to complain.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 10, 2013, 04:18:02 pm
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/10/18877589-nsa-leak-source-edward-snowden-faces-doj-investigation-and-diplomatic-game?lite

Quote from: DOUBLESPEAK OF THE YEAR AWARD
The disclosures led President Barack Obama to declare: “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls.” Late last week, the president defended the programs and said Americans must understand that there are “some tradeoffs” between privacy concerns and keeping Americans safe.

Jesus, this guy sounds like Dick Cheney.   :lulz:

I kinda wish it were, because if Cheney were saying it, some of the Democratic base might rouse themselves to actually argue against this shit.

America plays politics like kids used to play musical chairs.  When the music stops every 4 years, you argue the chair you're in, and you don't question it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Don Coyote on June 10, 2013, 04:23:46 pm
I'm sure there was a pretty famous quote about exchanging liberty for safety.


Not like any of you Americans would know it though.
Franklin was an extremist terrorist.

It was Lord Acton.

Benjamin Franklin was a shameless epigram whore, and he ripped off anyone that was too dead to complain.
I probably should have known that.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 10, 2013, 04:24:01 pm
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/10/18877589-nsa-leak-source-edward-snowden-faces-doj-investigation-and-diplomatic-game?lite

Quote from: DOUBLESPEAK OF THE YEAR AWARD
The disclosures led President Barack Obama to declare: “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls.” Late last week, the president defended the programs and said Americans must understand that there are “some tradeoffs” between privacy concerns and keeping Americans safe.

Jesus, this guy sounds like Dick Cheney.   :lulz:

I kinda wish it were, because if Cheney were saying it, some of the Democratic base might rouse themselves to actually argue against this shit.

America plays politics like kids used to play musical chairs.  When the music stops every 4 years, you argue the chair you're in, and you don't question it.

(http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g213/vastleft/AE/American-Extremists-10-07-11.png)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 10, 2013, 04:33:19 pm
I vomited a rant about this on my hard drive, I think it's gonna end up getting posted elsewhere after some clean up. Suffice to say we all gotta die of something, and I'd rather get blown up by terrorists than live in a country that acts like this one.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 10, 2013, 05:00:17 pm
I vomited a rant about this on my hard drive, I think it's gonna end up getting posted elsewhere after some clean up. Suffice to say we all gotta die of something, and I'd rather get blown up by terrorists than live in a country that acts like this one.

We don't get to see it?   :sad:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 10, 2013, 05:12:05 pm
I vomited a rant about this on my hard drive, I think it's gonna end up getting posted elsewhere after some clean up. Suffice to say we all gotta die of something, and I'd rather get blown up by terrorists than live in a country that acts like this one.

We don't get to see it?   :sad:

I want to make sure the site that posts it gets it in Google first, after that I can crosspost.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on June 10, 2013, 05:36:04 pm
I vomited a rant about this on my hard drive, I think it's gonna end up getting posted elsewhere after some clean up. Suffice to say we all gotta die of something, and I'd rather get blown up by terrorists than live in a country that acts like this one.

The choice that seems to be getting made on my behalf seems to be between liberty and security. Well, here's the deal, I hate security. Like, totally and utterly loathe it.  I'd trade all the security in the world for a big mac and I'd throw the big mac away cos I hate big macs too. But I'm a minority. I was never properly domesticated. Seems to me most people want security above all else, hell I'm pretty sure they'd trade whole decades of the rest of their life for just one more lock on their front door.

Fucking pointless waste of biomatter the lot of them :argh!:

On the plus side, increased security tends to make half the shit I get up to more illegal and, therefore, more dangerous. Win!
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 11, 2013, 08:21:40 am
http://www.pcworld.com/article/260299/us_house_to_itu_hands_off_the_internet.html?tk=rel_news

Quote
The House resolution calls on U.S. government officials to tell the ITU and other international organizations that it is the “consistent and unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control.”

That is, other government control, of course.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 11, 2013, 08:39:07 am
http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/304573-sen-feinstein-snowdens-leaks-are-treason

Quote
“I don’t look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it’s an act of treason,” the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee told reporters.

The California lawmaker went on to say that Snowden had violated his oath to defend the Constitution.

“He violated the oath, he violated the law. It’s treason.”

Because, you see, America is in a state of war with the Guardian.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 11, 2013, 08:43:12 am
http://www.people-press.org/2013/06/10/majority-views-nsa-phone-tracking-as-acceptable-anti-terror-tactic/

Quote
A majority of Americans – 56% – say the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism, though a substantial minority – 41% – say it is unacceptable. And while the public is more evenly divided over the government’s monitoring of email and other online activities to prevent possible terrorism, these views are largely unchanged since 2002, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 11, 2013, 08:53:46 am
I'm sure that Poll was totally impartial. It's nice to see the the barrier for things being acceptable is still and percentage higher than 50.

25 seems to be the mark in the UK.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 11, 2013, 08:56:21 am
Pew do tend to be fairly rigorous when it comes to polling, actually.  Not entirely without error or fault, but mostly accurate.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on June 11, 2013, 09:01:28 am

Isn't there always a 5% margin of error anyhow? Just to be nitpicky about it being closer to 50%.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 11, 2013, 09:02:26 am
That probably came out rather sarcastically. The problem with all Polls for me, is that no matter how well you write the questions you still need to interact with the populace.

And you know what those people are like.

It was of note that stuff like this ("Is government taking away X freedom {good] [bad]") never goes with the majority on the negative side. The minority becomes smaller as it's normalised and a defeatist mindset kicks in. Then there's new outrages so the old infringement is forgotten  and allowed to prosper. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 11, 2013, 09:03:09 am
Sure.

But what that says is there is a large body of people who think this sort of thing is OK.  Regardless of the actual number, it's still a really large number.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 11, 2013, 09:10:50 am
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22850901

Quote
An ex-CIA employee who leaked details of US top-secret phone and internet surveillance has disappeared from his hotel in Hong Kong.

Well that was quicker than expected.

Edit - Rest of article practically worthless.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on June 11, 2013, 09:12:36 am
Sure.

But what that says is there is a large body of people who think this sort of thing is OK.  Regardless of the actual number, it's still a really large number.

Yup. Sooner that large body is a large rotting corpse, the better. Of course the govt agenda is to make sure the docile are all that's left. Fuck those clowns. Hopefully the terrorists will frighten them all to death.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 11, 2013, 09:15:29 am
Sure.

But what that says is there is a large body of people who think this sort of thing is OK.  Regardless of the actual number, it's still a really large number.

Yup. Sooner that large body is a large rotting corpse, the better. Of course the govt agenda is to make sure the docile are all that's left. Fuck those clowns. Hopefully the terrorists will frighten them all to death.

Oh, terrorism is only the justification here.  As Ian Welsh says:

Quote
If you want despotism, as elites, if you want to treat everyone badly, so you personally become more powerful and rich, then, you’ve got two problems: an internal one (revolt) and an external one: war and being outcompeted by other nations elites, who will come and take away your power, one way or the other (this isn’t always violently, though it can be.)

The solution is a transnational elite, in broad agreement on the issues, who do not believe in nationalism, and who play by the same rules and ideology. If you’re all the same, if nations are just flags, if you feel more kinship for your fellow oligarchs, well then, you’re safe.  There’s still competition, to be sure, but as a class, you’re secure.

That leaves the internal problem, of revolt.  The worse you treat people, the more you’re scared of them.  The more you clamp down.  This is really, really expensive and it breaks down over generations, causing internal rot, till you can’t get the system to do anything, no matter how many levers you push.

What is being run right now is a vast experiment to see if modern technology has fixed these problems with surveillance and oppressive states.  Is it cheap enough to go full Stasi, and with that level of surveillance can you keep control over the economy, keep the levers working, make people do what you want, and not all slack off and resist passively, by only going through the motions?

The oligarchs are betting that the technology has made that change.  With the end of serious war between primary nations (enforced by nukes, among other things), with the creation of a transnational ruling class, and with the ability to scale surveillance, it may be possible to take and keep control indefinitely, and bypass the well understood problems of oligarchy and police and surveillance states.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on June 11, 2013, 09:32:35 am
Yeah, I get you. It's more their attitude that bugs me than any effect it actually has on me. So they "clamp down" on some liberty or other and suddenly I'm breaking another bullshit law. So what? My "fellow man" I generally loathe. Placid, unthinking, resigned to their fate and, in fact, begging for the kings and queens to make it worse for them. I just want to watch the world burn. Unlike Heath Ledger I don't even have to do anything - it happens by itself. There's always plenty flames for me to dance in. I missed the fall of Rome by a few years but, with any luck, I'll have a ringside seat for the fall of geocapitalism which looks like it'll be almost as much fun.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on June 11, 2013, 09:48:31 am
Sure.

But what that says is there is a large body of people who think this sort of thing is OK.  Regardless of the actual number, it's still a really large number.

Yup. Sooner that large body is a large rotting corpse, the better. Of course the govt agenda is to make sure the docile are all that's left. Fuck those clowns. Hopefully the terrorists will frighten them all to death.

Oh, terrorism is only the justification here.  As Ian Welsh says:

Quote
If you want despotism, as elites, if you want to treat everyone badly, so you personally become more powerful and rich, then, you’ve got two problems: an internal one (revolt) and an external one: war and being outcompeted by other nations elites, who will come and take away your power, one way or the other (this isn’t always violently, though it can be.)

The solution is a transnational elite, in broad agreement on the issues, who do not believe in nationalism, and who play by the same rules and ideology. If you’re all the same, if nations are just flags, if you feel more kinship for your fellow oligarchs, well then, you’re safe.  There’s still competition, to be sure, but as a class, you’re secure.

That leaves the internal problem, of revolt.  The worse you treat people, the more you’re scared of them.  The more you clamp down.  This is really, really expensive and it breaks down over generations, causing internal rot, till you can’t get the system to do anything, no matter how many levers you push.

What is being run right now is a vast experiment to see if modern technology has fixed these problems with surveillance and oppressive states.  Is it cheap enough to go full Stasi, and with that level of surveillance can you keep control over the economy, keep the levers working, make people do what you want, and not all slack off and resist passively, by only going through the motions?

The oligarchs are betting that the technology has made that change.  With the end of serious war between primary nations (enforced by nukes, among other things), with the creation of a transnational ruling class, and with the ability to scale surveillance, it may be possible to take and keep control indefinitely, and bypass the well understood problems of oligarchy and police and surveillance states.

What book is that?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 11, 2013, 10:11:38 am
Not a book, though he will be publishing one shortly.

Ian Welsh (http://www.ianwelsh.net/).
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on June 11, 2013, 10:55:04 am

pretty good writing there, nice to know individuals can get worked up like that over the invisibly obvious with a tone that isnt cynism nor matter-of-fact
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on June 11, 2013, 12:56:32 pm
The failures on the parts of the NSA to properly manage this project and keep it's security and secrecy intact have led our administration to restructure development.

With that in mind, going forward we are pleased to announce that the PRISM project has been reassigned to the remit of the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Bureau who are now entrusted with its use in the role of national security.

The project will be rebranded to PRIAPRISM later this month to better reflect the new direction in brand.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on June 11, 2013, 12:58:57 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22850901

Quote
An ex-CIA employee who leaked details of US top-secret phone and internet surveillance has disappeared from his hotel in Hong Kong.

Well that was quicker than expected.

Edit - Rest of article practically worthless.

FUCK. I hope he has gone to ground and hasn't been picked up.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 11, 2013, 01:30:31 pm
Quote
The project will be rebranded to PRIAPRISM later this month to better reflect the new direction in brand.

 :mittens:

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 11, 2013, 01:47:29 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22850901

Quote
An ex-CIA employee who leaked details of US top-secret phone and internet surveillance has disappeared from his hotel in Hong Kong.

Well that was quicker than expected.

Edit - Rest of article practically worthless.

FUCK. I hope he has gone to ground and hasn't been picked up.

They talked with Glenn Greenwald on the air a while after he'd checked out and he made it pretty clear that Snowden went to ground.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 11, 2013, 02:00:46 pm
I guess with him going to ground, it'll be trickier figuring out when he actually gets picked up.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next time you see this guy is in a US court of some description.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 11, 2013, 02:09:50 pm
I hope he gets a good plastic surgeon and vanishes forever.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 11, 2013, 02:12:26 pm
If no-one knows what he looks like, then he just becomes another anonymous corpse.

Publicity while remaining in hard to reach jurisdictions is his best bet.  And there is a sizeable list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition_law_in_the_United_States#Countries_with_diplomatic_relations_but_no_extradition_treaty) of those.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 11, 2013, 02:20:13 pm
Thinking a bit about this, vanishing does not strike me as the smartest of moves. If I pulled something like this I'd make sure I was as public as possible at all times. I'd make my schedule and plans widely known. Any kind of secrecy in this area would surely just help those who you're whistle blowing on.

Out of that list, how many do you think would successfully resist US demands in this situation? I would guess the ones that would already have sufficient US intelligence operatives working within the country so black-bagging seems to be likely yet again. 

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 11, 2013, 02:21:56 pm
Or I'd ask North Korea for help.

It's not like it'd make things worse.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 11, 2013, 02:24:35 pm
Russia, China, Eritrea, Lebanon, Sudan.

That's about it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 11, 2013, 02:30:31 pm
That list is less than appealing.

Russia/China mitigate black bag risk in exchange for a couple of friendly chats about everything you know. Or might know.

Eritrea, Lebanon and Sudan I would guess could have US troops crawling all over them at short notice because terrorism.

"Fucked" is the term I believe.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 11, 2013, 10:30:22 pm
http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/11/18887491-fbi-sharply-increases-use-of-patriot-act-provision-to-collect-us-citizens-records?lite
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 11, 2013, 11:04:54 pm
The failures on the parts of the NSA to properly manage this project and keep it's security and secrecy intact have led our administration to restructure development.

With that in mind, going forward we are pleased to announce that the PRISM project has been reassigned to the remit of the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Bureau who are now entrusted with its use in the role of national security.

The project will be rebranded to PRIAPRISM later this month to better reflect the new direction in brand.

 :thumb:

The petition on whitehouse.gov to pardon Snowden has already hit 54k signatures in roughly 2 days...
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-edward-snowden/Dp03vGYD
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 12, 2013, 10:56:19 am
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/06/fisa-court-nsa-spying-opinion-reject-request

Quote
After last week's revelations extensive National Security Agency surveillance of phone and internet communications, President Barack Obama made it a point to assure Americans that, not to worry, there is plenty of oversight of his administration's snooping programs. "We've got congressional oversight and judicial oversight," he said Friday, referring in part to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which was created in 1979 to oversee Department of Justice requests for surveillance warrants against foreign agents suspected of espionage or terrorism in the United States. But the FISC has declined just 11 of the more than 33,900 surveillance requests made by the government in 33 years, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. That's a rate of .03 percent, which raises questions about just how much judicial oversight is actually being provided. 

That's pretty much the exact level of oversight I expected. Pretty sure these requests are nigh on impossible to ignore because of reasons I can't tell you about.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 12, 2013, 11:42:02 am
As I pointed out earlier in the thread, the FISA guidelines are, essentially "we think this guy is involved with Al-Qaeda, or Iran, or China or something.  I dunno.  Just sign the damn warrant."
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on June 12, 2013, 12:11:05 pm
Terrorism is the new Communism. It's essentially a meaningless "magic word" that circumvents legitimate reason for action completely. It's a skeleton key that unlocks any door, regardless of why that door was locked in the first place.

America: Burning witches since 1692
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 12, 2013, 12:14:10 pm
I've got a feeling that they're even sketchier than that. More:

"we think this guy is involved with something. Sign the damn warrant."

Various tech companies now starting up their PR machines in earnest. Several less than convincing statements already.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 12, 2013, 02:55:29 pm
Terrorism is the new Communism. It's essentially a meaningless "magic word" that circumvents legitimate reason for action completely. It's a skeleton key that unlocks any door, regardless of why that door was locked in the first place.

America: Burning witches since 1692

Hey! We're civilized! We just hang witches here. Or crush them with stones.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 12, 2013, 04:20:21 pm
Terrorism is the new Communism. It's essentially a meaningless "magic word" that circumvents legitimate reason for action completely. It's a skeleton key that unlocks any door, regardless of why that door was locked in the first place.

America: Burning witches since 1692

Yep.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: McGrupp on June 13, 2013, 02:51:22 pm
An interesting side effect.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/06/11/190615813/book-news-sales-of-orwell-s-1984-leap-after-nsa-revelations

Although there is the irony that amazon has the sales statistics and addresses of the folks who bought the book.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on June 14, 2013, 04:28:41 am
Terrorism is the new Communism. It's essentially a meaningless "magic word" that circumvents legitimate reason for action completely. It's a skeleton key that unlocks any door, regardless of why that door was locked in the first place.

America: Burning witches since 1692

Yep.

Even better, they've found a term free from being tied to any one ideology.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on June 14, 2013, 11:05:00 am
An interesting side effect.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/06/11/190615813/book-news-sales-of-orwell-s-1984-leap-after-nsa-revelations

Although there is the irony that amazon has the sales statistics and addresses of the folks who bought the book.

Oh the irony hurts!!!
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Sita on June 14, 2013, 03:00:40 pm
What's sad is that you used to be able to read 1984 online for free, but since it's gotten so popular again they took it down :(
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on June 14, 2013, 04:13:08 pm
So Snowden is banned from the Uk.

At first I was was thinking that the UK and the NSA probably have very close ties and the significance of him doing this goes against the subservience culture of the UK.

But everyone knows the UK is a surveillance state, in fact if they really wanted to brown nose the NSA they wouldn't have said anything and kept the lookout to catch Snowden.

I guess they are afraid they would either have an other Julian Assange on their hands and explicitly went out of their way to avoid it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pergamos on June 14, 2013, 06:43:59 pm
What's sad is that you used to be able to read 1984 online for free, but since it's gotten so popular again they took it down :(

You can still read it online for free.  All his stuff is online for free

http://www.george-orwell.org/
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Sita on June 14, 2013, 06:54:38 pm
What's sad is that you used to be able to read 1984 online for free, but since it's gotten so popular again they took it down :(

You can still read it online for free.  All his stuff is online for free

http://www.george-orwell.org/
Now I've had that bookmarked and been trying to get to it for the past couple weeks and it wasn't working.
Of course as soon as I mention something it decides to prove me wrong  :p
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 14, 2013, 11:52:09 pm
My best friend suggested that we USA people  ALL make FOIA requests to see their own file...and get everyone we can to do the same.

...Might be of annoyance value.  Worth doing for that I suppose.
Meanwhile...
http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/13/florida-robbery-suspect-wants-nsa-phone-records-to-exonerate-him/

Quote
But Brown’s phone records from before September 2010 are nowhere to be found, according to the prosecution. Brown was a Metro PCS customer, which does not keep records that far back.

Undaunted, Brown’s attorney, Marshall Louis Dore, filed court documents arguing that in the wake of the NSA phone-tapping scandal, it is very possible that the government has  held onto the proof that he feels will exonerate his client.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 15, 2013, 12:53:56 am
My best friend suggested that we USA people  ALL make FOIA requests to see their own file...and get everyone we can to do the same.

...Might be of annoyance value.  Worth doing for that I suppose.
Meanwhile...
http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/13/florida-robbery-suspect-wants-nsa-phone-records-to-exonerate-him/

Quote
But Brown’s phone records from before September 2010 are nowhere to be found, according to the prosecution. Brown was a Metro PCS customer, which does not keep records that far back.

Undaunted, Brown’s attorney, Marshall Louis Dore, filed court documents arguing that in the wake of the NSA phone-tapping scandal, it is very possible that the government has  held onto the proof that he feels will exonerate his client.

Wow, it occurs to me that people will start requesting their home phone records to try to bust a cheating spouse and other totally trivial reasons... it would be pretty awesome if Red Tape Guy ends up defeating the NSA.   :lol:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 15, 2013, 01:06:52 am
My best friend suggested that we USA people  ALL make FOIA requests to see their own file...and get everyone we can to do the same.

...Might be of annoyance value.  Worth doing for that I suppose.
Meanwhile...
http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/13/florida-robbery-suspect-wants-nsa-phone-records-to-exonerate-him/

Quote
But Brown’s phone records from before September 2010 are nowhere to be found, according to the prosecution. Brown was a Metro PCS customer, which does not keep records that far back.

Undaunted, Brown’s attorney, Marshall Louis Dore, filed court documents arguing that in the wake of the NSA phone-tapping scandal, it is very possible that the government has  held onto the proof that he feels will exonerate his client.

Wow, it occurs to me that people will start requesting their home phone records to try to bust a cheating spouse and other totally trivial reasons... it would be pretty awesome if Red Tape Guy ends up defeating the NSA.   :lol:

Exactly whyfor the FOIA requests.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 16, 2013, 03:24:38 pm
Lots of people have written a lot of stupid shit about Snowden.  Quite rightly, the Brooks piece where he talks about Snowden in the terms of a jilted ex because of how strongly Brooks identifies himself with America, was a classic, but I think a piece by Jezebel, where they call out Snowden because of the stress he is putting his girlfriend through, might take the cake.

Oh, you're facing treason charges and have fled to Hong Kong?  Why don't you think about how this is effecting me?  God, you're so selfish.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 16, 2013, 03:27:32 pm
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57589495-38/nsa-admits-listening-to-u.s-phone-calls-without-warrants/

Quote
The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.
 
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."

If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA's formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.

Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler's disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.

NO BUT ITS TOTALLY A RIGOROUS LEGAL REQUIREMENT NEEDED TO EAVESDROP ON DOMESTIC PHONE CALLS THO.

 :lol:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 16, 2013, 05:31:22 pm
Funny, fifteen years ago or so I started talking about "police state" and for some reason everyone thought I was being silly. That would never happen here!  :lol:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 17, 2013, 11:44:48 am
The more intelligent conspiratards* are now suggesting that a lot of this stuff is already widely known (suspected =/= known but I get what they are saying) and that this is nothing more than a push by the corporatist fascist state media to bury something even more heinous.

Not so sure about that line of reasoning.  Though I'll concede that Obama's prediliction for total surveillance was clear in the retroactive telecom immunity vote back in 2008.

People with some experience in this area, like Julian Sanchez (http://www.juliansanchez.com/2013/06/15/nadler-and-mueller-on-analysts-getting-call-and-e-mail-content/), have added information to the CNET story.

Quote
What seems more likely is that Nadler is saying analysts sifting through metadata have the discretion to determine (on the basis of what they’re seeing in the metadata) that a particular phone number or e-mail account satisfies the conditions of one of the broad authorizations for electronic surveillance under §702 of the FISA Amendments Act.

[...]

The analyst must believe that one end of the communication is outside the United States, and flag that account or phone line for collection. Note that even if the real target is the domestic phone number, an analyst working from the metadatabase wouldn’t have a name, just a number.  That means there’s no “particular, known US person,” which ensures that the §702 ban on “reverse targeting” is, pretty much by definition, not violated.

None of that would be too surprising in principle: That’s the whole point of §702!

Of course, "must believe" is a pretty flimsy basis for authorizing surveillance.  But that's the point.  And while the metadata access and use is auditable (http://www.washingtonpost.com/r/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2013/06/16/National-Politics/Graphics/Backgrounder.pdf), it's not clear which agency, if any, is undertaking checks on the use of said metadata.

*And Naomi Wolf. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 17, 2013, 11:47:25 am
On the plus side, this is making overseas businesses very uncomfortable with using US based cloud-servers.  They've finally realised that their industrial secrets may not actually be safe on such servers.  Of course, they never were, but it's nice that they've finally caught up.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 17, 2013, 11:59:57 am
More UK Prism information

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jun/11/uk-intelligence-requests-microsoft-data

Quote
UK intelligence agencies made thousands of requests for information on private communications via Microsoft products last year, with demands for Skype call information outnumbering those made by US agencies.

In 2012, the UK made 1,268 requests to Skype for information such as the names of callers, their address, email account details and telephone numbers dialled. This was a quarter of all requests received by the Microsoft-owned internet call service from governments around the world. The requests could have come from British police and intelligence agencies, such as GCHQ.

The US made 1,154 requests, while German and French intelligence agencies were among the top five heaviest users of backdoor access to Skype data, along with Taiwan. Germany made 686 requests and France made 402.

Microsoft received more than 75,000 snooping orders in 2012, affecting 137,000 user accounts, according to its first law enforcement requests report, the publication of which in March was not widely reported.

The UK was among the top three most active nations in requesting data from Microsoft, from products including Hotmail and Outlook email services, SkyDrive and Office 365 – which store files such as documents, videos and photos on Microsoft's servers and allow users to fetch files stored on their own computers from remote locations – and the Xbox Live service, which gamers often use to chat online.

What is especially amusing about this is that the UK has been moving away from fact-based policy (http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21579016-coalition-government-showing-worrying-disregard-data-stats-spats-and-spads) for quite a while now.  They want teh dataz, but they won't actually pay attention to what it says, instead, preferring to rely on good old fashioned intuition and shit they made up to get them what they need.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 17, 2013, 04:16:43 pm
Snowden's answering questions over here: hxxp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 17, 2013, 04:29:41 pm
On that now.

Some of the questions have been pretty lame, I have to say.

Though this is good to know: "Additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake justifications." 

So, like I said above.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 17, 2013, 05:16:56 pm
Quote
Encryption works. Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on. Unfortunately, endpoint security is so terrifically weak that NSA can frequently find ways around it.

Quote
Yes, I stand by it. US Persons do enjoy limited policy protections (and again, it's important to understand that policy protection is no protection - policy is a one-way ratchet that only loosens) and one very weak technical protection - a near-the-front-end filter at our ingestion points. The filter is constantly out of date, is set at what is euphemistically referred to as the "widest allowable aperture," and can be stripped out at any time. Even with the filter, US comms get ingested, and even more so as soon as they leave the border. Your protected communications shouldn't stop being protected communications just because of the IP they're tagged with.

More fundamentally, the "US Persons" protection in general is a distraction from the power and danger of this system. Suspicionless surveillance does not become okay simply because it's only victimizing 95% of the world instead of 100%. Our founders did not write that "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all US Persons are created equal."

Quote
2) NSA likes to use "domestic" as a weasel word here for a number of reasons. The reality is that due to the FISA Amendments Act and its section 702 authorities, Americans’ communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant. They excuse this as "incidental" collection, but at the end of the day, someone at NSA still has the content of your communications. Even in the event of "warranted" intercept, it's important to understand the intelligence community doesn't always deal with what you would consider a "real" warrant like a Police department would have to, the "warrant" is more of a templated form they fill out and send to a reliable judge with a rubber stamp.

Quote
Their denials went through several revisions as it become more and more clear they were misleading and included identical, specific language across companies. As a result of these disclosures and the clout of these companies, we're finally beginning to see more transparency and better details about these programs for the first time since their inception.

They are legally compelled to comply and maintain their silence in regard to specifics of the program, but that does not comply them from ethical obligation. If for example Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple refused to provide this cooperation with the Intelligence Community, what do you think the government would do? Shut them down?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 18, 2013, 09:17:31 am
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/06/16/snowden-whistleblower-nsa-officials-roundtable/2428809/

Quote
the way it's set up now, it's a joke. I mean, it can't work the way it is because they have no real way of seeing into what these agencies are doing. They are totally dependent on the agencies briefing them on programs, telling them what they are doing. And as long as the agencies tell them, they will know. If they don't tell them, they don't know. And that's what's been going on here...

Even take the FISA court, for example. The judges signed that order. I mean, I am sure they (the FBI) swore on an affidavit to the judge, "These are the reasons why," but the judge has no foundation to challenge anything that they present to him. What information does the judge have to make a decision against them? I mean, he has absolutely nothing. So that's really not an oversight.....

Could just be me, but it's starting to feel a bit 1970s like around here.  War-weary population, loss of faith in politicians, bullshit intelligence games...all very familiar, culturally speaking.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 18, 2013, 09:22:28 am
Quote
They are legally compelled to comply and maintain their silence in regard to specifics of the program, but that does not comply them from ethical obligation. If for example Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple refused to provide this cooperation with the Intelligence Community, what do you think the government would do? Shut them down?

Hey Cain, this seems worth exploring. Would it be reasonable to assume that co-operation is financially wise? I would guess that's the first resort a government looking to ensure co-operation and control?

This seems to be implying something more sinister though? Possibly just reading too much into it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 18, 2013, 09:53:16 am
I think he's saying the government can't do anything to enforce compliance, if said companies grew a backbone.

If Google were shut down tomorrow, for example, what would happen?  People would lose their shit.  If Google prioritised their ethics over their access to Obama's White House, and acted accordingly, they would be untouchable.

IOW, this isn't purely a legal "oh, we have to do it cuz the Senate said so" affair.  They could refuse.  They choose not to.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 18, 2013, 10:05:38 am
Ah, I read it the other way. To me, it seemed to be implying that they can't refuse due to reasons unstated. (Tax/legistlative/straight-up blackmail would be the obvious)

Just seems a bit off, I would have guessed that if random contractor ended up with this, then there would have been a self righteous hipster in facebook/apple by now who would have leaked anything they had. I suppose the total silence from the corporations isn't unexpected, I just think we'll need to see someone break ranks to take this up a notch.

Like you say with google there's a bit of "Fuck me? FUCK YOU!" in the mix. It's probably quite embarrassing how many government departments are running with Gmail as their only email system. 


There's a snide joke about Petraeus here, but I can't think of a classy way to do it. Fuck Petraeus.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 18, 2013, 02:18:37 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22952011

NOT HELPING DAD:

Quote
he father of Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA worker who leaked top secret information on US surveillance programmes, has issued a public plea urging his son to not commit "treason".

"I hope, I pray and ask that you will not release any secrets that could constitute treason," Lon Snowden said in an interview with Fox News.

He also asked his son, currently in hiding in Hong Kong, to "face justice".

With friends like these....

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on June 18, 2013, 03:49:12 pm
surely it's the the system that he has exposed that is treasonous. The entirety of the prism system is detrimental to the United states security, business confidence, and is open to abuse against the people. All he has done is highlight treason in the highest ranks of the administration.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on June 18, 2013, 03:51:32 pm
Shush. It's only the little people who can treason, silly!
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 19, 2013, 02:00:49 pm
http://consortiumnews.com/2013/06/17/uk-grapples-with-spying-disclosure/

Quote
Arriving in Northern Ireland today, British Prime Minister David Cameron refused to answer media questions about UK/US eavesdropping on his VIP colleagues. Meanwhile, “independent” UK media seem to be under some constraint – witness the bizarre behavior recently encountered by some of my British colleagues in Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII).

Not surprisingly, two of them – Katharine Gun (formerly of GSHQ) and Craig Murray (former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan) – were eagerly sought for interviews to provide expertise and insight regarding the revelations about spying on visiting VIPs and other disclosures of joint GCHQ/NSA snooping emanating from documents leaked by American Edward Snowden.

Both Gun and Murray have a history of speaking truth to power. Gun disclosed NSA spying on (or attempted blackmailing of) UN Security Council members whose votes were sought to give some legal cover to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and Murray exposed human rights crimes in Uzbekistan. (For their risky truth-telling, both were recipients of SAAII awards.)

Despite the timeliness of getting their comments on the Guardian reports, the British media was having trouble trying to “manage” – as the British like to say – their efforts to flesh out the story. Here’s the text of Katharine Gun’s e-mail to SAAII members. (This is provided, in part, as a courtesy to GCHQ and NSA which, busy as they are today, probably have not yet had time to do anything more than collect and store the metadata.)

Katharine Gun wrote: “Anyone read the latest headlines in The Guardian today? Kind of strange, although don’t know if this sort of thing is perfectly normal. I got a call from Sky News, they wanted to interview me today regarding the latest releases, they said they would send a TV truck, then a call back to say the truck had technical problems.

“Next they propose to use the local TV studio, but needed to make sure there was a cameraman available; just got call back to say, ‘no cameraman, so have to call it off.’ Left it vaguely that they would be in touch perhaps at a later date.”

Ambassador Murray commented: “I had precisely the same experience and precisely the same excuse, last week with the BBC. They don’t have difficulty finding satellite trucks to film Prince William’s wife attending a gardening class.”

You won't be surprised to learn that the Cabinet has issued a D-Notice to the British press (http://order-order.com/2013/06/08/d-notice-june-7-2013/) in regards to the PRISM revelations.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 19, 2013, 05:39:17 pm
I do not understand why the British put up with that kind of nonsense against the press.

That said, I don't know why Americans put up with the bullshit press here, either, so maybe it's a personal problem...
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 19, 2013, 05:42:44 pm
In practice, a D-notice has no legal authority.  It doesn't automatically shut down the press on the given topic - which is why the Guardian, for example, continues to publish articles related to PRISM.

However, in practice, the press barons of this country form part of the ruling class, and so have a broad agreement with the government on a wide range of topics.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 19, 2013, 05:47:52 pm
Ah, so you also have the spineless press core problem. That's at least familiar.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 19, 2013, 07:42:42 pm
Ah, so you also have the spineless press core problem. That's at least familiar.

It's not so much spineless as complicit.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 19, 2013, 08:12:46 pm
Ah, so you also have the spineless press core problem. That's at least familiar.

It's not so much spineless as complicit.

Is that the thing? Here the bosses are complicit and the minions are too spineless to take the industry back.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 19, 2013, 08:20:15 pm
I see various levels as complicit. Most, if not all really.

Press barons have very well known political affiliations and goals, and their mates in government, even up to the PM is no big secret.

Journo's of various standing get preferential access to various levels of Police and government depending on who they know, which government is in power and what policies are being pushed.

Low level journo's and paps frequently deal with "normal" police and bribe money flows around all of them.


I've got a theory that the one of the reasons this government is getting so much shit from the press all the time is that they were not able to secure enough preferential media access as part of the coalition split. That's resulted in every paper hating them when you would normally have at least a couple on your side by tradition. Anti-tory stories like the recent ones would be veto'd in the Daily Mail 10 years ago, at least for 24 hours.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 21, 2013, 07:27:16 pm
http://blogs.fas.org/secrecy/2013/06/ssci-candid/

Quote
Much of the continuing controversy over intelligence surveillance policy revolves around whether the sweeping collection of U.S. telephone data by intelligence agencies violates constitutional norms.  But it is also an occasion to assess the quality of intelligence oversight, and to review the performance of oversight mechanisms in representing the public and defending its interests.

So it was disappointing to read that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has blocked its former general counsel, Vicki Divoll, from speaking to Talking Points Memo (TPM) on the record about how the Committee functions.

“TPM was reporting a story based on interviews with members of Congress and current and former aides about the successes and pitfalls of intelligence oversight on Capitol Hill,” wrote Brian Beutler of TPM DC.

“The goal was to answer some basic questions for readers: How does a classified process differ from public oversight? What challenges do the combination of government secrecy, classified briefings, and strict committee protocols present to legislators trying to control the nation’s sprawling intelligence apparatus?”

A Committee spokesman told TPM that this kind of information was “committee sensitive” and that therefore Ms. Divoll’s remarks on the subject should not be made public.

"STFU about PRISM.  Your privacy is safe, we have oversight of the processes in place."
\
 :mccain:

"Secret processes for secret oversight that you can't know about.  Because it's a secret."
\
:mccain:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on June 21, 2013, 08:41:32 pm
Such a perfect emote. Appreciate you passing that one along.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 22, 2013, 12:11:58 am
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/21/19079389-us-charges-nsa-leaker-snowden-with-espionage?lite
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 22, 2013, 12:18:13 am
How unexpected.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 22, 2013, 12:19:12 am
I'm almost serious. I would have thought this to be kept secret.

Quote
The officials did not describe the charges in detail because they've been filed under seal in federal court in Alexandria, Va. The documents are not publicly available.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 22, 2013, 12:20:13 am
http://au.businessinsider.com/nsa-prism-keywords-for-domestic-spying-2013-6

Quote
This is an (admittedly huge) list of words that supposedly cause the NSA to flag you as a potential terrorist if you over-use them in an email.

We found this on Reddit, where James Bamford, a veteran reporter with 30 years experience covering the NSA, is answering questions from the community. This list comes from Reddit user GloriousDawn, who found it on Attrition.org, a site that very closely follows the security industry.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 22, 2013, 12:23:00 am
Quote
President Barack Obama defended the programs in an interview with Charlie Rose of PBS on Monday. He stressed that it was important to him to set up checks on the system

Checklist:

Have we got access to everyone yet?
Can we establish detailed social links and history?
Can we know a little bit more?
Can we stop China from stealing it all the fucking time?
Do we need a new acronym now people know this one?

And so on.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 22, 2013, 12:32:33 am
http://au.businessinsider.com/nsa-prism-keywords-for-domestic-spying-2013-6

Quote
This is an (admittedly huge) list of words that supposedly cause the NSA to flag you as a potential terrorist if you over-use them in an email.

We found this on Reddit, where James Bamford, a veteran reporter with 30 years experience covering the NSA, is answering questions from the community. This list comes from Reddit user GloriousDawn, who found it on Attrition.org, a site that very closely follows the security industry.

Favourites-

chameleon man
Sardine
froglegs
Nerd
Speakeasy
Zen
redheads
Pornstars
Retinal Fetish
Tie-fighter
ninja
Sex
Bubba


Yeah. If PRISM can handle all the emails floating around with just that alone as triggers, EVERYTHING is getting captured.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Don Coyote on June 22, 2013, 12:56:45 am
http://au.businessinsider.com/nsa-prism-keywords-for-domestic-spying-2013-6

Quote
This is an (admittedly huge) list of words that supposedly cause the NSA to flag you as a potential terrorist if you over-use them in an email.

We found this on Reddit, where James Bamford, a veteran reporter with 30 years experience covering the NSA, is answering questions from the community. This list comes from Reddit user GloriousDawn, who found it on Attrition.org, a site that very closely follows the security industry.

Favourites-

chameleon man
Sardine
froglegs
Nerd
Speakeasy
Zen
redheads
Pornstars
Retinal Fetish
Tie-fighter
ninja
Sex
Bubba


Yeah. If PRISM can handle all the emails floating around with just that alone as triggers, EVERYTHING is getting captured.
Quote
Retinal Fetish

WUT?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 22, 2013, 01:29:26 am
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/21/19079389-us-charges-nsa-leaker-snowden-with-espionage?lite

That is so fucked up.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 22, 2013, 01:59:25 am
http://au.businessinsider.com/nsa-prism-keywords-for-domestic-spying-2013-6

Quote
This is an (admittedly huge) list of words that supposedly cause the NSA to flag you as a potential terrorist if you over-use them in an email.

We found this on Reddit, where James Bamford, a veteran reporter with 30 years experience covering the NSA, is answering questions from the community. This list comes from Reddit user GloriousDawn, who found it on Attrition.org, a site that very closely follows the security industry.

Favourites-

chameleon man
Sardine
froglegs
Nerd
Speakeasy
Zen
redheads
Pornstars
Retinal Fetish
Tie-fighter
ninja
Sex
Bubba


Yeah. If PRISM can handle all the emails floating around with just that alone as triggers, EVERYTHING is getting captured.

That's an old list, I believe it was used on the program called "spook", this program would write random trigger words into you emails, if I remember correctly.
A goodly chunk of those will now be included with my every email now.
Because if I have but one shoe to toss into the machine, I shall toss that shoe.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/21/19079389-us-charges-nsa-leaker-snowden-with-espionage?lite

That is so fucked up.
Agreed.  I hope he gets asylum in Iceland.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cardinal Pizza Deliverance. on June 22, 2013, 02:48:49 am
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/21/19079389-us-charges-nsa-leaker-snowden-with-espionage?lite

That is so fucked up.
Agreed.  I hope he gets asylum in Iceland.
[/quote]

If not, off with he's going to have a 'bad car accident' like Michael Hastings.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 22, 2013, 04:09:28 am
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/21/19079389-us-charges-nsa-leaker-snowden-with-espionage?lite

That is so fucked up.
Agreed.  I hope he gets asylum in Iceland.

If not, off with he's going to have a 'bad car accident' like Michael Hastings.
[/quote]

On that?  It might have been a guy driving too fast.
Though reporters who investigate the CIA do have a funny way of just dying, don't they?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 22, 2013, 03:56:37 pm
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/21/19079389-us-charges-nsa-leaker-snowden-with-espionage?lite

That is so fucked up.
Agreed.  I hope he gets asylum in Iceland.

If not, off with he's going to have a 'bad car accident' like Michael Hastings.

On that?  It might have been a guy driving too fast.
Though reporters who investigate the CIA do have a funny way of just dying, don't they?
[/quote]

Driving too fast doesn't make engines explode before you hit a tree.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on June 22, 2013, 07:30:58 pm

Bubba the Love Sponge, what the fuck?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 22, 2013, 07:36:43 pm
Radio personality with a knack for filming people sleeping with his wife (well, Hulk Hogan, but possibly others too).  National security sometimes requires the use of skilled blackmailers.

Or it refers to some kind of code named or operation.  Probably not a very fun operation.

Or else - and I suspect this is the case for several of the odd names in those lists - they were added somewhere down the line in order to discredit the file as a whole.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 22, 2013, 08:49:52 pm
Bill Binney recounts his experience (http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2013/6/10/inside_the_nsas_domestic_surveillance_apparatus_whistleblower_william_binney_speaks_out) after whistleblowing on the NSA:

Quote
Well, they came in, and there were like 12 FBI agents with their guns drawn, and came in. My son opened the door, let them in, and they pushed him out of the way at gunpoint. And they came upstairs to where my wife was getting dressed, and I was in the shower, and they were pointing guns at her, and then they - one of the agents came into the shower and pointed a gun directly at me, at my head, and of course pulled me out of the shower. So I had a towel, at least, to wrap around, but - so that's what they did.

And then they took me out and interrogated me on the back porch. And when they did that, they tried to get me - they said they wanted me to tell them something that would be - implicate someone in a crime. ... I said I didn't really know about anything. And they said they thought I was lying. Well, at that point, "OK," I said, "I'll tell you about the crime I know about," and that was that Hayden, Tenet, George Bush, Dick Cheney, they conspired to subvert the constitution and the constitutional process of checks and balances
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on June 22, 2013, 08:58:42 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22952011

NOT HELPING DAD:

Quote
he father of Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA worker who leaked top secret information on US surveillance programmes, has issued a public plea urging his son to not commit "treason".

"I hope, I pray and ask that you will not release any secrets that could constitute treason," Lon Snowden said in an interview with Fox News.

He also asked his son, currently in hiding in Hong Kong, to "face justice".

With friends like these....

With a DAD like that.
Poor bastard.  :cry:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cardinal Pizza Deliverance. on June 22, 2013, 09:36:23 pm
The hiring process for these places is going to become even crazier. The screening process will now include more questions about patriotism and how much do you love your country. And even more questions about how far you're willing to go to betray the country you love so much in order to keep government and corporate secrets, which are more important.

I had a really funny dream to that effect and I'm trying to remember it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Golden Applesauce on June 23, 2013, 06:19:31 am
The hiring process for these places is going to become even crazier. The screening process will now include more questions about patriotism and how much do you love your country. And even more questions about how far you're willing to go to betray the country you love so much in order to keep government and corporate secrets, which are more important.

I had a really funny dream to that effect and I'm trying to remember it.

I was seriously looking at applying to the NSA out of college (major occupations for math majors that involve actual math are 1) teaching math 2) Exotic Financial Products and 3) the NSA). Only reason I didn't was that I put off the job hunt too late, so the 6 month+ process to get the appropriate security clearance would have been that many months without a job. Crypto and infosec are sexy.

And now my name is signed on to https://optin.stopwatching.us . Probably ruins my chance if I ever decide to sell my soul and apply. Well, that and the OM:F posters where I illegally appropriated the DoHS seal to make them look official.

I wonder how many current math & related majors have decided that they will never consider applying for the NSA after this. I really hope it puts a dent in their recruitment. There aren't all that many people who have the right aptitude and education to be truly good at the kinds of math the NSA needs - they wouldn't need to alienate very many to cut off their talent stream.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Golden Applesauce on June 23, 2013, 06:24:22 am
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22952011

NOT HELPING DAD:

Quote
he father of Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA worker who leaked top secret information on US surveillance programmes, has issued a public plea urging his son to not commit "treason".

"I hope, I pray and ask that you will not release any secrets that could constitute treason," Lon Snowden said in an interview with Fox News.

He also asked his son, currently in hiding in Hong Kong, to "face justice".

With friends like these....

With a DAD like that.
Poor bastard.  :cry:

If someone was in possession of damaging secrets and currently out of reach - and those secrets were damning enough that I was desperate - getting loved ones to beg him not to release those secrets is one of the better plays I can think of.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 23, 2013, 12:51:07 pm
Word is Snowden's on his way to Moscow.

Hong Kong washing it's hands with class. I doubt it'll do their FOI request any good though.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 24, 2013, 09:12:12 am
Irony:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/06/us-seemingly-unaware-of-irony-in-accusing-snowden-of-spying.html?green

Quote
At a press conference to discuss the accusations, an N.S.A. spokesman surprised observers by announcing the spying charges against Mr. Snowden with a totally straight face.

“These charges send a clear message,” the spokesman said. “In the United States, you can’t spy on people.”

Not new, I just love that this guy was able to do it with a totally straight face.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 24, 2013, 01:45:39 pm
Snowden's passport was revoked, suggesting he left Hong Kong with Russian assistance.  Rumours have it that he's meeting with Ecuadorean diplomats in Russia as well. 

Ecuador has a...difficult relationship with the USA.  Rafael Correa is one of those left wing South American populist types - refuses to recognize the debt incurred on the behalf of previous regimes, which he describes as corrupt and despotic (accurately), uses Ecuador's oil reserves to fund poverty relief programs, tightly controlling the banking sector...all those things which the US government does not like.

In 2010, there was a coup attempt, officially caused by "the passage of a bill that would end the practice of giving medals and bonuses with each promotion."  Unofficially, of course, there was significant American backing to the plan, especially since Correa had shut down their air base in the country (well, not renewed the contract for it.  Same thing, to people who think they own South America).  Sure, after the event, Hillary Clinton disavowed all knowledge of the event and declared US government support for democratic rule in Ecuador, but there have been a lot of coup attempts in a lot of left wing South American countries since Obama took power, and the deep links between the Ecuadorean military and the US (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Ecuador_crisis#Alleged_perpetrators) have done nothing to dissuade such suspicions. 

All in all, Ecuador's not a bad choice, if you want to avoid jail, or accusations of treason.  It is, however, suboptimal from the viewpoint of using the global media, and there is an extradition treaty between the country and the USA, though Ecuadorean courts may give him asylum, if the political pressure is significant enough.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 24, 2013, 06:14:12 pm
Irony:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/06/us-seemingly-unaware-of-irony-in-accusing-snowden-of-spying.html?green

Quote
At a press conference to discuss the accusations, an N.S.A. spokesman surprised observers by announcing the spying charges against Mr. Snowden with a totally straight face.

“These charges send a clear message,” the spokesman said. “In the United States, you can’t spy on people.”

Not new, I just love that this guy was able to do it with a totally straight face.

Wow.  Fucking wow.   :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: McGrupp on June 24, 2013, 07:20:42 pm
The more I see the US embarrass themselves in handling Snowden, the more I'm reminded of Princess Leia's line to Moff Tarkin in Star Wars:

Quote
The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 24, 2013, 07:24:31 pm
Only this case, Vader chokes her, explodes R2 on sight and sends the Navy to Yavin 4 rather than the exclusive prototype.

Or something. There's no happy ending here anywhere. This is the perfect excuse to make secret things more secret. I see this as their opportunity to take it to the wall, on the quiet. I'll bet you a limb that's what happens too.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 24, 2013, 07:35:48 pm
Irony:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/06/us-seemingly-unaware-of-irony-in-accusing-snowden-of-spying.html?green

Quote
At a press conference to discuss the accusations, an N.S.A. spokesman surprised observers by announcing the spying charges against Mr. Snowden with a totally straight face.

“These charges send a clear message,” the spokesman said. “In the United States, you can’t spy on people.”

Not new, I just love that this guy was able to do it with a totally straight face.

Absolutely just wow.  :horrormirth:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 24, 2013, 08:26:46 pm
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/24/19110438-kerry-to-russia-do-the-right-thing-and-return-nsa-leaker?lite

Also, remember when Russian dissidents were kept on a list?

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/24/19116704-snowden-joins-list-of-infamous-political-fugitives?lite

They seriously compared Snowden to Kim Philby.   :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on June 24, 2013, 09:04:27 pm
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/24/19110438-kerry-to-russia-do-the-right-thing-and-return-nsa-leaker?lite

Also, remember when Russian dissidents were kept on a list?

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/24/19116704-snowden-joins-list-of-infamous-political-fugitives?lite

They seriously compared Snowden to Kim Philby.   :lulz:

Et tu, Kerry. Fucker.  :sad:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 25, 2013, 03:42:53 am
Irony:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/06/us-seemingly-unaware-of-irony-in-accusing-snowden-of-spying.html?green

Quote
At a press conference to discuss the accusations, an N.S.A. spokesman surprised observers by announcing the spying charges against Mr. Snowden with a totally straight face.

“These charges send a clear message,” the spokesman said. “In the United States, you can’t spy on people.”

Not new, I just love that this guy was able to do it with a totally straight face.
Is that author a parody writer?
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/06/taliban-named-best-place-to-work-2013.html
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 25, 2013, 03:44:50 am
Yes, he is.

Yet another tragic case of "PDer unable to recognise satire" syndrome.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 25, 2013, 03:59:25 am
Yes, he is.

Yet another tragic case of "PDer unable to recognise satire" syndrome.

It's not that, Cain, so much as satire was rendered obsolete in 2008.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on June 25, 2013, 04:02:07 am
It's Poe's world now. EVERYTHING reads like parody.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 25, 2013, 04:02:49 am
It's Poe's world now. EVERYTHING reads like parody.

Yep, this.

After Sarah Palin, I take everything at face value.  Because we're really that dumb.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 25, 2013, 07:33:25 am
Yes, he is.

Yet another tragic case of "PDer unable to recognise satire" syndrome.

AHHHH I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 25, 2013, 08:52:08 am
So should I. Lovely satire though.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 26, 2013, 12:42:16 am
Yes, he is.

Yet another tragic case of "PDer unable to recognise satire" syndrome.

It's not that, Cain, so much as satire was rendered obsolete in 2008.
Pretty much, it's almost impossible to tell what's parody and what's straight news.

THIS IS NEWS THOUGH:
Putin basically told Uncle Sam he could go fuck himself.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/25/edward-snowden-russia
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 26, 2013, 01:15:09 am
Yes, he is.

Yet another tragic case of "PDer unable to recognise satire" syndrome.

It's not that, Cain, so much as satire was rendered obsolete in 2008.
Pretty much, it's almost impossible to tell what's parody and what's straight news.

THIS IS NEWS THOUGH:
Putin basically told Uncle Sam he could go fuck himself.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/25/edward-snowden-russia

He knows his mark.  The USA won't do shit.

Later on, Snowden will die in a freak accident of some kind, because we're petulant losers.  But for the moment, Putin is mushroom-stamping the USA, and enjoying it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Salty on June 26, 2013, 04:02:36 am
Yes, he is.

Yet another tragic case of "PDer unable to recognise satire" syndrome.

It's not that, Cain, so much as satire was rendered obsolete in 2008.
Pretty much, it's almost impossible to tell what's parody and what's straight news.

THIS IS NEWS THOUGH:
Putin basically told Uncle Sam he could go fuck himself.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/25/edward-snowden-russia

He knows his mark.  The USA won't do shit.

Later on, Snowden will die in a freak accident of some kind, because we're petulant losers.  But for the moment, Putin is mushroom-stamping the USA, and enjoying it.

My money is on Hangs Himself From Shame.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: I_Kicked_Kennedy on June 26, 2013, 04:49:37 am
In my opinion, nothing will happen to Snowden physically. The MO of the perceived "men in the smoky room" collective prefer to off people before they disclose things. In this case, it's already out there. After the fact, the modus operandi is to discredit or dilute the whistleblower's public persona. I'm sure it won't be long before a major new organization is, like "OMG, Snowden used to masturbate to puppies being thrown off cliffs onto acid-covered boulders!!"

Which leads me to a crazy thought...

Let's look at something here: The PRISM project aimed to get the major telecoms and internet companies to give them all sorts of data. We know who uses that stuff, and who doesn't. The people that use it are MASSIVE numbers of citizens in many different countries, including our own. The people that don't: actual terrorists, and major criminals. We've suspected, and in some cases, known that the NSA/FBI/CIA/DOJ had their microscopes on this information. Anyone with half a brain and a desire to do bad things or shake up the establishment was already taking every step to keep their communications off the radar and as far away from these things as possible. But "off the radar" means "out of view of 99% of the public."

Maybe the aim was to prevent citizens of various countries, as well as the US, from organizing on a grand scale. Maybe they intended Snowden to leak this, so people shy away from using far reaching technology to get their message out. It's a way of turning on the light to keep us out of the kitchen. Yes, this will drive people further into the recesses of less adopted technology or encrypted methods, but at the same time, it makes it harder for these people to reach the less technologically astute who use these technologies. It's to prevent the shakers from inciting the larger segments of the population who obtain their information passively, so they can continue to be exploited by those with oversight and influence in the major communication areas.

I acknowledge I'm going way out there with this idea, but who knows... thoughts?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Salty on June 26, 2013, 05:02:00 am
I think it is impossible to guess what will happen to Snowden.

This sort of leak, the depth of it, the pervasivenness, and the national debate (such as it is) is nothing I can remember happening before.

Does anyone else have any knowledge of a circumstance such as this?

Either way, even if similar events have occurred, they haven't occurred in this way, with the level of communication (hah!) we have available.

The scariest part about this, for me, is IF Snowden ends up dead Business As Usual will resume. I assume. I mean, I can't see the American People getting up in arms about this.

FURTHERMORE, didn't we all.know this was happening, more or less? Colbert made a gag about it during the Bush White House Correspondence dinner.

People will forget as soon as the new season of The Walking Dead comes.out. Or sooner.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 26, 2013, 08:40:26 am
Well, when the Pentagon Papers were released, G. Gordon Liddy made some fairly serious plans for the assassination of Ellsberg.

It may not be White House policy, but since when has the White House had an iron grip on the intelligence community and what it does?  The CIA has spent the last decade hiring every scumbag mercenary it can dredge up for various enterprises on the War on Terror, with virtually no oversight and unlimited funds.  Not to mention there is a rank and file who are OK with torture, and who really do think a bullet to the head (or a Hellfire missile to the face) can solve every problem.

All this talk about him being a traitor and about exposing operational secrets is designed to send some covert operative over the edge and give him a major incentive to do him in.  Rumours keep being put out that Snowden's talking with Chinese and Russian intelligence, that his laptops have been scanned by them...and these rumours usually originate with an anonymous source, and don't pass the smell test.

No sanctioned operations, of course.  No paperwork, nothing official.  But there's probably a bunch of Chinese and Russian covert ops and agents currently considering the best way to waste a former analyst without getting caught.

As for PRISM being designed as part of an overall plan of social control and preservation of status quo...I would have to agree.  Transnational elites with similar interests are going to use each others resources to circumvent their laws.  We know GCHQ was heavily involved in PRISM and is, according to Snowden, even worse than the NSA.  The UKUSA agreement means intelligence flows from London to Washington and vice-versa.  Under the old ECHELON system, the UK would spy on the US internal communications, then pass them on when requested, in return for doing the same thing for the UK.  Throw in an assortment of deranged cyber-security firms like Palantir and HB Gary, who are probably (at the higher level) intelligence cut-outs and (at the lower level) hired help, and you have a whole system in place which can be used to effectively quash dissent and undertake active surveillance internally.

Not to mention we know now that the USA has been aggressively hacking China for the past 15 years, so no doubt there is a pro-active component to it as well.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Salty on June 26, 2013, 07:36:35 pm
What do you suppose the odds are that this will dissapear from peoples minds?

Or will there be a perceptible backlash from the public. I think I saw a headline suggest that most Americans think he's just a bad man.

Do you suppose if/when he's dead people that'll have any meaningful effect on public opinion? Also, what would? Also, would that make a difference?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 26, 2013, 08:33:42 pm
Quote
What do you suppose the odds are that this will dissapear from peoples minds?

Very high. Unless more revelations keep coming or something really odd happens, I think at best he'll end up trapped somewhere and at worst just disappeared into the US system ala Manning.

Quote
Or will there be a perceptible backlash from the public. I think I saw a headline suggest that most Americans think he's just a bad man.

Some backlash, but I doubt enough for them to actually stop doing it. I'd expect to see (or not see) new restrictive laws making secrets even more super serious. It's out. It's done. There's chunks of media making noise but the conversation seems to have even less outrage than any wikileaks thing. Surprising how much people are now conditioned to take because terrorists.

Still kind of early to tell I guess. I think it'll be easier to see how this may go once Snowden finds somewhere to take a stand. I doubt a Russian Airport is the best place to fight the power.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on June 27, 2013, 04:10:55 am
What do you suppose the odds are that this will dissapear from peoples minds?

Or will there be a perceptible backlash from the public. I think I saw a headline suggest that most Americans think he's just a bad man.

Do you suppose if/when he's dead people that'll have any meaningful effect on public opinion? Also, what would? Also, would that make a difference?

THANKS A LOT, OBAMA! *oh look! a shiny thing!*
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 27, 2013, 08:44:50 am
Wired/Ars Technica keeping up good coverage on this:
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-06/26/socmint

Quote
For the past two years a tight-lipped and little talked about unit within the Metropolitan Police has been conducting blanket surveillance of British citizens' public social media conversations.

Following an unintentional leak and a detailed investigation we are finally able to see some of the capabilities of this 17-man team -- some of which are truly alarming.

Quote
Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a staff of 17 officers in the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) has been scanning the public's tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook profiles, and anything else UK citizens post in the public online sphere.

The intelligence gathering technique -- sometimes known as Social Media Intelligence or Socmint -- has been used in conjunction with an alarming array of sophisticated analytical tools.

"Sentiment analysis" that can determine your mood; "horizon scanning" that tries to pre-empt disorder and crime; facial recognition software that can track down individuals; geo-location that is able to pinpoint your whereabouts, and profiling that can map who you are and what circles you move in. All innovative techniques used in the private sector, and all adapted for law enforcement and surveillance.

Quote
"[Social media] almost acts like CCTV on the ground for us. Just like the private sector use it for marketing and branding, we've developed something to listen in and see what the public are thinking."

Quote
Dr Daniel Trottier, a researcher in Social and Digital Media at Westminster University, argues the sophistication of the tools able to analyse this data means we should see our public social media output in a different light.

"The perception with this kind of intelligence is that it's in the public domain so it's no different from, say, searching through newspaper articles," he elaborates.

"But this analysis shows a lack of familiarity with the technology involved and the extent to which it can identify and analyse people.

"There's a psychologist in Cambridge, for example, who showed how with just a few statements from social media profiles one is able to reasonably determine a user's sexual orientation.

"Now, whether or not these kinds of predictions are accurate is beside the point -- it's the fact that the predictions are taking place at all and are taken seriously that's important.

"If your online conversations flag you up as a potentially troublesome individual, regardless of whether you are or not, you will still end up being blackballed as such."

Some say they have had first-hand experience of this kind of targeted profiling and it has pushed them to go off the grid almost altogether.

"It's got to the stage where I will only use a public telephone or meet someone face to face if I want to discuss something sensitive," explains Janie Mac, a legal observer for the Occupy LSX movement.

"We are all very aware that our accounts are being monitored. We've moved our social network activity to make it more private and we've moved away from traditional social sites for our online meetings and discussions."

Again, the surprise seems to be how unsurprising this actually is. Cue continued apathy from the great UK public.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 27, 2013, 02:11:15 pm
In my opinion, nothing will happen to Snowden physically. The MO of the perceived "men in the smoky room" collective prefer to off people before they disclose things. In this case, it's already out there. After the fact, the modus operandi is to discredit or dilute the whistleblower's public persona. I'm sure it won't be long before a major new organization is, like "OMG, Snowden used to masturbate to puppies being thrown off cliffs onto acid-covered boulders!!"

Which leads me to a crazy thought...

Let's look at something here: The PRISM project aimed to get the major telecoms and internet companies to give them all sorts of data. We know who uses that stuff, and who doesn't. The people that use it are MASSIVE numbers of citizens in many different countries, including our own. The people that don't: actual terrorists, and major criminals. We've suspected, and in some cases, known that the NSA/FBI/CIA/DOJ had their microscopes on this information. Anyone with half a brain and a desire to do bad things or shake up the establishment was already taking every step to keep their communications off the radar and as far away from these things as possible. But "off the radar" means "out of view of 99% of the public."

Maybe the aim was to prevent citizens of various countries, as well as the US, from organizing on a grand scale.

Since I found out about this, I've been saying that they are unlikely to catch terrorists through this giant datamining expedition.
It seems more suited to gathering data to be used for sabotaging domestic political groups.
When I hung out with the communists back in the 90's, we'd meet in noisy public locations just to make sure we weren't being bugged.
A bit paranoid for back then.  Not so much now. 
If a bunch of communists who were mainly into raising hell and selling newspapers were THAT cautious?
...Current terrorist organizations are going to be a LOT more circumspect when planning ops.

I've always assumed any electronic communications I have are being monitored by the man, so this isn't that OMG for me...Just that being right sucks sometimes.

Maybe they intended Snowden to leak this, so people shy away from using far reaching technology to get their message out. It's a way of turning on the light to keep us out of the kitchen. Yes, this will drive people further into the recesses of less adopted technology or encrypted methods, but at the same time, it makes it harder for these people to reach the less technologically astute who use these technologies. It's to prevent the shakers from inciting the larger segments of the population who obtain their information passively, so they can continue to be exploited by those with oversight and influence in the major communication areas.

I acknowledge I'm going way out there with this idea, but who knows... thoughts?

...If you get enough people mobilized fast enough, it may not matter that they are able to watch. 
A 900-pound gorilla goes wherever it likes.
I don't think they planned Snowden's whistleblowing.
I really don't.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 27, 2013, 04:42:29 pm
Little known fact: the CIA surveillance programs that grew out of MH-CHAOS and the whole "Rampart" affair (ie; the infiltration and control of the antiwar press and student movements in the 60s and 70s) was explained in the Nixon years with terrorism as the chief justification.

Quote from: Mark Ames, "NSA Whisteblowing for Dummies"
As leaks started to plague Nixon’s presidency, Ober was brought into a special White House intelligence outfit led by John Dean, which included officials from the National Security Agency, FBI, Pentagon and Secret Service. On orders from Nixon, the task force was asked to draw up a program to stop the leaks and frighten and punish whistleblowers. Ober took charge of the report, which drew on his experience fighting leakers that began with "Ramparts," and had now mushroomed into the CIA’s MH-CHAOS program. Ober’s top secret report, titled "The Unauthorized Disclosure of Classified Information," noted that the key problem was that there was no uniformity across federal agencies on protecting secrets and punishing whistleblowers. To change this, Ober’s report recommended:

    Restricting and recording all contacts between federal officials and journalists, and issu[ing] uniform and clearly defined procedures;
    Centralizing each federal agency's office that records all contacts between federal officials and journalists;
    Pursuing, punishing and firing all leakers;
    Enacting laws punishing and criminalizing unauthorized disclosures.

Those recommendations, along with Ober’s emphasis on getting employees to sign secrecy contracts, became the national security state’s blueprint model to protect its secrets — "the foundation for the largest peacetime secrecy-and-censorship apparatus the United States has ever known," in the words of former UC Berkeley journalism teacher Angus MacKenzie. The secrecy apparatus had to wait for Reagan to take office in 1981 — the 70s was a bitch for national security state apparatchiks.

Ober’s operation was also one of the earliest examples of how the national security state shifted its rationale from combating domestic leftwing dissidents to combating something newer, more amorphous and more credibly scary: International Terrorism.

After the Watergate break-in in 1972, Ober’s bosses in the CIA grew even more nervous about having their secret illegal domestic spy operation exposed. So they redefined the rationale for spying on Americans. On December 5, 1972, Richard Helms told Ober that from now on, they should say that the purpose of the MH-CHAOS program was to combat international terrorism, rather than domestic Communist subversives. Helms whipped out a final policy memo to his future replacement, Bill Colby:

    To a [sic] maximum extent possible, Ober should become identified with the subject of terrorism inside the Agency as well as in the Intelligence Community.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on June 28, 2013, 03:49:59 am
RELATED: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/27/us-usa-security-ecuador-idUSBRE95Q0L820130627

US to Ecuador: "You better give up Snowden or we'll cut our 23 million per year in foreign aid to your country."

Ecuador: "How about you go fuck yourself instead, and we give YOU 23 million per year for human rights training?"
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on June 28, 2013, 04:30:06 am
RELATED: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/27/us-usa-security-ecuador-idUSBRE95Q0L820130627

US to Ecuador: "You better give up Snowden or we'll cut our 23 million per year in foreign aid to your country."

Ecuador: "How about you go fuck yourself instead, and we give YOU 23 million per year for human rights training?"
:lol:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 28, 2013, 11:19:34 am
The Guardian revelations keep on coming

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/27/nsa-data-mining-authorised-obama

Quote
The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans, according to secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

The documents indicate that under the program, launched in 2001, a federal judge sitting on the secret surveillance panel called the Fisa court would approve a bulk collection order for internet metadata "every 90 days". A senior administration official confirmed the program, stating that it ended in 2011.

The collection of these records began under the Bush administration's wide-ranging warrantless surveillance program, collectively known by the NSA codename Stellar Wind.

According to a top-secret draft report by the NSA's inspector general – published for the first time today by the Guardian – the agency began "collection of bulk internet metadata" involving "communications with at least one communicant outside the United States or for which no communicant was known to be a citizen of the United States".

Eventually, the NSA gained authority to "analyze communications metadata associated with United States persons and persons believed to be in the United States", according to a 2007 Justice Department memo, which is marked secret.

This is the same "Stellar Wind" program which was used to out Elliot Spitzer's liasons with escorts.  So, you know, obviously only being used to investigate terrorism and national security threats  :lol:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 28, 2013, 04:16:59 pm
THIS IS THE CHANGE WE DEMANDED.  :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on June 28, 2013, 08:35:21 pm
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/27/19177709-army-reportedly-blocking-military-access-to-guardian-coverage-of-nsa-leaks

ALL THE HORSES ARE OUT!  LOCK UP THE BARN!
\
 :remaincalm:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 28, 2013, 10:33:27 pm
https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/half-baked-revolution/ (behind a paywall)

Quote
I've been patiently enduring all the heavy-handed blather about Snowden and Greenwald as American heroes and historical figures, and aren't we lucky to behold these heroes in our own lifetimes. I might've been able to suppress my own doubts and questions awhile longer if Snowden hadn't gone to Russia. The problem is I know Russia a little too well to pretend it doesn't matter in this story. And I've seen heroes there in Russia, real heroes, in a serious world where they play for keeps. So every time I read another delusional description of Snowden and Greenwald as "heroes" I can't help thinking about Vasya and Limonov, the real things — Russians who faced down the full brunt of Putin's police state.

Quote
Four years later, in 2008, I was home in California visiting my father after he’d suffered a stroke, when my newspaper’s manager emailed me a fax they’d received from a Kremlin agency announcing an “editorial audit” under suspicions that The eXile disseminated “political extremism,” “pornography,” “encouraged the use of drugs,” and “incited ethnic hatred.” The last three were aimed at our satire — South Park had at one time been accused of inciting ethnic hatred as well — but the real problem was the accusation of political extremism. That’s akin to terrorism, and it’s been used in the provinces to threaten, ruin, and jail pro-democracy opponents of Putin.

It’s hard to convey how surreal and frightening it was to get this notice, timed as it was for when I’d left the country. Exiled Russians I knew agreed that this was a classic Kremlin tactic — generally they’d rather avoid a public fight, so they scare you when you’re away, and give you a chance to save yourself. If you come back and face it, you’re challenging the police state authority, and that usually ends badly, particularly for Russians.

Quote
So I flew back to Moscow, exactly what you’re not supposed to do when you get your Kremlin threat while out of the country, adrenaline pumping, all pistons go; I led our newspaper team when the four Kremlin officials came to our offices to “audit” our newspaper. In a blur, I lost my investors, and my newspaper. I went public to the Russian and Western press to tell our story, and it created a shitstorm the same week President Medvedev held an international conference in Moscow promoting his new vision of a freer media. Russian newspapers and online media headlines attacked: “Under Medvedev’s ‘Openness’ even American Newspapers Are Forced To Close”...

Finally, after a crypto-fascist in the Duma named Robert Schlegel screamed on live radio calling me an “extremist” who deserved worse than just losing his newspaper, I had to leave. The newspaper was gone; there wasn’t anything to protect. The Russian reporters were safe, the whole attack was now centered on me. “Friends” told me to take a light bag to Sheremetyevo, buy a one-way ticket to a Western city in an airport kiosk, and stay out of Russia until things cooled down, or forever.

Quote
Which brings me to Edward Snowden, who’s still lurking in Sheremetyevo’s transit zone as I write this.

As I’ve made clear, I’m a big supporter of his leaks. I don’t see how any of it endangers Americans — the biggest “victims” are the secrecy apparatus and the private contractors who profit off secrecy, surveillance and fear.

That’s my opinion as a journalist and as someone who supports fighting power. But I’ve been frustrated as Hell watching Snowden’s politics, and the politics of his diehard supporters, and the strategically flawed, manipulative decision by his handlers at the Guardian to preemptively convince the public that Snowden is a hero, an infallible “historical” figure who must be worshipped by anyone who considers themselves aligned with history.

Quote
I’ve made clear my support for what Snowden. For journalism purposes, it wouldn’t even be much of an issue if the Guardian hadn’t forced it — as far as I’m concerned, the leaks remind me a lot of the late Yeltsin years, when Russia’s oligarchy split into two violently opposed camps, each side leaking incredible (and mostly factual) stories to their friendly media sources on TV and in print. There was a time, from 1997 through 1999, when the public was bombarded with about five Pentagon Papers a week, ripping open the public facade of powerful politicians and oligarchs, and showing how they actually stole the national wealth, what they said to each other in phone calls, how they manipulated and plundered. The journalists who fashioned those high-level leaks into stories weren’t heroes; whoever leaked those bank details and recorded phone calls and auction fixing schemes wasn’t necessarily a hero; but the information they dumped was incredibly valuable.

So for me, the importance of what we’ve learned about the NSA spying programs doesn’t hinge on whether or not I have a cult-like faith in Snowden’s and Greenwald’s “heroism” as “true patriots” unlike the other team’s guys. But the problem has been, from the start, that Snowden’s and Greenwald’s network of supporters created this false consensus, and thought-policed anyone who dared deviate or think for themselves. I have a natural aversion to Stalinist self-censorship; if I’m going to keep my mouth shut or pretend, it better be over something really important, not hero-worshipping some confused, half-baked libertarian whistleblower who can’t get his own story straight, just because his handler tells us we have to or else we’re Obamabots or fascists.

Quote
I’m told that Snowden is a hero for exposing the leaks, and that his fleeing from the all-important political crisis that he sparked was none of my business — allowing myself to feel bothered by it was thought-heresy. We’re told we have to have pure faith in Snowden’s historical heroism, but when his behavior is un-heroic, we’re shouted down because “it’s not about Snowden”; we’re told Snowden is driven by the force of his deeply held convictions to fight police state surveillance and power over the citizenry, but we’re told that the fact he took refuge in some of the world’s worst police states is “not the issue” and “for another time” and “irrelevant.” We’re told to censor ourselves of thoughts and concerns impossible to purge. The manipulative rationalizations and thought-policing quickly degenerate from the Obamabot playbook of hypocrisy to something like Scientology thought-policing, self-censorship, and abuse.

The politics, half-baked from the start, are imploding in a steaming shitheap.

Now they’re smearing Greenwald’s sordid, unseemly history as a petty porn profiteer. With anyone else, it’d be funny. But Greenwald has spent years promoting and enforcing an image of himself as an infallible crusader and arbiter of big words like “heroism,” “patriotism,” “ethical,” “transparency,” “liberty” and the like. He’s not much fun; not fun to read, not fun to listen to. Not unless you like fire-and-brimstone Secular Sunday Sermons that make you feel awful and increasingly panicked about the police state Armageddon that’s we’re always on the precipice of. Greenwald is good on some issues, particularly exposing Israel’s crimes; and when it comes to his own restricted, libertarian understanding of what constitutes “civil liberties” — part of it good, when calling out government-sanctioned torture and surveillance; part of it atrocious, such as Greenwald’s support for Citizens United and corporations-as-people, and his failure to include labor rights as one of those civil liberties he professes to protect.

The same week Greenwald reported to his readers as fact that Snowden is a historical hero and infallible figure, he let the Guardian up the hero-worship stakes by holding a crowd-sourcing contest for readers to tell the world just how awesome and infallible Glenn Greenwald is. He set himself up for the porn-peddler knee-capping. I don’t know what the fuck Greenwald was thinking, but my sense is that he fell for his own bullshit.

Quote
I’d be more sympathetic to Greenwald at this moment — or rather, I’m more sympathetic than I should be — if he hadn’t smeared my reporting, attacked me in defense of his fellow libertarian Joshua Foust, and sicc’d his cult worshippers after me to smear me by twisting my old eXile satire around to label me as a “child rapist.”

My problems started with Greenwald in November 2010, after Yasha and I co-wrote a story on the brief media hysteria that month over TSA “police state” attacks on Americans’ liberties, which, we reported for the Nation, was being led by armies of Koch-linked libertarians, some of whom were caught faking their outrage. I didn’t know much about Greenwald before reading his bizarre, hysterical smears against our journalism and our credibility on behalf of another Greenwald “hero” — this time, it was “Don’t Touch My Junk” anti-TSA guy John Tyner. Greenwald demanded that everyone agree Tyner was a hero; and anyone who questioned the anti-TSA hysteria was a government operative enforcing two-party tyranny.

What we didn’t know at the time was that Greenwald was coaching Tyner behind the scenes and acting as his “litigator” to use Greenwald’s definition of his journalism; we also didn’t know at that time that John Tyner has worked for years now for one of the San Diego area’s leading military-intelligence contractors, ViaSat, which contracts with the NSA, CIA, Homeland Security and the US military making key communications components and software for spy satellites, battlefield communications networks, and video guidance systems for Predator drones which deployed for both surveillance and combat in war zones including Afghanistan and elsewhere. Greenwald attacked our journalism credibility and forced The Nation to apologize to a military-intelligence contractor who deceived the public about who he was, a deception made possible thanks to Greenwald’s advocacy.

Quote
I’ve made a career out of calling bullshit on people, and after his second attack on me, I decided that Greenwald was going to be on my radar for awhile. So a few months ago, when Hugo Chavez died and Greenwald made a big show of acting outraged over New York Times editorials against Chavez in 2002, I tweeted out Glenn’s own insane far-right attacks on Chavez in 2005. I got the usual pushback from his cult followers, for whom Glenn must be infallible, and his infallibility must be protected at all costs.

And then on April 2, when the AP made news by banning the expression “illegal immigrant” from their stylebook, I tweeted out through our eXile account a link to a Greenwald article denouncing what he called “The parade of evils caused by illegal immigration.” That’s a fact. Greenwald wasn’t joking. He claims he’s changed now.

Almost immediately after I tweeted that out, Greenwald sicced his substitute columnist Charles Davis to smear me. Davis, a graduate from a high school “capitalism camp” program in Pennsylvania and Ron Paul fanatic, responded to my factual link to Greenwald’s anti-immigrant article by tweeting:

    Periodic reminder that frat boy leftist Mark Ames is a boorish misogynist who used his trust fund to sleep with kids

Immediately after tweeting this out, Davis, backed by a twitter mob of Greenwald cultists, twitter-stalked my boss trying to get me fired, smearing me again as a child rapist:

    C'mon, when defending your rapist Senior Editor, at least try to be witty! https://twitter.com/paulcarr/status/319946735327801345 …

When he failed to turn my publisher against me, Davis and the Greenwald twitter mob turned their sights on him smearing him as a misogynist and child-rapist accessory:

    Contra @paulcarr, when Mark Ames talks about fucking children, he wants you to know: "This is a work of nonfiction."

and:

    @paulcarr Go publish some more rapists, bro

The following morning, sizing up his cultists smears on me, Greenwald tweeted his approval, and suggested they format it in such a way that it would reach a wider audience and hurt me more:

    @epmurph @ohtarzie @charliearchy @firetomfriedman Someone should write up a step-by-step on what happened there, for those who missed it

One of the cultists in Greenwald’s twitter feed told his Master,

    @ohtarzie It's been a while since I felt that proud and happy to be part of that sector.

If I hadn’t been baptized in the far-fiercer fire of post-Soviet Russia — and if I didn’t have a boss who also comes from a satire and controversy background in journalism — who knows, I might have been devastated.

Quote
Everything and everyone is a victim in a sense of our rotten times — Greenwald is no Seymour Hersh; Snowden is no Ellsberg; Rand Paul is not Frank Church, and Wydall is not Gravel; and we are weaker than our fathers, Dupree. We look so much better than them when they were our age — and yet we’re so much weaker.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 29, 2013, 11:12:50 pm
Hmmm, very interesting.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 30, 2013, 11:59:14 am
America: a more accomplished (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/26/195045/memories-of-stasi-color-germans.html) surveillance state than EAST GERMANY:

Quote
“You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true,” he said, recalling the days when he was a lieutenant colonel in the defunct communist country’s secret police, the Stasi.

In those days, his department was limited to tapping 40 phones at a time, he recalled. Decide to spy on a new victim and an old one had to be dropped, because of a lack of equipment. He finds breathtaking the idea that the U.S. government receives daily reports on the cellphone usage of millions of Americans and can monitor the Internet traffic of millions more.

“So much information, on so many people,” he said.

East Germany’s Stasi has long been considered the standard of police state surveillance during the Cold War years, a monitoring regime so vile and so intrusive that agents even noted when their subjects were overheard engaging in sexual intercourse. Against that backdrop, Germans have greeted with disappointment, verging on anger, the news that somewhere in a U.S. government databank are the records of where millions of people were when they made phone calls or what video content they streamed on their computers in the privacy of their homes.

Even Schmidt, 73, who headed one of the more infamous departments in the infamous Stasi, called himself appalled. The dark side to gathering such a broad, seemingly untargeted, amount of information is obvious, he said.

“It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won’t be used,” he said. “This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect the people’s privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place.”

So, it's bad enough to make a former Stasi officer appalled.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 30, 2013, 12:10:38 pm
Kevin Flaherty at Cryptogon has some interesting speculation (http://www.cryptogon.com/?p=35884) that is probably worth considering:

Quote
My now familiar and broken-record-response to this thing is to go back to Room 641A last decade if you want a real thrill.

They have beam splitters installed at the peering points. NSA is getting everything. The end.

The media’s repeated ramblings/mantras about the FISA court and protections for Americans are absurd.

For Prism to be a big deal, you’d have to have amnesia, or not understand the implications of those beam splitters. Querying structured data from the regime’s collaborators (Prism) is a tiny piece of what they’re doing.

Ok, so what are some other aspects of the wider surveillance story that I would like to know more about?

One of my long standing theories is that the NSA intercepts represent the front end of something like Synthetic Environments for Analysis and Simulation system. What are they doing with these simulations?

I would like to know more about MAIN CORE.

I’m pretty confident that realtime geolocation data from mobile phones/license plate readers/cameras/??? are being used as a sort of invisible tripwire. If people on the MAIN CORE list happen to stray too close to certain physical locations (critical infrastructure, corporate headquarters, government installations, etc.), that could trigger… shall we say, a variety of responses. This would be very, very trivial to implement.

Is there an automatic mechanism that adds individuals to MAIN CORE? Book purchases, Google searches, websites visited, movie or television watching habits, the number of firearms at a residence???

What is the nature of the quantum computing systems to which NSA has access? Are these one-trick-ponies, like the D-Wave system, or are they the real deal.

The article has the hyperlinks, but if you want them:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

Quote
Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency that commenced operations in 2003 and was exposed in 2006

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beam_splitter

Quote
A beam splitter is an optical device that splits a beam of light in two. It is the crucial part of most interferometers.

http://www.cryptogon.com/?p=956

Quote
Simulex Inc.’s Synthetic Environments for Analysis and Simulation system is almost certainly how the priests of the technocracy are now maintaining “normal” operations.

The system allows for terra scale datasets with granularity of results down to one node (individual). It has a physics engine for tracking any number of people (or other elements) in virtual cities or spaces. It can correlate any amount of social, economic, political, environmental or other data with the behavior of groups or individuals on the ground. The U.S. Government, and some of the most powerful corporations on the planet are using the SEAS system.

http://www.cryptogon.com/?p=2590

Quote
According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, “There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” [See: AT&T Invents Programming Language for Mass Surveillance]

He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.

Just a reminder that's it not all about PRISM alone.  It's how PRISM feeds into, and helps correlate, with other tools of the national security state.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on June 30, 2013, 01:45:52 pm
I think this is why it's important when talking with the public to demand an end to unconstitutional spying and not specifically the PRISM program or what have you. Just in the last couple weeks we've had tons more names of different branches of the project leak, but it all comes down to the government collecting the haystack and saying that's not against the rules because fuck you that's why.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 30, 2013, 02:12:52 pm
NSFWcorp article is excellent, cuts through a lot of bullshit around the affair. A quick Wikipedia cascade (opening 2 dozen tabs) links into a whole ton of court cases that end suddenly and the supreme court does not want to know. Shows the creeping nature of the system I guess. Even with these leaks, there's a ton of precedent which seems to pretty much decide the future of relevant court cases. Ties back in to the attention on Snowden. Keeping it about him stops attention going towards the involved parties and their constant run of judicial favour.

Example:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewel_v._NSA

It seems it's more a question now of what isn't being monitored. And when other nation's programs of a similar nature will be revealed. GCHQ's being hushed up quite well, but it can't just be the UK/US pulling this shit. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 30, 2013, 02:32:29 pm
Traditionally, especially in the case of ECHELON, the main quartet are named as the UK, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

However, what everyone forgets is that the NSA is a branch of the Department of Defense.  Military.  Meaning chances are every NATO nation and major US military ally besides also has programs being run in their country.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: I_Kicked_Kennedy on June 30, 2013, 10:06:07 pm
Now, I'm not trying to introduce another tangent in this, but I had an interesting idea while I was jerking off today:

Remember when the MPAA rolled out some torrent seeds of one of their major blockbuster films, and they used it to track and later prosecute the people who downloaded and shared these items? Let's take this PRISM program, consider the metaphor of an actual prism, and pretend for a moment that the parties behind this are 10x as evil as we feared...

What is a prism? Well, light comes in one side, and it is split into its colors on the other. So, what we picture them as doing is taking information from all different areas (colors) and constructing a database out of it (pulling it into one bank). But a prism goes in the opposite direction. What if they're taking all of this info, and categorizing us into different banks; realms of concern. Remember looking up how to make hash that time when you were wondering what the heck your college roommate was smoking? Well, you're in the narcotics category. Remember downloading that weird porn from Taiwan? Well, you're in "fucked up dude" category. Remember downloading the Anarchist Cookbook? That's right, you're now a potential terrorist.

All the while, they keep passing confusing laws that turn pretty much any abnormal Internet act into a crime. A while ago, they passed the Federal Analog Act, which criminalizes substances that could theoretically be used to manufacture certain scheduled compounds, or non-scheduled material that could potentially have similar effects as those compounds, if they are used outside of their intended method.  In other words, if you purchase Morning Glory seeds for your grandmother, and earlier that day you were on Bluedot or something, they could say "Yep, it's apparent he wanted to get LSA out of 'em. We know that a few days earlier he bought Zippo fluid."

Let's also look at something else...

http://www.sfgate.com/local/article/FBI-shared-child-porn-to-nab-pedophiles-4552044.php

Quote
The Bureau ran the service for two weeks while attempting to identify more than 5,000 customers, according to a Seattle FBI agent's statements to the court. Court records indicate the site continued to distribute child pornography online while under FBI control; the Seattle-based special agent, a specialist in online crimes against children, detailed the investigation earlier this month in a statement to the court.

Yeah. So let's consider how many of those porn sites out there disseminate obscene amounts of, well, obscene material for free. Why are some of these sites giving away so much free porn? There's no reason to actually get a subscription. Do you think they're making it all back in ads?

What if a number of those items feature underage girls who look over 18. Like the iTunes agreement, are you going to the trouble of checking the age documentation of each video you stream? Well, guess what....? You're now on a list. You start getting ideas about organizing a political party, or protesting Monsanto, or whatever, and several men in dark sunglasses show up at your door.

Man 1: "Hello, IKK. You are going to be an informant for us, now."
Me: "I don't wanna."
Man 2: "See these video links? You downloaded underage pornography, and you know this will result in the loss of your job, marriage, children, and you'll be outcast from society to the point where suicide is the only option. Unless, of course, you give us a reason to look the other way...."

Maybe even not to that level. How 'bout...

Man 1: "Rmemeber when Cain posted that RAR of all those books? Well, the publishing company has the lawsuit ready in the holster, and they will hit you up for tens of thousands of dollars you don't have. Or, you know, you could play ball..."

Even with the Stasi, it was admitted they made no effort to quietly persecute. Why? Half of their operational intent was to make you fear being monitored, whether you were, or not. What was one of the reasons why so very few Stasi members were prosecuted after the fall of the GDR? Well, they were in powerful positions of the judiciary and government, and in many situations, bringing charges against them are abandoned because it would require the introduction of the collected intelligence as evidence. Perhaps the intelligence was an extramarital affair with someone embarrassing...

What should scare the shit out of people is the fact that with data as extensive as this, whether you are a criminal, or you truly aren't and have made every effort to follow the straight and narrow, it is assured that something in your digital past could be used for nefarious purposes by an unethical power. Think about how many people have been out on death row by an overzealous police detective, and even with DNA exonerating them, how many are still in prison? Plus, are you keeping thorough logs of your activity and data? So, when they take you to court, they could manufacture evidence, and what do you have to counter their claims? Character witnesses? Bah!

But this is why people like me fully intend to eventually bury our heads in the sand and hope it either goes away, or someone else fixes it for us. I have kids and a mortgage to worry about, and I don't want to be thrown in prison before the next season of House of Cards, thankyouverymuch.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 30, 2013, 10:23:42 pm
I am fairly sure that is where all this is headed...only more along the lines of the law constricting the "legitimate" scope of inquiry to account for why all this information doesn't simply sit in one giant, vast database.

If you look at the future strategic forecasting by the UK and USA, you'll notice it tends to preoccupy itself with a few key topics:

- resource scarcity
- urbanization
- destabilizing influence of social networks formed online
- the possibility of radical alliances between the newly urbanized working and university educated but underemployed middle classes to challenge the existing status quo

And furthermore, these issues will act in tandem, on a regional basis.

How do you deal with international problems?  You come up with an international regime.  How do you deal with an uprising?  You subvert, intimidate and brutalise the opposition via the security services.  How do you deal with an international uprising?  Well...
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pergamos on June 30, 2013, 11:30:11 pm
Now, I'm not trying to introduce another tangent in this, but I had an interesting idea while I was jerking off today:

Remember when the MPAA rolled out some torrent seeds of one of their major blockbuster films, and they used it to track and later prosecute the people who downloaded and shared these items? Let's take this PRISM program, consider the metaphor of an actual prism, and pretend for a moment that the parties behind this are 10x as evil as we feared...

What is a prism? Well, light comes in one side, and it is split into its colors on the other. So, what we picture them as doing is taking information from all different areas (colors) and constructing a database out of it (pulling it into one bank). But a prism goes in the opposite direction. What if they're taking all of this info, and categorizing us into different banks; realms of concern. Remember looking up how to make hash that time when you were wondering what the heck your college roommate was smoking? Well, you're in the narcotics category. Remember downloading that weird porn from Taiwan? Well, you're in "fucked up dude" category. Remember downloading the Anarchist Cookbook? That's right, you're now a potential terrorist.

All the while, they keep passing confusing laws that turn pretty much any abnormal Internet act into a crime. A while ago, they passed the Federal Analog Act, which criminalizes substances that could theoretically be used to manufacture certain scheduled compounds, or non-scheduled material that could potentially have similar effects as those compounds, if they are used outside of their intended method.  In other words, if you purchase Morning Glory seeds for your grandmother, and earlier that day you were on Bluedot or something, they could say "Yep, it's apparent he wanted to get LSA out of 'em. We know that a few days earlier he bought Zippo fluid."

Let's also look at something else...

http://www.sfgate.com/local/article/FBI-shared-child-porn-to-nab-pedophiles-4552044.php

Quote
The Bureau ran the service for two weeks while attempting to identify more than 5,000 customers, according to a Seattle FBI agent's statements to the court. Court records indicate the site continued to distribute child pornography online while under FBI control; the Seattle-based special agent, a specialist in online crimes against children, detailed the investigation earlier this month in a statement to the court.

Yeah. So let's consider how many of those porn sites out there disseminate obscene amounts of, well, obscene material for free. Why are some of these sites giving away so much free porn? There's no reason to actually get a subscription. Do you think they're making it all back in ads?

What if a number of those items feature underage girls who look over 18. Like the iTunes agreement, are you going to the trouble of checking the age documentation of each video you stream? Well, guess what....? You're now on a list. You start getting ideas about organizing a political party, or protesting Monsanto, or whatever, and several men in dark sunglasses show up at your door.

Man 1: "Hello, IKK. You are going to be an informant for us, now."
Me: "I don't wanna."
Man 2: "See these video links? You downloaded underage pornography, and you know this will result in the loss of your job, marriage, children, and you'll be outcast from society to the point where suicide is the only option. Unless, of course, you give us a reason to look the other way...."

Maybe even not to that level. How 'bout...

Man 1: "Rmemeber when Cain posted that RAR of all those books? Well, the publishing company has the lawsuit ready in the holster, and they will hit you up for tens of thousands of dollars you don't have. Or, you know, you could play ball..."

Even with the Stasi, it was admitted they made no effort to quietly persecute. Why? Half of their operational intent was to make you fear being monitored, whether you were, or not. What was one of the reasons why so very few Stasi members were prosecuted after the fall of the GDR? Well, they were in powerful positions of the judiciary and government, and in many situations, bringing charges against them are abandoned because it would require the introduction of the collected intelligence as evidence. Perhaps the intelligence was an extramarital affair with someone embarrassing...

What should scare the shit out of people is the fact that with data as extensive as this, whether you are a criminal, or you truly aren't and have made every effort to follow the straight and narrow, it is assured that something in your digital past could be used for nefarious purposes by an unethical power. Think about how many people have been out on death row by an overzealous police detective, and even with DNA exonerating them, how many are still in prison? Plus, are you keeping thorough logs of your activity and data? So, when they take you to court, they could manufacture evidence, and what do you have to counter their claims? Character witnesses? Bah!

But this is why people like me fully intend to eventually bury our heads in the sand and hope it either goes away, or someone else fixes it for us. I have kids and a mortgage to worry about, and I don't want to be thrown in prison before the next season of House of Cards, thankyouverymuch.

Speaking of copyright violation, aren't the government violating copyright every time they make an archive of copywritten data?  I know that isn't going to trump SECURITIES, but still, I haven't heard it brought up yet. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: I_Kicked_Kennedy on June 30, 2013, 11:44:25 pm
I am fairly sure that is where all this is headed...only more along the lines of the law constricting the "legitimate" scope of inquiry to account for why all this information doesn't simply sit in one giant, vast database.

If you look at the future strategic forecasting by the UK and USA, you'll notice it tends to preoccupy itself with a few key topics:

- resource scarcity
- urbanization
- destabilizing influence of social networks formed online
- the possibility of radical alliances between the newly urbanized working and university educated but underemployed middle classes to challenge the existing status quo

And furthermore, these issues will act in tandem, on a regional basis.

How do you deal with international problems?  You come up with an international regime.  How do you deal with an uprising?  You subvert, intimidate and brutalise the opposition via the security services.  How do you deal with an international uprising?  Well...

Yeah, but there's two major factors that leave my opinions in limbo:

1) China
2) The secondary sociological effects of a security apparatus

In reference to the first factor, let's pretend China wants to take over the US's status as World Heavyweight Champion, and they've been dipping their fingers into our IT systems. Wouldn't it be in their benefit to spill the entire deal in one messy heap of "Oh fuck" to totally destabilize the security apparatus's hold on the world consciousness? And wouldn't there be a preemptive "Hey the Chinese are doing these shitty things..." disclosure to world media outlets to offset this? We know each group has the goods on the other. What's stopping them from sending the respective populous of the other into full blown revolution? Or do you think secretly they're pals? But if that we're the case, Snowden would be in the basement of some dungeon in East China, right now.

Regarding the second one, using Stalin and the Stasi as a precedent, the NSA and CIA have to know that any bare wire in the self-espionage only emboldens and legitimizes anti-establishmentism in the eyes of the populous. Wouldn't they aim for something lower-key, instead of something as massive as this... Ie. plausible deniability? I find it hard to believe that when thy designed this, no one raised their hand and said "shit, at this scale, even with the most thorough safeguards, this will eventually become known. Logistically, it would be impossible for it not to. Maybe, at the least, we should use blood oath FreeMasons and Elite pedigree instead of well-paid third party contractors, or something...?"
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on July 01, 2013, 12:04:31 am

http://www.sfgate.com/local/article/FBI-shared-child-porn-to-nab-pedophiles-4552044.php

Quote
The Bureau ran the service for two weeks while attempting to identify more than 5,000 customers, according to a Seattle FBI agent's statements to the court. Court records indicate the site continued to distribute child pornography online while under FBI control; the Seattle-based special agent, a specialist in online crimes against children, detailed the investigation earlier this month in a statement to the court.

Yeah. So let's consider how many of those porn sites out there disseminate obscene amounts of, well, obscene material for free. Why are some of these sites giving away so much free porn? There's no reason to actually get a subscription. Do you think they're making it all back in ads?

What if a number of those items feature underage girls who look over 18. Like the iTunes agreement, are you going to the trouble of checking the age documentation of each video you stream? Well, guess what....? You're now on a list. You start getting ideas about organizing a political party, or protesting Monsanto, or whatever, and several men in dark sunglasses show up at your door.

Man 1: "Hello, IKK. You are going to be an informant for us, now."
Me: "I don't wanna."
Man 2: "See these video links? You downloaded underage pornography, and you know this will result in the loss of your job, marriage, children, and you'll be outcast from society to the point where suicide is the only option. Unless, of course, you give us a reason to look the other way...."


Wow, you make me glad I like to watch people my own freaking age having sex.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 01, 2013, 12:08:13 am
China's expertise and access to US government computers is massively overstated, in part to justify building up "defensive" cyberwarfare systems which will be used internally for surveillance and disinformation, and externally to support US programs abroad.*

In fact, part of the NSA revelations that have come out is that the USA has been "aggressively hacking" China for the past 15 years in a highly systematic fashion.  Cyberwarfare is something the Chinese government has devoted a lot of time to, as it is the only possible area in which they can challenge the USA in the near term, but the USA has been aware of this since the Clinton administration, and has been taking steps to stem this challenge accordingly.

I also think China is keen to avoid surveillance-state overreach backlashes, since, you know...

As for the backlash itself...well, there are a number of ways they are attempting to deal with this.  Firstly, while it's legal for reporters to report on secrets given to them by whistleblowers, there is no exemption for the whistleblowers themselves.  That's a massive disincentive for them to come forward with what they know - which typically won't be the whole story, as intelligence agencies routinely practice compartmentalization.

Secondly, you'll note the vast majority of the US media has not been entirely sympathetic to whistleblowers.  We've had so-called journalists from papers like the Washington Post calling for Greenwald to be tried for treason.  Media perception shapes public perception, and media perception of leakers is viscerally negative, as most journalists in the US have internalised state politics into their worldview.

Thirdly, the leaks come in drips and drabs, being compartmentalised as they are, and so the full story can take years to become apparent.  Most people have not got the attention span for considering those kinds of time spans.  Initial outrage gives in to apathy as the original transgressions are forgotten, only for new transgressions to be brought up and cause the cycle to repeat.

Fourthly, because most of the intelligence gathering is passive, it is much harder for people to get enraged, it seems.  It's not guys in vans listening to you fucking your wife (or someone else's wife), it's a bunch of abstract gobbledegook (technical term) about metadata (whatever that is) and social networking patterns. 

Im sure I had some other points, but it's pretty late at night and I've got an early start tomorrow, so I'll leave it there.


*there's also a lot of money in inflating the threat.  Who does most of the threat analysis?  Booz Hamilton, Rand, Palantir etc.  Who gets most of the cyberwarfare contracts?  Booz Hamilton, Rand, Palantir etc.  Pleases vocal anti-PRC constituencies in the US as well, so it's a dual use complaint.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: I_Kicked_Kennedy on July 01, 2013, 04:24:19 am
So, Cain, knowing what you just reminded me, and the news that the NSA was tapping the shit out of the EU, what's to say this whole spiderweb isn't just some massive data mining tool for the financial juggernaut to stack the deck and count cards?

What if its not about security (both domestic and internstional) but rather, a manner to extract a massive amount of economic insight and heavily influence the flow of capital? If you were to imagine a method implemented by a super secret hedge fund of plutocrats, what would it be?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on July 01, 2013, 04:48:55 am

Just from a purely research point of view I am jealous.

So much of this information could be used for benefitial research in the social sciences, because what a lot of we do is take the discourse, group it around analytical categories, and see the recurrences... even better, they not only have the data for the discourse, they also have the data for the practices.

Sitting on a treasure trove they are, of psychological, sociological and anthropological data, too bad it will never see the light of day.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on July 01, 2013, 04:52:19 am
So, Cain, knowing what you just reminded me, and the news that the NSA was tapping the shit out of the EU, what's to say this whole spiderweb isn't just some massive data mining tool for the financial juggernaut to stack the deck and count cards?

What if its not about security (both domestic and internstional) but rather, a manner to extract a massive amount of economic insight and heavily influence the flow of capital? If you were to imagine a method implemented by a super secret hedge fund of plutocrats, what would it be?


Whoa. I never thought about this.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Golden Applesauce on July 01, 2013, 02:23:26 pm

Just from a purely research point of view I am jealous.

So much of this information could be used for benefitial research in the social sciences, because what a lot of we do is take the discourse, group it around analytical categories, and see the recurrences... even better, they not only have the data for the discourse, they also have the data for the practices.

Sitting on a treasure trove they are, of psychological, sociological and anthropological data, too bad it will never see the light of day.

Something like this?
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/06/startup-skybox/

Quote
But over the long term, the company’s real payoff won’t be in the images Skybox sells. Instead, it will derive from the massive trove of unsold images that flow through its system every day—images that, when analyzed by computer vision or by low-paid humans, can be transmogrified into extremely useful, desirable, and valuable data. What kinds of data? One sunny afternoon on the company’s roof, I drank beers with the Skybox employees as they kicked around the following hypotheticals:

— THE NUMBER OF CARS IN THE PARKING LOT OF EVERY WALMART IN AMERICA.
— THE NUMBER OF FUEL TANKERS ON THE ROADS OF THE THREE FASTEST-GROWING ECONOMIC ZONES IN CHINA.
— THE SIZE OF THE SLAG HEAPS OUTSIDE THE LARGEST GOLD MINES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA.
— THE RATE AT WHICH THE WATTAGE ALONG KEY STRETCHES OF THE GANGES RIVER IS GROWING BRIGHTER.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Golden Applesauce on July 01, 2013, 02:30:08 pm
Now, I'm not trying to introduce another tangent in this, but I had an interesting idea while I was jerking off today:

Remember when the MPAA rolled out some torrent seeds of one of their major blockbuster films, and they used it to track and later prosecute the people who downloaded and shared these items? Let's take this PRISM program, consider the metaphor of an actual prism, and pretend for a moment that the parties behind this are 10x as evil as we feared...

What is a prism? Well, light comes in one side, and it is split into its colors on the other. So, what we picture them as doing is taking information from all different areas (colors) and constructing a database out of it (pulling it into one bank). But a prism goes in the opposite direction. What if they're taking all of this info, and categorizing us into different banks; realms of concern. Remember looking up how to make hash that time when you were wondering what the heck your college roommate was smoking? Well, you're in the narcotics category. Remember downloading that weird porn from Taiwan? Well, you're in "fucked up dude" category. Remember downloading the Anarchist Cookbook? That's right, you're now a potential terrorist.

All the while, they keep passing confusing laws that turn pretty much any abnormal Internet act into a crime. A while ago, they passed the Federal Analog Act, which criminalizes substances that could theoretically be used to manufacture certain scheduled compounds, or non-scheduled material that could potentially have similar effects as those compounds, if they are used outside of their intended method.  In other words, if you purchase Morning Glory seeds for your grandmother, and earlier that day you were on Bluedot or something, they could say "Yep, it's apparent he wanted to get LSA out of 'em. We know that a few days earlier he bought Zippo fluid."

Let's also look at something else...

http://www.sfgate.com/local/article/FBI-shared-child-porn-to-nab-pedophiles-4552044.php

Quote
The Bureau ran the service for two weeks while attempting to identify more than 5,000 customers, according to a Seattle FBI agent's statements to the court. Court records indicate the site continued to distribute child pornography online while under FBI control; the Seattle-based special agent, a specialist in online crimes against children, detailed the investigation earlier this month in a statement to the court.

Yeah. So let's consider how many of those porn sites out there disseminate obscene amounts of, well, obscene material for free. Why are some of these sites giving away so much free porn? There's no reason to actually get a subscription. Do you think they're making it all back in ads?

What if a number of those items feature underage girls who look over 18. Like the iTunes agreement, are you going to the trouble of checking the age documentation of each video you stream? Well, guess what....? You're now on a list. You start getting ideas about organizing a political party, or protesting Monsanto, or whatever, and several men in dark sunglasses show up at your door.

Man 1: "Hello, IKK. You are going to be an informant for us, now."
Me: "I don't wanna."
Man 2: "See these video links? You downloaded underage pornography, and you know this will result in the loss of your job, marriage, children, and you'll be outcast from society to the point where suicide is the only option. Unless, of course, you give us a reason to look the other way...."

Maybe even not to that level. How 'bout...

Man 1: "Rmemeber when Cain posted that RAR of all those books? Well, the publishing company has the lawsuit ready in the holster, and they will hit you up for tens of thousands of dollars you don't have. Or, you know, you could play ball..."

Even with the Stasi, it was admitted they made no effort to quietly persecute. Why? Half of their operational intent was to make you fear being monitored, whether you were, or not. What was one of the reasons why so very few Stasi members were prosecuted after the fall of the GDR? Well, they were in powerful positions of the judiciary and government, and in many situations, bringing charges against them are abandoned because it would require the introduction of the collected intelligence as evidence. Perhaps the intelligence was an extramarital affair with someone embarrassing...

What should scare the shit out of people is the fact that with data as extensive as this, whether you are a criminal, or you truly aren't and have made every effort to follow the straight and narrow, it is assured that something in your digital past could be used for nefarious purposes by an unethical power. Think about how many people have been out on death row by an overzealous police detective, and even with DNA exonerating them, how many are still in prison? Plus, are you keeping thorough logs of your activity and data? So, when they take you to court, they could manufacture evidence, and what do you have to counter their claims? Character witnesses? Bah!

But this is why people like me fully intend to eventually bury our heads in the sand and hope it either goes away, or someone else fixes it for us. I have kids and a mortgage to worry about, and I don't want to be thrown in prison before the next season of House of Cards, thankyouverymuch.

The NYPD cultivated informants in Muslim neighborhoods by actively pulling over anyone they could for any reason at all, among other things. If they found drugs or literature or anything else, jackpot, and on to groom them to report on what imams where saying in mosques and what people were chatting about in coffee shops.

http://www.ap.org/media-center/nypd/investigation
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 01, 2013, 03:37:50 pm
FBI and FSB have apparently been ordered to "Find a solution".

These people tend to solve things in pretty final ways.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 01, 2013, 05:11:32 pm
I'm almost certain that the NSA and its corporate partners are using such surveillance systems for private profit as well.

France made a number of allegations concerning US industrial espionage carried out with the aid of the CIA in the early 90s, and of course, the world of banking and oil and the world of intelligence frequently overlap. 

Metadata concerning the habits of CEOs and negotiators could give US government-linked companies a decisive edge in market positioning, buyouts and similar. 

And indeed, foreign companies have assumed this is the case, which is why they are now pulling out of any cloud computing systems with partners in the PRISM system.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on July 01, 2013, 05:51:15 pm
So, Cain, knowing what you just reminded me, and the news that the NSA was tapping the shit out of the EU, what's to say this whole spiderweb isn't just some massive data mining tool for the financial juggernaut to stack the deck and count cards?

What if its not about security (both domestic and internstional) but rather, a manner to extract a massive amount of economic insight and heavily influence the flow of capital? If you were to imagine a method implemented by a super secret hedge fund of plutocrats, what would it be?


Whoa. I never thought about this.

Really? "How would I make a fuckton of cash from this?" is the first question I ask myself of pretty much anything. Ever. This is how I've managed to avoid believing any of the bullshit humanitarian/freedom/peacekeeping/security/political reasons these money grabbing fucks give for anything they do. It's ALWAYS about the money. Powermongers are physically incapable of any other form of reasoning.

tl/dr - "political agenda" = "business plan"
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 01, 2013, 05:55:06 pm
RELEVANT:

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/01/19229897-germany-to-us-bugging-friends-is-unacceptable?lite

Quote
BERLIN - The German government said on Monday if media reports of large-scale U.S. spying on the European Union were confirmed, it would be unacceptable Cold War-style behavior between partners who require mutual trust.

"If it is confirmed that diplomatic representations of the European Union and individual European countries have been spied upon, we will clearly say that bugging friends is unacceptable," said Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert. "We are no longer in the Cold War."

Germany wanted an EU-U.S. free trade deal which would foster economic growth and job creation, said Seibert. But he added: "Mutual trust is necessary in order to come to an agreement."

German magazine Der Spiegel reported over the weekend that the NSA had tapped communications at EU offices in Washington, Brussels and at the United Nations.  According to the report, the NSA taps half a billion phone calls, emails and text messages in Germany in a typical month, much more than any other European peer.

Meanwhile, the leader of Germany's opposition Greens suggested that Europe provide a safe haven for former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed the extent of U.S. surveillance programs.

Juergen Trittin, parliamentary leader and candidate for chancellor of the Greens, Germany's third biggest party, told German television it was an outrage that the 30-year-old leaker should be seeking asylum in "despotic" countries.

"Someone like that should be protected," he said. "He should get safe haven here in Europe because he has done us a service by revealing a massive attack on European citizens and companies. Germany, as part of Europe, could do that."

Trittin did not specify which "despots" he was referring to.

Snowden flew from the United States to Hong Kong and is now in an international airport in Russia seeking asylum in Ecuador - the country that has been sheltering WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in its London embassy since last year.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 01, 2013, 06:50:00 pm
If Germany do that, all kinds of shit is going to end in tears, fast.

That said, it sounds more like flexing than an actual statement of intent. More Germany reminding the US that as far as it should be concerned the EU=Germany.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Salty on July 01, 2013, 06:57:03 pm
Pretty intense either way.

It is sort of amazing just how eagerly other people are thumbing their nose at the US. I can only imagine the exasperated expressions of officials who first read this shit and have to pass it on.

"Uh...Phil, Germany just told us go fuck ourselves."

It's almost like our foreign policy is not helping us build a positive world.image or something..
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 01, 2013, 06:59:31 pm
If Germany do that, all kinds of shit is going to end in tears, fast.

That said, it sounds more like flexing than an actual statement of intent. More Germany reminding the US that as far as it should be concerned the EU=Germany.

Actually, to me it sounded like "stop listening in on us."

But I'm not in Europe, so I don't have a clear enough picture to grasp the subtleties.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 01, 2013, 07:05:43 pm
The Greens in Germany have always been outspoken opponents of the nastier side of US foreign policy.

The Greens are polling currently between 13-15%.  Usually, the Greens form a coalition with the larger, and somewhat US friendlier, SPD.  But even combined, their support is 3 points lower than Angela Merkel's CDU and the CSU in Bavaria.  The CDU are very much in favour of the alliance with the US, and will put up with almost any amount of shit to maintain it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on July 01, 2013, 07:16:27 pm
Am I being overly cynical when I assume strongly-worded statements from EU countries regarding PRISM are really just domestic PR so those leaders can look to their own constituents like they're standing up to the US? I mean, Kerry isn't wrong when he says allies bugging each other is a fairly common practice, and I can't fathom that France and Germany were legitimately surprised by the spying program. I'm just some schmuck who wears a tinfoil hat to bed, and I already assumed this stuff was going on, domestically and internationally. So I don't understand how high-ranking officials in foreign governments wouldn't already be aware of it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 01, 2013, 07:23:16 pm
If Germany do that, all kinds of shit is going to end in tears, fast.

That said, it sounds more like flexing than an actual statement of intent. More Germany reminding the US that as far as it should be concerned the EU=Germany.

Actually, to me it sounded like "stop listening in on us."

But I'm not in Europe, so I don't have a clear enough picture to grasp the subtleties.

Probably reading more into than I should. I tend to think that shit has more complexity than may actually be there. Realistically, I think they're banging the drum while they've got the opportunity. Points scoring on a national level. Actually helping Snowden though must be off the table. Unless that help is arranging for him to be in a particular place at a certain time, which I can't rule out. "He was on his way here.... must have got lost.....No, the CCTV system's being reset today"

Germany isn't too fond of the surveillance state, so it's an easy vote winner on the way to elections too.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 01, 2013, 07:26:00 pm
Am I being overly cynical when I assume strongly-worded statements from EU countries regarding PRISM are really just domestic PR so those leaders can look to their own constituents like they're standing up to the US? I mean, Kerry isn't wrong when he says allies bugging each other is a fairly common practice, and I can't fathom that France and Germany were legitimately surprised by the spying program. I'm just some schmuck who wears a tinfoil hat to bed, and I already assumed this stuff was going on, domestically and internationally. So I don't understand how high-ranking officials in foreign governments wouldn't already be aware of it.

To be brief, no.

Some particular parties in particular countries (like the Greens) I do tend to believe, given their history.  But most of them are wildly jumping from "we are of course concerned about these programs" to "if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear" and back with impressive speed.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 01, 2013, 07:42:42 pm
Am I being overly cynical when I assume strongly-worded statements from EU countries regarding PRISM are really just domestic PR so those leaders can look to their own constituents like they're standing up to the US? I mean, Kerry isn't wrong when he says allies bugging each other is a fairly common practice, and I can't fathom that France and Germany were legitimately surprised by the spying program. I'm just some schmuck who wears a tinfoil hat to bed, and I already assumed this stuff was going on, domestically and internationally. So I don't understand how high-ranking officials in foreign governments wouldn't already be aware of it.

I'd struggle to disagree. The question is what was already known, to whom and how complicit are they in it?

There's a lot of governments that are a bit shaky these days. Who's to say what would happen if you got a leak exposing the current government as a willing partner in US espionage?

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 02, 2013, 01:10:03 am
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/edward-snowden-nsa-leak-george-w-bush-comments-93604.html

Bush is defending Obama.

(http://i.imgur.com/GqO00LH.jpg)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Don Coyote on July 02, 2013, 03:46:57 am
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/27/19177709-army-reportedly-blocking-military-access-to-guardian-coverage-of-nsa-leaks

ALL THE HORSES ARE OUT!  LOCK UP THE BARN!
\
 :remaincalm:

It would be HORRIBLY HILLARIOUS if someone were to accidently unblock all of the guardian so that all of those NIPR boxes accidentally got classified materials on them and then could no longer be used on the NIPRnet.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on July 02, 2013, 02:05:08 pm
Well, we're no longer rich, our millitary is stuck in a desert which has eaten much of our hardware and soliders, our 'moral' position on human rights has been shot into a muddy killing field by a drone, or indefinitely detained...

So who's afraid of the big bad wolf after he got emphysema and dentures? 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 03, 2013, 07:34:45 pm
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/03/19264421-snowden-hunt-bolivia-complains-to-un-over-abduction-of-its-president

Quote
No unauthorized people were found on board.

Quote
No unauthorized people

Quote
unauthorized people
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on July 03, 2013, 07:47:43 pm
WE BE AUTHORIZED!
                     \
 :teabagger1:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 03, 2013, 07:51:38 pm
WE BE AUTHORIZED!
                     \
 :teabagger1:

I still say that little girl in the lower right hand corner is going to eat all of those bastards, one fine day.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on July 03, 2013, 07:53:52 pm
Sure, when the lights go out and the food supply runs out.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 03, 2013, 08:03:22 pm
Sure, when the lights go out and the food supply runs out.

No, look at that face.  It will be soon.  Fear will stalk their town, and the police will be helpless, because who's going to be looking for a little girl?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on July 03, 2013, 08:28:29 pm
It's the Curse of Millhaven*, all over again!




*A song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I would post the YouTube link, but... YouTube link.


Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on July 03, 2013, 09:26:55 pm
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/03/19264421-snowden-hunt-bolivia-complains-to-un-over-abduction-of-its-president

Quote
No unauthorized people were found on board.

Quote
No unauthorized people

Quote
unauthorized people

Pretty impressive how quickly all those "spied upon" European governments denied the Bolivains air space... I mean if they were soooo upset with the US...
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 03, 2013, 09:50:28 pm
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/03/19264421-snowden-hunt-bolivia-complains-to-un-over-abduction-of-its-president

Quote
No unauthorized people were found on board.

Quote
No unauthorized people

Quote
unauthorized people

Pretty impressive how quickly all those "spied upon" European governments denied the Bolivains air space... I mean if they were soooo upset with the US...

DOG AND PONY SHOW POSTPONED, AS THE DOG AND PONY ARE REALLY TIRED.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 03, 2013, 09:51:13 pm
It's the Curse of Millhaven*, all over again!




*A song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I would post the YouTube link, but... YouTube link.

Sounds relevant, though.  My objection was never to youtube links specifically.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on July 03, 2013, 09:56:10 pm
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/03/19264421-snowden-hunt-bolivia-complains-to-un-over-abduction-of-its-president

Quote
No unauthorized people were found on board.

Quote
No unauthorized people

Quote
unauthorized people

Pretty impressive how quickly all those "spied upon" European governments denied the Bolivains air space... I mean if they were soooo upset with the US...

DOG AND PONY SHOW POSTPONED, AS THE DOG AND PONY ARE REALLY TIRED.

 :lulz:

Well they've been working overtime.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on July 04, 2013, 01:17:42 pm
It's the Curse of Millhaven*, all over again!




*A song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I would post the YouTube link, but... YouTube link.

Sounds relevant, though.  My objection was never to youtube links specifically.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACG9wv69bKU
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 04, 2013, 08:56:12 pm
Excellent article on the related media coverage.
http://newsframes.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/establishment-tv/

Can't really quote in part without losing the context. Looking more at how this event is portrayed particularly by the BBC and consideration of other shows broadcast by the BBC. Also helps give you a chuckle every time you hear about how much everyone trusts the BBC. No wonder the license fee is so important and the execs are so well paid.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on July 07, 2013, 04:19:02 pm
http://0v.org/an-open-letter-to-president-obama

Someone added a lot of words and took out all my fucks, but this is a version of that thing I wrote. Apparently the NYT doesn't allow call-out threads on the op ed pages  :argh!:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on July 07, 2013, 11:55:11 pm
http://0v.org/an-open-letter-to-president-obama

Someone added a lot of words and took out all my fucks, but this is a version of that thing I wrote. Apparently the NYT doesn't allow call-out threads on the op ed pages  :argh!:

Plagiarizing parasitic bastid!

If you have it posted somewhere else though, with something showing you posted prior to him posting? 
(Which I don't know if it's doable / how to do)
You could forward such evidence to the bloodsucker's boss.

If I write something political, I'm cool with being plagiarized, I guess?  Unless it gets warped into some Randroid monstrosity or something.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on July 08, 2013, 12:04:46 am
http://0v.org/an-open-letter-to-president-obama

Someone added a lot of words and took out all my fucks, but this is a version of that thing I wrote. Apparently the NYT doesn't allow call-out threads on the op ed pages  :argh!:

Plagiarizing parasitic bastid!

If you have it posted somewhere else though, with something showing you posted prior to him posting? 
(Which I don't know if it's doable / how to do)
You could forward such evidence to the bloodsucker's boss.

If I write something political, I'm cool with being plagiarized, I guess?  Unless it gets warped into some Randroid monstrosity or something.

No, no I gave it to him and asked him to put his name on it. Sorry that wasn't clear.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on July 08, 2013, 12:55:56 am
http://0v.org/an-open-letter-to-president-obama

Someone added a lot of words and took out all my fucks, but this is a version of that thing I wrote. Apparently the NYT doesn't allow call-out threads on the op ed pages  :argh!:

Plagiarizing parasitic bastid!

If you have it posted somewhere else though, with something showing you posted prior to him posting? 
(Which I don't know if it's doable / how to do)
You could forward such evidence to the bloodsucker's boss.

If I write something political, I'm cool with being plagiarized, I guess?  Unless it gets warped into some Randroid monstrosity or something.

No, no I gave it to him and asked him to put his name on it. Sorry that wasn't clear.

Ok.  COOL...hope it gets all over the place then. :)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Salty on July 09, 2013, 05:22:32 pm
http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/0708/461286-edward-snowden/

 :lol:

I love this shit.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on July 09, 2013, 08:12:42 pm
This is why everyone wants to be Irish.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on July 10, 2013, 01:42:29 pm

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/nacion-mexico/2013/mexico-pide-a-eu-explicar-espionaje--935087.html (http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/nacion-mexico/2013/mexico-pide-a-eu-explicar-espionaje--935087.html)

Quote
The SRE (Foreign Relations Secretary) "energically condemns" any deviation from the practices that must rule the relation between countries, that must be conducted with respect and attachment to the legal framework

 :FFF:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 11, 2013, 10:53:18 pm
Largely bullshit article:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23269125

Point of interest:
Quote
Def Con's request comes as Yahoo seeks permission to publish information about a key legal case in 2008 that let the US government establish and justify Prism.

Yahoo has filed legal papers asking for permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisc), which decides whether US government departments such as the National Security Agency can carry out surveillance programmes.

In 2008, Yahoo had "objected strenuously" to the Fisc over requests for it to co-operate with the early Prism programme, it said. But its objections had been over-ruled by the Fisc.

Publishing those objections and the Fisc's justification for denying them would inform public debate about whether the Fisc had been correct to give the go-ahead for Prism and subsequent surveillance projects, it said. US laws mean the legal papers from 2008 are classified.

"Courts have long recognised the public has a right to access court records," Yahoo wrote

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 16, 2013, 02:37:22 pm
The "end" seems near:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23328074
Quote
Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden applies for asylum in Russia, officials say

Russia, that most ardent defender of free speech and not spying on your own people. At least he's not likely to be extradited. I would guess that Russia can't really hand him over due to the public stances taken in the past. Anything like that would be written as a gloating victory in western press and I doubt Putin could stomach that any more than I could.

Arguably one of the smarter moves he can/could make. US political power practically confined him anyway. I would guess that he's done this as all info has been passed on, thus he can remain without harming US interests. Technically.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 16, 2013, 03:11:10 pm
Related:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23328520

Quote
Details of the official justification for the US National Security Agency's wide-ranging Prism surveillance programme look set to be revealed.

Yahoo has won a legal fight that will see papers from a key 2008 court case declassified and published.

The 2008 case is widely seen as pivotal in letting the NSA establish Prism and start gathering data on web use.

The US government has been given until 29 July to say how long it will need to prepare the documents for publication.

Translation - The shredder has not stopped and we need more black marker pens NOW.

This should give a good insight regardless of how little is actually revealed.

Also, Kudos to yahoo here for this unusual display of balls. Not often that happens.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 17, 2013, 06:42:13 pm
Temper tantrums ITT

http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/17/19510080-graham-us-should-consider-olympic-boycott-over-possible-snowden-asylum?lite
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 17, 2013, 06:43:56 pm
Oh no, the US really means business now.  An Olympic boycott.  However will Russia be able to consider offering Snowden asylum now?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 17, 2013, 06:44:38 pm
Oh no, the US really means business now.  An Olympic boycott.  However will Russia be able to consider offering Snowden asylum now?

Putin is probably laughing himself sick.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 17, 2013, 06:50:00 pm
Oh no, the US really means business now.  An Olympic boycott.  However will Russia be able to consider offering Snowden asylum now?

Putin is probably laughing himself sick.

I'm surprised there's not been a Putin Photo Op yet. Seriously.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 18, 2013, 04:29:16 pm
Yesterday, during the House Judiciary Committee, this revelation was made:

Quote
NSA Director John Inglis revealed that the FISA Court permits the government to do three jumps from an initial number tied to a phone number reasonably believed to be tied to terrorism.

And look at this

http://techcrunch.com/2008/09/03/six-degrees-of-separation-is-now-three/
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 18, 2013, 04:42:02 pm
Yesterday, during the House Judiciary Committee, this revelation was made:

Quote
NSA Director John Inglis revealed that the FISA Court permits the government to do three jumps from an initial number tied to a phone number reasonably believed to be tied to terrorism.

And look at this

http://techcrunch.com/2008/09/03/six-degrees-of-separation-is-now-three/

Okay, we're all terrorists. :lol:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 18, 2013, 04:49:25 pm
Yesterday, during the House Judiciary Committee, this revelation was made:

Quote
NSA Director John Inglis revealed that the FISA Court permits the government to do three jumps from an initial number tied to a phone number reasonably believed to be tied to terrorism.

And look at this

http://techcrunch.com/2008/09/03/six-degrees-of-separation-is-now-three/

Okay, we're all terrorists. :lol:

Not quite yet. Once you can get to 2 degrees, then we're all totally fucked as everyone is an unwitting accomplice to everything that anyone you know does.

Quote
According to Jeff Rodrigues, a social networking specialist that carried out the study, 97 percent of the participants said they felt more connected to people today than they ever have in the past and for older respondents, email and mobile phones were the key factors in reducing the degrees of separation. But for those in the younger generation, Facebook was the main factor. Text messaging was also mentioned as an important component in reducing degrees of separation.

That 97% seems really high. I would have thought that more than that would feel "Less connected" due to the virtual nature. Then you see that the study was done by 02 so it probably focused heavily on phones and texts and less so other areas.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 18, 2013, 04:58:38 pm
Yesterday, during the House Judiciary Committee, this revelation was made:

Quote
NSA Director John Inglis revealed that the FISA Court permits the government to do three jumps from an initial number tied to a phone number reasonably believed to be tied to terrorism.

And look at this

http://techcrunch.com/2008/09/03/six-degrees-of-separation-is-now-three/

Okay, we're all terrorists. :lol:

Not quite yet. Once you can get to 2 degrees, then we're all totally fucked as everyone is an unwitting accomplice to everything that anyone you know does.

Quote
According to Jeff Rodrigues, a social networking specialist that carried out the study, 97 percent of the participants said they felt more connected to people today than they ever have in the past and for older respondents, email and mobile phones were the key factors in reducing the degrees of separation. But for those in the younger generation, Facebook was the main factor. Text messaging was also mentioned as an important component in reducing degrees of separation.

That 97% seems really high. I would have thought that more than that would feel "Less connected" due to the virtual nature. Then you see that the study was done by 02 so it probably focused heavily on phones and texts and less so other areas.

Don't know.  My daughter hangs out with her friends IRL in the daytime, and then in the evening, she goes online with all of them, and friends of friends, and so on, and they watch bad movies together on their computers, and laugh their arses off over the channel they're using.

She's never alone. 

I wish that had been available when I was a kid.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 18, 2013, 07:06:12 pm
Fair point. I know few children so I can't really comment.

It will be fun to watch this "more social" shift in society though. It may even have an unexpected consequence of increased empathy because it's easier to get at the actual idiots. I hope.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 19, 2013, 01:16:12 pm
Some HA HA:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23373178

Quote
Huawei has denied claims made by a former US Central ­Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief, Michael Hayden, that it has spied for the Chinese government.

Mr Hayden was quoted by the Australian Financial Review as saying that it was his "professional judgment" that the firm supplied intelligence to ­China.

However, Huawei said the claims were "unsubstantiated" and "defamatory".

In other news, US officials quoted as saying "Don't look at that, look at this"
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on July 19, 2013, 05:33:54 pm
Yesterday, during the House Judiciary Committee, this revelation was made:

Quote
NSA Director John Inglis revealed that the FISA Court permits the government to do three jumps from an initial number tied to a phone number reasonably believed to be tied to terrorism.

And look at this

http://techcrunch.com/2008/09/03/six-degrees-of-separation-is-now-three/

Okay, we're all terrorists. :lol:

Not quite yet. Once you can get to 2 degrees, then we're all totally fucked as everyone is an unwitting accomplice to everything that anyone you know does.

Quote
According to Jeff Rodrigues, a social networking specialist that carried out the study, 97 percent of the participants said they felt more connected to people today than they ever have in the past and for older respondents, email and mobile phones were the key factors in reducing the degrees of separation. But for those in the younger generation, Facebook was the main factor. Text messaging was also mentioned as an important component in reducing degrees of separation.

That 97% seems really high. I would have thought that more than that would feel "Less connected" due to the virtual nature. Then you see that the study was done by 02 so it probably focused heavily on phones and texts and less so other areas.

Older adults, as technology immigrants, often make the error of not recognizing "virtual" communication as, well, communication. What's really interesting about that is that we tend to view things like letters, which are far less immediately connected than text messaging or IM, as "real" communication. So, essentially, we are imposing false assumptions that come from not having been raised with texting as part of our communication frame of reference.

Observation: Teenagers used the phone for socializing and staying connected when we were kids. Now, kids use the voice phone as a highly utilitarian tool for urgent, brief communication. For prolonged social interactions, they prefer IM, text, or Skype.

Caccioppo, in his studies on loneliness, has found that contrary to many doomsayers' predictions about social media, people generally use it as a tool to help them feel less isolated and to maintain, and make, social connections IRL. There is a natural evolution in online groups, from chatting to online friendship to phone calls to in-person friendship. The degrees of intimacy closely mimic the process of developing social bonds in a workplace, or a social club, or anywhere else people normally meet.

In other words, probably unsurprisingly, people are still people and we are social creatures who love being around other people. Even introverts love and need to be around other people. The monstrous things done in the 40's and 50's to try to break that natural human urge, in the era when the machine reigned supreme and it was believed that the way to godhood was through suppressing every human urge and becoming as much like unfeeling robots as possible, could not erase the humanity from our genes and a couple of generations later, although still scarred and neurotic from a bygone era when mothers were told not to hold their babies and to feed them manufactured ichor from a bottle, our children are using the descendants of that early machine technology to return inexorably to the feeling of connectedness and tribe that our species requires to be mentally and emotionally healthy.

It's not good for the machine lords, who want us to be isolated, empty consumers seeking to fill our emotional voids with stuff, but it's good for people.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 19, 2013, 06:02:08 pm
That's a good chunk to re-consider between this and Dok's other thread. Appreciate the help on this kind of stuff.

Quote
Observation: Teenagers used the phone for socializing and staying connected when we were kids. Now, kids use the voice phone as a highly utilitarian tool for urgent, brief communication. For prolonged social interactions, they prefer IM, text, or Skype.

This kind of makes sense when I think about it. Previous generations teenagers had the "get off the phone" argument, the fight between the phone or the internet which limited or slowed communications between peers at what I'd guess to be a fairly delicate time of forming social skills and bonds. 

There may be something of a gender angle to that too, as the advent of the internet enabled (Can't figure how to put this, not secret, silent maybe?) in that you did not have to broadcast who you're communicating with or what about. Which probably ties into the earlier moral panics around chatrooms/IM. 

This:
Quote
our children are using the descendants of that early machine technology to return inexorably to the feeling of connectedness and tribe that our species requires to be mentally and emotionally healthy

Seems important. Fringe interests are no longer quite as out there. You may be the only kid in town that likes X, but there's probably a kid in town Y that likes X too. He's probably an asshole, but at least he likes X.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on July 19, 2013, 06:05:41 pm
Nigel, that was beautifully written.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on July 19, 2013, 07:38:37 pm
Nigel, that was beautifully written.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 19, 2013, 09:24:02 pm
Antifascist Calling has been working the "using surveillance for corporate espionage" angle on the latest PRISM revelations:

http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2013/07/documents-show-undersea-cable-firms.html

Quote
Reporting by Australian journalists confirm information published July 6 by The Washington Post. There we learned that overseas submarine cable companies doing business in the United States must maintain "an internal corporate cell of American citizens with government clearances," a cadre of personnel whose job is to ensure that "when US government agencies seek access to the massive amounts of data flowing through their networks, the companies have systems in place to provide it securely."

Quote
As Bloomberg reported last month, "thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with US national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence."

It's a two-way street, Bloomberg noted. Firms providing "US intelligence organizations with additional data, such as equipment specifications" use it "to help infiltrate computers of its adversaries." In return, "companies are given quick warnings about threats that could affect their bottom line." Such sensitive data can also be used to undermine the position of their foreign competitors.

We now know, based on documents provided by Snowden, that the "infiltration" of computer networks by US secret state agencies are useful not only for filching military secrets and mass spying but also for economic and industrial espionage.

That point was driven home more than a decade ago in a paper prepared by journalist Duncan Campbell for the European Parliament.

"By the end of the 1990s," Campbell wrote, "the US administration claimed that intelligence activity against foreign companies had gained the US nearly $150 billion in exports."

"Although US intelligence officials and spokespeople have admitted using Comint [communications intelligence] against European companies . . . documents show that the CIA has been directly involved in obtaining competitor intelligence for business purposes."

At the time the Telstra pact was signed, the Australian telecommunications and internet giant was "50.1% owned" by the Australian government. Reach Global Services, is described in the document as "a joint venture indirectly owned 50% by Telstra" and "50% owned" by Hong Kong's Pacific Century CyberWorks Limited (PCCW).

With controlling interest in more than 40 undersea fiber optic cables, and with landing rights in global markets that include Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, North America and Europe, the joint venture was then the largest commercial telecommunications carrier in Asia with some 82,000 kilometers of undersea cables. Reach also operates international satellite systems that cover two-third's of the planet's surface.

Such assets would be prime targets of "Five Eyes" spy agencies under terms of the UKUSA Communications Intelligence Agreement.

Telstra and PCCW restructured their partnership in 2011, with the Australian firm now controlling the lion's share of an undersea cable network that stretches "more than 364,000 kilometres and connects more than 240 markets worldwide," the South Morning China Post reported. Inevitably, the restructuring will afford the US government an even greater opportunity for spying.

Network security agreements hammered out among undersea cable firms and the US government have profound implications for global commerce. Their geopolitical significance hasn't been lost on America's closet "allies."
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bu☆ns on July 19, 2013, 10:36:38 pm
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/07/spygate-snooping-standing/


Feds say NSA snooping cannot be challenged in court

Quote
“… the alleged metadata program is fully consistent with the Fourth Amendment. Most fundamentally, the program does not involve “searches” of plaintiffs’ persons or effects, because the collection of telephony metadata from the business records of a third-party telephone service provider, without collecting the contents of plaintiffs’ communications, implicates no ‘legitimate expectation of privacy’ that is protected by the Constitution,” (.pdf) David S. Jones, an assistant United States attorney, wrote U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley in a Thursday filing.

Because the Fourth Amendment is not breached, it follows that the First Amendment is not violated either, Jones wrote.

The government said that, despite it scooping up telephony metadata from “certain telecommunication service providers,” it only queried the database using “300 unique identifiers” searching for terrorist activity last year under a standard of “reasonable, articulable suspicion.” Because the ACLU cannot prove that any of its employees were surveilled under the program, they have no right to sue under a legal concept known as standing.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 19, 2013, 10:39:40 pm
So you can't stop them from spying unless you can prove that they're spying on YOU.

Principles?  What?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 24, 2013, 01:50:11 pm
Hahaha.  The White House are so pissed (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/24/nsa-surveillance-amash-amendment) at Justin Amash, they got the NSA's Director to give him a four hour private bollocking:

Quote
n a reflection of how seriously the Obama administration is taking Amash's amendment to the defence department's annual appropriations bill – which unexpectedly cleared the House rules committee late on Monday – the NSA's director, General Keith Alexander, spent four hours on Capitol Hill on Tuesday in closed-door meetings Amash described to the Guardian as a "general informational briefing".

i.e; a bollocking.

Now what could Amash have done to earn such personal attention?

Quote
The White House urged House members to vote against a measure from Representative Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican, that would stop the NSA siphoning up the telephone records of millions of Americans without suspicion of a crime.

"This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open or deliberative process," said the statement emailed from the White House late on Tuesday in anticipation of a House debate on the Amash measure scheduled for Wednesday.

However, the blunt approach of a secret mass surveillance program is an informed, open and deliberative process?  The mind boggles.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: McGrupp on July 24, 2013, 02:12:50 pm
Hahaha.  The White House are so pissed (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/24/nsa-surveillance-amash-amendment) at Justin Amash, they got the NSA's Director to give him a four hour private bollocking:

Quote
n a reflection of how seriously the Obama administration is taking Amash's amendment to the defence department's annual appropriations bill – which unexpectedly cleared the House rules committee late on Monday – the NSA's director, General Keith Alexander, spent four hours on Capitol Hill on Tuesday in closed-door meetings Amash described to the Guardian as a "general informational briefing".

i.e; a bollocking.

Now what could Amash have done to earn such personal attention?

Quote
The White House urged House members to vote against a measure from Representative Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican, that would stop the NSA siphoning up the telephone records of millions of Americans without suspicion of a crime.

"This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open or deliberative process," said the statement emailed from the White House late on Tuesday in anticipation of a House debate on the Amash measure scheduled for Wednesday.

However, the blunt approach of a secret mass surveillance program is an informed, open and deliberative process?  The mind boggles.

Wow. Be interesting how the vote goes today.

I like how the new approach to any questions of a spy programs value is to just make it secret. "No no, we're holding back the floodgates of terror from your doorstep. We just can't give you any evidence of that because it's secret. Also it's totally constitutional for reasons that are also secret."
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 25, 2013, 09:35:01 am
Vote failed:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/25/nsa-surveillance-amash-amendment-narrow-defeat

Quote
The first major legislative challenge to the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records from millions of Americans was defeated by only a narrow margin on Wednesday, sending a clear signal to the Obama administration that congressional anger about the extent of domestic surveillance is growing.

Despite a concerted lobbying effort by the White House and senior intelligence figures, the attempt to rein in the NSA failed by only 12 votes. The final vote was 205 in favor and 217 against, exposing deep restiveness in Congress over the wisdom and constitutionality of the bulk surveillance on Americans less than two months after the Guardian exposed it, thanks to leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden. A shift of seven votes would have changed the outcome.

Civil libertarians disappointed by the vote promised not to relent in opposing what they consider an unnecessary and unconstitutional violation of Americans' privacy.

The principal author of the effort, Michigan Republican Justin Amash, said he introduced his amendment to the annual Defense Department appropriations bill to "defend the fourth amendment, to defend the privacy of each and every American."

In opposition, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Mike Rogers of Michigan, asked: "Have we forgotten what happened on September 11?" Swiping at Amash, who was supported by an online campaign, he asked: "Are we so small we can only look at how many Facebook likes we have?"

Quote
There were some unlikely alliances: the Democratic minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, voted against the amendment with Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party Republican. John Boehner, the House speaker, found himself in the rare position of being on the same side as President Obama.

Quote
Legislators had only two minutes to vote for the Amash amendment.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 25, 2013, 10:04:18 am
So, I checked on this "2 minutes to vote" thing, because I was intrigued.

According to Dr Richard Forno's cyberlaw blog hosted at Stanford:

Quote
Congress routinely schedules votes of varying durations.  A "15-minute" or "5-minute" vote is the norm.  However, to garner enough support to pass a controversial bill, the majority may hold a vote open for hours if necessary. By contrast, it may compress the duration of a voting window to procedurally challenge those seeking to vote in favour of controversial items it disagrees with. That's a classic Congressional technique.

I thought this might be the case, but I was glad to have it clarified.  One wonders if the scheduling of votes comes under the functions of the all powerful Rules Committee (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_Committee_on_Rules)?

Quote
Rather than being responsible for a specific area of policy, as most other committees are, it is in charge of determining under what rule other bills will come to the floor. As such, it is one of the most powerful committees and is often described as "an arm of the leadership" and as the "traffic cop of Congress." A rule is a simple resolution of the House of Representatives, usually reported by the Committee on Rules, to permit the immediate consideration of a legislative measure, notwithstanding the usual order of business, and to prescribe conditions for its debate and amendment.

Matt Taibbi, when interviewing Bernie Sanders, has explained in great depth how manipulation of the Rules Committee happened during the Bush Presidency, allowing the House to pretty much stymie any Democratic initiative through excessive abuse of the functions of the Committee.

Pete Sessions, the Rules chairman, voted against the Amash amendment, as did Louise Slaughter, the ranking Democratic member.  Out of the thirteen members of the Committee, seven were against the Amash amendment.  And the Rules committee reports directly to the Speaker of the House, who, as we know, is also against the amendment.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: McGrupp on July 25, 2013, 05:26:55 pm
Darn, I had some naive hope it might go through. Messed up about the rules committee stuff.

I love this line:
Quote
In opposition, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Mike Rogers of Michigan, asked: "Have we forgotten what happened on September 11?" Swiping at Amash, who was supported by an online campaign, he asked: "Are we so small we can only look at how many Facebook likes we have?"

That's always meant to be the argument winner. From now until forever.

I just don't buy the idea that the NSA is holding back the floodgates of hordes of terrorists from us. They always seem to make it sound that if we allow them to loosen their grip at all then cities will start exploding.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 25, 2013, 05:54:26 pm
Darn, I had some naive hope it might go through. Messed up about the rules committee stuff.

I love this line:
Quote
In opposition, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Mike Rogers of Michigan, asked: "Have we forgotten what happened on September 11?" Swiping at Amash, who was supported by an online campaign, he asked: "Are we so small we can only look at how many Facebook likes we have?"

That's always meant to be the argument winner. From now until forever.

I just don't buy the idea that the NSA is holding back the floodgates of hordes of terrorists from us. They always seem to make it sound that if we allow them to loosen their grip at all then cities will start exploding.

Mike Rogers, have we forgotten what happened in 1787?   :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 25, 2013, 07:55:56 pm
Mike Rogers cannot remember what happened last week.

He claimed that NSA wiretapping had disrupted 50+ terrorist plots in the US.  Problem: the NSA claimed it disrupted 13 (and those claimed are dubious - but you already knew that).
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 25, 2013, 09:16:43 pm
http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2013/07/25/obama-promises-disappear-from-web/

Quote
Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, has effectively disappeared sometime over the last month.

While front splash page for for Change.gov has linked to the main White House website for years, until recently, you could still continue on to see the materials and agenda laid out by the administration. This was a particularly helpful resource for those looking to compare Obama's performance in office against his vision for reform, laid out in detail on Change.gov.

According to the Internet Archive, the last time that content (beyond the splash page) was available was June 8th -- last month.

Why the change?

Here's one possibility, from the administration's ethics agenda:

Quote
    Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

Well, isn't that kinda embarrassing.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on July 26, 2013, 03:15:48 am
http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2013/07/25/obama-promises-disappear-from-web/

Quote
Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, has effectively disappeared sometime over the last month.

While front splash page for for Change.gov has linked to the main White House website for years, until recently, you could still continue on to see the materials and agenda laid out by the administration. This was a particularly helpful resource for those looking to compare Obama's performance in office against his vision for reform, laid out in detail on Change.gov.

According to the Internet Archive, the last time that content (beyond the splash page) was available was June 8th -- last month.

Why the change?

Here's one possibility, from the administration's ethics agenda:

Quote
    Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

Well, isn't that kinda embarrassing.

 :horrormirth:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on July 26, 2013, 12:43:20 pm
Yup. That's gonna get spread around.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on July 27, 2013, 02:01:32 am
http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2013/07/25/obama-promises-disappear-from-web/

Quote
Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, has effectively disappeared sometime over the last month.

While front splash page for for Change.gov has linked to the main White House website for years, until recently, you could still continue on to see the materials and agenda laid out by the administration. This was a particularly helpful resource for those looking to compare Obama's performance in office against his vision for reform, laid out in detail on Change.gov.

According to the Internet Archive, the last time that content (beyond the splash page) was available was June 8th -- last month.

Why the change?

Here's one possibility, from the administration's ethics agenda:

Quote
    Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

Well, isn't that kinda embarrassing.

 :horrormirth:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on July 28, 2013, 01:09:14 am
 :horrormirth:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: McGrupp on July 28, 2013, 07:58:26 pm
Apparently the NSA is now claiming that they can't search their own emails.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/07/23/204943239/the-nsa-says-it-cant-search-its-own-email

Quote
Over the past weeks, we have learned the National Security Agency has the capability to produced throughout the world.

Today, ProPublica reports that when it comes to parsing email sent by its own employees, the United States' spy agency does not have the technology for it.

At least that's what the investigative outfit said the NSA told them in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Quote
"There's no central method to search an email at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately," NSA Freedom of Information Act officer Cindy Blacker told me last week.

The system is “a little antiquated and archaic," she added.

I could be off base, but this seems to me to highlight that without the complicity of external companies such as Facebook and Google, they would not have the ability to monitor the way that they have been. Though, again this is more a random thought I had than anything else.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 28, 2013, 08:00:07 pm
Or they're lying:

Quote
At least that's what the investigative outfit said the NSA told them in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Uh huh.  Yeah, sure.  Did the dog eat your homework, Cindy Blacker?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: McGrupp on July 28, 2013, 08:46:51 pm
Or they're lying:

Quote
At least that's what the investigative outfit said the NSA told them in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Uh huh.  Yeah, sure.  Did the dog eat your homework, Cindy Blacker?

Yeah, I guess I momentarily hoped that maybe the NSA was inept at what they do. Although the lying certainly wins the 'what is more likely test'.

I did notice that Blacker phrased her words carefully in the one quote:
Quote
"A few days after filing the request, Blacker called, asking me to narrow my request since the FOIA office can search emails only 'person by person,' rather than in bulk.

This seems to imply that the NSA could do the search, but the FOIA can't/won't/doesn't have to. Weasel words and red tape at best but, yeah probably just lying.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 31, 2013, 09:34:08 pm
http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/nsa-tool-tracks-all-internet-conversations-says-guardian-6C10808165

Run, kid, run.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Salty on July 31, 2013, 09:35:26 pm
http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/nsa-tool-tracks-all-internet-conversations-says-guardian-6C10808165

Run, kid, run.

HOLY SHIT.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 31, 2013, 09:39:54 pm
http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/nsa-tool-tracks-all-internet-conversations-says-guardian-6C10808165

Run, kid, run.

HOLY SHIT.

HAHAHAHA

You know, with enough money in the right places at DARPA we could probably have a functional psuedo "minority report" device by the end of next year.

Or they've already got one.

BRB, someone at the door.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on July 31, 2013, 09:45:46 pm
What's really sort of captured my attentions and my affections is the people who holler this shit out and then run like hell.  Snowden, Assange, etc.

I love these guys, regardless of any personal failings they are alleged to have, in the same manner that I loved James Brown when he went screaming across 4 states.  Moreso, even, because they did something positive before they ran.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 31, 2013, 09:50:12 pm
I think it may be because it's a refreshing blast of truth in an age that is increasingly dominated by loud, repeated bullshit.

The manic voice shouting "LOL NO! HERE'S CITATIONS" can't help but be a figure of admiration. Even if it's because you know the end is highly unlikely to be "Peacefully in their sleep surrounded by grandchildren"
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 31, 2013, 10:12:55 pm
Yes, there was quite the fuss in Germany about XKeyscore, when news of German intelligence receiving it from the Americans was first reported.  Seems the information sharing between the BND and American intelligence is most...prolific.

Australia and New Zealand also use XKeyscore, alongside the US government.  I would not be surprised to learn that the UK and Canada were also part of it.

It also takes in so much data, they can only afford to store information from the program for 3-5 days in most cases.  20 terabytes, according to the Guardian/Snowden information.  There is no way you can claim such a program is not a digital dragnet of the widest kind.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 31, 2013, 10:39:36 pm
"Wednesday. 10.36 PM. It's a wet night in the city of angels. Cain reminds everyone that the claims you are likely to see over the coming weeks are likely lies. I'm restless and can't stop thinking about this film every time someone says that word. Now back to whistling in a part of town it's inadvisable to stand around whistling in"
                                               /
(http://www.movieactors.com/freeze-frames/dragnet/dragnet4.jpeg)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on July 31, 2013, 11:17:25 pm

You know, with enough money in the right places at DARPA we could probably have a functional psuedo "minority report" device by the end of next year.

Or they've already got one.

BRB, someone at the door.

 :mittens:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 01, 2013, 08:41:16 am
Antifascist Calling brings us more interesting information (http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2013/07/big-data-dynamo-how-giant-tech-firms.html):

Quote
Who might also have a compelling interest in cataloging and searching through very large data sets, away from prying eyes, and at granular levels to boot? It should be clear following Snowden's disclosures, what's good for commerce is also a highly-prized commodity among global eavesdroppers.

Despite benefits for medical and scientific researchers sifting through mountains of data, as Ars Technica pointed out BigTable and Hadoop "lacked compartmentalized security" vital to spy shops, so "in 2008, NSA set out to create a better version of BigTable, called Accumulo."

Developed by agency specialists, it was eventually handed off to the "non-profit" Apache Software Foundation. Touted as an open software platform, Accumulo is described in Apache literature as "a robust, scalable, high performance data storage and retrieval system."

"The platform allows for compartmentalization of segments of big data storage through an approach called cell-level security. The security level of each cell within an Accumulo table can be set independently, hiding it from users who don't have a need to know: whole sections of data tables can be hidden from view in such a way that users (and applications) without clearance would never know they weren't there," Ars Technica explained.

The tech site Gigaom noted, Accumulo is the "technological linchpin to everything the NSA is doing from a data-analysis perspective," enabling agency analysts to "generate near real-time reports from specific patterns in data," Ars averred.

"For instance, the system could look for specific words or addressees in e-mail messages that come from a range of IP addresses; or, it could look for phone numbers that are two degrees of separation from a target's phone number. Then it can spit those chosen e-mails or phone numbers into another database, where NSA workers could peruse it at their leisure."

(Since that Ars piece appeared, we have since learned that NSA is now conducting what is described as "three-hop analysis," that is, three degrees of separation from a target's email or phone number. This data dragnet "could allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans when investigating one suspected terrorist," the Associated Press observed).

"In other words," Ars explained, "Accumulo allows the NSA to do what Google does with your e-mails and Web searches--only with everything that flows across the Internet, or with every phone call you make."

Quote
A crude illustration (at the top of this post), shows that all data collected in X-KEYSCORE "sessions" are processed in petabyte scale batches captured from "web-based searches" that can be "retrospectively" queried to locate and profile a "target."

This requires enormous processing power; a problem the agency may have solved with Accumulo or similar applications.

Once collected, data is separated into digestible fragments (phone numbers, email addresses and log ins), then reassembled at lightning speeds for searchable queries in graphic form. Information gathered in the hopper includes not only metadata tables, but the "full log," including what spooks call Digital Network Intelligence, i.e., user content.

And while it may not yet be practical for NSA to collect and store each single packet flowing through the pipes, the agency is already collecting and storing vast reams of data intercepted from our phone records, IP addresses, emails, web searches and visits, and is doing so in much the same way that Amazon, eBay, Google and Yahoo does.

As the volume of global communications increase each year at near exponential levels, data storage and processing pose distinct problems.

Indeed, Cisco Systems forecast in their 2012 Visual Networking Index that global IP traffic will grow three-fold over the next five years and will carry up to 4 exabytes of data per day, for an annual rate of 1.4 zettabytes by 2017.

This does much to explain why NSA is building a $2 billion Utah Data Center with 22 acres of digital storage space that can hold up to 5 zettabytes of data and expanding already existing centers at Fort Gordon, Lackland Air Force Base, NSA Hawaii and at the agency's Fort Meade headquarters.

Additionally, NSA is feverishly working to bring supercomputers online "that can execute a quadrillion operations a second" at the Multiprogram Research facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee where enriched uranium for nuclear weapons is manufactured, as James Bamford disclosed last year in Wired.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on August 01, 2013, 09:55:09 am
with that much processing power, were not that far from skynet  :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 01, 2013, 11:06:11 am
And while I'm here

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leaks-as.html

Quote
In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.

The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for "high-risk persons or behaviors" among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Lord Cataplanga on August 01, 2013, 01:29:34 pm
Quote from: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leaks-as.html
...Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.

Is this a usual thing to do?
Sounds like it could be very counter-productive.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 01, 2013, 01:57:09 pm
It seems pretty extreme, though since I've never worked for US intelligence or the military, I have no idea how far out of the norm it is.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on August 01, 2013, 06:12:15 pm
WHY THE FUCK US THE STASI SETTING UP SHOP IN THE WHITE HOUSE?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 02, 2013, 03:11:32 pm
And while I'm here

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leaks-as.html

Quote
In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.

The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for "high-risk persons or behaviors" among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.

Yeah, posted something about that a week ago, IIRC.

Bitterness and paranoia at the workplace?  NO PROBLEM.  Have them spy on each other.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 02, 2013, 03:12:16 pm
WHY THE FUCK US THE STASI SETTING UP SHOP IN THE WHITE HOUSE?

Because they can?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on August 02, 2013, 03:49:24 pm
Remember boys and girls, that cranky old stinky Pete in IT may in fact be a RED. En svensk tiger.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 02, 2013, 04:23:27 pm
Remember boys and girls, that cranky old stinky Pete in IT may in fact be a RED. En svensk tiger.

Is your bathroom breeding BOLSHEVIKS?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Left on August 03, 2013, 12:43:04 am
While actually not the nabbing of the NSA...
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/08/government-knocking-doors-because-google-searches/67864/

Thought this might be interesting...
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 03, 2013, 04:31:52 am
While actually not the nabbing of the NSA...
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/08/government-knocking-doors-because-google-searches/67864/

Thought this might be interesting...

Quote
What the hell is quinoa, they asked. ..

 :lulz: :lulz: :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on August 03, 2013, 05:20:25 am
While actually not the nabbing of the NSA...
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/08/government-knocking-doors-because-google-searches/67864/

Thought this might be interesting...

Quote
What the hell is quinoa, they asked. ..

 :lulz: :lulz: :lulz:

NSA, ALL UP IN OUR MEMES!  :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Don Coyote on August 03, 2013, 08:27:09 am
It seems pretty extreme, though since I've never worked for US intelligence or the military, I have no idea how far out of the norm it is.
not very. been getting that kind of signal since my first anti-terrorism and information awareness briefing.  When taken in the context that someone you know could get your buddies liked by telling the baddies something it makes sense.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 04, 2013, 09:51:26 am
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/government_programs/july-dec13/whistleblowers_08-01.html

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JUDY WOODRUFF: Both Binney and Tice suspect that today, the NSA is doing more than just collecting metadata on calls made in the U.S. They both point to this CNN interview by former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente days after the Boston Marathon bombing. Clemente was asked if the government had a way to get the recordings of the calls between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his wife.

TIM CLEMENTE, former FBI counterterrorism agent: On the national security side of the house, in the federal government, you know, we have assets. There are lots of assets at our disposal throughout the intelligence community and also not just domestically, but overseas. Those assets allow us to gain information, intelligence on things that we can’t use ordinarily in a criminal investigation.

All digital communications are — there’s a way to look at digital communications in the past. And I can’t go into detail of how that’s done or what’s done. But I can tell you that no digital communication is secure.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Tice says after he saw this interview on television, he called some former workmates at the NSA.

RUSSELL TICE: Well, two months ago, I contacted some colleagues at NSA. We had a little meeting, and the question came up, was NSA collecting everything now? Because we kind of figured that was the goal all along. And the answer came back. It was, yes, they are collecting everything, contents word for word, everything of every domestic communication in this country.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Both of you know what the government says is that we’re collecting this — we’re collecting the number of phone calls that are made, the e-mails, but we’re not listening to them.

WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, I don’t believe that for a minute. OK?

I mean, that’s why they had to build Bluffdale, that facility in Utah with that massive amount of storage that could store all these recordings and all the data being passed along the fiberoptic networks of the world. I mean, you could store 100 years of the world’s communications here. That’s for content storage. That’s not for metadata.

Metadata if you were doing it and putting it into the systems we built, you could do it in a 12-by-20-foot room for the world. That’s all the space you need. You don’t need 100,000 square feet of space that they have at Bluffdale to do that. You need that kind of storage for content.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what does that say, Russell Tice, about what the government — you’re saying — your understanding is of what the government does once these conversations take place, is it your understanding they’re recorded and kept?

RUSSELL TICE: Yes, digitized and recorded and archived in a facility that is now online. And they’re kind of fibbing about that as well, because Bluffdale is online right now.

And that’s where the information is going. Now, as far as being able to have an analyst look at all that, that’s impossible, of course. And I think, semantically, they’re trying to say that their definition of collection is having literally a physical analyst look or listen, which would be disingenuous.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 04, 2013, 09:55:37 am
And for our UK readers:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/aug/02/telecoms-bt-vodafone-cables-gchq

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Some of the world’s leading telecoms firms, including BT and Vodafone, are secretly collaborating with Britain’s spy agency GCHQ, and are passing on details of their customers’ phone calls, email messages and Facebook entries, documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden show.

BT, Vodafone Cable, and the American firm Verizon Business – together with four other smaller providers – have given GCHQ secret unlimited access to their network of undersea cables. The cables carry much of the world’s phone calls and internet traffic.

In June the Guardian revealed details of GCHQ’s ambitious data-hoovering programmes, Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. It emerged GCHQ was able to tap into fibre-optic cables and store huge volumes of data for up to 30 days. That operation, codenamed Tempora, has been running for 20 months.

On Friday Germany’s Süddeutsche newspaper published the most highly sensitive aspect of this operation – the names of the commercial companies working secretly with GCHQ, and giving the agency access to their customers’ private communications. The paper said it had seen a copy of an internal GCHQ powerpoint presentation from 2009 discussing Tempora.

The document identified for the first time which telecoms companies are working with GCHQ’s “special source” team. It gives top secret codenames for each firm, with BT (“Remedy”), Verizon Business (“Dacron”), and Vodafone Cable (“Gerontic”). The other firms include Global Crossing (“Pinnage”), Level 3 (“Little”), Viatel (“Vitreous”) and Interoute (“Streetcar”). The companies refused to comment on any specifics relating to Tempora, but several noted they were obliged to comply with UK and EU law.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 04, 2013, 10:44:05 am
(http://i.imgur.com/fFmtYL8.jpg)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on August 04, 2013, 11:08:27 am

"Dissident = Traitor"

Cain, what was that about Hearts and Minds and 5th gen warfare??? Something about control over not just the people, but also their thoughts?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 04, 2013, 12:30:55 pm
Yup.  Psychological warfare.  Influence how people think, and you can win a conflict before it's even started. 

In this particular case, however, I suspect it's a mix of signalling by an ambitious staffer ("look how dedicated I am, Senator"), influencing the jury pool for any future court case ("everyone says he's a traitor, so we oughta convinct him") and attempted "innoculation" of the public from future disclosures ("he's a traitor, we shouldn't listen to him").
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 05, 2013, 01:09:48 pm
I still haven't read this whole thread yet, but this XKeyScore leak really kind of hit me like a punch to the gut. Sure this is what we (or I, at least) suspected for a long time (definitely since the news about the Utah Data Centre), but it doesn't quite hit you like that until you see actual proof and the actual computer interfaces and web forms they use to easily query all this data.

I recommend everyone to have a quick browse through the actual leaked slides, instead of just reading the filtered news about it (also US media seems to be very silent or at least short on details when reporting this, so also try the Guardian or something if you want to know more)

the slides:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/jul/31/nsa-xkeyscore-program-full-presentation

I'm a bit, eh ... I'm not really sure what to do anymore, I might as well sign up for Facebook again because unless this goes away (which it won't) I can't help but feel we completely lost this war on privacy.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 05, 2013, 03:17:00 pm
I still haven't read this whole thread yet, but this XKeyScore leak really kind of hit me like a punch to the gut. Sure this is what we (or I, at least) suspected for a long time (definitely since the news about the Utah Data Centre), but it doesn't quite hit you like that until you see actual proof and the actual computer interfaces and web forms they use to easily query all this data.

I recommend everyone to have a quick browse through the actual leaked slides, instead of just reading the filtered news about it (also US media seems to be very silent or at least short on details when reporting this, so also try the Guardian or something if you want to know more)

the slides:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/jul/31/nsa-xkeyscore-program-full-presentation

I'm a bit, eh ... I'm not really sure what to do anymore, I might as well sign up for Facebook again because unless this goes away (which it won't) I can't help but feel we completely lost this war on privacy.

Maybe.  Or maybe they just gave us a big "FUCK WITH ME" button. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 05, 2013, 09:48:58 pm
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/researchers-say-tor-targeted-malware-phoned-home-to-nsa/

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Malware planted on the servers of Freedom Hosting—the “hidden service” hosting provider on the Tor anonymized network brought down late last week—may have de-anonymized visitors to the sites running on that service. This issue could send identifying information about site visitors to an Internet Protocol address that was hard-coded into the script the malware injected into browsers. And it appears the IP address in question belongs to the National Security Agency (NSA).

This revelation comes from analysis done collaboratively by Baneki Privacy Labs, a collective of Internet security researchers, and VPN provider Cryptocloud. When the IP address was uncovered in the JavaScript exploit—which specifically targets Firefox Long-Term Support version 17, the version included in Tor Browser Bundle—a source at Baneki told Ars that he and others reached out to the malware and security community to help identify the source.

Initial investigations traced the address to defense contractor SAIC, which provides a wide range of information technology and C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) support to the Department of Defense. The geolocation of the IP address corresponds to an SAIC facility in Arlington, Virginia.

Further analysis using a DNS record tool from Robotex found that the address was actually part of several blocks of IP addresses permanently assigned to the NSA. This immediately spooked the researchers.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 05, 2013, 10:54:27 pm
Would seem to tie into a lot of the other existing systems.

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One poster on Cryptocloud's discussion board wrote, "It's psyops—a fear campaign... They want to scare folks off Tor, scare folks off all privacy services."

Are we still pretending that anything is "secure"?

So when do we find out that the Silk Road is administered via the NSA in some way?

Because it's either that or a major free porn site next. That's my bet anyway.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 05, 2013, 10:56:47 pm
Would seem to tie into a lot of the other existing systems.

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One poster on Cryptocloud's discussion board wrote, "It's psyops—a fear campaign... They want to scare folks off Tor, scare folks off all privacy services."

Are we still pretending that anything is "secure"?

So when do we find out that the Silk Road is administered via the NSA in some way?

Because it's either that or a major free porn site next. That's my bet anyway.

I wonder how many of the bigboard political forums are run by the government?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 05, 2013, 11:06:49 pm
Maybe.  Or maybe they just gave us a big "FUCK WITH ME" button.

Yeah. You know how much I care about the digital kind of privacy, it's been something I've been quite passionate about for quite a while, and, well, I only read about the XKeyScore thing yesterday, shit indeed just got real, literally, and I'm gonna need a bit of time to come to terms with the fact that it in fact really is as bad as I've always preached it was. Hopefully that'll just be a few days :) As far as I could tell you've had similar revelations in the past about different topics, no? It's a rollercoaster ride that just goes down, apparently.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 05, 2013, 11:10:52 pm
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I wonder how many of the bigboard political forums are run by the government?

Well that's a bolt of good sense.

Got to be more than a few. These places employ a shitload of people. I can believe there's a division for shit like this. State centrist/government position - Log extreme negative responses.

Rinse and repeat to feed the DATA GOD.

METADATA FOR THE DATA GOD



Trip, the Xkeyscore shit seems pretty bad as does all of this really. I've been hearing this kind of news for a long time now and each time it just seems to escalate. Previously it was only really tech-focused people that cared. Now as the internet becomes part of life it impacts on many more people and the reaction gets louder. I'd suspect that if there was a version of Manning/Snowden 20/15-ish years ago that showed everything to everyone we'd still be pretty much here. Probably further along as the excuse to put in the preventative measures would have been there earlier.

It does just go down, but at least now more of the cart is screaming and understand there is nothing good at the bottom.

ETA - Clarity
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 05, 2013, 11:28:49 pm
It's just, they really can see every fart I make on the internet, read my emails, everybody's emails, and to top it off those slides show an interface that a 13 year old could use--that last part really drives it home. That they could technically see everything, I knew for a long time, it's practically built into the Internet, but, damn, the technology! That's some serious hardcore pieces of software, I guess you need to be a tech-head to just see the magnitude of (software) engineering involved in even making this system possible. Of course that's stupid, because Google has been using this very same technology to handle their Big Data--well not exactly the same, they rolled their own, and last I heard the frameworks the NSA uses were made by the Apache Foundation (yeah that part is open source! of course you won't have the machinery to put it to this kind of use, but still).
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 05, 2013, 11:33:20 pm
Maybe.  Or maybe they just gave us a big "FUCK WITH ME" button.

Yeah. You know how much I care about the digital kind of privacy, it's been something I've been quite passionate about for quite a while, and, well, I only read about the XKeyScore thing yesterday, shit indeed just got real, literally, and I'm gonna need a bit of time to come to terms with the fact that it in fact really is as bad as I've always preached it was. Hopefully that'll just be a few days :) As far as I could tell you've had similar revelations in the past about different topics, no? It's a rollercoaster ride that just goes down, apparently.

There's an obvious solution, but I'm not sure how you'd put it into practice.  It's as old as Winston Churchhill.

Flood 'em.  Drown them in information, most of which is plausible garbage.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 05, 2013, 11:44:19 pm
Yep, that's a solution.

Nice summary of the current security situation:http://frontrowcrew.com/geeknights/20130701/the-levels-of-protecting-your-privacy/
Level 1

Local encryption
SSL enabled and correct
Level 2
VPN (e.g. ipredator)
Level 3
Deniable Encryption
Full Disk Encryption
Level 4
GPG Communication
Level 5
GPG Voip
Level 6
Deniable Communication
One Time Pads
Dead Drops
Forethought
Level 7
Burner Laptops
Ridiculous Spy Bullshit
Preternatural Forethought

Seems fairly correct. I doubt many get to level 2. I suspect many would not even be at 1.

The lower levels all tend to incorporate establishing IRL security links and levels of planning that you're probably just not capable of without it being, well, your job.

As I understand it right now, the concept of "privacy" on the net is pretty much void unless you are some kind of spy.

Even then, it's iffy.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 05, 2013, 11:52:24 pm
Worth mentioning this, from all the way back in 2007

http://www.cryptogon.com/?p=624

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need to get this off my chest, once and for all, because people, who don’t know much about computers, are being bombarded with nonsense, and they’re bombarding me with nonsense as a result. I want a single post that goes all the way, and this is it.

“Have you heard about Tor?” I am routinely asked via clear text email.

Yes, I know about Tor, but we need to take a much closer look at what remaining anonymous online really requires.

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A lot of times, ignorant people refer to things they don’t understand as “tinfoil.” (The gatekeeper Left loves this term.) What follows, however, is so far out that it seems like tinfoil even to me. But then again, I haven’t been targeted by a death squad for my activities online, like some people are in many countries around the world. So, is it tinfoil? For you, maybe. For people struggling against repressive regimes, maybe not.

When I use the term “tinfoil” below, I’m not making fun of you, I’m making fun of myself, and the roles I’ve had to play in corporate IT departments. You don’t know tinfoil unless you’ve worked in a corporate IT department. Corporate IT is a technocratic pyramid built on paranoia, surveillance and fiefdoms of specialized knowledge and privileges (rights and permissions). Since all modern fascist organizations are essentially the same, I hope that my grim experiences within these organizations will help you understand more about the nature of the dire situation that we’re all facing.

If you think that you’re thinking outside of the box, my main purpose in writing this is to inform you that there are actually boxes within boxes, and that if you plan on engaging an opponent as powerful as the American Corporate State (or any other maniac fascist regime), it’s not going to be easy. I don’t know how many boxes within boxes there are. What I do know is that the U.S. Department of Defense built the underlying technologies that make the Internet possible. They built “this” world.

So, you want to be anonymous in a world that was thought up by the U.S. Department of Defense?

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As you might already know, I studied information warfare in college and I did several years of time in corporate IT environments. I knew about the types of surveillance and control that are possible at the client, server and network levels.

I looked at the challenge as all IT people look at all IT related challenges: Assume the absolute worst.

I went even further with this. I made irrationally negative assumptions.

I assumed that everything I did online was compromised. I assumed the worst tinfoil nightmares about commercial operating systems. I assumed that my ISP was a subsidiary of the NSA, etc.

Got the idea?

Let’s look at each level in a bit more detail (in no particular order):

Servers: Potential Honeypots

Many technologies that amateur anonymity fetishists are attracted to are actually designed to harvest information. Put yourself in the shoes of the NSA. If you wanted a concentrated haul of the most interesting information what would you do?

You would establish a honeypot: a service (free or paid) that purported to provide an anonymous web browsing/email capability. Who knows what people might get up to if they thought nobody was looking? That, of course, is the idea with honeypots.

If you’re relying on a proxy server, how will you know that it’s not simply recording your entire session for examination by acreages of the Homeland’s supercomputers that are running advanced statistical Magic 8 Ball algorithms? Because the company or individual providing your proxy service says that they don’t keep logs? HA

Am I saying that all proxies are run by the NSA. No. Am I saying that some number of them are. I’d bet my life on it. How many of them are run by governments? I don’t know. Unless you know which governments are running which proxies, you must assume that all of them are compromised.

In reality, the NSA would probably be the least of your worries when using a proxy server or open base station.

Nerds with too much time on their hands get up to all kinds nonsense. Do they set up anonymous proxy servers and open base stations just to see what people do with them? Yes. Do criminals do it to find out personal information about you? Yes.

So even if the proxy or base station you’re on isn’t run by the NSA, who is running it? And why?

Maybe you’re eLitE and use several proxies. You can probably assume that the proxies aren’t colluding directly, but what about the networks? Which leads us to the next level…

Networks: If You Feel Like You’re Being Watched, It’s Because You Are

The network providers are keeping end to end records of every session. The question is: Are the network providers colluding with the U.S. Government? Since you can’t assume that they’re not, you must assume that they are. I would assume that the U.S. Government has end to end coverage of every IP session that starts and ends on U.S. networks. With corporate collusion and off the shelf hardware and software, this isn’t a stretch at all. For non U.S. networks, the NSA gets in with multi billion dollar tools like the U.S.S. Jimmy Carter, and who knows what else…

There are dozens of off the shelf products that you would swear were designed for use by intelligence agencies, but they’re routinely peddled to—and used by—corporations. If corporations have and use these surveillance capabilities, what are the intelligence agencies running on the service providers’ networks? I’ll be buggered if I know, but I know it’s not good. That recent ATT/NSA thing is just a tiny/trivial tip of the iceberg.

Clients: NSA Side Projects?

Microsoft and Apple sought assistance from the U.S. National Security Agency.

Evil Corporations Working with the NSA + Closed Source Binaries = Not Good.

What is that thing actually doing? I don’t know. Thank you. That’s all I need to know.

Countermeasures

Access the Internet Using an Open Wireless Network, Preferably from Great Distance

In terms of a threat assessment, for our purposes, I see the networks as posing the biggest problem.

People write to me all the time raving about the dreaded Google cookie. HA. “We must use scroogle!” for freedom and safety, etc.

When I mention that their ISP is, most likely, keeping every URL that they visit in a database, at a minimum, and that NSA boxes are probably analyzing every FORM tagged submission, well, that’s a hard lesson for people. Go ahead, use scroogle. Maybe the people running it aren’t evil. So what. Scroogle might make you feel good, but it has nothing to do with security or anonymity, not when you consider the capabilities of the enemy on the network.

Give any 14 year old hacker access to the right network switch and, unless you know what you’re doing, he or she will use a packet sniffer to find out what you had for breakfast. Now, the difference between most 14 year old hackers and the NSA is that the pimply faced kids don’t have physical access to the network that would allow them to conduct man in the middle surveillance on you. The NSA does. Again, that NSA/ATT thing is fly fart level. That’s nothing. That’s just the piece of the program that got outed.

You need a false flag connection to the Internet. In other words, access the Internet via someone else’s open wireless router, preferably from great distance. Lots of organizations, businesses and individuals provide free, wireless Internet access; on purpose, believe it or not. Ideally, you would use a cantenna or a high performance parabolic antenna to authoritatively distance yourself from any surveillance cameras that are likely saturating your local coffee shop or other business that provides free Internet access. Hitting the base station from hundreds of meters away would be nice.

If you were to carry the paranoia to an extreme level, you would assume that They would show up at your access point and use direction finding equipment to spot your physical location. “Tinfoil!” you say? Keychain WiFi access point finders have had crude DF capabilities for years. Then you have civilian grade WiFi network engineering stuff like the Yellow Jacket. Direction finding is as old as the hills and trivial to do. If you do happen to attract the wrong kind of attention on an anonymous base station, pinpointing your location would be a simple matter.

Solution? If you are playing this game as if your life is on the line, don’t use the same open base station twice. Hey, this post is going out to those of you who send me the paranoid emails. You wanted to know, I’m telling you! I mean, it would suck to look toward your friendly anonymous WiFi provider with a pair of binoculars and see a guy in a suit looking back at you. Hint: if you see a van with several antennas arranged in some geometric pattern on the roof, that would not be a positive development. But that was 1980s era technology, the last time I dabbled with DF gear with a buddy of mine. Here’s a nice little integrated soup to nuts solution that is probably more like what They would be using.

Surf Away: Just Don’t Do Anything That You Normally Do Online

All of the stuff that you do with your “normal” online persona, you know, online banking, checking email, discussion groups, etc: You can’t do any of that. The second you associate a user profile on a server with your behavior, you’re back to square one. The Matrix has you. You would have to create what the intelligence business calls a “legend” for your new anonymous online life. You may only access this persona using these extreme communications security protocols. Obviously, you can’t create an agent X persona via your anonymous connection and then log into some site using that profile on your home cable modem connection. To borrow another bit of jargon from the people who do this for real, full time, you must practice “compartmentalization.”

If you actually attract the wrong kind of attention on a server, OR a network, with your agent X persona, if you haven’t f@#$%& up in some way, all roads will lead back to the open base station.

“After connecting through the open WiFi network, should I also use an anonymous proxy?”

I would assume that even if the proxy is clean, and there is no way to know that it is, They will have that thing covered on the network, end to end. Physical disassociation from the access point is the best proxy.

Client Side

Never write anything to disk. Oh, you weren’t planning on using your Windows or MacOS laptop with all of those closed source binaries whirring away, were you? Man, I don’t know where you got your tinfoil hat, but that thing is obviously defective.

You will have to learn about Live CD distributions of Linux.

You boot that thing. Do your business. Turn off the computer. Nothing is written to the hard disk.

“But I need to save my work?”

If you want to save your work, the easiest way of routinely handling encrypted workflow is to use an encrypted volume and a tool that only decrypts your data on the fly, in RAM. The best tool I know of for handling encrypted volumes is TrueCrypt. Hint: Use cascading encryption algorithms. [UPDATE: Is TrueCrypt a Honeypot?] Do They have some technology, in an underground hanger at Area 51, that’s capable of breaking one of those cascading crypto schemes? I don’t know. I doubt it, but anything is possible when infinite budgets are involved.

Hey, man, you wanted to save your work, right? That’s the score when you’ve got half a role of Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil around your head.

“But I need to send email.”

For our purposes here, I wouldn’t. Email is locked down and heavily surveilled, partially because of the plague of spam, but read on…

I don’t believe in web based email solutions that purport to provide strong encryption and/or anonymity. Who knows what their applets and servers are doing? Not me. And if they rely on SSL, well, that’s ok for buying a book online, but no tinfoiler in his right mind would bet his life on SSL. The Thunderbird/Enigmail/GPG solution is the best way to send and receive VERY secure email that I know of. But will your agent x persona be able to deliver email via SMTP? I wouldn’t count on it. And from which domain? Unless you are very naughty, you shouldn’t be allowed anonymous access to a SMPT server anyway.

You might have to go with a throw-away web based email account and then cut and paste your encrypted messages into that. As a rule, however, never compose a message that you plan on encrypting in a web based form. Some of them use technologies that transmit what you’re typing over the web AS YOU TYPE. This is so you don’t lose what you typed if the session cuts out, but guess what? That’s right, you just blew it.

Use open source tools that are running locally on your system to encrypt and decrypt messages.

An effective way of communicating with someone, outside of email, would be via newsgroup or bulletin board that allows anonymous posting. (Note: If you try it here, I’ll just delete it.) You are, in effect, using the board as a numbers station. You’re not trying to hide the signal. You assume that it will be intercepted. You encrypt your message to the recipient, using his/her public key, and post the ciphertext to the board. The recipient goes on there, copies the message and decrypts it. I first encountered this in the mid 1990s on usenet. Of course, the person on the other end needs to have the same level of discipline and paranoia as you for this to work properly.

Last but not least: Make sure that you spoof your MAC address EVERY time you go online. Funny story: I worked at a place that was locked down to the point that every MAC address was screened at the network level. Say, for example, that someone brought in a personal laptop from home, even though there was no chance of being able to use the network for much (domain sign on was required) the switch would alert a sys admin indicating that an alien device was plugged into the network, along with the jack/cube/desk number.

MAC addresses are unique, and perfect for surveillance purposes. Always spoof your MAC address when you’re running in agent x mode.

Well, that’s pretty much it. (Actually, I’m tired of typing.) I didn’t say it was going to be easy, and you should watch out for people and products that make those claims.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on August 06, 2013, 12:35:20 am
This is why I distrust so much of the modern Internet. "Personal Computing" is well on its way now to being entirely "cloud-based." That is to say, your Internet persona is a collection of interests, statements, browsing patterns, communications, purchases, searches, and documents that exist wholly or in copy form on someone else's actual physical hardware. Your documents and search history live on a Google server, your email lives on an Apple or Microsoft server, your politics and social circles exist on Facebook. The idea is to get as much of your data as far away from you physically as possible -- yes, for marketable reasons like convenience and ease of access, but also for other reasons like "legally this server belongs to me, you put your data here, therefore your data belongs to me," and "I don't have to ask YOU to give up data you already gave up to Facebook."

I also work in corporate IT, and I can say that there are automated systems that do a number of potentially scary things with metadata. And of course the corporate justification doesn't have to pretend it's for the user's "own good." It's fairly straightforward. We own the equipment, and we own your time while you are using that equipment; therefore we own everything you create, we see everything you type, and we know everything you look at. Everything you do is subject to immediate search, and every action that looks unrelated to work is grounds for immediate corrective action.

If only I was "domain admin" for this NSA shit, I could set all our histories to "Do not retain."
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 06, 2013, 01:20:52 am
HOLY FUCK.  Cain, that's absolutely DIABOLICAL.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 06, 2013, 01:23:00 am
When you need a professional paranoid, Kevin Flaherty of Cryptogon is your man.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on August 06, 2013, 01:59:55 am
Maybe.  Or maybe they just gave us a big "FUCK WITH ME" button.

Yeah. You know how much I care about the digital kind of privacy, it's been something I've been quite passionate about for quite a while, and, well, I only read about the XKeyScore thing yesterday, shit indeed just got real, literally, and I'm gonna need a bit of time to come to terms with the fact that it in fact really is as bad as I've always preached it was. Hopefully that'll just be a few days :) As far as I could tell you've had similar revelations in the past about different topics, no? It's a rollercoaster ride that just goes down, apparently.

There's an obvious solution, but I'm not sure how you'd put it into practice.  It's as old as Winston Churchhill.

Flood 'em.  Drown them in information, most of which is plausible garbage.

Can it be flooded? How many people would have to type how many convincing lies over how long to upset this number crunching beast? How many websites would it take to slow down Google?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 06, 2013, 02:09:31 am
Maybe.  Or maybe they just gave us a big "FUCK WITH ME" button.

Yeah. You know how much I care about the digital kind of privacy, it's been something I've been quite passionate about for quite a while, and, well, I only read about the XKeyScore thing yesterday, shit indeed just got real, literally, and I'm gonna need a bit of time to come to terms with the fact that it in fact really is as bad as I've always preached it was. Hopefully that'll just be a few days :) As far as I could tell you've had similar revelations in the past about different topics, no? It's a rollercoaster ride that just goes down, apparently.

There's an obvious solution, but I'm not sure how you'd put it into practice.  It's as old as Winston Churchhill.

Flood 'em.  Drown them in information, most of which is plausible garbage.

Can it be flooded? How many people would have to type how many convincing lies over how long to upset this number crunching beast? How many websites would it take to slow down Google?

See, that's the part I don't know how to do, because I am not computer literate.

But maybe you don't have to be.  It wouldn't be too hard to bollux the system...Hang on, I am in grave danger of having an idea, here.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on August 06, 2013, 03:42:09 am
Maybe.  Or maybe they just gave us a big "FUCK WITH ME" button.

Yeah. You know how much I care about the digital kind of privacy, it's been something I've been quite passionate about for quite a while, and, well, I only read about the XKeyScore thing yesterday, shit indeed just got real, literally, and I'm gonna need a bit of time to come to terms with the fact that it in fact really is as bad as I've always preached it was. Hopefully that'll just be a few days :) As far as I could tell you've had similar revelations in the past about different topics, no? It's a rollercoaster ride that just goes down, apparently.

There's an obvious solution, but I'm not sure how you'd put it into practice.  It's as old as Winston Churchhill.

Flood 'em.  Drown them in information, most of which is plausible garbage.

Can it be flooded? How many people would have to type how many convincing lies over how long to upset this number crunching beast? How many websites would it take to slow down Google?

See, that's the part I don't know how to do, because I am not computer literate.

But maybe you don't have to be.  It wouldn't be too hard to bollux the system...Hang on, I am in grave danger of having an idea, here.

I'm not convinced flooding them would be either possible or effective. Judging by 2011 numbers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_traffic), the amount of data that traverses American networks alone -- each second -- is equivalent to about 21 million average-sized email messages. The NSA is completely undaunted by this volume of data. Even if you could substantially increase the volume of data, making the haystack bigger doesn't do much good when you're dealing with someone who's looking for needles with an X-Ray camera.

The algorithms that scan and retain information on people don't just look for keywords and flag conversations. They track interactions and contact networks, evaluate probabilities and keep tabs dependably not only on what people do online, but who they are. Spamming up the works by firing off random page views or downloads, or shifting your browsing history, or making a bunch of noisy interactions with people you don't have a history of talking to isn't going to do much good.

I like the ideas presented in Cain's quote a lot more, where one practices complete compartmentalization and physical separation between one's "normal" online persona and his/her potentially "subversive" one.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 06, 2013, 03:55:49 am
Maybe.  Or maybe they just gave us a big "FUCK WITH ME" button.

Yeah. You know how much I care about the digital kind of privacy, it's been something I've been quite passionate about for quite a while, and, well, I only read about the XKeyScore thing yesterday, shit indeed just got real, literally, and I'm gonna need a bit of time to come to terms with the fact that it in fact really is as bad as I've always preached it was. Hopefully that'll just be a few days :) As far as I could tell you've had similar revelations in the past about different topics, no? It's a rollercoaster ride that just goes down, apparently.

There's an obvious solution, but I'm not sure how you'd put it into practice.  It's as old as Winston Churchhill.

Flood 'em.  Drown them in information, most of which is plausible garbage.

Can it be flooded? How many people would have to type how many convincing lies over how long to upset this number crunching beast? How many websites would it take to slow down Google?

See, that's the part I don't know how to do, because I am not computer literate.

But maybe you don't have to be.  It wouldn't be too hard to bollux the system...Hang on, I am in grave danger of having an idea, here.

I'm not convinced flooding them would be either possible or effective. Judging by 2011 numbers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_traffic), the amount of data that traverses American networks alone -- each second -- is equivalent to about 21 million average-sized email messages. The NSA is completely undaunted by this volume of data. Even if you could substantially increase the volume of data, making the haystack bigger doesn't do much good when you're dealing with someone who's looking for needles with an X-Ray camera.

The algorithms that scan and retain information on people don't just look for keywords and flag conversations. They track interactions and contact networks, evaluate probabilities and keep tabs dependably not only on what people do online, but who they are. Spamming up the works by firing off random page views or downloads, or shifting your browsing history, or making a bunch of noisy interactions with people you don't have a history of talking to isn't going to do much good.

I like the ideas presented in Cain's quote a lot more, where one practices complete compartmentalization and physical separation between one's "normal" online persona and his/her potentially "subversive" one.

Well, I could have phrased that better.  Flood them with bad information, not overload the system.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 06, 2013, 04:56:48 am
Even flooding them with bad information may be tricky.  I mean, the system is taking in everything.  While I'm not adverse to them having some stuff that is definitely wrong, if a good 98%* of it is accurate, then it can probably be used to filter out the 2% that is not.

*number pulled entirely out of my arse.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on August 06, 2013, 06:39:12 am
Basically, my fear is that if these systems are designed to pull signal from noise where THE ENTIRE REST OF THE INTERNET is the noise... they probably aren't going to be phased by any increase in noise that we can manufacture.

EDIT: They probably won't be fazed, either.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on August 06, 2013, 07:32:34 am
(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/exploits_of_a_mom.png)

This is the only way to fight the surveillance.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on August 06, 2013, 07:34:38 am
(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/exploits_of_a_mom.png)

This is the only way to fight the surveillance.

That's cute.  :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on August 06, 2013, 07:37:24 am
Basically, my fear is that if these systems are designed to pull signal from noise where THE ENTIRE REST OF THE INTERNET is the noise... they probably aren't going to be phased by any increase in noise that we can manufacture.

I have a pretty strong feeling (where "feeling" is based on "everyone I came of age phreaking with") that the government agencies interested in surveillance aren't as naive as we wish they were, or as they in fact were until this lovely decade.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 06, 2013, 03:19:33 pm
AHAHAHAHAHA.

HAHAHAHA.

HA.

HA.

*dies*

Quote
The US has criticised a new internet decree in Vietnam that would restrict online users from discussing current affairs.

The law, announced last week and due to come into force in September, says social media should only be used for "[exchanging] personal information".

The US embassy in Hanoi said it was "deeply concerned" by the decree.

Vietnam has convicted at least 46 activists, including bloggers, for anti-state activity this year.

The law, known as Decree 72, bans the online publication of material that "opposes" the Vietnamese government or "harms national security".

Silly Vietnamese, information on the internet is to be shared freely, so that surveillance agencies can carry out international dragnets for useful data.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on August 06, 2013, 03:36:54 pm
 :horrormirth:

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on August 06, 2013, 03:57:44 pm
AHAHAHAHAHA.

HAHAHAHA.

HA.

HA.

*dies*

Quote
The US has criticised a new internet decree in Vietnam that would restrict online users from discussing current affairs.

The law, announced last week and due to come into force in September, says social media should only be used for "[exchanging] personal information".

The US embassy in Hanoi said it was "deeply concerned" by the decree.

Vietnam has convicted at least 46 activists, including bloggers, for anti-state activity this year.

The law, known as Decree 72, bans the online publication of material that "opposes" the Vietnamese government or "harms national security".

Silly Vietnamese, information on the internet is to be shared freely, so that surveillance agencies can carry out international dragnets for useful data.

Nope. I see nothing ironic here
          \\
(http://blogs.independent.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/julian_assange-21.jpeg)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 06, 2013, 05:46:29 pm
http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/fbi-hacking-squad-used-domestic-investigations-experts-say-6C10851882

 :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 07, 2013, 11:44:43 am
Remember kids, when Manning and Snowden disclose the existence of illegal programs and war crimes, that's "treason", because it aids the enemy.

When the US government discloses it is directly listening to the communications between the leader of Al-Qaeda and AQ in Yemen to the press, that is different because, uh, fuck you.

Edit: spelling error.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on August 07, 2013, 12:37:26 pm
http://www.salon.com/2013/08/06/cyberscare_ex_nsa_chief_calls_transparency_groups_hackers_next_terrorists/singleton/

Well I always knew this day one come:

When history remembers that 4chan did 911.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 07, 2013, 04:51:47 pm
BBC's reporting that the evacuation of Yemen's embassy is possibly a cover for JSOC putting a team in the country.

Would make sense - put them on the C17 over, drop them off under the cover of darkness, leave with the Embassy staff at dawn.  Which is what happened.  But who's the target?  Nasir al-Wuhayshi?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 07, 2013, 06:47:41 pm
Obama has cancelled his scheduled meeting with Putin, over Russia offering asylum to Snowden.

"Russia's disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship. Our cooperation on these issues remains a priority for the United States".

Pretty petty, but Obama has always struck me as somewhat vain, and no doubt sees Putin's move as a personal slight
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 07, 2013, 07:03:18 pm
Petty is probably dead on. Putin's still going to be about after Obama exits the world stage. He's probably quite concious that his time in office is running out. That means time to make deals and consider the lucrative future. I'd guess there's more money in strained relations than honest communication.

It's a good thing I don't have any political power. If I was Obama here, I'd have gone and requested to meet with Snowden.

Can't take the thing seriously though, not like anything important is at stake.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Reginald Ret on August 08, 2013, 12:15:59 pm
Obama has cancelled his scheduled meeting with Putin, over Russia offering asylum to Snowden.

"Russia's disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship. Our cooperation on these issues remains a priority for the United States".

Pretty petty, but Obama has always struck me as somewhat vain, and no doubt sees Putin's move as a personal slight
When i first read a headline about that i thought it was because of the Russian anti-gay laws.
Then i read more and had a sad.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 08, 2013, 12:22:38 pm
Obama has cancelled his scheduled meeting with Putin, over Russia offering asylum to Snowden.

"Russia's disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship. Our cooperation on these issues remains a priority for the United States".

Pretty petty, but Obama has always struck me as somewhat vain, and no doubt sees Putin's move as a personal slight
When i first read a headline about that i thought it was because of the Russian anti-gay laws.
Then i read more and had a sad.

To be fair, if he wasn't using this law as an excuse he would have found something elses. The Anti-gay law stance seems to be a nice way to curry favour at home while not saying anything about the actual reason.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on August 08, 2013, 02:44:21 pm
Not strictly related to Prism

The founder of Tor was arrested on trumped up charges. We will see now if my country makes the stupidest decision it has in a while.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/0808/467073-eric-eoin-marques-court/
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 08, 2013, 02:50:37 pm
He's not the founder of Tor.  He just owns a Tor hosting network, called Freedom Hosting.  The Tor Project have disavowed all knowledge of or links to Freedom Hosting.

Besides, US intelligence knows where to find the founders of Tor anyway, because it was originally sponsored by DARPA.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on August 08, 2013, 02:51:29 pm
He's not the founder of Tor.  He just owns a Tor hosting network, called Freedom Hosting.  The Tor Project have disavowed all knowledge of or links to Freedom Hosting.

Besides, US intelligence knows where to find the founders of Tor anyway, because it was originally sponsored by DARPA.

I mixed him up so, You think this could be legit so?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 08, 2013, 02:54:47 pm
Quite possibly, yes.  It's also likely related to the FBI exploit on flawed versions of the Tor browser that were unveiled recently.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on August 08, 2013, 02:56:34 pm
Quite possibly, yes.  It's also likely related to the FBI exploit on flawed versions of the Tor browser that were unveiled recently.

Ah so thats how they got him, if he is running a child porn network he should be arrested and tried (not sure about extradited, he is an irish citizen committing a crime under irish law).
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 08, 2013, 02:58:31 pm
Yeah, I have a problem with that myself.  America's view of the internet and, it seems, all of Europe, as its personal playground is an annoying one, and given the leaps and bounds in reactionary methods that the US has been undergoing...well, everyone deserves a fair trial, is all I'm saying.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 08, 2013, 06:50:47 pm
(http://static.bbc.co.uk/programmeimages/608xn/images/p01dw05r.jpg)

Adam Curtis, the BBC documentary maker, is having fun.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on August 08, 2013, 08:28:32 pm
Interesting.




Oh, didn't I call this in one of these surveillance threads?
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/us/broader-sifting-of-data-abroad-is-seen-by-nsa.html?_r=0
Quote
Hints of the surveillance appeared in a set of rules, leaked by Mr. Snowden, for how the N.S.A. may carry out the 2008 FISA law. One paragraph mentions that the agency “seeks to acquire communications about the target that are not to or from the target.” The pages were posted online by the newspaper The Guardian on June 20, but the telltale paragraph, the only rule marked “Top Secret” amid 18 pages of restrictions, went largely overlooked amid other disclosures.

To conduct the surveillance, the N.S.A. is temporarily copying and then sifting through the contents of what is apparently most e-mails and other text-based communications that cross the border. The senior intelligence official, who, like other former and current government officials, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, said the N.S.A. makes a “clone of selected communication links” to gather the communications, but declined to specify details, like the volume of the data that passes through them.

Computer scientists said that it would be difficult to systematically search the contents of the communications without first gathering nearly all cross-border text-based data; fiber-optic networks work by breaking messages into tiny packets that flow at the speed of light over different pathways to their shared destination, so they would need to be captured and reassembled.

...
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on August 09, 2013, 09:51:44 am
Anyone taking bets on how long it'll be before a prism security exploit hits the net...  :evil:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 09, 2013, 10:06:38 am
Interesting.




Oh, didn't I call this in one of these surveillance threads?
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/us/broader-sifting-of-data-abroad-is-seen-by-nsa.html?_r=0
Quote
Hints of the surveillance appeared in a set of rules, leaked by Mr. Snowden, for how the N.S.A. may carry out the 2008 FISA law. One paragraph mentions that the agency “seeks to acquire communications about the target that are not to or from the target.” The pages were posted online by the newspaper The Guardian on June 20, but the telltale paragraph, the only rule marked “Top Secret” amid 18 pages of restrictions, went largely overlooked amid other disclosures.

To conduct the surveillance, the N.S.A. is temporarily copying and then sifting through the contents of what is apparently most e-mails and other text-based communications that cross the border. The senior intelligence official, who, like other former and current government officials, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, said the N.S.A. makes a “clone of selected communication links” to gather the communications, but declined to specify details, like the volume of the data that passes through them.

Computer scientists said that it would be difficult to systematically search the contents of the communications without first gathering nearly all cross-border text-based data; fiber-optic networks work by breaking messages into tiny packets that flow at the speed of light over different pathways to their shared destination, so they would need to be captured and reassembled.

...

You may well have.

I know I posted this Cryptogon link (http://www.cryptogon.com/?p=35884), which talks about the possibility.

Quote
My now familiar and broken-record-response to this thing is to go back to Room 641A last decade if you want a real thrill.

They have beam splitters installed at the peering points. NSA is getting everything. The end.

A more thorough explanation, for those who do not know what a beam splitter is, is provided by James Bamford (http://ufppc.org/us-a-world-news-mainmenu-35/11588-background-beam-splitters-fiber-optic-cables-and-the-nsa.html):

Quote
At the AT&T facility on Folsom Street and the other locations, fiber-optic cables containing millions of communications enter the building and go into what's known as a beam-splitter.  This is a prism-type device that produces a duplicate, mirror image of the original communications.  The original beams, containing Internet data, continue on to wherever they were originally destined.  The duplicate beam goes into Room 641A, the NSA's secret room one floor below, a discovery made by another whistleblower, AT&T technician Mark Klein.  There the Narus equipment scans all the Internet traffic for "selectors" -- names, e-mail address, words, phrases, or other indicators that the NSA wants to know about.  Any message containing a selector is then retransmitted in full to the NSA for further analysis, as are the contents of phone calls selected.  With regard to targeted phone numbers, the agency supplies them to the company, which then gives the NSA access to monitor them.

The selectors are inserted by remote control into the Narus equipment by NSA analysts sitting at their desks at the agency’s headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland or at dozens of locations around the world.  What Snowden seemed to be saying in his interview is that as long as certain analysts have an e-mail address, for example, they can simply enter that information into the system and retrieve the content of the e-mails sent from and to that address.  There are, by his account, no judicial checks and balances to assure that the targeting of an American has been approved by a FISA court order and not just by NSA employees.  These claims by Snowden, and other revelations from the documents he released, should be investigated by either a select committee of Congress, such as the Church Committee, or an independent body, like the 9/11 Commission.

While UPSTREAM captures most of the telecommunications -- about 80 percent according to Binney -- there are still gaps in the coverage.  That is where the PRISM program comes in.  With PRISM, the NSA is able to go directly to the communications industry, including the major Internet companies, to get whatever they miss from UPSTREAM.  According to the top secret inspector general’s report, the "NSA maintains relationships with over 100 U.S. companies," adding that the U.S. has the “home field advantage as the primary hub for worldwide telecommunications.”
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 09, 2013, 08:14:01 pm
Holy crap.

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/09/19950803-snowden-revelations-force-obamas-hand-on-surveillance-program?lite

Of course, what Obama is saying he's going to actually DO is rebrand the spying, if you read the article.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 09, 2013, 08:28:20 pm
Quote
an external working group to evaluate transparency in the program.

Isn't that otherwise known as The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence?

Meanwhile back in reality...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/09/nsa-loophole-warrantless-searches-email-calls

Quote
Once Americans’ communications are collected, a gap in the law that I call the ‘back-door searches loophole’ allows the government to potentially go through these communications and conduct warrantless searches for the phone calls or emails of law-abiding Americans.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on August 11, 2013, 09:08:21 pm
No comment necessary:

http://www.chronicle.su/news/dog-the-bounty-hunter-to-pursue-snowden-bounty/
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Don Coyote on August 11, 2013, 09:14:34 pm
No comment necessary:

http://www.chronicle.su/news/dog-the-bounty-hunter-to-pursue-snowden-bounty/

I just read some of the other articles there. :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 11, 2013, 10:01:11 pm
Worth mentioning this, from all the way back in 2007

http://www.cryptogon.com/?p=624

(snip)

Somehow I get the feeling I've read this article before, but that's all pretty solid advice. Some of it used to (seem to) be a bit on the tinfoil side back then, but it's pretty effective. And with what we know now to be the case, tinfoil's again something to pack your lunch with.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on August 11, 2013, 10:17:58 pm
No comment necessary:

http://www.chronicle.su/news/dog-the-bounty-hunter-to-pursue-snowden-bounty/

 :lulz: That site is awesome.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 11, 2013, 11:38:37 pm
(http://static.bbc.co.uk/programmeimages/608xn/images/p01dw05r.jpg)

Adam Curtis, the BBC documentary maker, is having fun.

Just got this link via IRC : http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/BUGGER , didn't watch all the embedded video clips, but it's a pretty good read.



Additionally, about the idea of flooding Them with noise / bad information / etc, in theory it might work, but Cain and V3X already explained pretty well there are a few catches. The main problem seems to be that we don't quite know what exactly they are looking for, and what techniques they already use to filter out the (ubiquitous) noise in their data.

Additionally, not all of the data is textual. There's been this talk about "just metadata". That is location data, duration/timing data, IP/MAC addresses, cellphone tower data, electricity/water/power usage, traffic cameras, anything, and most importantly data about network nodes. That is, any kind of "social" network or anything that bears a vague resemblance to this, not what you write on FB, email, chat, but the graphs made up of the nodes you interact with, your buddy lists, your contact lists, and those of the nodes around you. And more.

This kind of data contains huge amounts of information, especially if you feed it to a Machine Learning algorithm that eats Big Data for lunch.

It also has the nice quality of consisting mostly of numbers and other types of easily machine-readable datatypes--unlike email/chat text logs, which need keyword matching or natural language parsing before it becomes useful, even if the keywords are provided by a human agent looking for something in particular, this still means that large amounts of text data cannot be mined for their true information potential. Metadata, however, the more they collect, the more complete of a picture this paints.

It's also hard to fake. Humans have a hard time visualizing the "shape" of your local social network to, say, 3 degrees of separation. That's probably a few thousands of people, after all. This is peanuts to a machine. The result of this? You probably have no idea how highly specific and unique the shape of your local social graph is. Say you are absent on one particular social network, or you have taken pains to keep separate identities from work / discordians / family. That's great to keep private eyes and crazy exes off your trail, but with the NSA's resources it's a simple pattern matching task. Even without any names, they will locate the "hole" in the graph of the social network you are not participating in, they will easily find the connections in your life you tried to keep compartmentalised, all they need to look for are the connections of your friends, friends-of-friends and friends-of-friends-of-friends and fit these very very specific unique structures, just a bunch of nodes connected by lines, and it doesn't quite matter if it's your FB friends, cellphone contacts, email contacts, IM chat buddies. Pattern matching fill find the same loci, even if they aren't exactly the same, I am convinced the structures they form are more uniquely identifying than DNA+fingerprints.

About the previous paragraph, slight disclaimer: this is a hunch. I haven't read any scientific articles about doing exactly the above, but I've read a couple that did some rather similar things (there was one where they guessed a person's sexual orientation to a high degree of accuracy using the shape of their extended social graph). And I believe I have fairly a good idea of the information-theoretical requirements that need to and are present to make this possible. The website http://33bits.org got its name from the FACT that you only need 33 bits of statistically independent data, or 33 bits of entropy in order to uniquely identify any individual in the world. Here "entropy" and "bit" are used in the information-theoretical sense of the words, it has to be a coinflip 50/50 odds that is entirely independent from the bits you've already gather or otherwise it counts as less than a whole bit (for instance knowing someone is straight, going with the oft-quoted statistic this is the case for 90% of people, will yield you 0.15 bits, whereas knowing the converse would yield 3.3 bits). Anyway, social graphs contain lots and lots of bits (even given your local graph structure is not quite statistically independent from that of your friends), the trick is to extract them into a useful machine-searchable and machine-learnable form.

I'm just not sure where to even start spoofing or misleading such types of datamining. You could have a group of people making 5 FB accounts and friend eachother in meticulously planned ways, but you'd never be sure if you'd escape actual fingerprinting.

Then there is another problem about the way they use the text data. This is about IF you ever become a "person of interest", or maybe one of your friends does, they can search the backlog of information. And you can spoof and write disinfo all you want, but it'd take a huge amount of effort to sufficiently "noise it up", all of it, for any particular slice of time they decide to look into, including the stuff they already gathered before you even knew of the NSA leaks.

Now, they said that they weren't able to store all that data for longer than 24 hours. But for one, that slide is from 2008, five years ago. Also, that doesn't prevent them at all from storing *some* of the data on everyone, anything that might fit into a "personal report/file", I imagine that if you filter out all the obvious crud, the cat pictures, the retweets, the spam, the newsletters, repeated quotes in a discussion, most people's textual communications wouldn't fill more than a few megabytes per year (for comparison: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy parts 1-6 are just 1.5MB in uncompressed ASCII, Lord of the Rings is about 2-3x that).

Then there's voice, say the avg person speaks 20 minutes on the phone/Skype per day, the GSM standard can squeeze intelligble voice into as little as 6.5 kbit/s, that's only about 360MB on a yearly basis. Times the US population that's 114 petabytes. The Utah Data Centre is estimated to have capacity for between 3000 and 12000 petabytes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_Data_Center#Structure). I don't know if they have the computing capacity to make this data full-text searchable (fuzzy speech matching is easier than actual speech-to-text, false positives can be checked by hand after a query is done), I just don't know. Requesting "calls made to people on list XYZ between dates A and B" is easy and powerful enough, however.

I'm pretty sure that the overwhelming majority of the rest of all Internet data nowadays is made up of streaming video of the Torrent, YouTube, porn and Netflix kinds, for which they probably have no reason to store. Although if they could filter out all the duplicate content, and wanted to, they could still do it (IIRC all Hollywood movies ever made in 10GB BluRay format is less than 5 petabyte, but don't quote me on that) (which incidentally is the reason why I believe that the 25 petabytes they seized from MegaUpload and lost must have been mostly non-infringing).

For completeness, I bet a good fraction of traffic is also made up of random DDoS collateral, the contents of which is complete junk and its origins generally untraceable. It would be funny if they would store that, though :) (but they can't, the numbers are stupid immense).
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on August 11, 2013, 11:49:44 pm
So the solution is to hide our communications inside DDoS.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 12, 2013, 12:06:05 am
Yes. It'd have to be some sort of redundant peer-to-peer communications protocol using fountain codes, with the fountains being firehoses, because CDNs tend to drop anything that looks like DDoS traffic, but once you get around that, you'd totally have them by the nads.

Sorry for answering that seriously, my head is still in braindump mode :)

I shall make it good with a pun: Two IP packets walk into a Tier-1 Switch. They start drinking like madmen, ordering beer-to-beer, because they didn't have much TTL.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 12, 2013, 08:05:08 am
Worth mentioning this, from all the way back in 2007

http://www.cryptogon.com/?p=624

(snip)

Somehow I get the feeling I've read this article before, but that's all pretty solid advice. Some of it used to (seem to) be a bit on the tinfoil side back then, but it's pretty effective. And with what we know now to be the case, tinfoil's again something to pack your lunch with.

I think you actually linked to it, back in 2007, as a worst case scenario on how to stay anonymous on the web.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 12, 2013, 08:18:19 am
 :lulz: :horrormirth:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 12, 2013, 10:54:22 am
By the by

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/750223/obama-administrations-legal-rationale-for.pdf

Quote
Likewise, the program does not violate the First Amendment, particularly given that the telephony metadata is collected to serve as an investigative tool in authorized investigations of international terrorism.

Likewise, copying all the data on the internet by means of beam-splitters doesn not violate the First Amendment, since it is copied to seve as an investigative tool in authorized investigation of international terrorism.

Or something.

The Obama Administration would like you to believe that PRISM is the full extent of NSA surveillance.  It is not.  PRISM only exists to fill in the gaps from UPSTREAM, the NSA program of using beam-splitters to copy information off the internet. PRISM exists to supplement an even farther-reaching, more invasive program.

Don't let them sucker you into concentrating entirely on PRISM.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 12, 2013, 10:56:19 am
http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/08/09/making_you_comfortable_with_spying_is_obamas_big_nsa_fix

Quote
And the President’s message really boiled down to this: It’s more important to persuade people surveillance is useful and legal than to make structural changes to the programs.

“The question is, how do I make the American people more comfortable?” Obama said.

Not that Obama’s unwilling to make any changes to America’s surveillance driftnets — and he detailed a few of them — but his overriding concern was that people didn’t believe him when he said there was nothing to fear.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on August 12, 2013, 11:23:03 am
When asked what people think about our crazy new power-extending spy bill, the Prime Minister responded "I think [New Zealanders] care more about the snapper quota".

Asked again, "But I'm not asking about snapper, I'm asking about the GCSB bill."

"They care more about the snapper quota."

"Why is that?"

"They like catching fish."

http://www.3news.co.nz/Key-NZers-care-more-about-snapper-than-GCSB/tabid/817/articleID/308665/Default.aspx

Almost a literal red herring.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 12, 2013, 11:39:27 am
While not related, both seem very relevant:

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/08/diy-stalker-boxes-spy-on-wi-fi-users-cheaply-and-with-maximum-creep-value/

Quote
You may not know it, but the smartphone in your pocket is spilling some of your deepest secrets to anyone who takes the time to listen. It knows what time you left the bar last night, the number of times per day you take a cappuccino break, and even the dating website you use. And because the information is leaked in dribs and drabs, no one seems to notice. Until now.

Enter CreepyDOL, a low-cost, distributed network of Wi-Fi sensors that stalks people as they move about neighborhoods or even entire cities. At 4.5 inches by 3.5 inches by 1.25 inches, each node is small enough to be slipped into a wall socket at the nearby gym, cafe, or break room. And with the ability for each one to share the Internet traffic it collects with every other node, the system can assemble a detailed dossier of personal data, including the schedules, e-mail addresses, personal photos, and current or past whereabouts of the person or people it monitors.

Short for Creepy Distributed Object Locator, CreepyDOL is the brainchild of 27-year-old Brendan O'Connor, a law student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a researcher at a consultancy called Malice Afterthought. After a reading binge of science fiction novels, he began wondering how the growing ubiquity of mobile computing was affecting people's ability to remain anonymous, or at least untracked or unidentified, as they went about their work and social routines each day.

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/08/no-this-isnt-a-scene-from-minority-report-this-trash-can-is-stalking-you/

Quote
Renew, the London-based marketing firm behind the smart trash cans, bills the Wi-Fi tracking as being "like Internet cookies in the real world" (see the promotional video below). In a press release, it boasts of the data-collection prowess of the cans' embedded Renew "ORB" technology, which captures the unique media access control (MAC) address of smartphones that belong to passersby. During a one-week period in June, just 12 cans, or about 10 percent of the company's fleet, tracked more than 4 million devices and allowed company marketers to map the "footfall" of their owners within a 4-minute walking distance to various stores.

I'd guess that either of these could take off and be incredibly profitable within the near future. Given that the NSA seems to have access to practically everything anyway, these would be a cracking tools for them to use in urban areas.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 12, 2013, 11:44:44 am
We've known for a while that UK law enforcement has basic tracking abilities which are linked to mobile phones.  Even as far back as the early 2000s, I remember a police spokesperson letting slip that they could track someone's movements due to their phone (it was regarding a murder case, IIRC).

I think the initial way it worked was triangulation via different mobile phone towers in an area, whereas this is obviously a more sophisticated update.  Either way - if you're up to mischief, you should be turning your phone off and leaving it at home.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on August 12, 2013, 12:56:27 pm
We've known for a while that UK law enforcement has basic tracking abilities which are linked to mobile phones.  Even as far back as the early 2000s, I remember a police spokesperson letting slip that they could track someone's movements due to their phone (it was regarding a murder case, IIRC).

I think the initial way it worked was triangulation via different mobile phone towers in an area, whereas this is obviously a more sophisticated update.  Either way - if you're up to mischief, you should be turning your phone off and leaving it at home.

Yeah, the triangulation of mobile phones is pretty decent, apart from the GPS data which now gives you down to fifty feet, back in the late 90's you could get a mile radius of someone and cumulatively average the position until its down to a short distance if the phone is stationary.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on August 12, 2013, 08:51:22 pm
Yup, I actually saw a Nextel rep demo this when I worked at their call-center in '03 (before the sprint buy-out).
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Random Probability on August 12, 2013, 09:50:38 pm
Actually, I'd say the spying program is just a little bit more bad than anyone imagines.

Personal anectdote:  I worked at a company that did secret squirrel stuff for the gu'mint, mostly hardware.  One day one of the engineers I worked with (who was close friends with my supervisor) paraphrased something oddball I had written on my computer; a file I probably hadn't accessed in at least a year and had never published on the internet.

Since then I've pretty much given up on any possibility of "security" on the internet.  Unless you write the code yourself, it's pretty much a given that it's compromised.  And those "proxy" services are ALL honeypots by now (if they ever weren't).
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on August 12, 2013, 09:53:38 pm
Actually, I'd say the spying program is just a little bit more bad than anyone imagines.

Personal anectdote:  I worked at a company that did secret squirrel stuff for the gu'mint, mostly hardware.  One day one of the engineers I worked with (who was close friends with my supervisor) paraphrased something oddball I had written on my computer; a file I probably hadn't accessed in at least a year and had never published on the internet.

Since then I've pretty much given up on any possibility of "security" on the internet.  Unless you write the code yourself, it's pretty much a given that it's compromised.  And those "proxy" services are ALL honeypots by now (if they ever weren't).

For me, proxies exist so I can troll the 700 Club a million times.

I have always assumed that anything I say on the internuts is NOT private.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 13, 2013, 10:06:51 pm
FOX News, but ignore that:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/08/13/spy-chief-clapper-to-run-independent-review-us-spy-program/

Quote
Less than three days after President Obama announced an “independent review” of the nation’s surveillance technologies, the White House has appointed James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, to run the panel.

 :horrormirth:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 13, 2013, 10:14:55 pm
FOX News, but ignore that:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/08/13/spy-chief-clapper-to-run-independent-review-us-spy-program/

Quote
Less than three days after President Obama announced an “independent review” of the nation’s surveillance technologies, the White House has appointed James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, to run the panel.

 :horrormirth:

Holy shit.   :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 13, 2013, 11:29:13 pm
Quote
In March, Clapper was at a congressional hearing where he was asked point blank by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.), about whether the National Security Agency collects “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.”
“No, sir,” said Clapper.
That statement now appears to be untrue.


You couldn't make this shit up. Thinking about it, who else would you appoint to the task? No one else likely has clearance and he will undoubtedly be unable to discuss any findings, but I'm sure he'll find that everything is AOk, just a bad apple. Barrels fine. I'm sure he can prove it with evidence he can't show you.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 13, 2013, 11:29:53 pm
Quote
In March, Clapper was at a congressional hearing where he was asked point blank by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.), about whether the National Security Agency collects “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.”
“No, sir,” said Clapper.
That statement now appears to be untrue.


You couldn't make this shit up. Thinking about it, who else would you appoint to the task? No one else likely has clearance and he will undoubtedly be unable to discuss any findings, but I'm sure he'll find that everything is AOk, just a bad apple. Barrels fine. I'm sure he can prove it with evidence he can't show you.

Your post made me GRIN.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 14, 2013, 11:23:30 am
Meanwhile, the NSA is taking sensible precautions to prevent future leaks:

http://www.businessinsider.com/nsa-firing-sysdadmins-2013-8

Quote
Using technology to automate much of the work now done by employees and contractors would make the NSA's networks "more defensible and more secure," as well as faster, he said at the conference, in which he did not mention Snowden by name.

Of course, it won't work (http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/08/nsa_increasing.html).  But the most hilarious end-case scenario is that the NSA's Skynet becomes horrified at American foreign policy and starts leaking data. 

Ever tried putting an alogorithm in prison?  :lol:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 14, 2013, 11:29:50 am
More relevant HO HO:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/05/us-dea-sod-idUSBRE97409R20130805?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

Quote
A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant's Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don't know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence - information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.

Quote
After an arrest was made, agents then pretended that their investigation began with the traffic stop, not with the SOD tip, the former agent said. The training document reviewed by Reuters refers to this process as "parallel construction."

The two senior DEA officials, who spoke on behalf of the agency but only on condition of anonymity, said the process is kept secret to protect sources and investigative methods. "Parallel construction is a law enforcement technique we use every day," one official said. "It's decades old, a bedrock concept."

A dozen current or former federal agents interviewed by Reuters confirmed they had used parallel construction during their careers. Most defended the practice; some said they understood why those outside law enforcement might be concerned.

"It's just like laundering money - you work it backwards to make it clean," said Finn Selander, a DEA agent from 1991 to 2008 and now a member of a group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which advocates legalizing and regulating narcotics.

May have already been posted, but still nice to get further confirmation of things I've always suspected.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 14, 2013, 11:38:16 am
There's a whole thread here http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php/topic,35133.0.html
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 14, 2013, 11:41:40 am
Lavabit and Silent Circle, two security and privacy minded email services, have shut down:

http://lavabit.com/

Quote
I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot....

This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.

Although he does not, and legally cannot say it, it would be safe to bet that Ladar Levison has been sent a National Security Letter demanding his full cooperation with the NSA now and in the future.  Especially since it has been revealed that Snowden, among others, has used Lavabit for communicating securely.

Silent Circle says they have not gotten any law enforcement requests, but they are shutting down now to forestall that ever happening:

http://silentcircle.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/to-our-customers/

Quote
We see the writing the wall, and we have decided that it is best for us to shut down Silent Mail now. We have not received subpoenas, warrants, security letters, or anything else by any government, and this is why we are acting now.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 14, 2013, 12:07:41 pm
There's a whole thread here http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php/topic,35133.0.html

Ah. It's one of these days where my brain no work so good.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 14, 2013, 12:45:54 pm
Lavabit and Silent Circle, two security and privacy minded email services, have shut down:

http://lavabit.com/

Quote
I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot....

This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.

Although he does not, and legally cannot say it, it would be safe to bet that Ladar Levison has been sent a National Security Letter demanding his full cooperation with the NSA now and in the future.  Especially since it has been revealed that Snowden, among others, has used Lavabit for communicating securely.

Silent Circle says they have not gotten any law enforcement requests, but they are shutting down now to forestall that ever happening:

http://silentcircle.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/to-our-customers/

Quote
We see the writing the wall, and we have decided that it is best for us to shut down Silent Mail now. We have not received subpoenas, warrants, security letters, or anything else by any government, and this is why we are acting now.

Looks like Silent Circle came to similar conclusions to you as to why Lavabit shut down. Would it be fairly safe to assume that anyone offering this kind of service will eventually be targeted? I'd guess those not explicitly tied to the US would eventually be subject to similar measures by their nation's equivalent.

Another nice little kick to whistleblowers to just make things that little bit more awkward, dangerous and exposed.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 14, 2013, 01:01:00 pm
Err
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/08/11/1244209/after-lavabit-shut-down-dotcoms-mega-promises-secure-mail?sdsrc=rel

Quote
Lavabit may no longer be an option, but recent events have driven interest in email and other ways to communicate without exposing quite so much, quite so fast, to organizations like the NSA (and DEA, and other agencies). Kim Dotcom as usual enjoys filling the spotlight, when it comes to shuttling bits around in ways that don't please the U.S. government, and Dotcom's privacy-oriented Mega has disclosed plans to serve as an email provider with an emphasis on encryption. ZDNet features an interview with Mega's CEO Vikram Kumar about the complications of keeping email relatively secure; it's not so much the encryption itself, as keeping bits encrypted while still providing the kind of features that users have come to expect from modern webmail providers like Gmail:
"'The biggest tech hurdle is providing email functionality that people expect, such as searching emails, that are trivial to provide if emails are stored in plain text (or available in plain text) on the server side,' Kumar said. 'If all the server can see is encrypted text, as is the case with true end-to-end encryption, then all the functionality has to be built client side. [That’s] not quite impossible but very, very hard. That’s why even Silent Circle didn’t go there.'"

Are people really going to trust Mega enough to use their secure private email service? I fucking doubt it. In fact, I'd guess them making something like this would be the little justification the need to go after all of them hard due to piracy concerns. With the fallout from the inital Mega debacle still ongoing and plenty of data destroyed/lost/in government hands/limbo I'd avoid this like the fucking plague.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 14, 2013, 06:08:30 pm
Ever tried putting an alogorithm in prison?  :lol:

Well, actually (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jail_(computer_security)) ... :) they use the "chroot jail", and various forms of sandboxing.

That most probably won't hold a Strong AI, though, as Eliezer Yudkowsky demonstrated in several roleplaying experiments (http://yudkowsky.net/singularity/aibox).
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 14, 2013, 06:12:14 pm
Err
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/08/11/1244209/after-lavabit-shut-down-dotcoms-mega-promises-secure-mail?sdsrc=rel

Quote
Lavabit may no longer be an option, but recent events have driven interest in email and other ways to communicate without exposing quite so much, quite so fast, to organizations like the NSA (and DEA, and other agencies). Kim Dotcom as usual enjoys filling the spotlight, when it comes to shuttling bits around in ways that don't please the U.S. government, and Dotcom's privacy-oriented Mega has disclosed plans to serve as an email provider with an emphasis on encryption. ZDNet features an interview with Mega's CEO Vikram Kumar about the complications of keeping email relatively secure; it's not so much the encryption itself, as keeping bits encrypted while still providing the kind of features that users have come to expect from modern webmail providers like Gmail:
"'The biggest tech hurdle is providing email functionality that people expect, such as searching emails, that are trivial to provide if emails are stored in plain text (or available in plain text) on the server side,' Kumar said. 'If all the server can see is encrypted text, as is the case with true end-to-end encryption, then all the functionality has to be built client side. [That’s] not quite impossible but very, very hard. That’s why even Silent Circle didn’t go there.'"

Are people really going to trust Mega enough to use their secure private email service? I fucking doubt it. In fact, I'd guess them making something like this would be the little justification the need to go after all of them hard due to piracy concerns. With the fallout from the inital Mega debacle still ongoing and plenty of data destroyed/lost/in government hands/limbo I'd avoid this like the fucking plague.

From what I've heard, Mega is really trying to get things right, from a security perspective. Their algorithms are open source and they invite security testers to find holes in it.

I haven't read much about this project recently though, and personally I'd hold off using it for a while until at least a couple of bugs are found and squashed.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 14, 2013, 06:13:16 pm
The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated,

I am now coining the phrase "recreational drug enforcement".
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on August 15, 2013, 11:59:34 pm
 :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on August 16, 2013, 05:19:30 pm
NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-broke-privacy-rules-thousands-of-times-per-year-audit-finds/2013/08/15/3310e554-05ca-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 16, 2013, 07:30:01 pm
This caught my eye:

Quote
A third [incident] involved the interception of an unspecified "large number" of phone records from the Washington DC 202 area code in 2008, when an NSA "programming error" improperly entered 202 instead of 20, the country code for Egypt. The Post reported that the NSA did not report that improper interception of American communications to Congress or the Fisa court.

Just an honest mistake, I'm sure.  What could the NSA possibly gain by intercepting a large number of phone records in Washington DC, in an election year?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on August 16, 2013, 08:53:45 pm
Yes, that caught my eye as well.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on August 16, 2013, 09:14:03 pm
"Ace of Spades HQ" has some slanted stories, but sometimes hit's it right on the head:

White House Attempted to Rewrite Key Quotes in Washington Post Story on NSA Surveillance Violations
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/342567.php

"It makes you wonder what adjustments they have successfully made, that would make them feel they could do such here." -the friend who passed this along.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 17, 2013, 12:19:52 am
Yeah, Ace of Spades is a bit of a loon, but this is worth noting.

As is this:

http://www.verizonenterprise.com/news/2013/08/us-department-interior-cloud-contract

Quote
The U.S. Department of the Interior has selected Verizon to participate in a $10 billion, 10-year contract to provide cloud and hosting services. This is potentially one of Verizon’s largest federal cloud contracts to date.

Verizon is one of 10 companies that will compete to offer cloud-based storage, secure file transfer, virtual machine, and database, Web, and development and test environment hosting services. The company is also one of four selected to offer SAP application hosting services.

Well, I guess that's one way to shut Verizon up.  I'm sure their board are much less concerned about spying, now that $10 billion is on the cards for the next decade.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 19, 2013, 01:29:34 pm
NOTHING SUSPICIOUS HERE
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23750289

Quote
The police will be asked to justify the detention of a journalist's partner under terror laws, the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee has said.

Keith Vaz said the full facts of David Miranda's nine-hour detention at Heathrow must be established quickly.

Mr Miranda's partner is the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, who has written about US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed Mr Miranda was held but has not explained why he was detained.

MOVE ALONG
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on August 19, 2013, 02:13:56 pm
NOTHING SUSPICIOUS HERE
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23750289

Quote
The police will be asked to justify the detention of a journalist's partner under terror laws, the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee has said.

Keith Vaz said the full facts of David Miranda's nine-hour detention at Heathrow must be established quickly.

Mr Miranda's partner is the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, who has written about US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed Mr Miranda was held but has not explained why he was detained.

MOVE ALONG

It's not what you think. He wasn't detained because he is involved in the (clearly illegal) practice of journalism, though that would have been a good enough reason. In fact he was maintained because his last name is "Miranda," and the UK doesn't want the same problems arresting people that the US has because of someone who shared that surname.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 19, 2013, 03:06:02 pm
To be honest he's quite lucky really. He could have been shot for being conspicuously Brazilian.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Jean_Charles_de_Menezes
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 19, 2013, 05:58:13 pm
NOTHING SUSPICIOUS HERE
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23750289

Quote
The police will be asked to justify the detention of a journalist's partner under terror laws, the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee has said.

Keith Vaz said the full facts of David Miranda's nine-hour detention at Heathrow must be established quickly.

Mr Miranda's partner is the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, who has written about US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed Mr Miranda was held but has not explained why he was detained.

MOVE ALONG

Fucking wow.   :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 19, 2013, 05:58:41 pm
At what point do we just go full potato and start issuing armbands to the faithful?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on August 19, 2013, 06:15:51 pm
At what point do we just go full potato and start issuing armbands to the faithful?

Wasteful government spending.

The armbands will be mandatory, but you'll be expected to buy your own. Or, of course, your church can help you out.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 19, 2013, 06:43:30 pm
NOTHING SUSPICIOUS HERE
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23750289

Quote
The police will be asked to justify the detention of a journalist's partner under terror laws, the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee has said.

Keith Vaz said the full facts of David Miranda's nine-hour detention at Heathrow must be established quickly.

Mr Miranda's partner is the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, who has written about US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed Mr Miranda was held but has not explained why he was detained.

MOVE ALONG

Greenwald wrote about this on a more personal note :
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/18/david-miranda-detained-uk-nsa
Quote from: Greenwald
This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism. It's bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It's worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they felt threatened by. But the UK puppets and their owners in the US national security state obviously are unconstrained by even those minimal scruples.

And please to note that Miranda was at the moment paid by the Guardian (or rather the trip was), so, they went there: bad move, bad move.

(paraphrasing some comments I've read on this story here)

Quote
Detaining partner of journalist: bad.

Detaining newspaper employee, possibly journalist: very bad.

Once journalists will feel that they are in danger of no longer being free to do their reporting this story will get a lot more attention than it does at the moment.

Quote
There's a large measure of difference between detaining a private citizen (bad), and detaining somebody under the employ of a journalist organisation (far, far worse). One is harrassment, the other is political intimidation in an attempt to censor.

See the public might not really care enough (except that they do, across the political spectrum, across the globe), piss off the journalists however, and they'll make the public care. As far as I understand this thing is all over the news, even the Daily Mail.

Quote
It's a mistake because targeting a journalist's family member is quite likely to piss the average journalist the fuck off. The Washington Press corps can make Obama's life fucking miserable if they so choose, and absolutely drown his agenda in press about Snowden, Greenwald, how and when the White House communicated with the UK about this, and a million other things.
They can make an oxygen-sucking scandal out of nothing. This could devour the rest of Obama's second term if it gets out of hand (and the Republicans decide there's more mileage in beating him up about it rather than supporting the security state).

The public does not have to care for this to be a huge negative for the gov't. The only people who need to care are precisely the ones most likely to--folks rather like Greenwald.

Quote
It took nearly half a year of revelations before people began to care about Watergate. I figure that it would take that this time as well.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 20, 2013, 05:02:42 am
SWEET BABY JESUS!

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/britain-forced-guardian-destroy-copy-snowden-material-222933670.html

Quote
After further talks with the government, Rusbridger said, two "security experts" from Government Communications Headquarters, the British equivalent of the ultra-secretive U.S. National Security Agency, visited the Guardian's London offices.

In the building's basement, Rusbridger wrote, government officials watched as computers which contained material provided by Snowden were physically pulverized. "We can call off the black helicopters," Rusbridger says one of the officials joked.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Nephew Twiddleton on August 20, 2013, 05:14:49 am
SWEET BABY JESUS!

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/britain-forced-guardian-destroy-copy-snowden-material-222933670.html

Quote
After further talks with the government, Rusbridger said, two "security experts" from Government Communications Headquarters, the British equivalent of the ultra-secretive U.S. National Security Agency, visited the Guardian's London offices.

In the building's basement, Rusbridger wrote, government officials watched as computers which contained material provided by Snowden were physically pulverized. "We can call off the black helicopters," Rusbridger says one of the officials joked.

...
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on August 20, 2013, 06:21:57 am
please tell me that was not the only copy of the data. surely, surely someone saw this coming and made about 10 million backup files to be released on usenet or bittorrent in the event that this very predictable thing happened.

if this was the only copy of the data, someone just greenlit an assassination.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 20, 2013, 06:51:44 am
Hey now, the Met say that Miranda's arrest was "legally and procedurally" legitimate.

I mean, what's suspicious about holding the partner of the journalist who helped break the PRISM revelations, and is an employee of the same newspaper company, for nine hours at an airport and, in his words, "questioning about my entire life"?  And informing the US before arresting him was just common courtesy - Miranda being an American citizen and all.

And just because the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson QC, said that the detention time was unusual and that it is not the place of the police to assess proportionality of their actions doesn't mean they actually did anything wrong.

OK enough sarcasm for the morning, here is Alan Rusbridger talking about the destruction of Guardian computers:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/19/david-miranda-schedule7-danger-reporters

Quote
A little over two months ago I was contacted by a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister. There followed two meetings in which he demanded the return or destruction of all the material we were working on. The tone was steely, if cordial, but there was an implicit threat that others within government and Whitehall favoured a far more draconian approach.

The mood toughened just over a month ago, when I received a phone call from the centre of government telling me: "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back." There followed further meetings with shadowy Whitehall figures. The demand was the same: hand the Snowden material back or destroy it. I explained that we could not research and report on this subject if we complied with this request. The man from Whitehall looked mystified. "You've had your debate. There's no need to write any more."

During one of these meetings I asked directly whether the government would move to close down the Guardian's reporting through a legal route – by going to court to force the surrender of the material on which we were working. The official confirmed that, in the absence of handover or destruction, this was indeed the government's intention. Prior restraint, near impossible in the US, was now explicitly and imminently on the table in the UK. But my experience over WikiLeaks – the thumb drive and the first amendment – had already prepared me for this moment. I explained to the man from Whitehall about the nature of international collaborations and the way in which, these days, media organisations could take advantage of the most permissive legal environments. Bluntly, we did not have to do our reporting from London. Already most of the NSA stories were being reported and edited out of New York. And had it occurred to him that Greenwald lived in Brazil?

Quote
The man was unmoved. And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian's long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian's basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents. "We can call off the black helicopters," joked one as we swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro.

Whitehall was satisfied, but it felt like a peculiarly pointless piece of symbolism that understood nothing about the digital age. We will continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents, we just won't do it in London. The seizure of Miranda's laptop, phones, hard drives and camera will similarly have no effect on Greenwald's work.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 20, 2013, 07:26:54 am
The Feds are considering going after the founder of Lavabit even though he shut down his company:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130816/14533924213/feds-threaten-to-arrest-lavabit-founder-shutting-down-his-service.shtml

Quote
The saga of Lavabit founder Ladar Levison is getting even more ridiculous, as he explains that the government has threatened him with criminal charges for his decision to shut down the business, rather than agree to some mysterious court order. The feds are apparently arguing that the act of shutting down the business, itself, was a violation of the order.

So, you can cooperate with the NSA, or go out of business, or go go to jail.  Only, you can't really, as going out of business apparently violates some national security directive.  So, in reality, you can comply with the NSA, or go to jail.

This sounds like an Ayn Rand fever dream.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 20, 2013, 08:12:55 am
Lost for words.

Do these people seriously not understand technology to this degree? "I've smashed your laptop" = "It's over" logic will surely get someone fired.  Or promoted. Or left in a suitcase somewhere public.

Will have a read around and see how stupid this has become.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 20, 2013, 09:45:52 am
Related:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/justinesharrock/what-is-that-box-when-the-nsa-shows-up-at-your-internet-comp

Quote
I am in a little bit of a different situation than large companies. I don’t have a board of directors to answer to. A number of [larger] companies are getting paid for the information. If you go establish a tap on Google’s network, they will charge X amount per month. Usually the government pays it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 20, 2013, 10:28:27 am
please tell me that was not the only copy of the data. surely, surely someone saw this coming and made about 10 million backup files to be released on usenet or bittorrent in the event that this very predictable thing happened.

In his very first interview, Snowden made it pretty clear that this is in fact the case.

Quote
if this was the only copy of the data, someone just greenlit an assassination.

I'm not sure if I follow? Assassination of who?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 20, 2013, 10:30:36 am
So, now, journalists, all over the world, are never going to let this fucking go. Right?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 20, 2013, 10:57:48 am
So, now, journalists, all over the world, are never going to let this fucking go. Right?

Well I'm yet to find much from the BBC regarding the visit and destruction. Not entirely unsurprising from a state broadcaster.

I think the UK media is going to have a quick secret gathering shortly and work out a nice compromise.

Leveson goes away and it's business as normal. Or we could publicise the shit out of this and get Labour back in. Tit-for-tat, establishment edition. We've all had a little flex of the muscles, let's get back to reporting about celebs and shite.

ETA - Just had a flick around most major UK outlets. Total silence on this as far as I can see, apart from the Guardian. Some noise about Miranda, but overall - nothing.

Important news today:
Child has name and here is photo of child
Egypt is bad
Here's a shit joke from Edinburgh fringe.

Seriously.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 20, 2013, 11:11:06 am
Yeah, the UK press is being exceptionally quiet on this.  I wonder if that's because it has only so far been mentioned in Rusbridger's editorial, and the circumstances are hazy, or because a D-note has been issued, due to the "national security" tinge to the story.

Also, here's Obama, rubbing your nose in it:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/08/19/obama-administration-asks-supreme-court-to-allow-warrantless-cellphone-searches/?print=1

Quote
If the police arrest you, do they need a warrant to rifle through your cellphone? Courts have been split on the question. Last week the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to resolve the issue and rule that the Fourth Amendment allows warrantless cellphone searches.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 20, 2013, 11:30:31 am
I had a quick look at Dutch news sites, it's front-page on each of the newspapers' sites,.  either the Miranda or the data-destruction story, or both. It was a main headline on one of them (though while typing this something else replaced it, but nu.nl does that throughout the day), and a smaller front page item on the others.  the Dutch TV news doesn't seem to mention it (it's there but not on the front page)

I'm not really sure how to interpret this though, I don't usually use news websites that way.

Just watched the 12 o'clock news, and they didn't mention the destruction thing. They did have something about Manning's trial, and  a few seconds on photo of the child.

Miranda's detainment, if they covered it, would've been yesterday's news? I dunno I gotta ask some friends who actually expose themselves to mainstream news how much it was covered.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 20, 2013, 02:38:38 pm
So, now, journalists, all over the world, are never going to let this fucking go. Right?

 :lulz:

Maybe.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on August 20, 2013, 04:10:37 pm
Now If I wanted to be a pesky pain in the arse journalist, and those machines really couldn't be recovered,

I would accuse the government of covering up vital evidence destined for operation YewTree.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 20, 2013, 04:27:11 pm
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/groklaw-shuts-down-rather-than-risk-feds-snooping-through-e-mail/

More related

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130816/08404424206/who-will-take-privacy-seppuku-pledge.shtml

Quote
we noted that Cryptocloud has promised something similar for a while -- what it terms "corporate seppuku":
In the context of privacy issues, "corporate seppuku" means shutting down a company rather than agreeing to become an extension of the massive, ever-expanding, secretive global surveillance network organized by the U.S. National Security Agency. It means, in short, saying "no." Sometimes, we hear people say that this or that company "had no choice" in what they did. Bullshit. There's always a choice; it's just that the consequences of certain options might be really severe, and are thus not chosen. But that's a choice. It's always a choice.
It has even formulated what it calls the Privacy Seppuku pledge:
if a company is served with a secret order to become a real-time participant in ongoing, blanket, secret surveillance of its customers... it will say no. Just say no. And it will shut down its operations, rather than have then infiltrated by spies and used surreptitiously to spread the NSA's global spook malware further. You can't force a company to do something if there's no company there to do it.
It's a noble gesture, but would it do much good in the real world of US government spying? Cryptostorm, the company behind Cryptocloud, has provided a fuller analysis of why it thinks such a pledge would work. Here's a key point:
That one that went thru with the seppuku? She'll likely have a new service up and running in a few days or weeks. The customers who got dinged by the shutdown? They'll all get up and running on her new service. This is all 1s and 0s, remember? You don't have to demolish a car manufacturing plant, after all -- you're just wiping some VMs and reincorporating elsewhere. Lease new machines. Call it "lavabutt" on the new corporate docs, in Andorra. Sign on to the Privacy Seppuku pledge, as lavabutt, again. Off you go. Do you think it'll be hard to get customers -- old ones migrated over, and new ones alike? Think on that: a privacy company that shut down rather than be #snitchware... do you trust them, now?

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 20, 2013, 04:34:44 pm
Heard about this.  One company that did so is being investigated for "obstructing" by the very act of shutting down.

You can't win.  You can't break even.  You can't even quit the game.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: McGrupp on August 20, 2013, 07:08:41 pm
SWEET BABY JESUS!

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/britain-forced-guardian-destroy-copy-snowden-material-222933670.html

Quote
After further talks with the government, Rusbridger said, two "security experts" from Government Communications Headquarters, the British equivalent of the ultra-secretive U.S. National Security Agency, visited the Guardian's London offices.

In the building's basement, Rusbridger wrote, government officials watched as computers which contained material provided by Snowden were physically pulverized. "We can call off the black helicopters," Rusbridger says one of the officials joked.

It's like there's an office pool for spys and whoever can do the most overt act of shitting on the law and human rights without causing a riot wins.

"Well, we could just walk through the guardian's front doors and start smashing their computers with hammers."

"The people would never stand for that."

"Wanna bet......."  He pulls out a roll of bills and they both start laughing maniacially as they run to grab their hammers.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Salty on August 20, 2013, 08:36:01 pm
I'm actually just surprised the whole office didnt careen through an intersection, hit a tree, and burst into flames instantly incinerating every person inside.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Scott The Cuck on August 20, 2013, 08:37:19 pm
Someone's getting a promotion.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on August 20, 2013, 10:00:45 pm
top headlines on itv news right now - greenwald interview
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 20, 2013, 10:04:46 pm
I'm actually just surprised the whole office didnt careen through an intersection, hit a tree, and burst into flames instantly incinerating every person inside.

It would be marginally less suspicious.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Triple Zero on August 21, 2013, 12:28:56 pm
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/groklaw-shuts-down-rather-than-risk-feds-snooping-through-e-mail/

check out Groklaw's post itself, just READ it

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130818120421175

just READ it, really, this, RIGHT HERE, this fucking shit is really really really making me so. fucking. anrgy.

it's all going to SHIT.

I know many of you have been saying this for years, and I've been hearing it, but now I FEEL it. burning right there somewhere. which probably says more about me than about the world, since there's been enough atrocities before.

I said a few pages back, like punch in the gut. It's exactly like the Groklaw article says, the whole Internet, all phones, everything, fucking tapped, you can't go anywhere! you can't do anything, you can't subvert anything, because if you could, that's just proof it was something meaningless anyway. It's all gone to SHIT.





(AND IM EVEN MORE LATE FOR WORK :argh!: TODAY IS NOT A GOOD DAY)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: McGrupp on August 21, 2013, 02:46:58 pm
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/groklaw-shuts-down-rather-than-risk-feds-snooping-through-e-mail/

check out Groklaw's post itself, just READ it

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130818120421175

just READ it, really, this, RIGHT HERE, this fucking shit is really really really making me so. fucking. anrgy.

it's all going to SHIT.

I know many of you have been saying this for years, and I've been hearing it, but now I FEEL it. burning right there somewhere. which probably says more about me than about the world, since there's been enough atrocities before.

I said a few pages back, like punch in the gut. It's exactly like the Groklaw article says, the whole Internet, all phones, everything, fucking tapped, you can't go anywhere! you can't do anything, you can't subvert anything, because if you could, that's just proof it was something meaningless anyway. It's all gone to SHIT.





(AND IM EVEN MORE LATE FOR WORK :argh!: TODAY IS NOT A GOOD DAY)

Yet another article that keeps making me think 'allright here is where folks have to acknowledge that messed up stuff is happeneing'.  I know better by now, but it's still depressing to go out and see what effects this has on the media and all I see is OBAMA GOT A DOG OBAMA GOT A DOG HERE ARE CONSPIRACY STORIES ABOUT OBAMAS DOG OBAMA GOT A DOG some stuff happened in egypt OBAMA GOT A DOG OBAMA GOT A DOG LOOK AT OBAMA'S DOG freedom is dead OBAMA'S DOG OBAMA'S DOG OBAMA'S DOG OBAMA'S DOG LOOK AT THE FUCKING DOG TALK ABOUT THE FUCKING DOG ITS A DOG OBAMA HAS A DOG.

Also I can't help but feel like not being dragged from bed in the middle of the night by secret police means I'm not trying hard enough. Although that's irrational wrongthinking for reasons too numerous to mention.

Did you hear about Obama's dog?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on August 21, 2013, 03:31:32 pm
Obama got a dog? Like forealz? Why isn't there a thread about this?  :argh!:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 21, 2013, 04:36:26 pm
Obama got a dog? Like forealz? Why isn't there a thread about this?  :argh!:

It's in the UK baby thread. We don't get told about the dog until next week.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 21, 2013, 08:22:14 pm
If you have nothing to hide, excluding facial structure (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/us/facial-scanning-is-making-gains-in-surveillance.html) similar to terrorists, dissidents and other enemies of the state, then you have nothing to fear:

Quote
The federal government is making progress on developing a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with researchers working on the project.

The Department of Homeland Security tested a crowd-scanning project called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System — or BOSS — last fall after two years of government-financed development. Although the system is not ready for use, researchers say they are making significant advances. That alarms privacy advocates, who say that now is the time for the government to establish oversight rules and limits on how it will someday be used.

The limits will be "the DHS and all relevant, associated law enforcement agencies may use this whenever they flap their hands and scream "terrorism" at a judge, can share it with whoever the fuck they want, and you will suck it up, citizen". I'm guessing, anyway.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 21, 2013, 08:23:33 pm
The limits will be "the DHS and all relevant, associated law enforcement agencies may use this whenever they flap their hands and scream "terrorism" at a judge, can share it with whoever the fuck they want, and you will suck it up, citizen". I'm guessing, anyway.

Assuming no rate of change in assbaggery.

It could also mean the limits will be PRISON FOR PEOPLE WHO THINK THERE SHOULD BE LIMITS.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 21, 2013, 08:33:25 pm
I actually strongly suspect this will form a central component of the "Main Core" program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Core), which the NSA and DHS are said to be rapidly updating with current technologies.

Should something major goes down in the USA, BOSS links up with the MAIN CORE database and bam! instant dissident roundup.  MAIN CORE is a meta-database designed to work across government agencies, and in tandem with the advanced predictive software which is no doubt fed by PRISM and UPSTREAM and geolocation tools in most modern phones, you could snag a large number of potentially "difficult" people very quickly.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 21, 2013, 08:34:09 pm
Well I'm relived that there's not a multitude of simple ways to change your facial structure. Shit used by teens making amateur zombie movies will probably be enough to cover early versions of this. Terrorist groups will employ professional make up artists in the future. I say employ, I mean kidnap. That'll take care of the next couple of generations assuming no tech solution is more affordable.

End result - Terrorists detected when on recognition gird.-Entry/exit points to grid highly guarded. Probably bureaucratic, mass transit areas. This is where shit gets blown up.

I've been expecting more bombings in places like airport security queues since around the inception of the TSA. I surprised this hasn't happened more really but it seems inevitable to me.

Please correct the crazy paranoid ravings.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 21, 2013, 08:34:51 pm
I actually strongly suspect this will form a central component of the "Main Core" program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Core), which the NSA and DHS are said to be rapidly updating with current technologies.

Should something major goes down in the USA, BOSS links up with the MAIN CORE database and bam! instant dissident roundup.  MAIN CORE is a meta-database designed to work across government agencies, and in tandem with the advanced predictive software which is no doubt fed by PRISM and UPSTREAM and geolocation tools in most modern phones, you could snag a large number of potentially "difficult" people very quickly.

Ah, the Upcoming Unpleasantness.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 21, 2013, 08:36:03 pm
I've been expecting more bombings in places like airport security queues since around the inception of the TSA. I surprised this hasn't happened more really but it seems inevitable to me.

Thing is, terrorists are kind of attention-whorey.  Blowing up shit in the lobby?  Not done, my good man.  SYMBOLIC TARGET OR GTFO.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 21, 2013, 08:39:10 pm
Yup, in whatever form that may take.

If they can't detect your face, they'll use XKeyscore to try and see what you've been up to in the last few days.  If that doesn't work, they'll check your phone's location, possibly turning it on remotely.  If that doesn't work, they'll use predictive software to guess where you may be going, with information gathered via PRISM and UPSTREAM.

It's a turnkey totalitarian state.  All the tools are there.  It just requires someone to...turn them on.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 21, 2013, 08:45:30 pm
Yup, in whatever form that may take.

If they can't detect your face, they'll use XKeyscore to try and see what you've been up to in the last few days.  If that doesn't work, they'll check your phone's location, possibly turning it on remotely.  If that doesn't work, they'll use predictive software to guess where you may be going, with information gathered via PRISM and UPSTREAM.

It's a turnkey totalitarian state.  All the tools are there.  It just requires someone to...turn them on.

Pretty sure it won't be all cool, with jackboots at 2AM.  We're not that awesome.  Pretty sure it will be grinding and boring and therefore as miserable as is humanly possible.

You'll just be unloading groceries from the car, and a squad car will roll up.  They will say that there are questions concerning things you've written on the internet, and would you please come along?  Yes, you will come along, because it wasn't actually a request.

And then everything turns into a tragic series of misunderstandings, and your family never finds out what happened to you.  There will be SCOTUS cases, and all that shit, but already everyone knows that's just a dog & pony show.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 21, 2013, 09:03:23 pm
Sure.  The only reason for the jackboots in the past is to intimidate and to give you the kind of broad, brute power that is otherwise provided by these systems.  They're unnecessary.  It's an automated dictatorship, no need for a massive (well, more massive) internal state apparatus.  When you know where everyone is or are going, and they're marked by CCTV, forced to either cut themselves off from modern communications or be instantly traceable...all you need are enough bodies to do the collection and throw them into whatever legal blackhole awaits them.  It allows state-wide totalitarian oppression to be carried out by the equivalent of a county sheriff's office.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 21, 2013, 09:06:47 pm
Yup, in whatever form that may take.

If they can't detect your face, they'll use XKeyscore to try and see what you've been up to in the last few days.  If that doesn't work, they'll check your phone's location, possibly turning it on remotely.  If that doesn't work, they'll use predictive software to guess where you may be going, with information gathered via PRISM and UPSTREAM.

It's a turnkey totalitarian state.  All the tools are there.  It just requires someone to...turn them on.

My logic was if you can't get the symbolic target, go for the big easy one. A single attack in a mass public area fucks shit up for countless more people as well and ties up substantial resources for considerable time. Half a dozen suicide bombers could probably ruin air transport in the UK for a long time striking at security queues in multiple airports over multiple days.

What I forgot was that I'm an idiot. As the bold states this is all there. The only thing telling us that it's off is, well, nothing.

And needless to say an incident like this would get mass public support for exactly this kind of system anyway.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on August 21, 2013, 10:43:50 pm
I actually strongly suspect this will form a central component of the "Main Core" program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Core), which the NSA and DHS are said to be rapidly updating with current technologies.

Should something major goes down in the USA, BOSS links up with the MAIN CORE database and bam! instant dissident roundup.  MAIN CORE is a meta-database designed to work across government agencies, and in tandem with the advanced predictive software which is no doubt fed by PRISM and UPSTREAM and geolocation tools in most modern phones, you could snag a large number of potentially "difficult" people very quickly.

Ah, the Upcoming Unpleasantness.

 :horrormirth:

Of course, we are all just big Negative Nellies and the world is really MUCH nicer than we think it is.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 21, 2013, 10:49:37 pm
I actually strongly suspect this will form a central component of the "Main Core" program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Core), which the NSA and DHS are said to be rapidly updating with current technologies.

Should something major goes down in the USA, BOSS links up with the MAIN CORE database and bam! instant dissident roundup.  MAIN CORE is a meta-database designed to work across government agencies, and in tandem with the advanced predictive software which is no doubt fed by PRISM and UPSTREAM and geolocation tools in most modern phones, you could snag a large number of potentially "difficult" people very quickly.

Ah, the Upcoming Unpleasantness.

 :horrormirth:

Of course, we are all just big Negative Nellies and the world is really MUCH nicer than we think it is.

It's just your BAD ATTITUDE.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on August 21, 2013, 10:58:50 pm
I'm so going to piss myself if this thing becomes self-aware. I've been praying for zombies, every night, before I lay me down to sleep, since I was about 12 but, fuck it, I'll settle for Terminator  8)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on August 21, 2013, 10:59:22 pm
I actually strongly suspect this will form a central component of the "Main Core" program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Core), which the NSA and DHS are said to be rapidly updating with current technologies.

Should something major goes down in the USA, BOSS links up with the MAIN CORE database and bam! instant dissident roundup.  MAIN CORE is a meta-database designed to work across government agencies, and in tandem with the advanced predictive software which is no doubt fed by PRISM and UPSTREAM and geolocation tools in most modern phones, you could snag a large number of potentially "difficult" people very quickly.

Ah, the Upcoming Unpleasantness.

 :horrormirth:

Of course, we are all just big Negative Nellies and the world is really MUCH nicer than we think it is.

It's just your BAD ATTITUDE.

Everybody should just CHEER UP, it's not so bad!

http://www.kansascity.com/2013/08/20/4423749/source-of-americas-anger-is-economic.html
http://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2013/08/19/how-income-inequality-affects-individual-behavior/
http://rt.com/usa/incarceration-african-black-prison-606/
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57576665/foreclosure-rate-spikes-as-homes-come-to-market/
http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/14120-obama-signs-2013-ndaa-may-still-arrest-detain-citizens-without-charge

C'mon, everything's fine!
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on August 22, 2013, 01:19:17 pm
Yup, in whatever form that may take.

If they can't detect your face, they'll use XKeyscore to try and see what you've been up to in the last few days.  If that doesn't work, they'll check your phone's location, possibly turning it on remotely.  If that doesn't work, they'll use predictive software to guess where you may be going, with information gathered via PRISM and UPSTREAM.

It's a turnkey totalitarian state.  All the tools are there.  It just requires someone to...turn them on.

So THAT'S why my phone's battery can't be removed?

I thought it was to make it "sleek" and "sexy," whatever those words mean in relation to a telephone.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 22, 2013, 01:25:11 pm
I assume they have the capability, since there is a commercial application for such functions, and the FBI have made use of remotely activating parts of computers and mobiles (especially microphones) before now.

Of course, you can always just leave your phone behind, but I honestly suspect that won't occur to anyone who isn't already interested in information and personal security.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 22, 2013, 03:53:29 pm
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/08/white-house-picks-panel-to-review-nsa-programs/

So, to recap, the independent panel includes:

James Clapper - Director of National Intelligence
Mike Morrell - former Deputy Director of the CIA
Richard Clarke - former chief advisor on Homeland Security
Peter Swire - former Obama special assistant for economic policy, and
Cass Sunstein - former collegue of Obama at Chicago Law school, who has argued for rethinking the First Amendment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cass_Sunstein#First_Amendment) and advocated "cognitive infiltration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cass_Sunstein#.22Conspiracy_Theories.22_and_government_infiltration)" of what he sees as conspiracy theorist groups.

Well, I'm sure this wide group of independent thinkers with no ideological, professional or personal stakes at hand will come to an informed conclusion about the extent of NSA illegality.

Edit: added links
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on August 22, 2013, 03:54:44 pm
:facepalm:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: McGrupp on August 22, 2013, 03:57:30 pm
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/08/white-house-picks-panel-to-review-nsa-programs/

So, to recap, the independent panel includes:

James Clapper - Director of National Intelligence
Mike Morrell - former Deputy Director of the CIA
Richard Clarke - former chief advisor on Homeland Security
Peter Swire - former Obama special assistant for economic policy, and
Cass Sunstein - former collegue of Obama at Chicago Law school, who has argued for rethinking the First Amendment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cass_Sunstein#First_Amendment) and advocated "cognitive infiltration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cass_Sunstein#.22Conspiracy_Theories.22_and_government_infiltration)" of what he sees as conspiracy theorist groups.

Well, I'm sure this wide group of independent thinkers with no ideological, professional or personal stakes at hand will come to an informed conclusion about the extent of NSA illegality.

Edit: added links

 :horrormirth:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on August 22, 2013, 04:16:15 pm
Why are they even bothering to hold a review? Surely no one is dumb enough or complacent enough to accept the inevitable "eveything is on the up and up" verdict at face value...

... forget I said anything  :horrormirth:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on August 22, 2013, 09:08:22 pm
Oh For Fuck's Sake.  :|
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 22, 2013, 09:18:11 pm
Why are they even bothering to hold a review? Surely no one is dumb enough or complacent enough to accept the inevitable "eveything is on the up and up" verdict at face value...

... forget I said anything  :horrormirth:

Here's the frightening thing: it may convince the people in government themselves that there is nothing wrong.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on August 22, 2013, 09:26:56 pm
Why are they even bothering to hold a review? Surely no one is dumb enough or complacent enough to accept the inevitable "eveything is on the up and up" verdict at face value...

... forget I said anything  :horrormirth:

Here's the frightening thing: it may convince the people in government themselves that there is nothing wrong.

YOU CAN STOP TYPING STUFF ANYTIME YOU FEEL LIKE IT :crankey:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 23, 2013, 04:08:21 am
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/08/white-house-picks-panel-to-review-nsa-programs/

So, to recap, the independent panel includes:

James Clapper - Director of National Intelligence
Mike Morrell - former Deputy Director of the CIA
Richard Clarke - former chief advisor on Homeland Security
Peter Swire - former Obama special assistant for economic policy, and
Cass Sunstein - former collegue of Obama at Chicago Law school, who has argued for rethinking the First Amendment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cass_Sunstein#First_Amendment) and advocated "cognitive infiltration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cass_Sunstein#.22Conspiracy_Theories.22_and_government_infiltration)" of what he sees as conspiracy theorist groups.

Well, I'm sure this wide group of independent thinkers with no ideological, professional or personal stakes at hand will come to an informed conclusion about the extent of NSA illegality.

Edit: added links

 :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 23, 2013, 08:56:10 am
Richard Clarke has actually, occasionally, shown signs of independent thinking, to be fair to him.  Not much of a sense of humour, but he was willing to buck the party line on the 9/11 Commission and going to war with Iraq.

Still, he's totally outflanked.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 23, 2013, 09:13:01 am
Richard Clarke has actually, occasionally, shown signs of independent thinking, to be fair to him.  Not much of a sense of humour, but he was willing to buck the party line on the 9/11 Commission and going to war with Iraq.

Still, he's totally outflanked.

Helps to add a veneer of respectability to it though. I'm guessing that they'll point at this guy much like Fox point at the token tame liberal. "It's fair and balanced because he's in the rooms so shut up."

I'm surprised they didn't just classify the members as secret entirely. I assume the majority of their "findings" will not be allowed to make into the public domain.

This "cognitive infiltration" sounds like all kinds of fucked up too.

Quote
They go on to propose that, "the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups",[29] where they suggest, among other tactics, "Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action."

I'm sure this could probably be turned in the other direction and used to create theories and situations. Examples spring to mind but I'm probably getting into crazy territory.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 24, 2013, 09:00:50 am
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23803189

Quote
The Met Police issued a statement after Mr Miranda sought a High Court injunction to stop examination of the material "until the legality of that seizure has been determined".

It said: "We welcome the decision of the court which allows our examination of the material - containing thousands of classified intelligence documents - to continue in order to protect life and national security...

"Initial examination of material seized has identified highly sensitive material, the disclosure of which could put lives at risk. As a result the Counter Terrorism Command has today begun a criminal investigation."

Judges at the High Court ruled the authorities could examine the seized material for the defence of national security and also to investigate whether Mr Miranda is a person who is or has been concerned with the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

Later, the government's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson QC, announced he was carrying out an investigation into the detention of Mr Miranda.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 24, 2013, 09:04:46 am
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23803189

Quote
The Met Police issued a statement after Mr Miranda sought a High Court injunction to stop examination of the material "until the legality of that seizure has been determined".

It said: "We welcome the decision of the court which allows our examination of the material - containing thousands of classified intelligence documents - to continue in order to protect life and national security...

"Initial examination of material seized has identified highly sensitive material, the disclosure of which could put lives at risk. As a result the Counter Terrorism Command has today begun a criminal investigation."

Judges at the High Court ruled the authorities could examine the seized material for the defence of national security and also to investigate whether Mr Miranda is a person who is or has been concerned with the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

Later, the government's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson QC, announced he was carrying out an investigation into the detention of Mr Miranda.

They're not even pretending anymore.   :|

It sort of sucks the fun out of it when they just start goose-stepping right in the open.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 24, 2013, 05:48:22 pm
-
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on August 24, 2013, 10:23:22 pm
Wow. Sigh.

Keep on fucking that chicken, NSA.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 25, 2013, 06:33:39 am
Damn.  Cain beat me to it.   :argh!:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 25, 2013, 01:24:35 pm
Yet more HA HA:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23832492

Quote
Anti-terror laws should be strengthened to prevent leaks of official secrets, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Blair has told the BBC.

He was speaking after police seized what they said were thousands of classified documents from David Miranda - the partner of a Guardian journalist.

Lord Blair said publication of the material could put lives at risk.

He suggested new laws were needed to cover those who obtained secret material without proper authority.

Quote
"It just is something that is extremely dangerous for individual citizens to [make] those secrets available to the terrorists."

Lord Blair said the threat from international terrorism was "constantly changing" and there was a need to "review the law".

He said there was a "new threat which is not of somebody personally intending to aid terrorism, but of conduct which is likely to or capable of facilitating terrorism" - citing the examples of information leaks related to Bradley Manning and the Wikileaks website.


Quote
"Most of the legislation about state secrets is in the Official Secrets Act and it only concerns an official.

"I think there is going to have to be a look at what happens when somebody possesses material which is secret without having authority."

Quote
Last week, Home Secretary Theresa May defended the police's use of anti-terror laws to hold and question Mr Miranda,

She said it "was right" if police thought that Mr Miranda was holding information useful to terrorists.

Note how many times "Terrorist" is used. Note how many times "Whistleblower" is used. Note the increasing narrative that "Terrorist" means "Whistleblower" and vice-versa. The drive to make these things synonyms is quite impressive.

In essence, that's the proposal here. Not authorised to have secret material? Aiding the enemy. Go to jail.

This also allows the state to pretty much do what they want to you once they collar you. Hand over you phone and what's this? A digital copy of "X"? On your (electronic object you happen to be carrying)? That's a shame. Now start naming names.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on August 26, 2013, 12:45:08 am
Hey TripZip,

Do we have any realistic estimates on or the ability to predict at all the lifespan of encrypted documents?

I'm seeing a number of people react with ENCRYPT ALL THE THINGS but I'm conscious that at some point in the future, there's going to be a breakthrough that unlocks all of those stored encrypted documents. Do we know whether that's a practical distance away for encryption to be useful?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on August 26, 2013, 01:24:07 am
I think encryption has its place but it would be a mistake to rely on that alone. Courts can compel people to divulge encryption passwords, so it isn't like having an encrypted volume is any kind of legal protection by itself. One technological way to bolster the viability of encryption are features like TrueCrypt's "Hidden Volume," which is basically a second encrypted container inside a primary encrypted container. Forensically, it is impossible to determine whether such a hidden volume does or does not exist, even when the master container has been compromised. So if you're forced to give up the encryption password to the volume they can prove exists, you can still (theoretically) hide additional data without any way for anyone to know for sure that you're doing it.

But I still doubt that there is any encryption scheme that will prove unbreakable forever, and if it is theoretically possible to break an encryption scheme, you must assume that it has already been broken. You'll need other methods of content obfuscation and "plausible deniability" which will vary on what type of data you're trying to hide. For logistical communications it would help to develop something that combines encryption with communication that's inherently disguised as something else (think 'Follow the Drinking Gourd' and the Underground Railroad). Something that can convey important information without setting off any alarms that flag keywords or social network connections. Maybe Internet memes that can stand on their own as jokes but carry additional meaning for people who are looking for it.

ETA: Religions disguised as jokes might be handy here.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 26, 2013, 11:41:04 am
-
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 27, 2013, 10:49:15 am
This feels very related:
http://www.wired.com/business/2013/08/mark-zuckerberg-internet-org/

Quote
Last week, in an effort to reach this lofty goal, the Facebook CEO announced the establishment of Internet.org, a consortium that allied his company with handset makers (Nokia, Samsung, Ericcson), a browser company (Opera), and network infrastructure manufacturers (Qualcomm, MediaTek). In a 10-page white paper shared on, yes, Facebook, he postulated that a connected world could address economic disparity and outlined a vision of even the poorest people connecting to low-cost, low-data versions of basic Internet services.

This gives me a serious shudder. Digging through the Barret Brown stuff leads you to statements to the effect of "We are building a file on every single person in the US". Facebook is quite likely to be part of that profiling construction. The expansion here seems to be an intention to profile every single person who takes out a facebook account, or at least use facebook to assist in the overall profiling operation.

The stated intention of it being "for everyone" and then aiming particularly at struggling countries is telling. Is anyone who "Likes" say, Assad or Iran or Jihad now a viable drone target? I'd bet the evidence can be produced that they liked other suspicious things. Just look at their internet history and you can't disagree. They were also friends with this guy who has a dodgy looking beard. Clearly guilty.

Or crazy paranoia.
 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 28, 2013, 08:32:44 pm
-
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on August 29, 2013, 06:32:39 pm
Quote
“Every day, they are learning how brilliant [Snowden] was,” said a former U.S. official with knowledge of the case. “This is why you don’t hire brilliant people for jobs like this. You hire smart people. Brilliant people get you in trouble.”

http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/29/20234171-snowden-impersonated-nsa-officials-sources-say?lite



Because it takes a "brilliant" person to know how to use the system he's supposed to be administrating. Jesus fuck I hate these smarmy cunts.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 29, 2013, 06:39:15 pm

Quote
“Every day, they are learning how brilliant competent [Snowden] was,” said a former U.S. official with knowledge of the case. “This is why you don’t hire brilliant competent people for jobs like this. You hire smart people fuckwits. Brilliant competent people get you in trouble.”

Go over the article again with this kind of rephrasing and it becomes a little clearer.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 30, 2013, 10:40:23 am
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/08/black-budget/

Quote
The latest published leak from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden lays bare classified details of the U.S. government’s $52.6 billion intelligence budget, and makes the first reference in any of the Snowden documents to a “groundbreaking” U.S. encryption-breaking effort targeted squarely at internet traffic.

That's the first time I've actually seen a number assigned. I'd suspect the actual figure to be that at a minimum.

52. Billion. Budget. Holy fuck.

FUN WITH MATH -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population
Quote
The world population is the total number of living humans on Earth. As of today, it is estimated to number 7.108 billion

So that's $7.50 ish for intelligence gathering on every person alive.



Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 30, 2013, 11:01:08 am
-
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 30, 2013, 11:30:43 am
Care to speculate about what the real figure may be, or be close to? I'd guess the off-the-books stuff would probably around the same again if narco profits are involved.

Quote
And then there is a number of intelligence agency front companies, some of which actually do turn a profit.

Is there a list of these by any chance? Would seem to be worth knowing.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 30, 2013, 11:41:32 am
-
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 30, 2013, 02:08:51 pm
-
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 30, 2013, 09:29:30 pm
http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/30/20200659-how-much-did-snowden-take-at-least-three-times-number-reported?lite

Count the levels of fascism in that article.   :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 31, 2013, 11:18:30 am
-
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on August 31, 2013, 12:15:47 pm
-
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 31, 2013, 07:13:03 pm
Beat me by one.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on September 01, 2013, 02:43:14 pm
Bravo, guys. I love this place.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on September 06, 2013, 02:01:26 am
Quote
The National Security Agency, working with the British government, has secretly been unraveling encryption technology that billions of Internet users rely upon to keep their electronic messages and confidential data safe from prying eyes, according to published reports based on internal U.S. government documents.

The NSA has bypassed or altogether cracked much of the digital encryption used by businesses and everyday Web users, according to reports in The New York Times, Britain's Guardian newspaper and the nonprofit news website ProPublica. The reports describe how the NSA invested billions of dollars since 2000 to make nearly everyone's secrets available for government consumption.

In doing so, the NSA built powerful supercomputers to break encryption codes and partnered with unnamed technology companies to insert "back doors" into their software, the reports said. Such a practice would give the government access to users' digital information before it was encrypted and sent over the Internet.

"For the past decade, NSA has led an aggressive, multipronged effort to break widely used Internet encryption technologies," according to a 2010 briefing document about the NSA's accomplishments meant for its UK counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. Security experts told the news organisations such a code-breaking practice would ultimately undermine Internet security and leave everyday Web users vulnerable to hackers.

The revelations stem from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who sought asylum in Russia this summer. His leaks, first published by the Guardian, revealed a massive effort by the U.S. government to collect and analyse all sorts of digital data that Americans send at home and around the world.

Those revelations prompted a renewed debate in the United States about the proper balance between civil liberties and keeping the country safe from terrorists. President Barack Obama said he welcomed the debate and called it "healthy for our democracy" but meanwhile criticised the leaks; the Justice Department charged Snowden under the federal Espionage Act.

Published Thursday (local time), the reports described how some of the NSA's "most intensive efforts" focused on Secure Sockets Layer, a type of encryption widely used on the Web by online retailers and corporate networks to secure their Internet traffic. One document said GCHQ had been trying for years to exploit traffic from popular companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook.

Ad Feedback

GCHQ, they said, developed "new access opportunities" into Google's computers by 2012 but said the newly released documents didn't elaborate on how extensive the project was or what kind of data it could access.
Even though the latest document disclosures suggest the NSA is able to compromise many encryption programs, Snowden himself touted using encryption software when he first surfaced with his media revelations in June.

During a Web chat organised by the Guardian on June 17, Snowden told one questioner that "encryption works." Snowden said that "properly implemented strong crypto systems" were reliable, but he then alluded to the NSA's capability to crack tough encryption systems. "Unfortunately, endpoint security is so terrifically weak that NSA can frequently find ways around it," Snowden said.

It was unclear if Snowden drew a distinction between everyday encryption used on the Internet - the kind described in Thursday's reports - versus more-secure encryption algorithms used to store data on hard drives and often requires more processing power to break or decode. Snowden used an encrypted email account from a now-closed private email company, Lavabit, when he sent out invitations to a mid-July meeting at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport.

The operator of Lavabit LLC, Ladar Levison, suspended operations of the encrypted mail service in August, citing a pending "fight in the 4th (U.S.) Circuit Court of Appeals." Levison did not explain the pressures that forced him to shut the firm down but added that "a favourable decision would allow me to resurrect Lavabit as an American company."

The government asked the news organisations not to publish their stories, saying foreign enemies would switch to new forms of communication and make it harder for the NSA to break. The organisations removed some specific details but still published the story, they said, because of the "value of a public debate regarding government actions that weaken the most powerful tools for protecting the privacy of Americans and others."

Such tensions between government officials and journalists, while not new, have become more apparent since Snowden's leaks. Last month, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said that British government officials came by his newspaper's London offices to destroy hard drives containing leaked information. "You've had your debate," one UK official told him. "There's no need to write any more."

- AP

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/9134122/NSA-cracks-web-encryption
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on September 06, 2013, 02:02:00 am
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/05/government-betrayed-internet-nsa-spying

Quote
Government and industry have betrayed the internet, and us.

By subverting the internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. The companies that build and manage our internet infrastructure, the companies that create and sell us our hardware and software, or the companies that host our data: we can no longer trust them to be ethical internet stewards.

This is not the internet the world needs, or the internet its creators envisioned. We need to take it back.

And by we, I mean the engineering community.

Yes, this is primarily a political problem, a policy matter that requires political intervention.

But this is also an engineering problem, and there are several things engineers can – and should – do.

One, we should expose. If you do not have a security clearance, and if you have not received a National Security Letter, you are not bound by a federal confidentially requirements or a gag order. If you have been contacted by the NSA to subvert a product or protocol, you need to come forward with your story. Your employer obligations don't cover illegal or unethical activity. If you work with classified data and are truly brave, expose what you know. We need whistleblowers.

We need to know how exactly how the NSA and other agencies are subverting routers, switches, the internet backbone, encryption technologies and cloud systems. I already have five stories from people like you, and I've just started collecting. I want 50. There's safety in numbers, and this form of civil disobedience is the moral thing to do.

Two, we can design. We need to figure out how to re-engineer the internet to prevent this kind of wholesale spying. We need new techniques to prevent communications intermediaries from leaking private information.

We can make surveillance expensive again. In particular, we need open protocols, open implementations, open systems – these will be harder for the NSA to subvert.

The Internet Engineering Task Force, the group that defines the standards that make the internet run, has a meeting planned for early November in Vancouver. This group needs dedicate its next meeting to this task. This is an emergency, and demands an emergency response.

Three, we can influence governance. I have resisted saying this up to now, and I am saddened to say it, but the US has proved to be an unethical steward of the internet. The UK is no better. The NSA's actions are legitimizing the internet abuses by China, Russia, Iran and others. We need to figure out new means of internet governance, ones that makes it harder for powerful tech countries to monitor everything. For example, we need to demand transparency, oversight, and accountability from our governments and corporations.

Unfortunately, this is going play directly into the hands of totalitarian governments that want to control their country's internet for even more extreme forms of surveillance. We need to figure out how to prevent that, too. We need to avoid the mistakes of the International Telecommunications Union, which has become a forum to legitimize bad government behavior, and create truly international governance that can't be dominated or abused by any one country.

Generations from now, when people look back on these early decades of the internet, I hope they will not be disappointed in us. We can ensure that they don't only if each of us makes this a priority, and engages in the debate. We have a moral duty to do this, and we have no time to lose.

Dismantling the surveillance state won't be easy. Has any country that engaged in mass surveillance of its own citizens voluntarily given up that capability? Has any mass surveillance country avoided becoming totalitarian? Whatever happens, we're going to be breaking new ground.

Again, the politics of this is a bigger task than the engineering, but the engineering is critical. We need to demand that real technologists be involved in any key government decision making on these issues. We've had enough of lawyers and politicians not fully understanding technology; we need technologists at the table when we build tech policy.

To the engineers, I say this: we built the internet, and some of us have helped to subvert it. Now, those of us who love liberty have to fix it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on September 06, 2013, 02:20:29 am
Fuckit, emailing the author to ask if I can Big Words that shit. Worst he can do is say no.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on September 06, 2013, 02:58:21 am
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/05/government-betrayed-internet-nsa-spying

Quote
Government and industry have betrayed the internet, and us.

By subverting the internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. The companies that build and manage our internet infrastructure, the companies that create and sell us our hardware and software, or the companies that host our data: we can no longer trust them to be ethical internet stewards.

This is not the internet the world needs, or the internet its creators envisioned. We need to take it back.

And by we, I mean the engineering community.

Yes, this is primarily a political problem, a policy matter that requires political intervention.

But this is also an engineering problem, and there are several things engineers can – and should – do.

One, we should expose. If you do not have a security clearance, and if you have not received a National Security Letter, you are not bound by a federal confidentially requirements or a gag order. If you have been contacted by the NSA to subvert a product or protocol, you need to come forward with your story. Your employer obligations don't cover illegal or unethical activity. If you work with classified data and are truly brave, expose what you know. We need whistleblowers.

We need to know how exactly how the NSA and other agencies are subverting routers, switches, the internet backbone, encryption technologies and cloud systems. I already have five stories from people like you, and I've just started collecting. I want 50. There's safety in numbers, and this form of civil disobedience is the moral thing to do.

Two, we can design. We need to figure out how to re-engineer the internet to prevent this kind of wholesale spying. We need new techniques to prevent communications intermediaries from leaking private information.

We can make surveillance expensive again. In particular, we need open protocols, open implementations, open systems – these will be harder for the NSA to subvert.

The Internet Engineering Task Force, the group that defines the standards that make the internet run, has a meeting planned for early November in Vancouver. This group needs dedicate its next meeting to this task. This is an emergency, and demands an emergency response.

Three, we can influence governance. I have resisted saying this up to now, and I am saddened to say it, but the US has proved to be an unethical steward of the internet. The UK is no better. The NSA's actions are legitimizing the internet abuses by China, Russia, Iran and others. We need to figure out new means of internet governance, ones that makes it harder for powerful tech countries to monitor everything. For example, we need to demand transparency, oversight, and accountability from our governments and corporations.

Unfortunately, this is going play directly into the hands of totalitarian governments that want to control their country's internet for even more extreme forms of surveillance. We need to figure out how to prevent that, too. We need to avoid the mistakes of the International Telecommunications Union, which has become a forum to legitimize bad government behavior, and create truly international governance that can't be dominated or abused by any one country.

Generations from now, when people look back on these early decades of the internet, I hope they will not be disappointed in us. We can ensure that they don't only if each of us makes this a priority, and engages in the debate. We have a moral duty to do this, and we have no time to lose.

Dismantling the surveillance state won't be easy. Has any country that engaged in mass surveillance of its own citizens voluntarily given up that capability? Has any mass surveillance country avoided becoming totalitarian? Whatever happens, we're going to be breaking new ground.

Again, the politics of this is a bigger task than the engineering, but the engineering is critical. We need to demand that real technologists be involved in any key government decision making on these issues. We've had enough of lawyers and politicians not fully understanding technology; we need technologists at the table when we build tech policy.

To the engineers, I say this: we built the internet, and some of us have helped to subvert it. Now, those of us who love liberty have to fix it.

:mittens:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on September 06, 2013, 10:31:07 am
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23981291

Quote
US and UK intelligence have reportedly cracked technology used to encrypt internet services such as online banking, medical records and email.

Disclosures by leaker Edward Snowden allege the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's GCHQ are hacking key online security protocols.

The encryption techniques targeted are used by popular internet services such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

The NSA is said to spend $250m (£160m) a year on the top secret program.

It is codenamed Bullrun, an American civil war battle, according to the documents published by the Guardian in conjunction with the New York Times and ProPublica.

The British counterpart program is called Edgehill, after the first major engagement of the English civil war, say the documents.

I don't want to read anything into the names, but it would be very easy to.

Quote
Under Bullrun, it is said that the NSA has built powerful supercomputers to try to crack the technology that scrambles and encrypts personal information when internet users log on to access various services.

The NSA also collaborated with unnamed technology companies to build so-called back doors into their software - something that would give the government access to information before it is encrypted and sent over the internet, it is reported.

As well as supercomputers, methods used include "technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications", the New York Times reports.

What this is increasingly looking like to me, is that nothing online is or was ever secure. Ever. It seems more a case of "who do we have the resources and inclination to catch"
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on September 06, 2013, 03:09:19 pm
Both programs are named after civil war battles in their respective countries?

 :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on September 06, 2013, 03:53:43 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on September 06, 2013, 04:01:48 pm
I foresee direct application of the LMNO Principle.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on September 11, 2013, 01:35:28 pm
Quote
What happens when a secret U.S. court allows the National Security Agency access to a massive pipeline of U.S. phone call metadata, along with strict rules on how the spy agency can use the information?

The NSA promptly violated those rules — “since the earliest days” of the program’s 2006 inception — carrying out thousands of inquiries on phone numbers without any of the court-ordered screening designed to protect Americans from illegal government surveillance.

The violations continued for three years, until they were uncovered by an internal review, and the NSA found itself fighting to keep the spy program alive.

That’s the lesson from hundreds of pages of formerly top secret documents from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, released today by the Obama administration in response to a successful Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

“Incredibly, intelligence officials said today that no one at the NSA fully understood how its own surveillance system worked at the time so they could not adequately explain it to the court,” says EFF activist Trevor Timm. “This is a breathtaking admission — the NSA’s surveillance apparatus, for years, was so complex and compartmentalized that no single person could comprehend it

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/09/nsa-violations/

Quote
In the most serious incident uncovered today, the NSA set up an automated system to add phone numbers to its data-mining watchlist. That system, called the “alert list process,” completely bypassed the court-ordered review process, in which NSA personnel were supposed to ensure that nobody was monitored without “reasonable articulable suspicion” that they were tied to a foreign terrorist group or intelligence agency.

Between 2006 and 2009 some 17,835 phone numbers were queried, but only 1,935 of these were based on a RAS standard, as required by the court’s order.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bu☆ns on September 11, 2013, 04:08:03 pm
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1231481_641401145925961_1442095045_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on September 11, 2013, 06:26:14 pm
 :lulz: :lulz: :lulz:

It's SO PERFECT.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on September 12, 2013, 08:34:37 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23981291

Quote
US and UK intelligence have reportedly cracked technology used to encrypt internet services such as online banking, medical records and email.

Disclosures by leaker Edward Snowden allege the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's GCHQ are hacking key online security protocols.

The encryption techniques targeted are used by popular internet services such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

The NSA is said to spend $250m (£160m) a year on the top secret program.

It is codenamed Bullrun, an American civil war battle, according to the documents published by the Guardian in conjunction with the New York Times and ProPublica.

The British counterpart program is called Edgehill, after the first major engagement of the English civil war, say the documents.

I don't want to read anything into the names, but it would be very easy to.

Quote
Under Bullrun, it is said that the NSA has built powerful supercomputers to try to crack the technology that scrambles and encrypts personal information when internet users log on to access various services.

The NSA also collaborated with unnamed technology companies to build so-called back doors into their software - something that would give the government access to information before it is encrypted and sent over the internet, it is reported.

As well as supercomputers, methods used include "technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications", the New York Times reports.

What this is increasingly looking like to me, is that nothing online is or was ever secure. Ever. It seems more a case of "who do we have the resources and inclination to catch"

I've been digesting the possibilities for awhile... I really want to know which encryption schemes they broke and which they got backdoors for. I mean, I can see supercomputers brute forcing DES (the 56-bit encryption used for most bank transfers etc throught the 90's and into the 21st century), or likely even 3DES (still in current useage). I can also see finding flaws in SSL 1, 2, 3 and TLS 1.1, because we know there are vulnerabilites in those, perhaps more than have already been found.

It seems unlikely to me that they have found a vulnerability in AES. or that they could brute force the AES key space on a super computer. Now if they have some distributed system running on every PS3, XBOX and windows machine on the net... then I'd say they could probably brute force AES. Even if there's no flaw in the algorithm, I wouldn't be surprised if they were able to influence implementations by major companies to somehow weaken the crypto.

I really really would love to see more info :D
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on September 12, 2013, 09:48:47 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23981291

Quote
US and UK intelligence have reportedly cracked technology used to encrypt internet services such as online banking, medical records and email.

Disclosures by leaker Edward Snowden allege the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's GCHQ are hacking key online security protocols.

The encryption techniques targeted are used by popular internet services such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

The NSA is said to spend $250m (£160m) a year on the top secret program.

It is codenamed Bullrun, an American civil war battle, according to the documents published by the Guardian in conjunction with the New York Times and ProPublica.

The British counterpart program is called Edgehill, after the first major engagement of the English civil war, say the documents.

I don't want to read anything into the names, but it would be very easy to.

Quote
Under Bullrun, it is said that the NSA has built powerful supercomputers to try to crack the technology that scrambles and encrypts personal information when internet users log on to access various services.

The NSA also collaborated with unnamed technology companies to build so-called back doors into their software - something that would give the government access to information before it is encrypted and sent over the internet, it is reported.

As well as supercomputers, methods used include "technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications", the New York Times reports.

What this is increasingly looking like to me, is that nothing online is or was ever secure. Ever. It seems more a case of "who do we have the resources and inclination to catch"

I've been digesting the possibilities for awhile... I really want to know which encryption schemes they broke and which they got backdoors for. I mean, I can see supercomputers brute forcing DES (the 56-bit encryption used for most bank transfers etc throught the 90's and into the 21st century), or likely even 3DES (still in current useage). I can also see finding flaws in SSL 1, 2, 3 and TLS 1.1, because we know there are vulnerabilites in those, perhaps more than have already been found.

It seems unlikely to me that they have found a vulnerability in AES. or that they could brute force the AES key space on a super computer. Now if they have some distributed system running on every PS3, XBOX and windows machine on the net... then I'd say they could probably brute force AES. Even if there's no flaw in the algorithm, I wouldn't be surprised if they were able to influence implementations by major companies to somehow weaken the crypto.

I really really would love to see more info :D

ITT, we find out what "Folding @ Home" really does.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on September 12, 2013, 10:57:12 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23981291

Quote
US and UK intelligence have reportedly cracked technology used to encrypt internet services such as online banking, medical records and email.

Disclosures by leaker Edward Snowden allege the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's GCHQ are hacking key online security protocols.

The encryption techniques targeted are used by popular internet services such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

The NSA is said to spend $250m (£160m) a year on the top secret program.

It is codenamed Bullrun, an American civil war battle, according to the documents published by the Guardian in conjunction with the New York Times and ProPublica.

The British counterpart program is called Edgehill, after the first major engagement of the English civil war, say the documents.

I don't want to read anything into the names, but it would be very easy to.

Quote
Under Bullrun, it is said that the NSA has built powerful supercomputers to try to crack the technology that scrambles and encrypts personal information when internet users log on to access various services.

The NSA also collaborated with unnamed technology companies to build so-called back doors into their software - something that would give the government access to information before it is encrypted and sent over the internet, it is reported.

As well as supercomputers, methods used include "technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications", the New York Times reports.

What this is increasingly looking like to me, is that nothing online is or was ever secure. Ever. It seems more a case of "who do we have the resources and inclination to catch"

I've been digesting the possibilities for awhile... I really want to know which encryption schemes they broke and which they got backdoors for. I mean, I can see supercomputers brute forcing DES (the 56-bit encryption used for most bank transfers etc throught the 90's and into the 21st century), or likely even 3DES (still in current useage). I can also see finding flaws in SSL 1, 2, 3 and TLS 1.1, because we know there are vulnerabilites in those, perhaps more than have already been found.

It seems unlikely to me that they have found a vulnerability in AES. or that they could brute force the AES key space on a super computer. Now if they have some distributed system running on every PS3, XBOX and windows machine on the net... then I'd say they could probably brute force AES. Even if there's no flaw in the algorithm, I wouldn't be surprised if they were able to influence implementations by major companies to somehow weaken the crypto.

I really really would love to see more info :D

ITT, we find out what "Folding @ Home" really does.

I can't wait to see the list of companies that colluded with the government to create flaws in stuff sold as 'secure'. The Sony rootkit will look tiny in comparison.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on September 12, 2013, 11:01:39 pm
Think every shitty (and some decent) antivirus for one. Think any/all DRM too. I'd assume at this point if it's an encryption you can buy, not built yourself, from scratch and have the resources of a small nation to test it, it's either compromised or can be compromised, if someone were so inclined.

Twitter just announced plans to float on the stock exchange. Pretty much any/all major social media will have NSA oversight by now, and twitter is too universal to just ignore.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on September 13, 2013, 03:51:35 pm
Something of a tangent, but this seems relevant and probably important:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/09/dotcom-lawsuit/

Quote
File-sharing tycoon Kim Dotcom has a plan to become a multi-millionaire again: He’s filed a seven-figure lawsuit against the New Zealand government over the spectacular 2012 assault on his mansion, and the electronic spying that preceded it.

Court filings released this week show Dotcom and associates have made good on a threat last year to sue police and the country’s main spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, or GCSB, for the SWAT-style raid in which Dotcom and the others were arrested a year and a half ago.

The New Zealand government appealed a ruling last year that granted Dotcom the right to sue, but lost last March. Court documents filed in the High Court earlier this year, but not made public until this week, lay out Dotcom’s case that the police were excessively invasive and aggressive in conducting the raid, and used NSA-like spy systems to place him under covert surveillance.

The case will show how the Five-Eyes spy cloud, X-Keyscore and PRISM were utilized in our copyright case,” Dotcom tells WIRED. “Remember, I’m not a terrorist.”

RIAA/MPAA and others would probably disagree. Vehemently. With many lawyers.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on September 14, 2013, 09:27:56 am
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on September 14, 2013, 01:35:12 pm
From one of my favourite infosec writers:

http://krypt3ia.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/so-heres-my-thing/

Quote
Face it.. We are all PWND six ways to Sunday

Every frigging day we hear more and more about how the NSA has been emptying our lives of privacy and subverting the laws of this land and others with their machinations. It’s true, and I have been saying as much since the day Mr. Klein came out of his telco closet and talked about how the NARUS system had been plugged into the MAE West back in the day. We are all well and truly fucked if we want any kind of privacy today kids and we all need to just sit back and think about that.

*ponder ponder ponder*

Ok, I have thought about it and I have tried to think of any way to protect myself from the encroachment of the NSA and all the big and little sisters out there. I am absolutely flummoxed to come up with any cogent means to really and truly protect my communications. Short of having access to the NSA supercloud and some cryptographers I don’t think that we will not truly have any privacy anymore. If you place it on the net, or in the air. We have reached in my opinion the very real possibility of the N-Dystopia I have talked about before in the Great Cyber Game post.

As the pundits like Schneier and others groan on and on about how the NSA is doing all of this to us all I have increasingly felt  the 5 stages of grief. I had the disbelief (ok not completely as you all know but the scope was incredible at each revelation) Then the anger came and washed over me, waves and waves of it as I saw the breadth and scope of the abuse. Soon though that anger went away and I was then feeling the bargaining phase begin. I started to bargain in my head with ideas that I could in fact create my own privacy with crypto and other OPSEC means. I thought I could just deny the government the data. I soon though began to understand that no matter what I did with the tools out there that it was likely they had already been back door’d. This came to be more than the case once the stories came out around how the NSA had been pressuring all kinds of tech companies to weaken standards or even build full back doors into their products under the guise of “National Security”

Over time the revelations have all lead to the inescapable truth that there is nothing really anyone can do to stop the nation state from mining our communications on a technological level. Once that had fully set in my mind the depression kicked in. Of late I have been more quiet online and more depressed about our current state as well as our future state with regard to surveillance and the cyberwarz. I came to the conclusion that no matter the railing and screaming I might do it would mean nothing to the rapidly approaching cyberpocalypse of our own creation arriving. ….In short, we can’t stop it and thus the last of the five stages for me has set in. I accept that there is nothing I can do, nay, nothing “we” can do to stop this short of a bloody coup on the government at large.

I now luxuriate in my apathy and were I to really care any more I would lose my fucking mind.

It's worth reading the whole thing, though.  This person definitely knows their stuff when it comes to computer security, and if they say privacy is now functionally impossible...well, I'm inclined, based on what I already know, what I suspect and what they say, to believe it.

I agree with him. Privacy from random people, sure. Privacy from hackers, if you build it right. Privacy from the NSA, probably not ever again.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on September 14, 2013, 06:33:46 pm
Because the surveillance works best at the social network level, your personal privacy is irrelevant anyway unless every single person you communicate with is equally secure. They don't need to directly read your communications to calculate what they are based on the communications and activity of everyone you're in contact with.

That said, statements like "everything is probably back-door'd anyway" is kind of ignorant. That's why you use and participate in open-source software. You can see the source code and any back doors right there in plain code. This is why open-source software is more secure than closed-source in general.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on September 14, 2013, 07:21:32 pm
Because the surveillance works best at the social network level, your personal privacy is irrelevant anyway unless every single person you communicate with is equally secure. They don't need to directly read your communications to calculate what they are based on the communications and activity of everyone you're in contact with.

That said, statements like "everything is probably back-door'd anyway" is kind of ignorant. That's why you use and participate in open-source software. You can see the source code and any back doors right there in plain code. This is why open-source software is more secure than closed-source in general.

I think that backdoors would be caught in some of the more highly reviewed open source stuff, like the Linux kernel. However, it wouldn't be impossible for someone to slip in obfuscated code within a library, a popular add-on or something like that. If the claims of influencing standards is true, then even if an open source product is clean, it may be implementing a compromised standard. For example, if the SSL/TLS standard had been manipulated so that the NSA knew about the CBC flaw that lead to the BEAST attack. Its a perfect flaw for the kind of thing that the NSA would want to exploit.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on September 14, 2013, 07:42:36 pm
Certainly if the standards are compromised, then there isn't much that developers can do about it. Either use a compromised standard, or break compatibility and have a program that "doesn't work." Or design a new standard that itself will likely be flawed or eventually compromised. But that isn't the software's fault. As for obfuscated code, there's obviously a high level of review for very active projects (like the Linux kernel) and for projects intended to secure data (encfs, etc.). It's entirely possible that obfuscated code would be submitted, but it's more likely to be approved in less active projects and fluffy BS programs like whatever the open-source equivalent of WeatherBug is.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bebek Sincap Ratatosk on September 14, 2013, 07:59:47 pm
Certainly if the standards are compromised, then there isn't much that developers can do about it. Either use a compromised standard, or break compatibility and have a program that "doesn't work." Or design a new standard that itself will likely be flawed or eventually compromised. But that isn't the software's fault. As for obfuscated code, there's obviously a high level of review for very active projects (like the Linux kernel) and for projects intended to secure data (encfs, etc.). It's entirely possible that obfuscated code would be submitted, but it's more likely to be approved in less active projects and fluffy BS programs like whatever the open-source equivalent of WeatherBug is.

Right, the question is how deep their influence has been. If I were the NSA I would have aimed for standards, protocols, algorithms etc.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on September 19, 2013, 09:42:12 am
Good News!

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/09/telcos-metada-orders/

Quote
Since at least 2006 a secret spy court has continuously compelled the nation’s carriers to hand over records of every telephone call made to, from, or within the United States.

But none of the phone companies have ever challenged the orders in court, according to an August 29 opinion (.pdf) by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which was declassified today.

“To this date, no holder of records who has received an Order to produce bulk telephony metadata has challenged the legality of such an Order,” reads the ruling. “Indeed, no recipient of any Section 215 Order has challenged the legality of such an Order, despite the explicit statutory mechanism for doing so.”

No, wait.

Quote
Congress in 2008 passed legislation immunizing the telcos  from ever being sued for forwarding customer data to the NSA.

Hang on

Quote
A day after the Guardian‘s story, however, Verizon declined to acknowledge the program but also said it was just following orders.

It's OK! They were only following orders.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Lord Cataplanga on September 20, 2013, 05:51:14 pm
After the revelations that the NSA has been spying on Brazil's government (particularly on president Dilma Rousseff and the state-owned oil company Petrobras), their government is trying to force some web companies to keep their data about brazilian citizens in brazilians datacenters. That way, they would have to comply with brazilian privacy laws.

There are also plans to connect Brazil with the rest of South America and with Europe directly with fiber, so their communications won't go through American servers and they won't be spied on. This won't work (the NSA has been tapping undersea cables for some time) but is still a good idea for other reasons (more availability, less latency).

The reaction from the American press (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/experts-see-potential-perils-in-brazil-push-to-break-with-us-centric-internet-over-nsa-spying/2013/09/17/c9093f32-1f4e-11e3-9ad0-96244100e647_story.html) has been hilarious:

Quote
Internet security and policy experts say the Brazilian government’s reaction to information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is understandable, but warn it could set the Internet on a course of Balkanization.

Quote
Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins computer security expert, said Brazil won’t protect itself from intrusion by isolating itself digitally. It will also be discouraging technological innovation, he said, by encouraging the entire nation to use a state-sponsored encrypted email service.

“It’s sort of like a Soviet socialism of computing,” he said, adding that the U.S. “free-for-all model works better.”
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on September 20, 2013, 06:21:11 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on September 25, 2013, 11:17:17 am
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/09/nsa-backdoor/all/

Quote
Even without more explicit confirmation that the weaknesses in the algorithm and standard constitute a backdoor, Kocher and Schneier believe they do.

“It is extraordinarily bad cryptography,” says Kocher. “If you look at the NSA’s role in creating standards [over the years] and its general cryptographic sophistication, none of it makes sense if there isn’t a backdoor in this.”

Schneier agrees and says the NSA has done too many other things for him to think, when he sees government-mandated crypto that’s weak, that it’s just by accident.

“If we were living in a kinder world, that would be a plausible explanation,” he says. “But we’re living in a very malicious world, it turns out.”

HAHAHAHAHAAAAIIEEEEE.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on September 25, 2013, 05:13:40 pm
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/09/nsa-backdoor/all/

Quote
Even without more explicit confirmation that the weaknesses in the algorithm and standard constitute a backdoor, Kocher and Schneier believe they do.

“It is extraordinarily bad cryptography,” says Kocher. “If you look at the NSA’s role in creating standards [over the years] and its general cryptographic sophistication, none of it makes sense if there isn’t a backdoor in this.”

Schneier agrees and says the NSA has done too many other things for him to think, when he sees government-mandated crypto that’s weak, that it’s just by accident.

“If we were living in a kinder world, that would be a plausible explanation,” he says. “But we’re living in a very malicious world, it turns out.”

HAHAHAHAHAAAAIIEEEEE.

 :horrormirth:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: von on September 25, 2013, 06:50:13 pm
Don't know if this has been mentioned yet, or if it's sorta implied with the "standards manipulation" mentioned above, but I've been hearing things recently that make me say that you'd need to go full-on RMS and use only open source hardware in order to get the "open source auditing" advantage that comes with FOSS.

For example, I've been hearing things about the AES-NI instruction from modern intel microcode that imply that it simplifies random number generation in order to "make encryption quicker"...or at least that's how it's being marketed. Appearently, someone "in the know" about how it simplifies the RNG could use that to their advantage when cracking AES that's been encrypted with a modern Intel processor ("modern" == made after about 2008 from what I've heard)

Naturally, if this is true, and the implications I'm drawing from it are true...it doesn't matter how open your software is. It's hardware levels of bad...
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on September 25, 2013, 11:42:52 pm
Article on Barrett that covers a lot of surveillance stuff: http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/barrett-brown-private-intelligence-industry/#!
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on September 28, 2013, 10:08:17 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on September 29, 2013, 07:09:04 pm
Well, if they say they arent doing industrial espionage AND use asterisks, why would anyone feel suspicious?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on September 30, 2013, 11:18:45 am
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on October 03, 2013, 11:08:48 am
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on October 03, 2013, 01:22:02 pm
TOTALLY UNRELATED:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24373759

Quote
The FBI has announced the arrest of the suspected operator of the Silk Road - a clandestine online marketplace for drugs and other illegal items.

A spokeswoman said that Ross William Ulbricht was arrested "without incident" by its agents at a public library in San Francisco on Tuesday.

She added he had been charged with conspiracy to traffic narcotics.

The FBI said it has also seized approximately $3.6m (£2.2m) worth of bitcoins - a virtual currency.

The agency described it as the biggest Bitcoin seizure to date.

HAHAHAHA
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Lord Cataplanga on October 04, 2013, 05:46:00 pm
So, the NSA and GCHQ have been trying to de-anonymize Tor users for a while, according to the latest leaked document (http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/oct/04/tor-stinks-nsa-presentation-document).

Good news, they can't. Tor is actually still very secure.
Bad news, that may be just what they want us to think (check the last slide)  :tinfoilhat:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Forsooth on October 04, 2013, 11:01:38 pm
TOTALLY UNRELATED:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24373759

Quote
The FBI said it has also seized approximately $3.6m (£2.2m) worth of bitcoins - a virtual currency.

The agency described it as the biggest Bitcoin seizure to date.

HAHAHAHA

I'd laugh so hard if the exchange rate plummets and they have seized $36,000 worth of bitcoins
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on October 05, 2013, 12:16:34 am
So, the NSA and GCHQ have been trying to de-anonymize Tor users for a while, according to the latest leaked document (http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/oct/04/tor-stinks-nsa-presentation-document).

Good news, they can't. Tor is actually still very secure.
Bad news, that may be just what they want us to think (check the last slide)  :tinfoilhat:

No. Tor is not very secure.

There's a flaw in the design that means, basically, if you control enough of the exit nodes, you can see where all the traffic is going. The price tag on enough servers is well under the insanity that is the NSA's budget. Tor is sufficient privacy for "lol let's go read shit on the Scientology website and maybe post some idiot comments on their YouTube channel," it's not enough for, say, running the Silk Road.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Lord Cataplanga on October 05, 2013, 06:09:54 pm
So, the NSA and GCHQ have been trying to de-anonymize Tor users for a while, according to the latest leaked document (http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/oct/04/tor-stinks-nsa-presentation-document).

Good news, they can't. Tor is actually still very secure.
Bad news, that may be just what they want us to think (check the last slide)  :tinfoilhat:

No. Tor is not very secure.

There's a flaw in the design that means, basically, if you control enough of the exit nodes, you can see where all the traffic is going. The price tag on enough servers is well under the insanity that is the NSA's budget. Tor is sufficient privacy for "lol let's go read shit on the Scientology website and maybe post some idiot comments on their YouTube channel," it's not enough for, say, running the Silk Road.

But the NSA, (according to that leaked document) doesn't (yet?) control enough nodes.
The Silk Road case is very interesting. Let me see if I can find the document explaining how they caught the guy. If I remember correctly, he needed an ID document to rent some servers, so he ordered fake ones and someone opened the package in a random(?) search. The IDs had his picture.

edit: here it is
http://www1.icsi.berkeley.edu/~nweaver/UlbrichtCriminalComplaint.pdf

also here, the same document:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/182368464/2013-silkroad-indictment.pdf
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on October 05, 2013, 06:26:03 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on October 05, 2013, 06:59:18 pm
Being paranoid, I tend to think the NSA either has or is very close to compromising TOR. The document above says otherwise, but consider the actual effect, which is to encourage continued monitoring of the service. Maybe the NSA's technique relies on gathering as much of this monitoring from as many sources as possible.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Golden Applesauce on October 05, 2013, 07:29:46 pm
I doubt that the Silk Road arrest was NSA breaking Tor, if only because the national security value of nobody else knowing you can break Tor is higher than the Silk Road guy. The NSA doesn't particularly care about drug crimes except for use as blackmail to get drug networks to share what they know about the links between that drug network and terrorism / foreign intelligence. Not saying that the NSA hadn't tracked down the Silk Road guy beforehand, but if they did there's some senior NSA officials very pissed at the FBI for arresting one of their best placed informants and turning off the servers they were using to track terrorists with drug habits.

I also doubt the breakthrough came through Tor itself - usually the way these things work is that the guy slips up and forgets to encrypt absolutely everything, and they catch that and use it to sidestep the hard encryption stuff.

Here's a snippet of Brian Kreb's post (http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/10/feds-take-down-online-fraud-bazaar-silk-road-arrest-alleged-mastermind/) on the arrest:
Quote
the information contained on the server seized by investigators indicates that Ulbricht/Dread Pirate Roberts routinely failed to heed his own advice to fellow Silk Road users: Prominent on the Silk Road site were links to tutorials DPR penned which laid out the technologies and techniques that users should adopt if they want to keep off the radar of federal investigators.

“This shows me that the head of the Silk Road wasn’t using [encryption] for all his communications, because [the government] wouldn’t have all of this information otherwise, unless of course he stored his encryption key on the server that was seized,” Weaver said. “Either [the government] got his encryption key off of this server or another server that they were able to access, or he wasn’t using encryption at all.”

The complaint also suggests that in June 2013, Ulbricht accessed a server used to control the Silk Road site from an Internet cafe that was 500 feet from the hotel he was staying at in San Francisco.


“In other words, he wasn’t even using Tor to administer the Silk Road,” Weaver said. “Given that, it’s amazing that he was able to keep this site running for three years.”

Other rookie mistakes also contributed to DPR’s identification as Ross William Ulbricht. In 2011, a person using the nickname “Altoid” posted a comment to the Bitcoin Talk forum trying to get users there to visit the Silk Road. Later in the year, Altoid posted again on the Bitcoin Talk forum, this time seeking an “IT pro” in the Bitcoin community to help with Silk Road administration. In that comment, he posted his Gmail address, the contents of which were later subpoenaed by federal investigators.

Finally, DPR tripped himself up when he ordered some fake IDs from an international Silk Road vendor and had them sent to his residence. The fraudulent IDs were intercepted at the border by customs agents working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which paid a visit to the address to which the documents were to be delivered. The agents noted that while Ulbricht refused to answer any questions about the alleged purchase, one of the identity documents was a California driver’s license bearing Ulbricht’s photo and true date of birth, but with a different name.

The Silk Road case is very interesting. Let me see if I can find the document explaining how they caught the guy. If I remember correctly, he needed an ID document to rent some servers, so he ordered fake ones and someone opened the package in a random(?) search. The IDs had his picture.

If I were the FBI wanting to discover the identities of a lot of people involved in Silk Road, I'd start by buying some fake IDs and tracking the shipment backward to the source. Then I'd intercept all outbound packages, note the fake IDs, send them to the buyer, and alert other agencies to pay special attention to people claiming to have the same name/DOB as people in the fake IDs.

If tracking that was too hard, I'd set up shop on Silk Road selling IDs, and establish myself as the preferred seller in terms of cost (since I'm not trying to make money) and undetectable forgeries (since I can just ask the appropriate agency to print me an actual ID.)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on October 06, 2013, 12:55:42 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on October 06, 2013, 12:57:40 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Golden Applesauce on October 06, 2013, 06:56:41 pm
The NSA doesn't particularly care about drug crimes except for use as blackmail to get drug networks to share what they know about the links between that drug network and terrorism / foreign intelligence. Not saying that the NSA hadn't tracked down the Silk Road guy beforehand, but if they did there's some senior NSA officials very pissed at the FBI for arresting one of their best placed informants and turning off the servers they were using to track terrorists with drug habits.

Actually, the NSA mandate specifically states they are to combat the flow of drugs into America.  As a DoD agency, they often perform in conjunction with military anti-drug programs like Plan Colombia and Plan Medina (though on whose side is open to interpretation, given "ex"-NSA assistance to certain cartel leaders).

And as we now know, the NSA was specifically cited as the agency which passed on intelligence to the DEA's Special Operations Division, which then underwent "parallel construction" to conceal the source of said information.

That's what I get for pretending I know things I don't. Appreciate the correction.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on October 12, 2013, 02:58:10 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on October 17, 2013, 08:45:28 am
This feels related:
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/514298/20131016/securedrop-aaron-swartz-wikileaks-style-anonymous-submission.htm

Quote
Before his suicide in January 2013, Swartz had been working on a tool for sources to anonymously submit documents to journalists online, without using traceable email and in a way that could be easily catalogued by news organisations.

Called SecureDrop, the tool can be installed on any news organisation's website as a 'Contact Us' form page. But where these pages usually require a name and email address, the encrypted SecureDrop system is completely anonymous, assigning the whistleblower two unique identifiers - one seen by the journalist, and one seen by the whistleblower. These identities stay the same, so a conversation can be had without names being shared or known.

The launch of SecureDrop comes at a time when people are more aware than ever of the insecurity of online commuications. The leaks from NSA-whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed widespread government monitoring of email and other forms of online communication.

SecureDrop, which is similar to the Wikileaks submission system, began life as Swartz's DeadDrop project - a way of helping journalists communicate anonymously with their sources. In May this year, The New Yorker used some of the tool's code to create its own system, called StrongBox.

Again, I don't know a lot about this yet, but it seems some people are still under the impression that any kind of internet submission process is secure.For instance,  say with a straight face that the NSA is not fully aware of everything assange/wikileaks knows/possesses. If strongbox isn't already being monitored, it will be by the end of today.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on October 21, 2013, 08:23:59 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 21, 2013, 09:16:04 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24607880

Quote
Le Monde says the NSA spied on 70.3 million phone calls in France in just 30 days between 10 December last year and 8 January 2013.

That's the France with a population of 65 million.

You know what's so embarrassing about all this?

We can't do SHIT without getting caught.  It's fucking humiliating.  All the other police states laugh at us.

 :sad:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on October 21, 2013, 09:31:42 pm
That's awesome. Can I steal that?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 21, 2013, 09:35:41 pm
That's awesome. Can I steal that?

Which?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on October 21, 2013, 10:42:43 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on October 21, 2013, 11:06:47 pm
Just want to put the possibility out there that the one guy who does speak french at the NSA told them "oui" means "bomb" and "non" means "horrific acts of terror".

Either that or the entire french population has been classed as a terrorist threat. Is the "freedom fries" thing still going? Guy who came up with that working at the NSA maybe?


These ideas sound insane only in comparison to what is actually happening.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on October 22, 2013, 02:01:52 pm
That's awesome. Can I steal that?

Which?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24607880

Quote
Le Monde says the NSA spied on 70.3 million phone calls in France in just 30 days between 10 December last year and 8 January 2013.

That's the France with a population of 65 million.

You know what's so embarrassing about all this?

We can't do SHIT without getting caught.  It's fucking humiliating.  All the other police states laugh at us.

 :sad:

This.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 22, 2013, 02:43:19 pm
That's awesome. Can I steal that?

Which?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24607880

Quote
Le Monde says the NSA spied on 70.3 million phone calls in France in just 30 days between 10 December last year and 8 January 2013.

That's the France with a population of 65 million.

You know what's so embarrassing about all this?

We can't do SHIT without getting caught.  It's fucking humiliating.  All the other police states laugh at us.

 :sad:

This.

Be my guest.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on October 22, 2013, 03:17:01 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 22, 2013, 03:20:16 pm
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/21/21060532-obama-assures-french-leader-hollande-over-nsa-spying-reports?lite

Quote
"The president and President Hollande discussed recent disclosures in the press - some of which have distorted our activities and some of which raise legitimate questions for our friends and allies about how these capabilities are employed," the White House said Monday.

"The president (Obama) made clear that the United States has begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share."

:lol:

We got caught, and now we're "reviewing what we did".

Also:

Quote
Earlier Monday, the Mexican government said Monday it was sending a diplomatic note to the U.S. demanding an investigation into reports of NSA spying against Mexican government officials.

A statement released by the Mexican Embassy in Washington noted that President Obama made a commitment during a recent meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto "to conduct an exhaustive investigation" of alleged NSA spying in Mexico.

 "The Government of Mexico will soon send a diplomatic note reiterating how important it is to our country that the aforementioned investigation be concluded promptly," the statement reads. "In a relationship between neighbors and partners there is no place for the practices which are alleged to have taken place."

The statement was prompted by a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel Sunday that, according to documents leaked by ex-contractor Edward Snowden, the NSA hacked into the email account of then Mexican President Felipe Calderon as part of an extensive agency eavesdropping operation in that country.

We'll get right on that investigation, president...Um, what did you say your name was again?

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 22, 2013, 03:20:59 pm
It occurs to me that you maybe want to review your intelligence gathering geeks BEFORE they do something embarrassing. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on October 22, 2013, 03:24:56 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on October 22, 2013, 11:42:07 pm
So, you know all those lunatic teabaggers who thought Obamacare would be use to spy on and control American citizens?

Well...

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/21/verizon-hhs-healthcare-site-fix/3144761/

Quote
An informed source in the telecommunications industry said Verizon’s Enterprise Solutions division has been asked by the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the performance of the HealthCare.gov site, which is a key component of the Affordable Care Act. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not been made official.

HHS office said Sunday the department would reach outside its government contractors to civilian companies that might be able to solve HealthCare.gov’s problems more quickly.

Yes, that is the Verizon which turns over pretty much all of its data to the US government on a regular basis.

So, the question is, would healthcare data available from the Healthcare.gov website be available to the NSA etc should they want it?  I mean, that's a serious fucking overreach of government power, if so.
[/quote

Wow, this could be huge. There's the makings of a wonderful fuckup here. Some drug lord (read stooge) gets pinched in hospital shortly before/after an operation. Parallel construction overseen by NSA? Surely highly likely. Anyone arrested at/near a pharmacy would have reasonable grounds to assume something like this occurred too.

I'm trying to work out how the hippocratic oath would allow for this. I'd guess it would be something along the lines of that they have a moral/legal duty to comply with the government or "computers don't count".

Between the level of money possible to make from this data and the sheer number of companies that would pay through the nose for it, I just have to assume it's for sale if you know who to ask.

Paranoid moment considering that this is a reveal that may be planned for further down the line to destroy any kind of evil socialist healthcare that made this all possible. What the face of US healthcare would look like in this event is fucking chilling. Canadian and mexican healthcare tourism would probably cripple both countries medical systems quickly too. Think they'll enact laws against it? I can see that coming. Got to keep the american dollar in america and such. The worst part here is that I suspect a large percentage would support such measures wholesale. Even after the eventual consequences are explained.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on October 24, 2013, 08:17:42 pm
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Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Demolition Squid on October 24, 2013, 08:22:10 pm
They killed the News of the World with phonehacking. They're going to try and kill the Guardian over this, because just like detaining the journalist's partner, it sends a message.

And I suspect the media will cave and report only whatever 'national security' risks get trumpeted, instead of actually trying to explain to people why these violations are a bad thing that deserves to be exposed. I've heard variations on 'if you've got nothing to hide you shouldn't be worried' so many times around this story already.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on October 24, 2013, 08:26:53 pm
=
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Demolition Squid on October 24, 2013, 08:45:30 pm
Hm, I hadn't looked at it like that.

That's good. A few people I know have been squealing about how the journalists are 'basically terrorists' for a while, and I'd really hate for that to become more mainstream, but hopefully they'll move on if GCHQ get a slap on the wrist.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Demolition Squid on October 25, 2013, 09:08:46 am
Wasn't sure where to put this... but it gave me a chuckle anyway. Mark Steel responds to the fact the US have been hacking Angela Merkel's phone: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/no-wonder-the-us-is-spying-on-merkel-i-mean-you-never-know-8902183.html
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on October 25, 2013, 09:16:03 am
Alright, Where the fuck has Cain gone?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Demolition Squid on October 25, 2013, 09:17:45 am
He's gone, I presume it is related to the Atheism thread, but... he didn't actually say, I don't think.

Hopefully he'll be back.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on October 25, 2013, 09:21:44 am
He's gone, I presume it is related to the Atheism thread, but... he didn't actually say, I don't think.

Hopefully he'll be back.

Well that's a fucking shame. Tried a PM but blocked. My other guess was RWHN related, but I doubt that.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on October 25, 2013, 09:30:53 am
He's gone, I presume it is related to the Atheism thread, but... he didn't actually say, I don't think.

Hopefully he'll be back.

As far as I know there's around three people gone from that thread.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on October 25, 2013, 09:35:24 am
He's gone, I presume it is related to the Atheism thread, but... he didn't actually say, I don't think.

Hopefully he'll be back.

Respectable effort removing his posts back as far as October 18 too.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on October 25, 2013, 02:27:14 pm
He's gone, I presume it is related to the Atheism thread, but... he didn't actually say, I don't think.

Hopefully he'll be back.

As far as I know there's around three people gone from that thread.

Y'know, I can't really respect that. Something about fragile egos and childish tantrums. Fuck, if that's all it took to wound their fee-fees so much they're leaving and never coming back and can't engage in a dialogue about it because somebody said they're insecure... FFS.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on October 28, 2013, 12:10:13 pm
You know the words, sing along!

"HA"

"HA HA HA"

"HA HA HA HA HAAAAAIIIEEE"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24652419

Quote
The European Parliament has voted to suspend the sharing of financial data with the US, following allegations that citizens' data was spied on.

The allegation forms part of leaked documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The vote is non-binding but illustrates MEPs' growing unease over how much data was shared with the US.

"We're not going to share the information you already have access to"


Quote
Meanwhile student group, europe v facebook, is launching a fresh attack on how deeply the social network was involved in the US spying programme.

It has won the right for a review of why the Irish data protection commissioner is not investigating the amount of European data shared with the US.

Commissioner Billy Hawkes has previously claimed that there "is nothing to investigate" over Facebook's role in the PRISM programme.

Smooth going Ireland. The "Nothing to see, move along" card.

In short, impotent rage continues about the US reading EU communications. I don't know why they're all so upset. Must have something to hide.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 29, 2013, 09:47:09 pm
From The We Don't Say That Shit Out Loud Department:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/29/21233196-spy-chief-clapper-weve-been-snooping-on-our-friends-for-years?lite
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 29, 2013, 09:48:58 pm
He's gone, I presume it is related to the Atheism thread, but... he didn't actually say, I don't think.

Hopefully he'll be back.

As far as I know there's around three people gone from that thread.

Y'know, I can't really respect that. Something about fragile egos and childish tantrums. Fuck, if that's all it took to wound their fee-fees so much they're leaving and never coming back and can't engage in a dialogue about it because somebody said they're insecure... FFS.

Hadn't seen this post.

I couldn't help noticing Coyote's FIRST POST TO ME in that thread.  If that's how he's going to behave, then to hell with him.  He can kiss my ass until it blisters.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Demolition Squid on October 29, 2013, 10:07:55 pm
From The We Don't Say That Shit Out Loud Department:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/29/21233196-spy-chief-clapper-weve-been-snooping-on-our-friends-for-years?lite

I think this ties into what I said in the other thread.

I get the impression the reaction isn't about genuine outrage, because it likely was known. Nor is it about the 'scale' which is what some people have said. (Oh we knew there was spying, just not on this scale...!)

Its about sending a message, and the message is 'you don't intimidate us any more'. Given US foreign policy has been largely based on intimidation, that's a scary message to hear.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 29, 2013, 10:21:57 pm
From The We Don't Say That Shit Out Loud Department:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/29/21233196-spy-chief-clapper-weve-been-snooping-on-our-friends-for-years?lite

I think this ties into what I said in the other thread.

I get the impression the reaction isn't about genuine outrage, because it likely was known. Nor is it about the 'scale' which is what some people have said. (Oh we knew there was spying, just not on this scale...!)

Its about sending a message, and the message is 'you don't intimidate us any more'. Given US foreign policy has been largely based on intimidation, that's a scary message to hear.

Well, it's more than that.  It's a mocking jig because our incompetent asses got caught doing what every other major player does.

Which is, when you think about it, entirely deserved.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on November 27, 2013, 10:47:35 pm
HA HA
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25118156

Quote
The US authorities have studied online sexual activity and suggested exposing porn site visits as a way to discredit people who spread radical views, the Huffington Post news site has reported.

It published a document, leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, identifying two Muslims said to be vulnerable to accusations of "online promiscuity".

An official said this was unsurprising.

HA HA HA

Quote
Privacy International said: "This is not the first time we've seen states use intimate and private information of an individual who holds views the government doesn't agree with, and exploit this information to undermine an individual's message."

Book recommendation - Stasiland.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on November 28, 2013, 02:35:14 pm
Here is the most important part of the article:

Quote
None of the six individuals targeted by the NSA is accused in the document of being involved in terror plots.

Quote
One target’s offending argument is that “Non-Muslims are a threat to Islam,” and a vulnerability listed against him is “online promiscuity.” Another target, a foreign citizen the NSA describes as a “respected academic,” holds the offending view that “offensive jihad is justified,” and his vulnerabilities are listed as “online promiscuity” and “publishes articles without checking facts.” A third targeted radical is described as a “well-known media celebrity” based in the Middle East who argues that “the U.S perpetrated the 9/11 attack.” Under vulnerabilities, he is said to lead “a glamorous lifestyle.” A fourth target, who argues that “the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks on itself” is said to be vulnerable to accusations of “deceitful use of funds.”

So in other words, they're looking at the porn habits of people who are speaking out against America.  Not suspected terrorist recruiters or financiers.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on November 28, 2013, 07:22:05 pm
Thought criminals? Quelle surprise. Also
Quote
A fourth target, who argues that “the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks on itself”

Stating the obvious is thoughtcrime under the new regime :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 02, 2013, 04:16:57 pm
This feels very related:
http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/11/smart-tv-from-lg-phones-home-with-users-viewing-habits-usb-file-names/

Quote
The unidentified blogger, whose twitter profile described him as a "developer, tweaker and Linux enthusiast" living in UK county of Yorkshire, said the LG Smart TV model is LG 42LN575V and was manufactured May 2013. He provided screenshots of data packets he said he captured showing the information his TV sent unencrypted over the Internet. The data appeared to show a device ID unique to his set, along with the name of the channel it was tuned to. In his tests, the information was sent in the clear every time the channel was changed. Even more remarkable, he said, the smart TV sent the data even after he waded through the system preferences and set the "Collection of watching info" setting to "off" (it was on by default).

But the logging didn't stop there. Included in the traffic sent over the Internet were the names of files stored on a USB drive connected to the LG television. For dramatic purposes and to ensure he chose a file name not likely used by the firmware, he created a mock video file called Midget_Porn_2013.avi, loaded it onto a USB drive and plugged it into his TV. Sure enough, the file name was transmitted unencrypted in HTTP traffic sent to the address GB.smartshare.lgtvsdp.com. In some cases, he said, file names for an entire folder were transmitted, and other times nothing at all was sent. He never determined the rules that controlled when data was or wasn't sent.

Quote
According to DoctorBeet, LG representatives made no apologies when he brought the monitoring behavior to their attention.

"The advice we have been given is that unfortunately as you accepted the Terms and Conditions on your TV, your concerns would be best directed to the retailer," the representatives wrote in a response to the blogger. "We understand you feel you should have been made aware of these T's and C's at the point of sale, and for obvious reasons LG are unable to pass comment on their actions."

Implications. Implications everywhere.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on December 03, 2013, 03:04:34 am
Guhfuh?


I think they need to remove "paranoia" from the next DSM. There's nothing you could possibly suspect that's awfuller than the truth at this point.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 03, 2013, 03:05:50 am
Guhfuh?


I think they need to remove "paranoia" from the next DSM. There's nothing you could possibly suspect that's awfuller than the truth at this point.

You People just aren't serious about having a good time.  Why "Cracked" says this is the new heaven.

Granted, it was wearing its little sister's jeans at the time.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 03, 2013, 08:49:18 am
It's great isn't it?

At this point you could go full hermit somewhere stupidly remote and a google drone will probably fly past and photograph you within 5 years.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 03, 2013, 09:13:03 am
Quote
his TV sent unencrypted over the Internet

GAH!

This is the other thing that people don't seem to be grasping about the NSA/GCHQ thing.  It's not just that they're spying on you, they are putting backdoors in networks and systems which degrade overall security levels for everything.  Sending unencrypted personal data on the internet?  It's not like anyone can intercept that with a man-in-the-middle attack or anything.  Backdoors which the NSA can access can also be accessed by China, criminal syndicates and terrorist groups.

So thanks again, NSA.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 03, 2013, 09:32:45 am
That's pretty much it. Practically every new electronic "entertainment" device seems to have this kind of shit bolted into it now. If you were feeling suspicious, you could look at the rise of gaming, particularly online and console gaming as another area where this shit is being pushed.

Data has always been valuable. For example, a sales lead for a house with no double glazing in the UK in the early 90's was worth £20 easily. Considerably more if they had expressed any kind of interest it in.

I wonder what your full personal profile with all the associated personal information and entertainment preferences is actually worth.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 03, 2013, 08:08:16 pm
The only solution I can think of is to try to organize a flood of bad data.

OCCUPY YOUR CPU.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 04, 2013, 09:56:24 am
I wonder what your full personal profile with all the associated personal information and entertainment preferences is actually worth.

This might give you an idea (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/139104/kenneth-neil-cukier-and-viktor-mayer-schoenberger/the-rise-of-big-data?cid=emc-dec13promoh-content-120313&sp_mid=44509480&sp_rid=bWFyYy5zaW1tc0BnbWFpbC5jb20S1).
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 04, 2013, 04:14:30 pm
Amusing.  Dianne "full potato" Feinstein and Mike "can't say 'good morning' without lying twice" Rogers have been scaremongering about Scary Syrian Jihadists, and how the NSA snooping is justified by the risk they pose.

Turns out they voted to give said scary Syrian jihadists billions in US arms.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 04, 2013, 04:15:01 pm
Amusing.  Dianne "full potato" Feinstein and Mike "can't say 'good morning' without lying twice" Rogers have been scaremongering about Scary Syrian Jihadists, and how the NSA snooping is justified by the risk they pose.

Turns out they voted to give said scary Syrian jihadists billions in US arms.

Wait.  I think I've heard this joke before.   :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on December 04, 2013, 04:15:58 pm
Well, that's certainly amusing.  For a given value of "amusing".
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 05, 2013, 10:28:30 am
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-tracking-cellphone-locations-worldwide-snowden-documents-show/2013/12/04/5492873a-5cf2-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_story.html

Quote
The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.

The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool.

The NSA does not target Americans’ location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones “incidentally,” a legal term that connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result.

One senior collection manager, speaking on the condition of anonymity but with permission from the NSA, said “we are getting vast volumes” of location data from around the world by tapping into the cables that connect mobile networks globally and that serve U.S. cellphones as well as foreign ones. Additionally, data are often collected from the tens of millions of Americans who travel abroad with their cellphones every year.

So long as the NSA makes no effort to actually find out if they are tapping American cellphones, they are technically not in violation of US law.  Ignorance is no defense...unless you are the NSA, and ignorance is part of the plan.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on December 05, 2013, 07:47:11 pm
Shit, that's a lot of data to visualize. I'm impressed with their methods, but horrified by the connotations.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 07, 2013, 01:58:17 pm
The capability codenamed Quantum (http://atimes.com/atimes/World/WOR-01-061213.html) raises that capability to an even more disturbing level:

Quote
While Google is redirecting searches for kiddie porn to counseling sites, the NSA has developed a similar ability. The agency already controls a set of servers codenamed Quantum that sit on the Internet's backbone. Their job is to redirect "targets" away from their intended destinations to websites of the NSA's choice. The idea is: you type in the website you want and end up somewhere less disturbing to the agency. While at present this technology may be aimed at sending would-be online jihadis to more moderate Islamic material, in the future it could, for instance, be repurposed to redirect people seeking news to an Al-Jazeera lookalike site with altered content that fits the government's version of events.

Van Buren is discussing this in the larger context of "disappearing" data, stories and people in the future:

Quote
The future for whistleblowers is grim. At a time not so far distant, when just about everything is digital, when much of the world's Internet traffic flows directly through the United States or allied countries, or through the infrastructure of American companies abroad, when search engines can find just about anything online in fractions of a second, when the Patriot Act and secret rulings by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court make Google and similar tech giants tools of the national security state (assuming organizations like the NSA don't simply take over the search business directly), and when the sophisticated technology can either block, alter, or delete digital material at the push of a button, the memory hole is no longer fiction.

Leaked revelations will be as pointless as dusty old books in some attic if no one knows about them. Go ahead and publish whatever you want. The First Amendment allows you to do that. But what's the point if no one will be able to read it? You might more profitably stand on a street corner and shout at passers by. In at least one easy-enough-to-imagine future, a set of Snowden-like revelations will be blocked or deleted as fast as anyone can (re)post them.

The ever-developing technology of search, turned 180 degrees, will be able to disappear things in a major way. The Internet is a vast place, but not infinite. It is increasingly being centralized in the hands of a few companies under the control of a few governments, with the US sitting on the major transit routes across the Internet's backbone.

About now you should feel a chill. We're watching, in real time, as 1984 turns from a futuristic fantasy long past into an instructional manual. There will be no need to kill a future Edward Snowden. He will already be dead.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 07, 2013, 02:29:41 pm
Well, the NRO seems to at least understand it's role in the global surveillance system pretty well:

(http://www.cryptogon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/nrol39.jpg)

The Register (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/12/06/spy_satellite_octopus_logo/):

Quote
The NRO are totally embracing their menacing Big Brother persona and putting it out there for world+dog to see, having launched a bunch of satellites and a mysterious payload on a spacecraft yesterday – complete with the logo of a creepy octopus sucking the life out of our world.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) tweeted pictures of an Atlas 5 rocket bearing the NROL-39 getting ready for launch yesterday, which it said was carrying a “classified NRO payload” along with some cubesats.

The NRO is the agency in charge of designing, building, launching and maintaining America’s spy satellites. The DNI said that its latest rocket would carry a dozen mini satellites co-funded by NASA as well as its unknown primary payload.

The DNI did not say just why the NRO thought that a good logo for its spy-craft would be a hugely evil-looking octopus with its tentacles wrapped around the Earth and the inscription “Nothing is beyond our reach”.

via Cryptogon (http://www.cryptogon.com/?p=42328)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 07, 2013, 02:47:11 pm
Staying classy.

Comments pointed to this one too:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d1/IAO-logo.png/590px-IAO-logo.png)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 07, 2013, 02:59:35 pm
As they should:

Quote
The Information Awareness Office (IAO) was established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in January 2002 to bring together several DARPA projects focused on applying surveillance and information technology to track and monitor terrorists and other asymmetric threats to U.S. national security, by achieving Total Information Awareness (TIA).[4][5]

This was achieved by creating enormous computer databases to gather and store the personal information of everyone in the United States, including personal e-mails, social networks, credit card records, phone calls, medical records, and numerous other sources, without any requirement for a search warrant.[6] This information was then analyzed to look for suspicious activities, connections between individuals, and "threats".[7] Additionally, the program included funding for biometric surveillance technologies that could identify and track individuals using surveillance cameras, and other methods.[7]

Following public criticism that the development and deployment of this technology could potentially lead to a mass surveillance system, the IAO was defunded by Congress in 2003. However, several IAO projects continued to be funded and merely run under different names, as revealed by Edward Snowden during the course of the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on December 07, 2013, 05:29:45 pm
In all seriousness, it seems possible that old fashioned hard-copy printing presses may make a comeback in disseminating subversive content.  It may not spread as widely or as quickly, but I can see, much like vinyl records, the "analog" nature of the media may add cache or "authenticity".
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on December 07, 2013, 05:40:40 pm
If the Arab Spring was any indication of how the future looks, I'd expect to see more ham radio, fax, and dial-up modem use. Printed stuff is great, but it doesn't move fast enough. Unless you're dealing with a global government, you should be able to get your content over the border to sympathetic groups and have them spread it for you, like the tweeting on behalf of Egyptian protesters that was going on.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on December 07, 2013, 05:49:22 pm
Wasn't there also talk a while back about a "darknet" that eschewed normal data hubs?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 07, 2013, 06:31:19 pm
Wasn't there also talk a while back about a "darknet" that eschewed normal data hubs?

There was, but I can't see how it wouldn't also be able to be compromised. I'd suspect it'd be a priority if it had any kind of success.

As an aside, whoever designs these logo must piss themselves laughing. I want that job.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Trivial on December 09, 2013, 01:48:18 am
(http://www.powells.com/images/blog/paglen_blog2_pic1.jpg)  This is a fun one.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 09, 2013, 02:52:05 pm
NSA infiltrated World of Warcraft.

Not even joking.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/09/nsa-spies-online-games-world-warcraft-second-life?CMP=twt_gu

Quote
To the National Security Agency analyst writing a briefing to his superiors, the situation was clear: their current surveillance efforts were lacking something. The agency's impressive arsenal of cable taps and sophisticated hacking attacks was not enough. What it really needed was a horde of undercover Orcs.

That vision of spycraft sparked a concerted drive by the NSA and its UK sister agency GCHQ to infiltrate the massive communities playing online games, according to secret documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The files were obtained by the Guardian and are being published on Monday in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica.

The agencies, the documents show, have built mass-collection capabilities against the Xbox Live console network, which has more than 48 million players. Real-life agents have been deployed into virtual realms, from those Orc hordes in World of Warcraft to the human avatars of Second Life. There were attempts, too, to recruit potential informants from the games' tech-friendly users.

Online gaming is big business, attracting tens of millions of users worldwide who inhabit their digital worlds as make-believe characters, living and competing with the avatars of other players. What the intelligence agencies feared, however, was that among these clans of elves and goblins, terrorists were lurking.

The NSA document, written in 2008 and titled Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments, stressed the risk of leaving games communities under-monitored, describing them as a "target-rich communications network" where intelligence targets could "hide in plain sight".

Games, the analyst wrote, "are an opportunity!". According to the briefing notes, so many different US intelligence agents were conducting operations inside games that a "deconfliction" group was required to ensure they weren't spying on, or interfering with, each other.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 09, 2013, 04:09:05 pm
SOLID GOLD.

I can't stop laughing again.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 09, 2013, 04:17:16 pm
NSA getting paid to play WoW.

 :lulz:

Whichever geek thought THAT up deserves the neverending gratitude of his fellows.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 09, 2013, 04:41:51 pm
NSA getting paid to play WoW.

 :lulz:

Whichever geek thought THAT up deserves the neverending gratitude of his fellows.

Well, what do you really think the top 1% of players actually did for a living?

Now you know.

Just imagine the conversations going on now:

"Boss, this new PS4 is totally connected and therefore terrorists"
"GET ON IT"
"Yes Boss"

Is there much actual evidence for terrorists actually using in-game communications for things? Like many other methods it certainly seems possible but I doubt it actually occurs with any kind of frequency. Or occurs in a way that is easy to distinguish a terrorist from a 12 year old.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 09, 2013, 04:53:10 pm
The article goes to great lengths to show that there is, in fact, absolutely no evidence at all of terrorists using online games to communicate, despite the threat being constantly highlighted in NSA analysis.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 09, 2013, 06:45:17 pm
The article goes to great lengths to show that there is, in fact, absolutely no evidence at all of terrorists using online games to communicate, despite the threat being constantly highlighted in NSA analysis.

Actually managed to read it now. Gods, it's good.

This is perfectly reasonable. You never know when they might start to use it so the only way to be safe is to monitor possible means of communication all the time.

Result? In 5 years time is huge department meetings where people fight for more resources to keep listening to My little Pony chats because they seem iffy.

The thought occurs that if this was used for different purposes, say finding/catching paedophiles, I'd bet a lot of people would support that. Which leads me to speculate that the current infrastructure could easily be turned to that purpose with relative ease and surely great success. I wonder why that's not occurred yet.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on December 09, 2013, 09:16:42 pm
I really like that SecondLife was so full of spies that they had to have a special unit to stop them from spying on themselves.

It's the policeman chasing himself around London all over again, but this time against a backdrop of SecondLife furries.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT THAT STORY COULDN'T GET ANY BETTER.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 09, 2013, 09:20:10 pm
I just think it's awesome that we can't afford food stamps or VA hospitals, but we can pay any number of voyeuristic retards to snoop on furries.  That makes me laugh.  A special kind of laugh.  The kind of good-natured chortle that the "guillotine harpies" used to laugh, back in the French revolution days.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 09, 2013, 09:57:03 pm
GOD BLESS AMERICA.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 09, 2013, 10:01:13 pm
It's also that time when I remind people to read "The man who was Thursday" again.

 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on December 09, 2013, 10:33:15 pm
The actual documents are so ridiculous.

http://www.propublica.org/documents/item/889134-games

FICTICIOUS SCENARIO: FPS GAME IS DEVELOPED TO ENCOURAGE TERRORIST GAMEPLAY AND THEN WHEN YOU WIN IT SAYS "CONTINUE THE FIGHT AT www.youcanbeaterrorist.com" AND RECRUITS TERRORISTS.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 09, 2013, 10:42:10 pm
The actual documents are so ridiculous.

http://www.propublica.org/documents/item/889134-games

FICTICIOUS SCENARIO: FPS GAME IS DEVELOPED TO ENCOURAGE TERRORIST GAMEPLAY AND THEN WHEN YOU WIN IT SAYS "CONTINUE THE FIGHT AT www.youcanbeaterrorist.com" AND RECRUITS TERRORISTS.

Okay.  I am now assuming that everything that's happened since WWII has been a troll.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 09, 2013, 11:53:29 pm
The actual documents are so ridiculous.

http://www.propublica.org/documents/item/889134-games

FICTICIOUS SCENARIO: FPS GAME IS DEVELOPED TO ENCOURAGE TERRORIST GAMEPLAY AND THEN WHEN YOU WIN IT SAYS "CONTINUE THE FIGHT AT www.youcanbeaterrorist.com" AND RECRUITS TERRORISTS.

Okay.  I am now assuming that everything that's happened since WWII has been a troll.

Everything that's ever happened is a troll. It's the only thing that makes sense.

That doc is fucking hilarious. Start of page 2 "player can communicate non-verbally". There's a dullard running around somewhere looking for the hidden meanings in the teabagging dances of fps. I just know it. I just know that sooner or later he'll find it too.

This is also an interesting alternate explanation to the recent body in a suitcase in the bath thing. Do not miss a raid. EVER.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 09, 2013, 11:55:32 pm
The actual documents are so ridiculous.

http://www.propublica.org/documents/item/889134-games

FICTICIOUS SCENARIO: FPS GAME IS DEVELOPED TO ENCOURAGE TERRORIST GAMEPLAY AND THEN WHEN YOU WIN IT SAYS "CONTINUE THE FIGHT AT www.youcanbeaterrorist.com" AND RECRUITS TERRORISTS.

Okay.  I am now assuming that everything that's happened since WWII has been a troll.

Everything that's ever happened is a troll. It's the only thing that makes sense.

That doc is fucking hilarious. Start of page 2 "player can communicate non-verbally". There's a dullard running around somewhere looking for the hidden meanings in the teabagging dances of fps. I just know it. I just know that sooner or later he'll find it too.

This is also an interesting alternate explanation to the recent body in a suitcase in the bath thing. Do not miss a raid. EVER.

Law of Fives with broadswords and waterboarding.

I can't fucking stand it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Sita on December 09, 2013, 11:58:41 pm
The actual documents are so ridiculous.

http://www.propublica.org/documents/item/889134-games

FICTICIOUS SCENARIO: FPS GAME IS DEVELOPED TO ENCOURAGE TERRORIST GAMEPLAY AND THEN WHEN YOU WIN IT SAYS "CONTINUE THE FIGHT AT www.youcanbeaterrorist.com" AND RECRUITS TERRORISTS.
Not very fictitious. Isn't that basically what the game the Army put out does?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 10, 2013, 12:07:54 am
The actual documents are so ridiculous.

http://www.propublica.org/documents/item/889134-games

FICTICIOUS SCENARIO: FPS GAME IS DEVELOPED TO ENCOURAGE TERRORIST GAMEPLAY AND THEN WHEN YOU WIN IT SAYS "CONTINUE THE FIGHT AT www.youcanbeaterrorist.com" AND RECRUITS TERRORISTS.
Not very fictitious. Isn't that basically what the game the Army put out does?

Probably worth it's own thread if anyone cares. Propaganda games in various forms are a whole big heap of fucking what and horribleness.

And yes, yes it is. But that's OK because US army. Still considerably up from "games" like "ZOG's Nightmare".

If you google, or gods forbid play that, it's your own fucking fault.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on December 10, 2013, 12:51:51 am
Somewhere there's a Tauren Shaman called Ag3nt J0nes typing /wave and /dance at suspected terrorists, making notes in a tiny journal and occasionally screaming at the screen TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on December 10, 2013, 04:55:49 am
If anyone needs me, I'll be on the secret Pogz forum.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 16, 2013, 08:54:45 pm
Reminder (http://irregulartimes.com/2013/12/11/173-broken-promises-barack-obama-still-refuses-to-respond-to-huge-petition-to-pardon-edward-snowden/#rssowlmlink): some animals intelligence officers are more equal than others:

Quote
On June 22 2013, the petition to pardon Edward Snowden surpassed a hundred thousand signatures, and has continued to gather signatures ever since.

That hundred-thousand mark is significant. It represents a promise to the American people.

“If a petition gathers enough online signatures, it will be reviewed by policy experts and you’ll receive an official response.”  So promised Katelyn Sabochik, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Digital Strategy, when she set up the website called “We the People,“ the official online petition website of the Obama administration. “We The People” still makes this promise.

Its a startling promise, a heartening one. After all, this is the age in which government agents are listening in on our conversations, tracking our whereabouts and even spying on us as we play video games. In the age of American dissidents being shoved into fenced-in “free speech zones” miles away from our leaders, the potential for the Obama administration to read and respond to the words of us little people is charming, inspiring even. It suggests the promise of an inclusive political future.

173 days ago the petition to pardon Edward Snowden surpassed the hundred thousand signatures required to obtain a response by the Obama administration.

The Obama administration has responded with 173 days of silence.

And now (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25410064):

Quote
The White House has ruled out the idea of an amnesty for fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

A top National Security Agency (NSA) official had suggested that a deal could be reached if Mr Snowden stopped leaking documents.

But White House spokesman Jay Carney said Mr Snowden still faced felony charges for leaking classified data.

One senior NSA official > over 100,000 people.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 16, 2013, 09:26:13 pm
much >

but, yeah, I get your point - it's nice of them to spell it out like that  :evilmad:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 16, 2013, 09:28:22 pm
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/16/21925625-federal-judge-says-nsa-program-appears-to-violate-constitution?lite

Quote
A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency’s gathering of data on all telephone calls made in the United States appears to violate the Constitution’s protection against unreasonable searches.

The judge, Richard Leon of U.S. District Court in Washington, said that the NSA relied on “almost-Orwellian technology” that would have been unimaginable a generation ago, at the time of a landmark Supreme Court decision on phone records.

:banana:

But wait!

Quote
The judge put his ruling on hold to allow the government to appeal.

:madbanana:

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 16, 2013, 10:15:01 pm
Yeah, way to go, USA.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 17, 2013, 01:31:02 am
Yeah, way to go, USA.

"What you are doing is horrible and wrong.  But you can keep doing it until the people to whom I have passed the buck overrule me."
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 18, 2013, 09:08:45 am
When you look at Judge Richard Leon's history (http://consortiumnews.com/2013/12/17/judge-leons-dirty-climb-to-the-bench/), what is more surprising is that he cares about the NSA at all:

Quote
Leon was appointed to his lifetime judicial post by George W. Bush in 2002 after Leon won the gratitude of the Bush Family by protecting its interests as an aggressive and reliable Republican legal apparatchik on Capitol Hill. There, the heavy-set Leon gained a reputation as a partisan bully who made sure politically charged investigations reached a desired outcome, whatever the facts.

Quote
In 1992, when a House task force was examining evidence that Reagan and Bush began their secret contacts with Iran in 1980 while trying to unseat President Jimmy Carter, Leon was the Republican point man to make sure nothing too damaging came out that could threaten President George H.W. Bush’s reelection campaign. Leon served as chief minority counsel to the House task force investigating the so-called October Surprise allegations.

Quote
Indeed, some key October Surprise witnesses described to me how Leon sought to intimidate them into retracting their allegations about Republican wrongdoing. When these witnesses refused to alter their sworn testimony, they became the targets of the task force, more so than Reagan and Bush.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on December 18, 2013, 01:54:36 pm
I dunno, sounds like he's still trying to score points for the Repubicans, or at least trying to make Obama look bad.

Not that he has to try very hard, in this sector at least.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on December 18, 2013, 02:33:30 pm
The last part is quite informative:
Quote
Given the passion expressed in the ruling – calling the NSA’s technology “almost Orwellian” – one might assume that Leon is simply expressing his inner constitutionalist. And that may well be the case. It is not uncommon for federal judges, after they get lifetime tenure, to demonstrate more intellectual independence.

There seems to be something about the very concept of tenure that brings out the shittiest sides in people. That there seems to be some kind of trend with people showing sense after getting a job for life seems a little unjust to say the least. "Want to do good? Well first you've got to bury a lot of bodies for us."
Title: 60 minutes
Post by: Cain on December 19, 2013, 09:32:53 am
Did anyone watch the 60 Minutes sloppy blowjob to the NSA?

I didn't, sadly, but it sounds amazing.  Fantastical conversations about pirates.  No discussion about metadata use in targeted assassinations.  Asking specifically about American wiretaps by the NSA to downplay the NSA's vast surveillance machine and the FBI's use of it.  And then there is the BIOS plot.

If you believe the NSA and 60 minutes, China had a secret plan to shut down the global economy (http://www.tomsguide.com/us/60-minutes-bios-plot-nsa,news-17988.html).

To.

Shut.

Down.

The.

Global.

Economy.

Quote
That was news to many security experts, who had never before heard of the "BIOS plot," even though "60 Minutes" asserted that "computer manufacturers" had worked with the NSA "to close this vulnerability." Such an undertaking would have been well known in the information-security community.

Plunkett gave only the barest outline of the supposed Communist scheme, not specifying when and how the plot was uncovered and foiled. CBS' confirmation of the plot's existence and provenance relied on unnamed "cybersecurity experts briefed on the operation" who "told us it was China."

Security experts aren't buying it.

And with good reason.  Would security experts really not notice an unscheduled, global BIOS security patch being rolled out?  Like hell they wouldnt.  And why would the NSA subsequently reveal such a "top secret" operation?

Because it's bullshit, of course.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Reginald Ret on December 19, 2013, 12:16:55 pm
Bricking it is one of the dumbest thing you could do with BIOS access to every computer on the planet. That's like breaking into a bank and melting all the gold while you are standing next to it.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on December 19, 2013, 01:21:30 pm
And I can only suppose that there were no reasons given about why China would want to do this, when they're one of the emerging (if not fully emerged) leaders of said global economy?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 19, 2013, 01:31:56 pm
Nefarious, Communistic, hacking reasons, one assumes.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on December 19, 2013, 01:33:52 pm
Ah.  Of course.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on December 19, 2013, 05:18:39 pm
:facepalm:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 22, 2013, 12:26:37 pm
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/20/us-usa-security-rsa-idUSBRE9BJ1C220131220

Quote
Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show that the NSA created and promulgated a flawed formula for generating random numbers to create a "back door" in encryption products, the New York Times reported in September. Reuters later reported that RSA became the most important distributor of that formula by rolling it into a software tool called Bsafe that is used to enhance security in personal computers and many other products.

Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the BSafe software, according to two sources familiar with the contract. Although that sum might seem paltry, it represented more than a third of the revenue that the relevant division at RSA had taken in during the entire previous year, securities filings show.

That's pretty big news.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 22, 2013, 04:53:15 pm
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/20/us-usa-security-rsa-idUSBRE9BJ1C220131220

Quote
Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show that the NSA created and promulgated a flawed formula for generating random numbers to create a "back door" in encryption products, the New York Times reported in September. Reuters later reported that RSA became the most important distributor of that formula by rolling it into a software tool called Bsafe that is used to enhance security in personal computers and many other products.

Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the BSafe software, according to two sources familiar with the contract. Although that sum might seem paltry, it represented more than a third of the revenue that the relevant division at RSA had taken in during the entire previous year, securities filings show.

That's pretty big news.

Oh for the love of fucking fuck.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 22, 2013, 10:33:30 pm
HAW HAW!

Hey, Mister Bank Robber, please design my safe.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Odibex Grallspice on December 23, 2013, 07:08:39 pm
HAW HAW!

Hey, Mister Bank Robber, please design my safe.
Way of the world, Roger, way of the world.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 24, 2013, 09:39:22 am
RSA denies it has worked with the NSA

https://blogs.rsa.com/news-media-2/rsa-response/
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 29, 2013, 02:32:39 pm
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't two contradictory rulings mean this becomes a Supreme Court issue?
Title: Re: 60 minutes
Post by: Cain on December 29, 2013, 02:36:14 pm
Did anyone watch the 60 Minutes sloppy blowjob to the NSA?

I didn't, sadly, but it sounds amazing.  Fantastical conversations about pirates.  No discussion about metadata use in targeted assassinations.  Asking specifically about American wiretaps by the NSA to downplay the NSA's vast surveillance machine and the FBI's use of it.  And then there is the BIOS plot.

If you believe the NSA and 60 minutes, China had a secret plan to shut down the global economy (http://www.tomsguide.com/us/60-minutes-bios-plot-nsa,news-17988.html).

To.

Shut.

Down.

The.

Global.

Economy.

Quote
That was news to many security experts, who had never before heard of the "BIOS plot," even though "60 Minutes" asserted that "computer manufacturers" had worked with the NSA "to close this vulnerability." Such an undertaking would have been well known in the information-security community.

Plunkett gave only the barest outline of the supposed Communist scheme, not specifying when and how the plot was uncovered and foiled. CBS' confirmation of the plot's existence and provenance relied on unnamed "cybersecurity experts briefed on the operation" who "told us it was China."

Security experts aren't buying it.

And with good reason.  Would security experts really not notice an unscheduled, global BIOS security patch being rolled out?  Like hell they wouldnt.  And why would the NSA subsequently reveal such a "top secret" operation?

Because it's bullshit, of course.

So, guess who was actually hacking BIOS?

The NSA, of course (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html).

Quote
The ANT developers have a clear preference for planting their malicious code in so-called BIOS, software located on a computer’s motherboard that is the first thing to load when a computer is turned on.

This has a number of valuable advantages: an infected PC or server appears to be functioning normally, so the infection remains invisible to virus protection and other security programs. And even if the hard drive of an infected computer has been completely erased and a new operating system is installed, the ANT malware can continue to function and ensures that new spyware can once again be loaded onto what is presumed to be a clean computer. The ANT developers call this “Persistence” and believe this approach has provided them with the possibility of permanent access.

If anyone has the capability to shut down the global economy via a BIOS attack, it's the NSA.  Whether or not they would actually ever act on that capability (though who knows?  China is still set to overtake US economic dominance, and there are certain quarters of the US National Security State who believe it is better to rule in hell).
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 29, 2013, 02:40:09 pm
And while I'm here, questions are being asked (http://pando.com/2013/12/07/pierre-omidyar-in-2009-anybody-who-publishes-stolen-info-should-help-catch-the-thief/) about Greenwald's new media venture with Pierre Omidyar:

Quote
So there you go. A definitive answer, direct from Glenn Greenwald’s new boss. “TechCrunch and anybody else who pubs stolen info should help catch the thief. Shldnt pub in the 1st place.”
Title: Re: 60 minutes
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 29, 2013, 05:56:31 pm
Did anyone watch the 60 Minutes sloppy blowjob to the NSA?

I didn't, sadly, but it sounds amazing.  Fantastical conversations about pirates.  No discussion about metadata use in targeted assassinations.  Asking specifically about American wiretaps by the NSA to downplay the NSA's vast surveillance machine and the FBI's use of it.  And then there is the BIOS plot.

If you believe the NSA and 60 minutes, China had a secret plan to shut down the global economy (http://www.tomsguide.com/us/60-minutes-bios-plot-nsa,news-17988.html).

To.

Shut.

Down.

The.

Global.

Economy.

Quote
That was news to many security experts, who had never before heard of the "BIOS plot," even though "60 Minutes" asserted that "computer manufacturers" had worked with the NSA "to close this vulnerability." Such an undertaking would have been well known in the information-security community.

Plunkett gave only the barest outline of the supposed Communist scheme, not specifying when and how the plot was uncovered and foiled. CBS' confirmation of the plot's existence and provenance relied on unnamed "cybersecurity experts briefed on the operation" who "told us it was China."

Security experts aren't buying it.

And with good reason.  Would security experts really not notice an unscheduled, global BIOS security patch being rolled out?  Like hell they wouldnt.  And why would the NSA subsequently reveal such a "top secret" operation?

Because it's bullshit, of course.

So, guess who was actually hacking BIOS?

The NSA, of course (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html).

Quote
The ANT developers have a clear preference for planting their malicious code in so-called BIOS, software located on a computer’s motherboard that is the first thing to load when a computer is turned on.

This has a number of valuable advantages: an infected PC or server appears to be functioning normally, so the infection remains invisible to virus protection and other security programs. And even if the hard drive of an infected computer has been completely erased and a new operating system is installed, the ANT malware can continue to function and ensures that new spyware can once again be loaded onto what is presumed to be a clean computer. The ANT developers call this “Persistence” and believe this approach has provided them with the possibility of permanent access.

If anyone has the capability to shut down the global economy via a BIOS attack, it's the NSA.  Whether or not they would actually ever act on that capability (though who knows?  China is still set to overtake US economic dominance, and there are certain quarters of the US National Security State who believe it is better to rule in hell).

Honestly, I read this and I think, well fuck it. Just fuck it.

They've fucking won.
Title: Re: 60 minutes
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 29, 2013, 06:13:25 pm

Honestly, I read this and I think, well fuck it. Just fuck it.

They've fucking won.

Oh, I dunno...
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 29, 2013, 07:48:01 pm
And while I'm here, questions are being asked (http://pando.com/2013/12/07/pierre-omidyar-in-2009-anybody-who-publishes-stolen-info-should-help-catch-the-thief/) about Greenwald's new media venture with Pierre Omidyar:

Quote
So there you go. A definitive answer, direct from Glenn Greenwald’s new boss. “TechCrunch and anybody else who pubs stolen info should help catch the thief. Shldnt pub in the 1st place.”

Omidyar has confimed that this is his position:

Quote
That changed last weekend when Pando investigations editor Paul Carr invited Omidyar to address remarks he made in 2009 about when editors should turn in non-violent leakers to the authorities.

Omidyar’s response must have horrified any source considering leaking to NewCo: 

”nless I judge significant pub interest in those docs, I’d prob tell the cops. My jdgmt”, he wrote, adding: “Every case is different, which is why you shouldn’t make absolute statements.”

I'd like to remind everyone, this is the man who is employing the only two people in the world with access to the Snowden documents.

Greenwald has also confirmed he is holding back documents, so he can put them in his upcoming book.

And out of over 55,000 documents, less than 300 pages have been published to date.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Salty on December 29, 2013, 08:05:59 pm
This is just random speculation on my part, but if I were in Snowden's position I would have loaded every single available oriface with thumbdrives.

And while I'm here, questions are being asked (http://pando.com/2013/12/07/pierre-omidyar-in-2009-anybody-who-publishes-stolen-info-should-help-catch-the-thief/) about Greenwald's new media venture with Pierre Omidyar:

Quote
So there you go. A definitive answer, direct from Glenn Greenwald’s new boss. “TechCrunch and anybody else who pubs stolen info should help catch the thief. Shldnt pub in the 1st place.”

Omidyar has confimed that this is his position:

Quote
That changed last weekend when Pando investigations editor Paul Carr invited Omidyar to address remarks he made in 2009 about when editors should turn in non-violent leakers to the authorities.

Omidyar’s response must have horrified any source considering leaking to NewCo: 

”nless I judge significant pub interest in those docs, I’d prob tell the cops. My jdgmt”, he wrote, adding: “Every case is different, which is why you shouldn’t make absolute statements.”

I'd like to remind everyone, this is the man who is employing the only two people in the world with access to the Snowden documents.

Greenwald has also confirmed he is holding back documents, so he can put them in his upcoming book.

And out of over 55,000 documents, less than 300 pages have been published to date.

Gotta make that money.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bu☆ns on December 31, 2013, 02:35:59 pm
http://ternus.github.io/nsaproductgenerator/ NSA Product Generator!


( eta: Actual catalog link (http://leaksource.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/nsas-ant-division-catalog-of-exploits-for-nearly-every-major-software-hardware-firmware/) )
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bu☆ns on December 31, 2013, 03:28:13 pm
A pretty interesting lecture explaining these techniques used.  by Jacob Appelbaum  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0w36GAyZIA)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on December 31, 2013, 08:55:08 pm
A pretty interesting lecture explaining these techniques used.  by Jacob Appelbaum  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0w36GAyZIA)

Much good.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on December 31, 2013, 10:55:46 pm
Well, in using Gmail he was kinda asking for it.  Admittedly, there aren't any obvious good choices now SilentCircle and Lavabit are gone (not until Darkmail is working), but still, using a company that installs backdoors for the NSA and had its company hacked from top to bottom by Fort Meade's voyeurs probably wasn't a smart choice

http://nypost.com/2013/12/30/state-dept-whistleblower-has-email-hacked-deleted/

Quote
The personal e-mail account of a State Department whis­tle­­blower was hacked, and four years worth of messages — some detailing alleged wrongdoing at the agency — were deleted, The Post has learned.

The computer attack targeted the Gmail account of Diplomatic Security Service criminal investigator Richard Higbie, his lawyer, Cary Schulman, confirmed.

“They took all of his e-mails and then they deleted them all,” said Schulman. He said that he could not prove who was responsible for the hack job, but said the attack was “sophisticated” and called the targeting of Higbie “alarming.”

“Obviously, somebody is not happy with something he’s doing and wanted to get that information and also cause him an inability in the future to have ready access to that,” Schulman said.

The e-mails included evidence about misconduct by top officials at the department, communications with other potential whistleblowers there, and correspondence with members of Congress who are investigating the allegations, Schulman said.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on January 01, 2014, 01:40:37 am

Lmao, not making a backup is also ridiculous.

Im sure if he asks Gmail nicely, they could restore the deleted information, i recall reading that all telecoms and information companies are required by law to keep all info for like 2-5 years.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Bu☆ns on January 01, 2014, 05:53:54 am

Lmao, not making a backup is also ridiculous.

Im sure if he asks Gmail nicely, they could restore the deleted information, i recall reading that all telecoms and information companies are required by law to keep all info for like 2-5 years.

It amazes me how many people don't backup their shit...then cry about it when they lose everything....well ... typically they blame the computers rather than poor perseverance.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on January 01, 2014, 01:42:41 pm
https://www.aclu.org/national-security-technology-and-liberty/court-rules-no-suspicion-needed-laptop-searches-border

Quote
A federal court today dismissed a lawsuit arguing that the government should not be able to search and copy people’s laptops, cell phones, and other devices at border checkpoints without reasonable suspicion. An appeal is being considered. Government documents show that thousands of innocent American citizens are searched when they return from trips abroad.

What is especially funny about that is said devices are almost certainly hacked while they're abroad anyway.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on January 12, 2014, 09:54:48 am
Bump:

http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/security/319544-what-it-s-like-when-the-fbi-asks-you-to-backdoor-your-software

Quote
At a recent RSA Security Conference, Nico Sell was on stage announcing that her company—Wickr—was making drastic changes to ensure its users’ security. She said that the company would switch from RSA encryption to elliptic curve encryption, and that the service wouldn’t have a backdoor for anyone.

As she left the stage, before she’d even had a chance to take her microphone off, a man approached her and introduced himself as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He then proceeded to “casually” ask if she’d be willing to install a backdoor into Wickr that would allow the FBI to retrieve information.

Note: Wickr is a "free app that provides:

·military-grade encryption of text, picture, audio and video messages
·sender-based control over who can read messages, where and for how long
·best available privacy, anonymity and secure file shredding features
·security that is simple to use "

available for iPhones and similar.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on January 16, 2014, 10:55:36 pm
Mainly posting for reminder/reference tomorrow. If anyone's more up on this, please chime in

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25770313

Quote
While acknowledging the SMS data of US residents may be "incidentally collected", the NSA added "privacy protections for US persons exist across the entire process".

"In addition, NSA actively works to remove extraneous data, to include that of innocent foreign citizens, as early as possible in the process."

The Guardian and Channel 4 also reported on a GCHQ document on the Dishfire programme that states it "collects pretty much everything it can" and outlines how the GCHQ analysts are able to search the database, with certain restrictions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dishfire

Quote
Each day, Dishfire collects the following amounts of data:
Geolocation data of more than than 76,000 text messages and other travel information[1]
Over 110,000 names, gathered from electronic business cards[1]
Over 800,000 financial transactions that are either gathered from text-to-text payments or from linking credit cards to phone users[1]
Details of 1.6 million border crossings based on the interception of network roaming alerts[1]
Over 5 million missed call alerts[1]
About 200 million text messages from around the world[3]

Main point of interest is again the cross border implications.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on January 18, 2014, 09:51:48 am
Just keep this in mind, while the talking heads blather on about how noble Obama is, how gracious and thoughtful in scaling back the US surveillance program:

Quote
Nothing in this directive shall be construed to prevent me from exercising my constitutional authority, including as Commander in Chief, Chief Executive, and in the conduct of foreign affairs, as well as my statutory authority. Consistent with this principle, a recipient of this directive may at any time recommend to me, through the APNSA, a change to the policies and procedures contained in this directive.

In other words, in the very directive he used to "limit" surveillance, Obama asserted the right to change said policy whenever he feels like it.

Which, of course, was always going to be the case.  But ask yourself this: why put this in, then?  Perhaps to tell people who pay attention (you know, world leaders, major corporate partners of the NSA etc) what is really happening.  And why is the media not paying attention?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on January 20, 2014, 05:06:42 pm
Well, the Senate finally knows who is responsible for the NSA leaks: . Vladmir Putin (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/20/us/politics/congressional-leaders-suggest-snowden-was-working-for-russia.html?hpw&rref=politics&_r=1):

Quote
But Mr. Rogers described a very different view of Mr. Snowden, as a man who, from the beginning, might have knowingly or unknowingly been directed by a foreign intelligence service. He said the mass of military data in the Snowden trove clearly had nothing to do with privacy or the reach of intelligence services, and he suggested that Mr. Snowden’s possession of a “go bag” to get out of Hawaii, and his smooth entry into Hong Kong, indicated preplanning beyond his individual capacity.

Intelligence officials say they have no doubt that Chinese and Russian intelligence have obtained whatever information Mr. Snowden was carrying with him digitally. They also say it is possible that much of the data Mr. Snowden took is stored in an Internet cloud service.

As Joseph Cannon (http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2014/01/overseeing-satan.html#rssowlmlink) points out:

Quote
Why do Feinstein and Rodgers toil so tirelessly on behalf of the spooks? It is unclear whether they have received blackmail threats from American intelligence over their deviant sexual history with waterfowl. No evidence of duck fucking has emerged. They may well have. We don't know at this stage.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Salty on January 20, 2014, 06:55:02 pm
 :lol:

"Preplanning beyond his individual capacity."

ORLY?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on January 28, 2014, 09:09:45 am
Let's keep the horrorshow rolling, shall we?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25922569

Quote
US and British spy agencies routinely try to gain access to personal data from Angry Birds and other mobile applications, a report says.

Quote
The joint spying programme "effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system" one 2008 document from the British intelligence agency is quoted as saying

Quote
On Monday, the justice department announced it had reached agreement with five major internet firms over their request to share information about how they responded to orders from the NSA and other agencies.

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and LinkedIn had previously sued the US government over being able to disclose to the public more information on what they have released to intelligence agencies.

Under the compromise announced, the firms will be able to release:

the number of criminal-related orders from the government
the number of secret national security-related orders from government investigators, rounded to the nearest thousand
how many national security-related orders came from the foreign service intelligence and the number of customers those orders affected
whether those orders were for just email addresses or covered additional information
As part of the deal, the firms will delay releases of the number of national security orders by six months and promise they cannot reveal government surveillance of new technology or forms of communications they create for two years.

I'm not entirely sure as to the implications of that last part, but I doubt it's good. People forget about a lot of shit within 2 years.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on January 28, 2014, 10:51:22 pm
jesus.

Can people stop thumbing their noses at Linux yet?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on February 11, 2014, 10:02:42 am
Yeah, as much as linux douchebags piss me off, I'm coming around to the idea of installing it on one of my computers at the very least.

Also, Greenwald and Omidyar have finally unveiled their new media project: The Intercept (https://firstlook.org/theintercept/).

So far, I'm not impressed.  Their big "breaking news" story is a rehashed Washington Post article from October (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/documents-reveal-nsas-extensive-involvement-in-targeted-killing-program/2013/10/16/29775278-3674-11e3-8a0e-4e2cf80831fc_story.html), which itself is a rehash of certain documents that have historically shown the NSA provides assistance to CIA assassination programs.

Furthermore, the article urges for greater human assets on the ground...in other words, for more spies.  Because what's really wrong about an assassination program carried out by a vast and unaccountable secret intelligence apparatus is that they rely too much on technology.  This mirrors certain stuff coming out of the Pentagon which the War Nerd has mentioned before now, a certain influential anti-drone lobby, who are arguing for more boots on the ground under the cover of criticising the (appalling) loss of life due to drone attacks.

The Intercept's mission is apparently to “provide a platform to report on the documents previously provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.”  IOW, those critics who suggested Greenwald basically sold the treasure trove of NSA files to Omidyar were, alas, correct
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on February 11, 2014, 10:26:52 am
Well that's underwhelming. The intercept is apparently the first of many offerings so I'm holding out some hope that this is just gathering attention and momentum for later bigger stories.

Some hope, not much, but some.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on February 11, 2014, 10:30:49 am
Yeah.  I mean, if it were up to me, the idea would be "break something big and new", to secure links from all over the fucking internet and generate discussion, as well as set the ground for a reputation for new, groundbreaking and investigative journalism (which is meant to be the guiding ideal of the whole project).

This, alas, is entirely unsatisfying.  And proving Greenwald's critics (not the ones crying about spy data being released - the other ones) to have some justification for their reservations.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on February 11, 2014, 10:55:16 am
The strange thing for me is that I wouldn't have figured Greenwald & co as amateurs setting up their first blog. There must be a dozen decent investigative journalism sites where something like this would have bolted on nicely. As a standalone with less than impressive content it pretty much fails in all of it's intended areas. The only page with any kind of content are "Staff" (Photo and bio for everyone is more important than actual news).

I may be being overly harsh, but I expected better. If this isn't substantially better in a week or so I'd guess it's doomed to failure.

Also:
Quote
The editorial independence of our journalists will be guaranteed.

Horrible feeling that this gets proven false by the end of the year.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on February 11, 2014, 02:18:35 pm
I suppose part of the problem is that Greenwald is also releasing a book, in which he has promised to reveal more NSA secrets.  If he reveals them now, then he can hardly reveal them in his book, can he?  No-one will buy it.

Perverse incentives all around here.  It's a shame, as I like Marcy Wheeler and Jeremy Scahill.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on February 11, 2014, 03:00:00 pm
That explains quite a lot. Hard to have a best selling smash hit if everyone is already familiar with the content.

Which raises various other issues such as how ethical it is to commercialise this information for your own finincial gain. Even if he donates all the cash to charities it raises some serious questions as to how this information should be distributed and who therefore profits from it.

I can almost guarantee that any publisher would have given him a great deal as it will sell very well to certain demographics. When was the last time you heard about a publishing house doing something nice? Yeah, never.

Behold the path to serialised articles, sterile content and smug complacency (maybe harsh, but the "I'm writing a book" angle stinks) where we can all act surprised in a couple of years that this shit is still going on and is now far more intrusive.

Wheeler, Scahill and others I'm not as familiar with but hopes of quality from Greenwald are dropping fast.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on February 11, 2014, 03:11:02 pm
Well, Greenwald's not a journalist by training anyway.  He's a lawyer, who used to blog, then got picked up by Salon.  While that makes him great to discuss civil liberties, it makes him...less strong on journalistic ethics.  And yes, it's a pretty skeezy thing to do.  He's basically monetized what should be public information.

Say what you like about Assange, but you can't accuse him of that.

Wheeler writes at emptywheel.net and does pretty good analysis of US government etc and Scahill is the man to talk to if you want to know anything about Blackwater. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on February 11, 2014, 03:35:53 pm
Quote
He's basically monetized what should be public information.

There's more to it than just that though. By his own statements this is incredibly important information that should be freely available to the public. This is a proto-version of for-profit whistleblowing and the potential implications of that are interesting to say the least.

The various NSA data is incredibly valuable, there's no question about that. The problem is that until now it was valuable in the same way as ancient art or beauty. Now it's valuable in the same way a new car is. Very, for a very short time and worthless not long after.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on February 17, 2014, 11:34:44 am
Not strictly related now, but I bet this will be in the next few years:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26222424

Quote
Google has acquired SlickLogin - an Israeli start-up behind the technology that allows websites to verify a user's identity by using sound waves.

It works by playing a uniquely generated, nearly-silent sound through computer speakers, which is picked up by an app on the user's smartphone.

The app analyses the sound and sends a signal back to confirm the identity.

The technology can be used either as a replacement for a password or as an additional security layer.

Quote
"The more uniquely a technology identifies the user, the safer the system would be against any potential hacks," Sharat Sinha, a vice president with Palo Alto Networks, a firm specialising in enterprise security told the BBC.

The other side to that is that the more uniquely a technology ID's a user, the more power you have if you gain unauthorised access. So while you may be "safer" on the one side there's a host of other vulnrabilites that are exposed if it gets beaten. "Beaten" in this context means that someone steals your phone which never occurs in modern society at all.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on February 17, 2014, 11:38:44 am
More directly related:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26210053

Quote
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is proposing building up a European communications network to help improve data protection.

It would avoid emails and other data automatically passing through the United States.

In her weekly podcast, she said she would raise the issue on Wednesday with French President Francois Hollande.

This could get funny.

Quote
A foreign policy spokesman for Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats, Philipp Missfelder, recently said revelations about US spying had helped bring relations with Washington down to their worst level since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Germany has been trying to persuade Washington to agree to a "no-spy" agreement but without success.

Lots of popcorn potential here.  The UK position will no doubt be hilarious, whatever that position is. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on February 19, 2014, 09:05:37 am
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26240140

Quote
Game maker Valve has sought to defuse a row over data it gathers about people who play its games.

The row started on social news site Reddit after someone reverse-engineered the software Valve uses to spot cheats.

Screenshots of data logged by the software suggested Valve was building a list of every website players visited.

Valve boss Gabe Newell said it did grab data but only in a very small number of cases to help ban those people who used specially-written cheat software.

Quote
Mr Newell said that Valve's anti-cheat system looked at that Windows log for the names of servers known to be used by people and groups that sell cheats.

These servers check that a person has actually paid to use a cheat.

Only if a PC was spotted contacting one of these servers was information passed to Valve, said Mr Newell in his message. The data was passed to Valve so it could then ban a player.

Some 570 people had been banned by this server-checking system, he added.

Cheat makers had now moved on from using this server-based system, largely because Valve had tackled it, he said.

In the closing sentences of the message, Mr Newell categorically denied that Valve was gathering information about where people go online.

He added that it was in the interest of cheaters to throw doubt on the trust people place in Valve, as that would help them get more customers.

"Is Valve using its market success to go evil? I don't think so, but you have to make the call if we are trustworthy," he wrote. "We try really hard to earn and keep your trust

It can be reasonable to assume that Valve and more particularly Steam are of interest to the NSA given the nature of the services and communication channels they contain. It would therefore be reasonable to assume that they are already being monitored in some ways.

Is valve potentially complicit in the activities? Well, I'd have preferred an outright denial compared to the above statement. Let's just say if he is, I won't be shocked. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on February 19, 2014, 10:31:50 am
The explanation by Gabe seemed decent, IMO. People who make hax build in anti-theft systems because those who use hax for games are unlikely to buy them if they're freely available. Those anti-theft systems phone home to say "Hey, am I a registered copy?".

His explanation claimed that only if Valve's anti-cheat systems detects a cheat does it then checks your DNS cache to see if your machine has been contacting those servers. If it finds that your machine has been contacting those cheat servers, it hashes the DNS entry and sends it to Valve.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on April 10, 2014, 08:19:52 am
This feels related:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26954540

Quote
The Yahoo blogging platform Tumblr has advised the public to "change your passwords everywhere - especially your high-security services like email, file storage and banking".

Security advisers have given similar warnings about the Heartbleed Bug.

It follows news that a product used to safeguard data could be compromised to allow eavesdropping.

OpenSSL is a popular cryptographic library used to digitally scramble sensitive data as it passes to and from computer servers so that only the service provider and the intended recipients can make sense of it.

If an organisation employs OpenSSL, users see a padlock icon in their web browser - although this can also be triggered by rival products.

Those affected include Canada's tax collecting agency, which halted online services "to safeguard the integrity of the information we hold".

However, experts stress that they have no evidence of cybercriminals having harvested the passwords and that users should check which services have fixed the flaw before changing their login.

It may be paranoia, by when I read about things like this, I have to wonder if the flaw was in fact deliberately designed. It would seem ideal to harvest the exact kind of data that government agencies want so much. Of course, there would be no benefit in alerting the public to its existence in that case. Unless someone else either already knew about it and was exploiting it (Russia?) or you had something in the works that serves the purpose even better.

Of course, this is lunatic speculation with no basis in reality at all.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on April 10, 2014, 09:11:06 am
this is lunatic speculation with no basis in reality at all.
See pre Snowden this was a reasonable thing to say. It's not any more, we have allegations that the NSA deliberately weakened certain encryption standards.

We've known for a while that they have had access to the sites private keys but it was assumed they were requested/demanded. It seems reasonable to speculate that they had alternative means of extracting them in light of this bug.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on April 10, 2014, 09:17:17 am
Keeping the funny flowing: GCHQ investigates self, amazingly finds no problems at all:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26936116
Quote
He found that even though so-called "general warrants" provide for large-scale collection of material, this was primarily focused on foreign traffic, and GCHQ could not indiscriminately trawl through it.

As a result, he said, there was no "sentient" intrusion into the private affairs of UK citizens - in others words, by a person rather than in automated fashion by a computer.

He also said he had found no evidence that GCHQ was circumventing the law by getting material from the US that it did not have the power to access itself.

Home Secretary Theresa May said the report "makes clear the intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies and other public authorities operate lawfully, conscientiously and in the national interest".

Seems to imply there is in fact, non-sentient intrusion into all UK (at a minimum) communications and private affairs. It's only when you become interesting that they let a person look through it all.

Quote
Foreign Secretary William Hague, the minister responsible for GCHQ, said: "A senior and fully independent judge has looked in detail at whether the interception agencies 'misuse their powers to engage in random mass intrusion into the private affairs of law abiding UK citizens'.

"He has concluded that the answer is 'emphatically no'.

He further went on to state "Shut up."
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on April 10, 2014, 09:25:37 am
this is lunatic speculation with no basis in reality at all.
See pre Snowden this was a reasonable thing to say. It's not any more, we have allegations that the NSA deliberately weakened certain encryption standards.

We've known for a while that they have had access to the sites private keys but it was assumed they were requested/demanded. It seems reasonable to speculate that they had alternative means of extracting them in light of this bug.

I'm still stumbling on the "Why tell people then?" side though. Most articles seem to indicate it's relatively easy to exploit, once/if you know about it. What's the benefit in making that easier for many unless you've got a secondary system already in place that's more effective?

A more relevant question at this point may be "What ISN'T compromised?" I'm leaning more towards the idea of any kind of security basically being a nice self delusion.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on April 10, 2014, 09:41:54 am
this is lunatic speculation with no basis in reality at all.
See pre Snowden this was a reasonable thing to say. It's not any more, we have allegations that the NSA deliberately weakened certain encryption standards.

We've known for a while that they have had access to the sites private keys but it was assumed they were requested/demanded. It seems reasonable to speculate that they had alternative means of extracting them in light of this bug.

I'm still stumbling on the "Why tell people then?" side though. Most articles seem to indicate it's relatively easy to exploit, once/if you know about it. What's the benefit in making that easier for many unless you've got a secondary system already in place that's more effective?

A more relevant question at this point may be "What ISN'T compromised?" I'm leaning more towards the idea of any kind of security basically being a nice self delusion.

Well there is that, if it is so easy to exploit then so would everyone.

Here's from Snowden a few weeks ago on that exact topic: "They're building in backdoors that not only the NSA can exploit, but anyone else who has time and money to research and find it can then use to let themselves in to the world's communications. And this is really dangerous, because if we lose a single standard, if we lose the trust of something like SSL, which was specifically targeted by the Bullrun program, we will live a less safe world overall."

And it's specific impact on intellectual property, fingering the Chinese as also being able to exploit such a system

"So by reducing the security of our communications, they're not only putting the world at risk, they're putting America at risk in a fundamental way, because intellectual property is the basis, the foundation of our economy, and if we put that at risk through weak security, we're going to be paying for it for years"

https://www.ted.com/talks/edward_snowden_here_s_how_we_take_back_the_internet/transcript#t-72841

It is safe to say that any system is never fully secured especially over long periods of time.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on April 10, 2014, 09:46:59 am
As I recall, there were allegations of this exact thing happening in regard to the Chinese gmail hack.  The NSA put a backdoor into Gmail, Chinese hackers found it, and stole a whole load of emails.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on April 10, 2014, 12:32:50 pm
Was wondering about this angle too but not from the "NSA breaking the news cos they no longer give a fuck" angle. Is it possible only the NSA knew of the flaw? Is it possible they somehow infiltrated the dev project and wrote the glitch in themselves, either as one of the team or by hacking the project repo somehow?

Maybe Google did just find the exploit and released it, in the interests of security? Maybe the NSA are suddenly pissed off as motherfuckers  :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on April 10, 2014, 01:25:10 pm
Hypothetically speaking, if the NSA were to have introduced the bug to allow themselves access, it is probable that they did not release the knowledge of it into the wild, either one of companies that have been bent over the barrel like yahoo, google, etc released it to get rid of another hook that is in their system from the NSA, or far more likely it was discovered in the wild by some random IT guy and made public knowledge.

Either way, if it leads to changes in the SSL standard it could lead to a far more secure web, not just in terms of snooping busybody governments but from all manner of threat.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on April 10, 2014, 01:55:29 pm
Hell yeah, it's a good thing. It also appears Google left Yahoo out to dry a bit, pointedly informing a few tech giants a week or so  before they went public but leaving Yahoo off the mailing list. Don't be evil but, y'know, fuck Yahoo :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on April 10, 2014, 02:02:42 pm
Hell yeah, it's a good thing. It also appears Google left Yahoo out to dry a bit, pointedly informing a few tech giants a week or so  before they went public but leaving Yahoo off the mailing list. Don't be evil but, y'know, fuck Yahoo :lulz:

Yeah I saw that, they changed their certs on 02/04, but yahoo and Microsoft didn't.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on April 11, 2014, 02:33:44 am
It may be paranoia, by when I read about things like this, I have to wonder if the flaw was in fact deliberately designed.

If it was, they got in early, it looks like the bug existed from the start: https://github.com/openssl/openssl/commit/4817504d069b4c5082161b02a22116ad75f822b1

Will be interesting as we think through the implications of this to figure out how people will resolve issues with embedded systems that rely on openssl.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on April 11, 2014, 07:13:10 am
It may be paranoia, by when I read about things like this, I have to wonder if the flaw was in fact deliberately designed.

If it was, they got in early, it looks like the bug existed from the start: https://github.com/openssl/openssl/commit/4817504d069b4c5082161b02a22116ad75f822b1

Will be interesting as we think through the implications of this to figure out how people will resolve issues with embedded systems that rely on openssl.

I thought it was only introduced two years ago?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on April 11, 2014, 07:41:30 am
Yeah, but I mean it already existed in the original contribution of the TLS/DTLS heartbeat functionality, rather than in the original implementation of the project.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on April 11, 2014, 10:15:44 am
For anyone who forgot about Greenwald's "The Intercept"

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/document/2014/03/20/hunt-sys-admins/

It's starting to fill up with quality stuff.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on April 11, 2014, 12:48:48 pm
XKCD had what looks like an easily understood explanation for this.  I have no idea if it's accurate, but the guy's got a good track record for knowing this stuff.

(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/heartbleed_explanation.png)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on April 11, 2014, 12:54:07 pm
That's probably a better explanation of the issue than any actual news article I've read on the subject.

That guy really needs to get himself syndicated.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on April 11, 2014, 10:13:45 pm
Yeah, that's pretty much the issue. And not in a "yeah, that's a nice simplification for a comic". That's how it works.

As (something of) a developer, I think Heartbleed is for our sins. Covered in more detail here (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/04/10/whats-really-scary-about-heartbleed/), but we built a large part of the internet's security on an open source project with one full time employee and a very small band of other contributors. The offending functionality was pushed on New Year's Eve, where instead of partying hard this one dude was trying to improve OpenSSL.

Anyone who donates more than 20k to OpenSSL development gets their logo featured here: http://www.openssl.org/support/donations.html

There are no logos. Nobody is looking after this little team that two thirds of the web rely on.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on April 11, 2014, 10:15:11 pm
Hopefully now we're going to get people with appropriate knowledge looking at the dependencies for their software and helping to improve those building blocks of the web to help themselves.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on April 12, 2014, 06:22:11 pm
No surprises here

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-11/nsa-said-to-have-used-heartbleed-bug-exposing-consumers.html

Quote
The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.

Quote
Putting the Heartbleed bug in its arsenal, the NSA was able to obtain passwords and other basic data that are the building blocks of the sophisticated hacking operations at the core of its mission, but at a cost. Millions of ordinary users were left vulnerable to attack from other nations’ intelligence arms and criminal hackers.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on April 14, 2014, 09:33:10 am
Yeah, that's pretty much the issue. And not in a "yeah, that's a nice simplification for a comic". That's how it works.

As (something of) a developer, I think Heartbleed is for our sins. Covered in more detail here (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/04/10/whats-really-scary-about-heartbleed/), but we built a large part of the internet's security on an open source project with one full time employee and a very small band of other contributors. The offending functionality was pushed on New Year's Eve, where instead of partying hard this one dude was trying to improve OpenSSL.

Anyone who donates more than 20k to OpenSSL development gets their logo featured here: http://www.openssl.org/support/donations.html

There are no logos. Nobody is looking after this little team that two thirds of the web rely on.

I can think of few things more appropriate for the modern era. I'm alternating between that laugh and outright horror again.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on April 15, 2014, 09:42:09 am
Quote
A leading UK site for parents and the Canadian tax authority have both announced they have had data stolen by hackers exploiting the Heartbleed bug.

Mumsnet - which says it has 1.5 million registered members - said that it believed that the cyber thieves may have obtained passwords and personal messages before it patched its site.

The Canada Revenue Agency said that 900 people's social insurance numbers had been stolen.

These are the first confirmed losses.

BBC Article, Mumsnet in meltdown, others expected to follow suit. I'm guessing 4 months from this to the reveal of another flaw that's even worse. Just seems to be how this one's going.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on April 28, 2014, 08:38:33 am
Did I say 4 months?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27184188

Quote
Microsoft has warned consumers that a vulnerability in its Internet Explorer browser could let hackers gain access and user rights to their computer.

The flaw affects Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6 to 11 and Microsoft said it was aware of "limited, targeted attacks" to exploit it.

According to NetMarket Share, the IE versions account for more than 50% of global browser market.

Microsoft says it is investigating the flaw and will take "appropriate" steps.

The firm, which issued a security advisory over the weekend, said the steps "may include providing a solution through our monthly security update release process, or an out-of-cycle security update, depending on customer needs".

XP no longer being updated and subsequently at higher risk. Obviously this is something that was never used and exploited by NSA et all over the years. At all. That's just crazy.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on April 28, 2014, 09:57:18 am
I sent that to my boss today because our entire company remains on XP and has software which only works in Internet Explorer.

Lol'd hard.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 28, 2014, 04:55:09 pm
I just assume that my entire system is riddled with spybots and other shit that doesn't belong, and act accordingly.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Reginald Ret on April 28, 2014, 05:59:23 pm
I just assume that my entire system is riddled with spybots and other shit that doesn't belong, and act accordingly.
Infect it with more bad bugs and viruses hoping they massacre each other?
Remember a lesson we learned from Australia: Nothing kills alligators as fast as a toxic toad introduced to kill rats. (Or something, i am fuzzy on the details.)
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on May 13, 2014, 08:56:14 am
Greenwald (http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201406/glenn-greenwald-edward-snowden-no-place-to-hide?printable=true) is promising a "fireworks show", which he promises will be "the finale, a big missing piece".

I'm hopeful, but skeptical.  Greenwald has not exactly covered himself in glory lately.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on May 13, 2014, 01:24:14 pm
Quote
Was there a formative moment in your childhood that might've cast you in the adversarial role?
Being gay was a big part of that process. I grew up gay in the '70s and '80s, when things were obviously much different than they are now. There was no gay culture for a gay teen in an American suburb, at all. The overriding message was there's something wrong with you, there's something inside of you that's just wrong. It's broken. It's bad. It's diseased. And so it's a pretty harsh message to internalize when you're, like, 11. It leaves you with three different options.

One is you just keep internalizing it and keep internalizing it and tell yourself that you're this horrible, diseased, broken person. And that's why gay teens kill themselves. Another strategy is to say I'm going to try and convince you that you're wrong, right? I'm going to show you that I'm actually really normal in every other way. That's the gay lobby in D.C., who are just, like, so intent on proving that they're exactly like straight people in every single other way, so please accept us. And then, I think, a third strategy is just to say, You know what? Go fuck yourself. I'm going to be the one to impose judgments on you, and let's examine the propriety of your behavior instead.

I like this guy already!  :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on May 13, 2014, 01:29:44 pm
This interview definitely showed his better side.  He can be a credit as a journalist...or alternatively he can be a preachy, intolerant asshole who dismisses all criticism of him in a condescending, holier-than-thou manner and with an...ambivalent attitude towards corporate power.

Sadly, he normally chooses to be the latter.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on May 13, 2014, 01:47:50 pm
Still at least he does have a plus side. That's becoming increasingly uncommon in journalism  :|
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on May 30, 2014, 03:14:41 pm
Truecrypt (http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/true-goodbye-using-truecrypt-is-not-secure/), one of the better encryption options out there, has thrown in the towel:

Quote
The anonymous developers responsible for building and maintaining the free whole-disk encryption suite TrueCrypt apparently threw in the towel this week, shuttering the TrueCrypt site and warning users that the product is no longer secure now that Microsoft has ended support for Windows XP.

truecrypt.ch has been established for those who want to continue TrueCrypt’s open source development.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 03, 2014, 07:25:13 pm
Speculation that Truecrypt may be acting as a warrant canary of sorts. Seems highly likely. Guess that'll be cleared up either way relatively soon.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 06, 2014, 01:45:40 pm
ahahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA AAIEEEE
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27726248

Quote
It said that Netflix's claims could damage its business.


Yes Verizon, This is truly the most damaging thing to your business.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 09, 2014, 03:07:04 pm
I said this was the case when Lulzsec were running around

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/exclusive-how-an-fbi-informant-helped-anonymous-hack-brazil?trk_source=homepage-lede

Quote
In early 2012, members of the hacking collective Anonymous carried out a series of cyber attacks on government and corporate websites in Brazil. They did so under the direction of a hacker who, unbeknownst to them, was wearing another hat: helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation carry out one of its biggest cybercrime investigations to date.

A year after leaked files exposed the National Security Agency’s efforts to spy on citizens and companies in Brazil, previously unpublished chat logs obtained by Motherboard reveal that while under the FBI’s supervision, Hector Xavier Monsegur, widely known by his online persona, “Sabu,” facilitated attacks that affected Brazilian websites.

Just keep this in mind, the next time a high profile hacker group starts making waves, and is attacking foreign targets.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: UB on June 09, 2014, 11:51:34 pm
What's interesting about this, is that it is targeting Verizon's business customers - not personal phone usage.

I've heard suggestions it may be linked to suspected Iranian hacking....but no-one seems to know anything.  I certainly don't think they're cracking down on insider trading, money laundering and fraud in the banking system, for example  :lol:

Iranian? Realizing this was posted in 2013, I'm sure the board has been made more aware of the Chinese inclination toward the suggested invasion of international privacy. *dunno*

Still Reading.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on June 10, 2014, 12:27:08 am
Yeah, I'm sure Cain's info is based on profiling who has the greater proclivity towards hacking, rather than evidence pointing towards one actor or another.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 10, 2014, 12:35:40 am
Look, Cain, it's trying to educate you on international politics. How cute.  :lulz:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on June 10, 2014, 12:40:49 am
IRANIAN hackers? Dude, everyone knows that all hackers are Chinese. Iranian hackers are SO 2013.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: UB on June 10, 2014, 12:44:10 am
No one can possibly boast, err, to know which holder will drop. It wasn't my intention to come across as attempting to "educate" anyone, but there are always other angles to consider.

GEEZE.

The amount of assholes I tend to encounter some days force me to question if I have borrowed the dick nose from the Spaceballs saga.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Pæs on June 10, 2014, 12:55:05 am
SIR, WE HAVE INTELLIGENCE IMPLICATING THE IRANIANS.

"The who, Johnson?"

SIR, I KNOW, BUT THE SOURCE OF THE MALICIOUS PACKETS WAS 2KM OUTSIDE SHAHRUD.

"Those damn sneaky Chinese."

SIR?

"I know you've got your little 'Iranian' theory, Johnson, but this it's not 2013 anymore. You've got to wake up and smell the sneaky Chinese coffee."

SIR, I...

"No, no, Johnson. There are always other angles to consider."

SIR, THE AJAX SECURITY TEAM, AN IRANIAN HACKER GROUP, HAS JUST TAKEN CREDIT FOR THE INTRUSION.

"More like the Ajax CHINESE Security Team, amirite? Get in touch with your man in Shanghai, we need to retaliate and show these guys we aren't falling for their Iranian ruse."
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: UB on June 10, 2014, 01:05:50 am
"Hey, Johnson, yer nose looks like a dick..."

"Nahhhh, Stanley, yer just on yer KNEES."

.... and the wheels on the succuBUS go 'round and 'round... 'round and 'round... 'round and 'round... and the squeals of Jack's son gettin' louda' louda'... louda' louda'... louda' louda'...

ONE day off in another galactic realm where the global networking system actually provoked independent THOUGHT.... "Holy Hell, Clyde, we are all plucked and fucked by a nosy ass clown with a jester's role."  Ehha.... Ehha.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 10, 2014, 08:55:03 am
What's interesting about this, is that it is targeting Verizon's business customers - not personal phone usage.

I've heard suggestions it may be linked to suspected Iranian hacking....but no-one seems to know anything.  I certainly don't think they're cracking down on insider trading, money laundering and fraud in the banking system, for example  :lol:

Iranian? Realizing this was posted in 2013, I'm sure the board has been made more aware of the Chinese inclination toward the suggested invasion of international privacy. *dunno*

Still Reading.

May 2013 saw a spate of Iranian hacking stories.  Also, there was various skullduggery regarding large banks trading with Iran around the same time (in breach of US sanctions), and the data requested from Verizon was business metadata, not individual phone call logs.

Also, state-sanctioned Chinese hacking is vastly overrated in scope and intensity.  While the Chinese government has set up dedicated hacking networks, the USA frequently uses the existence of these networks to justify its own "full spectrum dominance" of the Internet, and in actuality US hacking is the most pervasive advanced persistent threat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_persistent_threat) to businesses and individuals on the web.  Of course, the US justifies these in defensive terms...but then again, the US justifies everything in defensive terms.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 10, 2014, 09:51:14 am
Also also, attribution on the internet is a bitch.  I know for a fact that at least three attacks attributed to the Chinese military in the press were in fact carried out by people associated with the Russian Business Network (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Business_Network), who were operating with Chinese IPs at the time.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: UB on June 12, 2014, 12:41:08 am
Its like a global masquerade party where everyone can bare their assets but not their faces.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 12, 2014, 09:58:42 am
Pretty much.  And just to add to the fun, many of the actors are themselves non-state third party proxies.  I mean, Lulzsec, for example, was clearly being run by the FBI for part of their hacking career.  The RBN are mercenaries, though they tend to not work against Russian interests.  Chinese and Brazilian hackers might be working for the PLA or the SC-2/EMD...or they might be legitimately independent operators,

So it's like a masquerade which may have been gatecrashed...but no-one is really sure to what extent.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 18, 2014, 07:37:05 am
Hahahaha
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27887639
HAHAHAahahahaha

Quote
UK intelligence service GCHQ can legally snoop on British use of Google, Facebook and web-based email without specific warrants because the firms are based abroad, the government has said.

Classed as "external communications", such activity can be covered by a broad warrant and intercepted without extra clearance, Spy boss Charles Farr said.

The policy was revealed as part of a legal battle with campaign group Privacy International (PI).

PI labelled the policy "patronising".

It is the first time the UK has commented on how its legal framework allows the mass interception of communications, as outlined by US whistleblower Edward Snowden in his leaks about global government surveillance.

AHAHAHAHAHA

Quote
However, he said data collected in this way "cannot be read, looked at or listened to" except in strictly limited circumstances.

AHAHAHAIIIIIIEEEEE

To me, this is all but an admission that while they might not read it themselves anything of possible interest is just sent to the USA or elsewhere where they read it and tell you what's up. Guess how you return the favour? The best part is, technically, it's all nice and legal.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 18, 2014, 09:32:55 am
At least we now know what we've always suspected, but couldn't get proof of.

Getting the intelligence services to comment on anything* is like getting blood from a stone these days.  I mean, the legal framework which surrounds intelligence gathering in the UK is shrouded in absolute secrecy, when compared with the American framework (no matter how much it is ignored...or says "NSA rules lawl").

*well, anything except hyping scare stories about the perfidious Islamists in our midsts...while Republican dissidents shoot coppers and plant bombs on the streets of Northern Ireland
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: UB on June 19, 2014, 02:26:16 am
It's so complex. Not like a labyrinth, more like the shifty safety net under a circus act. Really. Fascinating.

 http://www.debka.com/article/24013/  (http://www.debka.com/article/24013/)

Epic US-Iran military cooperation in Iraq coincides with Israel’s war on Tehran’s Palestinian ally, Hamas

(http://i817.photobucket.com/albums/zz100/lolanicks/Thumbnail.jpg)

Perhaps there is a grandfather clock, afterall?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on June 24, 2014, 09:47:32 am
If anyone cares to clean up the shit in this thread, I won't object.

Seems related:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27949674

Quote
Complaints originating from social media make up "at least half" of a front-line police officer's work, a senior officer has told the BBC.

Chief Constable Alex Marshall, head of the College of Policing, said the number of crimes arising from social media represented "a real problem".

He said the police and public were still trying to understand when online insults became a crime.

Quote
Mr Marshall told BBC Radio 4's Law in Action: "As people have moved their shopping online and their communications online, they've also moved their insults, their abuse and their threats online, so I see that it won't be long before pretty much every investigation that the police conduct will have an online element to it.

Quote
And while anecdotal evidence from officers indicates that dealing with complaints arising from social media now absorbed a significant amount of their time, it is not yet borne out in the figures.

Potential for a social media to prison pipeline? Surely growing. Considering the various shit of late with dual construction and the general capabilities in accessing pretty much anything anyone does on the internet, I can only assume that the intention here is for the time spent/convictions made ratio to improve.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on June 27, 2014, 01:23:12 am
So, as you may be aware, the NSA's Keith Alexander has gone into the private sector security biz, where he is making a cool $600,000 a month.

You might be wondering "what justifies such an exorbinant fee, even in the admittedly crazy world of infosec consulting?"  Well, you're not the only one. 

Alan Grayson and Bruce Schneier strongly suspect (http://www.emptywheel.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/SIFMA-Alexander-letter.pdf) that Keith Alexander is selling classified information to banking corporations.  It's the only possible thing that could justify such a large fee.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on June 27, 2014, 02:17:42 am
Friendly reminder.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/is-it-the-bilderberg-conference--or-conspiracy-9449477.html

Quote
one of the participants at the heavily fortified, five-star Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, will be Keith Alexander, the former director of the National Security Agency

Of course, this is completely unrelated.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on July 01, 2014, 03:09:50 am
Pretty sure we all saw this story coming.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140630/12101627734/fbi-cia-also-make-use-backdoor-searches-nsa-data-to-access-us-communications-without-warrant.shtml
Quote
The other shoe just dropped when it comes to how the federal government illegally spies on Americans. Last summer, the details of the NSA's "backdoor searches" were revealed. This involved big collections of content and metadata (so, no, not "just metadata" as meaningless as that phrase is) that were collected under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). This is part of the program that the infamous PRISM effort operates under, and which allows the NSA to collect all sorts of content, including communications to, from or about a "target" -- where a "target" can be incredibly loosely defined (i.e., it can include groups or machines or just about anything). The "backdoor searches" were a special loophole added in 2011 allowing the NSA to make use of "US person names and identifiers as query terms." In the past, it had been limited (as per the NSA's mandate) to only non-US persons.

This morning, James Clapper finally responded to a request from Senator Ron Wyden concerning the number of such backdoor searches using US identifiers that were done by various government agencies. And, surprisingly, it's redaction free. The big reveal is... that it's not just the NSA doing these searches, but the CIA and FBI as well. This is especially concerning with regards to the FBI. This means that the FBI, who does surveillance on Americans, is spying on Americans communications that were collected by the NSA and that they're doing so without anything resembling a warrant. Oh, and let's make this even worse: the FBI isn't even tracking how often it does this. It's just doing it willy nilly:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: The Johnny on July 01, 2014, 03:42:21 am

LOL oversight
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on July 01, 2014, 04:04:09 am

LOL oversight

Newsfeed.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on July 01, 2014, 05:52:54 am
Pretty sure we all saw this story coming.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140630/12101627734/fbi-cia-also-make-use-backdoor-searches-nsa-data-to-access-us-communications-without-warrant.shtml
Quote
The other shoe just dropped when it comes to how the federal government illegally spies on Americans. Last summer, the details of the NSA's "backdoor searches" were revealed. This involved big collections of content and metadata (so, no, not "just metadata" as meaningless as that phrase is) that were collected under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). This is part of the program that the infamous PRISM effort operates under, and which allows the NSA to collect all sorts of content, including communications to, from or about a "target" -- where a "target" can be incredibly loosely defined (i.e., it can include groups or machines or just about anything). The "backdoor searches" were a special loophole added in 2011 allowing the NSA to make use of "US person names and identifiers as query terms." In the past, it had been limited (as per the NSA's mandate) to only non-US persons.

This morning, James Clapper finally responded to a request from Senator Ron Wyden concerning the number of such backdoor searches using US identifiers that were done by various government agencies. And, surprisingly, it's redaction free. The big reveal is... that it's not just the NSA doing these searches, but the CIA and FBI as well. This is especially concerning with regards to the FBI. This means that the FBI, who does surveillance on Americans, is spying on Americans communications that were collected by the NSA and that they're doing so without anything resembling a warrant. Oh, and let's make this even worse: the FBI isn't even tracking how often it does this. It's just doing it willy nilly:

Yeah, Richard Nixon, what a villain, amirite?  :lol:
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on July 04, 2014, 12:21:12 am
So, things are getting weird.  How weird?

The previously quite sensible Cryptome.org is warning (https://twitter.com/Cryptomeorg/status/483585408832249856) that war is coming very soon, and only a full release of "crippling intel" by Snowden and/or citizens with access to his leaked data can avert it.

With an interview with Mint News (http://www.mintpressnews.com/cryptome-snowden-docs-released-july-prevent-war-2/193362/):

Quote
Something transparency advocates are particularly excited about regarding the release of these documents is that the documents reportedly contain information that has been described as being powerful enough to prevent a war by creating public distrust toward government and their respective intelligence communities.

Cryptome‬ f‪o‬under J‪o‬hn Y‪o‬ung has said that the war that could potentially be stopped by the documents is related to the expansion of the war on terror, but there is no clear indication of how these documents would prevent such a war or which countries would be involved.

And there may be a second NSA leaker (https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/07/nsa_targets_pri.html). 

Meanwhile, Greenwald has bottled it on the "grand finale" with the Snowden documents because they have to "investigate claims" by the US government before publishing, or something. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 04, 2014, 12:37:04 am
I'm betting he's waiting for more hits to that website of his, must not be doing as well as he hoped for, for some reason.

http://cryptome.org/

Not come across these before, crazy territory or "Welcome to another watch-list" territory?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Telarus on July 04, 2014, 03:30:28 am
cryptome.org has an interesting history.
http://gawker.com/a-discussion-with-cryptome-514154708
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on July 04, 2014, 04:01:53 am
I dunno why, but I'm sensing a fizzle.

Kids/people these days want a flash, not a slow burn.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 10, 2014, 07:30:28 am
Day continues to be shitty:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28237108

Quote
Emergency legislation will be brought in next week to force phone and internet companies to log records of customer calls, texts and internet use.

Ministers say it is necessary so police and security services can access the data they need after a legal ruling which declared existing powers invalid.

The proposed law has the backing of Labour and the coalition parties.

A special cabinet is being held to agree the planned laws, which will only last until 2016.

Horseshit. It'll be quietly renewed, expanded and toughed up when it's forgotten about in 2016.

Quote
Prime Minister David Cameron and his Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will tell a special cabinet meeting on Thursday that emergency legislation is necessary to keep the country safe.

Horseshit. Nothhing to hide, nothing to fear bullshit all over. Just waiting for Clegg to say why this is such a super idea.

Quote
Labour is backing emergency legislation after all-party talks agreed that this law would enshrine existing rights and not be used to extend them by re-introducing the so-called "snoopers charter".

Horseshit. If it's enshrining existing rights, why not change the RELEVANT laws and not add in a new one? Oh, because this is lies and nonsense. I forgot.

Quote
It will also bring in so-called safeguards including:

The creation of a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to examine the impact of the law on privacy and civil liberties (Awesome. UK regulators do such a fine job that every single one of them is a joke.
A review of the controversial RIPA - Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (In this context, a review means "Spend several months to find no problem at all)
Annual government transparency reports on how these powers are used (Which will only be accessible by extensive FOI requests and even then probably denied due to National security. Any report published is guaranteed to be worthless)
The law will include a so-called sunset clause - ensuring that these powers will die in 2016 - so there will be a longer and wider debate about what replaces them.(So any gaps can be plugged and rights violated in full for everyone [ha. everyone] next time)

Shoving a law through in a week should give you alarm bells. Cross party support should ring more bells.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 10, 2014, 08:50:23 am
Greenwalds reveals are starting to get a little silly and sad now:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-28238932

Quote
US spy agencies snooped on the emails of five high-profile Muslim Americans in an effort to identify security threats, documents leaked by fugitive ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden show.

The targets include a lawyer, professor and a political operative, according to a report published in the Intercept.

Wow. Spied on 5 high profile muslims. No shit. Really. That's the extent of the problem here.

Quote
• Faisal Gill, a Republican Party operative and former Department of Homeland Security employee

• Asim Ghafoor, a lawyer who represented clients in terrorism-related cases

• Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor at Rutgers University

• Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University

• Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

Tell me 50. Tell me 500. Tell me 5,000. Because if the above names honestly hadn't thought or expected to be invovled in this shit, they're astonishingly stupid, and these don't sound like stupid men. I mean, a fucking lawyer who represented clients in terrorism cases. Tell me he's surprised.

You can do better than this Glen.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 10, 2014, 12:33:50 pm
You know the chant:

"Nothing to hide, nothing to fear. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear"

Quote
Mr Cameron said: "We face real and credible threats to our security from serious and organised crime, from the activity of paedophiles, from the collapse of Syria, the growth of Isis in Iraq and al Shabab in East Africa.

"I am simply not prepared to be a prime minister who has to address the people after a terrorist incident and explain that I could have done more to prevent it."

CRIME! PAEDOPHILES! SYRIA AND TERRORISTS!

Totally legit. The only thing missing was Boko Haram. I, for one, will rest easier knowing that as a result of this law I'm now never going to experience any crime or paedophilia, nor will I have to deal with Syrians and terrorists. And All it took was giving up any semblance of pretence of privacy.

Democracy? Sorry, can't hear you, laughing.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 10, 2014, 12:37:46 pm
Oh yeah:
Quote
The Lib Dem leader said successive governments had "neglected civil liberties as they claim to pursue greater security", but added: "I wouldn't be standing here today if I didn't believe there is an urgent challenge facing us.

"No government embarks on emergency legislation lightly but I have been persuaded of the need to act and act fast."

Let's try that again with a touch of truth:

Quote
The Lib Dem leader said successive governments had "fucked over civil liberties as they claim to pursue greater security", but added: "I wouldn't be standing here today if I hadn't been told to.

"No government embarks on emergency legislation lightly but I have my script and it would be lovely if you stuck to yours too."

Apparently this man has kids. I'd bet he can't look them in the eye. Or at himself in a mirror.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: LMNO on July 10, 2014, 12:42:24 pm
Man, this subforum is full of light and wonder today.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 10, 2014, 01:33:34 pm
I'm in a GREAT mood.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on July 14, 2014, 09:36:03 am
Your daily reminder that this shit is bad and getting worse:
http://rt.com/news/172284-nsa-stores-calls-audio/

Quote
At least 80 percent of all audio calls are gathered and stored by the NSA, whistleblower William Binney has revealed.

Quote
“At least 80 percent of fiber-optic cables globally go via the US,” Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80 percent of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”

Binney has no evidence to substantiate his claims as he did not take any documents with him when he left the NSA. However, he insists the organization is untruthful about its intelligence gathering practices and their ultimate aim. He says that recent Supreme Court decisions have led him to believe the NSA won’t stop until it has complete control over the population.

“The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control,” Binney said, “but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone.”

I'm not certain his logic of total population control follows, though I can certainly see why that's his conclusion. I think the intended result is for something closer to Nixon's wet dream. Total population surveillance to enable control of particular actors as and when desired. 
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 14, 2014, 02:28:28 pm
Still a thing, in case you'd forgotten:

Quote
The massive surveillance effort was bad enough, but Snowden was even more disturbed to discover a new, Strangelovian cyberwarfare program in the works, codenamed MonsterMind. The program, disclosed here for the first time, would automate the process of hunting for the beginnings of a foreign cyberattack. Software would constantly be on the lookout for traffic patterns indicating known or suspected attacks. When it detected an attack, MonsterMind would automatically block it from entering the country—a “kill” in cyber terminology.

Programs like this had existed for decades, but MonsterMind software would add a unique new capability: Instead of simply detecting and killing the malware at the point of entry, MonsterMind would automatically fire back, with no human involvement. That’s a problem, Snowden says, because the initial attacks are often routed through computers in innocent third countries. “These attacks can be spoofed,” he says. “You could have someone sitting in China, for example, making it appear that one of these attacks is originating in Russia. And then we end up shooting back at a Russian hospital. What happens next?”

http://www.wired.com/2014/08/edward-snowden/

The other interesting thing in this article is the heavy indications of a second NSA leaker, seemingly operating around the time of many Snowden leaks.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on August 18, 2014, 06:33:05 pm
HA HA?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/18/turkey-summons-german-ambassador-bnd-spying

Quote
German media reported at the weekend that the BND had not only "accidentally" listened in on phone calls made by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and his predecessor Hillary Clinton in 2012 and 2013, but that it also – less accidentally – monitored the activities of Turkish politicians. According to news magazine Der Spiegel, the Nato member has been listed as a target for BND surveillance since 2009.

The revelations come less than a year since Germany summoned the US ambassador following spying allegations and Angela Merkel admonished Barack Obama that "spying on friends is not acceptable". Now, it appears, the tables have turned. Kerry is understood to have already raised the issue with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

For members of the German parliament's inquiry committee into surveillance by the NSA, the latest revelations have confirmed suspicions about the BND's role. "We have for some time assumed that there is some kind of circular information exchange in place," Green MP Konstantin von Notz told the Guardian.

No prizes for guessing who told Turkey about this.

Quote
"Make no mistake: this is a disaster for the government. Either they knew what the BND was up to and acted in the most hypocritical way possible, or they didn't know, which is just as problematic." By refusing to answer questions about the intelligence agencies, he added, German politicians were acting much in the same way as their US colleagues.


I will concede that this would be funnier if it wasn't so inevitable. We're rapidly getting to the point where it's going to be offensive to politicians to not have 6(minimum) different agencies tapping your phone. How else will you know you're important?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on November 03, 2014, 08:18:54 am
Matt Taibbi has left FirstLook Media.  Different versions abound as to why he left, some have suggested it was due to unwarranted abuse of a female staffer (http://gawker.com/matt-taibbi-left-first-look-media-after-female-staffer-1652961860).  The Intercept writers, to their credit, downplay those accusations (https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/30/inside-story-matt-taibbis-departure-first-look-media/) and instead suggest it was conflicts with the First Look media leadership...which, going by what we know about how The Intercept is run, is probably code for "didn't like Pierre Omidyar looking over his shoulder and micro-managing his writing output".

All we need now is for Jeremy Scahill and Marcy Wheeler to jump ship, and I wont have any reasons to read anything The Intercept writes ever again.

Oh, and by the by http://ohtarzie.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/i-read-the-new-york-magazine-omidyar-article-so-you-dont-have-to/

Highlight:

Quote
Quote
Omidyar immersed himself in the Second Life community, adopting a secret identity: a tattooed black man named Kitto Mandala. Even after Omidyar became a Linden Lab investor, [Linden Lab founder, Philip] Rosedale primarily interacted with his animated avatar. Mandala rode a Segway and wore a T-shirt that said KISS ME I’M LAWFUL EVIL.

Just gonna leave that one there.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on November 03, 2014, 08:41:14 am
Quote
The lengthy post was written by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill and John Cook (a former editor of Gawker), who added that Taibbi was not alone in butting heads with First Look management. Editorial staffers and remotely-based management frequently argued, for instance, over “a confounding array of rules, structures, and systems imposed by Omidyar and other First Look managers,” including the “mandated use of a ‘responsibility assignment matrix” called a ‘RASCI,’ popular in business-school circles for managing projects.”

I'm generally terrible with names but Omidyar doesn't stand out as an notable for anything in particular, journalism wise. Feel free to correct me there.

I suggest the above indicates why some of the problems arose. From what I understand these "business schools" are excellent at churning out idiots that think a spreadsheet can explain everything. I've generally found that any "mandatory matrix" will only piss people off for so long before they just generally lose their shit with everything. Trying to set up a successful journalism enterprise while dealing with this kind of bullshit could easily cause anyone to snap.

Taibbi's output in general is pretty solid so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here until more/further details emerge.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on November 03, 2014, 08:45:46 am
Well, Taibbi and Ames have both had problems with female staff (http://fredrikdeboer.com/2014/10/30/the-exile-guys-have-a-lot-to-answer-for/#rssowlmlink) in the past....but Omidyar is a Silicon Valley rich kid (eBay and Paypal was where he made his fortunes), whereas Taibbi has definite journalistic credentials and experience, no matter his personal history or views.  Notably, there was no mention of these kind of problems with Rolling Stone Magazine, which does have female staff but is also a far more professional journalistic outfit, with much more experienced writers and management.

So my guess would be that the problem here is not Taibbi's interpersonal conduct, but of a more professional nature.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on November 03, 2014, 08:49:34 am
Just going through that Ohtarzie piece, that's a cracking hatchet job:

Quote
Omidyar’s organization operates a little like WikiLeaks, except it is staffed by well-salaried journalists and backed by Silicon Valley money.

Only “a little like Wikileaks?” Apart from the well-salaried journalists and backing by a billionaire actually implicated in the government blockade against Wikileaks, it’s just like Wikileaks!

I'd say it's fairly plausible that he just made a couple too many jokes about some of the many, many problems and found himself in a bad spot.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on November 04, 2014, 07:14:16 am
Hey Cain, is something important going on somewhere? Because this sounds like bullshit noise and distraction:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29891285
Quote
Mr Hannigan argues that the big internet firms must work more closely with the intelligence services, warning that "privacy has never been an absolute right".

"However much they may dislike it, [US technology companies] have become the command and control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals, who find their services as transformational as the rest of us," he writes.

Quote
"GCHQ and its sister agencies, MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service, cannot tackle these challenges at scale without greater support from the private sector, including the largest US technology companies which dominate the web."

Oh Good, another one. I'm sure they're all AOK too.

Quote
Mr Hannigan goes on to say that Islamic State (IS), also known as Isil, has a different approach to using the internet than other extremist groups have had.

"Where al-Qaeda and its affiliates saw the internet as a place to disseminate material anonymously or meet in 'dark spaces', Isis has embraced the web as a noisy channel in which to promote itself, intimidate people, and radicalise new recruits."

He also says most internet users "would be comfortable with a better and more sustainable relationship between the [intelligence] agencies and the tech companies".

I'd settle for just having a touch of honesty about the current relationships between intelligence agencies and various tech companies. It would take quite a lot before I'm remotely "comfortable". 

Quote
The government's Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), set up in 2010, has removed more than 49,000 pieces of content that "encourages or glorifies acts of terrorism" - 30,000 of which have been removed since December 2013.

Scotland Yard's head of counter-terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, has previously said that officers are removing more than 1,000 online postings a week, including graphic and violent videos and images

That counter-terrorism unit sounds a hell of a lot like a censorship department. The implications of any expansion of remit for them are potentially quite serious. Depressingly, that's almost inevitable too.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on November 04, 2014, 07:51:28 am
Sounds like a not so subtle dig at Apple and other companies, who are now designing their systems to actively thwart being used as part of a global surveillance system (Apple, to their credit, are not very happy about the whole situation).  I mean, Verizon and MS and a few others could give a fuck, but some are actually not too happy about having to open their systems entirely to the NSA's script kiddies and sexual deviants, or weaken security protocols on their say so.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on November 04, 2014, 08:00:47 am
I thought the "designing systems to avoid being part of global surveillance network" was just marketing bullshit with no real substance as the agencies in question can produce court orders demanding access and confidentiality.

There's surely no realistic chance of any tech firm being immune to government interference/monitoring, if the government is so inclined. Assuming that's right, then it's just a case of levels of complicity with their involvement.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on November 04, 2014, 08:15:39 am
No, Apple have actually designed a system where it's pretty much impossible for either marketing companies or governments to access the kind of data they want, and are currently implementing it on one of their newer services (I can't remember which, not inclined to search atm).  I think if it were a matter of limited access and no screwing around with the safety parameters, they may be more inclined to agree, but it's not.  Full access means everything laid bare, and purposefully degrading security measures (the NSA and GCHQ's major activity after bulk surveillance) puts their systems at major risk of being compromised by hackers. 

Given some of the more sophisticated hacks of late, including the Morgan Stanley one, I can definitely see that worrying more capital intensive firms...like Apple.  Not to mention degraded security, like in the case of the iCloud hack, seriously threaten the prestige of the firm.  If actors and other influential celebs don't feel secure, they wont back a product, making the product less viable overall.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on November 04, 2014, 09:09:56 am
Ah, that's a bit more sensible. I'll dig into the apple stuff a bit and see if anything interesting turns up. I'm somewhat sceptical about the inability of governments to gain access to wanted data though. I strongly suspect that's marketing bullshit.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Rev. Mondo Anvil on November 04, 2014, 10:53:50 am
The question though, is when will checks and balances get out of hand? Greed is an extremely volatile substance.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on November 04, 2014, 10:57:41 am
Care to expand on that at all?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on November 04, 2014, 11:13:19 am
No, Apple have actually designed a system where it's pretty much impossible for either marketing companies or governments to access the kind of data they want, and are currently implementing it on one of their newer services (I can't remember which, not inclined to search atm).  I think if it were a matter of limited access and no screwing around with the safety parameters, they may be more inclined to agree, but it's not.  Full access means everything laid bare, and purposefully degrading security measures (the NSA and GCHQ's major activity after bulk surveillance) puts their systems at major risk of being compromised by hackers. 

Given some of the more sophisticated hacks of late, including the Morgan Stanley one, I can definitely see that worrying more capital intensive firms...like Apple.  Not to mention degraded security, like in the case of the iCloud hack, seriously threaten the prestige of the firm.  If actors and other influential celebs don't feel secure, they wont back a product, making the product less viable overall.

Even more specifically then potential threats: Remember the google mail hack from a few years back by both chinese scam sites and more importantly Chinese intelligence services gained direct access to users mail accounts after having discovered the back door google had been ordered to implement.

Apple, microsoft etc almost certainly don't give a conceivable shit about peoples privacy. It is because the intrusive methods of the NSA have violated the one and only thing that is sacred to these companies:

It cost them money. Huge amounts of money for security audits after intrusions occur, loss of revenue over not being able to share certain information deemed sensitive with advertising companies and slowing down design and development to facilitate these idiotic dictates of intelligence agencies.

Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Doktor Howl on November 04, 2014, 01:06:37 pm
The question though, is when will checks and balances get out of hand? Greed is an extremely volatile substance.

Wait.

When will the checks and balances get out of hand?

Also, I was unaware that greed had a low flash point.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on November 04, 2014, 02:26:58 pm
The question though, is when will checks and balances get out of hand? Greed is an extremely volatile substance.

Is this meant to parse as a sentence? I mean, the kind you communicate with?
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on November 04, 2014, 03:43:58 pm
No, Apple have actually designed a system where it's pretty much impossible for either marketing companies or governments to access the kind of data they want, and are currently implementing it on one of their newer services (I can't remember which, not inclined to search atm).  I think if it were a matter of limited access and no screwing around with the safety parameters, they may be more inclined to agree, but it's not.  Full access means everything laid bare, and purposefully degrading security measures (the NSA and GCHQ's major activity after bulk surveillance) puts their systems at major risk of being compromised by hackers. 

Given some of the more sophisticated hacks of late, including the Morgan Stanley one, I can definitely see that worrying more capital intensive firms...like Apple.  Not to mention degraded security, like in the case of the iCloud hack, seriously threaten the prestige of the firm.  If actors and other influential celebs don't feel secure, they wont back a product, making the product less viable overall.

Even more specifically then potential threats: Remember the google mail hack from a few years back by both chinese scam sites and more importantly Chinese intelligence services gained direct access to users mail accounts after having discovered the back door google had been ordered to implement.

Apple, microsoft etc almost certainly don't give a conceivable shit about peoples privacy. It is because the intrusive methods of the NSA have violated the one and only thing that is sacred to these companies:

It cost them money. Huge amounts of money for security audits after intrusions occur, loss of revenue over not being able to share certain information deemed sensitive with advertising companies and slowing down design and development to facilitate these idiotic dictates of intelligence agencies.

Yeah, I don't believe they really care one way or another about principle whatsoever - it's clearly a "bottom line" issue for them.

Of course, the more interesting question is, bureaucratic inertia aside, why are the European and American governments so determined to keep and expand every aspect of their intelligence programs?  I mean, we all know its not about terrorism.  OK, we can use control freakery or voyeurism as an excuse, but only so far.  Yet they act like you're proposing sacrificing their firstborn to Moloch whenever you mention that, maybe, we don't need to insert CCTV into the ocipital nerve of every living thing in the country.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Faust on November 04, 2014, 03:51:49 pm
No, Apple have actually designed a system where it's pretty much impossible for either marketing companies or governments to access the kind of data they want, and are currently implementing it on one of their newer services (I can't remember which, not inclined to search atm).  I think if it were a matter of limited access and no screwing around with the safety parameters, they may be more inclined to agree, but it's not.  Full access means everything laid bare, and purposefully degrading security measures (the NSA and GCHQ's major activity after bulk surveillance) puts their systems at major risk of being compromised by hackers. 

Given some of the more sophisticated hacks of late, including the Morgan Stanley one, I can definitely see that worrying more capital intensive firms...like Apple.  Not to mention degraded security, like in the case of the iCloud hack, seriously threaten the prestige of the firm.  If actors and other influential celebs don't feel secure, they wont back a product, making the product less viable overall.

Even more specifically then potential threats: Remember the google mail hack from a few years back by both chinese scam sites and more importantly Chinese intelligence services gained direct access to users mail accounts after having discovered the back door google had been ordered to implement.

Apple, microsoft etc almost certainly don't give a conceivable shit about peoples privacy. It is because the intrusive methods of the NSA have violated the one and only thing that is sacred to these companies:

It cost them money. Huge amounts of money for security audits after intrusions occur, loss of revenue over not being able to share certain information deemed sensitive with advertising companies and slowing down design and development to facilitate these idiotic dictates of intelligence agencies.

Yeah, I don't believe they really care one way or another about principle whatsoever - it's clearly a "bottom line" issue for them.

Of course, the more interesting question is, bureaucratic inertia aside, why are the European and American governments so determined to keep and expand every aspect of their intelligence programs?  I mean, we all know its not about terrorism.  OK, we can use control freakery or voyeurism as an excuse, but only so far.  Yet they act like you're proposing sacrificing their firstborn to Moloch whenever you mention that, maybe, we don't need to insert CCTV into the ocipital nerve of every living thing in the country.

It would be the perfect platform for almost untraceable insider trading/corporate espionage, a lot of people could get very rich from it, and could potentially stack the market in specific groups favor.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Cain on November 04, 2014, 04:47:27 pm
That was my potential thinking.  Keith Alexander, the former NSA head, commands a truly exorbinant fee to work as a "consultant" for major Wall Street financial firms.  In the UK, it's practically a revolving door between the big investment banks and the intelligence services, at certain levels anyway.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on November 20, 2014, 09:41:32 pm
Been coming for a while:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30138025

Quote
Comedian and activist Mark Thomas and five other people are launching legal action against the Met Police for monitoring their journalistic activity.

The group wants police to destroy files in a secret Scotland Yard database.

They allege that the Yard's National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit is unlawfully holding information on them.

The Met said it would respond to the notice it had received of the action in due course.

Quote
Mark Thomas said: "The fact that none of the journalists are suspected of criminality but all of them cover stories of police and corporate wrongdoing hints at something more sinister, that the police seem to be spying on those who seek to hold them to account.

"The inclusion of journalists on the domestic extremist database seems to be a part of a disturbing police spying network, from the Stephen Lawrence family campaign to Hillsborough families, from undercover officers' relationships with women to the role of the police in the construction blacklist.

These days, I suppose it must be getting suspicious to not be on any lists. Given the mindless bureaucracy and money thrown into this pit it almost wouldn't surprise me to see a "not the lists list" leaked. Almost.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Reginald Ret on November 23, 2014, 09:22:44 am
Mark Thomas is a good man.

RE: Checks and balances are supposed to check and balance government and corporate interests, but they are working together more and more. Cooperation is nice, but it kinda sucks that they are working together against humans.

Humans are no longer the dominant organizational pattern on this planet.
Title: Re: Prism and Verizon surveillance discussion thread
Post by: Junkenstein on February 27, 2015, 06:19:55 pm
On the note of Mark Thomas, the current show is "Cuckooed".

In short, without too much detail, it involves a personal instance of (Possibly corporate) spying during actions against the arms trade.

Large parts I was familiar with from other contexts and it's still quite fucking grim.

http://www.markthomasinfo.co.uk/

Quote
ix NUJ members have discovered that their lawful journalistic and union activities are being monitored and recorded by the Metropolitan Police. They are now taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Home Secretary to challenge this ongoing police surveillance.
The NUJ members involved in the legal challenge include Jules Mattsson, Mark Thomas, Jason Parkinson, Jess Hurd, David Hoffman and Adrian Arbib.
All of them have worked on media reports that have exposed corporate and state misconduct and they have each also previously pursued litigation or complaints arising from police misconduct. In many of those cases, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner has been forced to pay damages, apologise and admit liability to them after their journalistic rights were curtailed by his officers at public events.

Quote
The union is extremely concerned by the lack of legal safeguards to protect the press and trade unions from state interference, and believes the actions of the authorities do not abide by domestic law and the European Convention on Human Rights, including Article 8 on privacy, Article 10 on freedom of expression and Article 11 on freedom of assembly and association.

Taking bets, etc. etc.

Seriously, given the likely size of the total list, I'd bet you could throw more than a couple of names out and likely be correct.