back to article Revealed: GCHQ's beyond top secret Middle Eastern internet spy base

Above-top-secret details of Britain’s covert surveillance programme - including the location of a clandestine British base tapping undersea cables in the Middle East - have so far remained secret, despite being leaked by fugitive NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden. Government pressure has meant that some media organisations, despite …

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  1. FuzzyTheBear
    Black Helicopters

    Biting the hand ..

    that feeds IT is spot on for that article .. We HAVE to bite back. This has gone on long enough , we pay for that shit , whether in Canada UK USA we're all targets , files made on us not only by governments but commercial entities that feed em everything they got . Look at one point we have to take a side and start fighting back. We're living in open air prisons. The walls are electronic. Cameras , mics , policemen wearing cameras shooting everything , all the communications and connections tapped and harvested.

    The surveillance is total , now , today , this minute , the prison is real. Leaks gave everyone a feeling of uneasyness , we all live under the " oh .. if you express your views of dissent the government will know who you are and put it in your file " .. look , it's worse than we think . So .. what's the reality ?

    We do not need speculation , we need hard facts. The publication today of those informations is helpfull to the People who's Governments constantly dismiss laws and constitution and give go aheads to acts that are AGAINST it's own People. The People are part of the real targets . The Governments are out of order and their agencies are the outlaws , not us. Who needs walls when you control electronically every aspect of their lives and can " go get " anyone because they got their cells on with location available at the press of a button ? If i had said this 10 years ago , i'd have been a loonie ..nowadays , can we dismiss the discourse and not find it to be an accurate representation of what the Goverment is doing ?

    The electronic noose around our necks is real. The walls around us are real and they're almost complete. We surpass Orwell's worst nightmare by a landslide . Is it not time to bite back ?

    We have a choice , we start to voice WAY stronger voices , we start getting in the streets and force changes , or we let the final bricks be laid and kiss the illusion of freedom we got left goodbye ?

    My mind is well balanced and what i see ahead scares the shit out of me . I see the next brick .

    Frankly , i think it's already too late.

    Imagine if all they accumulated on everyone is being put to use to lay criminal charges ..

    " hey Paul .. i got a new batch of pot " < set of handcuffs >

    " hey ma .. my driver's license is expired .. < geolocation > < ticket >

    " i give you the job , ill pay cash so we don't pay taxes " < similar set of handcuffs >

    See what i am driving at ? What they pretend is to try to fight spying etc can be put to use to convict people that normally would not have been. The game for our freedom is on. It's up to you to fight for your rights. Just hope it aint too late. Trusting the Governments ? You got to be kidding .

    1. OrsonX

      "the prison is real."

      The guy sitting next to you on the plane with a bomb instead of a battery in his iPad is also real.

      I know which I'd rather.

      1. Vic

        Re: "the prison is real."

        The guy sitting next to you on the plane with a bomb instead of a battery in his iPad is also real

        No he isn't. You just made him up.

        I know which I'd rather.

        I'd rather have Santa Claus visit every day. But as he's fictional as well, that doesn't make for a particularly useful discussion.

        Vic.

        1. OrsonX

          @Vic Re: the prison is real

          Well, let me see.

          There was the shoe bomber.

          There was the underpants bomber.

          There was the Lockerbie bomber.

          Mine was an EXAMPLE, do you know what that word means?

          Your contribution doesn't make for a useful discussion either does it?

          1. asiaseen

            Re: @Vic the prison is real

            There was the shoe bomber.

            There was the underpants bomber.

            Well, they were both failures of airport security so that doesn't make for a useful contribution either.

          2. Bloakey1

            Re: @Vic the prison is real

            <snip>

            "There was the Lockerbie bomber."

            <snip>

            Who was nothing directly to do with Libya!!! This has been known for years but Ghadaffi was the US' bug bear 'de jour' and he got blamed.

            A clue:

            US Vincennes - Iranian Airbus = Iran+PFLP+George Habash - Pan Am Flight 103

            They could not even release the truth on that one and its been known about for years, even a lot of the victims kith and kin refuse to follow the Libyan line.

  2. I Am Spartacus
    Paris Hilton

    The bigger question

    The bigger question is not whether el Reg should publish this (yes, because it seems we are the only buggers who don't know it) but if it is THAT secret how the hell did Snowden come to have a copy of it?

    Seems to me that some US agency have been pretty damn open with our countries secrets. What did Snowden need this data collection details for? He was a contract analyst. There is a lot going on in my company that I don't tell the person sitting next to me about, let alone a contractor. Likewise, I only get told things when I have a need to know.

    So who told Snowden? And Why?

    Now that's a question I would like the answer to.

    Paris, because she is not a black helicopter and, well, she tells everybody.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: The bigger question

      Perhaps it's belated revenge for Burgess, McLean and Philby?

      It does seem odd that this stuff was supposedly gleaned from an open wiki style site, and yet is supposed to be above top secret. As I understand it, there's loads of stuff above top secret, but it's supposed to be shown to people cleared on a more individual basis.

      Given how many people are likely to have known about these bases, I'd have thought they'd be below top secret, as the FCO, MOD, SIS and GCHQ would know, not to mention BT and Cable & Wireless (or whoever owns them now).

      1. Psyx

        Re: The bigger question

        "It does seem odd that this stuff was supposedly gleaned from an open wiki style site, and yet is supposed to be above top secret."

        Wiki-style intelligence assets came about in the wake of a few epic screw-ups which were due to over-compartmentalisation of information and lack of information sharing in the intelligence community. They are classified in nature, but obviously not very well compartmentalised.

        The problem is that it's only as secure as the weakest link and puts an awful lot of information in the weakest link's hands. It was deemed worth the risk. Manning obtained his data in a similar fashion: A pool of information.

        Governments shout a lot about the damage that the leaks have done, but essentially it came down to bad screening on their own behalf, as Manning was a clear and obvious risk and should have had access revoked at the first sign of trouble.

        "Given how many people are likely to have known about these bases, I'd have thought they'd be below top secret, as the FCO, MOD, SIS and GCHQ would know, not to mention BT and Cable & Wireless (or whoever owns them now)."

        Details will be highly secret. Generalities might not be (ie the media -El Reg included- could be putting a lot of spin on this). And plenty of highly classified projects are known about in more general terms by those who work in the vicinity: They just don't know details. Knowing that a building exists is not the same as knowing what goes on inside it.

    2. Psyx

      Re: The bigger question

      "What did Snowden need this data collection details for? He was a contract analyst. There is a lot going on in my company that I don't tell the person sitting next to me about, let alone a contractor. Likewise, I only get told things when I have a need to know.

      So who told Snowden? And Why?"

      Without wishing to sound sarcastic, you might want to start by Googling 'how did Snowdon get his information'. It's all out there. It was not information that he was supposed ot have access to, but he used his position to gain access.

      The short answer is of course "Because he was a sys admin, and sys admins can get pretty much anything out of their network that they want".

  3. joeW

    Hmmmm

    "Among the cables specifically identified in one document as currently being intercepted or “on cover” are an Irish connection"

    Nothing about that in the media over here yet. Surprising, there's nothing like a bit of "Look what the Brits are up to now!!" to shift papers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmmm

      Well considering the past and present activities of the IRA and related groups, there should be no surprise at all about that one.

      1. joeW

        Re: Hmmmm

        > the past and present activities of the IRA and related groups

        ...gives the UK government the right to blanket-intercept all data coming from Ireland? Come off it.

        The provos did what they did without using the Internet at all.

    2. Bloakey1

      Re: Hmmmm

      The Irish intelligence services are some of the most secretive and active in the world.

      I was "strolling" through Beirut in 83 and bumped into a load of them, same goes for a little wander through Chad on Epervier and guess what? the boys were there with a few Rangers as a security det.

      1. Emperor Zarg

        Re: Hmmmm

        Are you sure that the ARW det wasn't just standard security for Irish citizens visiting Beirut back then? They were probably just tourists.

        1. Bloakey1

          Re: Hmmmm

          "Are you sure that the ARW det wasn't just standard security for Irish citizens visiting Beirut back then? They were probably just tourists."

          Nahh. They were interested in my FAMAS as they were looking at getting the AUG at the time. We had a good chat and I met up with some of them in a place called Ballyshannon when I was on leave.

          Anyway, in 83 there were very few tourists Irish or otherwise in them parts.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmm

        From talking to members of the then 16/5 Lancers who did a tour of Beiruit in 1983 the Irish military were embarrassingly useless. When the IDF drove up to their (Irish) check point they opened the gates and waved them thru'.

        Maybe the Brit's would have done the same, but they were never put in that position.

        1. G.Y.

          Re: Hmmmm

          '1983' should by 1982

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: AC Re: Hmmmm

          ".....in 1983 the Irish military were embarrassingly useless. When the IDF drove up to their (Irish) check point they opened the gates and waved them thru'....." More than a bit unfair. Apart from the futility of the tiny Irish contingent trying to stop the whole Israeli Army, the UN had issued orders not to get involved in fighting. It is a simple UN oxymoron - peacekeeping only works when both sides want their to be peace, so when both sides are itching to kill each other there is not much the UN can do other than stand aside, make notes and issue "strongly worded letters".

        3. Bloakey1

          Re: Hmmmm

          "From talking to members of the then 16/5 Lancers who did a tour of Beiruit in 1983 the Irish military were embarrassingly useless. When the IDF drove up to their (Irish) check point they opened the gates and waved them thru'.

          Maybe the Brit's would have done the same, but they were never put in that position"

          That never happened in Beirut and I strongly suspect it did not happen in Tibnine even under a UN mandate! The bulk of the Irish were deep in the South at Tibnine and the few 16/5th Lancers that were around were in Beirut. The Irish Army did very well down there and were liked by all, they often had fire fights with the Christian Militia, Hezbollah and the Israeli's.

          Likewise there were no Israeli's 'en masse' in Beirut, they surrounded it yes, they sent members of Sin Bet in to Sabra Chatilla with the Christian Militia yes but no not in Beirut 'en masse' or in a position to go into any barracks at will.

          I was there in 83 and there was heavy fighting, the Brits had about 100 troops in total and we did not see them on the street when the excrement hit the helical device. There was not enough of them anyway and political considerations hindered them further.

  4. NomNomNom

    most interesting thing for me will be to see if the rest of the media pick up on this and which ones don't

    1. Fibbles

      Here's my guess: none of them.

      Maybe the Guardian will mention it in passing. Since it's no longer an 'EXCLUSIVE!!!' I can't see them being too motivated though.

  5. The Man Himself Silver badge
    Coat

    Oh, the irony

    I can't help but smile at the irony of BT being referred to as REMEDY....in my experience they have always been the cause of problems, never the remedy

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: Oh, the irony

      Probably just a reference to the tickets GCHQ have to raise.

      P1 ; Remedy Ticket 1984: GCHQ request copy of everything, everywhere.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is this a surprise?

    Why are any of you surprised by this? We all work in IT and have at least a vague idea of what might be technically feasible to achieve. Every country has domestic, overseas and Sig Int intelligence agencies like MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. What was it you thought they all did, if not this? No-one gave up and went home after the Cold War finished, they all refocused on the new threats, whilst keeping an eye on the stuff that never went away. I'm not saying they should all have carte blanche to do what they like, but they all operate with a modicum of oversight, doing the stuff you don't really want to know about, but just want to know gets done somewhere, by someone, just in case. If they didn't do it, there'd be plenty of people wise after the event asking why not after the next big incident. Everything, everywhere has always had the potential to be monitored. The only difference is the means of doing it. I'm sure there's still rooms somewhere full of people steaming open other people's letters. Our enemy's enemy has always been our friend, even when they end up becoming the next enemy a bit later on, or had been the previous one a bit earlier.

    When I was a student, twenty-odd years ago, when email was relatively new, there was already a long running joke about the Americans doing key word matching, so if you put "PRESIDENT" in your email footer, it'd end up in an ever-increasing pile of email that some poor sod in the States would eventually have to read, and that was pre-9/11 and the Iraq debacle.

    Common sense would suggest that a country's intelligence budget would be in rough proportion to its defence budget, unless they were trying to substitute one for the other. Given that we have one of the biggest defence budgets in the Western world, our intelligence budget is probably equally chunky. Wouldn't you rather they spent that cash with a UK-based firm, even one as ropey as BT?

    AC as I might need a security clearance on my next job!

    1. Valeyard

      Re: Why is this a surprise?

      It's technically feasible for me to get mugged on the way home by a cop for my phone then return to my house to find it's been done over too in a massive search just in case

      That doesn't mean I wouldn't be angry if it did in fact happen

      they can do a lot of stuff, and you have to hope they don't (thought everyone living in the cold war under threat of nuclear strikes)

      1. WatAWorld

        Re: Why is this a surprise?

        <snip>

        "AC as I might need a security clearance on my next job!"

        Gee, and you posted on websites that publish articles hostile to the bureaucracy.

        Your IP address corresponds to an IP address that messaged a forum that was messaged by someone who messaged a forum that Snowden visited.

        Your sunk by the very traitors we're all against.

    2. Bloakey1

      Re: Why is this a surprise?

      <snip>

      "AC as I might need a security clearance on my next job!"

      Denied as you were complicit in disseminating this article and your positive vetting indicates you have a predilection towards under aged gerbils and macaques.

      Go to the foreign office son, you will among your own kind.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why is this a surprise?

        "your positive vetting indicates you have a predilection towards under aged gerbils and macaques."

        Shirley no problem for positive vetting? It's your predilections that they DON'T know about that will concern them.

    3. Emperor Zarg

      Re: Why is this a surprise?

      "What was it you thought they all did, if not this? No-one gave up and went home after the Cold War finished, they all refocused on the new threats, whilst keeping an eye on the stuff that never went away."

      That's just it though, they didn't refocus on the new threats. Instead, they've been hoovering up everything almost globally, on the basis that it might come in useful sometime. A bit like all those old cables and hardware odds and ends we all keep.

      What I, and probably most people, expected them to do was targeted, directed surveillance of known or likely persons of interest. Not facilitating an Orwellian wet dream, bordering on totalitarian.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    British representative

    In Geneva, the very first meeting of the Coordinating Committee for Intercontinental Research Network (CCIRN) was in May 1988. This committee was the first attempt to harmonize the inter-regional operation of the emerging world-wide research network.

    The second meeting took place in October 1988 at a summer resort in Western Virginia, sad and grey this particular autumn. The Americans turned up in force. Bill Bostwick, from the Department of Energy was the Chairman, Barry Leiner from the Department of Defense and Vint Cerf were present. The European representatives were thin on the ground: a German and British representative plus Francois Flückiger.

    In 1991, 80% of the internet capacity in Europe for international traffic was installed at CERN, in building 513.

  8. Magnus_Pym

    Now Trident makes sense.

    I always wondered why successive governments threatened to cancel Trident then backed down when they got read into the official secrets. I reckon Trident doesn't exist, at least not as advertised, but is a useful cover for grabbing huge amounts of tax pounds for these sort of projects.

    1. Fibbles

      Re: Now Trident makes sense.

      Well, if it comes to all out nuclear war then the UK actually having nuclear weapons isn't really going to make any difference to the outcome. They're best used as a deterrent. If a foreign country is sure the UK have nuclear weapons, then they are just as effective a deterrent regardless of whether or not they actually exist in our arsenal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Now Trident makes sense.

        "They're best used as a deterrent. If a foreign country is sure the UK have nuclear weapons, then they are just as effective a deterrent regardless of whether or not they actually exist in our arsenal."

        Tell that to Sadam. The excuse of being able to deploy in 30mins was the prime public reason for the Iraq war. It was bollocks then as it is now.

        1. WatAWorld

          Re: Now Trident makes sense.

          That Saddam had nukes was the excuse given to us.

          Blair and Cheney knew Saddam didn't have nukes and the proof is that if he did we wouldn't have invaded without first neutralizing them. And if we'd neutralized them there'd be physical proof they existed.

  9. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Power of Paper Money is in What/Who it can Buy/Fund* to Command and Control Media and IT

    the intelligence agency annually pays selected companies tens of millions of pounds to run secret teams which install hidden connections which copy customers' data and messages to the spooks’ processing centres.

    Strap +4 levels of systems operation …. Invariably always way above TS/SCI graded pay levels and where payment of hundreds of millions of pounds/dollars/euros/rubles/yen/renminbi/rupee to select customers directly providing processing centres with spook information and smarter autonomous intelligence. And so ridiculously able and enabled as to be considered as unlikely as impossible and thus easily plausibly denied to aid cover and stealth progress in programmming and projects ….. which at exalted levels are one and the same and different in applications for Global Operating Devices.

    GCHQ doing ITs Bletchley Park HutXSSXXXX/Per Ardua Adastral Park thing extremely successfully? Or do you think the intelligence Government uses and pays through the nose for, is crap/bullshit?

    * A sort of Lend/Lease clone/drone

  10. Sir Runcible Spoon

    The propaganda is strong with this one

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2645347/Edward-Snowden-left-Britain-wide-open-attack-revealing-GCHQ-spies-Al-Qaeda.html

    Astonishing amounts of bullshit. I thought the inclusion of the blown up bus was particularly ironic since GCHQ have been slurping data forever yet managed to completely not stop it.

    I'm also not quite sure how it is Snowden's fault that the terrorists are taking steps to hide their communications.

    If GCHQ et.al hadn't decided to completely undermine the tenets of democracy then no-one would have been upset, and the motivation for revealing the details would not have precipitated.

    As it is they overreached themselves, got caught red handed and are now trying to blame the messenger for a situation they created.

    I just wish I weren't aware of how many people are too ignorant and lazy to give a shit that they are effectively slaves. Their apathy is what is encouraging the spooks to keep pushing the boundaries - so ultimately they are to blame.

    I occasionally try to educate people in a non-tin-hattery and non frothy kind of way the extent to which their lives are circumscribed by the state, but all I get back is 'eh?'. Cunts.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Ah, spies...

      What are they good for?

      ********** *******!

      1. Stevie

        Re: Ah, spies...

        Well, for one thing they found the Panzer divisions lying across the path of the ground forces advance route chosen for Market-Garden and gave early warning.

        Of course, nobody listened because they were Dutch.

        Personally, I'll never forgive Karla for the damage done to the Circus by that swine Bill Heydon.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: The propaganda is strong with this one

      If GCHQ et.al hadn't decided to completely undermine the tenets of democracy then no-one would have been upset, and the motivation for revealing the details would not have precipitated.

      As it is they overreached themselves, got caught red handed and are now trying to blame the messenger for a situation they created.

      I just wish I weren't aware of how many people are too ignorant and lazy to give a shit that they are effectively slaves. Their apathy is what is encouraging the spooks to keep pushing the boundaries - so ultimately they are to blame.

      I occasionally try to educate people in a non-tin-hattery and non frothy kind of way the extent to which their lives are circumscribed by the state, but all I get back is 'eh?'. Cunts. … Sir Runcible Spoon

      Sir Runcible Spoon, Howdy Doody,

      The apathy of spooky hunters in not targeting slave drivers and corrupt renegade rogue government players in perverse cabineted offices encourages all boundary layers and hierarchies to both explode and implode with just the simple sharing of sensitive information in a form and phorms which be both edutaining and disturbing and not too difficult for most folk reasonably expected to be possessed of at least half an apparently working brain.

      But nature abhors a void, and the systemic failure of special intelligence supply servers to provide what is needed to prevent further ignorance surviving intact and uncorrected, with simple short programs highlighting relevant details for global targeting attention ……. Short Videos which Teach …… are Secret Intelligence Servers righting the wrong virtually autonomously and relatively anonymously.?!

      And just perfect for the likes of a DARPA into jousting with Great White Knights in Deep and Dark Webs with their IT and Virtual Terrain Team Cyber Grand Challenges ….. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/03/darpa_wants_to_build_human_free_defence_systems/

      [Now if I were paranoid, I would be thinking the non appearance of these few words which were posted a couple of hours ago (circa 1707hrs) was more than just an odd forum glitch and nothing at all to be concerned about :-) Life is a Great AI Game. Play IT well and prosper unbelievably :-)

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: The propaganda is strong with this one

        [quote][Now if I were paranoid, I would be thinking the non appearance of these few words which were posted a couple of hours ago (circa 1707hrs) was more than just an odd forum glitch and nothing at all to be concerned about :-) [/quote]

        I posted around the same time, presumable El Reg decided to turn on full moderation for this thread - can't imagine why :)

    3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: The propaganda is strong with this one

      If GCHQ et.al hadn't decided to completely undermine the tenets of democracy then no-one would have been upset, and the motivation for revealing the details would not have precipitated.

      As it is they overreached themselves, got caught red handed and are now trying to blame the messenger for a situation they created.

      I just wish I weren't aware of how many people are too ignorant and lazy to give a shit that they are effectively slaves. Their apathy is what is encouraging the spooks to keep pushing the boundaries - so ultimately they are to blame.

      I occasionally try to educate people in a non-tin-hattery and non frothy kind of way the extent to which their lives are circumscribed by the state, but all I get back is 'eh?'. Cunts. … Sir Runcible Spoon

      Sir Runcible Spoon, Howdy Doody,

      The apathy of spooky hunters in not targeting slave drivers and corrupt renegade rogue government players in perverse cabineted offices encourages all boundary layers and hierarchies to both explode and implode with just the simple sharing of sensitive information in a form and phorms which be both edutaining and disturbing and not too difficult for most folk reasonably expected to be possessed of at least half an apparently working brain.

      But nature abhors a void, and the systemic failure of special intelligence supply servers to provide what is needed to prevent further ignorance surviving intact and uncorrected, with simple short programs highlighting relevant details for global targeting attention ……. “http://www.amanfrommars.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/140603-short-videos-which-teach.html …… are Secret Intelligence Servers righting the wrong virtually autonomously and relatively anonymously.

      And just perfect for the likes of a DARPA into jousting with Great White Knights in Deep and Dark Webs with their IT and Virtual Terrain Team Cyber Grand Challenges ….. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/03/darpa_wants_to_build_human_free_defence_systems/

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On The Other Hand

    I still keep getting the idea that all this Snowden Revelations, whistleblowing stuff isn't just a devious plot.

    Reducing trust and faith to the point where people have to throw in the towel or go mad. Because they can't trust anyone or anything anymore.

    Or maybe it's just the case that they don't care whether we know what they're doing. Because they know people won't do anything about it, other than express rightful indignation on the internet.

    It's a miserable outlook for for the future of so called civilisation either way.

  12. steward
    Facepalm

    I'm not sure...

    whether or not this entire article is an out-of-season April Fool's joke.

    Just look at the codenames, like "Circuit". This from the nation that gave the world Alan Turing?

    Either British spying has gotten so incompetent that it's obvious to anyone they're spying... or the writers at Vulture Central are having a good belly laugh today!

    1. Stevie

      Re: Just look at the codenames

      Yes. Anyone who has read Charles Stross' "Laundry" novels knows that codenames are two word phrases like "PURPLE EGGNOG" or "HORSE PHONEVOICE".

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: steward Re: I'm not sure...

      ".....Just look at the codenames, like "Circuit"....." In order to stop the enemy guessing what certain operations or projects pertain to, after WW2 the Brits started using randomly generated lists of words for projects, missions and operations. Each new mission or project gets a word from one of the lists, maybe two in some cases. The best known examples are the Rainbow Codes used for British high-tech projects which gave us such wonderful code names as Blue Steel, Red Cabbage and Purple Possum. This can lead to some interesting co-incidental names, such as the story that does the rounds of one SAS mission in Roman Catholic Ireland having been dubbed "Operation Condom".

      1. Bloakey1

        Re: steward I'm not sure...

        <snip>

        "such as the story that does the rounds of one SAS mission in Roman Catholic Ireland having been dubbed "Operation Condom""

        And operation Coffin. The poor SF blokes did not know whether they were coming or going.

  13. Lars Silver badge
    Coat

    Top secret

    I remember Intel had the text "Top Secret" pre-printed on every sheet of paper in their copying machines (Inside Intel by Tim Jackson). Companies and Government will call as much as possible secret as they want to feel protected and very important. It would surprise me if governments around the world did not know all about the wiretapping by other Governments. What they might not want us to know is how much it costs and that they also spy on their own population. I suppose it would also be embarrassing if it came out that they knew very well that there where no WMDs in Iraq and that perhaps the only reason was that Iraq had started to do oil business in Euro. I suppose it would also be embarrassing if they know everything about the money held in tax heavens but are doing nothing about it as their own people are deeply involved.

    In other words, no deep secrets where revealed nor by Snowden or the Register.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Top secret

      [as many secrets as possible]

      Staff canteen menus in some dull locations are Restricted or Confidential. Clearly that information needs to be kept from prying eyes - and not because there is caviar, lobster and truffles on offer.

  14. P0l0nium

    Don't blame Snowden... Blame the nerds that put all this stuff in a place where Snowden could access it ... OR DID THEY???

    The whole thing is too ludicrous to pass the sniff test... Snowden and Assange have GOT to be stooges. GCHQ's parents are the people who ran "double cross" FFS, give them some credit.

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