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. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Machiavellian twist?

    Firstly you must accept that governments will always have their secrets, they always have and always will. I hold no particular view on the rights or otherwise of these people. Once you accept that everyone is doing it there can be no excuse for allowing any data to be lost unless you want it to be disseminated.

    What I find most surprising in all this and other "exposes" is the apparent ease with which this information is obtained. If this is truly the case then govt must apply some proper security that prevents the access in the first place and they should also thank these people which has at times included some bright teenagers for highlighting the weaknesses in their systems. Of course, once each weakness is identified it should be remediated, to not do so is a failing on the part of the government and their competency should be called into question. I suggest that rather than trying to imprson the leakers they should be employed as they appear to be outsmarting their peers.

    Then you should be very careful about who you vote for at elections. As the saying goes ' The people get the government they vote for' or don't...assuming they have a vote and live in a democracy which thankfully some of us. Let's hope this all ends well for all of us.

    FYI - I'm anonymous because it is clear that those that can will know who I am and I understand that. For the rest of you I don't want the fame or glory as this is just my opinion.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please

    Could those of you that swear please desist. It detracts from your point, also it's so boring. The only way to make an impact and change something you don't like is to think clearly and honestly.

    1. bpfh

      Re: Please

      > Could those of you that swear please desist.

      You must be new here....

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Smart Man and Women or Virtual Machine*

    The budget, and the activities, of the intelligence services should be proportionate to the real threat and very focused on the most critical threats to public safety. It certainly doesn't include "serious financial fraud”! … Graham Cobb

    I think you might like to consider, GC, although to either uncover or discover proof positive and extortionate will be very unlikely given the foe and competition and opposition, that the smarter intelligence services are budgeted and active in proportion to the real threat and very focused on the most critical threats to public safety and it certainly does include serious financial fraud and quantitatively eased fund man management.

    And every public safety/national security/private government attempt to maintain and retain a status quo steering stranglehold on the fiscal slavery entity which servers discriminately both the useful tool and useless fool their paper wealth and virtual treasure, outs another vector and sector of vulnerability to exploit with the prime excess extreme choices being to either aid or attack/reinforce and strengthen security or overwhelm catastrophically and destroy completely in a series of flash zeroday events/secretively programmed sorties for stealthy alternative missions command and control.

    And in this day and age, whenever that is a natural expected default position and ability of both the unusual and traditionally secret and sinister national and internetional intelligence services, for the likes of Big Brother Blighty Boys and Gals at GCHQ/CESG/MI5/MI6/BT not to be proactive and leading in all major fields, would be a colossus failing and a guarantee of swift western based influence decline.

    A simple question of the supposedly in charge government minister and foreign secretary to be either vaguely answered or be plausibly denied by Mr Hague, would clear up any ambiguity about colossus intelligence defence failings and/or losses which can adversely catastrophically impact upon established order positions/hierarchies/Projects for the New American Century

    And 10/10 to El Reg and Duncan Campbell for creating this haystack of sharp needles for Big Brother Blighty Boys and Gals at GCHQ/CESG/MI5/MI6/BT to find mentors in.

    * In Commendable Command and EMPowering Control Worlds with Quantum Communications [No Specific Attributable Base] is the Live Sexual Human/Programmable Virtual Machine into AI, a convenient and convivial Singularity which brings to Life and Reality and Virtual Reality Programming and Projects, all of the Huge Benefits that can be imagined in a Conflict Free Zone of Infinite Variety and Immaculate Provision ….. Delivery Lines and Supply Roots and Routes to Proprietary Intellectual Property of Definite Vision.

  4. Javapapa

    Anyone know what this is?

    23.671402, 58.117301

    Located southwest of GHQC compound.

    1. Big_Boomer Silver badge

      Re: Anyone know what this is?

      Looks like an antenna array to me. Probably switchable/directional.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Big_Boomer Re: Anyone know what this is?

        "Looks like an antenna array to me....." Real listening kit will be hidden, from before the point of installation. Like the arrays 'discovered' on the British Embassy roof in Germany, they will be inside domes or covers that stop people simply looking at them to guess wavelengths and transmitter/receiver power. Dummy domes may even be built to lead spies into thinking listening gear is more widespread than it really is or to distract those that might seek to attack the listening gear. Allegedly, the gear could be in any 'building' on site as any of the buildings could actually be a fake constructed of wire and plastic or cloth panels, so it looks from a satellite shot or to some guy in the road like a hangar or garage, when in reality it is just a cover for the real array.

        But, in this case, Snowjob talks about submarine cable taps, so there is no need for an array anyway. Which means the array openly displayed probably has a quite harmless ATC or communications role.

    2. Bloakey1

      Re: Anyone know what this is?

      There appears to be a feed to it from the compound so at a rough guess I would say that it is a very interesting looking antenna array.

  5. WatAWorld

    Good work. Being patriots to your country often involves going against bureaucrats.

    Patriots to your country.

    The sad thing is that too many in government and military service put loyalty to unit, division, department or ministry ahead of loyalty to the nation and its people.

    That makes those officers, soldiers and civil servants traitors against the country and its people.

  6. WatAWorld

    Spying destroys democracy - an act of 'international treason' against democracy.

    The people who have most to fear from GCHQ are honest loyal Britons and their loyal allies.

    Enemy security agencies and terrorists know they're targets of spying and take precautions, where as our allies do not expect us to spy on them in return for them not spying on us.

    That is why the Guardian reports that at G7 conferences GCHQ is successful at spying on everyone but the Russians (and the other 2 five eyes there, US and Canada).

    If enemies are encrypting their data who is being spied upon?

    To what end are the hundreds and billions of pounds being spent on?

    The answer is to fight foreign commercial interests and to fight democratic movements.

    Fighting democracy at home and abroad by keeping track of grassroots movements and sabotaging them.

    Sabotaging opposition parties.

    Why was Tony Blair re-elected so many times? Were the British public that stupid?

    Or did the Americans ensure the other parties could not select an effect leader to run against him?

    We won't know for 35 years, maybe 100 years.

    How does the pond scum at these agencies sleep at night?

    Spying on enemy militaries and enemy governments, spying on enemy arms makers, that is their appropriate job -- a good decent job.

    But spying on people's political discussions, spying on peaceful political discussion and decent -- that is an act of 'international treason' against democracy.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Writing to my MP?

    I'm tempted to write to my MP.

    Not because it's likely to change anything, more for amusement value.

    I'm open to suggestions as to what needs to be said.

    Then maybe 38degrees, for a more receptive audience (so to speak).

    Please retweet (or whatever the trendy thing to do is).

  8. Trooper_ID
    Thumb Down

    Common Sense? It seems not

    way to improve the security of our Nation. Kinda thought the Register had a bit more common sense about them. Interestingly if Duncan claims he got this from Snowden, doesn’t that tend to imply that Snowden lied about not having shared the [stolen] data beyond those who we know handled his existing disclosures?

  9. briesmith

    Maturity

    We are used to these days indulging our "fuck you" attitude and glorying in our freedom to be anarchic. We doff our (baseball) caps to no man; bend the knee to absolutely no fucker whatsoever. And it's all so modern, so exciting, so "dude, you're the man and so the fuck, yeah, am I!"

    But sometimes, children, things in life are serious; have serious consequences. I think over the coming years the more mature amongst will recognise that our government has to do this shit so that we can continue to live our "fuck you all" lives, with no nasty Mr Putin arriving to tell is that we can't.

    We will slowly come to agree that you can't yell "Fire!" in a theatre and you can't steal your country's secrets and publicise them because you're pissed off at the world, God, Tony Blair, David Cameron, your hair stylist or whoever.

    It's all so far "Mum's out, Dad's out, let's be rude" sort of stuff but we need to wise up a little, get ourselves under control and be a little more mature. Snowden has undoubtedly caused the loss of a lot of US/UK taxpayers' treasure and, sadly, probably some lives as well.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Maturity

      But sometimes, children, things in life are serious; have serious consequences. I think over the coming years the more mature amongst will recognise that our government has to do this shit so that we can continue to live our "fuck you all" lives, with no nasty Mr Putin arriving to tell is that we can't......... briesmith

      You may like to ponder on the fact, which incidentally, designedly and very conveniently can always at any prime and sub-prime time of its future drivers' choosing morph into and masquerade required and/or desired proaction and HyperRadioProActive IT as an absolutely fabulous fabless fiction, that the more mature realise that practically all governments, including our government, which I am assuming you would be calling UKGBNI and all their attendant supply and security, defense and attack forces and services, haven't a clue about the shit that they should be doing for a better life for all in peace and harmony, rather than their continued doing of the shit that they do be doing to continue their living their "fuck you all" lives.

      And as for your two final paragraphs ......

      We will slowly come to agree that you can't yell "Fire!" in a theatre and you can't steal your country's secrets and publicise them because you're pissed off at the world, God, Tony Blair, David Cameron, your hair stylist or whoever.

      It's all so far "Mum's out, Dad's out, let's be rude" sort of stuff but we need to wise up a little, get ourselves under control and be a little more mature. Snowden has undoubtedly caused the loss of a lot of US/UK taxpayers' treasure and, sadly, probably some lives as well.

      ..... well, of course anyone can do the first paragraph if they so choose to do so and/but there are likely to be both personal and wider public consequences, both known and fully expected, and unknown and unintended or not planned for because they were never considered/realised/thought possible.

      As for the dig at Snowden,...... how much of a loss of US/UK taxpayers' treasure and, sadly, probably some lives as well, do you reckon the warrior interventions and immature political adventures into foreign lands and alien theatres of engagement have cost ........ and is the resultant live world view for all improved, and enhanced and moved up and along to any number of higher levels? Or has the destruction and degradation been quite epic on a criminal scale?

  10. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Sub-Prime Dummies in Charge of Prime Operating Systems ..... A Recipe for Programmed Disaster

    All your information belongs to US [but maybe not also shared with GCHQ?] ....... http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2014-06-08/nsa-whistleblower-snowden-never-had-access-juiciest-documents ....... and still the system can't get anything to work right and seamlessly well. Problems are always as a result of failure in top tier levels and compartments of leadership/monitoring mentorship.

    Speaking Truth unto Power delivers Commandeering Control and ..... "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." -Voltaire ....... supplies only those who have lost rule and reign over you and are most probably quite rightfully fearful for their continued safety and security protection.

  11. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Baby Boomer Damp Squibs from the Lands of the Vampire Squid

    To believe or not to believe what is spin and hype, that is the question that delivers alternate virtual realities and defines and identifies which media moguls are more of a creative dynamic force for greater good or worse bad.

    "Looks like an antenna array to me....." Real listening kit will be hidden, from before the point of installation. Like the arrays 'discovered' on the British Embassy roof in Germany, they will be inside domes or covers that stop people simply looking at them to guess wavelengths and transmitter/receiver power. Dummy domes may even be built to lead spies into thinking listening gear is more widespread than it really is or to distract those that might seek to attack the listening gear. Allegedly, the gear could be in any 'building' on site as any of the buildings could actually be a fake constructed of wire and plastic or cloth panels, so it looks from a satellite shot or to some guy in the road like a hangar or garage, when in reality it is just a cover for the real array.

    But, in this case, Snowjob talks about submarine cable taps, so there is no need for an array anyway. Which means the array openly displayed probably has a quite harmless ATC or communications role. … Matt Bryant

    Talking of snowjobs, Matt Bryant, both pharmaceutical and metaphorical, here be something which isn't and delivers a perfect storming tempest, both real and virtually protected by CyberIntelAIgent Security Services ....... Universal Virtual Forces with Immaculately Resourced Assets

    After all, if you're a NSA official and you've built this superb spying apparatus, you've got a problem if no one knows about it. It's fine to spy on millions – billions – but part of the program, an important part, is intimidation. If you want to control populations and make them fearful, they have to know they are being acted upon.

    That is as may be, DB*, and part of the master machismo/fascisti plan, but whenever you be doing something that you could reasonably expect the system to need to be seriously interested in, and making a house call on primary actors because of what it would be claiming to be able to do and to be able to further enable and either constructively disrupt and create or catastrophically compromise, degrade and destroy, and that doesn’t happen in a timely manner, then are the pimped systems security and protection values and abilities and intimidations exposed and proven to be ineffective vapourware and a toxic and self-destructive confidence trick which fools no one but fools with useless cyber tools and a very revealing lack of necessary virtual national, international and internetional intelligence to tackle future command and control power issues.

    Those wannabe emperor systems admins are wearing no clothes.

    If you don't wanna play a great rigged game, play a more attractive and intimately addictive great game changer. And more Holywood than Hollywood would assure adventure capital was not to be wasted on Max Factor actor and Wall Street hood nose candy ...... which be another snowjob of note.

    * Daily Bell .....http://thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35375/ResetTheNet-Versus-Deeper-Change/

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