back to article How NSA spooks spaffed my DAD'S DATA ALL OVER THE WEB

Shock, horror, scandal! America's NSA secretly took data from my website for its fiendish PRISM web-snooping project - and it ended up blasted all over the internet! Top-secret slides detailing the massive electronic surveillance programme were leaked last week by ex-CIA techie Edward Snowden. A close inspection of the …

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  1. Amorous Cowherder
    Thumb Up

    Too bloody right!

    Too many people think photographer's images are free just because they're on "da web"!

    1. GT66

      Re: Too bloody right!

      Well why not, isn't that the excuse the US and UK governments are using for collecting your data?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too bloody right!

      put a watermark on it if you want to hoard it, you image miser!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Amorous Cowherder
        Facepalm

        Re: Too bloody right!

        "put a watermark on it if you want to hoard it, you image miser!"

        I see, it's the victim's fault. You mean like the classic, "She shouldn't have worn that short skirt!" defence?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Too bloody right!

          "I see, it's the victim's fault. You mean like the classic, "She shouldn't have worn that short skirt!" defence?"

          Very good point - round here it's usually "If they're running Windows/have an unsecured wireless point they deserve anything bad that happens to them." Hope your other upvoters aren't guilty of that little bit of hypocrisy ...

  2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Great coincidence...

    An article about an NSA project. The advert runs "Office 2013: A Breakthrough In Productivity".

    Productivity for whom?

  3. smudge
    Pirate

    Caught bang to rights

    Blatant copyright violation.

    You have no choice. You must send in Kim Dotcom to take down all NSA sites, confiscate all their data, apply for extradition of General Keith Alexander, and then... errr... find out if what you did was legal.

    1. Mystic Megabyte
      Happy

      Re: Caught bang to rights

      There is a really good firm called Prenda Law who will sort this out. Probably Pro Bono as they need the cash.

    2. Scott 26
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Caught bang to rights

      It'll be Mission Kim Possible! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tahF3jhU0Vk

  4. MrDamage
    Happy

    DCMA Takedown

    Get all of the PRISM servers taken offline until they pony up for the rights to use it, or immediate removal of the artwork with compensation for having used it already.

    1. heyrick Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: DCMA Takedown

      I think it'd be funny to DCMA the spooks. Let's see Obama squirm his way out of that one. Yes they are watching, and no they don't appear to care much about other people's rights (but, then, isn't that the origin of this problem?).

    2. Wize

      Re: DCMA Takedown

      Companies have had their servers taken away for scrutiny after lesser claims of copyright theft. Doable with the DoD? Could see someone trying to walk out of there with a box of servers.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DCMA Takedown

      "Get all of the PRISM servers taken offline until they pony up for the rights to use it, or immediate removal of the artwork with compensation for having used it already."

      Good luck with that.

      Laws aren't there to give the weak rights against the powerful; they are there to keep the weak in their place.

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: aggravated copyright violation

      But probably, like bankers, they are considered too important to jail by the DoJ!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: aggravated copyright violation

        But probably, like bankers, they are considered too important to jail by the DoJ!

        Not if the MAFIAA have their way! hook or by crook NSA staff will see the inside of a jail cell.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Сoward
        Joke

        Re: aggravated copyright violation

        But probably, like bankers, they are considered too important to jail by the DoJ!

        The RIAA will soon get that changed, what with the TPP anti piracy pact or whatever it's called. Which would be like a Super SOPA, Obama appointed the heads of the DoJ to RIAA lawyers so it isn't far fetched to see them make exceptions to their 'retroactive immunity' and throw them in the slammer.

        That said, if the immunity does hold strong against that, the RIAA would just bombard record fines on them, $450.000.00 per infringement will quickly send that NSA budget into deep red, but not to worry, the president would just give them more and more to spy on everyone with.

        Maybe the NSA is the goldmine the RIAA were looking for.

    2. david wilson
      Stop

      Re: aggravated copyright violation

      >>"Looks like aggravated copyright violation to me - lengthy prison sentences for all NSA top brass are really unavoidable, I fear."

      Though who most violated the copyright?

      The person who used it for an internal slideshow, the person who leaked it, or the media who publish stuff without giving a damn where it came from "Someone gave it to us for nothing, so it must be OK"?

      If someone stole your homemade porn of you climaxing to a cry of "Yabba Dabba Doo" and published it on Youtube, should it really be you who Hanna-Barbera come looking for?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely number 4 of the T&C takes precedence

    "Don't use our stuff to deceive or mislead others"

  7. cyberdemon
    Holmes

    Shurely not THE Adam Hart-Davis?

    Of BBC TV presenting fame?

    1. Colin Miller

      Re: Shurely not THE Adam Hart-Davis?

      Yup, it appears to be he http://www.hd.org. Now, that wasn't hard to find was it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shurely not THE Adam Hart-Davis?

        Lets examine the evidence:

        "Look familiar? … prism photo snapped by former Tomorrow's World presenter Adam Hart-Davis (used with permission, full source)"

        hmm.. still inconclusive?

    2. Haku

      Re: Shurely not THE Adam Hart-Davis?

      I once emailed him saying how much my family like watching the Local Heroes show he presented, and got a nice reply back from him, though I don't remember exactly what he said because that was about 14 years ago...

  8. Refugee from Windows
    Thumb Up

    In addition to a fee

    The copyright owner of the picture should be allowed full unfettered access to the site, to check for any more of his work of course.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: In addition to a fee

      The copyright owner of the picture should be allowed full unfettered access to the site

      Oh yes, definitely. And their databases. After all, you must establish beyond reasonable doubt just how far this copyright violation goes. Epic..

  9. Great Bu

    Quite the contrary

    I would try to get yourself firmly on their watch list if I were you. You will experience a massively more reliable internet service because all your data will be re-routed via the NSA's fast and efficient servers instead of whatever random pathway of least cost your ISP usually uses.

  10. Elmer Phud

    Finally . .

    . . . a use for patent and rights trolling firms.

    Set the bastards loose on NSA .

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Finally . .

      "Set the bastards loose on NSA ."

      Unfortunately, that would be like unleashing a pack of dachshunds on a T Rex.

      1. Anonymous Сoward
        WTF?

        Re: Finally . .

        "Unfortunately, that would be like unleashing a pack of dachshunds on a T Rex."

        Replace trolling firms with the MPAA and Hollywood, the T-Rex would soon fall.

  11. Omgwtfbbqtime
    Go

    Special interest from the NSA for a while?

    Could be useful for generating page hits, got advertising on your site?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Bust Em a la Dotcom

    Send in the choppers and guns then give them a thorough body search to make sure they are not hiding any hidden copyright infringement, after all nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

    However we will be using the man with the largest hands in Britain to conduct the body searches :)

    1. Mephistro
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bust Em a la Dotcom

      "However we will be using the man with the largest hands in Britain to conduct the body searches :)"

      Don't forget that the person doing the cavity search needs to wear protective gloves. Please, allow me to suggest the ones with a sandpaper like texture. Workers safety is of the essence!

      1. nichomach
        Devil

        Re: Gloves

        I suggest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4xw8dJkicI

  13. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Thanks for the laugh

    OK, this made my day. Quality..

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    ahem...

    To be fair to the NSA, this web site does appear to offer up the images for free if you check the home page:

    http://gallery.hd.org/

    "Hi: Welcome to the Gallery!

    FREE for your Website, PC and Projects!"

    And the prism photo is just underneath.

    And hopefully if I suck up to the NSA a bit, they'll cut me some slack and not tell the wife what I was up to on the internet when she was shopping yesterday.

    1. Steve Foster
      FAIL

      Re: ahem...

      Um, from the article: "the original image is hosted on my online gallery for free-to-use pics, although there are caveats (such as a requirement to credit and link to us)".

      IOW, the gallery to which you're referring belongs to the author of this article, and the NSA have failed to adhere to their terms.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NSA have no sense of humor

    they allegedly slapped a copyright take down notice on a US student who started to offer online T-shirt & coffee mug sales based on the PRISM technologies logo. sigh...

    1. Tom 13

      Re: NSA have no sense of humor

      If you've got references, that's the one the author of this post can use to go after them on!

      Technically the copies the NSA has aren't copyrighted and aren't published, they are secret. So their use of the logo while ill advised, can slip through on a hyper-technicality. That is, until they actually assert a copyright over it. Once they've done that it's game, set, and match to the original copyright holder.

      1. M Gale

        Re: NSA have no sense of humor

        Here as well as numerous other news sites.

      2. Peter Simpson 1
        WTF?

        Re: NSA have no sense of humor

        Ummmm...the videos "a friend" downloaded off bittorrent were for private, non-commercial use within his own home. Apparently, that's still illegal.

        //Sauce for the goose, etc.

      3. jamesb2147
        FAIL

        Re: NSA have no sense of humor - Lawsuit options

        At least in the US, copyright is just that; by having *copied* the image at all (even if not for publication) and not following the terms, they've violated, at least, the terms the copyright holder set forth. I believe that makes them liable for infringement, although conflicting messages on the website weaken the claim. Still, I'd be asking the EFF and/or ACLU if they were interested in using the suit somehow. I imagine it could be a useful tool in their kit, and a generous donation by the author to allow them either to represent him, or, in the extreme, to transfer ownership of the copyright.

        Not sure how all that works when crossing the pond, though, and IANAL.

      4. jamesb2147
        Facepalm

        Re: NSA have no sense of humor

        One last thing.

        They're still public domain materials, as works of the government or persons working for the government carrying out their official duties. Being secret doesn't change that, and especially doesn't affect copyright violations. Remember, all classified material becomes declassified after 50 years. It belongs in the public domain, and without a very substantial national interest in keeping it secret, the public has a right to it (hence it enters the 'public domain').

        At least, that's my guess.

    2. kraut

      Re: NSA have no sense of humor

      Presumably not having a sense of humour is part of the job description for the NSA.

  16. Winters

    If you have not already, I would recommend investing in a secure VPN or the TOR Browser Bundle.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow that HD.ORG website

    It's just as bad as the NSA Slides.

  18. harmjschoonhoven
    Holmes

    The usual suspects.

    Bytes 1274 to 1320 of http://regmedia.co.uk/2013/06/12/prism_slide.jpg (the first picture of the post) read

    "Copyright 2007 Apple Inc., all rights reserved."

  19. IT Hack

    Obviously the NSA did a google image search...had a look for identifying metadata based on no criteria beyond who knows what...and used.

    It is perfectly legal after all.

    You can thank the Act of Instagramming 2013 for that...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Due dilligence

    Stick the URL of the image in tineye and you get 5 results including a few multiple matches for http://gallery.hd.org. Now it's not beyond the realms of impossiblilty to ask and find out whether one of those five own the copyright or if it needs further investigation

    1. Steve Foster
      FAIL

      Re: Due dilligence

      "gallery.hd.org"

      Ah, yes, the site referenced in the article that belongs to the author.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Due dilligence

        Re: Due dilligence

        >Ah, yes, the site referenced in the article that belongs to the author.

        Exactly, which is why I highlighted that particular site and hinted that it would have been possible to at least attempt to verify ownership.

  21. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    What the Copyright pigs wanted...

    ...was the right, not only to close you down, but also to attack you, hack your machine, and insert malicious software onto it covertly.

    I suggest that they start with trying that out on NSA,,,

  22. Daedalus Silver badge
    Happy

    A right Royal screwiup

    Hey, this guy is the Queen's cousin (look it up!). Maybe we can get the offending droid beheaded.

    1. kraut

      Re: A right Royal screwiup

      You'd have to get the colonies back fisrt

  23. Eddy Ito

    "I wonder if all my sites and activities would experience, ahem, enhanced scrutiny for a little while."

    It's ok, they've already crawled all over your sites picking and prying. How do you think they found the picture in the first place?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bizarrely

    This reminded me I once owned the board game Skirrid......

    Also I wonder if Pink Floyd's legal team are worried?

  25. SecretBatcave

    Your dad rocks.

    Local heroes == *awesome*

  26. peter 45
    Big Brother

    But but but

    But we're the Gubberment.

    We put these rules in place for the little people to follow. They don't apply to us 'cos we make the rules, we dont follow them.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ??

    I'm not sure you can claim copyright infringement for something that's used in what's supposed to be a private document...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ??

      > I'm not sure you can claim copyright infringement for something that's used in what's supposed to be a private document...

      That's true, until you issue copyright takedown notices to others using the logo, as mentioned above by others (e.g. tee-shirts).

      That makes it a little different.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ??

      "I'm not sure you can claim copyright infringement for something that's used in what's supposed to be a private document..."

      I was just downloading that movie to use privately. It doesn't work in that context either.

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. 33rpm
    Thumb Up

    Troll The nsa

    http://www.ibtimes.com/inside-optrollthensa-how-trolling-nsa-will-go-down-1300277

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Troll The nsa

      I get the feeling their apparently vast server array will gobble it all up and report back "that's a nice snack, when's the main course?" :/

      The software has probably already identified the exact piece of text everyone's going to be transmitting so they can easily ignore identical copies floating through the electronic ether.

      The trollthensa.com site should have been programmed with a heap of sentences that are completely innocent yet contain certain key words/phrases and each visitor to the site gets a random set of sentences to distribute, compounding the level of data the NSA has to collect from the people sending out the phrases across the net.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Troll The nsa

        'I get the feeling their apparently vast server array will gobble it all up and report back "that's a nice snack, when's the main course?" '

        Hi there, fellow Kipling fan! That's one of my all-time favourite stories!

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Troll The nsa

      Interesting - as of Saturday morning, the ibtimes website is down ....

      <--- obviously

  30. Snortimer

    Interesting...

    As said in the article, the picture is free to use, as long as requirements are met, so I don't know what could be done, rather than request that either the requirements be met or payment be made in lieu of credit and a linkback.

    The more interesting thing to me is that the NSA must have paid somebody to create that logo, so this may have interesting repercussions for that individual or company.

  31. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Dear Mr. Hart-Davis.....

    On the behalf of the NSA and the American people, I would like to apologize for our agency's misuse of your family's intellectual property. We will be contacting you shortly to negotiate a license for this image as well as appropriate compens..........Eh, screw it. We'll just have you disappeared and erase all signs of your website. Would you like pine scent or lemon on the black bag when we scoop you up?

    Most Sincerely,

    The NSA

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Mr. Hart-Davis.....

      Hizonner: In the case of Aggrieved Copyright Owner versus the USA... Hey, where's the plaintiff?

      Counsel for the Plaintiff: I am afraid we are going to have to withdraw the suit, Judge. When I went round to the plaintiff's home this morning to bring him to court, all I found was a huge smoking crater.

      Hizonner: Well, no plaintiff no case sure enough. Let's adjourn for lunch.

  32. GT66

    You're surprised that an organization in the business of stealing people's privacy, security and freedom think nothing of stealing a person's intellectual work? That's funny. But at any rate, you or your father should sue them.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and you stole it too

    you "stole" it from pink floyd and they "stole" it from the egyptians and the egyptians stole it from the big headed alien in the sky! the nsa flipped the image over and put in some text. that's good enough to make it a new work. if you don't like it, tough %^#@ you &^%$. :) have a nice day.

  34. FuzzyTheBear
    Pint

    Downer .. the photo is free to use ..

    From his site :

    Apparently used in the NSA PRISM logo.

    Download small medium full - FREE to download and use! (c) Adam Hart-Davis

    (Natural Science): prism and refraction of light into rainbow 2 AJHD.jpg

    D=1998-04-08 [Apr 8, 1998]; S=85kB, 642x850; T=JPEG image [MIME:image/jpeg].

    Too bad .. it would have been nice to sue the NSA for copyright infringement .. better luck next time guys

    Time for a few pints .

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm...

    I suspect that the Dad's image of the prism isn't the only data that they've been copying.

    PRISM bait: bb be 98 f3 1e ef 89 c3 29 79 76 7a 7a c1 bc 73 b9 52 ff e0 b4 ad 90 1b d8 b3 99 66 b4 22 68 70 b6 d0 f7 01 2c 42 d5 47 ce 3a 8c bc 65 5c ba d7 0d 04 20 f0 c8 ef c9 68 89 e0 cf 21 a6 62 84 41 1d 09 51 34 74 19 fb 08 58 1a ef 89 7d 47 06 89 49 b2 89 d7 c4 e4 9a d1 fc 64 96 6f fb cf bd 18 60 4a c2 d8 ab 06 61 ad e8 1d 5f 1e bd 43 5d d4 25 6f 79 5c a5 62 32 51 9b 85 a9 c8 ae f9 88 be 26 42 bd c8 c9 32 26 6c e5 2d c1 d8 62 0d 53 2a 6d 71 22 b3 1b e6 e0 0d 5a 53 81 af 1d 3e b5 74 ea 1b ab 88 7c 62 57 bd 9c d2 40 fd 01 d4 99 ac 3d 20 91 06 3a 4a dd 02 c5 7f 07 30 a1 58 ad 7a d7 c3 57 80 f4 37 3e da fd a2 fc 07 a4 de 80 92 91 1d db 84 b6 a5 4d f3 11 58 f8 5c b2 0d 66 df 13 33 9d e2 a4 6d 90 13 c0 48 ee fb 13 40 c7 1e 6b a8 aa 57 a7 7a 8a bd 2d eb 4b 37 a5 83 b5 82

    1. David Pollard

      Re: Hmmm...

      Is this another GCHQ job advert?

  36. SDoradus
    Thumb Up

    So who created the logo?

    Actually when the story first broke I did find myself wondering about the PRISM logo, just not about the photo. What I thought ... odd ... was that this high-secrecy outfit and project would have a logo at all. Logos are for publicity materials, right? Why publicize top-secret projects? What artistic director has clearance high enough?

    And then the news items came such as the reporter who was already trying to find out what he could about PRISM because of overhearing it discussed in the lounge after a black hat conference. That implied there was an entire class or stratum of society for whom top-secret projects are a dime a dozen - within that class of persons you would surely need an advertising budget.

    More evidence of a state within a state.

  37. TchmilFan

    I prefer to think of your Dad as the presenter of "Local Heroes"

    "Hullo! This week on Local Heroes, we're in Penge!" or something like that. An excellent programme.

    (Aaaagh! My eyes. Make the glowing bike go away.)

    Much better than the contemporary version of "Tomorrow's World" - that was already being neglected in the same way of everything else sciencey, fiction or non-fiction, on the BBC viz Dr Who, QED, Horizon.

  38. Alan Brookland

    I suppose it's possible the photo-credit is on one of the redacted slides. I'm sure if they just release the rest of the slidepack then they'll be able to clear their name.

  39. Johan Bastiaansen
    Angel

    The correct punishment

    Life at gitmo.

  40. This post has been deleted by its author

  41. vmcreator
    Joke

    Floyd Storm !!

    The NSA culprits should be strapped to a chair and made to listen to Pink Floyd at 100 decibels. Wait a minute, that looks familiar LOL.

    Storm Thorgerson and Pink Floyd created DSOTM cover before her dad's design I believe?

  42. Phil 71
    Stop

    Are you sure they violated your T&Cs?

    The only one they seem violate is point 1.

    The screen grab shows they've used your logo, but have you considered they may link to you (ie. in their use the logo is a clickable link to your site), and or they provide acknowldgement somewhere in their app/site, that just doesn't quite happen to appear on the screen grab.

    This is clearly giving them the benefit of the doubt, and if so make Edward Snowdon the man you want to go after, but a) good luck, and b) I'm sure he's a few other things to worry about first.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are you sure they violated your T&Cs?

      @Phil 71, if they are linking, there should be some interesting entries in the referer logs :)

  43. Werner McGoole

    Yeah

    The NSA copies stuff without asking. Dreadful, innit?

  44. BlindWanderer
    Black Helicopters

    Blacking bagging it

    We have only seen 4 of 41 slides. Of those 37 slides we have not seen, one might just give the appropriate image credit. Do you really want to earn their ire and accuse them of copyright infringement when they may not have?

  45. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    I would request quite simply that the NSA make a hefty donation to both the EFF and the ACLU. That should grant them then retroactive usage rights. A small yearly donation for each year of its subsequent use should then cover the future.

    Problem solved, no?

  46. Lamont Cranston
    Thumb Up

    I look forward to watching

    "What The NSA Did For Us".

  47. Alex Walsh

    he's not short of a few bob

    Back in the day my wife was looking for someone to open a museum exhibition and contacted Adam Hart Davies. She worked at a local authority funded museum and was doing an exhibition on how technology had changed since WW2. AHD wanted a 4 figure fee to open the exhibition, well beyond a regional museums budget so she asked the author Robert Rankin to do it instead at my suggestion. He was delighted to be asked and did it for the price of a room in a travel lodge overnight, and a couple of pints of similar from the stout yeoman of the bar. His speech was wicked too.

  48. isacdaavid
    FAIL

    Hilarious, like when senator Lamar Smith (the original drafter of SOPA) infringed copyright using someone's photograph in his personal website. It was a creative commons picture, but failed to attribute the author. I bet he did not even know those liberal licenses existed.

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120112/11042717390/lamar-smith-caught-infringing-photographers-copyright.shtml

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