You're assuming that people with a clue are the target of this sort of thing.
It's the general public. A far bigger group that collectively have the attention span of a concussed kitten. And are also generally easier to fool.
A row has broken out over claims that Russian and Chinese have reportedly decrypted files of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, identifying British and US secret agents in the process. The Sunday Times used unnamed UK government and intel agency officials1 to support a story that MI6 has withdrawn agents from overseas operations in …
Interesting legal shenanigans being deployed by the Sunday Times against those pointing out the problems.
17 U.S.C. § 107
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright
I'm guessing this, and The Intercepts web host having the back-bone to brush off spurious DMCA take-down requests, is why the article hasn't been pulled?
>Wasn't the most almighty spy list Fsck-up recently caused by the US government's own sheer incompetence
Yeah but we are not talking about operation details here (or even reality) we are talking about the only thing that really matters (even to the Red Cross) PR. And it that regard Snowden is the holy grail of fail for them.
Almost as interesting as the hack is the lack of official response from other governments, including our own. How, for example, can they be certain that our own systems aren't just as vulnerable to attack as those in the US?
For that matter they seem to have conveniently forgotten that the leak occurred thanks to a US employee and the only reason UK information was compromised in the first place was because the government here were so willing to share it.
To the contrary, they are targeting both sides. They want the people who understand the truth to know that the truth will be discredited just as easily as lies can be propagated.
Then again, I think the truth here is that Snowden is also a patsy of the sincere sort. I'm sure their anti-spook spooks detected him as a possible security risk and almost as sure that he was fed the information they wanted to be leaked. Ask Michael Hastings if you don't believe me. Oh wait, his car was hacked and used to kill him. Oh wait, it was just another amazing accident.
I'm sure their anti-spook spooks detected him
They might have been eventually caught, but the likes of Ames or Hannsen still managed to cause a fair amount of damage. Personally I get the impression you're assuming competence where it may well not exist.
And as for leaking what they wanted: what benefit did the government get from this exactly? Most of what has happened seems to consist of court cases and being forced to limit programs. Unless the agencies themselves thought their powers went too far - unlikely given the effort to protect them - then they seem to have lost more than they have gained (in their eyes in any case - personally I have yet to see anything to justify this extensive surveillance).
80% of the public will only remember the first story, regardless of whatever truth emerges subsequently.
Why do you think control of the media makes power ?
There are still people - the majority, by the way - who will tell you that Jean Charles de Menezes (RIP :( ) was
-wearing a heavy coat
-vaulted the barriers
-did not respond when challenged by armed police.
despite the court-verified FACTS:
-was wearing no jacket (just a T-shirt)
-passed through barriers normally
-police never issued a warning for him to ignore.
I've always had my doubts about the shouty cunt "interviewed" so quickly on the day. Has he ever been seen since ?
"There are still people - the majority, by the way - who will tell you that Jean Charles de Menezes (RIP :( ) was
-wearing a heavy coat
-vaulted the barriers
-did not respond when challenged by armed police."
Oh noes.. they don't remember the fine details of the cover story.... THE HORROR!!!!! Why he died in vain then.
Now tell me this..
Do they remember that he was
Innocent of any wrong doing?
A case of mistaken identity?
A LEGAL immigrant?
Shot several times by trigger happy plod/intelligence agents with no ability to inform the officers of his actual identity?
You know.. the important stuff.
The fine details don't matter. If he was wearing a coat or a wedding dress and wellington boots, or if he responded to police challenges with the phrase " I have hard boiled egg up my bottom". Doesn;t matter.
Fact 1) An innocent man was shot dead.
Fact 2) Shooting him had he actually been a suicide bomber, would have potentially set off the bomb. Any fool can wire up a fail deadly switch. Hold it open, and no problem. Let it go, and boom. One NC switch. I got about 3-4 of em when I took apart an old inkjet for parts. Common everyday micro switches. Usually come with a normally closed, and normally open option in each switch.
Fact 3) The police proclaiming him a wrong un immediately after the incident lost them a lot of the little credibility they have left.
The coat does not matter.
Running does not matter.
Vaulting the barrier does not matter.
Someone claiming to have seen wires sticking out of his jacket do not matter.
Because NONE OF THESE THINGS was reason to shoot the guy.
Even not responding to a challenge from someone or other, had it happened, does not matter, because uniform are not very likely to be involved in covert tailing of a suspect are they? And the people who shot him were not the ones who were supposed to have challenged him.
So.. Brazilian electrician hurrying to work was shot dead for no reason.
This is the bit that they should remember.
"So.. Brazilian electrician hurrying to work was shot dead for no reason."
With nine dum-dum bullets. Followed by a shameful inquest where the jury weren't allowed the verdict of "unlawful killing".
I suppose Matt-the-Tw** will be along any moment as official spokeswoman for the authorities, to explain how it was all totally justified, and to spout some weak technicality that "hollow point" rounds aren't dum-dum bullets, but the reality is that an innocent man was intentionally deprived of his life by a bunch of cowboys who have probably already retired at 50 on a fat, index linked pension.
The choice of ammunition is not just for the damage done to the target, but for the safety of those around them.
A standard full metal Jacket round will go straight through someone without too much issue, especially in the 9mm-45 Cal range which is were most police issue pistols are going to be.
Hollowpoint rounds by expanding are designed not just to expand to enlarge the wound channel, but also to penetrate the target and stop before exiting. From the shooters point of view you want the round to dump all of it's energy into the target, a round over-penetrating has failed to do this.
The last thing the officer wants is the chance of taking out some poor bystander when the round keeps on trucking, or being unable to shoot when required to for fear of over-penetration allowing the subject to do something people would rather he wouldn't.
Dum-dum rounds have banned for military use since ~1900...
though probably only because all the world's militaries could work out that this both looked good and was how they'd act anyway.
Because you'd rather that your bullets seriously injured enemy troops than killed them. An injured soldier consumes far more resources on and off the battlefield than a dead one.
Isn't war horrible.
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That he was shot 11 times makes nothing of the fact that several of these 'highly trained marksmen' actually missed him at virtually point-blank range.
I don't suppose that is of interest to many people but to me, it indicates one of two scenarios, either they were panicking which was unlikely given the particulars of the situation where they were actually shooting a fish in a barrel but 'somebody' told them that he had a bomb, or the situation unsettled some members of the team as to the legality and/or morality of opening fire on an unarmed suspect and decided that their bullets were not going to weigh on their conscience.
These were supposedly highly trained operatives and panic - even if faced with the possibility of immediate death - would be unlikely, so that leaves the view that at least some members of that team knew that they were doing wrong - at the time.
I know which version I prefer to believe.
> Why do you think control of the media makes power ?
Quite - remember the theatre of destroying some desktops at The Guardian which allegedly contained the magic Snowden files? All to prevent any semblance of questioning the free hand the snoops pointlessly demand.
> Why do you think control of the media makes power ?
Which is why the worst thing to happen during the W Bush administration wasn't the stupid war or Katrina but the FCC ruling basically allowing 3 companies to own our entire media (to be fair technically the FCC is supposed to be nonpartisan I'm sure Bush was for it).
If the documents that Snowden leaked really contained details of spies and there whereabout then it is beyond belief that the security services would have left them in place and at risk for so long.
IMHO that is just a coverup for another monumental cock-up by the three letter services on both sides of the Pond.
Not to mention, why were such important UK files freely accessible to an American in the first place?
It's a bit bloody embarrassing that our intelligence (sic) services are so joined at the hip to the US that someone who was a contractor, not even a full employee had access to files which the government are telling us are incredibly dangerous.
Remember all the accusations when he started releasing documents, about how he was working with China or Russia, or exposing intelligence agents? I do.
I'm not going to say that there aren't personally incriminating documents in the trove that Snowden got away with. Most of them have never been and never will be published, and much of that is because the news outlets are vetting the documents that are published for material that might endanger agents.
I'm not going to say that the Chinese or Russians haven't found a way to hack into the Snowden haul and defeat it's encryption. Its possible they might have.
However, given the insincerity and butt-covering that has marked the intelligence community's response to Snowden, its going to take some proof for me to believe that it was specifically the Snowden documents that are causing the current problem, and not some other penetration of western intelligence by various adversaries for which Edward Snowden is being used as the whipping boy.
It is fallacious to argue that because the Russians or Chinese are (allegedly) able to decrypt the Snowden files, there is no need for Western intelligence agencies to worry about the prevalence of encryption. Assuming that the Russians or Chinese have obtained copies of the files (and they surely have), they would know that they are hugely valuable, and would be willing to put a correspondingly huge effort (human and machine) into decrypting them. This effort might include traditional methods such as blackmail, burglary, and honeytrapping to get information about passwords, etc. How many journalists and others have that information? How many of them are deeply hostile to the West? (Most of the staff of the Guardian for a start!)
The problem of mass encryption is entirely different. The intelligence agencies might have hundreds of potential suspects. It would be quite impractical to put as much effort into all of these as the Russians and Chinese would be able to put into Snowden. Quite apart from the fact that the Russians effectively have Snowden in custody already.
Don't you get it?
In their eyes everyone is a suspect.
You simply haven't done anything worthy to get them to recover your records from the backup tapes and "collect" your information.
... I just don't know.
On the one hand, it is utterly impossible for the "Snowden camp" to prove that nobody has been harmed by his actions. Proving a negative is difficult under the best of circumstances, and a primary function of intelligence agencies is to be opague.
On the other hand... the story against him seems to evolve continuously. As more facts become clear that could happen, but we're two years down the road now.... how long does it take to work out what he got and who is at risk from that?
Had an intelligence asset been compromised enough to be withdrawn, then they're bust. You can't send them anywhere else in the world. Surely one asset could be made available for interview by a proper journalist under condition of anonymity?
Certainly I would hope that once the pool of potentially exposed agents became known to the intelligence community, they would ave acted on the assumption that the journos would get compromised by Russia or China. Lets face it, when the Groans science editor is asking to be used as El Regs mouthpiece, you can safely ascribe a similar level of capability across their domain. All intelligence operatives should have been safe within a few days/weeks/months, right?
I'm leaning towards "This is BS", but absent any evidence either way, I just don't know.
"I'm leaning towards "This is BS", but absent any evidence either way, I just don't know."
Let me help a little.
Let's assume it's true that the files have been decrypted by the Russians, Chinese or whoever (RCow). Presumably this would mean that they'd discovered an intentional or deliberate back door in a supposedly solid cryptographic system. This raises a question: how would the UK or US know?
Possibly RCow took some action that revealed it. But remember that decrypting German cyphers in WWII was so sensitive that it was kept secret for decades afterwards. It was also so sensitive that not all information could be acted on & a disinformation operation was run to provide plausible alternative sources. Would RCow be so incompetent as to let slip, by incautious word or deed, what they'd accomplished. It strains credibility.
Alternatively perhaps the western cryptographers decrypted a message by RCow saying that they'd achieved this. The same reasoning applies. Would they then release this story and reveal what they'd accomplished?
I call BS.
"On the one hand, it is utterly impossible for the "Snowden camp" to prove that nobody has been harmed by his actions."
.............disprove allegations made against him without there being a shred of credible and independently verifiable evidence to support them. The only case against him is based on a series of assertions made by various intelligence hacks, anonymous sources and certain loud-mouthed politicians. These assertions, coming as they do from a group of people whose credibility in the eyes of anyone capable of the least amount of joined up thinking is zero, are in and of themselves worthless.
In my view we have had too long a period where Snowden is the one telling the truth and the gov's have been outright lying and then caught out. When that happens it doesnt matter if the intelligence agencies are telling the truth nor if Snowden decides to turn KGB, who can believe it?
Snowden gained credibility very quickly and the intelligence agencies lost it quickly. Snowden appears to be trying to do something for the public good with very careful actions. The intelligence agencies seem to be trying to store the dirty secrets of everyone to use at will and to damage Snowden's reputation.
How would we be able to tell if the data has been compromised, how and who by? How would we know if it contained anything dangerous to anyone? So in this uninformed position who are we more likely to believe?
Oh noes!! Don't bring up the Vietnam War now we have more USain readers! I've lost count of the flame wars ovee "We didn't lose in Vietnam. Point out one major battle the VC won". Apparently scurrying away from the embassyin helicopters doesn't count as losing anything. Most merkins who speak about it seem to regard it as a noscore draw, with the merkins ahead on points when the final whistle went.
... if the Chinese and Russians can allegedly hoover their way through the encryption, its a reasonable bet that the probably better funded NSA and their lapdog this side of the pond can too. In which case why the need for all the governmental fearmongering about the need to backdoor encryption if they can break it anyway?
Unless of course its transparently obvious bollocks, like so much unattributed government waffle on this and many other topics. That said, even by the usual standards, they didn't try very hard to make it even sound credible.
With decently implemented encryption systems and reasonable key sizes, the efficient way to access specific encrypted material is to obtain the key from someone who has it and apply it. Back doors, escrowed keys, and encryption system or protocol attacks are for other use cases.
For law enforcement purposes, search warrants, subpoenas, and contempt of court punishments ought to be enough, or more than enough, for nearly all cases.
Anyone with a clue knew from the very beginning that Snowden compromised the lives of many including secret agents, by Snowden's clueless disclosure of certain documents and communications monitoring. Hopefully this swine will die a very painful, slow death to atone for some of his crimes against society including treason. Thinking this arse clown Snowden is some sort of hero for getting innocent people killed shows how technically ignorant some people are regarding national security.
Which people (innocent or otherwise) did Snowdon get killed? Answer: Nobody, or the government would be shouting it from the rooftops. Even the ST admits nobody has actually been harmed.
Since the names of agents are not recorded in the manner you presume, nothing about them would have been revealed, btw.
But since you appear to be a stooge for the government, you either already knew you aren't telling the truth, or you don't care.
"Even the ST admits nobody has actually been harmed."
The times should have added a proper disclaimer:
"No secret agents were injured or killed during the fabrication of this story"
The fact it was the Times does make you wonder if Murdoch was returning a favour to Dave, rather than just a run of the mill right wing slur.
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Former ambassador Craig Murray (sacked and attempts made to discredit him, because he blew the whistle on UK failure to comply with our own policies on torture) has written about this ST story:
It's a pretty comprehensive take-down of the piece. Following which, his website has been attacked on an industrial scale!
Meejia: Massive (U.S.) Gov't security breach! Massive incompetence of U.S. Gov't exposed!!
U.S. Govt: Yeah, but lookee over here! Snowden!!
Expected World+Dog response: Gasp! Oooooh!!
Actual World+Dog response: Meh! Shut the Fuck Up about Snowden, and quit spying on me, dammit!!
given the latest revelations how much data the US allowed themselves to be robbed of by Chinese. It is peculiar, that THIS story has been given very, very little space and airtime in mainstream media. Yes, they're clueless in general, but I can't believe they're THAT stupid, so alternative theories are welcome :)
Of course, the real issue bubbling like hot tar under everyone's noses is that every single Western government has been caught in such uber-levels of Nixonian skullduggery against their own populations that no-one will ever again trust a single thing they say.
Hell, the Nixon shambles was around four decades ago and the fallout from that in the public eye is still oozing nicely.
Even were the all-round nice guy and spokes-stammerer for Penguins Derek Nimmo to be somehow snatched from time and elected Prime Minister he'd be regarded as a lying venal git despite not being here when it all went down, the tasty chocolate biscuits notwithstanding.
BBC News was just as guilty; on multiple occasions I heard headlines "reporting" (I use the word advisedly) the same highly questionable allegations as the Sunday Times as though they were simple, verifiable fact. Worse, the reports didn't even have the grace to contain the qualifier of "a senior government source has said" that at least graced the equivalent reporting on its web site. Utterly disgraceful.
After the phone hacking enquirey and the British Governments reluctance to make a law against the press ,In return the press supported them in the last election and now the final pay back, in return the press is manipulated to be the mouth piece of the Government to help try and present the upcoming Snoopers charter as some savour to the Population rather than spying on us , you cannot trust any of the British newspapers or the TV channels who also pick up this rubbish from the press as if it were true.
Every time the government wants to put out more laws for surveilance there is always a leak about Snowden or some other person who has alerted us to the snooping going on, we have a system now that Hitler and Stalin could only have dreamed of , the ability to snoop and control the population without secret police , we are sliding into a time where manipulation of the news given to the public will be used to control the public, a distatorship by another name.
When I saw the title of the news item announcing Russia and China had decrypted Snowden's encryption, I immediately read the article because I keep current on Snowden's ongoing story, and, knowing what I do about cryptography and Snowden, it looked unbelievable. But the prominence of the article implied the editors were giving it a stamp of approval.
But sure enough, when I read it, there was nothing. And anybody with even a mildly critical eye would say the same. The story is about an anonymous source claiming the ridiculous at a convenient time. So the question now isn't about the details of the article. Even the authors (Tom Harper, Richard Kerbaj and Tim Shipman) of the article knows it's about nothing. The question is why did the editors of The Sunday Times and everybody else publish obvious nothing?
Answer: In my life, I've learned when you see something that doesn't make sense on the surface, then there must be something beneath. And usually, it's money.
In this case, the situation is doubtless more complicated than direct cash for lies, but it amounts to the same. The Guardian has a decent article: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/14/russia-and-china-broke-into-snowden-files-to-identify-british-and-us-spies
FFS - Register and frenzied posters - give it a rest.
Can someone genuinely innocent of any wrongdoing or the intention to do so, point to concrete evidence of how exactly government sponsored surveillance is negatively impacting their daily lives?? And outside of high terror alert situations please.
Im sick of all the baseless hysteria spouted on this bloody website, by conspiracy theory obsessed readers.
I have nothing to hide. They are welcome to monitor anything they want where im concerned - i really cant see what the issue is - if im breaking the law im quite happy to take my medicine.
The powers-that-be seem to have missed a trick here, the usual form is for the 'Suspect' usually attracts the accusation of serious dark sexual misdeeds of the variety guaranteed to raise the hackles of all the Great and the Good out there where he invariably becomes labelled as a ne'er-do-well that deserves the fate worse than death that the 'Authorities' vow will beset him on his capture.
But as the Russians are immune to these slurs and there is no prospect of any 'Honest citizen' out there turning him in, I suppose they would consider it a wasted effort, but giving away all of our State Secrets as well as the Great Satan's secrets too, it is just too awful to contemplate the fate of all the spies busily gathering the enemies secrets, and the plans to the newly installed furnaces under the Polar ice caps.
Without a doubt, Snowden is personally responsible for each and every secrets leak since Philby.
The fact that went to Russia as a last resort to avoid arrest seems to have been lost in translation.