back to article State spy agencies 'outsource surveillance' to foreign partners – campaign group

There is a "dangerous lack of oversight" of global surveillance networks, Privacy International has said, warning that intelligence-sharing deals could become a way for states to "outsource surveillance". In a report, Secret Global Surveillance Networks: Intelligence Sharing Between Governments and the Need for Safeguards, …

  1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Trollface

    intelligence-sharing deals could become a way for states to "outsource surveillance".

    "Could"? You mean they aren't already? I think someone has fallen down on the job.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BIt late...

    The "Five Eyes" group has been going since the Second World War (and probably before that in some form).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BIt late...

      It's not really a surprise, at least for the 5 Eyes members - re-read Australian/Canadian/NZ/UK/US laws and what intelligence agencies can do.

      Now re-read them with the understanding that monitoring of a given countries communications is likely done by one of the partners on the "international" side of any phone/data/satellite/etc connection.

      Finally, consider the convenience that the Internet has provided with information being stored in "friendly" countries or passing through monitored links. The only inconvenience being the sheer quantity of information now being handled.

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: BIt late...

      This article has to be the biggest "statement of the bleedin' obvious" ever.

      We have suspected for years that domestic laws preventing the surveillance of citizens could be by-passed and it appears that this is only too true.

      The people drawn to the "intelligence community" seem to be devious manipulators with the attitude of "the end justifies the means", so of course they will collude and find ways to get around any attempts to rein them in.

      The real scandal is in the failure of those people we elect to run our countries to hold these agencies to account and control their wilder inclinations. It make me wonder what's in it for the politicians or if, like J. Edgar Hoover, the spies have enough dirt to actually control their theoretical masters.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: BIt late...

        As the (Catholic) Bishop of Rome would say in Latin, "Quid pro quo".

        Or in other words "You spy on my people, and I'll spy on your people"

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: BIt late...

        like J. Edgar Hoover, the spies have enough dirt to actually control their theoretical masters.

        Isn't that the simplest answer and therefore the one that's probably correct? Control for budget and whatever else they feel they can label as "security".

  3. JaitcH
    Meh

    Just one – the Canadian Communications Security Establishment Commissioner – said , , ,

    spy agencies were required by law to provide it access to intelligence sharing arrangements.

    Good for Canada - except they let the Americans place equipment in Canada that Ottawa hasn't a clue what it is doing nor does Canadian Communications Security.

    In New Zealand the government is banned from knowing what the Echelon mob is doing and ONLY the Prime Minister has an inkling of what they are up to.

  4. anothercynic Silver badge

    Anyone who read up on the history...

    ... of the British secret services will be aware of these inter-relationships and the obvious 'advantages' these pacts present to the partners. Privacy International could've done their own reading before going into a da-rahhhhma mode...

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: Anyone who read up on the history...

      Hell, just read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy.

  5. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    outsourcing

    Wasn't it Milo Minderbinder who outsourced not just the spying but the bombing to the other side ?

    1. Brian Morrison

      Re: outsourcing

      And everybody had a share...

  6. JohnFen

    That's the entire point

    The entire point of intelligence-sharing arrangements such as Five Eyes is to bypass restrictions on domestic surveillance.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personal privacy is dead and buried...and no one gives a damn....

    Quote: "There is a "dangerous lack of oversight" of global surveillance networks, Privacy International has said...."

    *

    No s**t, Sherlock!

    *

    And then there's organisations like Palantir. If you thought Cambridge Analytica was bad, this (long) read will make your head spin:

    - https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-palantir-peter-thiel/

    *

    But no one gives a damn....NSA, GCHQ, Palantir.....no one gives a damn!

  8. handleoclast
    Coat

    Outsource MI6 to IBM

    Who can then outsource it to India.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Agencies must gain prior independent authorisation b4 information is shared with a foreign partner

    Where's the fun of that in this culture of: #I'll_spy_for_you_if_you_spy_for_me_

  10. not.known@this.address Silver badge
    Big Brother

    So now the people trying to keep us safe are the bad guys?

    And while our "public-minded" politicians make themselves look good releasing details of security operations and practices just to screw over the opposition, the real Bad Guys will be laughing as the big-mouthed, small-brained idiots supposedly responsible for our safety reveal almost everything in the interests of 'openness' and 'transparency'.

    And whatever secrets the various groups of politicians don't manage to give away, groups like Privacy International will ruthlessly hunt down in their efforts to "safeguard" us from the evilness (for a given value of 'evilness') of the Security services.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Bad Guys" as in "So now the people trying to keep us safe are the bad guys?"

    Dear not.known@this.address:

    Please read through a couple of reports:

    - https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/30/investigatory_powers_act_illegal_under_eu_law/

    - https://theintercept.com/2014/12/13/belgacom-hack-gchq-inside-story/

    ....and then perhaps you might realise that "bad guys" are MUCH closer to home than your comment would indicate.

    (Hint: Item 1 was designed to allow stuff like item 2.)

    Just saying!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

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