I just had to make this post otherwise war would have started. Now that I have made the post you will be OK and might expect a sudden outbreak of peace.
Thank me folks and send all contributions to:
Saviour of the planet
Rue Merde de Taureau
Please respect my privacy and my forthcoming move to climes that allow me to go topless in the winter.
No, no, send me the money, I have their plans for invading Mars!!!!
PS; - Cash only, thanks, 'cos The Man watches those bank transactions, obviously....
PPS;- And no Bitcoins!
"I have their plans for invading Mars!!!!"
I didn't know they had found oil on Mars?
Hmm. Moral ambiguity engaged.
I personally view Snowden as a hero, not a traitor. I had viewed Cryptome as the same. The in both cases is largely the same: no "core dumping of material that could get other people killed" style leaks. Effort went into classifying the data into stuff that was important enough to tell, but wouldn't compromise lives.
In Snowden's case, he seemed to put the effort into classification and giving his thoughts and opinions on the information he purloined, but then he gave it to a third party, so that multiple individuals could do an ethics pass, in recognition that his own ethics were insufficient to such a task. That, to me, is an important differentiator here: it said to me that Snowden wasn't out to "harm" the USA, but legitimately felt he was "doing the right thing".
From the sounds of it, Cryptome may be about to end that. If this article is right, Cryptome is intent on releasing data others had looked at and said "no, this isn't something that should be released, it will legitimately put US national security (and potentially human beings) in jeopardy".
These "others" who passed an eye over this data and withheld it are not individuals deeply embedded in the "classify everything" culture of spies and embarrassed politicians. They were withheld by journalists; ones well known for a deep and abiding belief that the people "have a right to know what their government is doing in their name."
If journalists who believe deeply in freedom of speech, governmental transparency and accountability have looked at these documents and said "no, don't release these" then by what ethical standard does Cyrptome believe it should do so?
I'm not fond of the NSA. I think Alexander and Clapper are both sociopaths and traitors to their own people. But this...
...something about this doesn't smell right at all. It doesn't seem like the Cryptome of old. It certainly doesn't seem kosher, based on the limited amount of information available.
Unless that "war" they are trying to prevent is with Russia (or China?) and they've brought in a number of high ranking military and political experts that can say with high levels of confidence "yes, releasing this information that is obviously damaging to US national security and operational assets in the feild will prevent this otherwise inevitable war" then I am rather less than okay with this.
"Your governments are spying on you and here's how" strikes me as something we should all know. The vague and fuzzy details of this we've been given so far don't directly place people in danger. But from the sounds of it, there is real, honest-to-goodness dangerous info under discussion here. Might just be the bridge too far.
Reading too much in to it?
The reference to "war" might be nothing to do with real guns & bombs war but something related to silencing those who are doing the (fairly responsible) releasing so far. Recently Cryptome have been a bit paranoid about site access, etc, though maybe with good reason.
Time will tell.
If Cryptome release information so sensitive that internationally renowned journalists refused to release it because they are "paranoid about site access" then, to be blunt, they deserve to be locked away for a long, long time. I can think of no ethical or logical contortions that justify that rationale.
Aw, crappola, I have to up-vote Potty! Are there pigs flying outside?
"....then by what ethical standard does Cyrptome believe it should do so?...." Yeah, who knew Putin had a Cryptome admin login!
Trevor Pott is voting to protect the USA and Matt Bryant is giving him an upvote... <looks outside and sees a dog and cat playing with each other>.
I'm... I'm not sure if I can handle this new version of the Matrix.
"Internationally renowned journalists?"
You mean journalists who have willingly blasted their own countries' policies under pain of pain or worse?
Sooner I see a unicorn in my backyard.
Re: Hit Snooze Re: Potty
"....I'm... I'm not sure if I can handle this new version of the Matrix." I'm off to buy a lottery ticket!
Every nation has the right to defend it's own interests. That's pretty much the defining characteristic of sovereignty. How those nations go about it determines the character of the society they will create and nurture.
I'm not at all okay with the society the powers that be want to create in the US, but I recognize the right of the US to defend it's own national security, to the extent that those rights are recognized in international law.
Where I differ from the ultraconservatives is that I believe that "the people" are citizens of the state, not subjects. That is to say, I believe that the citizens rule the government, they are not ruled by their government. I believe that citizens have an innate, inalienable right to know what the government is up to and doing in their name. They do not have to merely "shut up and do as they're told" by the state.
In my world view people like Snowden are necessary and good...within certain bounds. I.E. that when they disclose "top secret" information it is done with some forethought and consideration of the fullness of consequences, preferably by having multiple someones take a go at the ethics of the whistleblowing.
I am emphatically against the willy-nilly spraying of national secrets to and fro. There are absolutely some things that must remain secret, at least for the duration during which they have a real world operational impact on the legitimate national security interests of a sovereign state.
"The fact that we are spying on you" and "here's a basic idea of how we're spying on you" are not legitimate secrets for a nation to keep from it's people. Revealing these secrets won't present an impact on ongoing operations, though they might cause some embarrassment to politicians who must now answer tough questions.
Good. It will hopefully lead to more oversight, transparency and accountability. Maybe even a push to develop new technologies that better enable targeted (as opposed to dragnet) spying.
"These are the exact details, including model numbers and firmware revisions of the tools we are using to spy on you" absolutely would be a breach of national security for any nation. With that information the bad guys could find a way around the existing programs. They might even be able to identify informants and off them. That's a no-no.
Similarly, the kinds of details that could "prevent a war" usually mean putting feild assets - human beings serving as spies or informants - in the direct line of fire by outing them. That doesn't serve the state or the people. It's just malicious and legitimately could be viewed as helping the enemy.
I don't personally view the USA as an ally. I think that they are a malicious nation with hostile intent towards my own nation, and every other nation on Earth. I will continue to strongly encourage other nations to seek economic and military independence from that particular foreign power, and especially the sociopaths that run the joint.
...but regardless of my feelings towards the nation, it does have the right to protect it's own national security. The right of the citizens to know what's up with the spooks is not absolute, and has to be balanced against the right of state to keep things secret in order to find out where the bad guys are.
I had thought that Snowden's approach to how and the reporters involved leaked only specific documents was judicious, and helped to maintain a balance that the powers that be in the USA obviously can't maintain on their own.
From what the article says, Cryptome's planned actions are too far towards the other side. Too much disclosure in the name of the citizen's rights to peek under the covers.
I seek a balance between the competing requirements of a complicated and messy reality. If that sometimes means getting an upvote from someone like Bryant...well...
"You mean journalists who have willingly blasted their own countries' policies under pain of pain or worse?"
So your view on life is "never question the state"? Are you a Cardassian, by any chance? Obsidian Order?
My view is "Question the state at your own peril." Odds are if you REALLY challenge the state, they'll find a way to shut you down.
Could possibly be something related to how Iran and USA are working together to create a new balance of power in the M.E using ISIS as an agent of chaos.
If the only thing you care about is yourself, and fuck everyone else (alive now or those who are to come) then you are a sociopath. At which point, I have no respect for you, or your opinions. Questioning the state bears risks, yes, but freedom isn't free.
Some things absolutely are worth dying* for.
I would say that "our fundamental, inalienable rights as defined under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights" defines what I would die for. What I wouldn't die for is "the state". Neither mine, nor that rather evil behemoth to the south of us are worth anything close to that kind of sacrifice.
Ultimately, that's what it comes down to, isn't it? What would you die for? Would you die to protect the "right" of someone else to hold power over yourself and others? Be that a religious leader, a dictator or a plutocracy? Would you die so that the rich can stay rich and the poor can be kept poor? Would you die so that those who have a dissenting opinion are denied the right to voice it?
Would you die to protect civil liberties? The rights earned in blood by our ancestors? Would you die to protect your family? What about your neighbour's family? Your sibling's family?
Or would you do everything you can - sacrifice anyone and anything - to cling to one more second of life? What is the measure of you, man?
*Or being surprised by what you can live through.
"I'm... I'm not sure if I can handle this new version of the Matrix."
Already started, the war has. Early the US decided to start, lesson have they to teach Cryptome. War on Sanity they have declared. Doomed we all are. Sense Potty is making...
Problem with language have I!
"So your view on life is "never question the state"? Are you a Cardassian, by any chance? Obsidian Order?"
"Cardassian"? "Obsidian Order"? What are you on about man!?
Clearly Matt's a Vorta.
Re: Hit Snooze Potty
"I'm off to buy a lottery ticket!"
Yeah, we'll all win this week. How much is the jackpot again? That'll be a quid each if we're lucky even in this version of the matrix
"Freedom isnt free..."
You hit the nail on the head there - but not for the case you make.
Government surveillance is exactly the price we have to pay for freedom - and it has always been this way - when the IRA were blowing pubs up it was going on, in the cold war it was going on, through both world wars it went on - and it will continue to be that way in the future.
It is a basic necessity of survival to know more about those who can hurt you than they know about you.
There is no such thing as freedom - get used to it.
Re: "Freedom isnt free..."
"Government surveillance is exactly the price we have to pay for freedom - and it has always been this way - when the IRA were blowing pubs up it was going on, in the cold war it was going on, through both world wars it went on - and it will continue to be that way in the future."
True to an extent - the government need to keep an eye on the baddies - the problem is when they decide that every person on the planet is a baddie, and start watching everyone. And then we get the 'everyone is a potential terrorisit' issue - anyone want a cup of tea at Wimbledon?
Given that the register itself decided to publish snowden materials that other media outlets had reviewed and decided not to publish are you going to put them in the same bucket as cryptome?
Re: "Freedom isnt free..."
"Government surveillance is exactly the price we have to pay for freedom"
Bullshit. A false sense of security and freedom are not the same thing. In fact, they're generally antonyms. Also: there is no perfect security, even if every one of us were monitored all the time.
As for your "there is no such thing as freedom - get used to it" line...if that were the world we lived in, where there was truly no hope of ever pushing back the darkness and rekindling the light of civilization...then I wouldn't be here, typing on a forum.
This Frenchman will never collaborate with the Reich.
To be honest, when I first read it, I was shocked and upset. I circled that one a few times, and eventually sat down with some veteran local journalists and several members of the Canadian military to ask them their opinions.
We had a spirited debate about the topic, but the general consensus - which I supported - was that the public interest in the information that El Reg revealed outweighed the potential risks. We looked at it from a lot of angles, but it basically boiled down to "this information was already out there for those who were interested in seeking it out." That means that nation-states, terrorists and so forth could have found the info with minor effort long before that article was published.
What's more, the article didn't reveal sorted details. A Google Maps image and and a "you are here, doing this" is highly embarrassing, but after hours of gnawing on it, none of us could find a way that this would compromise an individual or the UK's national security, especially given that the info was already out there, if you cared to look.
So, that specific incident was a case of "I think the other journalists called it wrong by withholding this info, and El Reg called it right." These are bound to happen, and maybe - just maybe - Cryptome has made a similar call here.
That said, Cryptome is making a huge bugaboo out of this info by saying "it can stop a war". Any information that can do that is highly sensitive. More so than "oh, look, here's the physical location of a data processing center that snoops traffic in the middle east, but which wasn't a surprise to anyone who cared to rub 12 neurons together."
So either Cryptome is talking up muchos big time unwarranted hype...or they're playing a game of international chicken that is orders of magnitude more dangerous than the article El Reg spat out. There isn't enough information at this juncture to know which.
I find myself almost wholeheartedly agreeing with Trevor .....
First Matt and now Titus . . .
We may just have a candidate for Post of the Year. (I tried really hard to foist another 'T' in there.)
Re: "Freedom isnt free..."
>Government surveillance is exactly the price we have to pay for freedom
Except that, despite all that IRA surveillance, the government managed to lock up a lot of the wrong people. And in order to conduct this sureillance, the government facilitated acts of terror itself. And the "right" people that it was their policy to lock up are now, it would seem, embedded firmly in the present government of Northern Ireland.
And, despite all the cold war surveillance, most of the major spies managed to work undiscovered for a very long time before mostly escaping the country. Meanwhile, MI5 were busily vetting over 6000 posts at the BBC to ensure that continuity announcers weren't slipping left-wing propaganda into the shipping forecast.
Espionage is mostly a game. The reality is that the spooks don't know what they think they know and what they do know is usually used against people who aren't real threats to the nation, merely threats to established political and financial interests.
If it were true that you could trade freedom for security, you'd have a point. Unfortunately, the only people who are offering you that deal are bad guys too.
"If the only thing you care about is yourself, and fuck everyone else (alive now or those who are to come) then you are a sociopath. At which point, I have no respect for you, or your opinions."
Well, isn't that exactly the stance of the US establishment (NSA, Pentagon, etc.)? In which case why are you worried about them being harmed? Ultimately, if leaking secrets lead to people dying it's not a lot different from allowing other people to die because you didn't leak, which, to me, seem to be the choices here (just based on track-record, not based on Cryptome's strange claims). The US is upset because the people who are in danger after the leak are Americans. But the US isn't the whole world and I don't count each American death as worth 10000 non-American deaths as they seem to.
"Well, isn't that exactly the stance of the US establishment (NSA, Pentagon, etc.)? In which case why are you worried about them being harmed? "
I'm not. I give negative fucks about the USA. But I recognize their right to defend their national interests as is defined in international law.
Similarly, I give zero fucks about Matt Bryant, and if a rock from space burrowed it's way through the atmosphere and struck him dead, I would laugh uproariously and then continue about my day. But I recognize his rights as defined under the UDHR.
As much as I wish both parties would evaporate into a cloud of "no longer present on Earth" in short order, that doesn't mean I would either act to make that occur or encourage others to do so. They have rights that are defined in international law, and as much as I dislike the entities involved, if those rights are to apply to any of us, they must apply to all of us.
Good point but it can go all out in the other direction as well depending on your love for someone or something.
I would kill everyone on the planet to save my pet dog if it was the only choice as I love her more than anything else, Doesn't make it right though. lol
I half-suspect Trevor is simply making a point here - contrasting concern for a person's life with concern for their rights.
Still, I feel a need to point out that I, personally, would be upset if Matt were stuck dead by a bit of space stuff. I most certainly would not laugh 'uproariously'.
I nearly never agree with Matt but then I suspect that few of us here really relish the chance for a good, solid session of agreeing with each other . . .
Here's to Matt!
"....few of us here really relish the chance for a good, solid session of agreeing with each other ....." A uniform World without any dispute would be very boring.
Old Irish toast - Here's to your wives and girlfriends, and here's praying they never meet!
Suffice it to say that you're a better person than I.
"If Cryptome release information so sensitive that internationally renowned journalists refused to release it because they are "paranoid about site access" then, to be blunt, they deserve to be locked away for a long, long time. I can think of no ethical or logical contortions that justify that rationale."
Are you joking? Those "renowned journalists" are paid agents for corporations. I wonder what corporate interests are at risk by the release of this information. Justification? What justification was needed for the Murdoch skullduggery that went on in recent years? Cryptome have perfect examples to follow.
Down-voted for saying I'd be upset if another human being (whom I converse with, however indirectly) was killed.
> The right of the citizens to know what's up has to be balanced against the right of state to keep things secret
Sorry, the NSA abused the privilege of "we won't tell you, but trust us". Now they will get it taken away for a while.
faye kane ♀ girl brain
Re: Faye Re: Bullshit!
I find it quite ironic that you are bleating about 'privacy' when you are so happy to put so much of your self-abusive lifestyle online (complete with pics) for all to see. Or are you merely trying to drum up some traffic for your blog?
I think a targeted drone strike would do the job.
El Reg might want to retreat to the bunker as well given their recent disclosures.
Going on similar "Snowden" stories the comments here will be ~8:1 in favour of releasing the info (& against a targeted El Reg/Cryptome strike); my question is, why do you all think that releasing classified info is in your interest or the countries? I for one think that the people releasing the info should be put in jail for a long time.
The issue is not about releasing classified information for the hell of it.
It is about showing the public when they have been lied to by the leaders, or in a number of cases where the (majority) of leaders have, it appears, been lied to by the agencies that are supposed to be under their control.
Can you suggest a better route to defining what those agencies should be doing? So far our leaders have not been willing or able to, or are in favour of that but not telling us.
The success of democracy depends on an informed public, and if we are not being told honestly the magnitude and general nature of such activities, we are not able to exercise that right.
Re: Paul Crawford Re: Cryptome
".....The success of democracy depends on an informed public....." Seriously, if you didn't have a good idea what the NSA and GCHQ were up to then you were just ill-informed.
Re: @Matt Bryant
A number of folk had a good idea of what NSA & GCHQ were up to, but were labelled as tin-foil hat wearing nutters by the press in general. That label turned out to be wrong.
The same goes for the degree of cooperation between USA-based corporations and the NSA. True, they had little choice in most cases but they hardly bleated when being paid for services rendered, and only made a lot of noise now they are loosing business world-wide due to the distaste about the dragnet operations.
I certainly don't approve of the whole-sale release of information that puts informants lives at risk, but equally I can't see another way of persuading the public to notice what is done in their name, and with (some of) their taxes.
Re: Paul Crawford Re: @Matt Bryant
"....but were labelled as tin-foil hat wearing nutters by the press in general...." Apart from the sheeple's fave columnist, Duncan Campbell (LOL, he must be sooooo pissed at the short attention span of the sheeple!), ECHELON was examined by an EU committee in 2000 with a public report published in 2001. Then there was William Binney, Thomas Drake, Mark Klein (who broke the AT&T involvement in NSA linetaps in 2006), etc., all public whistleblowers going right back to Perry Fellwock's leaks in 1971! If you have been asleep it is your fault, not because the lack of information out there for years. What, were you waiting for the special on Oprah to do the research for you?
Re: Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty
> Seriously, if you didn't have a good idea what the NSA and GCHQ were up to then you were just ill-informed.
Lovely logic - "if you didn't know you should have guessed harder". Neat little model of democracy you've got there, eh, lambchop?
Re: Paul Crawford @Matt Bryant
Seems to me that that the Oprah Special is exactly what's needed to persuade the ponderous mass of the "sheeple" that this is something that matters. It doesn't matter if, like you, some inquiring types had done the research themselves and could list a sting of obscure names going back to 1971. It is not until now with the far ranging and ongoing releases by Snowden that the issue has made it into the minds of Joe Public in a way that might actually affect real change.
Really you're just saying 'I worked it out already because I'm smart and if you didn't then you're dumb'. Well that's nice bully for you but what have you done with that knowledge, what could you have done with it, to change things. Nothing, small groups and individuals no matter how smart no matter how obvious it was to them had the means or the power to change it. Getting the "Sheeple" on side by making it an Oprah Special is really whats needed to see anything change.
And the registers article about the facility in the middle east which other journalists had decided not to publish falls into which category?
Re: BoringGreen Re: Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty
"....Lovely logic - "if you didn't know you should have guessed harder". Neat little model of democracy you've got there...." Typical sheeple denial, blame their own lack of knowledge on 'The Man' or 'The System'. All those men I listed were public whistleblowers with prominent court cases and extensive publicity. Fine minutes on Wikipedia would have given you all of them and more than an inkling of the actual systems behind the majority of Snowjob's 'revelations'.
You lot are addicted to the spoonfed mentality, totally reliant on others to provide your knowledge and opinions and incapable of spending five minutes on the Web doing a little research. It's not like the old days, where my generation had to go down the library and hunt through microfiches of old newspaper articles, or try and find secret bulletin boards, the Internet has put a mountain of information within your reach from home, you're just too lazy or stupid to make use of it. Whilst your politics are stupid enough, what really irritates me about people like you is you are so unable to make use of what my generation built for you.
I think it falls somewhere between "material classified for the hell of it" and "material classified for a good reason." At the time the facility was set up there was probably a good reason to classify that particular aspect of it's operation.
"Tapping all fibre pipes for the purpose of dragnet surveillance" was not going to come as a shock to nation-states or terrorists, but the ability to do so was rare and incredibly expensive. That meant that taking out that facility could have severely crippled UK intelligence gathering capability and hence would have been a priority target for many groups.
Today, everyone knows about the fibre tapping, and we've moved from "difficult and expensive" to "mundane and industrialized." You don't need a footbal feild full of servers to tap the stream and nose out juicy bits of data any more. You can do that in a half rack, and stream the bits you want to store to storage located at ???.
Today's spies don't have to worry about building mega-facilities to tap fibre. "Distance to storage" and "amount of signal interference" are of greater concern than "physical space to store compute" or "availability of electricity and cooling." You can park a sub on top of a fibre pipe and get all the juicy goodies you want, or send a squad with truck out into the hills.
So, what does the information released by The Register really do? That base was already a generic "UK military be here" target long ago. It was long suspected of doing SIGINT work, and after Snowden, anyone who actually cared to try to pin down the locations where this was taking place would have added A and B and said "oh, there's one."
Maybe it causes the UK to beef up security a little, or add a few more keywords to their SIGINT search filters. It doesn't make the facility more or less of a target because the period during which taking that place out would have truly made the UK vulnerable has already passed.
Now, it's existence and purpose are a footnote in history. Interesting not because of what it does, but because of the political machinations that allowed it to exist in the first place. That means revealing it's existence doesn't compromise operational security, but it does call into question the actions of politicians and spooks, and may embarrass some people.
Re: Originone Re: Paul Crawford @Matt Bryant
".....Really you're just saying 'I worked it out already because I'm smart and if you didn't then you're dumb'....." Actually, it's more that too many people are intellectually lazy nowadays. Maybe it is something to do with information overload or simply the ease with which information can be acquired that seems to dull the thirst for knowledge in the Playstation generation. I know I'm smart but I also know there are a lot smarter people than me in the World, it's whether they can apply those smarts that makes the difference. People that claim a passionate opinion on a subject but then turn out to know SFA about it are, IMHO, lazy, uninformed or dishonest.
".....Well that's nice bully for you but what have you done with that knowledge, what could you have done with it, to change things...." Your other poor assumption is that I would want to change things. I have seen a lot of the World and it is not a pretty place. As an example, whilst Russell 6 and I might disagree over whom is the party that wants 'strife in the Middle East', he has at least got into the area and seen the difference in attitude of the people on the ground.
BTW, Russell, ISIS's administrative 'efficiency' is a copying of Hezbollah's equally effective 'hearts and minds' strategy in Lebanon, no need for some hidden 3rd party, TBH, just lots of Qatari and Saudi money. Just like the Taliban, they want to be taken seriously as state builders rather than just goatherds-turned-jihadis. One of the reasons the Iraqi Sunnis are rebellious is because they see themselves as missing out under the Shia-dominated Maliki administration, so they will support groups like ISIS if they open schools and clinics and make the buses run on time, plus tell them they are 'Allah's chosen children'. When Maliki's Shia forces then come in and bomb the schools and shoot the clinic staff it will only add to the resentment. Otherwise keep up the good work and keep safe.
Re: BoringGreen Paul Crawford Cryptome @Plump & Bleaty
Hello my little grass-munching self-proclaimed carnivore preying upon us sheeple
> All those men I listed were public whistleblowers
so whistleblowers like snowden are a good thing, right? Or is it one kind of whistleblower good, another kind bad, according to lambchop's preferences.
from prior post:
> ECHELON was examined by an EU committee in 2000
And the evidence of echelon was hearsay, wasn't it, pretty much like the evidence provided by snowden which according to you was hearsay. So one hearsay good, another bad, according to plumpo.
Oh! and from a very recent prior post by our little plumpgasm here:
".....Bodies in the EU say it likely is illegal....." Politicised bodies with no legal standing,
Remember that lambchop? So one EU committee examining echelon is quoted by plumpo and That Is Good whereas when I quote one it gets slagged off as having 'no legal standing'. Which is it, cotton-bud? One or the other. Oh, and BTW I see you've (finally) stopped claiming that the EU's civil liberties committee has 'no legal standing' after me pointing out several times that it clearly did, and gave a ref. Wrong again plumpness.
> You lot are addicted to the spoonfed mentality, [...] my generation built for you.