UK spies: You know how we said bulk device hacking would be used sparingly? Well, things have 'evolved'...
You'd hope the Begium teclos have upped their game significantly already. The Belgium government might not be of any interest to anybody in the world, but the same does not apply to the EU parliament and EU commission.
If we are/were the only people spying on them then that is probably because GCHQ secured the systems behind their own hack to lock other attackers out.
I'm more worried [ https://howmanydaystill.com/its/brexit-6 ] that someone continental might unplug the whole of UK from the internet on CE/R&TTE grounds due to too much electrical interference!
Perhaps there are plans to reroute transatlantic cables to Eire, then to Brittany, then on to waffle-land. It's not that inconceivable from where I'm sitting, but hopefully it won't happen, the unplugging - so carry-on interfering electrically, and don't panic, otherwise you'll all have to spy on yourselves rather a lot. I know that your tier partners would still like to send you squirrely stuff, but that can be sent by standardised carrier pigeon rfc2549 or perhaps by covert Clacks from Cap Gris-Nez?
And yet at the time, there were those saying this wouldn't happen.
There are always those saying these things wont happen. And by the time it does, they're busy saying something else wont happen and that everybody knew the other thing would and why are you still talking about it?
When new powers are introduced, unless penalties are for misuse of those powers are introduced at the same time, they will always be abused.
"When new powers are introduced, unless penalties are for misuse of those powers are introduced at the same time, they will always be abused."
Optimist. Haven't you watched long enough to see how redefinition/spin/selective enforcement work in the real world? How about "There are apparently no exceptions whatever to power always being abused".
It seems they haven't learned anything from what happened after the Snowden revelations. We found out that they were listening into everything so companies and by extension individuals moved to https over http and encrypted over plaintext. Now they want to put malware on everyone's devices so that the encryption is useless - ignoring the fact that it will be impossible to secure their malware from anyone else that wants to use it. This will only lead to a rise in fully segregated OSes like Qubes and then they'll fucking whine about that.
How about you use the powers sparingly and in a targeted manner and not like a ADHD kid hyped on sugar and perhaps people won't secure the bejesus out of everything? Although the horse has likely bolted on that one due to your immoral "bulk" nonsense.
Re: The underlying message
Hide in plain sight may be the only option for the <insert bad group here>
I think you'll find that the IBGH already do. They realised long ago that the US had the ability to backdoor or hack most IT and comms hardware, from user devices through modems, routers, network switches to DC hardware, and even if a digital or voice message can be securely encrypted end-to-end, it still gives things away in duration, locations, and the network of contacts.
Far safer to use a chain of disposable couriers given idiot codes. The courier doesn't understand the code, so the best the "official" side can do is hope to disrupt the transmission - and unless it knows the couriers it can't easily track and disrupt it. Even if they get lucky, intercepting the transmission and seizing the code doesn't help because it can't be cracked and the courier doesn't know what it means.
Ultimately if you throw enough surveillance at it this can be tracked from "head office" down to operatives, but just look how long it took the US to find IBL, with the entire weight of the Western world's intelligence agencies on the job, along with military surveillance assets, and for all practical terms no legal oversight or restraint. And despite the billions spent on that, the Taliban are resurgent in Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia is drifting back into its Wahabi extremism. I really don't see how bulk EI is going to help in the failed wars on terror, drugs and motorists.
"I really don't see how bulk EI is going to help in the failed wars on terror, drugs and motorists."
What makes you think this is their "enemy" ?
It's their excuse.
The real enemy of all data fetishists is everyone.
Everyone who says things they can't hear.
Everyone who thinks things they don't know about.
Because once you have 6 lines from an honest man you can find something to hang them with.
Re: The underlying message
Bulk surveillance is about quashing dissent. It is about preventing the rise of a leader capable of bringing about the demise of the military industrial complex and upsetting the status quo. It is about their enemies not ours. Every now and again they might stumble upon the odd useful bone to throw out to justify their existence. Bulk surveillance is useless for its stated purpose. Always has been, always will be. When one of the architects of mass surveillance - William Binney - states that it is useless for their intended aims you know that's not its purpose.
Number Six: Where am I?
Number Two: In the Village.
Number Six: What do you want?
Number Two: Information.
Number Six: Whose side are you on?
Number Two: That would be telling. We want information… information… information.
Number Six: You won't get it.
Number Two: By hook or by crook, we will.
Number Six: Who are you?
Number Two: The new Number Two.
Number Six: Who is Number One?
Number Two: You are Number Six.
Number Six: I am not a number! I am a free man!
Things haven't evolved
"Things have evolved". I very much doubt that. This was, I believe, the game plan all along. It's only being done now because it's taken them this long to build the infrastructure for it. No point getting the great unwashed upset at their political masters before time, eh what? Not that it won't be too late to stop it already, of course...
Nobody actually believed them, right?
"During the passage of the Investigatory Powers legislation, he said, the government anticipated bulk EI warrants would be "the exception", and "be limited to overseas 'discovery' based EI operations"."
If you grant a body with a power, you can be absolutely certain that the power will be used to the fullest extent possible. If the limits of a granted power aren't part of the legislation granting the power, then those limits don't exist. What they say about "intention" is always meaningless.
Espionage is often described as an arms race. What does that mean for gchq ?
In WWII, it was mathematicians following orders vs. mathematicians trying to outwit johnny foreigner. Easy to see who's going to win there (and we have no information about how well johnny foreigner managed to penetrate our brave eggheads).
Currently, it's people being paid by the hour trying to outdo : terrorists whose lives / life missions depend on their methods, and enthusiasts (hackers, cryptogeeks, whatever you want to call them) who see it as a game.
The smart money's not on the government any more.
Now we know why the Guvmint doesn't like Chinese kit
Official View: We're concerned about the Chinese spying on us so don't buy it
Reality: We can't figure out a way to screw with this kit to get us the information we want**
(** Because we've had to live with the "Chinese Spying" and "Backdoor" miasma for so long Chinese companies have had to demonstrate to all interested parties that their kit is clean in order to sell it. Its the same with Kaspersky's anti-virus -- we don't like it because we can't compromise it (and it keeps catching us out).)