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General Chat Thread, Are MI5 and the NSA eavesdropping on us all? in General; Anyone would think this is all Hi-Tech voodo, but the fact is if you have physical access you can pretty ...
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    m25man's Avatar
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    Are MI5 and the NSA eavesdropping on us all?

    Are MI5 and the NSA eavesdropping on us all?-imageuploadedbyedugeek1370714487.244176.jpg

    Anyone would think this is all Hi-Tech voodo, but the fact is if you have physical access you can pretty much own anything.

    It's not that hard to gain access to a Comms cabinet stick one of these in a corner and everything passing through it is mirrored.
    This one is USB powered gigabit on all ports even has PoE pass thru.

    No hiding place with one of these in your gateway cabinet... But I guess the NSA have them on a single chip and built into every data centre on the Planet, even if Google say they don't have access directly I wouldn't expect them to have asked for permission anyway!

    Are we all supposed to be outraged by our electronic communications being intercepted? Personally in this day and age I almost expect it!

    Do you?
    Last edited by m25man; 8th June 2013 at 07:21 PM.

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    To be honest I expect the answer is no, the majority of the information we exchange is of no interest to the security services - The resources required to capture, process & store such information far outweighs any benefit they could get from it. I'm sure they have the ability to do so but would be selective about when/where they do it.

    If I had anything to hide I'd be using VPN's/SSH Tunnels etc, I'm happy that https is enough to protect me from data interception by most when doing internet banking/emails etc but don't feel the need to break out the tinfoil just yet

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    It's been going on for years. Just do a Google search for 'Echelon' and see what pops up. As has been mentioned, unless you yourself are under surveillance then your emails and phone calls will go disregarded.

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    NSA Prism: Why I'm boycotting US cloud tech - and you should too « The Register

    'Not subject to American law' - the next desirable IT feature
    America is a country entirely run by politicians and civil servants with no oversight except in pleasing donors and no master but the almighty dollar. The only sound that those in charge are capable of hearing is that of a closing wallet.

    Our addiction to US technology and services leaves us vulnerable to the whims of those who make the laws. For those of us from countries that still believe in the ideals our ancestors died for this is a problem. As business owners we have a duty of care to our customers and employees to treat their data and privacy with respect. We are still expected to defend their liberty as if it were our own.

    We can not do this if that data ever comes within legal reach of the USA. Foreigners have no right to privacy within the US; indeed, we've even lost the right to habeas corpus there.

    We cannot lobby for change because the American lobby machine is so huge that it would take all of our nations combined to even make a dent; a political impossibility, if the European Union's influence is anything to go by. Instead, US industry has spent incomprehensible amounts of money lobbying our governments to seize our rights from us!
    To effect change we are left with a boycott in everything but name. It means that non-US Western businesses need to start using "not subject to US law" as a marketing point. We need cloud providers and software vendors that don't have a US presence, no US data centers, no US employees - no legal attack surface in that nation of any kind. Perhaps most critical of all, we need a non-American credit-card company.

    If enough of us start to pull our technology purchases out of the US they will indeed sit up and take notice; money leaving the country may well be one of the only things that will ever cause them to do so.
    I can't see this happening myself.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Listening to President Obama on the news, he did raise a valid point - for national security they do need to be eavesdropping on specific suspects to prevent acts of terrorism. What he didn't say is approximately how many attempts they have stopped or prevented and how many suspects were actually spoken to or arrested.

    If we heard and read about the actual number of attempts, I think the real numbers would be horrific. We Joe Public only hear about bigger attempts, or even worse actual successful acts in a terrorists eyes. A lot is happening behind the scenes whether we like it or not, but at least this means most people can live normal lives without fear.

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    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    I think what the author of the above is saying is that they can live without fear from one direction... but something else to fear might then come from another direction. Such is life though, to an extent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    If we heard and read about the actual number of attempts, I think the real numbers would be horrific.
    According to the articles below, PRISM helped prevent the New York subway bombings in 2009. You're right - there probably have been many similar terrorist plots that we don't hear about.


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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    It's been going on for years. Just do a Google search for 'Echelon' and see what pops up. As has been mentioned, unless you yourself are under surveillance then your emails and phone calls will go disregarded.
    Not entirely accurate, there are several hundred keywords which flag a look at you, most of which are deemed as innocent to many people (theology students flag up significantly more than any other group). Unfortunately, many people do not realise they are under surveillance. I am fortunate to know about 100 of the words as they were words taught too me whilst in the military, but the SiS have a much more extensive list, and are much more unforgiving.
    Last edited by nephilim; 8th June 2013 at 11:22 PM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Listening to President Obama on the news, he did raise a valid point - for national security they do need to be eavesdropping on specific suspects to prevent acts of terrorism.
    This isn't subject specific though - this is a drag net, collecting everything and then sifting through it looking for the cod and throwing all the rest overboard.

    The law has had the ability to do subject specific intelligence gathering for as long as anyone remembers - but systematic collecting of everything everyone does is something else entirely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Listening to President Obama on the news, he did raise a valid point - for national security they do need to be eavesdropping on specific suspects to prevent acts of terrorism. What he didn't say is approximately how many attempts they have stopped or prevented and how many suspects were actually spoken to or arrested.

    If we heard and read about the actual number of attempts, I think the real numbers would be horrific. We Joe Public only hear about bigger attempts, or even worse actual successful acts in a terrorists eyes. A lot is happening behind the scenes whether we like it or not, but at least this means most people can live normal lives without fear.
    They've had evesdropping since telecommunication was invented, if someone was suspected they'd get a court to approve spying and data collection, simple. No one argued with this. This is different, this is everyone default, suspecting people are guilty of something by default.

    The boston bombers were known to the FBI (like 9/11 hijackers were) and even went to talk to them, surely the NSA had them under surveillance, if not FBI, ATF or local police. You honestly think they are stopping terrorist events behind the scenes? They have to go to prison to stop them, they have to prove a crime has been committed and they dont just let them get on with their day. You'd hear about it, they'd be triumphing technology in saving lives. Prism wasnt needed for catch the tube bombers, the tools they have had for 100 years have been sufficient. Like county councils completely abusing RIPA they are used for other purposes.

    The amount of National Security Letters issued under the warrantless patriot act between 2003 and 2005 was 147,074. Of these 17 were referred to authorities for money laundering, 17 for immigration, 19 for fraud and 0 for terrorism.

    Peoples data have been drawn away with the 'free' model and concentrated in corporate datacenters. Privacy stripped because it has been mined for advertising (that has a handy dual use). Wide sweeping interceptions are not required on a network level any more, you dont need to capture everything, you dont need to wade through PB or even EBs of data. I find it funny that Facebook have provided a portal for FISA requests, despite the pathetic scripted denials "no direct access to our servers" says everything.

    We are being 'snooped on' now and have been for years, the snoopers charter will just put this legally in place at a huge cost to the public. The billion dollar tech companies will continue to not pay tax, sweet deal. HMRC is one of the establishments in the 'snoopers charter' that will have access to the data, why if its about the children or terrorism? because its not.

    People are not free if they are by default under suspicion. This is the state people in East Germany or the Soviet Union lived in. This is the state people in oppressive regimes in the middle and far east live in and use for political purposes.
    Last edited by Theblacksheep; 9th June 2013 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Got nothing to hide? You have no curtains then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    People are not free if they are by default under suspicion. This is the state people in East Germany or the Soviet Union lived in. This is the state people in oppressive regimes in the middle and far east live in and use for political purposes.
    ^This. Who gets to decide who is snooped on and what the criteria are if the default position is that you can collect data on anyone you want to. Presumably Internet searches on ways to avoid detection using TOR and signing e-petitions against the snooper's charter would be a good way to draw attention to myself, even if I haven't done anything "wrong"...

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    as long as they don't get involved in the Referendum, that's all that matters

    MI5 spies told: stay out of referendum | Herald Scotland


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    Get a VPN with Ecatel or Voxility that will make it very difficult to find what you do as they are pretty awkward to deal with, but bear in mind with google indexing as much as it can it's not hard to match a nickname to a person when they leave trails. Tor is going to become more and more watched, I2P and Tor have exit nodes with the point of logging to catch less than savoury people... which I personally agree with. I argue... unless you've got something to hide, what's the big deal what's to say ISPs haven't been monitoring already and passing this information on freely, social networking sites roll over at the first sign of the law.

    Be good, use the Internet for legal purposes and all is well. :-)

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    Why hello there, Mr Schmidt... :P

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