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General Chat Thread, Guardian, Snowden etc in General; Sorry, redacted the comment I originally typed here, clearly not in the best frame of mind this morning. I meant ...
  1. #16

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Sorry, redacted the comment I originally typed here, clearly not in the best frame of mind this morning. I meant as in macbook, I rarely ever use the term macbook. Sorry, @Arthur
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 22nd August 2013 at 10:21 AM.

  2. #17
    Sdrawkcab's Avatar
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    I read this this morning on Reddit and it's got me thinking a bit more about this case. If what he's saying about AES-256 in the post I linked is true (and from my understanding of encryption, it is), then the whole edward-snowden-prism-wikileaks-miranda thing is being blown WAY out of proportion in true Guardian style. This then leads to heavy handed responses from the gov/police because they feel they can't be seen to be weak in the public eye, even though they may be well aware of what the actual situation is.

    Honestly, I am a filthy lefty and so normally like reading the guardian. Stuff like this makes me despair though, it's just Daily Mail quality journalism spun from the left rather than the right.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    So, I'm only barely following this, but has anyone else noticed that either the Guardian are fobbing people off saying they've destroyed the machine holding evidence re Snowden, or are they using a really bad picture?

    NSA files: why the Guardian in London destroyed hard drives of leaked files | World news | The Guardian

    That's 2 mac mainboards (neither from the model on the right), a graphics card and a TFT controller. No hard drives, memory, anything. Something afoot?
    The something afoot is that much of the events in that article sound entirely fabricated. That is not how the NSA or GCHQ would take care of business. The computer(s) would have been seized and/or the Guardian network hacked without their knowledge and we would have never heard anything about it. Unless this bizarre episode was just a cover for what GCHQ was really doing at the Guardian...

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    Indeed, much of the point of my post is that something doesn't quite add up, as would often appear to be the case with this sort of happening.

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    Doesn't matter if the guy stopped was a journalist or not, he still shouldn't have been stopped. The government knew about it and tried fobbing the responsibility for the incident off to the Police. Later the government admit the Miranda detention, alongside the Guardian ransacking, was a show of force and to deter others from reporting on the Snowden case (basically bullying!). Then they confess that it was authorised by higher ups and cross-party squabbling began between Lib Dem and Conservative over who signed the order.

    Meanwhile the entire country has lost it's credibility and is no longer considered safe from a freedom of speech angle. If you go anywhere near the UK with potential Snowden material you get arrested and bullied by spooks.
    So if intelligence indicates that someone entering the UK is carrying material that could be a credible threat to national security, are you saying that we shouldn't ever stop them?

  6. #21

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatpackhamster View Post
    So if intelligence indicates that someone entering the UK is carrying material that could be a credible threat to national security, are you saying that we shouldn't ever stop them?
    The problem is that the law is written such that you can only stop someone who is specifically and personally involved in the preparation or undertaking of a terrorism act themselves. This was patently not true in the case of David Miranda - argue all you like about whether the information he carried could be used to do that or not (though given that it was all encrypted I'm going to say "not"), the fact is that he himself was not a terrorist planning to do anything. Therefore the Met/government acted outside of its authority in detaining him.

    Whether or not we should have a law that allows them to do that is a separate argument. As it stands, they do not have that right, yet they still undertook the action.

  7. #22

    seawolf's Avatar
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    What most people in the world fail to realise about the work done by the NSA and GCHQ is that they tend to deal with potentially volatile situations and dangerous events in the world rather quietly in the interest of protecting peace and order as much as possible. If the general population knew what other supposedly friendly nations were doing to or against them the world would be at war continuously (on a large and violent scale). Mankind is not good at heart or generally charitable towards his neighbour and much of the hospitality between many nations is a complete facade.

    Snowden is a fool in the sense that he is like a bull in a china shop having no understanding of the true nature and purpose of the intelligence he had access to. He thinks he knows much, but he understands very little because he only has a few pieces to a very large puzzle and no picture to guide him. It's as if a small child stumbled upon a loaded machine gun...

  8. #23
    CAM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatpackhamster View Post
    So if intelligence indicates that someone entering the UK is carrying material that could be a credible threat to national security, are you saying that we shouldn't ever stop them?
    And how do you define credible threat? A man walks through the airport to enter the UK. Intelligence indicates he is a firearms owner, he has a train timetable and has had E-Mails intercepted from abroad about shooting stuff in train stations.

    Is this man a terrorist intent on causing damage to the transport system? Or is this man merely a farmer on his way home from holiday, pops some rabbits in his field then sits down to a shiny new copy of BF4 that he played abroad at Gamescom and told his mates about online? Should he be subject to 9 hours of detention at the government's whim because someone at the security services is over-paranoid and put 2+2 together to make 100? It does happen...

    Or in the Miranda case, he has links to someone they don't like. He visited someone else they don't like, so the government decided to use him as a show of force to intimidate not just Miranda but the people he has links to. Security services tread the fine line between safety and intrusion, but participating in state sponsored intimidation and threats against people who have not done anything illegal is overstepping said line by a large margin.

  9. #24


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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    What most people in the world fail to realise about the work done by the NSA and GCHQ is that they tend to deal with potentially volatile situations and dangerous events in the world rather quietly in the interest of protecting peace and order as much as possible.
    That must be the bits we don't see then since the bits we do see more frequently suggest they are barely competent enough to tie their own shoelaces.
    If the general population knew what other supposedly friendly nations were doing to or against them the world would be at war continuously (on a large and violent scale). Mankind is not good at heart or generally charitable towards his neighbour and much of the hospitality between many nations is a complete facade.

    Snowden is a fool in the sense that he is like a bull in a china shop having no understanding of the true nature and purpose of the intelligence he had access to. He thinks he knows much, but he understands very little because he only has a few pieces to a very large puzzle and no picture to guide him. It's as if a small child stumbled upon a loaded machine gun...
    I doubt many people in the 'general population' really think other nations are not out to protect their own interests just as much as their own nation is. What I think Snowden was a little miffed about was quite the extent of the states snooping that was operating outside of legal oversight when the snooping is directed at the states own citizens. There are existing laws and procedures on the books for tapping communications of suspects who are entitled to the protection of the law of their own country. Apparently those laws are no longer fashionable and we have moved into a more Big Brother "Those who have nothing to hide, have nothing to fear", mode. I wonder how long it will be before we dispense with trial and all that rather inconvenient pa lava and just pop off a hellfire missle from an unmanned to punish the miscreants in the sink estates.

  10. #25


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    Guardian told to destroy NSA files for national security, says Clegg

    Clegg's spokesman confirms that Sir Jeremy Heywood made request on instructions of David Cameron

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    That must be the bits we don't see then since the bits we do see more frequently suggest they are barely competent enough to tie their own shoelaces.
    Precisely the point. You DON'T see or hear about 99.999999999999% of what the NSA or GCHQ do and the "bits" you do see are usually when someone has really stuffed up their job.

    I doubt many people in the 'general population' really think other nations are not out to protect their own interests just as much as their own nation is.
    The "general population" lives in a fantasy world in this regard and what is being kept in the dark is far more than just nations protecting their own interests. I am speaking of things that occur regularly that would be sufficient for a declaration of war, and many citizens of those nations would demand such if they knew about them.

    What I think Snowden was a little miffed about was quite the extent of the states snooping that was operating outside of legal oversight when the snooping is directed at the states own citizens.
    This had been known about for years before Snowden, and was reported on by the press at least as early as 2008 based on information provided by some former low-level NSA employees who had worked in comms intercept sites. These intercepts are not operating outside of government (legal) oversight and are fully lawful. When the leaders of the US and UK abandoned the protections that were set out in USSIDs 18 and 9 and laws such as the Patriot Act and new Presidential Executive Orders (some public, some classified) were enacted by Bush and Obama (or that Obama saw fit to keep, so don't blame Bush for it all) the NSA and other intel agencies were given new guidelines and orders and are in fact operating legally and within their authority. Any denials to such by either government in that regard is complete BS. Presidents have been able to operate this way for decades, and even under Clinton there were some things going on and Executive Orders issued that many people would find rather "unsavoury". The point is don't blame the Intel Agencies for doing what they've been ordered to do by the leaders that the citizens have elected.

    There are existing laws and procedures on the books for tapping communications of suspects who are entitled to the protection of the law of their own country. Apparently those laws are no longer fashionable and we have moved into a more Big Brother "Those who have nothing to hide, have nothing to fear", mode.
    Those laws were deemed to be too laborious and slow moving (by our elected leaders) to allow intelligence agencies with the ability to gather and respond adequately to real-time or near real-time intelligence, particularly in regards to terrorism. The requirement to obtain court orders and such for every proposed intercept does not work when dealing with terrorists in particular. If the government didn't take these actions and terrorist acts regularly hit our cities, planes, schools, hospitals, dams, power plants, military bases, etc. then the public outcry would border on open revolt. Governments are in a damned if they do, damned if they don't situation. So, the laws have not been ignored, but have been superseded by new laws by leaders who legally have the power to enact such laws either publicly or privately (per the existing laws of the US or UK giving them the power to do so).

  12. #27


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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    Precisely the point. You DON'T see or hear about 99.999999999999% of what the NSA or GCHQ do and the "bits" you do see are usually when someone has really stuffed up their job.
    I guess since there is naturally no evidence of this we will just have to take your word for it, you obvioulsy being in the know and all.
    The "general population" lives in a fantasy world in this regard and what is being kept in the dark is far more than just nations protecting their own interests. I am speaking of things that occur regularly that would be sufficient for a declaration of war, and many citizens of those nations would demand such if they knew about them.
    Right. So some examples and evidence would help, but let me guess, you could tell me but then you would have to kill me.
    This had been known about for years before Snowden, and was reported on by the press at least as early as 2008 based on information provided by some former low-level NSA employees who had worked in comms intercept sites. These intercepts are not operating outside of government (legal) oversight and are fully lawful. When the leaders of the US and UK abandoned the protections that were set out in USSIDs 18 and 9 and laws such as the Patriot Act and new Presidential Executive Orders (some public, some classified) were enacted by Bush and Obama (or that Obama saw fit to keep, so don't blame Bush for it all) the NSA and other intel agencies were given new guidelines and orders and are in fact operating legally and within their authority. Any denials to such by either government in that regard is complete BS. Presidents have been able to operate this way for decades, and even under Clinton there were some things going on and Executive Orders issued that many people would find rather "unsavoury". The point is don't blame the Intel Agencies for doing what they've been ordered to do by the leaders that the citizens have elected.
    I (personally) don't blame government agencies for things that are properly the responsibility of governments. IMO the routine surveillance by default of all citizens communications goes beyond the legislation which was crafted to deal with Terrorists. But in the brain dead "War on Terror", I've given up expecting governments to actually think that our freedoms are worth protecting and worth the price.
    Those laws were deemed to be too laborious and slow moving (by our elected leaders) to allow intelligence agencies with the ability to gather and respond adequately to real-time or near real-time intelligence, particularly in regards to terrorism. The requirement to obtain court orders and such for every proposed intercept does not work when dealing with terrorists in particular. If the government didn't take these actions and terrorist acts regularly hit our cities, planes, schools, hospitals, dams, power plants, military bases, etc. then the public outcry would border on open revolt. Governments are in a damned if they do, damned if they don't situation. So, the laws have not been ignored, but have been superseded by new laws by leaders who legally have the power to enact such laws either publicly or privately (per the existing laws of the US or UK giving them the power to do so).
    Funny how we (in the UK) managed to live with the IRA for so many years (funded by lovely Americans) and didn't have to resort to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. When I read your paragraph above it takes me straight into Orwell's 1984, the population fed fear of the Urasian menace to keep them compliant. We should instigate a two minute hate - everyone standing infront of their TV with pictures of OBL displayed for us to vent our hatred. Freedom, Justice, Privacy - if we throw those out we might as well let the terrorists win, although seeing as we are reigning death from the sky using unmanned drones in foreign countries we have not even declared war on, I'm not quite sure any more what makes them terrorists and us the good guys.
    Last edited by pcstru; 23rd August 2013 at 07:59 AM.

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    What most people in the world fail to realise about the work done by the NSA and GCHQ is that they tend to deal with potentially volatile situations and dangerous events in the world rather quietly in the interest of protecting peace and order as much as possible.
    Quietly protecting their interests, like the killing of journo's as Mannings video shows.

    Protecting peace and order, my arse, someone has been watching too much 24. It amazes me the amount of people that will believe and try to justify any propaganda their government tells them to.
    Last edited by Theblacksheep; 23rd August 2013 at 08:42 AM.

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    I will never tire of quoting Benjamin Franklin on this topic:
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

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    This might explain why they were so keen on getting hold of the files Miranda was carrying:
    Exclusive: UK

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