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posted by mattie_p on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the I'm-not-directly-spying-on-you dept.

Angry Jesus writes:

"German language magazine 'Bild am Sonntag' reports that, in response to Obama's recent order to stop spying on Angela Merkel and other heads of 'friendly' states, the NSA has instead ramped up spying on everybody Merkel communicates with. Cory Doctorow points out that this action demonstrates that the NSA is out of control and deliberately disobeying a presidential order with a level of duplicity worthy of a four year-old."

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by aristarchus on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:22AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:22AM (#6419) Journal

    The first determination of the deception of a four year old is that nobody believes it. Who broke the cookie jar? "Nobody." Yeah, like that is going to fly. NSA, the only government agent that listens to you, and your friends.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by jt on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:22AM

      by jt (2890) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:22AM (#6454)

      'Plausible deniability' doesn't work when one's reputation is dirt, and only negative interpretations of actions are plausible.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by frojack on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:01AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:01AM (#6474) Journal

      Well, with due deference to the all knowing Cory Doctorow, who opines:

      this action demonstrates that the NSA is out of control and deliberately disobeying a presidential order with a level of duplicity worthy of a four year-old.

      Really Cory? You still believe in Obama? After all this time?

      The NSA is doing exactly as he told them they could do, which is exactly what they suggested that he should tell them to do. None of this is being done behind his back. He is All In. He drank the koolaid 10 minutes after he was elected.

       

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by metamonkey on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:17PM

        by metamonkey (3174) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:17PM (#6652)

        What makes you think Obama tells the NSA what to do? I would venture the situation is more likely reversed.

        --
        Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by dilbert on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:54PM

          by dilbert (444) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:54PM (#6733)
          Wait, so Obama has dirty laundry on the NSA he can use to influence their actions?

          I'm sorry, but no. Post Snowden, the president is the one in this equation that believes he still has some secrets he'd rather the NSA not disclose. Thus it will be the NSA telling him what to do, and not the other way around.

          • (Score: 1) by metamonkey on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:58PM

            by metamonkey (3174) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:58PM (#6741)

            I think you misread my post. I said the situation was reversed...Obama doesn't tell the NSA what to do, the NSA tells Obama what to do.

            --
            Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
            • (Score: 1) by dilbert on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:27PM

              by dilbert (444) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:27PM (#6759)
              You're right, I did misread. My apologies.
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:46PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:46PM (#6770) Journal

          Pretty sure I implied that in my post.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 1) by metallurge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:37PM

        by metallurge (1093) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:37PM (#6721)

        He is All In. He drank the koolaid 10 minutes after he was elected.

        Actually, he drank the koolaid in approximately July, 2008 [go.com], when he reversed himself on FISA / Telecom Immunity. This was before he was elected. This is what cost him my vote subsequently.

      • (Score: 1) by Ezber Bozmak on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:02PM

        by Ezber Bozmak (764) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:02PM (#6744)

        Really Cory? You still believe in Obama? After all this time

        To be fair, if you RTFA, Doctrow actually wrote:

        "This is assuming that Obama himself didn't wink-nudge them and say, "Actually, go ahead and keep spying on her but not personally, OK?""

      • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by gottabeme on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:23PM

        by gottabeme (1531) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:23PM (#6756)

        > He drank the koolaid 10 minutes after he was elected.

        After? I mean, hey, I'm glad you've finally seen the light, but come on: you honestly think the "hope and change" was real? He's one of the least-qualified presidents we've had. He was made president by people who wanted him to be. They searched for someone who could sell it to the average American, and they found Obama. Their machine did the rest. The American People are the ones who really drank the koolaid. And most of them still can't admit to themselves that they fell for it.

        • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by frojack on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:56PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:56PM (#6780) Journal

          I Never believed a single word Obama ever said, I've never voted for him.
          Even those people desperate for a black president knew he was an incompetent
          self aggrandizing liar.

          And no, I didn't get to keep my Doctor.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: -1, Redundant) by beckett on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:25AM

    by beckett (1115) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:25AM (#6420)

    NSA Secretly begins Doctorow Surveillance

    An anonymous NSA leaker revealed to rival blogger Matt Drudge that the agency has been spying on senior Doctorow figure, Cory Doctorow. The move is apparently a response to Cory Doctorow reporting Obama prohibiting the agency from spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel (or other world leaders) without his authorization -- by spying on the people that report on the surveillance employed against whom Merkel communicates, the agency is still able to intercept a large fraction of Doctorow's personal communication concerning Merkel's most sensitive communications without presidential authorization, without presidential authorization.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by c0lo on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:28AM

      by c0lo (156) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:28AM (#6422) Journal

      :) It wasn't Doctorow to break the news for the entire world, it was Reuters [reuters.com]

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 1) by Fnord666 on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:55PM

        by Fnord666 (652) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:55PM (#6779) Homepage

        ) It wasn't Reuters breaking the news, it was 'Bild am Sonntag', but since I can't find the original article, Reuters will have to do for now.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:26AM

    by c0lo (156) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:26AM (#6421) Journal

    With such friends, who needs enemies?

    No wonder when other countries will start taking countermeasures to get around NSA and, unfortunately, the US as a whole will suffer some consequences.
    It already started (submission still in the editorial queue. Don't worry, I'm not alluding war, it's about just a piece of business no longer transiting US).

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by evilcam on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:09AM

      by evilcam (3239) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:09AM (#6445)

      The really sad part, the really, truly depressing part of this story is not that it even happens but that the NSA Et Al. clearly don't even care. And best I can tell neither do most Americans.

      Pretty well every story I read about the US just makes me shake my head :(

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by frojack on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:22AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:22AM (#6480) Journal

        Quote: NSA Et Al. clearly don't even care. And best I can tell neither do most Americans.

        You're dead wrong on that. I know several career Marine Corp officers who live by me who are pissed as hell.

        Everybody I know is very cynical about the government in general. Any last remaining shred of trust is gone.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by mrbluze on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:45AM

          by mrbluze (49) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:45AM (#6489) Journal

          But the war machine rolls on regardless, be it the Middle East, or Eastern Europe, or the hidden wars on the African Continent. Will that stop?

          --
          Do it yourself, 'cause no one else will do it yourself.
          • (Score: 1) by metamonkey on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:21PM

            by metamonkey (3174) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:21PM (#6655)

            It's able to be slowed. Slightly. The MIC was all for dropping bombs on Syria, but public support was nil. I think polls showed only something like 9% support from the American public. Because of that level of opposition, the PTB stood down and let Russia solve the chemical weapons problem with diplomacy.

            --
            Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
          • (Score: 4, Informative) by mcgrew on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:17PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:17PM (#6703) Homepage Journal

            But the war machine rolls on regardless, be it the Middle East, or Eastern Europe, or the hidden wars on the African Continent. Will that stop?

            The latest news is that the head of the defense department wants to cut the US military to pre-WWII levels. [washingtonpost.com]

            --
            Older than dirt? Kid, I was a BETA TESTER for dirt! We never did get all the bugs out.
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by evilcam on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:17PM

          by evilcam (3239) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:17PM (#6563)

          You're dead wrong on that. I know several career Marine Corp officers who live by me who are pissed as hell.

          Everybody I know is very cynical about the government in general. Any last remaining shred of trust is gone.

          I sincerely hope that is the case; we get the government we deserve and too much apathy only ever leads to people trying to baby everyone. When it happens at the super power level then you have a problem...

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mojo chan on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:42PM

          by mojo chan (266) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:42PM (#6575)

          Pissed as hell but still not doing much apparently. Where are the mass protests? Where are the political alternatives at the next election? You can make excuses about the powers that be crushing all dissent and maintaining the two party system, but that just means you failed to act when it would have been easier and are now required to take more extreme measures to protect your liberty.

          --
          const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Blackmoore on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:35PM

            by Blackmoore (57) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:35PM (#6717) Journal

            How can you protest? If you take a day off from work and show up to peacefully protest; you get tagged by the snoops, bagged from work (because the government told them you were up to no good), and end up homeless.

            protesting won't get real until the majority of people are unemployed and starving.

            until then they remain happy with bread and circuses.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:34AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @03:34AM (#7097)

              until then they remain happy with bread and circuses.

              Corollary: If you remove the bread and circuses, the people will become unhappy.
              Extension: If people are unhappy, they will protest meaningfully.
              Extension #2: If people protest meaningfully, change can be effected.

        • (Score: 1) by Fnord666 on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:51PM

          by Fnord666 (652) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:51PM (#6773) Homepage

          You're dead wrong on that. I know several career Marine Corp officers who live by me who are pissed as hell.

          That's a good sign then. The government will almost certainly try to use our troops against us and there needs to be significant doubt in the minds of US soldiers about the "rightness" of their leaders. When there is a ring of soldiers around the white house, we will need them to be facing inward, not outward.

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:02PM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:02PM (#6782) Journal

            That very thing has been worrying me for quite a while.

            Obama talks big while lecturing Ukraine, Venezuela, Egypt, and Tunisia about their treatment of protesters. Yet you know damn well if they start burning cars on Pennsylvanian avenue he will have snipers on the roof tops just like every despot.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TheLink on Wednesday February 26 2014, @07:46AM

              by TheLink (332) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @07:46AM (#7181) Journal
              What worries me is the polarized mindless D vs R voters/supporters.

              Doesn't seem a great stretch that such D/Rs can easily be convinced by their respective leaders to kill R/Ds "to save America" or whatever bullshit required.

              Happens in other countries, just look at the news from time to time - part of the population starts going to war with the rest of the population, and all for no real good reason.
              • (Score: 2) by SMI on Wednesday February 26 2014, @10:22PM

                by SMI (333) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @10:22PM (#7591)

                "I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office."
                  - Milton Friedman

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Nikker on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:23AM

      by Nikker (227) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:23AM (#6455)

      The public has always known about spy's. MI5 /007, Mission Impossible glamorized it and every nation has a similar agency. What we are seeing now is that the spy game in the USA is either falling apart as evidence of all their laundry being aired on a routine basis or this is all part of the plan. In the whole scheme of things can you ever effectively stop one person from trying to look over the shoulder of another? Not a chance. I think what you should really be worried about is that if all these leaks are legit then the US just has a really bad spy agency and should get it looked at quickly as possible.

      • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by mcgrew on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:26PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:26PM (#6711) Homepage Journal

        The public has always known about spy's.

        Oh, no! Our first greengrocer! [wikipedia.org] On the vague hope that English is your second language, the internet is a terrible place to learn English. That apostrophe does not belong there. Why did you put it there?

        --
        Older than dirt? Kid, I was a BETA TESTER for dirt! We never did get all the bugs out.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by jt on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:24AM

      by jt (2890) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:24AM (#6456)

      Surely other nations are already attempting these countermeasures? I really hope our allies are already defending themselves; if we can attack our allies in this way, so can our enemies.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:31AM

        by c0lo (156) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:31AM (#6502) Journal

        I really hope our allies are already defending themselves; if we can attack our allies in this way, so can our enemies.

        That would be an utterly awful failure of imagination. Repeating one own's mistakes is bad enough, repeating others' mistakes is madness.

        Surely other nations are already attempting these countermeasures?

        Yes, they constructively [soylentnews.org] are: making friends and good business partners makes for a better efficiency of effort expenditure.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:33AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:33AM (#6427)

    To the editor: it's Cory Doctorow

    • (Score: 2) by mattie_p on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:38AM

      by mattie_p (13) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:38AM (#6429) Journal

      Hey, thanks for letting us know, and thanks for reading so carefully! ~mattie_p

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by starcraftsicko on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:43AM

    by starcraftsicko (2821) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:43AM (#6432) Journal

    Some of the activities of the NSA clearly violate the constitution. Some seem designed to skirt the edges. Then there is this.

    While it may provide the occasional diplomatic embarrassment, surveillance of foreign heads of state is both constitutional and reasonable.

    At the risk of invoking Godwin, I seem to recall a former head of the German state for whom we only wish we could have had such surveillance.

    --
    This post was created with recycled electrons.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by jcd on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:50AM

      by jcd (883) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:50AM (#6438)

      Let's not compare Merkel to Godwin's subject. But I do agree that other nations should pretty much expect this. I'd be shocked if they weren't all doing the same thing to the US's political leaders, especially president. Talk about a high-value intel target.

      --
      "What good's an honest soldier if he can be ordered to behave like a terrorist?"
      • (Score: 1) by jimshatt on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:33AM

        by jimshatt (978) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:33AM (#6459) Journal
        You'd expect there are equally high value targets with lesser risk of diplomatic commotion.
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by frojack on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:32AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:32AM (#6485) Journal

          And also high value targets more likely to yield useful intelligence.

          I'd rather have surveillance of the Indian Prime Minister, or the Iranians or the Saudis or the Chinese.

          The Germans have played pretty straight with us, more so than even the Brits, and god know the French and Israelis.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1) by starcraftsicko on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:29PM

            by starcraftsicko (2821) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:29PM (#6860) Journal

            The good news is, we almost certainly try to monitor their communications too. And the Germans, just in case.

            --
            This post was created with recycled electrons.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by deconfliction on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:17AM

      by deconfliction (183) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:17AM (#6451)

      Some of the activities of the NSA clearly violate the constitution. Some seem designed to skirt the edges. Then there is this.

      While it may provide the occasional diplomatic embarrassment, surveillance of foreign heads of state is both constitutional and reasonable.

      At the risk of invoking Godwin, I seem to recall a former head of the German state for whom we only wish we could have had such surveillance.

      This is the standard old school point of view, OK, fair enough. But when as a human race do we get to - enough is enough. The old school rules were established when the world was a much bigger place, and technology much less pervasive. Our founding philosophers declared that We The People had certain 'inalienable rights' to be free of an authoritarian government watching our every move, 24 hours a day, even in the privacy of our own homes and bedrooms (absent specific probable cause and a signed warrant).

      Were those 'inalienable rights' something that just became obsolete the instant technology and childish logic allowed a handful of world superpowers to get around them by just saying- Ok, the govt of A(e.g. U.S.) will spy 24/7 via tech on all world leaders - *and individuals because they could always be potential terrorists* of govt B(e.g. U.K.), and vice versa, resulting in a de-facto New World Order government that is allowed to bypass those 'inalienable rights' of all citizens of the world???

      I mean come on. My 4th ammendment right doesn't just disappear because those children in power play silly games with legal logic like that.

      And even if this childish spying was limited to 'politically interesting' people like advisors to world leaders- does even that make sense? When you become an advisor to a world leader, do you just give up your right to be treated respectfully and decently by the world powers at large? Your "Water is Wet" comments suggests you think they should just suck it up and sacrifice their personal privacy because they decided they wanted to be a significant part of their democratic government. That is so bogus. That can only lead to a withering of the pool of political advisors down to the people who just don't give a frack about their own, or anyone else's privacy. That can't be a good thing for our global human society. There has to be a better way of dealing with our global society than a - I don't know, is panopticon the right word? There just has to be a way to evolve into a global society where every individual feels as secure in their papers and effects / privacy as our 4th ammendment led our ancestors to feel they deserved to be. (ok, well if you had the right color skin, but I digress...)

      • (Score: 2) by metamonkey on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:28PM

        by metamonkey (3174) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:28PM (#6661)

        I think your confusion stems from a mistaken idea that the founders gave a shit about the rights of the public. Those rights were for the 10% or so of people who were white, male landowners. Women, blacks and poor whites could eat shit and die. And it hasn't really changed in 200 years. The name of the game has always been placate the masses with some seeming acquiescence, then plot some other means to achieve the same goal. And that goal is always the same: control the masses, preserve the status quo.

        --
        Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @10:36PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2014, @10:36PM (#7596)

          Confusion might also stem from the mistaken idea that all of the founders were in unanimous agreement about everything. Sometimes real change takes small steps in series rather than one giant leap. For example, I've heard that the original draft of the US Constitution abolished slavery, but couldn't get enough signatories in that form, so they changed it. Don't forget, especially if you're from the US, that preserving the status quo is not why the US Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights were written.

      • (Score: 1) by starcraftsicko on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:44PM

        by starcraftsicko (2821) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:44PM (#6670) Journal

        I mean come on. My 4th ammendment right doesn't just disappear because those children in power play silly games with legal logic like that.

        Right. The NSA & their cousins are way over the line, but its important to understand where the line is. Surveillance of foreign government figures is completely different than dragnet surveillance of 'everyone'.

        And even if this childish spying was limited to 'politically interesting' people like advisors to world leaders- does even that make sense? When you become an advisor to a world leader, do you just give up your right to be treated respectfully and decently by the world powers at large?

        It makes sense. The behaviour and motivations of governments are of interest to other governments. Once could infer that the surveillance represents the respect of those foreign governments. When you play at a different level, you come under a different level of scrutiny. Think major leagues vs minor leagues vs semi-pro vs little league.

        ...sacrifice their personal privacy because they decided they wanted to be a significant part of their democratic government. That is so bogus. That can only lead to a withering of the pool of political advisors down to the people who just don't give a frack about their own, or anyone else's privacy. That can't be a good thing for our global human society.

        The alternative is to have political advisors and leaders with a "right" to rule the world in secret. Think it through. When you reach the level of guiding a nation-state, your actions are substantially more than the actions of an individual. Your efforts deserve more scrutiny.

        There has to be a better way...

        The NSA and its cousins need to be curtailed, but your secret society is probably not an achievable outcome. In the case of the NSA and US constitutional law, dragnet surveillance is clearly an overreach. The part that is unacceptable however is not even the surveillance, but the formal link between the NSA as an element of NATIONAL DEFENCE, and agencies like the FBI or DEA which conduct domestic LAW ENFORCEMENT. The worse part of that link is the formal policy of concealment - even perjury - implied by the process of PARALLEL CONSTRUCTION.

        We must not let utopian ideals and angst distract us from the smoking gun.

        --
        This post was created with recycled electrons.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:55AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:55AM (#6470)

      Applying such surveillance to someone like Kim Jong-un or Ali Khamenei is one thing. Those people are heads of state of countries openly hostile to the United States, and spying upon people like them is both constitutional and reasonable. However, doing the same thing to the heads of state of countries ostensibly allied to the United States and with supposedly friendly relations, while still perfectly constitutional, is a bit of a stretch to call reasonable. Is it a smart thing to treat Angela Merkel the same way as Kim Jong-un?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by TheRaven on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:36AM

        by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:36AM (#6506) Journal

        The constitution is a red herring. It doesn't prevent the US from using intelligence agencies to gain diplomatic advantages. The important question is whether the NSA is doing this in contradiction to the President's orders. When the revelations came out, it became clear that the diplomatic gains from NSA surveillance were outweighed by the diplomatic losses from being publicly known to spy on allies. So now there are two possible explanations:

        1. Obama publicly said they'd stop, but told the NSA 'don't get caught again!'
        2. Obama told the NSA to stop, but they continued anyway.

        In the first case, the US has just burned a bit more of its political capital, by being publicly caught lying and will likely have to make some more diplomatic concessions to make up for it. Whoever at the NSA was supposed to stop them getting caught again should be in trouble.

        In the latter case, the NSA is completely out of control of governmental oversight and needs some immediate intervention (i.e. fire everyone at the top 3 ranks and bring in completely new management).

        --
        sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:39PM

        by mojo chan (266) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:39PM (#6573)

        More over North Korea actively tries to spy on the US and there is pretty much nothing anyone can do to stop it, but fortunately their resources are limited. If the US wants to get into a spying war with Germany though things could turn ugly really fast, not least because Germany is a powerful voice in the EU. As we have already seen it looks like US companies will eventually be locked out of the EU market.

        --
        const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
        • (Score: 1) by unimatrix on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:08PM

          by unimatrix (1983) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:08PM (#6748)

          Germany, France, and other EU countries actively try to spy on the United States and US Businesses as well. Hell France dedicates about a quarter of their foreign intelligence budget towards "economic espionage" which is mainly Spying on US and British businesses and giving that info to French companies. And they've done so for decades. It's an open secret and anyone inside the beltway, this isn't exactly new news.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Kawumpa on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:12AM

      by Kawumpa (1187) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:12AM (#6478)
      At the risk of invoking Godwin, I seem to recall a former head of the German state for whom we only wish we could have had such surveillance.

      Actually they could have just read the book to get a pretty good idea.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:55AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:55AM (#6540)

      Well, since Godwin is already out of the box...

      Back in 1939-1945 Germany were the despotic authoritarian fascist bullies and the US were the freedom-loving champions of democracy.
      Today I think it looks more the other way round.

      Would you really have wanted that "former head of the German state" to have had access to such surveillance over the rest of the world?

      Posting anon because I am genuinely frightened of the US gov. Yay chilling effect!

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:32PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:32PM (#6958) Journal

        Posting anon because I am genuinely frightened of the US gov. Yay chilling effect!

        You honestly think that makes a difference? Unless you've used TOR, you've sent your IP address in the clear to soylentnews.org with every single packet. Even if you accessed SN over HTTPS, just the number of packets will probably reveal that you were posting that comment. I'd be very surprised if the NSA couldn't figure out who you are if they want.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 1) by quacking duck on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:14PM

      by quacking duck (1395) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:14PM (#6608)

      At the risk of invoking Godwin, I seem to recall a former head of the German state for whom we only wish we could have had such surveillance.

      You probably mean surveilling them during wartime, but that would've automatically excluded them from being a "friendly" state and Obama's pledge of surveillance immunity wouldn't apply, the actual parallel would be surveillance *before* the war started.

      In which case, nothing different would've happened. A sizeable number of Americans (and others, but this story is about the NSA) unfortunately agreed with this German head of state's policies in general before active hostilities started, but European powers were in appeasement mode and the USA had an isolationist policy in place. Pre-WWII Germany wasn't exactly shy about stating their intentions.

    • (Score: 1) by LookIntoTheFuture on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:31PM

      by LookIntoTheFuture (462) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @03:31PM (#6665)

      The problem is that they KNOW they are being spied on. The usefulness of this kind of surveillance has fallen apart. In fact, what's to stop them from providing purposely inaccurate information to those listening in? The whole thing is pointless and in bad taste.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by drgibbon on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:57AM

    by drgibbon (74) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:57AM (#6443) Journal

    These people don't seem to be very good at keeping secrets.

    --
    Certified Soylent Fresh!
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:28AM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:28AM (#6457) Homepage Journal

    Be careful when you wrestle with demons. For when you stare into the abyss, the abyss also stares into you.

    -- Friedrich Nietzche

    I haven't used google much at all for a couple of years. I use DuckDuckGo [duckduckgo.com] instead. It doesn't record your IP address in its logs.

    There are some other search engines that are similar, but are just front-ends to google. So google still knows what you're looking for, just not who you are. My understanding is that DuckDuckGo does its own search, rather than outsourcing it.

    For extra credit, use the DuckDuckGo Tor Hidden Service [torproject.org]. That works just like the Silk Road did, in that the entire transaction is encrypted as well as obfuscated. While DuckDuckGo does not record your IP, a man in the middle can see you.

    It would help either to use HTTP Everywhere, or to just use SSL manually, as DuckDuckGo [duckduckgo.com]. While that will encrypt your queries, the fact that you made a connection at a particular timestamp is still easy to discern.

    If you do use Tor, READ THE FINE MANUAL!

    The reason Ross Ulbricht got busted was not Tor's fault. There is a distinction between a cipher and a cryptosystem.

    Alice: We Have A New Cryptosystem!

    Bob: Yes, we do!

    (New York City is blown into fine, radioactive stratospheric dust.)

    Charlie: No You Didn't.

    If you use any manner of cryptography, it's important to understand the distinction between codes, codebooks, ciphers, keys and cryptosystems.

    It's not actually the case that Turing cracked the Enigma. He only cracked the rotor settings, which changed throughout the war.

    We only won the war in the atlantic because a German admiral and a German caption did not comply to the enigma's cryptosystem: a three rotor enigma was left out in plain sight in an abandoned polish naval base after the nazi's moved on to the soviet union, so two polish cryptographers put the arm on it then sent it to turing.

    The NAZIs figured they'd been had so they eventually added a fourth rotor. That resulted in the sinking of many convoy ships and many deaths. But eventually the British captured a german ship with an intact four-rotor enigma.

    the enigma rotor cipher is commonly thought to be insecure. My understanding is that that's not the case. It's a good way to concatenate an unchanging key with a second key that is frequently changed, therefore it doesn't help much to capture lots of ciphertext.

    The technicians who soldered the leads on the rotors were only permitted to view the one side they were soldering. They were manufactured in such a way that the technician who soldered the other side of your rotor did not see the wires you just soldered. Thus it is readily apparent that whoever designed the Enigma knew what a cryptosystem was.

    Too bad for Der Führer that he didn't turn on his Navy to the cryptosystem.

    Simlarly the US won the battle of midway through social engineering. The japanese thought they had a cryptosystem but they did not in reality. We got them to read us their codebook!

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:58AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:58AM (#6472)

      DuckDuckGo uses Bing

      • (Score: 3) by everdred on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:55PM

        by everdred (110) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:55PM (#6735) Homepage Journal

        Why was this modded Troll? Duckduckgo uses other search engines as its backend, and I believe it may have used Bing at one point. Currently it uses Yandex.

        • (Score: 1) by HiThere on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:34AM

          by HiThere (866) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:34AM (#7065) Journal

          I thought it used a mix of search engines...or possibly several at the same time.

          Whatever, not logging your IP address is good, but since your communications to are probably monitored on the way to it, it probably doesn't matter. Someone else logged it.

          (Yes, I know you mentioned ways to obscure that trail. I doubt that they will be successful if you are a person of interest. If you aren't, they probably aren't needed...though that may be foolish optimism.)

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 2) by everdred on Wednesday February 26 2014, @08:13AM

            by everdred (110) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 26 2014, @08:13AM (#7194) Homepage Journal

            It looks like you're right [duck.co]. But interestingly, I found that page through a link that said read "In partnership with Yandex," which seems to appear alongside the results of all queries I try now.

    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by HyperQuantum on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:21PM

      by HyperQuantum (2673) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:21PM (#6565)

      If you use any manner of cryptography, it's important to understand the distinction between codes, codebooks, ciphers, keys and cryptosystems.

      And that is why most people don't bother trying to use it. If you want everyone to use something, then make it easy to use!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Pav on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:43AM

    by Pav (114) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @07:43AM (#6462)

    Strange... haven't seen anyone ask "is this German magazine a reputable source?". I suppose this is the price to be paid for secret mass surveilance ie. loss of trust. This is exactly as it should be - the general public were mushrooms for too long, and that's shamefully undemocratic - but can people overcome their learned disempowerment to do anything? This security-theatre bullsh*t takes energy away from actual threats. China now has uninterceptable carrier killing missiles, the F-22 and F-35 programs are expensive and seriously underdelivering, and the USAs coffers and military confidence have been eroded by misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. No wonder warhawks trumpet military spending - why would they want to measure actual capability? It's the same story as healthcare - the American public has been defrauded. The post-coldwar opportunity for a better America and a better world has been utterly wasted (unless of course you hold shares in war or security related companies).

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by maxwell demon on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:08AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:08AM (#6476) Journal

      Bild is definitely not generally considered a reputable source. But obviously, the NSA's reputation is even beyond that of Bild. ;-)

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25 2014, @02:55PM (#6637)

        Yeah, Bild is not a reputable source. But Bild am Sonntag is more reliable than their weekday paper.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by No Respect on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:25AM

    by No Respect (991) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @08:25AM (#6483)

    In 1929 the US State Department stopped funding cryptographic work. Secretary of State Stimson famously said, "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail". By World War II when he was Secretary of War he had done a complete 180. Ever since that time, spying on the communications of enemies and allies alike has been dogma. Both major parties are for it. The military-industrial-surveillance complex is for it. Everyone that matters - those "in the know" - is for it. From presidents to the national security apparatus to the military to the entire intelligence community it is seen as a necessary and desirable thing to do. In many ways it is necessary. And, in many ways, it has become as corrupt as the rest of the government. I'm not sure what the answer is but I do know none of the recent embarrassing revelations is going to result in any change of policy. You might as well ask the Pope to make abortion a sacrament. Not gonna happen.

    • (Score: 1) by HiThere on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:39AM

      by HiThere (866) on Wednesday February 26 2014, @02:39AM (#7071) Journal

      The problem is that the old saw about money being the root of all evil is wrong. Lack of consequences is the root of all evil. (I'll grant that there's a relationship to money.)

      What are the consequences to the perpetrators if they abuse their power? If there aren't any significant ones, then they WILL abuse it. It doesn't even need to benefit them, other than the emotional pleasure they get out of exercising their power over someone who can't stop them. And *THAT* is what needs to be fixed. But I can't see how.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by axsdenied on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:31AM

    by axsdenied (384) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:31AM (#6501)

    Bild is a German sensationalist tabloid who had topless girls on its front page until recently.
    Until this story gets verified by a reliable source, it is a waste of time commenting on it.

    For non German readers, Wikipedia sumarises it's value quite nicely:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bild [wikipedia.org]:
    "Bild has been described as "notorious for its mix of gossip, inflammatory language, and sensationalism" and as having a huge influence on German politicians.[2] Its nearest English-language stylistic and journalistic equivalent is often considered to be the British national newspaper The Sun, the second highest selling European tabloid newspaper, with which it shares a degree of rivalry.[3][4][5]

    According to Der Spiegel, Bild is a newspaper that flies just under the nonsense threshold of American and British tabloids. For the German desperate, it is a daily dose of high-resolution soft porn.[6]

    According to The Guardian, for 28 years from 1984 to 2012, Bild had topless girls featuring on its first page; the paper published more than 5,000 topless pictures.[7]"

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Bokononist on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:49AM

      by Bokononist (3013) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @09:49AM (#6514)

      Even better, go to http://www.bild.de/ [www.bild.de] and see for yourself.

      --
      Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by hemocyanin on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:00PM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:00PM (#6688) Journal

        I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled. Not one naked girl. Mr. T was featured in there, but he's just not that hot.

        • (Score: 1) by Bokononist on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:10PM

          by Bokononist (3013) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @05:10PM (#6749)

          No, but I didn't say there would be either, there were some rather scantilly clad ones though, and you can get the idea of what the general quality of the journalism is there.....ahhhh I see what you did there..If you want to see some naked ladies on the internet you'd be surprised how easy it is to find them, you don't even need to go to a German site either. Just start by going on to a site called www.google.com and type 'naked ladies' or something like that into the little box and they turn up like magic.

          --
          Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.
  • (Score: 2) by elf on Tuesday February 25 2014, @01:27PM

    by elf (64) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @01:27PM (#6586)

    I think the NSA are still trying to find Merkel's secret currywurst recipe, they were thwarted when snowden came out with his damning report of thier direct search and are now looking at other options.

    Rumor has it the NSA have bugged her personal chef in the hopes he divulges the recipe. Obama is not happy with the US wurst and expects results soon.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Boxzy on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:24PM

    by Boxzy (742) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:24PM (#6707) Journal

    That every word I read and hear from our masters is either an outright lie or a deliberate twisting of the truth. Were I to be told it was Tuesday and raining I would immediately check the calendar and the window.

    --
    Go green, Go Soylent.