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posted by martyb on Saturday May 24 2014, @10:55AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Wikileaks revealed Friday that Afghanistan is the second of two countries, the first being The Bahamas, to have every phone call recorded by the NSA.

My personal opinion: While this may not come as a surprise to many (given Afghanistan's recent history and strategic location) one must not forget the ramifications of having an NSA hub in the Middle-East, as that may have been a contributing factor to Hamid Karzai's animosity towards America and its continuing involvement in Afghanistan.

Another note: I was the first person to guess the country here, based on an unusual experience years ago as outlined in the linked post -- I was told in a bong shop by the daughter of an NSA employee stationed in Afghanistan years ago!

Cf SN's earlier story: Wikileaks Threatens to Name NSA-target

Related Stories

Wikileaks Threatens to Name NSA-targeted Country 50 comments

In fresher news:

Glenn Greenwald recently released a stunning story with journalists Laura Poitras and Ryan Devereaux about the NSA's ability to suck up the content of every phone call made in the Bahamas, Mexico, the Philippines, and Kenya along with one mystery country that The Intercept is refusing to reveal.
The program that the NSA uses to vacuum up the phone calls of an entire nation is part of a larger NSA program called MYSTIC. The Washington Post reported on the MYSTIC program earlier this year, but decided to not name any of the nations that MYSTIC was monitoring en masse. The Intercept took it one step further, but still did not released the name of one last country in that list due to "credible concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence."

That one step, however, was evidently not far enough for WikiLeaks. In a heated Twitter back-and-forth between John Cook, The Intercept's editor-in-chief, Jacob Applebaum, once a WikiLeaks hacker, now a Snowden document holder, WikiLeaks itself, and Glenn Greenwald, the voice behind the Wikileaks account berated The Intercept team for redacting the name of the final country. Applebaum went as far as calling that redaction "a mistake."

Could the "Chinese military into economic espionage" brouhaha be a source of noise to detract from something more damaging for NSA?

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by anubi on Saturday May 24 2014, @11:35AM

    by anubi (2828) on Saturday May 24 2014, @11:35AM (#47086) Journal

    Sounds like the NSA is going after tax evasion as well.

    Now, it has been my observation that high-up buddy-buddies like Marie Antionette ( "Let them eat cake") and Leona Helmsley ( "Only the little people pay taxes" ) are in cahoots with the LawMakers to keep the little people down. The little people see through it, but for now, there is nothing they can do about it but get mad. When they get too mad, they get uncontrollable and the rich have a helluva time hanging onto their property, often losing their heads in the resulting melee. ( Of course, a lot of poor people lose their heads as well ).

    It is well known that Al Capone, notorious gangster in the 1920's USA, got loose left and right from everything but tax evasion.

    I have seen American LawMakers making all sorts of law trying to tell sovereign entities how to run their country so that American business interests are protected - especially in the cases of patent and copyright law, but it seems they have done little to reign in the "tax havens" to protect the interests of the American TaxPayer. This apparent camaraderie between the wealthy and our LawMakers has eroded the confidence of the American public in their own government.

    We like to say we are a democracy, but as far as I am concerned, there is overwhelming evidence that our government has deteriorated into a bunch of whores selling out to the highest bidder. I am quite disgusted with the lot of 'em. I have not figured out what to do about it, as "they" seem to be in a position to offer me my choice of evils. There is little on the ticket I want and would love to see a "none of the above" option on the ballot.

    I believe the Government would go a long way toward re-establishing credibility with the American people when our Government cracks down on multinational entities gaming the system as hard as they crack down on other countries for messing with American copyrights and the like.

    It seems the Bahamas and lots of those Caribbean Islands are hotbeds of gaming international tax laws, as well as a few of those European countries who provide safe haven for people gaming the tax law of their home country, while all the time expecting the police forces and armies of the countries (whose taxes they are avoiding) to protect their business interests.

    --
    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 1) by ilPapa on Saturday May 24 2014, @12:05PM

      by ilPapa (2366) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 24 2014, @12:05PM (#47090) Journal

      Sounds like the NSA is going after tax evasion as well.

      I'd say it was more likely they're trying to protect tax evasion.

      --
      You are still welcome on my lawn.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ls671 on Saturday May 24 2014, @12:38PM

      by ls671 (891) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 24 2014, @12:38PM (#47093) Homepage

      > Sounds like the NSA is going after tax evasion as well.

      Well they might but you can be sure money transits through there for other purposes than tax evasion and maybe that's what they are interested in.

      --
      Everything I write is lies, read between the lines.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Angry Jesus on Saturday May 24 2014, @03:17PM

      by Angry Jesus (182) on Saturday May 24 2014, @03:17PM (#47115)

      > There is little on the ticket I want and would love to see a "none of the above" option on the ballot.

      Vote for the third party candidate that most closely represents what you think is important. If the big parties see little parties "stealing" votes they will move to co-opt some of the policies of the more successful little parties. Even if there were a "none of the above" that wouldn't signal what specifics you are displeased with so there would be no pressure to change what you think is important.

      There is no easy and definitive way to fix what's wrong, it will be a battle of inches. We didn't get where we are now over-night, don't give up because we can't fix it over-night either.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by NoMaster on Saturday May 24 2014, @11:47AM

    by NoMaster (3543) on Saturday May 24 2014, @11:47AM (#47088)

    "... one must not forget the ramifications of having an NSA hub in the Middle-East, as that may have been a contributing factor to Hamid Karzai's animosity towards America and its continuing involvement in Afghanistan."

    What a strange and ignorant thing to say.

    It's more likely (and like a long line of others in Asia, South America, etc before him) he just got sick of being a puppet and watching his country getting fucked over by experts (again - it's not like the US is the first...)

    --
    Live free or fuck off and take your naïve Libertarian fantasies with you...
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Saturday May 24 2014, @06:28PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 24 2014, @06:28PM (#47155) Journal

      Hmmm, don't know If I'd go with that assumption.

      Karzai was about as corrupt as they come. He's mostly pissed because the Coalition was refusing to cross his balms. And he was this close to calling off the elections (in which he was not eligible to run, but he didn't have the backing of the army).

      Instead both of the two leading candidates are vastly more pro-western than Karzai.

      Abdullah Abdullah, a former Afghan foreign minister and anti-Taliban figure who won 45 percent of votes in the inconclusive first round, and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, a former John Hopkins University lecturer who secured 31.56 percent, are competing in the runoff.

      There is broad agreement that the country has had enough of the Taliban, who are (as usual) threatening to disrupt the elections yet again.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24 2014, @10:47PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24 2014, @10:47PM (#47195)

        Karzai was about as corrupt as they come.

        indeed. i was there during the elections in 2004 and we got reports that his goons were going around threatening and strong-arming people into voting for him. basic thug tactics. still, they are far better off now than they were under the taliban, who wouldnt let them have electricity or running water, and listening to music would get you killed. the really sad thing is that there is way too much corruption and taliban agents in the afghan national army for them to fulfill their purpose.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by wonkey_monkey on Saturday May 24 2014, @02:01PM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Saturday May 24 2014, @02:01PM (#47102) Homepage

    I was told in a bong shop by the daughter of an NSA employee stationed in Afghanistan years ago!

    Told what? From the linked post:

    she mentioned that her father was in the NSA and stationed in Afghanistan.

    I don't see the logical progression from "NSA person stationed in country X" to "NSA listens to all phone calls in country X."

    I'd be more surprised to hear about a middle Eastern country in which no NSA people are stationed.

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Saturday May 24 2014, @06:35PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 24 2014, @06:35PM (#47156) Journal

      The entire cellular system in Afghanistan was built by the US.
      It was in total ruin during the Taliban era, and the remaining parts were among the first targets taken out by US air strikes in the early days.

      There was no mystery about the un-named country being Afghanistan.

      It stands to reason that the cellular network built by the US government in an occupied country with with a key NSA installation would be a full-take network. And there was little choice but for the citizens, the government, and the taliban to use it, since the land line situation in Afghanistan was abysmal.

      There are a lot of ME countries with no significant NSA presence IN COUNTRY. (a couple lone operatives does not a presence make).

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by bill_mcgonigle on Saturday May 24 2014, @08:04PM

        by bill_mcgonigle (1105) on Saturday May 24 2014, @08:04PM (#47168)

        There was no mystery about the un-named country being Afghanistan.

        I have to admit to falling for the disinfo myself - we were told if the second name were released there would be bloodshed.

        But since we were told 5-ish years ago that all the warlords had stopped using cell phones, there's no surprise at all and there's no bloodshed to speak of. WTF, Jacob?

        • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Tuesday May 27 2014, @11:23PM

          by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 27 2014, @11:23PM (#48089) Journal

          Maybe the bloodshed will be in the US, maybe that's what they meant but I'm not proficient in speaking Nsaise nor in operating their "future machine" :3

          Maybe they're right, maybe they're wrong, maybe they're just lying like always.

          How would they be able to tell the difference to the "crazies" that have already killed? Couldn't those people (some of which were employed in various governmental and military services) simply be people opting for the ammo box? Wouldn't that easily explain most things? Things like why an American Buddhist chooses to go on a shotgun shooting spree in Navy offices?

          What would you do if you realized you were working for evil, that you were right in the middle of it? Special forces suicide rates anyone?

          I am not making "value judgements"; I am merely saying it would make a lot of sense if this interpretation of events was true. Much more sense than anything else being said.

          Like anyone would ever be told if they left behind their reasons or after they've been "legally" drugged into not knowing who they were.

          Blind violence is a myth. If people are angry enough they won't care what's between them and their target as long as they have a chance at the target, and the target won't only be against the people in charge but whatever they can reach that fits the bill.

          --
          Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
  • (Score: 1) by be4verch33se on Saturday May 24 2014, @02:37PM

    by be4verch33se (1994) on Saturday May 24 2014, @02:37PM (#47108)

    They're pretty much already telling us it's Russia or China. No one else would really be scary enough. Maybe Iran or North Korea, but I don't really see the problem in revealing those countries.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24 2014, @03:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24 2014, @03:20PM (#47118)

      Jesus, was the summary that long you didn't have time to read it before your post?