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UK Terror Bust Caught With Wiretapping 203

Posted by Hemos
from the what-are-the-implications dept.
1cebird writes "In an AP story entitled Brothers Emerge As Focus of Plot Probe, British sources reveal that the UK -> US plane-bombing plot was uncovered by a UK wiretap. So it looks like they are getting results with their wiretapping program. Will this make governments and citizens more comfortable with the idea?"
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UK Terror Bust Caught With Wiretapping

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  • Next? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spikestabber (644578) <<spike> <at> <spykes.net>> on Saturday August 12, 2006 @05:19PM (#15895652) Homepage
    So what will happen when the terrorists all begin using strong SSL chat sessions and avoid unencrypted communications entirely?
    • They could of used Skype PC to PC sessions and still be undetected, but sssssh, we shouldn't be giving them any ideas. Thankfully these terrorists are technically illiterate.
      • Ssh [openssh.com] yourself. You're the one giving them ideas ;)
      • Re:Next? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by IAmTheDave (746256) <[basenamedave-sd] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Saturday August 12, 2006 @11:01PM (#15896705) Homepage Journal
        Yeah, but so what they use Skype? DARPA will figure out a way to break the encryption.

        It's not about being uncomfortable with wiretaps. It's about being uncomfortable will illegal, non-FISA approved wire taps. If these guys were in a terror cell (and in the US) and FISA was asked for a warrant, it would be granted.

        The general public isn't worried about wiretapping. They're worried about an executive branch that thinks it's a dictatorship, free from the laws that govern this land.
    • That's simple. Anyone using strong encryption is automatically sent to a det^H^H^Hhappy camp.
    • by ChePibe (882378) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @06:24PM (#15895879)
      Clearly, if any group were to use perfect tradecraft and communications, it would be much more difficult - if not impossible - to catch.

      But perfection doesn't come easily. Look at how many CIA, KGB, MI6, DGSE and other intelligence agencies' officers have been caught because of screw-ups. These are people trained for long period of time - often years - to accomplish their jobs, yet even among their ranks screw-ups occur.

      Terrorists, such as those caught in the UK, don't have such training. While they use many sophisticated (and many simple) means to avoid detection, they often lack the discipline to use them all the time and, in the case of Al Qaeda, often operate in such large groups as to make security hap hazard at best.

      Consider Thursday's group and Al Qaeda's MO. A group that size had probably been in the planning and recruitment phase for several months if not several years. A group of that size needed large amounts (by terrorist standards) of outside funding, training, and support. They needed to move lots of information, stay in contact with each other, all while maintaining an outward appearance of normalcy (which they also apparently failed at, as a human intelligence source played a major part in busting the plot as well). A group of 24 - some say as big as 50 - quickly becomes unwieldy, and establishing perfect discipline amongst its often panicked members can be quite difficult.

      Al Qaeda's biggest strength, and its biggest weakness, is the size of its attacks. The 9/11 attack was astounding, winning the group recognition worldwide, but it required a very large group to plan and execute. If the planned airline bombings had taken place, the result would have been perhaps equally astounding, but Al Qaeda's eyes are much bigger than its stomach - if it had targeted only one, perhaps two airliners and kept the groups small, tight, and using foreigners instead of UK citizens, it probably could have pulled it off. Look at the "shoe bomber" - he was stopped only by passengers, and his plot was unknown to counter-terrorist officials beforehand. If he'd had the smarts to try and pull it off in the airplane's bathroom, one would assume he'd have been much more successful.

      Even if the group keeps 95% of its communications perfectly secure, that 5% slip can be enough to get them. Using that pre-paid cell too many times, forgetting to encrypt a chat just once, slipping up and paying with a credit card, not properly casing a facility, failing to use proper cut-outs to wire cash, etc. Insecure communications are far more efficient and, when one is panicked or when one becomes too confident, are often opted for, which is the key to getting people. By keeping the pressure up and making these groups feel nervous, most are bound to screw up in one way or another, helping them get caught.

      While perfectly secure means of communication may well exist, the human element is what will always screw it up. Think about it this way - how easy is it to commit a "perfect murder", one that that leaves you with practically no chance of getting caught? If properly planned, not too hard, right? Yet most murderers are eventually caught. Why? They get lazy. They screw up. All too often it is the stupidity, poor planning, lack of discipline, panic, or overconfidence that gets them caught. Terrorists - who generally operate in sizable groups - often fall to the same problems.
      • Look at the "shoe bomber" - he was stopped only by passengers, and his plot was unknown to counter-terrorist officials beforehand. If he'd had the smarts to try and pull it off in the airplane's bathroom, one would assume he'd have been much more successful.

        Yeah. What the fuck? Even a total idiot would have known to go somewhere isolated in order to ignite his shoes. The only thing I figure is that maybe the explosive power of his shoes was too small to do much damage unless it was in the right spot to i
        • My personal opinion - he got scared. He got scared, he didn't want to go through with it, but was also afraid of being labelled a coward (or perhaps worse) by his handlers, so he went for it, put up a bit of a fight, and let himself get captured. He gets his "honor", but doesn't get blown to bits. Other alternatives: - He was just plain ditch water dumb and wanted to get in his "Allahu Akbar" in front of everyone before it blew. Yeah, that didn't work out too well. Less likely. - The bomb needed to b
    • First, the us gov. dropped the case on PGP back in the early 90s. They dropped it when the NSA stepped into the case and told the FTC to drop it. After pulling their lawyers into a backroom, the lawyers came back and dropped the case. Read into it what you will

      Second, you seem to assume that the gov. can only look at bit at a time.

      Finally, if they encrypt everything, that means the feds can simply find out which traffic to examine quickly. IOW, it is now flagged as to where to look. If you are looking f
    • Well, then, either it will be illegal to use any encryption at all (and you'll be locked up forver under suspicion of being a terrorist if you do), or you will be forced to supply your private keys on demand to the authorities (UK RIP act from 2 or 3 years ago).

  • On the Charlie Rose show last night, an ABC newscaster said that the U.S. and British governments spy on each other's citizens, doing things that would be illegal in their home countries, and share that information with each other.

    It should be mentioned that the U.S. and British governments have been killing Arabs and interfering with Arab governments for more than 40 years, and that's what started the terrorism. See this very brief summary: History surrounding the U.S. wars with Iraq: Four short stories [futurepower.org]
    • by brennz (715237) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @05:41PM (#15895731)
      The West and Islam never fought before oil was discovered in the Middle East?
    • I found a link to a video of the show: Charlie Rose - Brian Ross / Syria's role in the Mid-East / YouTube co-founders [google.com].

      During the show Brian Ross of ABC said both governments break the laws of the other, and share the information.

      They've been doing that for years, showing zero respect for the law and for the lawmakers. One of the things they have been doing is killing Arabs to increase oil profits.
      • increase oil profits for who? the arabs? they own the oil, lease the fields out, control production a nd recieve the $60 per barrol or what ever the going rate is.
        • increase oil profits for who? the arabs? they own the oil, lease the fields out, control production a nd recieve the $60 per barrol or what ever the going rate is.

          You got everything right except for the last part. In plenty of cases they've signed agreements for fixed prices or for fixed percentages based on the cost to extract. So in the later case, they might only get 10% of the market price. Back when oil was $20/barrel that $2 might have been all the profit there was after all costs. But at $60/barr
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12, 2006 @05:43PM (#15895738)
      It should be mentioned that the U.S. and British governments have been killing Arabs and interfering with Arab governments for more than 40 years, and that's what started the terrorism.

      And not the French, the Russians, the Chinese? In particular, have a look at France's brutal colonial record in the Arab world.

      Nice try though. The world's terrorism problems are not the exclusive fault of the US and the UK.
    • Your sig says it all... but the answer is, the US will be immaterial to a violent culture with a long history of extremism.

      To quote syriana: We think a hundred years ago you were living out here in tents in the desert chopping each others head's off, and that's exactly where you're going to be in another hundred.
    • On the Charlie Rose show last night, an ABC newscaster said that the U.S. and British governments spy on each other's citizens, doing things that would be illegal in their home countries, and share that information with each other.

      That's the UKUSA programme (which despite the name also includes Australia and New Zealand), and it's been going on for decades. Any intercepts on US citizens that NSA isn't legally allowed to obtain directly, they get from GCHQ in England under the terms of UKUSA's intelligen
    • by Crashmarik (635988) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @05:55PM (#15895777)
      But thank you for the canned soundbite about how the west is responsible for the crappy condition of the avg arabs life. Somehow a less biased person might look at the middle east and think that their problems stem from lousy corrupt governments that have a willingness to kill their own citizens, the subsitution of religous precepts for sane government policy and a willingness to blame everyone else in the world for their own problems.

      Hope your hairshirt fits well.
      • Somehow a less biased person might look at the middle east and think that their problems stem from lousy...

        ...lines drawn in the dirt by the Leage of Nations in 1920.

        I suggest you read
        The Middle East and the West: Carving Up the Region [npr.org]
        and
        The Middle East and the West: WWI and Beyond [npr.org]

        Then look at these maps
        1914 [npr.org]
        1916 [npr.org]
        1920 [npr.org]

        NPR doesn't come right out and say it, but I will: the borders were arbitrary and cut across ethnic & tribal groupings. Basically, they were drawn up to support British and French colonialism

      • by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecrans AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday August 13, 2006 @12:41PM (#15898530) Homepage
        But thank you for the canned soundbite about how the west is responsible for the crappy condition of the avg arabs life. Somehow a less biased person might look at the middle east and think that their problems stem from lousy corrupt governments that have a willingness to kill their own citizens, the subsitution of religous precepts for sane government policy and a willingness to blame everyone else in the world for their own problems.


        You are blaming arab governments on the arabs? My favorite middle eastern country, in terns of messed up history, is Iran. It isn't technically arab, but a lot of westerners don't bother to make any sort of distinction. Especially those making arbitrary blanket statements like yours.

        At the start of the 20th century, there was a movement in Iran to move from a monarchy under the Shah to a nation with a constitution. There was some success, but England and Russia very actively impeded this process, and supported rolling back the role of the constitution. Then, there was a bit of a revolution, and a new Shah who had been involved in getting the constition made came to power.

        The western powers hated this guy, basically forced him to abdicate, and had his son take power. In the 50's, the prime minister was asked to step down, tried to have another little revolution in order to move the country from a constitutional monarchy to a proper republic. The English and Americans would have none of it. So, we reinstalled the Shah, and installed a new prime minister. We also set up some official agreements and contracts about oil. A set of western oil companies had full control over the oil in Iran, and Iran couldn't audit the accounts to see if they were getting their contracted cut. So, basically Iran got shit from the exploitation of their own natural resources, because the West decided how the government should be run. (On several occasions!)

        Interestingly enough, the Islamic revolution happened right about the same time that those oil contracts ran out. The whole history is far more interesting than I can fir into a slashdot post. My research on the subject is also far from complete. And, that's just one country.

        For another interesting tidbit -- after the Islamic revolution in Iran, America was scared, a wanted to avoid having radical Islam spread in the middle east. We wanted to support non-religeous leaders in the area. It was less than a year after the Islamic revolution that Saddam came to power in Iraq.
    • That's funny, I could have sworn that Islamic terrorism started long before the brits discovered the Americas.

    • Actually, modern terrorism started when the so-called great profit Mohammed realised everyone was too smart to fall for his con-job he called a religion which he didn't really follow and practice himself (his 9 to 10 wives instead of the 4 the Quran allows is just one example). This is added to the fact the Quran does not even agree with itself. Just look at how it describes the creation of the world. In one passage it takes 6 days, and in another account of the creation story in the Quran if you add up
  • False (Score:4, Informative)

    by monopole (44023) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @05:27PM (#15895679)
  • Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wetfeetl33t (935949) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @05:28PM (#15895685)
    It is nice to know that wiretaps have been useful in doing this, but the question has never been whether wiretaps should be used to counter terrorism. The issue is whether or not illegal wiretaps should be used!
    • Re:Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pharmboy (216950) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @05:38PM (#15895717) Journal
      You make a valid, and somewhat rare point. The key arguement is whether the wiretaps are legal or not. It is difficult for anyone to say "wiretaps should always be illegal" with a straight face unless they have no historical perspective or just insane.

      The government is GOING to do wiretaps, the key is enforcing the law and making them prove they are necessary before they do them, and yes, very often, they ARE necessary. People would do better to focus on the legal/illegal aspects instead of just saying "all wiretaps are bad". Taking that stance makes someone look like a whacko, and no one will pay attention to them.

      A world where NO wiretaps are allowed is no better than a world where wiretaps go unchecked. Just a different brand of bad.
      • All of which makes you wonder why wiretap evidence is still inadmissible in UK courts, which (if recent reports are anything to go by) is a large part of why we now have all these dubious restraint-without-charge laws. If the authorities know someone's a bad guy, from legitimate intelligence, why the hell can't that person be hauled up before a court, tried on the basis of that evidence, and sentenced like any other bad guy if convicted? Surely this is a better scheme than the current "we don't need no stin

        • All of which makes you wonder why wiretap evidence is still inadmissible in UK courts
          My paranoia tells me that it's so that the police can claim "We have loads of evidence against him but its all wiretaps which we can't use in court, so we need to detain him without going to trial".
    • by harks (534599)
      Wish I had mod points for you. This is the most imporant difference that is often forgotten in the recent reporting. Wiretap the hell out of terrorists, but make it legal.
  • Wait... what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12, 2006 @05:30PM (#15895693)
    • First off, the arrests, as have been widely reported, originally began as the result of a tip-off from within the British Muslim community [google.com].
    • The investigation had already been ongoing for quite a long time at the point at which the phone call, which gets only a brief mention in the article there, was intercepted by a wiretap. What this article tells us is that sometimes police use wiretaps when investigating suspects. We already knew that.
    • "More comfortable with wiretapping"? Wiretapping has been used by law enforcement for decades, and nobody really has a problem with this. What people have a problem with are:
      1. Indiscriminate "blanket" wiretapping
      2. Wiretapping without warrants or judicial safeguards.
      Neither of these things were necessary at any level of the U.K. investigation there; they knew who to tap ahead of time, and they were in a position to go ahead and follow correct procedures for wiretapping such as obtaining warrants. The current U.K. case in fact weakens the case for these new, neoconservative policies, since the suspects here were caught through good old fashioned police work, not through crazy new vague police powers where the police tap whoever they want whenever they feel like it.
  • by RingDev (879105) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @05:39PM (#15895724) Homepage Journal
    The question is, "Is unregulated wire tapping of citizens with out oversight more effective than regulated wire tapping with oversight and a 24 hour grace period?"

    I don't think anyone will argue that wiretapping is bad. But many will argue that wiretapping with out oversight will quickly lead to an abuse of power.

    -Rick
    • The question is, "Is unregulated wire tapping of citizens with out oversight more effective than regulated wire tapping with oversight and a 24 hour grace period?"

      This bust came from an informant not wire tapping. Someone who knew the suspects did the right thing and turned them in before they could kill innocent people. Wire tapping provided details, but it was not the out of control tap everyone without rule of law tapping big brother types advocate. Sooner or later the wiretap freaks will score a

      • The 24 grace period is for the PISA court. The NSA/bush could(can) put a wire tap on anyone in the US. They would then have 24 hours to present evidence to the PISA court to show that the wire tap was warrented, at which time, the PISA court would issue a warrent. Any evidence gathered in the 24 hour grace period could be used in the warrent hearing.

        This system, albeit a bit scarey, at least had oversite from the judicial branch, and a review process from the senate. The Bush administraton decided that ther
  • by Anonymous Coward
    We have real problems that could be solved with the money wasted on this terror bullshit.

    http://www.crimestatistics.org.uk/ [crimestatistics.org.uk]

    Despite increased surveillance, violent crime is soaring yet our goverments idea of punishment is handing out an ASBO. Most ineffectual government 'evar', only appear to be in power to lay the framework for a totalitarian regime.
    • Nothing about the article implies that the wiretap was anything out of the ordinary. There is no debate as to whether proper, judge-approved, wiretaps aren't a reasonable tool in fighting crime. The debate is as to whether warrantless, mass-phone-taps, with millions of people being monitored, are an absurd extreme.

      The article doesn't say that the phone tap was Judge-approved (or that it wasn't) but it is clear that the phone tap was of a specific person, with there being reasonable cause to decide to tap

  • Whether or not the people are comfortable is hard to say. We'll see if this latest "terror plot" is all bullshit or has any basis in reality in a year or two. At least the British police didn't murder any Brazilian plumbers this time.

    I don't think any reasonable person would object to a panel of judges being presented with serious evidence by a police/security investigation team and issuing a warrant that says it's reasonable to investigate further on that basis. That bar of "reasonable" should be set

    • At least the British police didn't murder any Brazilian plumbers this time.

      Its too soon for that. We are not into the post attack panic yet.

    • The only way to deal with it is to address the root causes: e.g. get out of their countries and stop killing their families and co-religionists. Pretty easy.

      I would put this pretty much at the same level as if you see a gang beating a grandmother that the way to avoid antagonizing the gang is to walk quickly on by.

      Yes, Israelis might be offended in being compared to a grandmother.

      It is far, far too late to say "get out of their countries" Every government in the Middle East is there because of US or Eur

  • by lawpoop (604919) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @05:51PM (#15895763) Homepage Journal
    We've had wiretapping for a long time, and most people are comfortable with it. Here in the US, you can get a warrant from a judge for wiretapping a US citizen, and we have a special court called FISA specifically for issuing warrants for international type wiretaps. It's routine and it happens *all the time*.

    However, as I understand, wiretapping is *not* what tipped off British officials to the group who were going to carry out this plot. It was a friend/relative of one of the plotters who tipped of the police. Then, I'm guessing, the police went and got a warrant to tap this guy's phone, and worked thier way through the group, getting more warrants and taps, until they understood the group structure and their goals.

    However, what I am extremely uncomfortable with is the unaccountable and warrantless comprehensive wiretapping of all phone calls in the US. If it is not illegal in the specific wording of the law, it certainly goes against the spirit of the right to privacy and the presumption of innocence. This is very scary. Totalitarian governments love keeping records and tabs on everyone so they can harrass and dissapear them whenever some person starts speaking up.

    I'm not saying that Bush is a facist, but think about it -- would you trust Hillary Clinton ;) or whoever the next president is with such a massive, ongoing surveillance database?
    • I'll corroborate the tipoff from the news article I just read in the paper.. Saturday's Atlanta Journal Constitution.

      As for the rest... people in power should not be trusted, no matter what party they claim. Power corrupts. For that matter, being in politics too long simply makes you stupid as to how the world works. Enforce term limits... vote against the incumbent.
  • Here's the deal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 77Punker (673758) <spencr04@nOsPAm.highpoint.edu> on Saturday August 12, 2006 @05:53PM (#15895770)
    I've never seen a terrorist. To me, terrorists exist on television. What I have experienced are authority figures abusing power. Until terrorists stop hanging out with Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny and end up near me, I don't care how dangerous they are.

    I'm more scared of the cops, even though I'm not a criminal.
    • I've never seen a water molecule, but I still shower in the morning.
      • I think you're misunderstanding me. Authority figures pose a far greater threat to me than any terrorists do. Because of that, I would rather have the authorities restrained than the terrorists.
        • I suppose its a matter of importance, while the authorities have a greater level of involvement in your day to day life, the worst they will do it listen to you say naughty things to your girlfriend. On the other hand, while terrorists generally have no involvement in your daily life, if (or when) they do you'll be blown into little pieces.

          Cue dodgy analogy: its like making backups - I do it every day and thing 'why bother, my HDD never failed', but the one day my PC suffers catastrophic hardware failure, I
          • the worst they will do it listen to you say naughty things to your girlfriend.

            I'm sure that's the only thing the KGB were listening for when they were tapping phones.

            You're far too trusting of your government. Sure, we're all grateful when wiretapping prevents someone from killing a bunch of people, but the possibility of a power-mad government is far more dangerous and far more likely. What keeps Western democracies from becoming fascist states are the limits placed on the government's power and the dil
            • My favorite quote regarding the whole search without a warrant issue comes from a video game, Deus Ex. It goes something like this:

              "When due process is ignored, we really do live in a world of terror."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ..just get a warrant, keep it in the public record, and hold the government accountable when they screw up, so that they choose their wiretaps carefully. Heck, if you want to err on the side of caution and wiretap first, get the warrant second, I'm fine with that too. Just don't hide what you're doing from the citizens of your country, don't pretend like you're smarter than anybody else.

    It's possible to be safe from both terror AND idiot totalitarian governments.
  • But was this wiretap legal, or was it done with shadowy methods with no regard for proper process? If it's the former, then good for them. If the latter, only then do we need to re-think anything.
    • According to the artcle, it the writetap was done in Pakistan, by Pakistani authorities, as part of a Pakistani investigation.

      There is no mention of any UK wiretapping in the article. Hemos got trolled by the submitter.
  • still no proof (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Where is the proof of all this BS? It could just as easily be yet another reichstagg fire type false flag operation. All we have to go on is a few governments words on this stuff, governments that are all obviously pushing totalitarianism. Buttis crap gets repeated verbating by the wire services as "true facts". Proof, let's see it. And how many government agents are inside these alleged cells, maybe directing them, egging them on?

    Sorry, this terrorism crap to get more big brother action in place is looking
  • by transporter_ii (986545) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @06:35PM (#15895919) Homepage
    I find it odd that all was quite on the western front, and all of the sudden the domestic wire tapping issue & AT&T blows up in their faces...and right in the middle of it they bust a bunch of Jamaican pot heads in Florida for being terrorist. And then all of the sudden, they start busting a few more "cells," and they always tag on, "and they were caught by monitoring the Internet or by wire tapping." ...as if it is some sort of subtle advertising campaign. I mean, really, in any other type of incident, they probably wouldn't even release how they were caught for months, if at all (yeah, why not tip off the terrorist to quit using the phones or the Net). But it is almost as if we are watching some infomericals from some PR firm, not to scare the "terrorist," but to condition us and make us pro-monitoring.

    Transporter_ii
    • and they always tag on, "and they were caught by monitoring the Internet or by wire tapping."
      No-one has claimed this group was caught through wiretapping. Hemos accepted a submission that lied about the contents of the article.
    • Completely right. It's not even so subtle once you get used to their tricks. Nobody seems to question aspects of the story and are happy to trust the CIA . Basically nothing happened this week apart from a lot of people were very inconvienced and everyone was told something very bad nearly happened but we stopped it because of monitoring. The majority seem to think this is proof or justification of the methods and then carry on slowly accepting the ceaseless curtailment of their (hard fought for) liberties.
    • Subtle? [msn.com]

      The US forced the UK's hands, making them arrest the suspects weeks or months before the Brits had intended. It will make the case harder to prove (they hadn't purchased any airline tickets, some of them hadn't even gotten their passports yet, they hadn't prepared any explosives and the UK--standing up to the US--in insisting on due process) but it fit right in with the Bush administration's plans to swiftboat Ned Lamont and use the arrests for fund raising [dccc.org], so they went ahead anyway.

      --MarkusQ

  • Yeah, IF (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tom's a-cold (253195) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @07:09PM (#15896034) Homepage
    Yeah, I might trust them IF they have warrants.

    Anyway, I don't necessarily believe them when they say they cracked the case using wiretapping. They may well be preserving operational security by saying they got the plotters by a different method than they really used. Or perhaps they're just lying like they have so many times before.

    In short, there is no new information based on this bust.

    If instead they said they caught them by sneak-and-peek, would that mean that you would no longer want protection against unreasonable search and seizure?

  • by nukem996 (624036)
    All I have been hearing on the news is that they were caught because they were discussing the plot in a mosk and someone their reported them. They might have used wiretapping after that but they probly got(or could of gotten) a warrent.
  • by Karma Farmer (595141) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @07:51PM (#15896150)
    Hemos, you got trolled so hard I bet your ass hurts. The article never mentions any Britsh wiretap of any kind.
    • The article never mentions any Britsh wiretap of any kind.

      The claim may or may not be propaganda, but it's certainly right there in the news. E.g. [guardian.co.uk]:

      'He has been staying here for quite some time and has been under strict surveillance since then,' a Pakistani intelligence source said. 'His calls to Britain and internet communications have been under surveillance that helped in revealing the plot.'

      (TFA has essentially the same quote); and [guardian.co.uk]:

      Following Rauf's arrest, one of his associates is understood to

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This country once won real wars on two fronts, against the Japanese and Adolph Hitler simultaneously. We had help from our allies of course. We had allies. We have now mobilized the entire might of the US armed forces, given the president war powers, abridged the rights of our citizens, and birsmirched our international reputatation for decades to fight what? Box cutters and bottles of hair spray. It's a disgrace.

    There is no vast international Al Qaeda conspiracy; there are a handful zealots. The zeal
  • Nope (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @08:43PM (#15896283)
    I am not willing to trade my constitutional rights and other civil liberties in exchange for security.
    • "I am not willing to trade my constitutional rights and other civil liberties in exchange for security."

      How do you feel about the fact that others are making that decision for you?
      • I guess I can pity those who are trading their civil liberties for security. Those type of people aren't going to fight when "it" happens to them.

        By "it", I mean various things. One example would be getting thrown in jail with never being charged.
  • Misleading (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rob Simpson (533360) on Saturday August 12, 2006 @11:57PM (#15896925)
    This was NOT caught with random wiretapping! Wiretapping happened after a tip [cnn.com] was received:


    "The original information about the plan came from the Muslim community in Britain, according to a British intelligence official."

    "The tip was from a person who had been concerned about the activities of an acquaintance after the July 7, 2005, terror attacks in London, the official said."

  • by DrSkwid (118965) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @05:08AM (#15897530) Homepage Journal
    Easy way to stop terrorism, just let them blow shit up and say "so what, kill 1000 more if you like, who cares?"

  • Just because the authorities say they uncovered the plot by a wiretap, doesn't mean it's true.

    The most likely way they got the info was by infiltrating the groups likely to organize plots. It sounds too much like James Bond, but it is in fact one of the ways the Brits countered the threat of IRA terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s. When you get information from agents, you always deny the existence of the agents to protect them, and say you got the information from somewhere else. The job agents do is dangero

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