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Comment Re:Host it yourself (Score 1) 111

+1 for that. In your own country with the real physical hardware at your own site. Expect and understand every in/out packet will be split at a regional site in your/any country and shared with a growing number of other nations every day, all day.
ie Collect it all.
Encrypt and fully understand any default or suggested settings with any hardware of software.
When buying any new international hardware under your own brand or company expect it to arrive with extra code, tame/junk encryption settings and hardware trap doors.
German TV had a video in German "Gemeinsam spionieren Deutsch-amerikanische Geheimdienstfreunde" (31.03.2015) video.
An animation at 2:22 has packet path options for regional splitting.

Comment Re:And what, pray tell, is a "digital agenda"? (Score 1) 109

Re "Because it seems the US likes technology plenty"
Playing computer games and slowly upgrading to faster broadband is not really the funded thinking production, educational side.
Re: "US R&D centers, and many of them have a lot of US production."
Mostly for branding, per state and federal tax breaks, historical, top level US security clearances, past unique gov funded educational excellence.
Re "mainstay in virtually every segment of software"
Who is sitting next to the emerging generation of US students soaking up the same educational decades? Getting US post graduate positions and learning even more per university, every year? Foreign paying or paid for students are soaking up what made the US unique for free and then returning home as smart or smarter than the very top few % of US science, math, computer graduates..
Why? The US like the propaganda aspect when they return home, some might invest or be a gateway for US products and services back home after years of exclusive, intensive US educational experiences.
The payments per seat is a nice win for the educational institution too.
What was 1950-90's inward looking US academic exceptionalism is now a world wide production line of random students equal to the best emerging US academic experts. Advanced math, science, crypto, physics, design are now just gifted away to anyone, any nation with the cash, every generation.
Other nations are repatriating that US academic excellence, merging it with their own regional low costs and winning.
Merit based US education is also a long term question given the costs of seats per year per class and pure academic top percentile over the nation and decade.
Is US standardize testing still ensuring only the very best academically get the limited places with the very best educators?
The US can bring in a lot of experts from around the world to keep cost down and have union free staff but at a point its going to need a lot of security cleared trusted locals of a very high standard.
A vast pool of US taskforces, ONDI, OICI, Dept of Energy, NSB, treasury, NRO, NSA.. will all need next gen staff from a shrinking pool of top, trusted cleared graduates.
So will the US private sector that services the above mil and gov sectors. How can the US stock its "strategic partnerships" with staff? Try NZ, UK, Australia, Canada with staff that work on US sites? Try Germany again? Virtual desk from some distant land for the US mil?
Re "Also as an aside, what's wrong with being #2 or #3 in something?"
Look back to emerging jet, nuclear, computer and rocket design and production lines in the 1930-70's. Lots of nations had their own projects but had to drop out/got forced out and all the expert work just drops away a over a generation of workers. Once a local work force from the workers, scientists, technicians, engineers drop behind the costs to catch up or even import what is needed is expensive or not an option.
A lot of complex projects demanding equal access to the same number of trusted graduates.
Thats why South Africa, Brazil, India, China, Russia worked so hard to create and keep their own national jet, rocket, nuclear, computer production lines at any cost.
The UK has its Skynet project from the 1970's - huge imports of US hardware as the UK just did not have the ability to produce or create the needed mil standard sat parts for own military communications networks and terminals. In the end it had to buy in US export grade sat systems with the US having some say in what got offered and how the UK would be allowed to use the final product. Never good to be #2 or #3 in something a nation needs to have total control over.

Submission + - Uber raided by Dutch authorities, seen as "criminal organization" (

An anonymous reader writes: Uber offices in Amsterdam, the Netherlands have been raided by Dutch authorities, as reported by several local media sources (here in dutch or google-translated). This follows intimidatory deterrence practices in that country, with Uber drivers being fined in the past months, and fresh allegations that the company would act as a "criminal organization" by offering a platform for taxi rides without license (read: without the authorities earning money from the practice). Time to leave the Netherlands and move your tech-company European offices elsewhere?

Comment Re:separation until 9/11 showed drawbacks (Score 1) 86

Re "There was more separation between intelligence and law enforcement in the US prior to" 2000? 1990? 1980?
Pick a decade, any decade.
Main Core "The data which is believed to come from the NSA, FBI, CIA, and other sources,[1] is collected and stored without warrants or court orders"
Operation CHAOS

Comment Re:Let's be clear here ... (Score 2) 86

Yes in the long term US intelligence service aspect seems to have been pulled into very simple domestic court issues.
The GCHQ always seemed to have a deeper understanding of never going near courts or short term political requests.
Early in the 1920-30's the UK found a fast way into Soviet embassy codes, one about links deep in the UK, staff, unions, cash. It was too good to be true but the UK had to spread the results of the code work as it was just such a perfect document as a domestic political win. Codes where changed and Russia understood the needs of fast crypto vs secure crypto. Code breaking and results much more hidden from that point on.
The US seemed to have demand very public results from its very secret clandestine gathering systems vs just collect all and sort. No courts, news or press at any cost, no legal staff, drop convictions in open courts if needed. The use of the RUC Special Branch and CID are also telling in how the UK offered its most on time and vital gathered intelligence. The UK had a very clear understanding of who was doing criminal investigations and who was an intelligence service.
If the UK needed crypto help in public, police like units thats could be seen in public could be presented to the secure or public legal system. Government Technical Assistance Centre (~ a Home Office unit), National Technical Assistance Centre. That would be very court friendly for early emails and computer hard drives that where decrypted quickly and legal teams, the press could see. No unsafe convictions or later questions about the speed of decryption of advanced trusted computer encryption software :)
The US seems to have hoped that that its courts, lawyers, the press would always be unable to trace back basic domestic signals intelligence use for a few more decades?

Comment Re:If FBI can crack it ... (Score 1) 91

Thats why weak junk encryption per US backed standard networks/software over decades is so problematic.
If the mil has keys, so do federal taskforces, all nations staff that worked with the US, ex staff, former staff... nations, groups that can gain insights into the methods.
eg SISMI-Telecom scandal, Italy 2006

Comment Re:Not quite the same thing (Score 1) 91

re "Encryption can still prevent becoming a suspect in the first place."
The US has a way of 'updating' your standard cells telco network day to day function over the network.
"Did a Rogue NSA Operation Cause the Death of a Greek Telecom Employee?" (2015-09-29)
"...the report concluded that someone had loaded unauthorized “corrections,” i.e. malware implants" ... " secretly activate the lawful intercept’s tapping function while at the same time hiding the fact that it had been turned on"
So the nation/mil or state backed entity can just keep tracking without anyone/telco/courts ever having a log or understanding of what/who is working telco network wide.
Under "Collect it all" all users on any cell network is suspect and has been for years as designed. The keys and who gets to activate the functions is the only question.

Comment Re:Is it really China hacking the US? (Score 1) 38

Beyond the logs left to be found full of ip's and the 9 to 5 time zone day shift in that part of the world? Traces in the code that was used was found to be what is expected?
Any advanced nation can fake that trail as the public now understands from the recent whistleblowing news over the past few years.
Ex staff, former staff, nations that allowed access to advanced 5 eye nation sites and had smart local support staff working on site. Some other nation built their own more interesting "collect a network" system while understanding just how "collect it all" was hidden.
Methods, mid network junk encryption standards and advance hardware soon get into the hands of a lot of other nations after they have seen the 5eye network magic.
The only trick is to really make it look like another nation with all the expected methods, time, ip's, a trail back thats logged and all gov, mil, private sector contractors can agree on.
The other question is why did the US place its lists on an open server, in english without encryption for some time.
After all the years of expert digital security per mil/gov taskforce, agency, councils, executives, offices why the rush/need/demand/request to list on in plain text on an open server.
The other option is the list found was created with US disinformation with junk tracked names, SS numbers, projects, letters with project names.. mixed in with contractors and gov workers. Who would be allowed even create such a list thats human readable?
Bait, a trap the US had as a vast readable honeypot or some other nation tested their own methods.

Comment Re:The US cannot follow a pact (Score 1) 38

Re: " don't realise is that the Chinese Intelligence is so secretive it doesn't even have a name"
China produces a lot of internal documents. What any one person can walk out with to a US/UK embassy is never really that useful.
The UK was reduced to rebuilding container ships with signals equipment and having cargo ships move far up rivers in China. Did the UK get much? No. Hong Kong, Little Sai Wan, Chum Hom Kok, the large Demos 1-4 NSA designed dish upgrades did not really get much going into the 1980's for the US and UK.
Most of that collection is now done from Australia after 1997. Lots of the usual, expected military grade traffic any nation pumps out everyday is collected in bulk.

Comment Re:How about military espionage? (Score 1) 108

Re "Someone has been lifting the personal identities of government employees"
The US and its helper nations had secured, all its projects and accounts safe from the Soviet Union and other nations well into the 1990's on vast digital databases.
Every department, agency, mil and gov digital site seemed have been kept secure or was a honeypot as bait, junk busywork projects to be tracked when found or traps.
ie at some point and for some reason the US gov selected to place its databases in an easy to read plain text format on an open network facing file structure.
The "dog and pony" is now for the securing, clean up and private sector experts to rent cyber solutions over the issue of why databases online that are not encrypted is not a great idea.
Re "what is left to protect"? Most of the US gov basic, entry level systems may start as parts from China, parts of Asia, Spain, Germany, France, the UK that are then cleaned up during a knock-down kit supply line thats sold on as Made in the USA as far as regulations go. Great for contractors and lawyers to have the paper work for.
A vast network of parts plans and designs floating around long global just in time supply chains.
The mil space/sat work is bespoke, 100% hand crafted in the USA but is limited run spy sat production lines.
The only way for the US to be secure is to totally revert to a US only supply chain again. That would be blocked by the powerful contractors and lawyers lobby who are happy to support their lucrative import fronts.
Military espionage is very easy to protect against, every nation can do it, but its more tempting for the US to buy in cheap, buy from allies ensuring their locked into US/NATO standards and the price difference between a rebranded import and US domestic mil price is a great win.

Comment Re:Not needed (Score 4, Insightful) 86

The UK thinking on "would be far less far reaching than they are now and intelligence gathering could be much more targeted and effective." has evolved from the Ireland issues of small groups of people meeting without cell or set locations in the 1970-80's.
The solution was to track small groups of people down the the cell level and then offer each member a personal option: work for the UK intelligence services or not.
Over the years people where successfully advance up the cell structure exposing all existing and new cells they had command and control over.
Thats why the UK likes to watch everything and connect everything as it cannot be sure of how, where and when people of interest will meet and if they can even be observed without sat or other very costly and advanced platforms per person.
The "without further authorization" shows not much has changed from the 1920's or the classic Home Office Warrant (HOW) days. The pipes are fast, wide, always expanded as domestic and international data grows and collecting it all over every generation of optical upgrade.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm nuts.. (Score 1) 93

Re: simply is no sound way to keep secrets safe.
The US gov and mil and all the Western mil's did a good job over many years. Encrypted, per site, no public net access.
No great issues going back decades given the US had a great early start in advanced digital databases.
At some point all the US data was placed on a network facing the 'internet' and the data was not encrypted.
That gov/contractor need for a massive easy to read and use database was 'worth' more than a lot of secure encrypted files.
Some mil or gov group wanted to find skills fast and did not want to ask a lot of different networks or be logged asking for keys to vast different databases.
The solution seems to have been a huge plain text effort kept online. The other option would have been in the creation of many different account per person per project per contractor. A simple to use database in English open to the net would have been useful to insert entire histories as bait/traps or to totally hide complex work histories/projects.
The language issue might have been that need. Put everything in from every contractor, mil, gov and see if any have much needed languages or could be trained given past testing or education... it would not be the first time the US needed language skills quickly.
Contractors, gov, mil liked the open, easy to use system so much it just stayed open, online and readable.
Or it was all just bait, one huge trap with a percentage of names and projects total fiction for other nations to sort and wonder about.

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.