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State Surveillance Thread

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Posted

There were a couple "surveillance" threads floating around, so I thought we could have one catch all thread.

 

The latest from The Intercept

 

When the incoming emails stopped arriving, it seemed innocuous at first. But it would eventually become clear that this was no routine technical problem. Inside a row of gray office buildings in Brussels, a major hacking attack was in progress. And the perpetrators were British government spies.

 

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Posted (edited)

When I see 'guests' at the bottom of a page, I assume it is the Guvmint.

 

One guest is present at the time of writing this post. The state is surveying the State Surveillance thread.

Edited by CarewsEyebrowDesigner

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Posted

Sanctions against Britain by the rest of the EU seem highly unlikely, but this is not good. 

 

And I bet Germany and maybe other countries are scrambling to find out if any of their own nefarious cloak and dagger operations could be similarly found out.

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Posted

 

 

When I see 'guests' at the bottom of a page, I assume it is the Guvmint.

Given that we talk a lot about politics on this board, I am sure this site has had some spooks on it.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if they've put names and faces together.

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Posted

Is it true that Britain has more public surveillance cameras than any other country?

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Posted (edited)

Is it true that Britain has more public surveillance cameras than any other country?

yes, it has been estimated that we have 20% of the worlds surveillance camera's whilst having 1% of the worlds population, we have more camera's that China despite having a fraction of the people or the landmass, last figures I can recall are from 2013,  we has 1 camera for every 11 people in Britain at that time,

Edited by mockingbird_franklin

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Posted (edited)

 

Is it true that Britain has more public surveillance cameras than any other country?

yes, it has been estimated that we have 20% of the worlds surveillance camera's whilst having 1% of the worlds population, we have more camera's that China despite having a fraction of the people or the landmass, last figures I can recall are from 2013,  we has 1 camera for every 11 people in Britain at that time,

 

Does it makes you feel safer ?

 

I had this discussion with a guy yesterday and he claimed that only criminals and dodgy people would have something against surveillance cameras, the rest would not mind.

Edited by Ikantcpell

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Posted

On 14 December 2014 at 07:13, Ikantcpell said:

Does it makes you feel safer ?

I had this discussion with a guy yesterday and he claimed that only criminals and dodgy people would have something against surveillance cameras, the rest would not mind.

no it doesn't, Evidence points to it having next to no effect on either the level of crime or the ability to bring perpetrators to justice, So if it has no effect on crime, their must be another reason for Hundred's of millions of pounds spent on the installing of CCTV and the further cost of maintenance and use.

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Posted

it's quite complex isn't it

there's no doubt that after the event some cctv can help trace a person's movements and help the police put together parts of the jigsaw

I used to live in a street that was, er, lively. It definitely got quieter for about a month. Then people got used to the cameras, then in what I still regard as one of the funniest nights of my life a bunch of locals worked together to take two cameras down and steal them. It took hours, nobody noticed the pictures going off, no patrol car came by.

I think what I've learnt with most cameras is 'relax', the money they've spent on cameras has left less money for human resource so there will most likely be nobody watching in a little office somewhere and even if they are, the police won't have the resource to do anything about anything. But if you are stabbed, they'll have a record of it so you have a better chance of getting on Crimewatch with an appeal.

When we'd had our cameras installed I presumed the shop ram raid would be picked up instantly. Nothing happened. Eventually I phoned the police like a good citizen (I thought it might result in the alarm being switched off too). On phoning the police, I told them there was a shop raid going on right now, get here now and you'll have them cornered inside the shop. I was told the policeman that had answered the phone was on his own and couldn't come out - as he had to man the phoneline.

On another occasion I phoned the police about a burning car in the High Street - I was asked what town the High Street was in. The phoneline to the local police station had been diverted to a HQ building in another county.

I wouldn't overly worry about cctv.

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Posted

CCTV is an intrusion, but the cameras aren't sitting at a desk reading your emails and website posts. That's the level we're at now. I think most cynics knew our governments were spying on us, it took Snowden to confirm it. He may have an oversized ego and all that, but he's all but martyred himself for a good cause, IMO.

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Posted

Snowden joined Twitter 2 hours ago, and it's been confirmed the NSA was his first follower :lol:

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Posted

From the ORG-discuss (Open Rights Group) mailing list:

Quote

 

Sign here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106369

Government to abandon all ideas of trying to ban strong encryption.

Strong encryption is used every day by citizens, businesses, the
government, even this very web site. Encryption exists, and like trying
to ban multiplication, it is pointless to try to stop it. A ban, or
forcing back doors, can only harm law abiding citizens and have no
impact on criminals.

More details
"If a British citizen with an iPhone purchased in France and roaming in
Germany iMessages a Chinese citizen roaming in Sweden using an iPhone
purchased in Denmark, which government's keys need to be inserted in the
iMessage communications by an American company (Apple) legally based in
Luxembourg using servers hosted in Eire?"

http://boingboing.net/2015/01/13/what-david-cameron-just-propos.html
http://www.revk.uk/2015/07/ban-multiplication.html
http://www.revk.uk/2015/07/ban-random-numbers.html
http://www.revk.uk/2015/07/crypto-wars.html
http://www.revk.uk/2015/08/cryptowars-why-back-doors-in-imessages.html

Sign here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106369

 

 

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Posted

I guess this is probably the thread for this.

Quote

Cybersecurity: Queen to open centre to protect against attacks

A new centre to protect the UK against cyber-attacks is to be officially opened by the Queen later. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in London is designed to improve Britain's resilience to attacks and act as an operational nerve centre.

"We want to make the UK the hardest target," Ciaran Martin, the centre's chief executive, told the BBC.

The NCSC - part of intelligence agency GCHQ - says the UK is facing about 60 serious cyber-attacks a month. There were 188 attacks classed by the NCSC as Category Two or Three during the last three months. And even though the UK has not experienced a Category One attack - the highest level, an example of which would have been the theft of confidential details of millions of Americans from the Office of Personnel Management - there is no air of complacency at the NCSC's new headquarters in Victoria.

"We have had significant losses of personal data, significant intrusions by hostile state actors, significant reconnaissance against critical national infrastructure - and our job is to make sure we deal with it in the most effective way possible," Mr Martin says.

As well as protecting against and responding to high-end attacks on government and business, the NCSC also aims to protect the economy and wider society. The UK is one of the most digitally dependent economies, with the digital sector estimated to be worth over £118bn per year - which means the country has much to lose. It is not just a crippling cyber-attack on infrastructure that could turn out the lights which worries officials, but also a loss of confidence in the digital economy from consumers and businesses, as a result of criminals exploiting online vulnerabilities. A sustained effort was required by government and private sector working together to make the UK the hardest possible target, officials say. Russia has been the focus of recent concern, following claims it used cyber-attacks to interfere with the recent US presidential election.

"I think there has been a significant change in the Russian approach to cyber-attacks and the willingness to carry it out, and clearly that's something we need to be prepared to deal with," Mr Martin said.

French and German officials have warned of the possibility of interference in their upcoming elections, but the NCSC's head said there was no evidence that a significant attack or compromise had yet taken place against the UK democratic process.

"There has been an identifiable trend in Russian attacks in the West, in terms of focusing on critical national industries and political and democratic processes," Mr Martin added. "And so it follows from that that we will look to be sure we are protecting those sectors in the UK as well as we possibly can."

The centre will be working on a voluntary basis with political parties and giving advice to high-profile individuals - including MPs - on how to protect their sensitive data. The UK is already targeting computers in other countries being used for cyber-attack, particularly if there is no possibility of prosecution or for co-operation with authorities where the hackers are based.

"In the most serious cases, we have lawful powers where we can go after the infrastructure of adversaries - the infrastructure that people use to attack us - and we would do that in some of the most serious cases several dozen times a year," Mr Martin said.

In the past, UK cyber protection was largely situated within GCHQ in Cheltenham, which was criticised by businesses and others as overly secretive. The NCSC aims to be more public facing and accessible. It will also protect a far wider range of sectors, rather than just government and national security-related industries, like defence. GCHQ will still be the parent body for the NCSC, meaning it can draw on the intelligence agency's skills and capabilities. Sometimes, the intelligence arm of GCHQ spots compromised networks as it watches adversaries move across the internet. It was through this type of work that GCHQ spotted the compromise of the US Democratic Party's information by Russian hackers, which it then informed US authorities about. The NCSC is working on trial services to pro-actively discover vulnerabilities in public sector websites, help government departments better manage spoofing of their email, and take down tens of thousands of phishing sites affecting the UK.

"We're actively working to reduce the harm caused by cyber-attacks against the UK and will use the government as a guinea pig for all the measures we want to see done by industry at national scale," says the NCSC technical director, Dr Ian Levy.

He says results would be published openly to enhance collaboration. The centre will be publishing some of its code as open source, so that others can use the techniques. A five-year National Cyber Security Strategy was announced in November 2016, with £1.9bn of investment. The chancellor is also due to announce the creation of a "Industry 100" scheme, which will grant 100 NCSC secondments to private sector staff.

BBC

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Posted

It's almost sweet to think that this is anything other than a sticking plaster and at it's worst it is disingenuous to start pointing the finger at Russia moving the goal posts after what the USA and their allies (yes us too in the UK) have been getting up to.  Anyone else watch that BBC documentary on the Stuxnet virus? I worked for one of the larger IT security vendors at the time of Stuxnet and watched in fascination as the show unfolded.  For anyone that didn't watch, Stuxnet is the first well known state sponsored attack on another nations infrastructure through cyber warfare.  That is not to say it is the first such attack, it is just the first to make it into the public domain and generally accepted as a US/Israeli secret service weapon (although not officially admitted by either the US or the Israeli's).

The point I really want to make about Stuxnet is that the target was an underground nuclear facility in a desert in the middle of Iran, guarded by a massive military presence and with no network connection to the outside world (an airgap).  Despite this the US managed to get a virus onto the centrifuge's (the ones creating the nuclear material) that caused them to malfunction and for want of a better word, explode.  The virus was clever and very aggressive in how it spread and from my perspective at the time trying to clean up clients that had been infected bloomin difficult to deal with. This all happened 7 years ago and since then the people writing the attacks are getting better and thanks to the growing number of "things" that are networked (the internet of things) with little or no thought to security baked, in the number of vectors they can attack from is growing.

As the documentary alluded to (do watch it, whilst a dry subject it is compelling viewing) imagine that capability turned against the infrastructure of a nation.  Shut down the power grid and our ability to produce clean water and think what happens next...

I think the anecdotal figure is that we are 9 missed meals away from anarchy, you don't have to shut the power grid down for much more than a week to make that a very real possibility.  It is possible today for a state to launch an attack from their nice comfy desk and then watch the recipient effectively eat itself.  The capability is to all intents and purposes a weapon of mass destruction.

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Posted

10 minutes ago, Straggler said:

It's almost sweet to think that this is anything other than a sticking plaster and at it's worst it is disingenuous to start pointing the finger at Russia moving the goal posts after what the USA and their allies (yes us too in the UK) have been getting up to.  Anyone else watch that BBC documentary on the Stuxnet virus? I worked for one of the larger IT security vendors at the time of Stuxnet and watched in fascination as the show unfolded.  For anyone that didn't watch, Stuxnet is the first well known state sponsored attack on another nations infrastructure through cyber warfare.  That is not to say it is the first such attack, it is just the first to make it into the public domain and generally accepted as a US/Israeli secret service weapon (although not officially admitted by either the US or the Israeli's).

The point I really want to make about Stuxnet is that the target was an underground nuclear facility in a desert in the middle of Iran, guarded by a massive military presence and with no network connection to the outside world (an airgap).  Despite this the US managed to get a virus onto the centrifuge's (the ones creating the nuclear material) that caused them to malfunction and for want of a better word, explode.  The virus was clever and very aggressive in how it spread and from my perspective at the time trying to clean up clients that had been infected bloomin difficult to deal with. This all happened 7 years ago and since then the people writing the attacks are getting better and thanks to the growing number of "things" that are networked (the internet of things) with little or no thought to security baked, in the number of vectors they can attack from is growing.

As the documentary alluded to (do watch it, whilst a dry subject it is compelling viewing) imagine that capability turned against the infrastructure of a nation.  Shut down the power grid and our ability to produce clean water and think what happens next...

I think the anecdotal figure is that we are 9 missed meals away from anarchy, you don't have to shut the power grid down for much more than a week to make that a very real possibility.  It is possible today for a state to launch an attack from their nice comfy desk and then watch the recipient effectively eat itself.  The capability is to all intents and purposes a weapon of mass destruction.

MV5BMTUyODE1NTIzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjA5

imdb

and still watchable on iplayer in the UK for just over a day here:

BBC IPLAYER STORYVILLE

seeing as you mentioned it :)

 

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Posted

25 minutes ago, VILLAMARV said:

MV5BMTUyODE1NTIzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjA5

imdb

and still watchable on iplayer in the UK for just over a day here:

BBC IPLAYER STORYVILLE

seeing as you mentioned it :)

 

Great work thank you.  I have also come to the realisation that my last post has probably got me on the radar of the very people that I have just been bitching about.  I must have a dozen key words in there that will trigger on the guys in Cheltenham, or the NSA.  Oh crap, I just wrote the word trigger too.  that isn't going to help matters.  Thank god I didn't write the word terrorist or I'll have completed secret service watch list word bingo.

 

 

 

oh bugger.

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Posted

Obviously for the vast majority of us going about our daily lives as Bob the Builder or whatever none of this is going to make a blind bit of difference to how we live our lives and nor should it. Hopefully there are still enough checks and balances in our constitutional monarchy to fend off the fascists. I can't help feeling the system is crumbling though, however slowly. The more we withdraw into a protectionist world economically, militarily and culturally there will always be vested interests to protect and maintain. Of course if we did away with the idea of a nation state in this new global age it would kind of render most of this kind of thing futile.........but then maybe that idea's time hasn't come yet. Or we're just not ready for it.

Snowden for instance didn't really tell us anything rational people wouldn't have already expected, just that he cited evidence making it impossible for people to point and laugh at the conspiracy theorists. 'Zero Days' there and the Stuxnet fiasco just evidence where we are with technology, military and so on and puts into the shade ALL of the nonsense being played out in the media by Trump and the Brexit fallout in the UK. Little to wonder about why Trump would want to bring a manufacturing base for PLC's for instance rather than outsourcing to the Seimens Step 7 industry standard eh? How much of our military infrastructure should we be outsourcing in the global age? etc and so on.

Obviously the real world is not a communal utopia, far from it. We are in the game and this is a part of it. Just the overall air of protectionism that hangs in the air at the moment seems to me to be a reaction to the birth of the internet and the advanced connectivity of the whole world. And while the people go one way the system closes ranks and tries heading in the opposite direction and I can't see history ever suggesting this sort of scenario plays out well for those clinging on the old ways.

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Posted (edited)

If one single life is saved because one single terrorist is caught I really couldn't give a damn what level of monitoring,  cctv or policing is employed. 

That single person might be me,  or my child or my wider family or friend. 

Indeed it would be somebody's family or friend. 

I keep wondering how there has not been a major terrorist incident in this country and we keep hearing about people who have been arrested for potential terrorist acts. How have they been identified? 

Lets face is something unfortunately WILL happen eventually but in the meantime I wonder just how may people are now safe who might otherwise be leaving behind devastated friends and family because of the surveillance which goes on.  

Edited by sidcow
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Posted

1 hour ago, sidcow said:

If one single life is saved because one single terrorist is caught I really couldn't give a damn what level of monitoring,  cctv or policing is employed. 

That single person might be me,  or my child or my wider family or friend. 

Indeed it would be somebody's family or friend. 

I keep wondering how there has not been a major terrorist incident in this country and we keep hearing about people who have been arrested for potential terrorist acts. How have they been identified? 

Lets face is something unfortunately WILL happen eventually but in the meantime I wonder just how may people are now safe who might otherwise be leaving behind devastated friends and family because of the surveillance which goes on.  

The problem with this is that the case for the effectiveness of mass surveillance has never been made.  I have put an article from the New Statesman below to save me typing out the main arguments, but there is plenty more like this out there.  You can look at almost any terrorist attack that you can think of and in the reporting you will hear that the perpetrators were known to the authorities before the attack.  The problem is normally that the threat level was incorrectly calculated or that there simply wasn't the resource to keep a close watch on those particular bad guys.

There is also the misconception that mass surveillance is the only option.  The secret service and the police already have the ability to snoop around potential bad guys, they just have to get a warrant to do so.  It is the targeted surveillance that is shown to have results and actually stop threats from happening.  Mass snooping does not help targeted surveillance, in fact it seems that it may hinder it by taking resources away to sift through the impossibly huge amount of data.

Please also bear in mind the capabilities that are available right now to snoop on us.  They are able to turn on the phone in your pocket to listen through the microphone and peer through the camera, the same with the laptop in-front of you.  They can read every email and every blog post, GCHQ can even tell if your son is going to be gay before he knows it himself.

https://tinyurl.com/gw9b8du

Quote

Add to this the fact that a lot of this electronic potential gives access not just to external real-world data – our locations, our conversations, our contacts books – but to the inside of our heads. I call this the "knowing you're gay" test. Most of us know someone who has plucked up the courage to reveal their homosexuality, only to be cheerfully told by friends and family, "oh, we've known that for years".

Now, though, search engines know facts about people's thoughts and fantasies long before anyone else does. To put it crudely, Google doesn't just know you're gay before you tell your mum; it knows you're gay before you do. And now GCHQ does too.

I would also like to make a case for the risk of giving up your right to not be spied on and compare that to the risk of terrorists.  In the USA right now they have a president that is busily making targets out of individual groups within his own society, who has one of his main aids (Stephen Miller) come on TV in the last 2 days saying:

"The whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned."

Just imagine if that thought right there became a law.  It's not as implausible now as it was before Trump came to power.  The USA may only be one decent size terrorist attack away from something approaching it.  Then combine that law with the ability of the government to listen to the conversations that happen over the dinner table in your own home.  You can in theory become a criminal overnight for having an opinion that differs from the government.  If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear only works until they decide what you think is no longer ok.

For me the potential misuse of mass surveillance far outweighs the positive benefits it brings to our safety.  I'd go as far as to say that the case has been better made that there is a negative impact on our safety through the use of mass surveillance.  The cynic in me says that regardless of the laws, whilst they have the capability to do so the powers that be will do what they want anyway, but they will do so without my permission.

https://tinyurl.com/znoeeyn

Quote

Most of the noise about mass surveillance since the Snowden revelations has predictably come from civil liberties groups. But the privacy and safeguards debate skips over the highly dubious assumption underpinning the Investigatory Powers Bill – that mass surveillance will stop terrorists.

In fact, mass surveillance is not only ineffective but downright counter-productive.

 

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