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Subject: NSA and the world rss

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Brazil, Britain, Mexico and France (and probably others) are all really upset that the NSA has been spying on them.

Is the US really the only country in the world with functioning sigint capabilities? Or do world leaders just get to jump on the US since it's sigint capabilities have been made public by leaks?
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Also it is really cute to me when world leaders complain that allies shouldn't be spying on each other.

Apparently these people have never taken a class in history because todays allies are tomorrows enemies.
 
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Like many things, spying is only bad if you get caught.

It's all part of the game. Like in Civ V, when I try to send a spy to steal tech from the British and she gets caught, the British publicly denounce me, and I tuck my tail between my legs and try to make it up to them with some nice trade agreements. Meanwhile I send my spies on easier missions for a while until they get enough experience to actually succeed on the next attempt at stealing tech from the British.

And of course they have their guys off flipping city-state allegiances to their side by rigging elections.
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Boaty McBoatface
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It's the degree the NSA did it, and the fact that (in essence) the US has spied not on governments, but on ordinary citizens.
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Jasper
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I am sure the US capabilities exceed all others, with the possible exception of China. The NSA has a very bad rep here as well. It is frequently likened to the KGB, by people who have not though that through. Nonetheless, it isn't winning the US any friends here, and I find that very understandable.
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Of course other nations have significant intelligence communities. You're hearing about the US because of the releases from various sources and because of the scope of data gathering that's going on.

It's arguable that the US has better access to Internet traffic than other nations due to the way that the Internet was originally built, and you can find various OpEds about how the US is "losing control of the Internet" with positive, negative, and "it's just happening" spins. But a huge amount of traffic flows through US access nodes presently, providing the US with better traffic analysis and capture capabilities than other nations.

I think the US is getting more press because we're perhaps being more aggressive than other nations (we are a bigger target for terrorist activity than many/most other nations with the possible exception of Israel). And we've had leaks. But you hear about other country's programs every once in a while.
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It is mostly domestic politics. Especially in France for instance. Having trouble with a scandal at home then have a blast at those "nasty" Americans spying on us?
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perfalbion wrote:
Of course other nations have significant intelligence communities. You're hearing about the US because of the releases from various sources and because of the scope of data gathering that's going on.

It's arguable that the US has better access to Internet traffic than other nations due to the way that the Internet was originally built, and you can find various OpEds about how the US is "losing control of the Internet" with positive, negative, and "it's just happening" spins. But a huge amount of traffic flows through US access nodes presently, providing the US with better traffic analysis and capture capabilities than other nations.

I think the US is getting more press because we're perhaps being more aggressive than other nations (we are a bigger target for terrorist activity than many/most other nations with the possible exception of Israel). And we've had leaks. But you hear about other country's programs every once in a while.
Lets no leave out concern over hardware and software back doors, In essence no one can trust anything made in the USA.
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Michael Carter
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Fuck the NSA. (starts stopwatch)
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frumpish wrote:
Or do world leaders just get to jump on the US since it's sigint capabilities have been made public by leaks?


this. the USA and Israel probably have the best assets in place for spying.
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mlcarter815 wrote:
Fuck the NSA. (starts stopwatch)

Are you talking every agent, regardless of gender or relationship status? How do intend to get their consent? How much time do you think it will take you?
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jeremycobert wrote:
frumpish wrote:
Or do world leaders just get to jump on the US since it's sigint capabilities have been made public by leaks?


this. the USA and Israel probably have the best assets in place for spying.

I don't know if we do or not but I what our enemies to think so and I want it to make them paranoid and stupid.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Is the UK that angry?
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whac3 wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
frumpish wrote:
Or do world leaders just get to jump on the US since it's sigint capabilities have been made public by leaks?


this. the USA and Israel probably have the best assets in place for spying.

I don't know if we do or not but I what our enemies to think so and I want it to make them paranoid and stupid.
All this has done is made their friends paranoid and angry. It may even damage American businesses as people turn to 'safer' domestic products.
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Venga2 wrote:
I am sure the US capabilities exceed all others, with the possible exception of China. The NSA has a very bad rep here as well. It is frequently likened to the KGB, by people who have not though that through. Nonetheless, it isn't winning the US any friends here, and I find that very understandable.


I think China is a definite exception, rather than a possible one.
By all accounts, it seems as though their hackers can pretty much run circles around our government.
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Jon_1066 wrote:
It is mostly domestic politics. Especially in France for instance. Having trouble with a scandal at home then have a blast at those "nasty" Americans spying on us?
What a great way to dismiss legitimate concern! Them furriners are just politiking for a home audience so their cronies can keep their kickbacks! Especially those damn frogs.
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whac3 wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
frumpish wrote:
Or do world leaders just get to jump on the US since it's sigint capabilities have been made public by leaks?


this. the USA and Israel probably have the best assets in place for spying.

I don't know if we do or not but I what our enemies to think so and I want it to make them paranoid and stupid.


What about the Vatican?
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mlcarter815 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
frumpish wrote:
Or do world leaders just get to jump on the US since it's sigint capabilities have been made public by leaks?


this. the USA and Israel probably have the best assets in place for spying.

I don't know if we do or not but I what our enemies to think so and I want it to make them paranoid and stupid.


What about the Vatican?


They may be paranoid; they may be mistaken about their fundamental beliefs; but one thing they are not is stupid.
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Jon M
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Venga2 wrote:
Jon_1066 wrote:
It is mostly domestic politics. Especially in France for instance. Having trouble with a scandal at home then have a blast at those "nasty" Americans spying on us?
What a great way to dismiss legitimate concern! Them furriners are just politiking for a home audience so their cronies can keep their kickbacks! Especially those damn frogs.


Not dismissing them. Simply stating that foreign government faux outrage is aimed at their domestic political audience because they know they have similar programmes aimed at everyone else as well. They can therefore use this outrage as a smoke screen to try to deflect criticism from them over whatever the issue of the day is onto the Americans. If the newspapers are reporting on the Presidents outrage then they are not reporting on the latest scandal.
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andyholt wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
frumpish wrote:
Or do world leaders just get to jump on the US since it's sigint capabilities have been made public by leaks?


this. the USA and Israel probably have the best assets in place for spying.

I don't know if we do or not but I what our enemies to think so and I want it to make them paranoid and stupid.


What about the Vatican?


They may be paranoid; they may be mistaken about their fundamental beliefs; but one thing they are not is stupid.


I meant with all of those Catholic churches, they have the ability to leverage a strong spy network.
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frumpish wrote:
Is the US really the only country in the world with functioning sigint capabilities?


I think the second largest of UKs four main intelligence services is quite happy for "No Such Agency" to take the main heat from Snowdon's revelations.

and I really doubt that the French are as naiive or innocent as they make out (even if they do call us Perfidious Albion).

Israel has a strong reputation in this field - how well justified being, as Moshe points out, unclear but useful to them.

Iran has some very competent people … but they might be a bit (no pun intended) short of computer power.
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Jon_1066 wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
Jon_1066 wrote:
It is mostly domestic politics. Especially in France for instance. Having trouble with a scandal at home then have a blast at those "nasty" Americans spying on us?
What a great way to dismiss legitimate concern! Them furriners are just politiking for a home audience so their cronies can keep their kickbacks! Especially those damn frogs.


Not dismissing them. Simply stating that foreign government faux outrage is aimed at their domestic political audience because they know they have similar programmes aimed at everyone else as well. They can therefore use this outrage as a smoke screen to try to deflect criticism from them over whatever the issue of the day is onto the Americans. If the newspapers are reporting on the Presidents outrage then they are not reporting on the latest scandal.
As I said I am not sure that concerns over NSA back doors is faux outrage, it reflects real fears about how secure American IT products are. Many foreign governments have spent billions buying IT solution's from companies like Microsoft (as well as having people like the founder of Wikipedia as IT advisers). And now it seem this money was wasted (as much of it must now be replaced), and that these companies are not in fact (commercially) independent or trustworthy.
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mlcarter815 wrote:

I meant with all of those Catholic churches, they have the ability to leverage a strong spy network.


Indeed, and even keeping the details of what priests hear in the confessional as sacred as it is supposed to be, it is a fine source for getting a feel for what the populace is thinking.
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slatersteven wrote:
Jon_1066 wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
Jon_1066 wrote:
It is mostly domestic politics. Especially in France for instance. Having trouble with a scandal at home then have a blast at those "nasty" Americans spying on us?
What a great way to dismiss legitimate concern! Them furriners are just politiking for a home audience so their cronies can keep their kickbacks! Especially those damn frogs.


Not dismissing them. Simply stating that foreign government faux outrage is aimed at their domestic political audience because they know they have similar programmes aimed at everyone else as well. They can therefore use this outrage as a smoke screen to try to deflect criticism from them over whatever the issue of the day is onto the Americans. If the newspapers are reporting on the Presidents outrage then they are not reporting on the latest scandal.
As I said I am not sure that concerns over NSA back doors is faux outrage, it reflects real fears about how secure American IT products are. Many foreign governments have spent billions buying IT solution's from companies like Microsoft (as well as having people like the founder of Wikipedia as IT advisers). And now it seem this money was wasted (as much of it must now be replaced), and that these companies are not in fact (commercially) independent or trustworthy.


Steven, is this really true, about foreign governments/companies replacing IT products over security concerns? I ask earnestly, because I haven't read that here, but it seems perhaps like somewhat of a costly over-reaction (and who's to say that the software being used to replace the American-made products doesn't have its own backdoor access?) Just how widespread is this drive to replace supposedly compromised American IT products?
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desertfox2004 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Jon_1066 wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
Jon_1066 wrote:
It is mostly domestic politics. Especially in France for instance. Having trouble with a scandal at home then have a blast at those "nasty" Americans spying on us?
What a great way to dismiss legitimate concern! Them furriners are just politiking for a home audience so their cronies can keep their kickbacks! Especially those damn frogs.


Not dismissing them. Simply stating that foreign government faux outrage is aimed at their domestic political audience because they know they have similar programmes aimed at everyone else as well. They can therefore use this outrage as a smoke screen to try to deflect criticism from them over whatever the issue of the day is onto the Americans. If the newspapers are reporting on the Presidents outrage then they are not reporting on the latest scandal.
As I said I am not sure that concerns over NSA back doors is faux outrage, it reflects real fears about how secure American IT products are. Many foreign governments have spent billions buying IT solution's from companies like Microsoft (as well as having people like the founder of Wikipedia as IT advisers). And now it seem this money was wasted (as much of it must now be replaced), and that these companies are not in fact (commercially) independent or trustworthy.


Steven, is this really true, about foreign governments/companies replacing IT products over security concerns? I ask earnestly, because I haven't read that here, but it seems perhaps like somewhat of a costly over-reaction (and who's to say that the software being used to replace the American-made products doesn't have its own backdoor access?) Just how widespread is this drive to replace supposedly compromised American IT products?
It's a supposition on my part, and never claimed any thing more.
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