This is real-time surveillance of website visitors & search terms to websites that governments don't like. I'm guessing it wouldn't take much for them to correlate those visitors to IP addresses, cookies, device IDs and cell tower signals to pinpoint people in real time too?
Who is it?
It's the police. We know you're browsing Wikileaks right now.
Edit: Looks like GCHQ's "ANTICRISIS GIRL" , the tool used to monitor Wikileaks visitors in real time, was based on Piwik 
my brain came to a screeching halt, because I GET THE REFERENCE!
I am possibly the only person on HN go get it, because it is unlikely that anybody else here is a fanatic adherent of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The 2009 entry of Ukraine by Svetlana Loboda is called "Be My Valentine! (Anti-crisis Girl)" and here is a link.
WARNING: While not strictly NSFW, that video has a half-naked woman yelling "you are sexy bum", background dancers that can only be described as sex-legionaries and a catchy tune. She starts repeatedly screaming "anti-crisis girl" at about 2:30.
Now back to meaningful discussion about total global surveillance.
This is the most believable part of the fantastic film Enemy of the State - the geeks in the van doing the work.
That's the scariest part: it's the banality of evil, updated for the XXI century. Would you turn down a safe and well-paid government job? Would you be a contractor building the Death Star?
(for the record, this is not a new question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=iQd... )
Demolishing entire planets... not so much an improvement.
Of course they are. What else would they be? And some might even frequent HN -- including certain apologists.
That doesn't make what they do any less disturbing or any less tied to interests against the general population and freedom.
So, the "Banality of Evil" reference below is spot on.
I sincerely hope GCHQ don't have superhero costume parties. Even if they think they're something like The Justice League.
I agree that any suggestion that the UK is similar to NK is absurd. However, George Orwell did once point out that a revolution and the subsequent imposition of terror in the UK would actually be very easy to do within our legal system...
Comparin the treatment of North Korean Internet users to the treatment of UK Internet users is obscene.
It dilutes the actual point: UK government should not monitor the activities of its citizens without judicial oversight and very narrow reasons. That is an abuse of human rights and it is justifiably something to get angry about. But comparing "monitoring what people send to a website that distributes state secrets" with "forcing a woman to drown her new born baby in a bucket because she read the wrong book" is sub-optimal.
Not really possible to fix this situation either as "do no evil" license clauses are pointless.
Which raises the question of whether or not a program that passively wiretaps you falls under the provision of network services clause in that :)
RetroBites: Pete Seeger - Black List
This doesn't make it acceptable.
In the UK, we have a sort of passive acceptance of high levels of surveillance of the home population going back to the Northern Ireland Emergency starting 1968. It will need a lot to move the politicians away from that.
Good to know that the NSA is on top of that Pirate Bay threat! I was worried for a little bit. Good thing they're keeping tabs on script kiddies too. And of course WikiLeaks; that's just information terrorism. Better go ahead and classify them all as malicious foreign actors:
>any communication with a group designated as a “malicious foreign actor,” such as WikiLeaks and Anonymous, would be considered fair game for surveillance.
>When NSA officials are asked in the document if WikiLeaks or Pirate Bay could be designated as “malicious foreign actors,” the reply is inconclusive: “Let us get back to you.” There is no indication of whether either group was ever designated or targeted in such a way.
Knowing Greenwald, I've got a suspicion that he already knows the answer to that question. Gonna go grab some popcorn. Y'all want anything from the concession stand?
Notice of course that it doesn't really matter if the NSA classifies any of them as malicious foreign actors or not. They can always count on the GCHQ to scrape up US citizens' data for them:
That blue spot on the "Visitor Countries" map looks familiar...
As I've mentioned in another comment already, this reminds me of Pete Seeger's comments on the (anti-communist) Black List:
I wouldn't be suprised if the owners of TPB were still the original founders in addition to other people.
Presumably your visit to The Intercept and First Look are similarly tracked and correlated with your other online and offline activity.
I for one will visit this site and open every linked document from each IP I have access to. These tactics of mass surveillance and intimidation must be resisted.
According to the Post, officials “realized that they have what they described as a ‘New York Times problem’” – namely, that any theory used to bring charges against Assange would also result in criminal liability for the Times, The Guardian, and other papers which also published secret documents provided to WikiLeaks.
USA [...] urged other nations with forces in Afghanistan [...] to consider filing criminal charges against J.A. [...] focus the legal elements of national power upon non-state actor Assange, and the human network that supports Wikileaks (from https://prod01-cdn02.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/2014/02/as...)
Not that this came as a surprise for people who read things outside NYT.
Not directly related to the article, but more to the issue at large: One thing many people fail to realize is that humans can be terribly, terribly corrupt. There are those among us who, without a drop of guilt or compassion, would take the life of another. Given the means, we are capable of carrying out some heinous acts. Many believe that there is some moral or ethical boundary that these spy agencies will not cross. That given all the information that's been leaked, all the lies that've been exposed, there is still an area of corrupt behavior that is off-limits.
I have no doubt in my mind that there are those within these agencies that have abused their access to information for political, financial, and personal benefit, eg insider trading, selling damaging information to political candidates, suppressing journalists, etc. I'm not sure if it'll ever be brought to the public light, but I'm certain it's happened and is happening. The stuff that we read about is peanuts.
I think this is something that Hollywood movies such as Enemy of the State promotes. So that when it does come out non of us are surprised it really exists. We should just make sure that our lack of surprise doesn't turn into disinterest and apathy.
That lack of any significant firewall between the allies, combined with a huge army of contractors in the US with top secret access, means China/Russia etc have probably had access to this information for years, if not decades, and could feed CGHQ and the NSA misinformation at will, because they'll know exactly what their capabilities and aspirations are.
The way he said it made it sound like things were going to change.
The government can listen to what you say and watch what you do all they want. The moment they move from surveilling to censoring, from watching to interfering, the average citizen will come down on them with righteous fury. No one is coming to your door or telling you what lawful websites you can and can't look at or what you can say to people. It's a testament to the strength of our ideals that government agents can tap your phone and hear you say how much you hate them, and yet still not lift a finger against you .
Keeping an eye on quasi-legal websites and organizations is the government's job. Using force to harm them is a line that we cannot allow them to cross. There are many, many more documents that have yet to come to light and I'm sure that this community will be the first to point out any serious abuses of power.
 "That we know of"
There are other tools for influencing individuals and controlling society, much more targeted, silent and insidious.
Or just general COINTELPRO: http://vault.fbi.gov/cointel-pro
(Yes, that's the FBI's own archives, happy reading.)
Fascism is not one big step. It is a step at a time.
Kill foreign people using drones.
Even assassinate people of your own country.
Huge graph databases storing everything about your life forever.
Military equipment for police.
Life sentences for minor crimes.
High security prisons outside the usual law system.
Getting no government job because you read Wikileaks.
Access to only censored information for government workers.
Journalists are manipulated to report about war in positive ways.
Piece by piece. Each step brings you nearer a form of fascism.
Mass surveillance is just another tool.
There's far more than beating down doors.
It's a testament to the strength of our ideals that government agents can tap your phone and hear you say how much you hate them, and yet still not lift a finger against you
Parallel Construction is widely abused (or so it has been reported). So while it may not be about, 'government haters', and they may not be publicly abusing the information collected from wiretapping, it is being abused none the less.
Actually they do it all the time. In the EU country I'm from it's a regular occurence -- using surveillance like this to arrest and harass people the government don't like, and it has only been getting worse in the past years.
In what parallel universe do people live, who think that the government does not do such things? Perhaps they are not kept current on stuff that's not on the 9 o clock news, but either appears on the middle pages in newspapers or only registers in smaller circles.
Well, the key word here is "lawful".
We have for example cases where people were arrested and tried for merely linking to another website (e.g a news aggregator operator was arrested for the content of a linked news article).
We also have made up charges for people viewing "child pornography". For example one well known activist had such charges made up against him by the police for revenge, AFTER he had testified and provided evidence of police involvment in sexual trafficking.
There are also cases of people arrested for having a blog with religious satire.
We have cases where a advisor to the PM threatens people contributing donations to a certain news site.
Or the same advisor giving the real name of an anonymous (critical to the government) blogger on Twitter.
We had a case (recently) of a politician suing (and getting injunction measures) against a Wikipedia editor, for mentioning a well known fact about him (already published in numerous newspapers and books).
And numerous other, even more crazy situations...
Now thats positively orwellian. I recommend you read the book first.
We also already know that the US do use the information they collect. It is called "background check" and is performed in airports and government job applications. They might not be so open about it that they go and break down peoples door, but is secret files hidden in bunkers better?
1: Yes, Minister, episode 4, first 5 minutes.
And nothing of consequence will happen. ..You don't build tools so as to never use them.
This is so bad. Just when you think it can't get any worse.
The worst part is that more leaks with probably even more depressing revalations are on the way.
Right now even if there was such a pressure on them, there's probably no way to link to who did it, because NSA and GCHQ seem to be run in a very chaotic way and that's on purpose, so there are no ties for specific operations to anyone.
Firefox: browser of choice for neurotic introverts!
(I use Firefox:)
Actually that whole slide deck is interesting. Watch how "Squeaky Dolphin" help us go from "real-time" monitoring of likes on facebook and youtube/blogger views to splunk powered(?) "Battle Damage Assessment Demonstrator - City Activity"...
 Slide 26-32. Splunk is namedropped, wonder if NSA are big customers of http://www.splunk.com ? I guess all PR is good PR...
The Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders has the U.S. ranked #46 in their 2004 report  - just above Haiti and just below Romania.
OTM is a pretty great podcast, by the way. Covers lots of stuff about the Snowden leaks with a very level head.
The article has a graph showing US press freedom bouncing between sort of OK down to "less than Lithuania" levels over a period of decades. In other words, mediocre levels of press freedom happen regularly in the US. That does not actually contradict the notion that, currently, it sucks.
What Snowden taught us, the lesson we all have now, is that those with that level of internet/computer skills are not citizens of a single country but RATHER citizens of the Internet and its our actions that determine the future of the internet and its freedom.
Edit: Oh never mind, should have kept on reading.
I'd say government overreach is starting to get to a fever pitch. People have good reason to fear their government and that's pretty scary.