Because now you have a 'special access' class of the economy that can subvert this innovation/value mechanism with stolen data. Add corrupt politicians, easily exploited loopholes, biased media channels, and a docile public - and it's easy to see how this special access class can twist, distort (and ultimately destroy) the system.
One can only imagine what humanity could achieve without these parasites infecting our lives and businesses.
R. James Woolsey, a Washington lawyer and a former Director of Central Intelligence.
Look, use your spy satellites to publically shame bribery - that's fine by me. Claim the UK is bribing every government it can find - sure, Cameron and Blair were hardly discreet. But claim that after you have done this service to the world, you then "quietly have a word". Come on. If you are doing this for the greater good, make it public.
I swear, if the CIA spent the next year uploading to their web site phone taps of public officials taking bribes, international corruption would end by 2017.
Your comment illuminates things somewhat - at the top end of the international business food-chain there is no real free-market. We can talk about free-markets when discussing small, medium and even large domestic sized businesses. But when we think about integrated circuits, aircraft, shipping, consulting engineering, infrastructure etc, it's about discretion when lobbying to get the winning the bid, discretion in stealing key technologies, and discretion in manipulating the market.
My first instinct was to suggest that encryption is the magic bullet for having a real free market at the top end - but that doesn't stop bribery. In the one hand, we need to protect innovative businesses from having their intellectual property stolen and handed to the incumbent, in the other we need to shine a light on the corruption that pervades everything from soccer to software contracts.
I'm not sure what can be done beyond what you suggest at the end of your post: if the CIA spent the next year uploading to their web site phone taps of public officials taking bribes, international corruption would end by 2017.
Time for the spies to become Wikileaks? The reason they won't do this is because every side has nasty secrets to hide.
Bribery is generally not sophisticated. Especially at the levels the CIA could give a shit about, bribery is an open secret and part of what the ruling classes expect, or at least condone.
Embezzlement- yeah that's hidden. Which is why congress pays whistleblowers. I mean the U.S. Is ridiculously out in front for these sort of things (well officially, I am sure bribery and corruption is still common)
Occam's razor: The person who worked in intelligence, and is/was a Washington lawyer lied. Even without data, that surely must have crossed people's minds, no?!
> Occam's razor: The person who worked in intelligence, and is/was a Washington lawyer lied. Even without data, that surely must have crossed people's minds, no?!
>  https://www.transparency.org/cpi2014/results
Perception != reality
He was referring to bribery of foreign countries (such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia in his examples) that U.S. and European countries compete to win contracts.
Even according to the PERCEPTION index, they're of tiny European countries not named France. Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. A combined population that's about 9 million fewer than that of Italy.
> He was referring to bribery of foreign countries (such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia in his examples) that U.S. and European countries compete to win contracts.
From the first line of the cryptome.org article:
'What is the recent flap regarding Echelon and U.S. spying on European industries all about?'
> Perception != reality
Sorry, they don't have the actual corruption statistics available!
Feel free to investigate their methods, and report back! I take them as being somewhat credible. As do you by your own admission.
What a bizarrely horrid thing to say.
He must be confusing Europe with the US where bribing is called "lobbying" and is usually not tax deductible: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p535/ch11.html#en_US_2014_pu...
While we also have corruption at all levels of government in Europe, we still consider bribing illegal. Doing creative accounting to hide the bribes is also illegal.
Once they find evidence of corruption they confront the government that is buying, not the one that could punish the company. Clearly the crime of corruption is not of importance to the CIA (why would it, they use it to recruit, and they aren't a police anyway).
So by finding evidence of corruption, they can leverage that to potentially get the contract to the american corporation, increasing US wealth.
With bribing, the power balance is in favor of the person being bribed. With blackmail, the one in charge is the one doing the blackmail.
No. It's a result of nuclear deterrance (ie. doctrine of M.A.D.)
> The job of the NSA is to keep the USA in a position of power economically and politically to help stabilize the world.
I think you mean just to keep the US in power. The US destabilizes most countries in which it 'intervenes'. That's the point though, the more countries are broken up, the less likely anyone will challenge the US.
That we have not gone to war with other major powers is a debatable point as well. Though not as apparent as WW2, the proxy wars have been draining on our nations and peoples.
One thing to remember about nukes is not that they are so damaging, but that the damage is so fast and long lasting. The old maxim of 'war is good for business' is not true with a-bombs. Not due to the blast and damage, but due to the radiation. We still have no idea what it does and how to contain it and make a profit, it's just too toxic (like gasses)
to help stabilize the world
Unfortunately this part of your statement is the one that couldn't be more tragically and more demonstrably wrong.
Either Israel is attempting to annihilate the Palestinians, or they aren't. The Palestinians are still here. Israel has strong military means. They are capable, and they are competent. If they are trying, they are failing, and thus incompetent. I do not think they are incompetent. Many generals, commentators, and experts believe they are amongst the most capable nations and praise their abilities and precision. I think it's clear they aren't trying to annihilate any group of people other than people that launch rockets, attacks, or support those activities. It ain't genocide, so why call it that?
Sorry, you can't get away with saying things like that. This is a blatant lie.
This doesn't mean we stop trying; it just means that we don't have to lose hope because it feels like an impossible task. Conversely, it also means we need to really need to push to keep from losing ground. We can't go back to what the world was like in the time around WWI and WWII.
Maybe you feel that NSA and similar organizations are responsible for keeping another world war from errupting by making smaller conflicts happen, or by helping unexpected regime changes occur... That still doesn't explain all the mass surveillance of it's own people, or this economic espionage of supposed allies.
No, it's a direct result of nuclear proliferation and Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine.
Why do you think so?
Now define the change in stability between t0 and t1 as something like inversely proportional to the weighted average of changes in relative power rankings among countries.
By definition, maintaining stability will tend to keep Hegemonistan in its power positions. And vice versa.
So, stabilization is roughly identical to helping Hegemonistan.
Yes, you are.
I may not be a fan of what the NSA is doing, but at the end of the day, I'm happy to hold an American passport.
And prior to WWII. And, to a great extent, during WWII.
DHS and/or NIST cover commercial and non-DoD government. But even then it is a voluntary and/or advisory capacity too - there is no authority to make a company fix a software product (unlike say a car defect, which gets into liability issues nobody wants to open for software).
As for discovering and preventing bugs, I think that would be a waste of time/effort in the current towards NSA and software in general. Nobody is going to take a binary patch from them, nobody is going to submit their source code for review, any help given to a company would draw complaints from their competitors, and fundamentally as long as companies aren't actually liable for damages due to bugs or security issues, they aren't going to care much about spending money to improve the situation. A corporation would just rather add another clause to a EULA to disclaim more and more responsibility.
It's a free market failure since bottom line profits aren't affected so there is no incentive to improve. That leaves the question of whether the government should be subsidizing the business world's failure to meaningfully invest in bug fixes and security improvements.
> That leaves the question of whether the government should be subsidizing the business world's failure to meaningfully invest in bug fixes and security improvements.
One good way to sum up what government is good for is "things the market can't or won't do on its own." So I'd say yes.
This is one of those situations - be careful what you ask for, you might get it.
Apple and Microsoft between them make $35 billion in profit a quarter (not picking on them, just examples) - corporations don't need government handouts for this, they need proper motivation which is absent because security issues don't cost them anything except PR.
Actual monetary damages would alter that however. Fines, penalties, liability assumption, etc. You really want to see that?
Otherwise, how would it work exactly?
Existing models of the FDA (and its drug approval process) or the DoT (and its ability to force auto recalls) would introduce monetary damages, legal liability, government authority to pull products, and regulatory approval as ways to the free market ignoring costs related to security/defects - you really want to see that for the software market?
How would you REQUIRE corporations to have their code vetted by the "future software security agency" (FSSA)?
Or say FSSA provides reference implementations or reviews open-source code only? That's only part of the software universe, is it enough?
If participation is voluntary/optional, corporations still aren't going to care; they will need to be compelled to participate.
The world isn't neatly divided into things that people care about (and do) and don't care about and therefore will never do). It's a continuum.
For example, many people in companies care about security but never have time to do enough. If you make it so that they can do more per unit of time, they'll do more.
In that fashion, ISIS could argue that their torture is ok and necessary because the USA is also doing it to obtain information.
Edit: I'm referring to spying, not torture.
The only justification for it is "they did it first," which is both childish and irresponsible. Just because everyone else does it, doesn't mean it is correct, necessary, or justified.
It's both an out of band communications channel but also provides a feedback loop. If your enemy or your competitor is engaging in something you all agreed to is out of bounds, you can respond to it with the information you have gained.
EDS and Boeing will know if the other is underselling, bribing, receiving subsidies, etc. and be able to respond accordingly, for example.
See how so many countries are rushing to resolve territorial disputes at the International Court of justice? Only the plaintiffs.
Which is the polar opposite of what some governments want.
It's almost as if governments are playing the terrorist card to push through laws which benefit them—the political class.
Oh, but that's OK: everyone does it!
Maybe take it as an appeal to logic: if nations are to grapple with the issues raised by the NSA and her sister orgs in the five eye countries, the best approach to raising the issue and proposing solutions (in my opinion) is to appeal to the logic of each individual and demonstrate how they are best served by dismantling these espionage operations.
So what does he do? Opened a shop one block down and drove the fist guy out of business.
Business is ruthless.
I know. If we ever hoped to get to that point, I think we'd need some esoteric unicorn shit like "checks and balances" built into our government.
- Most people a few hundred years ago, probably.
It took revolts, revolutions and changes in mores for things to advance to where they are today. Yes, some day, we may all enter a new world order where everything is placid. We're not there yet and thinking we can wish ourselves there in the near future, let's say, extremely optimistic, to the point if being wishful thinking.
Perhaps most importantly is that servitude and slavery became economically untenable.
Up to now we have paid tens of billions to get surveillance, and tens of millions to preserve confidentiality.
It could be the other way around.
>A second economic espionage order called “France: Economic Developments” shows that information was then shared with other U.S. agencies and secretaries, including the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Commerce, the Federal Reserve and the Secretary of Treasury. Eventually, this data could have been used to help sign export deals.
Nothing in this report directly shows that the US did or did not share this intelligence with US companies. I have not read the French articles yet.
I wonder how the US handles sharing economic intelligence with allies that have a very public record of state sponsored industrial espionage.
Let's not pretend that US spying on foreign companies is something new at all. It's been widely spread by other means for decades if not more. I would even say it's an integral part of doing business for larger companies, and they call it "intelligence" and they get it by whatever means they can. The NSA is just one of their tools.
Not sure what his argument is going to be now....
* France is one of the most notoriously brazen state sponsors of industrial espionage, especially within the EU.
* This stuff is rampant between all the industrialized nations. You can find stories going back decades about Americans being evicted from embassies over industrial espionage. Somehow, we all seem to remain allies.
* Technically --- modulo the "getting caught" part --- this is what NSA is supposed to be doing. That's a positive assertion, not a normative one!
Curious how we never seem to see Russia as the focus of Wikileaks releases. They must just be really respectful of the civil liberties of citizens of the world.
When France does it, it's bad. When the USA does it it is bad too.
If my country would do this - and it is very well possible they do - I'd be very much ashamed of this.
> This stuff is rampant between all the industrialized nations. You can find stories going back decades about Americans being evicted from embassies over industrial espionage.
Those stories are along the line of the article, not much of a counterargument there then.
> Technically --- modulo the "getting caught" part --- this is what NSA is supposed to be doing. That's a positive assertion, not a normative one!
This is true, but - and this will probably surprise you - the rest of the world (the people, not necessarily the governments / those in power) considers industrial spying to be a negative activity, and considers it a hostile act against those people.
The goodwill that a country builds up can easily be eradicated by activities such as these, especially when uncovered.
The only other countries that I'm aware of that use their intelligence services in such a blatantly offensive (both meanings of the word) manner are Israel and Russia.
And none of those - and definitely not France - have been caught spying on US politicians in their own offices.
'They do it too' is such a lame excuse anyway (especially when that is not objectively the case).
"The rest of the world" is an interesting way to frame a response to my comment, which you appear to be stipulating is correct. I'm saying that on the matter of economic spying, there is no rest of the world.
Please stop using words like "excuse" to respond to me, by the way. You put words in my mouth when you do that; I didn't make an excuse. There's a world of difference between "is" and "ought".
Virtually every major city in the US has a street named after MLK, but there are still cops here that single black people out for beatings.
But let's not assume that the Dutch government is therefore off the hook. I would not be surprised if Dutch diplomats extract trade information (through pacts, treaties and simple espionage) that gets passed on to Shell.
We might be low on the James Bond style intelligence signals, but as a country that's an order of magnitude richer than we should be by any sane measure you can bet we've got our trademark smiling men in suits wherever the money flows.
I think that this is a legitimate moral position to take, but I think you will find that it is less widely held than other legitimate moral positions you might take (for instance spy agencies spying on their own citizens is more broadly recognized as bad).
Further, it seems to be a moral position that doesn't have much basis in practice. Industrial activities are fundamentally linked with traditional espionage targets such as diplomacy, military technology and military operations. To deny an intelligence agency access to those things seems no different than to deny them the ability to operate at all. Which is another legitimate moral stand to take, but one that has even less broad acceptance.
An instance of the more general value of "personal privacy" which has nothing to do with such abstract constructions as "nations".
If we value personal privacy, then spying always involves intrinsic harm, and the question is whether we should tolerate that harm for some greater good.
... and whether we want to go down the path of seeing ourselves as the sort of people who will tolerate harm to innocents for the greater good.
That's definitely not a proven item, in fact you could easily argue the opposite. Faulty intelligence has led to quite a few wars, and is worse than no intelligence at all, also, what intelligence there is tends to be cherry picked to support foregone conclusions.
They would if they could (and I'd bet that one has at one point).
Probably any country that can devote resources to industrial espionage does it.
> I'd be very much ashamed of this
"Playing nice" puts you at an disadvantage against actors that are more uninhibited. There is a reasonable argument to be made about scale and proportion; eg, the use of overwhelming capabilities in extremely asymmetric situations. But that doesn't negate the utility of those capabilities.
The uncomfortable reality is that all things exist naturally in a state of conflict (or "competition", to put a nicer spin on it). Morality is perhaps the greatest of the human inventions, but being unnatural, it does not exist in a stable equilibrium, and is rather irrelevant (and sometimes damaging) from a survivalist game theoretic perspective. Like capitalism, the rise and fall of nations mirrors Darwinism on a macro scale, so with that in mind, what we're seeing here should not be surprising -- it is the struggle for survival playing out over decades and centuries. The morality of an action, on a national scale, is a secondary concern, although it is often invoked if the effect on the nation is at least neutral or positive.
So that's why the US won't launch an outright attack against French industrial interests -- the consequences would be too damaging, not to mention the moral aspects of War Is a Bad Thing -- but has no compunction about stealing industrial secrets or snooping on politicians, where the potential gains outweigh the risks. And vice versa, for every nation that does this.
The "rules of the game" are dictated only by self-interest. Is it fair? No. Probably the only way to solve that is to collectively attain (and sustain!) enlightenment.
> rest of the world (the people, not necessarily the governments / those in power) considers industrial spying to be a negative activity
That is only true when the people/government are not the beneficiaries of the information. In reality, states (and people) will (and arguably, should) take any advantage that's given to them. Again, the reasonable argument to be made here is one of scale and proportion, not an absolutist directive of This Should Never Be Done Because It's Bad.
> 'They do it too' is such a lame excuse anyway
Yes, "they do it too" is a poor justification for anything, but it's not really the argument here. The argument is that not doing it would be more damaging to national economic interests. (I hate having to say this, but I feel like it needs to be spelled out, especially on the Internet: this is not me agreeing with anything the US is doing here, only giving a rationale. Although I will admit I'm not quite as idealistic in my convictions as you are.)
I'm not saying this is wrong, but you should back up such a statement with some real sources.
> * This stuff is rampant between all the industrialized nations. You can find stories going back decades about Americans being evicted from embassies over industrial espionage. Somehow, we all seem to remain allies.
> * Technically --- modulo the "getting caught" part --- this is what NSA is supposed to be doing. That's a positive assertion, not a normative one!
How so? According to Bruce Schneier NSA's mission is twofold: protecting the security of U.S. communications and eavesdropping on the communications of our enemies, where the enemies pretty much means Soviet, not other NATO countries. Are you saying this is not the twofold mission of NSA?
(Note that this doesn't mean there aren't "legitimate" reasons to spy on allies - but that's not what you are saying).
> Curious how we never seem to see Russia as the focus of Wikileaks releases. They must just be really respectful of the civil liberties of citizens of the world.
1) So what?
2) Maybe they just didn't get any leaks from them?
3) For everyone in the western world, the Russia is so obviously anti "civil liberties" there's not much to uncover. For people in the east, there's Radio Free Europe. You not seeing this makes me question the intention of your so called "truth-stating".
You can't justify it via patriotism or service for country if the explicit purpose is to enrich a controlled, hand picked minority.
The contents of Wikileaks archive is not solely a function of civil liberties violations. Someone has to get the information and get it to Wikileaks. I don't know how much international news you follow, but many strange and curious deaths occur to Russians who seem to defy the state. Most probably don't want to risk it (if they even have any real information to begin with).
I kind of agree. At the same time, France is one of the few countries that put satellites in space, sells fighter jets, have semiconductor factories, aircraft engine factories (Snecma)
I know, from the outside it looks like they only care about Wine and stinky cheese.
I can't even comprehend what you're trying to imply here. Do you genuinely think that Wikileaks is friendly to Russia for some reason? If so, say it. Because that would be really bizarre and inexplicable.
I don't like the NSA, but, impolitic as it may be to admit it here: I like Belarus a lot less.
Yes, you did. You can find it with a simple web search. The accusation is pretty tenuous when you look at the facts.
Would you agree that funneling intelligence to the government of Belarus is a grave accusation?
I don't like the NSA. Am I required to like Wikileaks? I don't.
> Did I miss the part where Wikileaks refuted the allegation
that is, you asked specifically for Wikileaks response, which is contained in one of the links I posted.
I don't believe that wlcentral is Wikileaks itself, and in any case the evidence and arguments they present should stand on their own, regardless of whether one likes Wikileaks or not.
It doesn't bother you that cables that we probably haven't even seen were relayed from Chelsea Manning, through Assange and Wikileaks, through a noted holocaust denier, to the government of Belarus? Again: we don't get to see them. But the functionaries of one of the world's worst dictatorships, and one of Russia's closest satellite states, do get them. In fact: all the sources I've seen appear to stipulate that's true, disagreeing only on why that happened.
I don't like the NSA and have plenty of reasons to be skeptical about the official USG narratives on virtually any subject. But I find Wikileaks to be an incredibly sketchy organization.
Here's former WL staffer James Ball, writing for The Guardian:
So far as I can tell, the most powerful rebuttal WL has to Ball is to suggest that Ball is disgruntled and has an axe to grind. But Ball's allegations are specific, and in some cases corroborated!
As for Shamir, it seems pretty obvious that Wikileaks did not do a whole lot of background checking on the volunteers that they used to go through the source material. That's all. There isn't any evidence to suggest that Wikileaks partnered with Shamir in order to convey cables to Belarus, a feat which could have been done far more easily in other ways.
Not central to the point but I think it's only speculation that Shamir gave any cables to Belarus.
At some point, this "Ball had reason to make things up" stuff has to amount to us taking Assange's word for it. Ball signed his name to the allegations, and the Guardian found them credible enough to run. I don't love the Guardian (they are to the left what Murdoch is to the right) but it's not credible to say that the Guardian would simply make things up because they had a falling-out with Wikileaks.
Would your opinion of Wikileaks be impacted if more evidence was presented corroborating Ball's story? If Assange really did knowingly introduce a holocaust-denying agent of Belarus to Wikileaks? How much would that matter to you?
I think that's what happened. I think it's very relevant.
If you think it doesn't matter even if we stipulate that it happened, that's fine, and we can be done discussing that part of the story.
Does it bother you that whenever something comes up about Assange or Wikileaks --- the refusal to present himself to prosecutors in Sweden, the ties to allies of Lukashenko, the Russia Today show and the refusal to publish documents about Russians that he said he'd publish, the accidental doxxing of Afghani Taliban resistors --- there's always some elaborate story that exonerates Wikileaks?
Shamir: The most damning evidence is that he allegedly used a pseudonym. There isn't any reasonable evidence to suggest that Assange knew about his background, or had any reason to believe he would give documents to Belarus, if that did indeed happen.
Why doesn't he go to Sweden? Because he will certainly be extradited to the US (we know that the US wants him, we can debate how practical it would be to get him from Sweden for the umpteenth time).
Why does he have a show on RT? Because RT airs voices critical of the US, there is nothing special about Assange.
Accidental doxxing: I assume that was the result of the Guardian's publishing of the encryption keys. But in any case the standard of journalism isn't to guarantee that no one will ever get hurt, it's if the benefits outweigh the costs.
I'm not familiar with the Lukashenko and Russian documents issues but the rest of this supposedly damning evidence is pretty weak.
- Category:Russia - 57 pages total
- Cyprus - 54 pages
- Latvia - 50 pages
- Lithuania - 47 pages
- Estonia - 46 pages
- Japan: 90 pages
- Italy: 99 pages
- France: 128 pages
- Canada: 153 pages
- Germany: 278 pages
- United Kingdom: 384 pages
- United States: 9729 pages
All of these are very effective deterrents against whistleblowers stepping forward.
That we don't have much information on Russia however should definitely not be read as 'wikileaks is slacking in Russia' or 'the Russian government is not doing much that can't stand the light of day', rather the opposite.
That's not a baseless concern. Wikileaks has an agenda, and it is not simply "transparency".
Their agenda is irrelevant, as is the personality of the people involved, their political affiliations, their haircolour and their dietary and or sexual habits.
And let's hope that others with other agendas and goals will do their bit and release as much or more information as well.
If you only accept facts from sources that are 100% neutral then you end up having to make up your mind without any facts at all, no news outlet, no journalist, no TV station and no editor is able to say that they have 'no agenda', in fact it is entirely safe to assume that anybody that sends facts out into the world has an agenda and wishes to further that agenda by the selective release of the facts that support their cause best.
Wikileaks has been slammed in the past for 'uncontrolled releases', which I thought were actually far more balanced than any kind of editorial control and or selective release.
In that sense they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
Now the US has a lot of idealism going on, so much so that many people grow up idolizing institutions like the CIA and the NSA. They join these institutions as believers, but day after day they are exposed to more details on the inside that bursts that idealism and one day cognitive dissonance gets the better of them and they choose to collect information to become a whistleblower.
Compare this with other countries where there isn't as much blind reverence cultivated for such institutions. The same talented kids that would grow up under circumstances where they would have a much more realistic view of the good and bad these institutions are capable of. This in and of itself is a major limiting factor in how high you would rise in such an institution, assuming you chose to join in the first place. You can't be a whistleblower if you don't have access to anything to whistleblow about.
Whistleblowing happens when values clash with reality. If values are never really part of the equation, and you have organizations where "the ends justify the means" is not only accepted, but rewarded, then you don't get whistleblowers.
With things like Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, drone assassinations, and all these realizations from the Snowden docs, I fully expect that idolization bubble to be pretty much popped by now insofar as institutions like the NSA and CIA are concerned. For that reason more than any other I expect whistleblowing to become less frequent for these institutions. If and when whistleblowing drops for these institutions drops, it's will be explained by better security measures, but I would expect it having more to do with those who have the personality to be whistleblowers never joining or rising high enough to have that opportunity.
Movies and TV shows like to use corruption in Russia as a stereotypical movie plot, but that makes it less news worthy for news papers. If there isn't a large interest from readers then there is no ad revenues to be gained, and no interest for journalist to write about it.
Of course one could be conspiratorial and accuse all the large media companies to be pro-Russia or having a curios set of priorities, but I find the simple answer to be more likely. tptacek conspiracy theory need to eliminate those simple answers before I will consider it anything more than a political view.
I guess India is somewhat worse, but you get the idea.
If someone leaked that there is an absence of corruption then that would news worthy, but such false information doesn't seem to be the kind of articles Wikileaks would publish. Logically, if you can't publish about the existence of corruption because everyone knows about it and you can't publish about the absence of corruption because it would be false, then Russian coverage regarding corruption will be lackluster. Maybe they should just post a bunch of empty pages with the title "Russia corruption" to make statistics like the parent posted look better.
I may very well be able to do that, but it wouldn't do anything to disprove the notion that Wikileaks has a pro- Russian, anti-US bias.
I see two simple reasons for the lack of Russian coverage at Wikileaks: either Russians aren't providing material, or Assange isn't publishing it.
More baseless allegations. Isn't that one of the tactics the NSA uses? To attempt to destroy reputations of selected targets?
EDIT: Of course I'm aware that Russia has a different relationship with its media than the UK, Canada, etc. Just pointing out a thing.
It does certainly seem like Wikileaks is mainly focused on publishing anti-US material, but I can think of a million reasons for that which are more plausible than them being in Putin's pocket (which, in fairness, you've merely implied).
EDIT: No idea why you're being down-voted. I've up-voted in case it helps. To everyone else: I know it's become customary to down-vote for disagreement, but in situations like this it discourages dialogue.
RT is an organ of Russian government propaganda.
If the US had a meaningful state sponsored media presence, I'm sure it would be bad too. But nobody should kid themselves about what RT is.
I don't have any examples in mind but I feel like the BBC has never held back on criticizing the government/people in power, and doing reports on gov't scandals and the like.
As a rule of thumb you can use any news service as a source of information as long as you don't use it for information about the government of the country where it originates from and the major adversaries of that government or country.
That makes reading the news and staying current a lot harder and probably will require you to gain language proficiency beyond what you can get at through the English language press.
We can debate whether it's a meaningful or indicative tie. That seems like a live debate. But "the BBC was a mouthpiece for the Iraq War effort" isn't germane to this discussion. I agree that it was too. Believe it or not: it is possible to (a) oppose the Iraq War, (b) believe that it was disingenuously sold to the American and British people through media manipulation, (c) oppose the NSA, and (d) still think Wikileaks is suspicious and untrustworthy. I fall into that a-b-c-d bucket.
Making wild accusations with absolutely no proof would be my guess. Also the bogus moral equivalence he used to kick this thread off.
However, I do think there's a difference between remarks about Chinese hacking and NSA spying. Outrage about NSA spying seems always to be moral. Outrage over Chinese hacking seems more practical: it's taken as given that China is going to sponsor hackers and that they're really good at it.
Look at the recent OPM debacle. Virtually all the coverage I see about it is about how OPM (and the USG more broadly) fell down on the job, not about we should retaliate against the people who broke in.
But that's just my intuition; I'd love to see it more properly and systematically studied.
Personally I don't agree with their tack, but that is what I gather is their tack from their, assange's, statements.
And I might be naïve but think that Russia had, and lost after 1991, its networks and spying capabilities. It probably takes some time to rebuild them.
Say tomorrow the US intelligence agencies shut down any cyber capabilities would then China and Russia stop their hacking groups or increase their activities?
Interactions between states are struggles for power and the concept of fairness does not apply.
There were/are people that think the 9/11 attack was a good occurrence. There are people who think it was a bad occurrence. Same action, different perspectives.
I don't think anyone knows what the purpose of the NSA is. To have more secrets than everyone else?
(Push to shove on my opinion about NSA, which is pretty fuzzy: I think the NSA does important work, but that the organization is probably corrupt, and that it should be reorganized and much of its career leadership removed).
Does it benefit the average U.S. citizen? If not, then how can you say NSA does this for the benefit of the USA. And if it does, then how exactly does a U.S. citizen benefit from this? Making a bunch of rich people even richer doesn't seem all that beneficial to me.
>>> We will protect national security interests by adhering to the highest standards of behavior.
So by your own argument they're going beyond their own mission statement to fulfill a secret one in direct contradiction to the American public's wishes. i.e. Not doing what they are supposed to do
So we can all stop whining about Russia asserting influence over Ukraine and China hacking US government right?
The commenter upthread asked what NSA's goals were. When I offered up a mission statement for them, it wasn't what I want their mission to be. It's what I think it actually is.
It's really difficult to see any logic in your recent comment history, frankly.
Ditto for your comment. Flagged.
Maybe for the last snarky remark on russia ;)
I agree. I've also actually found Russian statesmen and politics to be incredibly transparent. Far beyond anything the US has. So it's totally logical that Wikileaks doesn't focus on them.
On the one hand this is bad for me because google and microsoft have top products for my needs. On the other hand this means big opportunities because my customers are heavily searching for alternatives.
The trust in US IT companies was never so bad here. It can become a desaster for their european sales.
I've already noticed a small increase in interest for using open source in EU governments, but it's still far too small and far less aggressive than I would like it to be. The adoption should be 10x faster than it is now, post-Snowden.
It might help "send a message," but it certainly won't make you safer.
From other documents, it appears that the NSA has the ability to listen to phone calls on French networks. As most of the "targets" use Orange, the historical telecom operator, and that collaboration from Orange with the NSA is unlikely, it would mean that their IT systems are owned.
Regarding email, most French companies use Microsoft products both as servers (Exchange) and client (Outlook). Are there exploitable vulnerabilities in these products?
As we are in that space, we have to push hard, for people even to consider French-written, open source communication software such as ours (https://github.com/MLstate/PEPS).
"Although the feds denied it, Peter Biddle, the head of the engineering team working on BitLocker in 2005, claimed that the government makes 'informal requests' for backdoors. Allegedly after making claims about 'going dark,' the FBI 'informally' asked Microsoft for a backdoor in BitLocker."
It's probably much worse than that. France, Germany, and most of the rest of Europe are vassal states of the US through cooperation among intelligence agencies. In other words, France is being sold out not only by Orange and/or employees of Orange, but by their own intelligence services who have a stronger allegiance to their links with Five Eyes intelligence services than to French interests.
This is another reason "everyone does it" doesn't hold water as a justification. The situation is massively asymmetrical.
This is probably pushing it a little too far.
Ostenscibly, this information would be valuable to American companies, but I don't recall there being any federal registration where I can sign up to receive such information. Certainly, some company is getting access to this information, but because this process isn't transparent, the other problem with such espionage is that it leads to greater corruption. Basically, someone gets to pick and choose who receives this extremely valuable information in private industry with no external oversight.
My father once cryptically told me "every American businessman overseas is a spy." At first I didn't know what he was talking about—now I get it.
One of my go-tos was the European Parliament's report on the ECHELON interception system as it gives an idea of how long this has been happening (the report was published 2001), but it's so very old now.
Under "Published Cases", the European Parliament list industrial espionage attacks on a variety of companies and government agencies. Some you might consider reasonable (exposing bribery in the bidding process then nudging the contract to a US firm) but others are incredibly dodgy (forwarding technical details about a wind generator to a US firm so they could patent it first).
However, if private people, journalists or NGOs are targeted by foreign governments (or corporate intelligence) they are never told about it (probably leading to the death of sources etc) - and if they conducted hacking/espionage activities for the greater public good (for example to expose information about people wanted for genocide in Darfur, those who murder journalists in Russia, diamond corruption in the DRC) they would go to jail...What a sad world we live in that we would rather prioritise protecting clean engine patents and airplane deals instead of human life :(
I find it remarkable the number of commentators who put things as "it's OK if it's being done to non-Americans".
US/French economic espionage has been an ongoing problem since before the Cold War ended.
Its the "normal" state of affairs, similar to US v. China. Its simply a question of how "gentlemanly" the matter is handled. France/US tends to be rather "gentlemanly" as they tend to target the negotiations/technology/contracts specifically.
> According to an economic espionage order, the NSA intercepted all French corporate contracts and negotiations valued at more than $200 million in many different industries, such as telecommunications, electrical generation, gas, oil, nuclear and renewable energy, and environmental and healthcare technologies.
I often read that "this is the sort of thing we expect spy agencies to do". I stipulate that economic espionage is part of what spy agencies do, and should do. So, "normal" it is.
I'm interested in what information gets distributed to which US corporations, and maybe why. That is, should the NSA give Boeing info it's filched from Airbus, or should Lockheed-Martin get it, too? Why exclude Grumman-Northup? Did LockMart give more in campaign contributions? Is that why they got the insider info?
I want to use real US companies, I'm pretty certain that defense contractors aren't multi-nationals. Certainly you could erase specific corporate names and re-fill the blanks with corporations from another, arbitrary, market.
The problem is that the NSA (or whoever, the President maybe) becomes the arbiter of which corporation succeeds and which doesn't, regardless of what the rest of the market perceives, and how the rest of the market acts. This seems like a bad idea.
The Euro was in part seeded by De Gaulle in an attempt to restrict US economic involvement in western Europe.
According to this brief article (why we link to TechCrunch instead of WikiLeaks on HN is not clear to me), the leaked documents do not bridge the gap between the NSA spying and the NSA delivering industry secrets to private US companies, which we know China to actually do.
Thank you, yes, I believe that's true: there's no direct evidence, or direct admission, that intellectual property gets given to US corporations. But it's only a small step from pirating that intellectual property to giving it away to a great US company, a company that has had no problem in the past with "acquiring" documentation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-weissman/the-boeing-sca...
It also appears the in the 1950s, a time when honesty was prized, someone made money in the stock market based on advance knowledge of a CIA coup: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/20...
I'm just saying that it appears that industrial intelligence does make its way to various corporations. Given the mendacity of the Intelligence Community with Congress lately, one has to wonder about the fierce denials of giving industrial intelligence to private companies.
It's pretty trivial to engage in the relaying of highly valuable information via indirect means. The only requirement is that the person with access to information establish a reputation as someone worth listening to without having to truly explain yourself.
Why can't competitors obtain and release the info to those they consider more deserving?
Domestic citizens in America feel as though their government is 'clean' or 'noble'. This is a myth propelled by Public Affairs, PR and supported by the media (at worst, the media will say, the US made blunders and mistakes).
The United States is in the boxing ring with every other nation. It's a heavyweight.
What's happening right now is that the United States is 'short of breath'. It's overextended. Long term plans haven't worked out. The US is finding itself reacting to other nations rather than keeping them on their toes. It's dropped in its financial, economic, and technological development capabilities. It is having trouble facing challenges brought by new technology. It is losing the support of its closest allies.
It's a difficult time for America. Not everything is decided. It may yet remain a unipolar power.
But to do so it will need to get in and scrap.
The hawks want to scrap. They want to fight for continued supremacy. There are no doves that are serious contenders for president and I don't know if the system would allow a dove to be elected, even if the candidate had majority support from citizens.
In this turbulence, we have to think about what we can do as citizens. The clearest answer is to get quality information and to be informed. Taking the Snowden and Wikileaks documents as a list of things that the US does that are bad is not the best way to read them.
The best way to read these and other documents is to better understand dog-eat-dog realpolitiks of global power games.
No matter whether you want to support the United States in this moment or demand it change course one thing is certain: you must be as educated as possible about the tradeoffs, the current investments, the challenges and the nature of the Great Game. Read across different sources of information and focus not only on domestic news but good foreign policy sources. Talk with neighbors and friends about your and American ideals and how and whether to negotiate and achieve those goals in a world that is 96% non-American.
Wikileaks is a great place to start. The reason for this is not that they have 'the dirt'. It's because they have primary documents. When you read, prioritize information that isn't summarized or filtered.
Muckrack is another great source. Washington Thinktanks another.
For a minute I almost thought we were talking about China.
A related issue would be insider trading. I mean, with a source of data like that you could basically 'jackpot' stock markets and extract arbitrary amounts of money from the global economy. Members of Congress are immune from prosecution for insider trading.
So this kind of industrial espionage is a huge unfair trade advantage, at least from the victim's point of view.
I wonder how long it's going to be until Europe levies an NSA trade tax against US goods and services.
If there had only been some really good alternatives for the global focus to orient itself by, the USA would have been side-lined and crushed economically by now due to the direct and deliberate self-sabotage by our intelligence community.
Will we see the USA recover from all the damage, abuse, and devastation it has caused to its relationships and self-destruction it has wrecked upon itself? I don't know, but I can tell you that if the European Union rightfully moves against American companies as a justified threat to their national security, it will cost our economy billions. Facebook's market cap is currently $245 billion, how many billions do you think would be shaved off if the EU and / or other countries acted against that facade of USA global surveillance domination? How about Google? How about Cisco? Apple ... even though at least in terms of impression, I think Apple is playing a smart card by siding with encryption of their devices. Personally, though, I think the lies by the NSA to our own government and the revealed actions prove one thing, that you can't trust anything that comes from our government and you really can't trust anyone that is affiliated, either voluntarily or compulsory, and Apple has been working with the government and intel agencies. Can they be trusted? Are their efforts to secure and encrypt their devices really genuine or just lip service and smoke and mirrors? Who knows. The trust is permanently destroyed, really!
Source of Pride
To be honest, all of the data hoovers such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Co. have a pretty obvious insider knowledge-like cash machine: simply look into a few correlations between what data their users (as signed in users or as involuntary shadow profiles) put into these companies' databases and the movements of the stock market. Then predict and cash out.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia against Bonan Huang and Nan Huang, saying the analysts used the nonpublic data to trade in the shares of consumer retail companies ahead of sales and earnings reports.
The lawsuit said from November 2013 to January 2015, the two analysts, who had access to the data as fraud investigators, made hundreds, if not thousands, of keyword searches for sales data on at least 170 publicly traded companies.
The SEC said the two employees were able to analyze the data to determine if a company's sales were increasing or decreasing on a periodic basis.
This is a strong claim. Are you referring to trading in global equity markets?
Funny, because this is exactly the reason that the NSA is spying on these French companies(to determine if they are illegally affecting the US via hidden state subsidies, breaking of international regulations, etc).
Corruption need not be top-down. If Snowden could walk out with so much data without discovery, what could a more 'entrepreneurial' insider do?
Yes -- everybody knows that the government does bad things. Having evidence is different. I'm sure the French government knew they were being spied on to some degree, but with this evidence they can now react officially. Allied countries will be less likely to engage in mutual intelligence sharing, knowing that their domestic industries can suffer. Non-aligned countries might walk away entirely. And the US government will have more difficulty internally when these powers are brought up for legislative review.
Also, we know the government does bad things. However, they don't do every conceivable bad thing - they wouldn't have time or resources. Knowing which bad things they are doing is also helpful.
And a lot of countries do this.
You can certainly argue against the ethics of any spying, but it should be abundantly clear that a government and its agents have a duty to its citizens that is greater than its duty to the citizens of other sovereign nations.
There are some serious accusation, I'm pretty sure both side will temper all the way they can but may lead to intense change in business as company already starting to file complain !
Are you aware that this story is about the US, right?
Not that that necessarily makes it right for us to do it, but any outrage from France's government is feigned.