Lots in the news last week about how the NSA & GCHQ spy on us.
This won’t come as a great surprise to anyone who’s read The Puzzle Palace, or The Shadow Factory by James Bamford.
Even Peter Wright’s Spycatcher, from 1987, talks about his time in MI5 burgling and bugging his way around London.
The only thing that’s a real revelation here is that they’d now like to legitimise this activity. Presumably making it acceptable as evidence of your wrong-doing, where previously it would have been evidence obtained illegally.
Of course, being able to hoover everything up automatically from internet backbones is the massive difference between now, and ten to twenty years ago. There are US nuclear submarines with optic fibre cable splicing capabilities, and anything that passes through a satellite is fair game too.
It’s been alleged that, up to now the illegal spying on UK citizens has been carried out by the NSA, because it would be illegal for GCHQ to do it without a court warrant. Once again, just because it becomes technical possible to do something, doesn’t mean you actually have to go ahead and do it. (but they always do!)
One point not mentioned much in last weeks news coverage is that these data warehouses are paid for with our tax dollars/pounds. Personally, I’d like to see a few more teachers & nurses employed by the state, with my tax contributions. In the same week the UK government are talking about reducing the number of school classroom assistants.
If you want to mark yourself out as unusual by moving your data out of the cloud, then the http://prism-break.org/ is worth a look.