Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

More wiretapping

Posted by Charles II on June 16, 2013

One of the things that ought to be noted in the NSA wiretapping scandal is that the level of mass surveillance we are engaged in is an irritant to our allies. In the past, they have accused us of misusing information for commercial advantage (see sec. 10.9 here and here). But simply the thought that an ally is watching everything one says or does is unnerving. It may be legal to wiretap non-Americans at will, but it’s not wise.

Ewen MacAskill, Nick Davies, Nick Hopkins, Julian Borger and James Ball. The Guardian:

Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.

This included:

• Setting up internet cafes where they used an email interception programme and key-logging software to spy on delegates’ use of computers;

• Penetrating the security on delegates’ BlackBerrys to monitor their email messages and phone calls;

• Supplying 45 analysts with a live round-the-clock summary of who was phoning who at the summit;

• Targeting the Turkish finance minister and possibly 15 others in his party;

A detailed report records the efforts of the NSA’s intercept specialists at Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire to target and decode encrypted phone calls from London to Moscow which were made by the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, and other Russian delegates.

Incidentally, the goal of the wiretapping? Guardian editorial:

The aim – which appears to have been largely successful – was to improve the UK’s negotiating positions on the economic matters under discussion.

Plus ça change…

8 Responses to “More wiretapping”

  1. I’m beginning to wonder which nation-states and multinational companies aren’t using electrosnooping against everyone they can reach.

  2. jo6pac said

    Charles this is OT but a long time ago we were talking about the late Gray Webb and I was trying to remember the name of a book I had read about the heroin trade. I found it here and have you ever read Pitts free book on her time on ws and in govt.?

    • Charles II said

      Yes, McCoy’s book is the gold standard. I have it, though I haven’t read it in a while.

      Fitts I have never felt comfortable with. Take just one statement from he link, “In this vision, America’s aristocracy makes money and finances the building of a global empire one neighborhood at a time by ensnaring our youth in a pincer movement of drugs and prisons.”

      I think this gives way too much credit to the oligarchy. They are incompetent, disorganized, and venal. A few companies make money off of destroying the poor. The big money is in oil, technology, and so on.

  3. jo6pac said

    PW I don’t have a facebook account so I can’t see it but I agree with what you are saying and I’m sure if they haven’t already have the AI done then they’re working on it.

  4. Don’t we have to assume that some of this eavesdropping has led to substantial profits in stock markets?

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