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NSA Provided £100m Funding For GCHQ Operations 143

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the long-live-the-queen dept.
cold fjord writes "The Telegraph reports, 'GCHQ has received at least £100 million from the U.S. to help fund intelligence gathering, raising questions over American influence on the British agencies. ... It also emerged that the intelligence agency wants the ability to "exploit any phone, anywhere, any time" and that some staff have raised concerns over the "morality and ethics" of their operational work. ... The agency has faced claims it was handed intelligence on individuals from the US gained from the Prism programme that collected telephone and web records. However, it has been cleared of any wrongdoing or attempts to circumvent British law by the parliamentary intelligence and security committee, as well as by Mr Hague. The payments from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) are detailed in GCHQ's annual "investment portfolios", leaked by Mr Snowden to The Guardian. The NSA paid GCHQ £22.9million in 2009, £39.9million in 2010 and £34.7million in 2011/12. ...Another £15.5million went towards redevelopment projects at GCHQ's site in Bude, Cornwall, which intercepts communications from the transatlantic cables that carry internet traffic. ... A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "In a 60-year alliance it is entirely unsurprising that there are joint projects in which resources and expertise are pooled, but the benefits flow in both directions."'" dryriver also wrote in with news that several telecoms are collaborating with GHCQ (BT, Vodafone, and Verizon at least). From the article: "GCHQ has the ability to tap cables carrying both internet data and phone calls. By last year GCHQ was handling 600m 'telephone events' each day, had tapped more than 200 fibre-optic cables and was able to process data from at least 46 of them at a time. ... Documents seen by the Guardian suggest some telecoms companies allowed GCHQ to access cables which they did not themselves own or operate, but only operated a landing station for. Such practices could raise alarm among other cable providers who do not co-operate with GCHQ programmes that their facilities are being used by the intelligence agency."
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NSA Provided £100m Funding For GCHQ Operations

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  • If it is, it is a sickness inspired by fear mongering to sell this to the U.S. budget. Way over the line. They don't need new toys, they need counseling.
    • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @12:58AM (#44463573) Journal
      It's ironic that the biggest threat to freedom in the US is the US government and the US citizens who keep voting in these types of people.
      • To be fair to those US citizens I imagine it is hard to vote for someone who would not do this when it seems to be supported by both their political parties and their system, unlike most (any?) other modern democracy, has those two parties 'baked in' so setting up a third alternative is less of a viable alternative. A duopoly is really not much better than a monopoly.
        • by flyneye (84093)

          Third? There are several other parties, they don't need set up. They just need equal media coverage and a chance to debate through the whole election process.
          This won't happen, of course because the Repubmocrat regime will threaten to ignore any media who gives fair coverage outside the Repubmocrat party.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            There are at least fifty in the US, five of them (inc Rs and Ds) are on enough ballots to win the Presidency. There were six on my ballot last election. The trouble is, the corporates who own the media outlets don't want to have to invest the cash to bribe three more parties, so they simply refuse to mention them.

            Someone you love smokes marijuana. Why do you vote for people who want your loved ones in prison? Why do you vote for war and more corporate power? Why do you vote against the principles of our Con

            • GHCQ - Nobody but a Brit or a spy would be acquainted with that acronym.

              Hey McGrew, ever watch James Bond? :)

              Seriously though, I agree with what your saying, we have the same problem in Oz on some issues (dope is a great example), right now we heading into a federal election, both major parties are competing with each other to see who can capture the xenophobe vote. Contrary to what some people think, the parties are not conspiring with each other. They are responding to what is (shamefully) a popular sentiment amoungst Aussie voters, that ugly sentiment is reflected by the

              • by flyneye (84093)

                Give it a few years for your politicians to start admiring the lifestyle of ours, then watch out Dundee!

            • by flyneye (84093)

              Amen, brother, preach it!

      • by flyneye (84093)

        They keep buying the two party system lie. The truth is; there is only one Repubmocrat party. Either wing will eventually enact the same bullshit ( with unimportant differences in opinion to keep up appearances, like gun rights, gay marriage, anything that distracts and polarizes the population) and whittle away at the proper, plain language of the Constitution. Even since the "New Deal" the Supreme Court has been loaded with supporting toadies to carry out the Repubmocrat Dictatorships goals.

    • by anagama (611277)

      Fuck counseling. How about a few decades in that PMITA Federal prison system they built to house pot heads.

    • by icebike (68054)

      If it is, it is a sickness inspired by fear mongering to sell this to the U.S. budget. Way over the line. They don't need new toys, they need counseling.

      And the fear mongering continues.
      They've ordered the embassies closed all over the middle east, and warning American travelers to stay home for a month. Apparently the risk expires at the end of august. Terroristic must have gotten a hold of some explosives with short "best if used by" dates.

      But hey, this justifies all the spying, right? We're all good, then? We can forget all this Snowden stuff, righr?

      Too soon? Here, we'll have Ahmed throw a real grenade, go ahead, Ahmed, toss it at those mannequins

  • by Xtifr (1323) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @01:00AM (#44463583) Homepage

    A-a-and...the Slashdot "editors" are earning the scare quotes around their titles once again. The NSA has been all overs the new lately, and you'd pretty much have to be hiding under a barrel not to know what that stands for, yet the summary carefully explains what it means. But as for GCHQ? Nope. Nothing. After checking with Google, I was able to ascertain that it does not stand for Google Corporate HeadQuarters, which was my first guess. If I were a nice guy, I'd tell you what it does stand for, but that would be doing the "editors" jobs for them, and, unlike them, I'm not paid for this crap. :)

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @01:06AM (#44463601)

    Lots of genies coming out of that bottle. And we probably still don't know 1% of it.

    • Snowden really started an avalanche

      I would say you've used a rather apt phrase. Snowden's mass of public revelations are available to all, to friend and foe alike to use as they will, including for evil purposes. We have yet to see whom, if anyone, will end up being buried.

      • by dmbasso (1052166)

        Snowden's mass of public revelations are available to all [...] including for evil purposes.

        Please, give me an example of evil use of the information he revealed.

        The only thing that I can imagine is making ill-intended people aware they should protect their communications... but that affects only the stupid ones, and only if they don't want to get caught pos facto, e.g. Boston bombers.

        • The only thing that I can imagine is making ill-intended people aware they should protect their communications

          That is exactly what is happening. This is following specific revelations from Snowden. It has been described as, 'really bad."

          ... but that affects only the stupid ones, and only if they don't want to get caught pos facto, e.g. Boston bombers.

          No, it also enables them to engage in planning and execution of their attacks without being caught. Since some of those may very well be suicide attacks, as the 7/7 attacks were, getting caught is a moot point.

          The purpose of training is to take the best ideas from a bunch well informed, smart people, and teach those behaviors and techniques to new people. That way they can act s

          • by dmbasso (1052166)

            That is exactly what is happening. This is following specific revelations from Snowden. It has been described as, 'really bad."

            Described as "really bad" by whom? The government? Fox News? Only "credible" sources.

            As I said before, any ill-intended person with more than half a neuron would plan as if a lot of security measures are in place. What Snowden revealed doesn't affect that at all.

          • What kind of ill intentioned group is both smart enough to pull off an attack, and stupid enough to think the government isn't spying on everything? My Venn diagram the two circles in different zip codes.

            Personally, I think we would be better off if we weren't antagonizing everyone. Instead, we're spending a fortune to make enemies, and we publicly mock politicians for having a foreign policy as "unamerican" as George Washington's.

        • Please, give me an example of evil use of the information he revealed.

          Now the godless Soviets know we're spying on them, they'll start spying on us!

  • It looks like Tony Blair wasn't the only lapdog Parliament had in the kennel.

  • Fourth Amendment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Okian Warrior (537106) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @01:19AM (#44463625) Homepage Journal

    The 4th amendment says that people have a right to be secure against unreasonable searches.

    This simple prohibition has no context - the fact that someone else (a foreign government, a corporation, another citizen) gives the information to the government doesn't matter. It's still a violation, the fourth amendment makes no distinction for how the government gets the data.

    The fact that the legislature passed a law saying that they can doesn't matter, and the fact that the executive branch says that they can doesn't matter either. The executive branch cannot and must not be the ones to judge the legality of their actions - that would be tyranny.

    Determining whether something is legal is, and always has been, the purview of the judicial branch. In cases of ambiguity or differing interpretations, there is always the option of bringing it to the supreme court.

    Many legal scholars count the government's actions as illegal, and a common-sense reading of the fourth amendment seems to agree.

    I wish the people who keep repeating that the government hasn't broken any laws would shut up - they're giving tyranny a measure of respectability just by saying that. I also wish people who don't care about their own privacy would shut up - many people do care, and since you don't care there is nothing to be gained by arguing... or even voicing your position.

    If you think what the government is doing is OK, please STFU and let people bring the issue to the supreme court. If you're correct, then it won't matter and you shouldn't object to raising the question. There's no honourable reason to argue against verification.

    • by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @01:40AM (#44463679) Homepage

      An important thing to point out, it is not just the government that broke the law, more importantly it is the political party and specific individual politicians who broke the law. This is all about politics and monitoring your politics and via that monitoring controlling politics (the corporate party).

      This enables 'individual' politicians to take actions against citizens and their families when those citizens in any way threaten the power base of those 'individual' politicians. Effectively support a third party, find your self on a no fly list or even worse the let you fly but will they radiate and sexually assault you and your family every time you or they fly. Want a job, forget it, you are now considered a security threat and are only allowed access to minimum wage jobs. Any attempt to gain social welfare, you and your family are tagged as permanently requiring extended further investigation prior to any support being provided.

      That's the kids stuff of course, the more serious is the bogus warrant and search based purely on circumstantial digital data. The swat soldier assault where you and your family are threatened at gun point, pets are shot, your family home is trashed and of course there is every chance you will not survive the event, all it's takes is one of those invaders to shout 'GUN' and, the rest will open fire, execute you and random members of your family. They will get off, because they felt threatened because someone shouted gun but of course no one will admit to it (maybe it was the neighbours TV).

      Seriously people need to wake up to themselves because it is already that bad. This is the current reality and this is what is already happening.

      • This is all about politics and monitoring your politics and via that monitoring controlling politics (the corporate party). This enables 'individual' politicians to take actions against citizens and their families when those citizens in any way threaten the power base of those 'individual' politicians. Effectively support a third party, find your self on a no fly list or even worse the let you fly but will they radiate and sexually assault you and your family every time you or they fly. Want a job, forget it, you are now considered a security threat and are only allowed access to minimum wage jobs. Any attempt to gain social welfare, you and your family are tagged as permanently requiring extended further investigation prior to any support being provided. . . . This is the current reality and this is what is already happening.

        You say this is already happening? That there are politicians in the US or UK that are using the intelligence services to target individual voters for supporting a third party candidate? That sounds like a stunning revelation you have there, especially since the intelligence agencies tend to be relatively isolated from most politicians. I'm a little surprised I haven't seen support for your dramatic revelation anywhere in the media. Can you point out where we can go for more information?

      • Good fucking lord - they didn't break the law, they made a law that (may be) in violation of the constitution. For a group of fukcing nerds who scream and yell about the misuse of theft vs infringement when it comes to copyright and patent law, you're quite the knuckehead when it comes to the feds knowing you surf porn all the time.

        If we criminally prosecuted every congressman and senator who had a law striken or modified as unconstitutional by the court there would be none left. Perhaps yu would recommend

        • Yes the Constitution is the supreme law of the land in the US. As the Supreme Court said, a law violating the Constitution is null and void, without effect. If an act is made "legal" only by an unconstitutional "law", it is not made it legal at all, for that law is null and void. Acting under the color of a void law that contravenes the Constitution is acting illegally.

          perhaps an analogy to make it more clear. I hereby give you permission to break into your neighbor's house. If you go ahead and break into
          • Oh, you're crazy was wrapped in creamy sanity for just a few lines:

            "Crime requires criminal intent"

            No, it doesn't. Crime merely requires that you violate the law, even if you didn't know the law existed. But, hey, thanks for playing.

            A law is enforceable and viable from the moment it is ratified and signed. A law may be rescinded if it is found to violate the constitution, even to reverse application of the law back to the date of signature, but until that happens it is the law.

            As for BHO, it's not his call

            • Google "mens rea". It's a central concept of anglo-american law. The term we use today, mens rea, was first recorded by Augustine during the Roman empire.

              You might wonder how this relates to "ignorance of the law is no excuse". Suppose you con someone out of $1,000. You may not know that what you did is called "fraud by inducement", but you know that you screwed then over. That's the difference. The fact that you don't know exactly which law makes it illegal is no excuse. You did have guilty intent, c
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      If you think what the government is doing is OK, please STFU and let people bring the issue to the supreme court. If you're correct, then it won't matter and you shouldn't object to raising the question. There's no honourable reason to argue against verification.

      Fuck no, I don't want this to go to the Supreme Court.
      99% of the time, SCOTUS defers to the Executive Branch when they claim National Security.

      I'd much rather see this case tried in the court of public opinion,
      with our representatives in government

    • by arcite (661011) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @03:20AM (#44463913)
      The 4th Amendment was written eons ago. The government will simply redefine the term. The surveillance society is not just a reality, but an inevitability given the direction and capabilities of the technology. This is just the beginning. Individuals need to account for their digital activities, and protect their identities, if that is important to them.
    • Now THAT's unreasonable searches - and it's not just metadata, it's going through your shit for no reason whatsoever.

      Fix that actual, physical problem and then we can talk about whether someone marking the weight and destination of your baggage (meta-data) is a big deal.

  • Nothing new here (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GumphMaster (772693) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @01:48AM (#44463711)

    Between the two world wars the precursor to GCHQ, the Government Code & Cypher School, and various earlier organisations were tapped into international telegraph lines/carriers (e.g. in the UK and Malta) in order to obtain copies of diplomatic traffic. The British companies acquiesced to this with little coercion and the US companies took a little more convincing but eventually complied. There's nothing much new here, only the scale has changed.

  • by SilenceBE (1439827) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @02:43AM (#44463835)
    raising questions over American influence on the British agencies

    I find it strange that this is a question that still need to be asked. Maybe that is because I'm living in Europe, but for years I have the feeling the American influence on Great Britain is big in everything. So big that I personally see the British politicians as some kind of American trojan horse within Europe.

    Some europeans even joke that it isn't a country anymore, but the 51st state of the US. Really in all honesty, this article doesn't surprise me one bit.
    • Some europeans even joke that it isn't a country anymore, but the 51st state of the US. Really in all honesty, this article doesn't surprise me one bit.

      Britons are Europeans too and as such, we make much the same jokes. We have notices, but given that the Tories and Labour are ideologically inistinguishable what can we do?

    • by Zedrick (764028)
      What I find strange is that there's no serious movement in the UK demanding representation in congress.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        We don't want to legitimize it, we want our politicians to stop being bitches and represent us, not the US.

    • by hazeii (5702)

      51st State of America [youtube.com] - 1986 song by New Model Army

    • by Alioth (221270)

      British people ALSO joke that we are the 51st state. As a Europhile, I want us to have a good relation with the United States, but not at the expense of our relationship with the rest of Europe. (And Britain should have been in the full Schengen agreement years ago, but we're not to appease the Daily Mail reading little Englanders)

    • That must be one remaining state Obama hadn't yet visited when he had been to "uh, 57 states so far". You know, when his "numeracy is a little off".
  • I created a crowdsourcing platform for science with the goal of never letting a worthy science project go unfunded. I have always loved science and technology and wish I was scientific minded, but have come to terms with the fact that this is the best way I can further humans scientific knowledge, which I am none the less excited about. ScitechStarter is not only useful for scientific project creators, but is also great for people like myself who are looking for a way to contribute and don't have the abilit

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