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NZ Police Got PRISM Data Before Raid On Dotcom

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  • That seems a bit excessive.

    • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Friday August 23, 2013 @12:43AM (#44651333)

      On the upside, with this cat out of the bag now, at least it is going to be brought up in court. Kim doesn't seem to be the sort of chap who will keep quiet and just let it slide. He is probably straightening his tie as we speak and about to knock on the door of the nearest court in NZ.

      • by icebike (68054) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:35AM (#44651583)

        Wait, are you saying that PRISM was used for enforcement of some media company's copyrights?
        Or was it used to try to prop up the arrest after the fact?

        Because once there is proof that these systems are secret to the population of the USA, but used freely to enforce some copyrights for campaign donners, shit could hit the fan in high places.

        • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:28AM (#44651733) Journal

          Not really. I used to believe people gave a shit, but really - they don't. Most people really don't care. Even if the accused is accused of something they do every day they will sit on the jury and convict because the specific circumstance doesn't apply to them, because the prosecutor is so persuasive about how the specific way the accused is claimed to have done it is a criminal act, and take the lesson to mind their ways ever after about that specific way. Until they are in the dock proclaiming that it is not fair to people who were like them and will convict them too for failing to observe a different specific nuance of imaginary property in an exquisitely specific different way.

          This is an odd game where the combatants define the rules dynamically after the fact. For a decade after play ends the outcome is in doubt. The only real way to win is not to play. Or to be one of the many lawyers who get hourly fees to contest the outcome.

          In my mind it's just one symptom of the cancer of lawyers infesting the body public. Class action laywers have given up even the pretense of giving their clients a coupon for a discount toward their opponent's products in settlement as justification for their disproportionate share of the penalty, and now collect without compensating the victims at all. In cases like Prenda they generate their own plaintiffs, respondents and misdeeds to generate profits out of whole cloth.

          It is not fair. It is not right. But this is how it is, and unless people unite to fight it this is ... hey, Wilfred's next season dropped on Netflix. BRB.

          • by Jesrad (716567)

            In my mind it's just one symptom of the cancer of lawyers infesting the body public. Class action laywers have given up even the pretense of giving their clients a coupon for a discount toward their opponent's products in settlement as justification for their disproportionate share of the penalty, and now collect without compensating the victims at all. In cases like Prenda they generate their own plaintiffs, respondents and misdeeds to generate profits out of whole cloth.

            The sad fact that victims don't ge

        • by DarkOx (621550) on Friday August 23, 2013 @06:02AM (#44652481) Journal

          I like how we are told by every government mouth piece how much harm these revelations by snowden, manning and fisa declassifications are doing to there anti terror intelligence work, but were willing to risk exposing it for copyright infirgment. Kinda cuts right through their bullshit about this being for the public good.

          • Well, after all, as one of my favorite /. .sigs says, "file sharing is rape and file sharers are rapists."

        • Aren't US government resources always used to improve the financial situation of corporations? Once there is proof that these systems are used freely to help a corporation, a lot of people will say that "it is necessary to help our struggling economy".

      • by Pseudonym (62607)

        In all the courtroom pictures I've seen of him, I don't recall ever seeing a tie.

    • by mitcheli (894743)
      Law enforcement using intercepted communications in the pursuit of catching the criminal. <tongue loc='cheek'>Certainly that has never happened before.<tongue>
      • by cold fjord (826450) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:03AM (#44651441)

        Generally you see a line between law enforcement "signals intelligence" and national security signals intelligence. I would expect that the use of national security assets for ordinary law enforcement would be limited. I have a hard time seeing that it would be justified in this case.

        • by AHuxley (892839) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:25AM (#44651541) Homepage Journal
          Cold what do you expect NZ to do when it comes under pressure from the USA? At anytime the USA can turn off the NSA data stream.
          NZ learned a lot from the Rainbow Warrior, international treaties, understandings, letters, assurances, visits, friendships and decades of cooperation are totally worthless.
          When NZ asked Australia, the US, UK for small amounts of basic telco help with France they got very little back.
          So NZ now knows its place, when the US asks for anything, NZ does all it can with all its tools (NSA was very good to the NZ gov and vast, expensive new telco work).
          National security assets where in no way limited and NZ national security staff seemed happy to help before any new telco/spy law changes.
        • by icebike (68054) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:41AM (#44651603)

          Generally you see a line between law enforcement "signals intelligence" and national security signals intelligence. I would expect that the use of national security assets for ordinary law enforcement would be limited. I have a hard time seeing that it would be justified in this case.

          Especially when the "law enforcement" issue was basically a civil matter of copyright.

        • by coofercat (719737)

          Someone's got to pay for the billions worth of IT and manpower used to run this stuff. Why not rent it out to anyone with a suitcase full of cash?

    • by sjwt (161428) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:00AM (#44651421)

      When the US is in command, nothing is excessive when protecting the income of Big business.

      • Nonsense. You see, for the people doing this stuff on behalf of the NSA, their actions are completely justified: to beat the criminals, they needed to become better criminals than the criminals. The irony of said statement, as well as the mental gymnastics involved, are truly breath-taking...but rest-assured, they are very righteous in their cause.

    • Of course! Copyright infringement funds terrorists!

      Wait a minute... that's supposed to be YOUR line!
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      That seems a bit excessive.

      Are you that naïve to think those system are never going to be abused?

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      It case you didn't get the memo the corps rule the governments now, so any and all measures to protect profits, especially from IP whose term limits have been made into "forever minus a single day" SHALL be employed.

      I have to wonder if this isn't the reason why all empires fall and governments rarely survive more than a century or two, that an end result of massive corruption and wealth consolidation simply is unavoidable. Sadly I think we have it worse than ever before thanks to the net making it easy to t

  • Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) on Friday August 23, 2013 @12:42AM (#44651325) Homepage Journal
    You have to wonder who WASN'T involved with Kim Dotcom at this point. It's absurd the amount of time and money that was used to investigate this one man. Personally, I've always felt he was a bit egotistical. But man, When goverment(s) bring THIS much force to you, you kind of deserve to be a bit over the top.
    • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

      by game kid (805301) on Friday August 23, 2013 @12:52AM (#44651383) Homepage

      They didn't just feed the troll. They gave him all-you-can-eat steak and caviar, catering for a party of five, and coupons for tomorrow's main course.

    • Not at all. If you consider than the NSA was used for business interests, as opposed to government (national security interests, they tell me), it makes perfect sense.

      Why not spy on everyone, learn their IP in development, and come out with something similar, possibly ahead of even the original product's release? You'll notice the US changed its patent laws from original inventor to first filer (lol). And why not use, illegally, the NSA to find future defendants? They're all criminals, right? So who cares?

  • by surfdaddy (930829) on Friday August 23, 2013 @12:50AM (#44651365)
    See how quickly the scope creep sets in. We break the constitution to spy on EVERYBODY without warrants to "protect us from terrorism". And now already other agencies want some of that honeypot data - the DEA, the IRS, New Zealand, and the XXAA media organizations. Now it's being used for COPYRIGHT violations!

    What the FUCK has happened to my country?

    • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday August 23, 2013 @12:52AM (#44651387)

      Don't worry: someone will be along shortly to point out that the slippery slope is a logical fallacy, so this could never have happened.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The best way to answer those overeducated idiots is to point out that government isn't a logical entity.

    • by gmuslera (3436) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:00AM (#44651423) Homepage Journal
      Not just your country, UK, NZ, Sweden and others are either in bed with US or in their pocket. Is not enough that US is in fact a plutocracy [salon.com], a lot of other countries that claim to be democracies aren't either, or are following orders of the same plutocrats (either by being bribed, extorted, scared, or being just retards). US is just out of hope, everything was given to the real rulers in a silver plate for decades, but would think that in some of those countries population opinion mean something.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by AHuxley (892839)
      Re What the has happened to my country?
      What was once in books and magazines via people like http://cryptome.org/2013-info/06/whistleblowing/whistleblowing.htm [cryptome.org] is now much more public.
      The openness of telco networks, US/NZ/UK politics, US trade groups, favours and sharing is not something new.
      What is interesting is how open the NZ side is. The public/press know knows enough to look way beyond what could have been passed off as basic NZ telco/police efforts.
      The next question is how will departments (and tr
    • by UPZ (947916) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:33AM (#44651571)
      Lol...they targeted Kim Dotcom with prism and missed Jamie Dimon and associates on Wall Streets. Who did more damage to the economy?

      Is it incompetence or corruption folks? Obama went to Harvard and Eric Holder went to Columbia. So I guess we all know the truth.
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      See how quickly the scope creep had set in. We break the constitution to spy on EVERYBODY without warrants to "protect us from terrorism". And now already other agencies want some of that honeypot data - the DEA, the IRS, New Zealand, and the XXAA media organizations. Earlier than Jan 20 2012 [wikipedia.org] it has been used for COPYRIGHT violations!

      What the FUCK has happened to my country?

      Fixed those verb tenses for you.

    • And I thought recent slides showed they could monitor VPNs, too. Basically, if you have ever torrented anything, you're already busted.

  • by steelfood (895457) on Friday August 23, 2013 @12:51AM (#44651379)

    Funny how the justification for the program was all about the terrorists. Now, we find out that it wasn't just used for terrorists, pedophiles, and drug traffickers, but also for people the copyright lobby dislikes.

    And yet, I find myself completely unsurprised. How long before all this surveillance infrastructure gets used against farmers standing up against Monstano, or generic drug makers, or individuals advocating for shorter copyright terms? How long before this gets used to stifle political dissent and free speech?

    Soon, if it isn't already happening. Very, very soon.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:09AM (#44651473)

      The real reason for the establishment of a pervasive security state was not 9/11 but "battle of seattle" which happened 1999 and completely caught the government off guard. 9/11 was the excuse they needed to create a massive surveillance network accross the whole country to make sure it never happened again. Why do shit holes like Detroit or some podunk oil town in North Dakota need anti-terrorism control centers or whatever? They don't need them for al-Qaeda but for anarchists, union organizers, environmentalists and assorted other proft-threatening lefty types. Seattle put the fear in the government and they spent the last 10 years making sure if something like OWS pops up it gets put down fast.

      • by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:07AM (#44651671) Journal
        Mate, it didn't start in 1999, nor did it start with Nixon in the 70's, or McCarthy if the 50's, it's been there forever and all sides do it if given a chance.
        • by TheReaperD (937405) on Friday August 23, 2013 @03:41AM (#44652003)

          I'm not old enough to have been there but, a friend of mine that was part of the protests in the 1960s. One of the things he mentioned that caught my attention was that in the late 60s there wasn't 'the Women's rights protesters' and 'the black protesters', etc. The groups supported and worked with one another to achieve their goals. Then, new people started joining their groups. He stated that they stood out as they always had their dues ready on time and always in exact change. And once they came in, they started infighting between the groups that eventually led to the groups separating. At the time he believed these were government agents and in the last couple decades evidence has come out the the FBI was involved in counter-intelligence operations against protesters during that era.

          If this is all true than this is just the next stage against freedom of expression in this country. :-(

      • by cdrudge (68377)

        Why do shit holes like Detroit or some podunk oil town in North Dakota need anti-terrorism control centers or whatever?

        Have you been to Detroit recently? Their own police union tells people to stay the hell away.

    • Did they actually target pedos with PRISM? Surely they would have told us if they did; after all, `if only ONE child is saved....'. Many are disillusioned by the War on Terror, and many like to light up every once in a while, but everyone hates sexual deviants. It would be the perfect PR move. 90% of those against the spying programs would be pushing for an even larger program.
      • Well of course, if it hasn't been done already, it's the next step. I believe pedophiles were the claimed reason for the British to attempt Internet filtering.

        So first they say, "This isn't being used to spy on regular citizens. It's just for national security and going after terrorists. We're not interested in anything else, so if you're not a terrorist, you have nothing to worry about." A lot of people will go along with that, since nobody wants terrorist to kill people.

        So next they say, "Well we ha

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:44AM (#44651615)

      How long before all this surveillance infrastructure gets used against farmers standing up against Monstano, or generic drug makers, or individuals advocating for shorter copyright terms? How long before this gets used to stifle political dissent and free speech?

      Soon, if it isn't already happening. Very, very soon.

      You need to read more history. I mean REAL history, not the lies they shoved
      down your throat in high school.

      None of this surveillance+governmental abuse stuff is new. What IS new is the scope with which surveillance
      can be done now, due to technological changes. The "machine" can now be more efficient than ever before.
      The efficiency is really the only new thing here. All the rest is an old story. However, the end of many such stories
      often features the fall of empire. Read "Hegemony or Survival" by Noam Chomsky for more on this idea.

      Could it happen in the US, the fall of empire ? Buddy, it is ALEADY happening, like a house of cards
      falling down in super slow motion video. Look at the true stats on the US economy. Look at how the US
      is HATED in much of the world. Look at how the US has become a bully which uses power instead of
      finesse to attempt to achieve goals. Truly the show in the US is run by idiots, and smart people know this
      is the case because it is painfully obvious if you watch actual events rather than mindlessly consuming
      propaganda. It's not Obama's fault though -- Obama is just an errand boy for the swine who really run the show,
      just as Bush was before him.

    • It already happened for Occupy Wall Street. I find it extremely unlikely that it isn't being used against other forms of political dissent as well. They're just being more subtle about it... for now.

    • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Friday August 23, 2013 @06:26AM (#44652557)

      And yet, I find myself completely unsurprised. How long before all this surveillance infrastructure gets used against farmers standing up against Monstano, or generic drug makers

      Some years ago I returned from a trip abroad with some generic drugs in my luggage. The US customs guy searching my luggage noticed them. He told me that I should stop buying foreign generics because they were used to fund terrorists. I asked him if he seriously believed that or if it was just something he was supposed to say. He replied that he seriously believed it. So I think the generic drugs = terrorism line has already been crossed by our government.

  • by Mistakill (965922) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:02AM (#44651431)
    I'm upset, and yet not surprised.... sigh
  • Follow the money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by taniwha (70410) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:03AM (#44651433) Homepage Journal

    What's interesting is that our Prime Minister effectively admitted in parliament (by refusing to answer in a situation where "no" would have been a far better answer for him and one he would have given had it been true)just 2 days ago that the GCSB (or NSA wanna bes) have been funded by the US to the tune of millions of dollars.

    So what did they buy? probably a Prism to put in our fibre access to the rest of the world. And I guess enough of a back channel to send it all to the US. I can see now why the second pacific fibre was nobbled because they wouldn't accept the use of Chinese infrastructure - wouldn't do to have some other country's backdoors in the routers rather than the US's.

  • Here we learn the value of ethically compromising the Vice President of the US, "Hollywood Joe" Biden, with campaign funds that amount to a trivial fraction of the advertising budget of a "content provider". That gives you private access that you can use to sell your ability to sculpt the empty minds of the populace to achieve desirable campaign objectives (fear of your opponent and his platform, adoration of you and yours) for the politico in return for certain valuable consideration like appointments of

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:11AM (#44651485) Journal
    In the advert on /. page for this story: "Spiceworks, easy to use network monitoring." Post Edward Snowdon, they should rewrite their advert.
    • by knarf (34928)

      No they should not. Network monitoring means the same as it always did. Just like hacking still means the same as it did before the term got hijacked. There'll be quite a few hackers using network monitors at this moment. Most of them are doing their job, making sure that the network does what it is supposed to do. Some of them are doing their job, attempting to snoop on the network traffic.

      You don't rename a butcher knife [wikipedia.org] just because it has been used in a crime, do you?

      • You don't rename a butcher knife [wikipedia.org] just because it has been used in a crime, do you?

        You do if that crime was committed against Important People. Then we start calling it a "Child Raping Terror Knife."

  • by Esion Modnar (632431) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:20AM (#44651517)
    Imagine what might happen if one of the revelations-to-be is evidence of spying on members of Congress? Maybe this is suspected by said members, and while this might anger them, they would rather the "revelations" to be kept secret. A secret kept secret is power. A secret revealed forces action in ways that are not preferred.

    After all, burning gas in an engine produces useful work, burning it outside just produces a loud bang.
    • Scrunch that tin foil even tighter: what if the intercepted information was used to manipulate Congress, and thus public policy, directly, or to influence elections? Senator Smith called in a few favors from old army buddies to win his district (the incumbent was found to be addicted to scat porn after a ``hacker'' broke into his email), so he has to pay back his friends in the intelligence community by attaching a rider to a certain bill to buy some more $500 ``toilet seats''.
      • Why bother coercing congressmen? You don't have to rape the willing. Just negate anyone who runs who isn't a true believer or a useful idiot.

    • by Cassini2 (956052)

      The NSA is the new J. Edgar Hoover. They are impossible to stop. They have files on everyone.

      Worse, what is their to stop the NSA from simply making something up? or saying they had something, even if they didn't?

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:40AM (#44651601)

    If I am reading it right, it is just circumstantial evidence based on the NZ documents using the term "selecrtors" with respect to real-time data collection. But no actual mention of NSA programs.

    After the DEA and IRS were found to have access plus the boondoogle with the presidential airplane over europe and the revelation that the decision to detain Miranda came directly from the office the UK PM James Cameron, I am completely ready to give the benefit of the doubt to the reporting, I just want to make sure there isn't any more concrete proof besides what may be terminology common to multiple LE agencies.

  • by Required Snark (1702878) on Friday August 23, 2013 @01:52AM (#44651627)
    Here is a video of two members of the US House asking identically worded questions during a congressional hearing on copyright. Unfortunately the sound volume is very low, so it is a bit hard to hear.

    http://youtu.be/JtVbHBIyFKw [youtu.be]

    They don't even bother to check the script they are given. It's not even as professional as books on tape or someone blindly reading the news.

    They may be elected officials, but they certainly are not working for the public. To make it worse, you know that they sold themselves for next to nothing. A few hundreds of dollars of campaign contributions and an empty promise of fundraising is all it takes. They're not just whores, they're cheap whores.

  • Devil's Advocate (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Friday August 23, 2013 @02:27AM (#44651731)

    Firstly, there's no difference between "law enforcement" and "national security" except in the eyes of egomaniacs who think that there brand of crime investigation (e.g. "terror" - seriously, could you get any more emotive?) is Totally More Important and should receive all sorts of Special Dispensations.

    Secondly, intercepting data of suspected criminals - and there is a lot of good evidence that this guy was engaging in criminal activity - seems sensible. It shouldn't be all cloak and dagger, and "signals intelligence" should just be regarded as another way of collecting evidence.

    Thirdly, people like this, who are essentially making huge bank by distributing other people's work, don't really deserve their income. They are the flip side of the copyright cartel.

    The copyright cartel are also leeches and ought to be just as thoroughly investigated for their dirty bribery and lawyering practices.

    A pox on all their houses.

    • by _merlin (160982) on Friday August 23, 2013 @03:35AM (#44651981) Homepage Journal

      Secondly, intercepting data of suspected criminals - and there is a lot of good evidence that this guy was engaging in criminal activity - seems sensible. It shouldn't be all cloak and dagger, and "signals intelligence" should just be regarded as another way of collecting evidence.

      If there's plenty of good evidence, why didn't they charge him on summons? Why did they break down his door special ops style? If it's a criminal matter, there's a process for obtaining and serving a warrant. If it's a civil matter, there's a process for bringing a complaint. Neither was followed.

      Thirdly, people like this, who are essentially making huge bank by distributing other people's work, don't really deserve their income. They are the flip side of the copyright cartel.

      He operated a file sharing service. What you shared on it wasn't his business. He took down files when requested. He complied with relevant laws. By your logic, manufacturers of zip-lock bags don't deserve their income, because the product is used to facilitate drug trades.

      • If there's plenty of good evidence, why didn't they charge him on summons? Why did they break down his door special ops style?

        Because the copyright cartel, which should be treated with as much contempt as he has been treated, infiltrated the justice system, and demonstrated such an incredible level of hubris that it managed to fuck up its own efforts.

        He operated a file sharing service. What you shared on it wasn't his business.

        It doesn't matter how often you argue that, it doesn't make it any more accurate. He has no right to the proportion of income he gained from illegal activities, especially not once he'd become aware that his service was being used that way.

        By your logic, manufacturers of zip-lock bags don't deserve their income, because the product is used to facilitate drug trades.

        They don't deserve any of the income gained f

        • by _merlin (160982)

          He operated a file sharing service. What you shared on it wasn't his business.

          It doesn't matter how often you argue that, it doesn't make it any more accurate. He has no right to the proportion of income he gained from illegal activities, especially not once he'd become aware that his service was being used that way.

          It doesn't matter how often you argue against that - it doesn't make you any less wrong. He operated a service that had potential for legitimate and illegitimate uses. I used it maybe twice t

          • He operated a service that had potential for legitimate and illegitimate uses.

            That still doesn't make it okay to knowingly profit significantly from the illegitimate uses. I'm not sure what's tough to understand about this. You live in a society - behave like it.

            Last time I checked, online advertising wasn't illegal. In fact, Google and others are praised for their advertising-based "free to play" revenue models. Dotcom wasn't making money off copyright infringement, he was making money off advertisements on a file sharing service that had substantial non-infringing uses.

            I can't believe anyone can be so intellectually dishonest. People are interested in sponsoring a site because eyeballs have been gathered by making in-demand content available. Therefore the quality of the content is part of the commercial exercise.

            • Then shut down Taco Bell as complicit in marijuana trade.

            • That still doesn't make it okay to knowingly profit significantly from the illegitimate uses. I'm not sure what's tough to understand about this. You live in a society - behave like it.

              Well in that case we should shut down all gun manufacturers and no one gets guns at all. They're *definitely* knowingly profiting from crime. Except that we value our freedoms and understand that there's a balance between freedom and preventing crime. This is part of a society.

              I can't believe anyone can be so intellectually dishonest. People are interested in sponsoring a site because eyeballs have been gathered by making in-demand content available. Therefore the quality of the content is part of the commercial exercise.

              It has nothing to do with quality of content. As far as I understand the advertisers pay per view and/or click. Less demand for content is less eyeballs and the advertisers don't pay as much. If megaupload doesn't consume their advert

  • Considering Copyright isnt even supposed to be a criminal offence but a civil one in any SANE legal system, deploying military extra-judicial surveilance to police it is completely out of control.

    Really , this shit has to stop and people need to start actually monstering their reps to let them know who actually is supposed to be in charge, US.

  • They said it would only be used to track terrorists and only after suspicion?

    Of course not! Why let something cutting edge like PRISM go to waste on a couple of said terrorists when you can just use it to track everyone pro-actively?
  • They are the good guys! Evil America must have made them do it!

  • I want to be outraged about the use of PRISM for copyright enforcement, but I made the mistake of reading the article. It seems the connection between the surveillance of Dotcom and PRISM is rather tenuous.

    If I'm understanding the article correctly, it seems somebody noticed that the term "selectors" was used in setting the parameters of the illegal surveillance, and somebody else noticed that "selectors" is exactly the same term that XKEYSCORE uses--OMG! Um, yeah. That doesn't mean XKEYSCORE or PRISM wa

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