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Snowden Document Shows Canada Set Up Spy Posts For NSA 177

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-you-guys-too dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news that even Canada is getting its hands dirty in the international dragnet fiasco. From the article: "The leaked NSA document being reported exclusively by CBC News reveals Canada is involved with the huge American intelligence agency in clandestine surveillance activities in 'approximately 20 high-priority countries.' ... Wesley Wark, a Canadian security and intelligence expert at the University of Ottawa, says the document makes it clear Canada can take advantage of its relatively benign image internationally to covertly amass a vast amount of information abroad. 'I think we still trade on a degree of an international brand as an innocent partner in the international sphere,' Wark said. 'There's not that much known about Canadian intelligence.'"
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Snowden Document Shows Canada Set Up Spy Posts For NSA

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  • Old News (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @06:10AM (#45648737)

    I thought it was common knowledge for quite a long time that the canadian Communications Security Establishment [wikipedia.org] set up all the american embassies with their SIGINT gear and such.

    • Re:Old News (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Optimal Cynic (2886377) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @07:07AM (#45648925)
      Yeah, I don't see why there's so much shock. "US ally assists US spy agency in spying." Wow. My flabber is truly gasted.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by X.25 (255792)

        Yeah, I don't see why there's so much shock. "US ally assists US spy agency in spying." Wow. My flabber is truly gasted.

        What they are doing is not spying.

        I surely hope you understand that. If you do not, then no amount of talk will explain you the difference.

        You have to understand it for yourself.

        • by davecb (6526)
          If they snoop on their masters, treason.
        • by Eskarel (565631)

          Nope, this stuff is spying, this is regular old SIGINT, not metadata collection. You know how you can tell, there's a crap tonne of evidence.

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Message for Mohammed McMohammed, Afghanistan:

        The cheese is on the bread.

        Repeat:

        The cheese is on the bread.

        (Let's see if the NSA can figure out the recipient of that. Or what it means. Gee, they've just been completely defeated by a 100-year old idea...)

      • True, and when you have a technologically advanced country with limited resources and population, being good at being covert is a serious asset.

        Consider for a moment the historical reality of Canada's leadership in the Iran hostage crisis in 79/80.

      • Re:Old News (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Xest (935314) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @09:01AM (#45649385)

        Not just US ally, Canada is one of the five-eyes group of nations (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand). It's pretty well established that these nations security services all work together in unison on just about everything now.

        I'd wager given the status of five-eyes that New Zealand similarly uses it's benign image to spy where the US/UK can't get away with it on their behalf.

    • Re:Old News (Score:5, Interesting)

      by EasyTarget (43516) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @07:19AM (#45648973) Journal

      .. common knowledge for quite a long time

      If I had asserted it in public prior to the Snowdon leaks, anonymous apologists would have popped up saying: 'Where is your proof'.
      Now we have that proof the same anonymous apologists are saying it was: 'Common knowledge'.
      Hummm.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There's been proof before, just Snowden's expose AND the US Gov's reaction to it made it more obvious.
        http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/2/2889/1.html [heise.de]
        http://cryptome.org/jya/echelon-dc.htm [cryptome.org]
        http://cryptome.org/echelon-baby.htm [cryptome.org]

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        If I had asserted it in public prior to the Snowdon leaks, anonymous apologists would have popped up saying: 'Where is your proof'.
        Now we have that proof the same anonymous apologists are saying it was: 'Common knowledge'.
        Hummm.

        Then, I'd say the people you know are pretty much ignorant of the world around them. In Canada, this has been known since the 50's, my great uncle worked in Ottawa as a liaison between the Federal Government and the Canadian Intelligence Services. I got to meet some interesting folks before he died, and at his funeral when he was laid in Beechwood. [wikipedia.org] Which is the Canadian equivalent of Arlington. But I grew up in a small town of ~20k people in the Southern part of Ontario, and people knew this was going on

  • Enough (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @06:11AM (#45648739) Homepage

    They can't be trusted. Obama's unspecified "checks and balances" aren't working. Time to start encrypting everything by default.

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      It's time to demand Clapper be hauled away in handcuffs

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Blaming one scapegoat will not resolve the deep deep deep corruption in our governing system(s). Short of a complete revolution with heads rolling, it would be futile and would only serve the propagandists.

        • Re:Enough (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @06:42AM (#45648841) Journal

          No the problems start at the top, Senators, Presidents, powerful Congressmen, generals. The problem is the system has no way to deal with them because at those levels it basically depends on the punishing themselves and they have learned to circle the wagons when the people get riled up.

          The only option is to target their enablers, folks like clapper. If enough political pressure can be brought to bear and you give them the option to toss someone like Clapper under the bus along with a few low level admin types like snowdens coworkers who broke some rule somewhere some time they will.

          Do this often enough and they won't be able to find these facilitators who are willing to go a long with what they know to unethical, immoral, illegal or some combination there of because they will also know that when it comes to light and it will someday, it's going to be them that pays for it.

          • Re:Enough (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @07:58AM (#45649117)

            I disagree. I think if we executed a few Senators, Congressmen and lobbyists in the public square we would see a significant change in their behavior and the laws that are passed.

            The thought of being hanged, then drawn & quartered and then having your pieces parts burned at the stake will motivate enough lawmakers to change things.

            • Before that happens, they'll write laws making that illegal.

            • by jheath314 (916607)

              That's been been [wikipedia.org] tried [wikipedia.org] before [wikipedia.org]... the results usually aren't so good.

              • by DarkOx (621550)

                I am talking about anything like a great purge, my point was we the people can't get something like that done even if we wanted to do it.

                Which is why I want to have people down the food chain hang drawn and quartered. My hope is the Clappers of the world come to understand when the public get upset their masters will quickly abandon them to protect their own interests. That way when they get asked to follow orders that are wrong they just might say "No sir, I won't implement a massive domestic spy program

          • I think this is too simplistic. You can replace every single president, senator and congress-critter in Washington and you'll have the same outcome as you're faced with today. The reason is that members of three letter agencies feel, with all their bleed'n-red-Amerikan-hearts that they are responsible maintaining "continuity". They don't care which political party is in power. They know politicians will come and go.

            I think you're very close with your inclusion of generals on your list of those needing t

            • by dryeo (100693)

              . I can't imagine who died and left them in charge, but in charge they definitely feel.

              J. Edgar Hoover [wikipedia.org], especially read the second paragraph.

          • No the problems start at the top, Senators, Presidents, powerful Congressmen, generals.

            No, the real problem is that after ten years of unfettered spying on everyone, the NSA is now at the top of that list, with dirt on everyone from the POTUS on down. THIS is why no real reform will ever occur.

          • by number17 (952777)

            toss someone like Clapper under the bus along with a few low level admin types like snowdens coworkers who broke some rule somewhere some time they will.

            Wouldn't it be easier to just not renew the contract for the private company that Snowden worked for?

        • by Subm (79417)

          It's time to demand Clapper be hauled away in handcuffs

          Blaming one scapegoat will not resolve the deep deep deep corruption in our governing system(s). Short of a complete revolution with heads rolling, it would be futile and would only serve the propagandists.

          I read the comment not as scapegoating someone but as applying the law to everyone and attaching responsibility and accountability to decisions people make. If nothing else, Clapper lied to Congress. NSA programs have been found illegal. If behavior like that doesn't at least lead to a trial, why won't others follow suit? They certainly benefit from growing their bureaucracies so they have motivation to.

        • by s.petry (762400)

          Your point would only be valid if the person had stated to do nothing but haul Clapper away. Putting Clapper in the Pen (not a safe house) would be a starting point. The people doing these things are cowards! It's cowardly to hide their intent, their beliefs, and their actions. You think they would suddenly become heroic when faced with being someone bitch in a real jail? Not a chance of that.

          A few of these people in jail would begin a nice series of confessions, and more arrests and people in jail. T

      • What's funny is that he outranks the president. Look what happened when Clinton lied to congress... Then Clapper... and Clapper lied about important shit, many times.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          What's funny is that he outranks the president. Look what happened when Clinton lied to congress... Then Clapper... and Clapper lied about important shit, many times.

          Yes, but Clinton lied about sex!

          • by Sarten-X (1102295)

            Exactly right.

            I happened to be in Europe at the time. The French couldn't understand what was so scandalous about a leader having a mistress or three.

            • It wasn't what he lied about... it's where he lied. If that had been you or I... we'd probably just be getting out of federal prison now. It's good to be King... but even the king got some flack. Clapper didn't even get scolded.

              • by Sarten-X (1102295)

                Now, that depends on what the definition of "lied" is...

                Due to aforementioned travel, I didn't follow the whole thing very closely, but as I understand it, Clinton answered honestly according to the definitions agreed upon... it's just that those definitions were not really ubiquitous, and certainly not clarified by the scandal-loving media.

    • by Burz (138833)

      A darknet is the only proper way to do that. Otherwise, they get most of the metadata anyway: Who, When, Where. Those are important details.

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Fixing that will be *very* difficult..

        Whatever method you use you rely on other people to be relays for your data. They can set up fake relays, they're tapped into the backbones so they can track packets and see how they bounce, they might even be able to insert their own delays to get the packet timing perfect for them, etc.

        How about we start with encryption and go from there...?

        • by Burz (138833)

          I do think that darknets (like I2P) start with encryption and build on that. You can choose the number of additional hops used for each application down to 0 and the link stays encrypted.

          It seems that its the attack you describe which is very difficult; the attacker would have to masquerade themselves internationally on a huge scale. The NSA doesn't seem able to manage this with Tor, and I2P makes the problem more difficult where everyone is re-routing others' packets by default. So just collecting the meta

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Time to start encrypting everything by default.

      Can we please start with https://slashdot.org [slashdot.org]?

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Time to start encrypting everything by default.

      Except encryption is not a universal answer.

      It does NOTHING to stop "metadata" collection - your IP packets still have source and destination addresses that have to be encoded in ways anyone can decode it (i.e., if you encrypt that, then every router needs to be able to decrypt it, making it essentially plaintext). Note: Tor solves this problem.

      It does nothing about traffic flow fingerprinting - that is, examining how the packets evolve over time to figure out

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Tor does actually protect against traffic analysis too. Packets are split, concatenated and padded at random and a constant stream is generated.

    • Obama's still getting the checks, and his balance is increasing. Perhaps you misunderstood what he meant.

  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hamsterdan (815291) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @06:27AM (#45648787)

    * 'There's not that much known about Canadian intelligence.'*

    As A Canadian, I kinda resent that :)

    • by MRe_nl (306212)

      There is no higher praise.
      It's like being called a traitor by Dick Cheney ; ).

      On the other hand the amount of surprise at these revelations is surprising. Where is peoples sense of history? Remember the second world war (Axis and Allies anyone?) and extrapolate from that incorporating the events since.

      • Re:Don't. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @06:50AM (#45648877) Journal

        There isn't anything in any of these revelations many had not guessed or spotted. There were and still are tons of people who just wanted to live in denial about it. Snodens stuff is making that hard for them as they can't just dismiss the people saying it as tinfoil hat clad conspiracy nuts, with actual evidence floating about.

    • by korbulon (2792438)
      Nobody was implying that it doesn't exist, they were simply referring to it within the Rumsfeldian epistemological category of "unknown unknown".
    • Canada has much more snow than the US, and yet the US produced a Snowden. Maybe Canada will produce a Chaude Journée.
    • """
      * 'There's not that much known about Canadian intelligence.'*

      As A Canadian, I kinda resent that :)
      """

      that just means they're doing a really good job. :)

      • by CCarrot (1562079)

        'There's not that much known about Canadian intelligence.'

        As A Canadian, I kinda resent that :)

        that just means they're doing a really good job. :)

        Not much is known about secret stuff Canadians know...guess we're really good at keeping those secrets...secret, eh?

    • by statusbar (314703)

      I thought our Canadian Intelligence was busy guarding our Maple Syrup Reserve. [canadianbusiness.com]

      *--jeffk++

    • * 'There's not that much known about Canadian intelligence.'*

      As A Canadian, I kinda resent that :)

      It kind of works with the joke that every time a Canadian immigrates to the US, they increase the average IQ of both countries :-)

  • by rikkards (98006) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @06:47AM (#45648861) Journal

    There's not that much known about Canadian intelligence.

    Too easy..

  • Sweden too (Score:4, Informative)

    by Flammon (4726) on Tuesday December 10, 2013 @08:23AM (#45649207) Homepage Journal

    The Swedes 'cooperated' too.

    http://www.thelocal.se/20131205/sweden-spied-on-russia-for-nsa-report [thelocal.se]

    It's pretty hard to say no when the guy with the biggest guns and millions of murders to back them asks you to do something.

  • "Wesley Wark"

    Wow, I really misread that name...

  • "'There's not that much known about Canadian intelligence.'"

  • "'There's not that much known about Canadian intelligence.'"

    Clearly they also don't know that Canada became the 51st state during the Cold War. Kept secret so they could do stuff that we can't get away with.

    It's known in the intelligence community as the Maple Leaf State.

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