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United States Cellphones Privacy

The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call In the Bahamas 205

Posted by samzenpus
from the listen-up dept.
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The National Security Agency is secretly intercepting, recording, and archiving the audio of virtually every cell phone conversation on the island nation of the Bahamas. According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the surveillance is part of a top-secret system – code-named SOMALGET – that was implemented without the knowledge or consent of the Bahamian government. Instead, the agency appears to have used access legally obtained in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to open a backdoor to the country's cellular telephone network, enabling it to covertly record and store the 'full-take audio' of every mobile call made to, from and within the Bahamas – and to replay those calls for up to a month."
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The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call In the Bahamas

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  • Cayman Islands? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rogoshen1 (2922505) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:40PM (#47041583)

    Had they done this with Cayman Islands they could have possible nabbed some real criminals, and probably made the world a better/safer place.

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:41PM (#47041589) Homepage Journal
    Surely there is a branch of al-quaeda there to have that kind of surveillance. When they will start to send the killer drones?
  • Favoritism. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Forbo (3035827) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:41PM (#47041591)
    "The U.S. Department of Treasury estimated that in 2011 the Caribbean Banking Centers, which include Bahamas ...held almost $2 trillion dollars in United States debt." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    I bet there were some pretty juicy tidbits swept up in that massive dragnet. I certainly believe that tax evaders are a lot more of an actual threat to the US than the terrorism "boogeyman". So where are our prosecutions on this crap?

    The answer is that there never will be. All this mass-surveillance will never actually be used to our benefit, only as a means enforcing the status quo for the powers that be.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:43PM (#47041605) Journal

    Anyone at NSA who is participating in this is committing an act of war against a sovereign nation without any declaration of war.

    -jcr

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:51PM (#47041687) Homepage

    Anyone at NSA who is participating in this is committing an act of war against a sovereign nation without any declaration of war.

    Under what theory of international law? This behavior is clearly bad and is the sort of thing a country has a right to be pissed off about, but there's no coherent, conventional theory that makes this an act of war. The situation is bad enough without exaggerating.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @05:56PM (#47041721)

    Except that getting caught at it is a major embarrassment and is going to destroy the relationships with Bahamas and most likely erode even further that of other countries. And given the breach of trust involved in this specific instance, is going to have a negative effect in the war against terror and drug cooperation. Not to mention that indiscriminate eavesdropping in an entire population is both overkill an unnecessary for gathering relevant intelligence of any kind.

  • by Triklyn (2455072) on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:22PM (#47041905)

    I'm still much less troubled about NSA surveillance than about what what a forced sale of the clippers means for privacy. And what Brendan Eich's ousting means for free speech. I wish Hitchens were still alive, just to see what his take would be on the current trend of popular suppression.

    It is certainly legal, and proper for popular opinion to move against unpopular ideas in the private arena, so long as government holds itself apart from this censure... but it does not feel good. it does not feel right.

    The NSA can wire-tap the crap out of me, because I don't think they'd do something so capricious as out me to the public. And the public doesn't work through proper channels. Judge, jury, executioner through mob rule.

    Orwell would weep, punishing people for what they think.

  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Monday May 19, 2014 @06:38PM (#47042017)
    Yeahhhh... No.

    Everyone who's anyone is using electronic eavesdropping to supplement their Country's intelligence agenda.

    If the United States took the high ground and refused to engage this, it would be to the detriment of the West, likely including the Country you've posted from.

    This technology is already out there for everyone to exploit.... Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it's hard to get back in.

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:23PM (#47042257) Homepage Journal
    The problem is in some parts of the world is the domestic cost of telco interconnects. It can be cheaper to connect domestic calls via an international peering loop that goes way out past a few other nations and their shared facilities. Kind of hard to re build a decades of contracts and local hardware thats all about reducing costs.
  • by AHuxley (892839) on Monday May 19, 2014 @07:41PM (#47042409) Homepage Journal
    Try and think of what "intercepting data off a network" is really about into todays digitally connected world.
    Thats every private call, legal documents as a fax or junk crypto, every electronic court document, banking records protected with international junk crypto, local contracts been discussed between gov departments before been offered, international contracts been discussed between gov departments, the expensive needs of education, science wrt to costly upgrades, mil and police needs, health, energy policy, food exports, trade with other nations.... Any nation thats opened itself up to that kind of constant "intercepting" is really sinking into colony status with every act, law, deal, contract been seen and fully understood by a few other nations (5++ other nations).
    International tenders become a costly joke with a full understanding of the gov position, needs and price range.
    A digital banana republic, as Argentina had the the English Octopus over rail. Once another nation is in your domestic infrastructure they get to understand and shape policy.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Monday May 19, 2014 @08:04PM (#47042611) Journal

    maybe you're just an idiot or a shill.

    That's where the smart money is betting. NSA has a number of minions tasked with bad-mouthing the man who exposed their billions of felony wiretapping crimes. There are also a few knee-jerk bootlickers who will do likewise.

    -jcr

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @12:08AM (#47043687)

    If the United States took the high ground and refused to engage this, it would be to the detriment of the West, likely including the Country you've posted from.

    And how exactly? Are the evil Internet terrorists going to hack us? Wait I know, maybe some evil foreign spy agency will steal trade secrets from our businesses... oh wait [cbsnews.com].

    This technology is already out there for everyone to exploit

    "But Johny also did it" is the kind of excuse I'd expect from a first grader. Just because someone else engages in something morally questionable doesn't make it ok for you to do it.

    Just stop. This isn't about "defending" anything, but American financial interests. If you honestly believe there is some higher purpose behind the US spying efforts, then you are either extremely naive, or suffering from a severe case of cognitive dissonance.

What ever you want is going to cost a little more than it is worth. -- The Second Law Of Thermodynamics

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