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Saturday, June 08, 2013

Big Brother is back in the news

Nick Clegg may have killed off the Snooper's Charter but that does not mean that it is not business as usual for the spooks at GCHQ and their American allies in the routine monitoring of communications traffic.

The Independent reports on claims that thousands of Britons could have been spied on by GCHQ under what they describe as a “chilling” link to a secret American operation covertly collecting data from the world’s largest internet companies.

They say that under a progranme called Prism, American agents were able to glean data, including the contents of emails and web-chats, direct from the servers of major providers including Facebook, Google and Yahoo:

It emerged that some of the information had been passed to GCHQ, raising fears that the agency had been sidestepping the usual legal process for requesting intelligence material about UK nationals. The agency insists it operates within a “strict legal and policy framework”.

According to documents, GCHQ received 197 intelligence reports through the Prism system in the 12 months to May 2012, a rise of 137 per cent on the previous year.

Clearly, this raises many questions some of which will be asked in Parliament over the next few weeks. I don't suppose we should be surprised that this activity goes on, what is shocking is the extent of it, that there is no legislative framework for it and the fact that the UK Government, although complicit, had no oversight of the process and method of collection of the data.


I think it is more than 'passed to GCHQ'.

As I understand it GCHQ staff are routinely seconded to work at the National Security Agency HQ in the USA.

t is part of the close entanglement between US and UK intelligence services that provides a 'special relationship' and gives the UK a lot of intelligence service coverage.

I believe it would be interesting to ask whether threats to end this relationship were a factor in persuading Blair to support the Iraq War adventure. And whether the whole snoopers charter and secret courts uproars in the current government are spurred on by implied threats from the USA to end this close cooperation.

NSA/CIA/Pentagon/SAIC folks live all around the area I live in - you actually get to hear them chat on their 'smart phones' in the supermarket. They don't always hide who they are - but broadcast it by speaking loudly while food shopping. If China wants to spy on them, just get a job stacking supermarket shelves and hang out at 7-Elevens and parking lots - it seems this species of human actually like to fluff out their feathers like peacocks especially when there are lots of folks around.
Overheard in the International aisle at a local supermarket: 'Kabava is a CIA asset, we got her - hesitation - ten years ago now'; it’s gotten to a point that there are lots of supermarket workers with various accents working in local supermarkets – just a coincidence? Who knows, but might also be a ruse by the CIA/NSA/whoever to plant misinformation via loud one- way cell phone conversations to spread dissension back at the Russian/Chinese/whatever Embassies. All the same, I would like to know who ‘Kabava’ is – Putin’s mistress? I’m hanging out at local Starbucks – there are so many spies around here its fun to watch them listen in on each other’s cell phone chats. Just like episodes out of “The Americans” staring Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell – a “Washington DC couple” – actually they live on the VA side of the Potomac. Or maybe not.
This Snowden geyser; so he's the NSA whistle blower, worked for a contractor to the NSA - he was one of the guys talking loudly on his cell phone! I recognize him! He was in his own world with ear phones plugged into his cell phone/music thingy. I figured he was a contractor for nearby SAIC (NSA's main contractor; Science Applications International Corporation). They rent space in Skyline - my apartment faces it. What a coincidence!!! He shopped in Target - which backs onto the big SAIC building. Small world, one of my FB friends works in public relations for SAIC - not that I have spoken to her much since she got hired there. I guess she must have a security clearance. Wow. Small world isn't it. (This poster believes in mermaids, or maybe not ... Q X-files music)...

Wow, this gets better (please don't tip off the Western Mail) ... the Starbucks close to the SAIC - is the famous Starbucks with chairs and stuff outside so that people can sit and smoke on the sidewalk- this is incredible - this Starbucks is heavily penetrated by the FBI counter terrorism branch - in fact you name it, it crawls with **interested parties** and it’s a stone throw away from SAIC … the NSA’s biggest contractor.

I drive right past it most days that I drive to Safeway for food shopping (their bananas are better than nearby GIANTS bananas and they have a SunTrust bank in the store with an ATM) ... what a small world we live in ... if anything is going down in Washington DC that involves a Middle East connection - it's talked about at this Starbucks ... wow is all I can say/write... I once saw a plate that read “Shahab-X” – this is the name of one of Iran’s ballistic missiles – I think it was Shahab-3 … but I can’t remember – I do remember tipping off VA’s DMV, but they assured me that there was no car with those plates – curious – the Corolla car that transported part of the 9-11 crew (that flew into the WTC and Pentagon and crashed into a field in PA – they drove across country with their inward phone calls from the Middle East intercepted by the NSA – but at that time the NSA’s ‘Big Ears’ were only allowed to point away from the USA and they could not intercept outgoing phone calls from US citizens – there was a debate about what constituted “citizens” under “Big Ears”. Hayden (former director of the NSA) wrote about this issue/problem in his book – title temporarily escapes me). So the NSA tracked this Corolla carrying part of the crew by listening into incoming phone calls – it was like weird, and they were not allowed to tip of the FBI (who had the authority to listen into outgoing calls – with a subpoena).

Anyways, this Corolla and its passengers (being tracked by NSA) drove to Northern Virginia (near Washington, DC) and spent a night in a motel in Arlington (next to Washington, DC) … and guess where this Starbucks is … yes just across the county line from Arlington … wow … and nearby is SAIC. Wow.

I always figured all cell phone chats routed through the nearest cell phone base stations were recorded and analyzed by NSA – it would make sense … this Starbucks is ‘THE’ Starbucks for Middle East business … and I can see it from my balcony … its at the far end of a parking lot – I can see it from my balcony if its not misty or raining. Wow. My mum’s medical aid buys coffee there as she walks to our apartment to help shower and dress my mum.

No connections between SAIC/Snowden and that Starbucks that I know of, but hey, so many coincidences here. Q X-Files music …


This NSA stuff … who knows what the spies know or think they know, but the coffee shop and wine bar staff know – they hear this ‘spy stuff’ all the time especially at Starbucks and bars around Georgetown where peacocks like to display their plumage.

But just don’t take my word for it just go to any bar in Georgetown.

Just don’t take notes – your hands or feet might get run over.

Fall Out from NSA continues… Cardiffian advises patrons of Starbucks in Falls Church to learn Welsh – “There’s not enough people at the NSA who can translate Middle Eastern dialects spoken in Welsh”.


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