A Hard Look at Prism, China and Global Privacy – John Gelmini

English: Petards ANPR camera on mobile ANPR us...

English: Petards ANPR camera on mobile ANPR use – Police Car (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A model of the GCHQ headquarters in Cheltenham

A model of the GCHQ headquarters in Cheltenham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Logo of the People's Daily 中文: 人民日报题字

English: Logo of the People’s Daily 中文: 人民日报题字 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The London congestion charge scheme uses 230 c...

The London congestion charge scheme uses 230 cameras and ANPR to help monitor vehicles in the charging zone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I thank Dr Alf for reblogging the article entitled ‘Prism’ burns America’s Internet supremacy, published by People’s Daily Online in China. I would like to share my views.

I think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

The People’s Liberation Army in China has something like 4 million plus cyber warriors which have been hacking into the networks of Western Corporations and businesses for years, the Russians have 2 million people doing this within the GRU, the Indian Government is going down this road and all major powers engage in the practice of spying.

As an afficionado of Sun Tzu, it is interesting to note that he devotes an entire chapter to the use of spies in his masterpiece “The Art of War”.

What the NSA, GCHQ and their Western equivalents are doing, amongst other things, is trying to counter the wholesale theft of economic secrets and data and remove hackers from the networks of Governments and our major corporations.

Clearly they are only succeeding up to a point, which is why private sector companies like Mandiant, featured on the front cover of Fortune magazine, which exposed the hacking from a building in Shanghai of the New York Times, are doing so well.

Edward Snowden is not some sort of hero and his motivation has to be questioned.He is a traitor who may have been working for a foreign power who broke his solemn oath.This he did not because he was abducted and tortured or injected with Skopolomine truth serum, which might be understandable, but because of some other reason which we can only guess at.Had he been Chinese or Russian and done the same thing, he would not be at large hiding in an airport in a foreign country, free to reveal names and data to a newspaper like the Guardian and cause consternation to his former employer Booz Allen and to those he worked with whose trust he abused.

Moving on to privacy, there is very little of it in China, France, the USA, the UK or Russia, situations which have existed for years.The UK. for example, has 1 camera for every 12 people and up to 400 photographs of people are taken every day, mobile phones even in roaming mode emit a signal allowing a person to be tracked 24 hours a day and all electronic payment transactions are logged. ANPR logs are held by the police for up to 2 years (they say) which means driving patterns matched to number plates and matched to people are there to be interrogated.

We should assume, wherever in the world we live, that whatever e-mails we write, and whatever we say on a telephone, Skype call or mobile our every utterance and keystroke is logged and can be listened to or retrieved for later analysis.

In short, privacy is dead and everyone spies on everyone else just as they have since the beginning of time.

John Gelmini

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Germany blasts Britain over GCHQ’s secret cable trawl | UK news | The Guardian

This is a MUST READ article from the Guardian. Check it out!

via Germany blasts Britain over GCHQ’s secret cable trawl | UK news | The Guardian.

Yesterday, we saw China challenge the US over its spying activities and later it was reported that President Putin was prepared to offer Russian protection to Edward Snowden; although following US pressure Putin later said that Snowden was merely in transit. In the latest twist in this saga, Germany has challenged the UK about infringing privacy rights of German citizens. Here is a flavor:

The German justice minister, in her letters to Grayling and May, asks for clarification of the legal basis for Project Tempora and demands to know whether “concrete suspicions” trigger the data collection or whether the vast quantities of global email, Facebook postings, internet histories and phone calls are being held for up to 30 days as part of a general trawl.

It seems that German citizens have been seriously angered by the US/UK spying activities. Germany, of course, has the powerful Federal Constitutional Court of Germany to protect its citizens and the German Government always responds to it with care and respect.

In further twists, we hear that the UK has been blocking European moves for great privacy rules in Europe. Finally, the article picks up an attack from David Davis, the UK MP:

Writing in the Guardian, the former Conservative leadership contender David Davis disputes that view, saying Britain’s intelligence agencies are only subject to law in theory.

He accuses GCHQ of circumventing “inconvenient laws” by handing over personal data to the US and raises the prospect of “extremely serious violation” of the rights of British citizens over the use of their personal data.

Personally, I think that Germany has been right to challenge David Cameron’s Government for debasing privacy. However, I am saddened that David Cameron’s Government seems to be giving  so little weight to  individual liberties .

As a final open question I ask:

What ever happened to the traditional values of the UK Conservative Party?

Conservative Party (UK)

Conservative Party (UK) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any thoughts?

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