The Spyfiles
December 1, 2011 11:57 PM   Subscribe


The Times of India: In parallel to Assange's announcement, Wikileaks' partner released evidence that a French firm helped Muammer Gaddafi's former Libyan regime spy on opposition figures living in exile in Britain.

It had already been revealed that the electronics firm, Amesys, had worked with the Libyan regime -- and French rights groups are attempting to take the group to court -- but Owni's files will prove embarrassing.

They appear to show that a manual provided to Libya to operate a "massive Internet surveillance" set-up known as the Eagle system included the email addresses and pseudonyms of opposition leaders.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:03 AM on December 2, 2011

China's all-seeing eye is Naomi Klein's piece about American companies profiting from surveillance technology. Worth reading, in context of Wikileaks' latest work.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:03 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

This appears to be mainly open source documentation, as in, stuff you could find with a web search. Heck, just by searching for the titles of them, I was able to find some of the documents on the web sites of the companies in question. Not much of a leak, a decent over view of the more non-secret parts of the industry though. The documents that do not seem to be public knowledge seem to have been floating around the Internet for a month or so.

This is as much of a leak as Project Censored's stories every year are censored. Never mistake underreporting for withheld.

If you were looking for a much better overview of stuff like this, I'd recommend more the set of Washington Post articles.
posted by zabuni at 12:24 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

Never mistake underreporting for withheld.

Underreporting does, though, for all practical purposes, pretty much constitute "withheld". I suppose.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:38 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

Umm, itworld criticized exactly that WaPo coverage, zabuni. We've discussed the surveillance software here frequently too, like the FinFisher sales to the Egyptian SSIS, but that's just news coverage.

I donno if these documents constitutes leaks in any traditional sense, but I'm happy that wikileaks has "called these guys out" by cataloging their products as "tools of oppression".

At minimum, this gives activists and human rights organizations some perspective of the scope and character of their opponents toolbox. And hopefully provides impetus for the EFF's Sovereign Keys Project that
seeks to fix our SSL public key infrastructure problems.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:47 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

OK, I so read that as "mass inception."
posted by troublesome at 12:49 AM on December 2, 2011

How to Donate to Wikileaks.
If you want to donate to wikileaks directly, from the U.S bitcoin is the best bet. They accept credit cards and paypal, but only for the Julian Assange and Bradly Manning defense funds.

Anyway I thought they shut down? And why are they back on .org instead of .ch? Strange.
posted by delmoi at 12:52 AM on December 2, 2011

bitcoin is the best bet.

Or postal mail.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:00 AM on December 2, 2011

In conjunction with the WaPo series - Frontline: Top Secret America
posted by timsteil at 1:16 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Umm, itworld criticized exactly that WaPo coverage, zabuni.

Umm, no they didn't. I'm looking at the Google cache of the itworld article (it's not coming up for me), and I'm not seeing any criticism. They name check them in saying that some of the documents comes from the Post. In fact Assange says he got help from them. They criticized the Wall Street Journal for publishing things that were "heavily redacted".
posted by zabuni at 1:27 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Holy crap.
Intelligence companies such as VASTech secretly sell equipment to permanently record the phone calls of entire nations. Others record the location of every mobile phone in a city, down to 50 meters. Systems to infect every Facebook user, or smart-phone owner of an entire population group are on the intelligence market.
. . .
The CIA officials have bought software that allows them to match phone signals and voice prints instantly and pinpoint the specific identity and location of individuals. I thought Enemy of the State was fictional. It seems that what I thought was reality was fictional.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:18 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Are voice prints actually that unique? Especially over a telephone signal? Isn't that like trying to match a finger print of a 32x48 pixel image or something?
posted by delmoi at 2:23 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

I find it interesting to note that Finland doesn't show up on the map of locations for providers of such services. Very interesting.
posted by infini at 2:40 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

I just got chills with the thought of the lists of OWS arrests providing genuine identities of protestors that funnel through various agencies and corporations and so thus it becomes that not only are your phone calls recorded and geotagged but your texts and internet activities are as well even as the corps you rail against begin to reject your economic corpus from the system and your bank accounts close down and your credit cards are canceled and your credit report is flagged "revolutionary" so no one will sell or rent or give you credit on anything and hey good luck with that near-field-payment system we hope you like cash...

I am guessing this hasn't actually happened yet only because there's a belief that the OWS whole thing will just blow over and people will go back to priming pumps and pedalling the machine while they absorb mindless entertainment and empty calories and procreate more good little cogs for the system.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:34 AM on December 2, 2011

Is it my computer or Wikileaks is down?
posted by Tarumba at 6:12 AM on December 2, 2011

looks like it's down for real.
posted by Tarumba at 6:13 AM on December 2, 2011

Try anonymous
posted by adamvasco at 6:29 AM on December 2, 2011

Some day, if they haven't already, privacy activists will start a massive interference programme to generate huge volumes of false or misleading data.

It doesn't look like fighting technology by legal means is an avenue. Disruption is a one way pass to a small, unpadded room. But altering the signal to noise ratio? Enema of the state.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:48 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Derrick Jensen's Welcome to the Machine is a lively overview of where the Surveillance Society is heading.

Like the rest of his work, it is brutally depressing.
posted by Trurl at 6:50 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:42 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

If these are all the capabilities of "lawful interception," I'd hate to see what goes on in the "unlawful interception" circles.

Then again, the difference between "lawful murder" and "unlawful murder" is purely semantic, right Orwell?
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 7:53 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

A digital surveillance company called PANOPTECH? Seriously? Might as well just say 'A subsidiary of EvilSpyNetwork, Inc.'
posted by FatherDagon at 10:13 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

An example of just how behind the tech curved the general populace generally is.

See also: stealth technology, bubble-less SCUBA, etc.
posted by digitalprimate at 10:30 AM on December 2, 2011

I want out.
posted by bongo_x at 10:48 AM on December 2, 2011

Ahh, homunculus' article clarifies the "leak" here : many listed materials were only available to prospective buyers, i.e. governments.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:50 AM on December 2, 2011

You can partially "opt out" from this all this surveillance by convincing regular IM friends to switch to off-the-record messaging, publishing your own GPG public key, etc.

If more internet traffic is encrypted, then many countries won't pony up quite so much money for surveillance, which means less surveillance technology gets developed.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:51 AM on December 2, 2011

('s 'en masse' not 'on mass,' julian)
posted by sexyrobot at 12:38 PM on December 2, 2011

See also: drone, urban

(You want to be safe, don't you?)
posted by Trurl at 1:38 PM on December 2, 2011

('s 'en masse' not 'on mass,' julian)

You'll have to forgive Mr. Assange; he's not a journalist after all.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 2:36 PM on December 2, 2011

... reserves surveillance tech for domestic use.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:37 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

There is less risk in nations developing secret spy software for their own private use than in outsourcing it's development to for-profit companies who then lobbying everybody to buy it. The E.U. and U.S. both outsource an astronomical amount of their spy software development.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:16 PM on December 9, 2011

In other surveillance news: Court revives NSA dragnet surveillance case
posted by homunculus at 5:17 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

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