Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Speaker: The plan against the rebuild,

    One of the editors of the book, Barnaby Bennett, has written this helpful summary: A voters guide to the Christchurch rebuild for the rest of NZ

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interview: Glenn Greenwald,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery,

    Useful list of some things Snowden has been right about, from today's Angela Vance interview with Greenwald:

    Documents released by Snowden last year revealed that the NSA intercepted the mobile phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Australia became embroiled in a massive diplomatic row when it emerged it snooped on Indonesia president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife Kristiani Herawati and government officials. The files also blew open covert interception points at Australian embassies and diplomatic posts across Asia, going as far back as 2007.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery, in reply to adam hyde,

    Attachment

    “Communications of NZers”..not communications collected by NZ…there is a big difference….this info could have been collected by other systems and collected about NZers in or outside of NZ.

    The dots are not yet joined….

    There’s other evidence than Snowden’s claim for saying that X-Keyscore is shared with the GCSB. Note the pic in this comment, which comes from this 2008 NSA presentation. In the larger version, the X-KeyScore location seems to be Waihopai. And he doesn't say "other systems", he says X-Keyscore.

    You just seem to be splitting hairs now. I don’t see how you can credit his other revelations around the same technologies and exclude this one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery, in reply to adam hyde,

    Snowden says there is a button. Great. A button. If someone had asked (and I hope one of you Journos has the chance to ask him!) ‘did you conduct a search and gather results that you know came from NZs own systems’ ..plus a follow up ‘how do you know it came from NZ?’- and he says gives a credible detailed answer, then we are somewhere. But he hasn’t done that. He has said there is a button. We need more than this.

    I can’t be bothered transcribing the video right now, but if you read Snowden’s Intercept article, recommend and linked to in my original post, he says this:

    At the NSA I routinely came across the communications of New Zealanders in my work with a mass surveillance tool we share with GCSB, called “XKEYSCORE.” It allows total, granular access to the database of communications collected in the course of mass surveillance. It is not limited to or even used largely for the purposes of cybersecurity, as has been claimed, but is instead used primarily for reading individuals’ private email, text messages, and internet traffic. I know this because it was my full-time job in Hawaii, where I worked every day in an NSA facility with a top secret clearance.

    He’s said a hell of a lot more than “there is a button”.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery, in reply to David Hood,

    Didn’t he describe it as a set of Federated data stores of the various countries, if so I would read it as including/ excluding a particular country’s data store.

    Yes, as I said above, he described it as federated search.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery, in reply to adam hyde,

    2. For anyone that knows software, Snowdens point in the Intercept Op Ed that “analysts have a checkbox on a top secret system that hides the results of mass surveillance in New Zealand ” means absolutely nothing. For someone that knows software like Snowden its shocking to think he could make such an obviously weak argument. Software UI (if that is really what he is refering to) exposes nothing about the processes behind the UI. It leads me to wonder again if they actually have any hard data that can show how complicit NZ is..

    Really? It seemed straightforward to me. Just setting the filter on a federated search application, which is what X-KeyScore is. If the box is ticked, the user sees New Zealand data. I honestly don’t see the problem here.

    the whole thing makes me feel queasy as I can’t help but think that both Greenwald and Snowden undermined their credibility with the very shallow evidence they tabled.

    Not feeling good about this, not just for NZ but for the world. I hope no one outside of NZ took any notice and Greenwald and Snowdens credibility is not tainted outside of these shores….

    Again, really? In three days Greenwald flushed out two surveillance programmes the government hadn’t thought to tell us about, which were implemented at a very sensitive time. First Cortex and then, after Greenwald had named it, Speargun today. Key first admitted that cable taps take place and then, today, that NSA staff work in New Zealand. All stuff we didn’t know.

    There is a basic problem with much of what Snowden tookwith him in that it’s presentational material. The first couple of stories from the documents – published too hastily – and were confusing in parts because of that (Powerpoint slides don't have fine print). But the fact that Snowden (and I had my doubts initially) has consistently been correct surely has a bearing on his credibility. It’s one way we judge any other witness – why not him?

    The thing now is for local journalists to work out what questions to ask next.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I get the feeling I should take your abuse as high praise Steve.

    No, you really shouldn’t.

    Steve, this has nothing to do with the topic and I've better things to do than moderate this thread. Like finally eat some damn lunch ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery,

    Hi folks. Keep it nice!

    I’ve just done an interviewl with Greenwald, which I’ll write up for tomorrow (it’s going to be a bitch to transcribe – the man speaks many words per minute).

    One point of interest: he told me he didn’t veto Dotcom’s Warner email as such, but did express the view that there were “better ways to use the time” at the Moment of Truth event.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Mo' Nina, in reply to Alan Perrott,

    Yes, sadly. He died overnight in Auckland Hospital.

    He'd been away in New York and LA and must only just have got back.

    Grant McDougall is working on a tribute, which I'll post as soon as he's done.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

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