It’s Saturday and the news is hitting the Guardian. The news of NSA reforms to end government storage of call data. For those who are stupid enough to think that this is a good thing, I reckon they should think again. The article asks a few questions. Questions I had voiced for some time and the people behind the screens have been very careful to play a game where they are not just in the place to set conditions, they will determine what will be stored, where it will be stored and how it will be sold. It was the one fear that people needed to have. If you are over 40, it does not matter where on the planet you live. Ask yourself the one question. ‘What if the insurer knew your actual health status?’ How scared are you now? Be afraid! This was on the table for a long time.
Quite literally, the structural discontinue of choice.
So, how do I get from one piece of information to the other one?
Consider the article as it is today (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/17/obama-nsa-reforms-end-storage-americans-call-data)
The first point is “The government will no longer store the phone call information of millions of Americans. But he did not say who should maintain the information, instead giving the intelligence community 60 days to come up with options.”
The next one is “The US government had to be held to a ‘higher standard’ than private corporations that store user data or foreign governments that undertake their own surveillance.” This implies that the higher standard is a hindrance. This is the part that had to be shed. So, like the private contractors in the past as the intelligence industry ended up with invoices in access of 175%, whilst employing the services of the same people (who all went into business for themselves). We now face a similar change. So, was Edward Snowden a traitor? If the view as I see it is correct, then this implies that he did exactly what was required of him. The question is, was this what the NSA had in mind from the very beginning?
This is where the third quote comes into play “‘What I did not do is stop these programs wholesale, not only because I felt that they made us more secure, but also because nothing in that initial review, and nothing that I have learned since, indicated that our intelligence community has sought to violate the law or is cavalier about the civil liberties of their fellow citizens,’ Obama said.”
Yes, he did not stop them wholesale, they are about to become corporate controlled and accessible for all who have the access ticket and the money to pay for the invoice.
There is another part to this. Did anyone consider how nervous certain people in Wall Street were; if their mobile information was known? What if certain links were proven? The accountability of certain people would mean that they could actually end up in jail. Yes, the Wimpy kid in the Oval Office is making certain that certain connections will never end up there (always blame the man at the very top).
Again another notch in the thought patterns and evidence that I call ‘the plan’ that was conceived some time ago. So, where is the evidence? If there is no sustainable thought, then this is just conjecture and conspiracy theory. There is already plenty of that on the internet. So, let me take you back and go over the points.
It started last year when I first wrote ‘The Hunchback of the NSA’ on June 11th. It shows the career of Edward Snowden as it has been told by several media outlets. The first part of the evidence was clear for all to see. He claims to be disillusioned with the CIA and joins the NSA. There he gets into the data program at some stage (and no one thought it was good idea to keep their eyes on him).
On the 23rd of June I write ‘Who are the watchers?’ the one linked element here is the quote “Snowden told the Guardian, ‘They [GCHQ] are worse than the US’“. This is part of the issue. You see, whatever the USA decides, once the issues are truly revealed the cyber units of the allies will be the dangers. The ‘evidence’ seems to be all about how worse others are. The parade that the Guardian starts pays off and soon thereafter Sir Iain Robert Lobban as well as his peers at five and six end up in a public interview seat. Considering the article he wrote ‘Countering the cyber threat to business‘ (at http://www.gchq.gov.uk/press_and_media/news_and_features/Documents/directors_IoD_article.pdf), might be seen as an actual indicator that he has been ahead of the pack by miles for some time, it could just be seen by itself as a good manifesto to start keeping yourself safe.
There is one quote at the centre of all this “GCHQ is aware of theft of IP on a massive scale. The volume of attacks on industry continues to be disturbing.” I will get back to this later on, what is important are the three points the director sets out and more important, how they could also be seen.
• Have you identified your organisation’s key information assets and the impact it would have on your organisation if they were compromised or your online services were disrupted?
[Alternative: what data is bankable?]
• Have you clearly identified the key threats to your organisation’s information assets and set an appetite for the associated risks?
[Alternative: what data is accessible?]
• Are you confident that your organisation’s most important information is being properly managed and is safe from cyber threats?
[Alternative: the value management of data you think you own]
The alternative are not just views I opt for, consider that the data collection field goes into open commercial hands as it could be presented by March 31st, what are your options to purchase certain buckets of data (which will be shown down later on in this article)?
On the 1st of July I wrote ‘Classes of classification’
The two issues here are “So if we consider the digital version, and consider that most intelligence organisations use Security Enhanced Unix servers, then just accessing these documents are pretty much a nono. EVEN if he had access, there would be a log, and as such there is also a mention if that document was copied in any way. It is not impossible to get a hold of this, but with each document, his chance of getting caught grows quicker and quicker. He did not get caught.”
“It does not matter whether he is the IT guy. The NSA has dozens upon dozens of them, and as such, the fact that he was able to syphon off such a wide area of information (and get it out of the building) is more than just questionable.”
It comes back to getting data out of the NSA. The fact that this was done considering their security, can we even allow data in commercial hands, a place where it is all about saving cost? It is opening a field where data is no longer safe in any shape or form, more important, the multi-billion dollar of extra costs as they would be presented down the line will be far beyond out imagination.
Most of the issues as I set them out were also discussed on October 29th in ‘The Wrong questions’. There my train of thought was “What if Snowden is not the person he claims to be. I still think he is a joke at best, a patsy at worst. What if the leak is NOT a person?”
The issues at play, I got to this point before, but until now I did not consider that this all might have been about commercialisation of a multi-billion dollar industry. The reason is that it could cost America well over 20% more to get someone else to do it, so selling data would be an implied consequence to keep the cost down for the US treasury.
Now we get to the last part of the equation from my article on November 22nd called ‘Ignoring corporate dangers’
There I reported “2009 National Intelligence A Consumer’s Guide”, where at page 52 it states “The Act specifies that OIA shall be responsible for the receipt, analysis, collation, and dissemination of foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence information related to the operation and responsibilities of the Department of the Treasury.”
The article shows more and it shows the direct link between the treasury and the need for a commercial future through data. I mentioned earlier about buying a bucket of data? Well, here you have it. The issue as it is shown with links in the articles to official government documents. They all have one thing in common, when it all changes into non-government hands, their mandates would not change. However, those who will be able to get access to the data, that list will change by a lot. They only need to pay the invoice, which might end up being like buying data files from a chamber of commerce or a statistical data bureau; it will however have a lot more data.
Here we get to the question I promised to answer earlier. The issue of IP theft on a massive scale! I am not stating that someone’s server is getting emptied from the outside, but consider knowing who is where and how their situation is. There is an interesting read at http://www.mcgrathnicol.com/news/Documents/011211_Inhouse Counsel_Unearthing the Electronic Evidence.pdf. It does not just show how relative easy it often is to get IP valued information, the data collection once commercialised could give competitors information on the players are at the centre of new intellectual property.
So, now we get to that question I asked in the beginning: ‘What if the insurer knew your actual health status?’ that is no longer a question. The information could be buried in the mega amounts of data that has been collected in so many ways. When the data is no longer in government hands, they could become available. So, when your premium goes up by +20%, be sure to thank those people claiming that the government could not be trusted; they opened the door ending many of our freedoms of choice.