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Communications Encryption Government Privacy

Nationwide Snooping System Launched In India 98

Posted by timothy
from the obviously-they're-behind dept.
knwny writes "The Times of India reports that 'India has launched a wide-ranging surveillance program that will give its security agencies and even income tax officials the ability to tap directly into e-mails and phone calls without oversight by courts or parliament, several sources said.'" Adds an anonymous reader: "What's chilling is the comments from senior officials indicating that parts of the program are already live, without absolutely any discussion in public about it."
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Nationwide Snooping System Launched In India

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  • Outlook.com (Score:5, Funny)

    by futuramasd (2958127) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @10:49AM (#44060653)
    Outlook.com has NEVER given emails to any agendy to read. When you get Microsoft Outlook, your data is safe.

    Cheers,
    David Futura
    • You don't have to give emails if you don't have any users...
      • by lgw (121541)

        Outlook.com has about as many users as gmail. Yahoo is a distant third. I can't find any user count for icloud, but I think it's still smaller than Yahoo. Interestingly, mail.ru is the only webmail with a high Alexa rank, despite a medium-sized user pool (perhaps the Alexa toolbar is just popular in Russia?).

    • by Geccoman (18319) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @10:51AM (#44060675) Homepage Journal

      Only "data" was shared, not the actual email! Trust us!

    • "Given", eh? Since the protections for electronic communications on the wire are (briefly stated) "Haha, fuck all" and the protections for stored communications are triviallly breached with (at most) a warrant, often a 2703(d) order, sometimes just a nasty note, that isn't terribly helpful even if true.

    • by nickmh (2496180)
      They will, they'll have to, to survive.
  • by stewsters (1406737) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @10:55AM (#44060701)
    This is the real damage the NSA has done in spying on the American people. Now every other country feels like they need it, because the US does. In the west, it used to be bashed as something only oppressive regimes did. Soon it will be everyone.
    • The U.S. sets the international standard. If the U.S. is doing it, it must be okay.

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @11:36AM (#44061145)

      Soon it will be everyone.

      You mean, Soon we will find it has been everyone.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 20, 2013 @11:45AM (#44061209)

      This is the real damage the NSA has done in spying on the American people. Now every other country feels like they need it, because the US does. In the west, it used to be bashed as something only oppressive regimes did. Soon it will be everyone.

      The whole NSA spying is the knee-jerk reaction to terrorism and the stupidity of the US electorate who elected the politicians who enabled the NSA- every asshole in Congress who voted for the PATRIOT Act is as fault here and every person who keeps voting for those assholes is at fault too.

      BUT, our assholes wouldn't have been able to do it if it weren't for other assholes who are under the impression that indiscriminate violence against people (terrorism) will allow them to achieve their goals. I mean, since 9/11, has ANY of Al-Qaeda's goal been achieved?

      No.

      The only thing they caused was further hardships on their Muslim "brothers", increased contempt of the religion they think they follow (Muslims, many look down on you because of Al-Qaeda and their ilk.), and more power to the despots that control their home governments.

      Or let's look at the IRA. The best they got out of the English was a bone thrown to them.

      Who's doing it right? Tibet.

      No matter how hard the Chinese try, they just can't seem to make Tibet look bad. And why is that?

      The Tibetans aren't blowing up towers filled with innocent people.

      • Someone should mod this up.
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by davester666 (731373)

        Actually, yes, I would guess some of their goals have been met since 9/11.

        The US has become more of a police state, with more widespread video camera surveillance and invasion of privacy of it's citizens, crazy airport security, more US resentment in the middle east through our "war on terror".

        The list goes on and on.

        Osama was largely successful in accomplishing his goals. We are cowering, imagining terrorists around every corner. And the US gov't is embracing it, because it has enabled them to greatly ex

      • by hoggoth (414195)

        Sadly, this doesn't seem to have helped the Tibetans much.

    • by cold fjord (826450) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @12:18PM (#44061561)

      This is the real damage the NSA has done in spying on the American people. Now every other country feels like they need it, because the US does.

      Ah, cultural chauvinism.... how on earth could those other people find the way if they didn't have an example to follow? I'll break it to you gently: Neither the terrorism by al Qaida nor the alleged surveillance by the Indian government has much of anything to do with the US. They each have their own independent values, ideals, goals, and work to achieve them. Spying by government and terrorism existed long before the United States, and it wasn't psychic powers anticipating the United States that induced people to engage in those practices then any more than it does today.

      Al Qida wants to restore what they believe to be the lost glory of Islamic civilization of a 1,000 years ago, recreate the Islamic Caliphate that was dissolved in 1923 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, conquer the world for Islam, and convert the world's peoples to Islam. They want to overthrow pretty much all of the existing governments in Muslim nations for not following their strict interpretation of Islam. You may think it is unrealistic, but that is their goal, even if it takes 1,000 years. The existence of nonexistence of the United States has little to do with it. If you want to blame anyone, blame Europe for repelling the Muslim invasion at the gates of Vienna in 1683.

      And when it comes to India, the largest democracy in the world, as a rapidly modernizing country that is supplier of IT talent to the world, why should they be left out of the surveillance sweepstakes? They might have a reasonable concern or two at home, given they have an active Maoist communist insurgency [bloomberg.com], which conducted 351 attacks in 2011 [state.gov], and a bit of a terrorism problem arising from both their neighbor Pakistan and a small fraction of the native 100,000,000 Indian citizens that are Muslim. Maybe you've heard of the Mumbai attack? As it happened: Mumbai attacks 29 Nov [bbc.co.uk] - 195 people dead and hundreds more injured.

      The Indian people and government will have to find their own way, and strike their own balance to match their own conditions, traditions, and laws.

      • Thank you! I'm sick of the prevailing /. attitude to India expressed by people who don't know dick about the place or its complexities.

    • by just_a_monkey (1004343) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @12:31PM (#44061715)

      Yeah. Remember when the main differences between "us" and "them" was that our side did not monitor their subjects' every move, and did not torture people? Those were the days.

    • This is the real damage the NSA has done in spying on the American people. Now every other country feels like they need it, because the US does.

      What you call "damage" others call "export market".

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You don't seem to have any imagination at all! Every other country WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to do this. There will be a NST (Non Snooping Treaty) drafted by the five permanent members of the UN and it will be enforced on all other countries. This NST will also come in handy when we need to destroy a country that has no WMD, ruled by a "dictator" not installed by us etc. Of course a few countries will not sign it for obvious reason.

  • by Pieroxy (222434) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @10:57AM (#44060727) Homepage

    I guess the US government isn't going to blame them publicly... good timing.

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @10:59AM (#44060747) Journal

    They will just do it anyway, a bit more covertly perhaps. Public opinion is bullshit. The majority of us are against war (I assume), yet we are at war. We hate congress, yet reliably reelect almost all of them. Eh, that's politics for ya. Doesn't matter the country.

    • by Gothmolly (148874)

      +1

      People get what they deserve.

    • Having the public outraged against war is what got the soldiers OUT of Viet Nam before they were all massacred. People can do something, the problem is that too many people are currently more concerned with who won American Idol, or the next episodes of Big Brother, etc.

      People need to stop the "I'm not doing something wrong so who cares" attitude. The point is what happens if a wrong number calls you and They ARE doing something bad, you're now "Associated" with that person so they're going go through you you wouldn't believe. And for what ? Receiving a call from a WRONG NUMBER ?

      THATs the problem. They can do what they want, to whomever they wish, for any reason (or no reason other than "Your name looks funny, You must be doing something wrong."

      • by lgw (121541)

        Having the public outraged against war is what got the soldiers OUT of Viet Nam before they were all massacred.

        The US won every major battle in the Veitnam war until they decided to leave. It was perhaps a stupid war in the first place, and the draft was just the start of what was wrong with our armed forces at the time, but we did win fights. In the Tet Offensive, 32 NVA died for every US death - it was as massive a military victory as it was a political defeat.

        Nixon got the troops out. I've always felt he didn't get the credit for that he deserved.

        • Having the public outraged against war is what got the soldiers OUT of Viet Nam before they were all massacred.

          The US won every major battle in the Veitnam war until they decided to leave. ... In the Tet Offensive, 32 NVA died for every US death ...

          All true, but 58,000 US soldiers killed is more than enough for my tastes. The GP can be forgiven a little hyperbole.

          Nixon got the troops out. I've always felt he didn't get the credit for that he deserved.

          Maybe because he got them out years later than he could have.

        • Nixon got the troops out. I've always felt he didn't get the credit for that he deserved.

          Credit?! What the fuck are you talking about [bbc.co.uk]?

        • The US won every major battle in the Veitnam war until they decided to leave. .

          and the US also lost the war long before they decided to leave.

          • South Vietnam might have turned out like South Korea if the Democratic Congress hadn't voted to cut off aid to South Vietnam.

  • The unfortunate new reality is that there isn't much we can do to prevent government snooping. What we can do, however, is either make it so what they find is either useless (encryption and pictures of cats) or stop using the services at all. The more time passes, the more I go the encryption and minimizing use and how much information is sent, uploaded, or posted in the first place.

    • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @11:14AM (#44060945)

      Encryption isn't enough - encrypted communications stand out like a sore thumb as a sign you are hiding something, and the metadata alone can still be powerful if abused. To be truly effective, the encryption needs to be universal - so easy to use that even people who have no idea what encryption is still use it by default. When all the pictures of cats are encrypted, then it'll be all but impossible for any government to extract usable intelligence from the overwhelming flow of trivial noise.

      • agreed, but unless people start using it, it will never reach the point of universal.

        • To be truly effective, the encryption needs to be universal

          unless people start using it, it will never reach the point of universal

          And you won't make it universal until you bake into a popular protocol that's easy to use, that doesn't require extensive setup or pay-to-play, and that doesn't allow the user to trust a suspicious connection. OpenSSH and bitcoin have probably done it best so far, and I'm not sure that's anywhere close enough for the general public.

          Even then, I think we underestimate the arrogance of law... if you successfully made encryption universal, then laws would be passed to force decryption (5th be damned) or mon

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You could take the numbers off your neighbor's house, but then they'll just look for the house next to the house with no numbers.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 20, 2013 @11:30AM (#44061081)

      "Snooping" is when your harmless 80-year-old neighbor peers out between the blinds to see who you've invited over to visit. The term "snooping" implies harmlessness, whereas government (and its fundamental tool of physical force) is anything but harmless.

      What government does is called spying, because government is a coercive authority, not an equal.

      This is similar to how the media constantly uses the term "cracking down" to describe oppression. The term "cracking down" not only implies good intentions, but necessity -- yet the victims of the "crackdown" tell a completely different story, every single time.

      • I agree, I was simply using the terminology used in the blurb posted on Slashdot to keep things clear. Sometimes we're stuck in a given discussion with terms we find less than forthright, and it's better to get into the meat of the issue sometimes than to quibble over terms.

      • by tragedy (27079)

        "Snooping" is when your harmless 80-year-old neighbor peers out between the blinds to see who you've invited over to visit. The term "snooping" implies harmlessness,

        Sure, harmless. Because the "harmless" 80-year-old neighbour has never been a witness at a witch trial or been an informant for the Stasi. For that matter, even outside those extremes, you're acting like "harmless" snooping gossips - especially those with overactive imaginations - have never turned communities against people, destroyed marriages, etc.

      • by mpe (36238)
        "Snooping" is when your harmless 80-year-old neighbor peers out between the blinds to see who you've invited over to visit. The term "snooping" implies harmlessness, whereas government (and its fundamental tool of physical force) is anything but harmless.
        What government does is called spying, because government is a coercive authority, not an equal.


        Except in the smallest of countries "government" spies tend not to be one monolithic entity. Even within the same "agency". India is certainly big enough to
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They will have a database full of Techsupport calls and emails from 1 guy but using 50 diferent account names.

  • by tapspace (2368622) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @11:03AM (#44060811)

    The government is inefficient. That's why, in the US, we've privitized our spying apparatus!

    • What can be privatized can be outsourced. Much ITC related outsourcing goes to India. Lately there has been a trend of Indian firms hiring Americans to do work for them. It is possible that by privatizing and outsourcing technology related spying, things could come full circle and have Americans spying on Americans again, like nature intended.

      Is this a great country, or what?

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @11:05AM (#44060847) Homepage

    We should be buying the more effective American version! Even if it costs 15-20 times as much, it's worth it.

  • Outsourcing Concern (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheAngryMob (49125) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @11:06AM (#44060861) Homepage

    So, does this mean that the Indian Government will get to see everything that's outsourced to India, including US Government contracts?

    Basically, any corrupt Indian official (which apparently, there are more than a few) with access can sell trade and/or government secrets from any outsourced company.

    Way to set the standard NSA.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SoldierII (2785237)

      I am surprised the NSA has not outsourced USA snooping on private citizens to India, perhaps soon enough or next budget cut...

  • Govt fears people who can think out of the box.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Before we start worrying about thinking outside the box, lets try thinking first, inside or out.
  • "Should we do this?"

    "Well, the US does. Oh, if you catch a tax cheat, don't forget to waterboard."

  • by hurwak-feg (2955853) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @11:20AM (#44061011)
    The irony of governments paranoid enough to spy on their own people because they are out to get them is that the spying will make the people out to get them. It seems the adversarial relationship between government and citizens (subjects?) is often strengthened (as in creates further conflict) by the entity with the influence to create a more cooperative relationship. Having a more cooperative attitude and doing whats best for the state is what will keep governments stable and in power. The mindset of the government officials making these decisions seems like the frame of mind someone unfortunate enough to be inflicted with Paranoid Schizophrenia would have. This raises the question of how to we prevent paranoid people from getting into government roles?
  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @11:23AM (#44061031) Homepage
    than the NSA scandal currently sweeping the states. You see, India is under constant threat of terror attacks from surrounding nations and rogue militants that hate its freedom. in order to combat them india needs a system like this, and despite its concerning appearance poses no threat to law abiding citizens. Im sure if you ask anyone involved they can confirm it has already stopped numerous terror attacks.

    the United states however...is under constant....hm....

    The difference is we told a newspaper. so thats different. also, if you took the time to read the article, this surveillance system is in India, and not in America. so that too is a different thing that makes this not the same. Also we dont call it the NSA.
    • by AK Marc (707885)
      I didn't think of it that way, India is in a cold war with China (they have disputed shared borders and such), and is next to Pakistan, who is not always friendly. The US needs to worry about invasion from Canada or Mexico...
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8598159.stm [bbc.co.uk]
    Around 4/2010 I believe..

    India is launching a new census in which every person aged over 15 will be photographed and fingerprinted to create a biometric national database.

    And from the comments..

    I think it is good that we are creating the national database of all our citizens. This will help maintain law and order, minimise crimes and help in locating people responsible for crimes. This will also ensure government benefits reach everybody and we will
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      India is launching a new census in which every person aged over 15 will be photographed and fingerprinted to create a biometric national database.

      We basically have that here, except it's more like 17 or 18. Can't do shit without a government-issued photo ID, and who believes that all that data isn't copied from the states directly to the feds?

    • by mpe (36238)
      India is launching a new census in which every person aged over 15 will be photographed and fingerprinted to create a biometric national database.
      And from the comments..
      I think it is good that we are creating the national database of all our citizens. This will help maintain law and order, minimise crimes and help in locating people responsible for crimes. This will also ensure government benefits reach everybody and we will know who is left out. It will help individuals in getting house or land registr
  • But just wait.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tekrat (242117) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @12:48PM (#44061923) Homepage Journal

    When China implements the exact same system, the US will criticize it as a human rights violation. And when China decides it also wants to spy on US citizens, the US will call it "hacking".

    Hey, NSA... you see what you've done? You've made it so that the very idea of privacy seems 'illegal" now somehow, that if you want privacy, you must be trying to hide something, so now, everyone in the world will want to snoop on everyone else in the world.

    Do you see what you've done? You've proven that Ted Kaczynski was *right*.

  • Our government has rewritten the fundamental agreement between We, the People and itself. The rewrite changes the fundamentals of how our system of We, the People and government works. It did so in secret. That is a coup. The rewrite makes our government sovereign. The Constitution acknowledges that We, the People, are sovereign. Thus, the coup is also Treason. The US government is now the most powerful government in history, as it has detailed blackmail information on all of its own citizens and many
  • ....they sell to a bunch of countries, supposedly over 160, including China, Iran, Bahrain, Syria, the USA and India, and then each country simply tweaks it a mite and calls it by a different name, but it's still the Trovicor Monitoring Center, the state-of-the-art in automated intel platforms!
    • by mpe (36238)
      ....they sell to a bunch of countries, supposedly over 160, including China, Iran, Bahrain, Syria, the USA and India, and then each country simply tweaks it a mite and calls it by a different name

      Given that there are only around 200 countries there can't be many not on the list.
  • Survelience State (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nickmh (2496180)
    Not many seem to get how close to tyranny we are getting! The next economic crisis will probably finish democracy and any semblance of individual freedom off. The collective is gaining ground aided by the state. All we'll end up is one collective competing against the other. And it’ll all be for the "Common good". When you manage to get the focus of individuals onto the "common good". Any denial of individuality and freedom/s can be justified. Not long now tick tick tick.....
  • How do they intercept e-mail for people that use US-based ISP like gmail? Do they have a deal with gmail to have direct access like the NSA does?

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