Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Australia Government

NSA Ally Spied on US Law Firm 162

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-so-privileged-communications dept.
mendax points out a story at the NY Times about evidence that the Australian Signals Directorate notified the NSA in 2013 that it was spying on discussions between Indonesia and an American law firm. The information gathered by the Directorate included material covered by attorney-client privilege. The Times says: "Most attorney-client conversations do not get special protections under American law from N.S.A. eavesdropping. Amid growing concerns about surveillance and hacking, the American Bar Association in 2012 revised its ethics rules to explicitly require lawyers to 'make reasonable efforts' to protect confidential information from unauthorized disclosure to outsiders. ... Several newly disclosed documents provide details of the cooperation between the United States and Australia, which share facilities and highly sensitive intelligence, including efforts to break encryption and collect phone call data in Indonesia. Both nations have trade and security interests in Indonesia, where Islamic terrorist groups that threaten the West have bases."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NSA Ally Spied on US Law Firm

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2014 @08:28PM (#46257367)
    This is the best example which embodies the core question, of who prevails: is it the law that is above the government or is it the government above the law. This particular example of spying the law firm which was representing one side simply demonstrated that the United States has been thrown back to pre-Magna carta era. Basically, if you pose a shred of risk to the establishment and you are in court, you have no chances to privacy and a fair trial. Magna carta basically stated that even the king is not above the law. Now we no longer have the laws that are not being broken by overzealous eunuchs, who are only laughing at the rest of the population . Most interestingly, last year Supreme court rejected the supreme court case brought by the lawyers about the client-attorney confidentiality citing that such fears are "unsubstantiated". Supreme court is presided by judge John G. Roberts. This is the same judge, John G. Roberts, who is appointing FISA judges and is heavily involved "overseeing". So, he said he was not aware of spying.... What a scum seated as chief justice of the country
    • by Anonymous Coward

      What TRIAL? It was a trade dispute between Indonesia and the US.
      You are seriously confusing this for something it's not.

      Australia was spying on Indonesia. Wipe the surprise off your face.
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/15/australia-and-indonesia-are-now-in-open-conflict-says-tanya-plibersek

      This whole surveillance debate keeps reminding me of the gun control debate in the US. Every time I see N.S.A. it's like hearing Assault Rifle.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        only the NSA thing doesnt just affect you ignorant fucks in america like the gun control in america thing does. It affects the whole fucking world in one way or another, it makes your technology vendors untrustworthy and questionable to foreign sources.

        It makes the world look down on you even further. It makes people from countries that once supported you think "why the fuck are we supporting them, fuck those guys"

        the NSA thing scope is much greater than your tired gun control debate personally i say flood

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          We've been flooded with guns for over 200 years. Hell I just bought an AR-15 for 500 dollars a couple of weeks ago. Price has been coming down lately.

  • by future assassin (639396) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @08:34PM (#46257397) Homepage

    > where Islamic terrorist groups that threaten the West have bases

    You know if you don't stand up and say enough of this shit its never going to stop. ATM we have a better chance of getting wipped out by a meteor then we do by some bad ass strapped to a bomb. I get almost side swiped at least once per day while driving on the highway. So what if we get attacked once in a while more people are killed by their diets and the chemicals used in food, there's the governmental outrage about these food terrorist companies that are causing serious damage to out health and economy.

    On top of that terrorism is good for the economy and populations control.

    • by shri (17709)

      Cannot find the original post .. but sounds exactly like what Barry, my favorite NSA agent would say.

      NSA - Smile, we know when you're not... [youtube.com]

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      Well as long as we don't get any Nukes I guess it'll be okay. You know these NSA guys have jobs that they like. If they don't have an enemy then there is no reason for those jobs. If they didn't have any terrorists to chase down then they'd have to invent some. Fortunately for job security though there are plenty of them around in places like Indonesia to keep track of. I don't know what you expect a spy agency to do but I can't find myself surprised that they spy on people. What the hell else are th

    • by dkf (304284)

      these food terrorist companies that are causing serious damage to out health and economy

      They can't be terrorists! They make donations to the Republican party.

  • by nefus (952656)
    Am I to understand, that a lawyer is complaining about something sleazy and underhanded? Really? A lawyer? The same guys who sleaze their way to the top, then get political jobs so they can sleazy their way to the top again? They are the ones complaining about something possible being sleazy happening to them? Really? Let me get you a tissue.
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Am I to understand, that a lawyer is complaining about something sleazy and underhanded? Really? A lawyer? The same guys who sleaze their way to the top, then get political jobs so they can sleazy their way to the top again? They are the ones complaining about something possible being sleazy happening to them? Really? Let me get you a tissue.

      Yes, sure, shoot the messenger.
      Bored much today?

    • by Etherwalk (681268)

      Am I to understand, that a lawyer is complaining about something sleazy and underhanded? Really? A lawyer? The same guys who sleaze their way to the top, then get political jobs so they can sleazy their way to the top again? They are the ones complaining about something possible being sleazy happening to them? Really? Let me get you a tissue.

      Also the same guys and girls who are the first to defend the people from government overreach. Who serve nonprofits and NGOs and the public sector and the poor. Some lawyers are assholes. Others dedicate their lives in service.

      Either way, do you really think it's a good idea to have the government listening in when you go to get legal advice about your problems with them or someone else?

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      US lawyers have the legal expectation not to have their work ending up on a US gov file.
      Where will this recording stop? US international legal work is fair game to the US gov?
      All international legal work conducted within the USA is fair game?
      Some international related legal work within the USA is fair game?
      Say your a US defence team working at the US state level:
      At a state level lawyers can be recorded by federal officials so long as they affirm they won't directly help the state case?
      A state case ca
  • by mysidia (191772) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @09:12PM (#46257529)

    Is about material provided in confidence that cannot be used in court.

    There's no reason the appropriate authorities can't listen in, if there is reasonable suspicion that the lawyer may be complicit in a future criminal act.

    There have been cases where the lawyer became complicit in a later crime. case in point: Lynne Stewart. Who perhaps should have been sentenced to death for her treasonous actions.

    Attorney-client privilege protects information pertaining to their case and legal advise. It doesn't protect against prosecution for conspiring with the lawyer, or using the lawyer as a channel to commit further crimes.

    • by AHuxley (892839) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @09:32PM (#46257601) Homepage Journal
      This question surfaces in the US e.g.
      http://www.alaskapublic.org/20... [alaskapublic.org]
      Over time US lawyer and political leaders will have to work out what "appropriate [US] authorities" can subject working US lawyers to within the US or outside the USA.
      In other parts of the world do US lawyers (as citizens) lose all protections working as US lawyers? If they are just tourist the full US protections return?
    • Um wtf? This was a law firm involved in a trade dispute with a third world nation. This is a matter for the National Security Agency?
      • How else can we expect to win the case? It's not like we would win on the merits...

      • Pay attention, the "five eyes" have been engaged in industrial espionage since the end of WW2. The secrecy surrounding Turing's (and others) code breaking techniques lasted nearly 30yrs, they didn't stop using those methods just because the war was over.
    • by russotto (537200)

      Is about material provided in confidence that cannot be used in court.

      There's no reason the appropriate authorities can't listen in, if there is reasonable suspicion that the lawyer may be complicit in a future criminal act.

      Reasonable suspicion? Rather a low bar, considering that "probable cause" is the constitutional requirement for any search. In any case, the use of "parallel construction" means that a bar to using the material in court but not to collecting it in the first place is ineffective.

      • by mysidia (191772)

        Reasonable suspicion? Rather a low bar, considering that "probable cause" is the constitutional requirement for any search.

        Since the patriot act was passed, probable cause was not required for wiretaps. In fact, even reasonable suspicion is not required.

        The intelligence agencies also never needed reasonable suspicion to make efforts to tap into a conversation crossing US borders or taking place outside the US.

        Also, intelligence agencies' partner organizations such as GCHQ could do the tapping and coo

        • by russotto (537200)

          Since the patriot act was passed, probable cause was not required for wiretaps. In fact, even reasonable suspicion is not required.

          Yes, I'm aware that the Patriot Act violates the US Constitution, thank you.

          The intelligence agencies also never needed reasonable suspicion to make efforts to tap into a conversation crossing US borders or taking place outside the US.

          Which might not have been unconstitutional back before they started sharing information with law enforcement agencies, who then made false trails

    • by davecb (6526)
      In Canada at least, the privilege includes protection against publication. See, for example, the Criminal Code, 487.015 (1) (4)(a) where a a judge may exclude material from a document to be published if it is "privileged or otherwise protected from disclosure by law". Privileged communication, by the way, also include material reported to the police, to a lawyer, and in some circumstances to or by an MP.
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @09:25PM (#46257571) Homepage Journal

    Every time you read one of these stories, and are (hopefully) a little bit outraged at how the NSA has dropped every pretense of complying with our Constitution, and has embraced the most despicable aspects of tyrannical rule without any notion of "national defense", you should remember that without the heroic acts of a single young man, and the tireless efforts of a shamefully small handful of journalists and publishers, we would either be ignorant of these monstrous acts or vulnerable to charges of paranoia.

    We now have proof, and government doesn't even deign to make false denials. We have government officials calling for the assassination of Edward Snowden and some of the journalists with whom he entrusted these documents. We have everything we need to make a decision about whether we really consent to be governed in this way.

    There has never been a perfect hero outside of myth. But there are necessary heroes, and Snowden is one of those.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      I have to ask. As pertains to this particular instance, where is the violation of Constitutional law?

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        You're asking the wrong question.

        Where in the Constitution does it allow government to do what the NSA is doing?

        And to answer your question directly, it's the Fourth Amendment, which says,

        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          And of course this is open to interpretation. Spying on overseas communications is generally not interpreted to be a violation of the 4th amendment. You can disagree but SCOTUS is the ultimate decider here. Besides, they can spy to their hearts content and the worst that would happen if they were found to be in violation is that they would not be allowed to use any information gathered in this manner in court.

    • by Fnord666 (889225)
      Well spoken sir.
  • From TFA:

    The Australians have obtained nearly 1.8 million encrypted master keys, which are used to protect private communications, from the Telkomsel mobile telephone network in Indonesia

    Anyone know what this is about? What are that master keys, and what protocol is using them?

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Depends on the country and what cell phone or "internet" packet systems they bought into, upgraded to.
      Think of it as Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act access to your countries telco/isp/billing, credit cards, banking, educational, medical, criminal courts, local gov via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org] been open to Australia and a few other nations :)
      Its the special crypto keys handed over to a countries top law enforcement on buying a national/domestic telco networks for full transparen
  • NSA and Signals Intelligence has the ability to spy on clients and attorneys in jail, in their cells, in court, and in the attorneys office. Signals Intel has the ability to do a variety of imaing techniques, inluding extracting and monitoring thought via Remote Neural Monitoring and TAMI, which is built into satellites and radar. It has many many miles range, and they can also see and hear you through the walls. Juries can also be spied on, along with the judges, and the DA and judges and court officers ar

    • They have mind reading and mind altering radar

      In a country where it's officially believed that the polygraph is Wonder Woman's lasso of truth it shouldn't amaze me so much that people are taking this shit seriously.
      I suggest strstr that you consider reality instead because it's scary enough without going past the wall of voodoo. Real stuff on the public record is able to listen in at range in a variety of situations - for example Theremin's passive bug found in a US Embassy in the 1950's (something about i

      • by strstr (539330)

        I am considering reality. Mind reading radar has been around for ages, since 1976.. and it is backed up by a 1974 patent by a radar systems defense contractor, Robert Malech, who invented it. This is confirmed by Department of Defense / CIA / US DOJ whistleblower Dr. Robert Duncan who also invented many of the systems in use (space / radar weapons).

        On top of that, the page I linked to had a video at the top of NSA whistleblower Russell Tice, who also claims he targeted law firms, journalists, generals, sen

        • by dbIII (701233)
          With respect, we don't even have mind reading medical equipment yet so how the hell are the cartoon superspies going to get it? Aliens?
          • Ask s.petry.

          • by strstr (539330)

            Dr. Robert Duncan already covered it in his book. A brain imaging radar system called Electron Spin Resonance, which is being kept out of hospitals because they'd realize how easy it was to read brainwaves using radar. It's a literal issue of the government keeping the technology classified and out of the hands of the public, so they do not discover the ability. It's for "spy games" and illegal surveillance only, not medical or criminal justice purposes. If we had it for medical and criminal justice purpose

            • by dbIII (701233)
              Thank you for the long post. I can see that you are very enthusiastic about the subject. I suggest listening to "radiolab", the UK's "naked scientists" and/or the Australian ABC radio science show to get a bit of an idea of what's going on and to be less vunerable to wild claims about scientific issues.
              • by strstr (539330)

                You are delusional man. Easily contradicted. There are thousands of victims of these surveillances and abuses around the country. Dipshit.

                I myself was targeted, mind control, directed energy, illegal surveillance, and I can confirm all the capabilities are real.

                Who the fuck mods you up, unless you got a friend to waste his points on you (or you're doing it yourself)?

                • by dbIII (701233)
                  I'm not being modded up. My posts start at 2 because I got modded up a bit some years ago until the karma cap was reached.
                  Also I didn't mean to be condescending and offensive but it probably is coming off that way because I was too brief. The podcasts I listed are from groups independant of lobby or advertising money from the sort of people that worry you. I'll add the "Dr Karl" science talkback podcast to the list as well (http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/stn/podcast.htm). All of those I've listed are
    • You cannot infiltrate their game because they know whos after them, and I am telling you they are able to track and monitor this shit well.

      After the Snowden leak has shown that instead of professionals it's full of politically well connected toy soldier horse judges that couldn't find their arse with an atlas you still believe that?

  • If they are spying on "everybody" then naturally they have not left anybody out? They just better hurry up and release a story about spying on homos. The NSA doesn't want to be called homophobes and have men in make-up demonstrating outside the NSA building do they? Hey! cannot hold the victim status if they are left out of this! Oh and don't forget Jesse Jackson, what ever you do NSA. Thank you Philip. http://child-porn-hacking-and-... [child-porn...mail.co.uk]
  • Which kind of explains why senior Australian and American politicians have been in Indonesia recently..

    Hate to be the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia at the moment..

    Rumour has it that the Indonesians regularly send encrypted birthday greetings for Australian operatives so we will probably just end up with another round of mock outrage and contrition from both sides and then it will be back to the cricket..

    I think that its a shame Shirley Temple Black is dead because now there is no one to lead
  • Did the NSA rearrange bits on the law firm's cable-connected computers?

    That would be a key constitutional trip line.

  • by bl968 (190792) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @02:11AM (#46258337) Journal

    The correct word is partner. The reason they have the five eyes )Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States) is so that they can work their ways around laws in one country by having another country do the spying then sharing the information back to the country that wanted the data to begin with. It's all about getting around the laws and as the article said "The bulletin notes only that the counsel’s office “provided clear guidance” and that the Australian agency “has been able to continue to cover the talks, providing highly useful intelligence for interested US customers.”"

    That means that the information was provided to American intelligence agencies and that they are violating the clear prohibition against spying on Americans.

  • > ... , where Islamic terrorist groups that threaten the West have bases." Yes, and regularly negotiate trade agreements with these terrorists, in this case for buying shrimps (the Buba Gump kind) as was the case for the spying here.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

Working...