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German Intelligence Agency Planning To Follow Big NSA Brother On Shoestring 80

Posted by timothy
from the ironie-und-sarcasmus dept.
An anonymous reader, tongue in cheek, writes"Facebook, Twitter, et al are tools for terrorists planning to do whatever terrorists do, Germany's BND has discovered. Inevitably, real-time monitoring of these sites is necessary and urgently required [original, in German], not least because that Snowden chap has shown we're running behind the U.S. and UK. And Spain. And Italy. In short, it's a national emergency — 300 million euros, presto please — and if we do this smartly, we could even get a sense of what the population outside Germany thinks. And while we're at it, why not throw in automated enemy face recognition too — and biometry and-and a program to deform the faces of our own spies' selfies, so the enemy cannot google them. Time to invest in national security startups."
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German Intelligence Agency Planning To Follow Big NSA Brother On Shoestring

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  • And while we're at it, why not throw in automated enemy face recognition too

    Is that a synonym for kufiya recognition these days? Because, you know, these things are roughly equal when it comes to accuracy these days. /s

  • Staatssicherheit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    German intelligence wants to know what people are thinking? It sounds like they are doing this for the security of the state, "Staatssicherheit".

    Again.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31, 2014 @06:00AM (#47134861)

      Well, Homeland Security... just that name is chilling.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31, 2014 @06:17AM (#47134887)

        Well, Homeland Security... just that name is chilling.

        You'd have thought that in 2001-2002 someone would have pointed that out to them. The optics of it are so goddamn Commie you couldn't have used that name in a 1980s/Cold War dystopian sci-fi movie without it being obvious that anyone who uses language like that is a Really Bad Guy.

        And yet they did. Right in front of us. While those of us who got the "joke" were called them on it. And it worked anyways.

      • by rasmusbr (2186518)

        Well, Homeland Security... just that name is chilling.

        Staatssicherheit meant "security of the state" where "state" refered to the government, so it really meant "security of the government". The main purpose was probably to make sure the East Germany stayed loyal to the Kremlin.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31, 2014 @05:57AM (#47134859)

    ... would result in technocratic tyranny where robots and automated identification run rampant as the clueless masses entertain themselves to death in a stupor after the hours of stress at work.

    • by MRe_nl (306212) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @06:56AM (#47134955)

      Terry Gilliam, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Karl Marx, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven?

    • by stenvar (2789879)

      Germany has been hostile to capitalism for as long as capitalism has existed. Since Germany never had capitalism, it can't actually end there.

      Widespread, heavy government control of citizens has been part of German culture for centuries. For Germany, this is nothing new.

    • by umghhh (965931)
      what work? The way this is going these days is that due to interdependent changes in economy, technology, organization etc the masses will be less and less employable. Other than that the diagnosis with tyranny is correct, I think.

      I recall reading "The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate The World" in 2011 and thinking how this can evolve and what about things Morozov did not write, because he maybe did not know (or did not dare to write, being afraid of tin foil hat label etc). I have also an impression tha

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's urgent to spend more money on collecting more data than we can analyze. The KGB won the spy war hands down, yet USSR lost the cold war hands down. That's how important spies are to national security.

    • by greenbird (859670) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @10:45AM (#47135597)

      The KGB won the spy war hands down, yet USSR lost the cold war hands down.

      Hmmm...I'm guessing you mean the KGB won the foreign espionage battle. Apparently they didn't do so good on the domestic espionage front or they would likely still be here. What it seems you don't understand is none of these programs have anything to do with foreign espionage or counter terrorism for that matter. They're all about domestic espionage, that is spying on and controlling dissent within your own population.

  • ...is that Germany is much closer to being a true and functioning democracy. I don't see how this would come through the Bundestag, the German parliament, without being at least watered down, viz. being quietly forced into starvation as soon as a left-leaning government comes into power.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Of course the world revolves around the USA.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31, 2014 @06:41AM (#47134931)

        Of course the world revolves around the USA.

        For now.

        Ignorance feeds the thought that it's always been this way.

        Stupidity feeds the thought that it's sustainable.

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      Like the last left-leaning government that did more damage to the nation's healthcare, social security, employee protection, financial market regulation and other sectors than the previous conservative government could've ever dreamed during its 16 years of majority?

    • ...is that Germany is much closer to being a true and functioning democracy. I don't see how this would come through the Bundestag, the German parliament, without being at least watered down, viz. being quietly forced into starvation as soon as a left-leaning government comes into power.

      Nope, it will be as usual.

      "Diplomacy" is absolutely necessary (all governments know that the others are spying, too, which is important for secret behind-the-scenes deals, so nobody can just STOP spying just because the masses are against it). The spying will go on, while the politicians - in public - will claim to be against it. So when the next Snowden shows up and publishes proof that spying indeed DOES happen, the politicians can claim to not have known about it, some heads will roll, the politicians

    • by silanea (1241518)

      ...is that Germany is much closer to being a true and functioning democracy. [...] as soon as a left-leaning government comes into power.

      That is, I am afraid, a very naive view. Our social democrats, the SPD, - I assume that is what you meant with left-leaning - have earned themselves the nickname "Verräterpartei" ("traitors' party") amongst those who care about civil rights for the strong discrepancy between their election pledges and their actual voting in parliament. The party's functionaries usually state afterwards that they agreed to rights-infringing laws "mit Bauchschmerzen" ("with bellyache"); that phrase has become a meme ov

    • by stenvar (2789879)

      I don't see how this would come through the Bundestag, the German parliament, without being at least watered down, viz. being quietly forced into starvation as soon as a left-leaning government comes into power.

      The same way that the government of Brandt that gave the NSA a carte blanche to spy in Germany.

      ...is that Germany is much closer to being a true and functioning democracy

      If by "true and functioning democracy", you mean a mix of right wing populism, left wing demagoguery, technocracy, and corporate cr

      • by aliquis (678370)

        Democracy Index:
        http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org]

        #1 Norway, 9.80/10.00
        #4 Sweden, 9.50/10.00
        #14 Germany, 8.34/10.00
        #19 USA, 8.11/10.00

        8-10 is condisered functioning democracy.

        #119 Russia, 3.92/10.00
        #141 China, 3.14/10.00
        #167 North Korea, 1.08/10.00

    • by cpghost (719344)
      I wouldn't place my hopes on the Bundestag. They are being controlled by a grand coalition of CDU and SPD, both parties being traditionally more pro-surveillance than pro-civil rights.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @06:45AM (#47134941)

    25 years too late, his wet dream coming true.

  • by Flytrap (939609) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @07:29AM (#47135003)

    Facebook, Twitter, et al are tools for terrorists planning to do whatever terrorists do

    Sounds eerily like the same thing that dictators have been saying for years when citizens organise themselves on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

    Heck, it was just two short years ago that we were hailing the ability for the common folk in Arab countries to organise themselves on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, outside the watchful eye of state agencies, and plot the often violent overthrow of an unpopular government.

    Surely if organising violent protest action on social networks was good for the Arab Spring, it should be good for the European Spring

    So... what has changed... have the roosters come home to roost!?

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      So... what has changed... have the roosters come home to roost!?
      The German and French police experiences of the 1970's and 1980's via peace, workers, law reform groups and the use of early computer networks is been folded into everyday policing.
      Facial recognition, computer learning/tracking of written web 2.0 content, voice and web cam collection are all part of keeping one step ahead of the formation of all protest groups.
      After individuals have been identified they can be tracked, sorted and appropria
  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @07:32AM (#47135009)
    If you are going to make the claim that terrorism happens on facebook and twitter, how about showing posts that this happens, because I have a hard time believing that anyone but the most incompetent terrorists would do so, and we can catch incompetent terrorists without sacrificing civil liberties.
    • It's all part of the 'create-fear-by-telling-lies' departments. It has been all the way since 9/11. FUD at its best.
    • by aliquis (678370)

      I'm in a Facebook group against safari park hunting, pro-animal rescuing (think animal shelter and adoption) and freedom to all the animals in meat factories and fur farms.

      Now I don't know whatever they are active but I'm sure at least the later count as "terrorism" by some.

      • by aliquis (678370)

        and freedom to all the animals in meat factories and fur farms.

        Now I don't know whatever they are active but I'm sure at least the later count as "terrorism" by some.

        It's like helping someone slaves escape. WTF! You bastard what have you done!?

  • I live in Austria and for the past decade there has been a steady stream of news indicating that several European governments have on going programing which are similar and/or complementary to those the Americans are running.

    Moreover, as is the case with reports dealing with American programs, when they say "will soon implement", "working on", or "future programs" it's most often the case that such programs are already in place and now what is being worked on is mechanism to use the data they produce in the

  • by sasparillascott (1267058) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @08:30AM (#47135125)
    Snowden showed that all of the big European governments went along with the U.S. as it rolled out its secret total surveillance of electronic communications. Of course there are the really close co-operators (Britain, Australia and some others), but they all went along with it. Of course Europe had trains blowing up etc. to push them along.

    From what has been shown, not a single big government didn't run with the U.S. down that path to where their govts can know everything about the general population - just like East Germany wanted.

    This was one of the goals of Bin Laden, destroying the freedoms inherent in the west...he succeeded here. The sad thing is not a single government realized having a total surveillance state is incompatible with have a true Democracy (mid to longer term) where privacy and freedom are required. Europe has the best chance of turning over this garbage.
  • ... the rich and powerful elite behind todays governments and therefore also the secret services will learn hopefully soon enough, that their wealth and power is worth nothing, absolutely nothing if you face a large turnaround in society regarding civil rights and privacy rights. Good luck.
    • ... the rich and powerful elite behind todays governments and therefore also the secret services will learn hopefully soon enough, that their wealth and power is worth nothing, absolutely nothing if you face a large turnaround in society regarding civil rights and privacy rights. Good luck.

      You seem to be under the impression the same laws apply to the rich elites as apply to the working class.

      • Not at all... But we have seen people overthrowing governments lately. It can happen in the west too.
  • So is knowledge, so lets ban books. So are vocal cords and eyes...

  • I was only paid 2 million. Geez, I should have kept the redistribution rights.

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