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Leaked Emails Allegedly Tell of Global "Trapwire" Spy Network 149

judgecorp writes "The British government and police are customers of a controversial surveillance network called TrapWire, according to emails published by Wikileaks. The messages suggest that Scotland Yard and Number Ten Downing Street are customers of Abraxas Corporation, whose TrapWire network combines CCTV, license plate capture systems and databases. The TrapWire network has caused concern amongst online activists and Abraxas' site is currently not available, possibly due to attacks by Anonymous." There seems to be no end to the Trapwire conspiracy stories today, there's even one going around that various large companies such as Salesforce and Google were offered the chance to be part of the spy club.
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Leaked Emails Allegedly Tell of Global "Trapwire" Spy Network

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  • Ah, progress... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @11:54AM (#40973949) Journal

    Well, well. Isn't it so nice that after 'Total Information Awareness' was canned for being slightly too creepy even for congress, it has resurfaced as a free-swimming and not-at-all-sinister corporation heavily larded with CIA alumni. I assume that this is the American analog of our pal Putin's pithy "There is no such thing as a former KGB man"

    • by i_ate_god ( 899684 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @01:16PM (#40974917)

      See, government spying is bad, because it's government, and whenever the government gets involved, it's inherently bad, because after all, it's the government.

      But, this is not the government, this is business. And in this case, it's pretty much ok, because it's the free market doing it, and the market knows whats best for itself, because it's the market, and not the government.

      Makes sense right?

      • Re:Ah, progress... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @01:45PM (#40975351) Journal

        If there weren't so many people who manage to say things like that with a straight face and nigh-religious levels of conviction there would be a lot more humor in the situation...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 13, 2012 @11:54AM (#40973953)

    If you'd like to see the extent of surveillance in US, watch this video released by anon: []

    Scary to say the least. 1984 is already here.

    • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @12:11PM (#40974137)

      If 1984 were here, you'd be an unperson by now just for saying what you just said. People really need to read the book... surveillance was only one tiny facet of what makes the party horrible. It is the facet that enables the other, even worse parts, but it is not the be all and end all.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I think in a post-9/11 world there will be new readings of what 1984 was actually about. I mean what is it REALLY about? It's about a disgruntled government employee who becomes a terrorist because he's having trouble getting laid. Can you dispute this is what happens? The proles in 1984 are perfectly happy but some rogue government clerk decides he wants to overthrow the government. Winston reminds me a little too much of Timothy McVeigh. Unfortunately geeks don't usually study literary theory so of course

        • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @12:49PM (#40974591)

          Hmm, lets see... a reading where Winston is the bad guy huh? Does the government still unleash angry, starving rats to eat through his face because he had the temerity to have sex with someone and talking about political change? (do note: Winston never actually does anything to hurt anyone)

          Sorry, not buying the "Winston was the real bad guy interpretation".

          • by canajin56 ( 660655 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @01:37PM (#40975223)

            There was a Canadian show I watched one episode of called "Continuum", the "good" guy (well, girl) is a "Protector" in the "CPA" (I forget if it's "civilian" or "corporate" protection). In other words, she's a secret police officer. No uniform, license to kill. The "government" is the Corporate Congress. After bringing about additional market collapses they bought out the world governments and dissolved them. The CPA doesn't arrest people directly, they implant "trackers" which work not by actually being a GPS tracker, but by inducing more and more pain until the "perp" turns themselves in at the CPA station for sentencing and removal of the excruciator (hungry rats are sooooooooo 20th century). (The pilot has her smashing somebody's face in for vandalism then implanting the excruciator). Her suit/implants record everything she sees and hears and transmits it to HQ for filing. So, bringing it back to the second post in this thread, one of her buddies calls the government Big Brother, and she says the exact same thing "It can't be because otherwise you'd be dead". All while her implants are filming and recording, and transmitting back to HQ for processing and filing.

            Anyway, the whole show is so heavily "1984 but the government is the good guy" I couldn't believe it. But they make sure the "bad guys" (pro-democracy rebels) are equally unsympathetic by having them kill as many innocent people as possible 24/7 for no reason. (PS the bad guys are a government trained death squad used to put down protests, but for some reason maybe explained in episodes I didn't watch, they rebelled.)

            • by citylivin ( 1250770 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @01:47PM (#40975377)

              Continue watching. The show got alot more interesting and nuanced after the first two episodes. Its getting harder and harder to tell who the "bad guys" are. (the show isnt the best scifi ever (they solve alot of problems with duce ex machina), but its interesting and being marketed heavily in canada which starts a good discussion over how far we would let the corporations run amok)

            • The original point was that the person calling current society "1984" had never read the book. They just were using it as a generic term for "big government that I don't like."

              Big Brother in 1984 isn't a surveillance state, it is a mind-control state. Surveillance is just part their means to that end. People who spoke out against the government, or even just questioned too much or acted wrong just disappeared. Not just from society, but from history, records were altered so that all trace of them was gone,

              • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

                the problem with currently implemented 1984 is that it's just so fucking lousy at the mind control! MAKE ME A SHEEP DAMN IT!

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            That's because you aren't the product of 'new education' where we teach kindergarteners that sharing is evil and that when strangers in uniform grab your crotch, it's 'good touch' no matter how scared and icky it makes you feel.

        • well the government is keeping power by maintaining constant war with rotating enemies. the war may or may not be real, in which case it's bombing it's own there's that
      • by gmuslera ( 3436 )
        The bad part is that 1984, like a lot of fiction, could pale next to current (or near future) reality. Would be like saying "Murphy was an optimist"
        • Well, he was.

          • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

            I's not that he was an optimist, it's that his observation was expounded on later. What he said was "if there's a wrong way to do something, someone will do it that way." Pretty much self-evident, I'd say.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If it does not happen literally by the book it does not mean it did not happen at all. Yes, you can still talk. Usually, unless someone is really interested in you being silent (try filming police, tell me how you liked it).

        How long even that will last? Who knows.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Part of what makes slashdot slashdot is that 90% of the posters utterly lack any sense of perspective.

        Theres a story about how Facebook is selling your data to russian mafia? Clearly, that is just as bad as what Hitler did in WW2. Obama enacts a healthcare plan youre not a fan of? Communist china, and Obama is Mao. Romney takes a stance on abortion that you dont like? Clearly, this man is as repressive as Stalin.

        It should come as no suprise that in any particular thread about surveilance, at least one

        • > Theres a story about how Facebook is selling your data to russian mafia? You don't have any data on Facebook, it all belongs to Facebook !
        • Obama enacts a healthcare plan youre not a fan of? Communist china, and Obama is Mao

          Well...this one *is* close to true...and not just because of Obamacare....this guys is definitely on the socialist bent...

          • I dont much like it, but youre out of your mind if you want to compare the two scenarios as you post from your comfortable, heated, internet connected house with a belly full of food.

      • by i_ate_god ( 899684 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @01:17PM (#40974929)

        Not only do people need to read 1984, but they also need to read Brave New World so they can start making more accurate literature comparisons.

        • Well, in this case they're both apt: Both regimes relied on extensive surveillance.

          It makes perfect sense, really. If you're going to oppress people, you need to know what they're up to so you make sure you oppress the people who might be opposing you. Otherwise, a popular movement might get started that opposes you, and then you might be overthrown.

      • In one of the recent articles on sci-fi books there was an interesting discussion on how 1984 was nowhere near as prescient as Brave New World.

    • by iter8 ( 742854 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @03:17PM (#40976491)

      If you'd like to see the extent of surveillance in US, watch this video released by anon: []

      Scary to say the least. 1984 is already here.

      Isn't this convenient, the video has been deleted from YouTube. That is doubleplusungood.

    • Mirror please (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Can anyone mirror the video? It's already gone.

    • > If you'd like to see the extent of surveillance in US, watch this video released by anon:

      Account closed, what was the video name ?

  • by Gunfighter ( 1944 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @11:55AM (#40973959) Homepage

    I think this may be something that really does qualify as a legitimate answer to the age olde question, "What could possibly go wrong?"

    • by alen ( 225700 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @11:58AM (#40973989)

      it seems this thing is like credit data. companies give up the data in exchange for a credit score and risk profiling

      same here. seems like private companies will be giving up their security cam and other data in exchange for security services

      • Ok - I can maybe see companies interested in this that do loans and other activities where it is important to know who their users are. But - Salesforce? I just don't understand what their interest is in this. Everyone who deals with Salesforce is known to Salesforce, because you need a license to use it. So - what gives? Even Google is suspect - yes, they have a vested interest in knowing who their users are, but I suspect that they have more data than they could get from this initiative. So, again - WTF?

        • by alen ( 225700 )

          we just found a monetization of the google cloud. sell the data of who is doing what to the spy networks including corporate espionage

      • it seems this thing is like credit data. companies give up the data in exchange for a credit score and risk profiling

        same here. seems like private companies will be giving up their security cam and other data in exchange for security services

        I like the use of "conspiracy" and "alleged" in the top-level story. It gives this a real air of critical reporting. You know! Like the conspiracy story about your parent's families, in which your father is alleged to have impregnated your mother.

        There's real room to reserve some skepticism around the entire business of these "stories".

    • by EdZ ( 755139 )
      I'm still thinking "what could possibly go right". The claims made about this system are pretty hyperbolic. The FBI, for example, are stuck with a plethora [] of mostly non-interacting legacy systems with separate, often competing interfaces. And Trapwire supposedly integrates all these, plus a bunch from other agencies and organisations, and likes it live to CCTV with facial recognition? And they've also cracked the long-standing automated behavioural analysis problem?

      It's verged striaght through "too good
  • by Dr.Seuss ( 94326 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @12:01PM (#40974025)

    To what degree cameras are coordinated isn't a conspiracy, it's an eventuality.

    "Strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then..." -- P.K.Dick

    • "Strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then..." -- P.K.Dick

      Coming from him, that's actually even more terrifying than it should be.

    • Yeeeah right.

      Let's ask the key question here.

      You are a Random Retailer. You have the camera systems. Let's say shady spook #1 comes to you and wants to rig your cameras into the Trapwire network.

      (a) He can't force you, because you will fucking sue his balls off in every court in and out of the land for something like that.
      (b) There's barely anything in it for you. Your customers might get creeped out. Your rival company might trumpet - Hey *we're* not signed up to Big Brother Net.
      (c) And suppose you do agre

      • A lot of these systems are decades old. They aren't going to be compatible

        oh yeah, analog video is SO HARD to interface with.

        its really hard to find yellow composite 75 ohm cable that is rca or bnc terminated.


        (are you being stupid on purpose, poster?)

      • by alen ( 225700 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @01:19PM (#40974949)

        abraxas says that if you upgrade your video cameras they will scan the feed in real time and alert you of suspicious activity like known or highly suspected shoplifters coming into the store or being in the area. or if someone applies for a job they will scan the applicant's face and look to see where else he worked and the shrink levels before and after

        there is your ROI

      • You could use these same arguments about the WiFi & GSM-based in-store tracking & MITM systems that are in use right now...those same factors didn't stop them.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @12:04PM (#40974075) Journal

    Because they have nothing to hide.

  • by david.emery ( 127135 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @12:08PM (#40974115)

    We stayed up and watched this, initially to see Benedict Cumberbatch: []

    All we need now is an unexplained outbreak of an unknown disease in some conflict-ridden part of the world. (Maybe the recent Ebola outbreak in Uganda? [] )

  • Sales pitch? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PiMuNu ( 865592 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @12:09PM (#40974121)
    TFA indicates that this is part of a sales pitch. It's pretty weak evidence surely...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 13, 2012 @01:13PM (#40974875)

    As sustains a continuos DDoS attack of 10GB/sec some work around suggestions have been offered:

    Tor Wikileaks onion - use Tor.

    Paste Links
    207 emails below


    Regularly updated GIFiles

    Wikileaks node


    thanks to Diver Dan from RI and the AnonymousSpoon and m_cetera

  • by Anonymous Coward

    really, it's a trap.

  • ... wiretrap have little to do with catching terrorist but to spy on american attitudes and to do more against the american people.
    With such information is is possible with a controlled media to then manipulate the people via the media. i.e. endless war drum banging for the invasion of Iraq.
    Traffic cameras and their control centers are very capable of the likes of jamming up major city intersection (i.e. in Atlanta to bring all traffic can be brought to a standstill with nothing more than properly executed

  • Oh, my! Business and government are colluding to invade our privacy and control our behavior? I'm shocked! Shocked, I say!

    Come on, people, do the messy details of who is collecting what and selling it to whom really matter any more?

    The general population has amply demonstrated its complacency in matters of collective privacy loss and stellar-scale coercion. Its not a question of enough people knowing, its a matter of not enough people caring or daring to put up any meaningful resistance. The flies can conqu

    • by Anonymous Coward

      While I agree with complacency, I'll point out that it's due to mostly ignorance. Just watch "TV News" and you get the point. People have been trained to believe that everything they hear on TV News is true and real. It is not, and has not been for at least 20 years. It's brainwashing and lies mostly, with tidbits of truth sprinkled in to appear real (and perhaps to keep the actors and actresses spewing lies from committing suicide).

      The best thing anyone can do currently is to try waking people up. Tea

  • is anyone surprised at this news? feels like i saw this coming? wikileaks still down.. check out this video on frequency about trapwire : [] @onfrequency
  • ZDNet blew this one. I hereby propose two rules of thumb for reporting on surveilance programs (1) do no cite anonymous sources, no matter how credible, as support for the effectiveness of the progam, and (2) DO NOT put out information that defeats the narrow valid use for the program. ZDNet blew up both in one paragraph, nearly the last paragraph in the article.

    "According to a very good source responsible for domestic surveillance operations, an extremely serious al Qaeda terror plot has been uncovered targeting a financial institution, an entertainment centre and a government office building in Los Angeles. The same terrorist-surveillance team conducted pre-operational surveillance of all three sites. The group is currently under watch," he wrote.

    Well then, now (a) I am supposed to believe an anonymous source -- which I won't -- so the "proof" of its effectiveness fails and (b) if the sour

  • This is not news. This is Wikileaks publishing uncorroborated "evidence" that matches their expectations about "Big Brother".

    Some things to remember:

    • 1. The system is in no way secret and there are numerous publicly available sources of information about municipal uptake: public hearings, contracts, etc.
    • 2. Most (if not all) of these emails were marketing materials or communiques regarding trial runs.
    • 3. There is no evidence that TrapWire is currently in use as described in the Wikileaks release. See
  • "We shall SPY on to the end, we shall SPY in France,
    we shall SPY on the seas and oceans,
    we shall SPY with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall SPY our whatever the cost may be,
    we shall SPY the beaches,
    we shall SPY on the landing grounds,
    we shall SPY in the fields and in the streets,
    we shall SPY in the hills;"

    -- paraphrasing, the GREAT Winston Churchill

System checkpoint complete.