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UK GHCQ Is Allowed To Hack ( 73

An anonymous reader writes: A security tribunal has just decreed that hacking by the UK security agency GCHQ is legal. [The case was launched after revelations by Edward Snowden about the extent of US and UK spying. Campaigners Privacy International claimed GCHQ's hacking operations were too intrusive]. The legal challenge that they were violating European law was rejected.
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UK GHCQ Is Allowed To Hack

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    GHCQ: Government Head Communications Quarters.
    GCHQ: Government Communications Headquarters.

    See also:

    FFS, Slashdot.

    • And unfortunately you can't even blame Timmay on this occasion.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      If i'm reading this right a private company in the Netherlands was attacked by the GCHQ. I'm pretty sure that qualifies as espionage. Shouldn't the Kingdom of the Netherlands be pissed?

      Iirc the US was pretty pissed about the chinese hacking their companies. []

      • The US government has also bemoaned dictators while also having a long history of installing and supporting dictators.

        This just in: politicians are hypocritical assholes.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ** This comment was hacked by GCHQ **
    ** Move along **

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Friday February 12, 2016 @03:21PM (#51496039)
    Government grants itself authority to break the law.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      No, this ruling was issued by a panel of senior judges, not the government. In the UK, senior judges are independent of the government.

      • by amorsen ( 7485 )

        They are, but the senior judges likely couldn't care less about European law. UK courts routinely ignore European law, just like UK legislature.

        There is no mechanism to appeal any judgements to European courts; it is the duty of the courts in the member states to ask the European court when they deem it necessary. Obviously the extent to which they deem that necessary varies a lot between member states.

        The only way around this is to go to the European Court of Human Rights, but it is unlikely that Privacy I

        • An EU ruling more than ten years ago made it quite clear that automatic bans on voting for prisoners are in violation of EU law, and the UK was ordered to comply. The UK still has not done so. Our prime minister has declared that the law will not be changed, even though it is defiance of EU human rights law.

          If a member state refuses to comply with European law, there's basically nothing that can be done about it.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        The senior judges are not independent of GCHQ if they were illegally hacked by GCHQ ie let's say they carefully selected judges who have done something naughtier than GCHQ had done and GCHQ can prove this because they hacked those judges (say they are all paedophiles and have a history of collecting deeply disturbing images and perhaps worse, something that is appearing to be quite disturbingly widespread in upper class England). So now the judges must say they were legally hacked or else, they can argue o

    • by Motherfucking Shit ( 636021 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @05:09PM (#51496815) Journal

      Government grants itself authority to break the law.

      And governments around the world have entered into agreements to spy on each others' citizens to explicitly skirt the law.

      From several recent news stories, Windows 10's biggest telemetry offender IP seems to be, which apologists are quick to tell you [] is "just a Teredo server" to assist with ipv6. No big deal, it's just helping the OS function! Don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain, he's just making sure your internet works...

      Funny, though, that IP is in the UK, yet Windows 10 installations in the US insist on connecting to it. That's definitely not a matter of efficiency or responsiveness or good customer experience, as the hop across the pond adds a few hundred milliseconds to every packet. For those who might need reminding, communications originating in the US where the endpoint is in a foreign nation are considered fair game for NSA snooping. And it's been known since the ECHELON revelations in the 90s that the "Five Eyes" group of countries have an arrangement to bypass laws against spying on their own citizens by engaging in reciprocal interception and sharing the data among themselves.

      Something to think about, that's all.

      • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

        Funny, though, that IP is in the UK

        What method did you use to confirm that anycasting wasn't being used and what were the exact results?

        • What method did you use to confirm that anycasting wasn't being used and what were the exact results?

          I don't run Windows 10 and I'm not responsible for any of the experiments regarding what network traffic it sends where. But advanced wizardry known as "traceroute" shows me that my traffic from the US to crosses the Atlantic.

          . . .
          5 ( 19.296 ms 19.289 ms 19.270 ms
          6 ( 19.108 ms 19.011 ms 18.997 ms
          7 ( 16.850 ms

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12, 2016 @03:27PM (#51496081)

    One set of rules for us. Another set of rules for them. If they are allowed to break laws to find civillians who are breaking laws then why are civillians not allowed to break laws to find officials who are breaking laws?

    I feel ashamed that the law in the UK has come so far away from protecting people / serving justice and so far closer to being a weapon of oppression.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @03:33PM (#51496111)

      The fascist mind-set expressed in these things assumes as absolute truth that the "authorities" are always right and do not need oversight by the citizens. A brief look in history shows how very much wrong that idea is and how often it leads to incredible evil.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        This is how fascism works in the UK. Politicians wave their hands and say is okay because there will be "checks and balances".

        We have to treat this like any other hacking threat. Detect, block, take down the C&C servers, publicly identify the perpetrators. GCHQ are already being sued by various European companies for hacking their equipment, and that's really the best response. UK citizens can't sue, but Europeans can.

        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          Indeed. The GCHQ must now be regarded as an enemy, in fact as an "advanced persistent threat", because even if identified, it seems unlikely that one can get rid of them. (I like the idea of suing them, but they will just become more careful against being identified....) In particular, it must be expected that they do industrial espionage and industrial sabotage for political reasons.

          Treat the same as any other group of well-funded criminal hackers. Also, the banking industry and IT industry may want to mov

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      >> I feel ashamed that the law in the UK has come so far away from protecting people

      I agree with your sentiment but I don't think the UK government arbitrarily awarding themselves inappropriate levels of power is any different to what's actually happening in every other country.

      I don't think the internet is in any way causing this phenomenon, it's just allowing normal people to more easily see the truth of whats actually been going on for centuries.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Now its all out in the courts, the press, whistleblowers, campaigners, NGO's, protesters now know what they will face as far as signals collection goes.
      Re "If they are allowed to break laws to find civillians who are breaking laws then why are civillians not allowed to break laws to find officials who are breaking laws?"
      Previously tame UK parliament watchdog rips into new Snooper’s Charter (Feb 9, 2016)
      Committee says IPB's metadata collection is "inconsistent and largely incomprehensible."
      http:// []
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is absolutely ridic hfe9hghidfhg8sdgh9nb virthwi84r

    This is a perfectly reasonable ruling.

  • It's a geek's dream.
    Ms. Galore: "Mr. James Bond... with a license to hack."
    Bond: [draws from a vape shaped to look like a retro silver lighter and closes the lid] "License to kill, too"

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We've had a nice long stretch of relative peace. By now I think it's clear that either this or the next generation will have to overthrow a fascist government.

    • by blue9steel ( 2758287 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @05:06PM (#51496775)
      Hence the elite's heavy investments in internal security and autonomous weaponry.
    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      Given the anti-gun laws and the problem that even the police are becoming a paramilitary organization, do you think that a successful revolution in a first-world country is even possible any more?

      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        Successful revolutions have always required sponsorship by at least a part of the elite.

      • Whenever the subject of guns comes up, people claim that it's not just about protection against burglars, it's protection against oppressive government. And when you ask them if it's the same now as it was in 1776 they don't get it, so you explain that bad ol' King George didn't have AH-64s. Then they say it doesn't matter, because American soldiers would never fire on their own people, even if they are hippehs and corminusts[1]. And when you point out that in that case they don't really need to be able

        • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

          I often wonder how far a government of a so-called "free" first world country with access to armies, tanks, cruise missiles and even nuclear weapons would go just to maintain power over its own people in the event of a civil war.
          I mean when the going gets tough for political leaders, you usually find out that they actually share a lot in common with Assad's insane addiction to power and the desire to keep it at literally any price.

  • Only thing worthwhile from limey land was The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Now that is over we can nuke them and fix the worlds Queen problem. Mankind is useless at ruling itself. FUCK YOU ALL.
  • Not to be outdone, Valve, the makers of the steam service for games immediately announced that they have been friendly to hackers since day 1 and will continue to make no serious attempt to thwart or stop hacking on their games or service.

  • by dweller_below ( 136040 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @08:36PM (#51498373)
    I spend a good chunk of every workday defending my institution from network attacks by the governments of China and Russia. They are not the only ones. I imagine all of them give themselves permission to attack. I expect all of them eventually make it illegal to resist their attacks. As more and more governments create these crazy laws and international agreements, my defensive actions will become more and more illegal. Thanks Five Eyes!

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen