US Spy Satellite Logo Not At All Subtle: Octopus Enveloping The Earth

from the nothing-is-beyond-our-reach dept

Over the past few months, I’ve certainly wondered quite a bit about just how bad the NSA seems to be at recognizing how the public feels concerning what it’s doing. This week’s revelations about tracking mobile phone locations was incredible because folks at the NSA must have known that information about this program was in Snowden’s collection, and yet when they were asked about collecting location info a few months ago, they made statements that would clearly look bad, when put next to the truth:

“We don’t get any cell site or location information as to where any of these phones were located.” — Keith Alexander

These phones. Under this program. But under this other program we collect pretty much everything. Beyond that, the various “code names” the NSA uses are somewhat revealing as well. Lots of people commented on the insanity of calling the giant database FASCIA. But, at the very least, you could argue that the NSA never expected those code names to be made public. And with the misleading statements, they were still holding out hope that maybe, just maybe, a meteor would magically flatten Glenn Greenwald, Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras before the info got out.

But… how about when the US intelligence community actually does something publicly. Like live tweeting the launch of a new spy satellite. Apparently, they slap the most unsubtle logo on it that you can imagine.

You may not be able to see the logo used on the rocket, but here’s a closeup.
Yes, it’s an octopus, with tentacles reaching all over the globe. And the tagline is “Nothing is Beyond Our Reach.”

Sure. They’re spies. This is what they do. But, somehow, you’d think that maybe, just maybe, someone with a tiny bit of sense back there at the office of the director of national intelligence would think that, “gee, a lot of people around the globe are pretty fucking angry at us for all the spying we’re doing right now. maybe we shouldn’t be spitting in their faces, mocking their concerns, and reminding them that we’re blatantly evil people who really don’t give two shits about their privacy.”

Of course, that would take some actual recognition of what anyone thinks of them, and that doesn’t seem to be part of the way that the US intelligence community operates.

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Comments on “US Spy Satellite Logo Not At All Subtle: Octopus Enveloping The Earth”

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83 Comments
Ninja (profile) says:

But, somehow, you’d think that maybe, just maybe, someone with a tiny bit of sense back there at the office of the director of national intelligence would think that, “gee, a lot of people around the globe are pretty fucking angry at us for all the spying we’re doing right now. maybe we shouldn’t be spitting in their faces, mocking their concerns, and reminding them that we’re blatantly evil people who really don’t give two shits about their privacy.”

Actually they gave it some careful thought. They didn’t use Cthulhu in the logo.

Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It has a long history

Sooo… what you’re saying is that for their spy program a part of the US government has picked a logo previously associated with a fictional league of supervillains and also with the former “arch enemy” of the United States; the Soviet Union, not to mention one of the most brutal dictators the world has ever seen?
Yeah, that’s a subtle message…

out_of_the_blue says:

Google's logo is more like brain worms.

The focus on NSA — just its logo here at Techdirt — misses about nine-tenths of the spying and collating done on everyone. As I wrote (now way back) when the Snowden “leak” came out, distant NSA takes the heat for the whole spy system, especially off its commercial co-conspirators. Since NSA can get anything Google or Facebook have, the system is sheer fascism.


Edward Snowden: Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and the rest of our internet titans must ask themselves why they aren’t fighting for our interests the same way — Ed, those soul-less amoral entities care only about the billions they get BEING snoops!

02:16:21[c-257-3] [ This suppresses the kids from fraud of using my screen name. And boy, do they need suppressing! ]

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Nothing quite like generalizing so as to insult an organization staffed by persons (many likely even your neighbors) who are by no stretch of any definition (save perhaps yours) “evil”. Feel free to take poetic license to a point, but this is not one such point.

I see. You’ve gone from your usual position of making totally false statements to now taking my comments completely out of context and pretending I said something I did not. When put back into context, I’m pretty clearly not calling the NSA “evil.” I’m saying that the logo screams out “we’re evil!” which is why it was probably a mistake.

But, point taken that you don’t seem to mind them spying on everyone but it crosses the line to call violating everyone’s rights as “evil.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

But now we get into the difference between doing evil and being evil. Can you do evil without being evil, so long as you are under the mistaken impression that you are doing good? If so, is there a threshold at which you must indeed be evil just from the sheer amount of evil you’ve done, even if you continue your naive belief in the good you are doing?

Anonymous Coward says:

Deep cover technologists

Perhaps whoever designed the logo was unsubtle on purpose, and his/her intention was to “spit in their faces, mock their concerns, and remind them that we’re blatantly evil people”.

But why would they do that?

My theory is that there are deep cover technologists hidden within the NSA who make it act in the most extreme way possible, to help discredit it and weaken its influence.

Anonymous Coward says:

Can't tell

I honestly can’t tell which of the following situations is true…

1) The Intelligence community is so completely out of touch with reality because they honestly thought this was a good idea.

2) The Intelligence community is simply saying, fuck you we can do whatever we want because no one will stop us.

3) The Intelligence community is simply trolling the world and whatever it is launching is benign.

sciamiko says:

Re: Can't tell

2) The Intelligence community is simply saying, fuck you we can do whatever we want because no one will stop us.

I think you’ve got it right there. They believe they have the capability and are going to use it whatever anyone says. Spies are in the business of manipulating others and have no regard to what anyone thinks of them doing so.
It’s the sort of psychopathic behaviour that will brazen everything out right up until someone takes their toys away.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You used the word evil in the context of everyone within the organization, so please spare me that I have taken your words out of context.

Haha. You totally took what I said out of context and I called you on it and you can’t even admit that you look completely foolish. Incredible. You’re a piece of work.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I now appreciate your point. It is not what you actually said, but your “intent” in how you used it.

Mea culpa for taking your words at face value.

Uh no. You directly took my words out of context. You did the opposite of taking them at face value. It would be like me taking your “mea culpa” and saying “it’s so nice to see you finally admit that you made a giant mistake.”

You know that you’re not admitting that. I know that you’re not admitting it. Only a complete moron who takes others words out of context would think otherwise. You’re not that moronic, are you?

Brazilian Guy says:

Well, i think the logo is proposital, after all they look like massive nerds.

At wikipedia there is this list of their NRO Launches. The Green Dragon clutching Earth is my favorite of the bunch. Either they are Nerds, or they used to be Illuminati players ( the card game by Steve Jackson Games, not the conspiracy). But yes, very creepy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NRO_Launches

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/NROL19_USA171_patch.jpg

Anonymous Coward says:

Let’s talk about something tangentally related.

Let’s talk about reality imitating fiction

This is the logo for Majestic 12. A fictional organization in Deus Ex whose goal was to setup a world-wide surveillance infrastructure, which they then used to blackmail every corporate and political leader on Earth into giving into their hostile takeover of the world.

I’m thinking there was a graphics designer somewhere that knew he was designing the logo of an evil cyberpunk organization, and played his part with a smile and a nod.

Krish (profile) says:

It’s actually not logo. It’s a mission patch:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_patch

It’s kinda like a tee shirt given out to people affiliated with the launch. They have a long tradition of being weird and kinda unsettling:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NRO_Launches

I like the one for launch 49 with the motto “Better the Devil you Know”:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NROL49_patch.jpg

Anonymous Coward says:

“…we’re blatantly evil people…”

Above a snippet from a quote you made up that an exec at the NSA should probably have asked before approving the use of what I readily admit is a stupid graphic given what has been reported over the past several months. My original comment was meant to convey that there is a distinction between an organization and those who are in its employ. While I do not share your view that the NSA is inherently evil (it does do a heck of a lot more than what has been discussed on this site), I obviously take issue with anything that can even remotely be interpreted as those in its employ sharing that same characteristic.

And, BTW, Wyden set Clapper up, leaving Clapper with no choice but to answer as he did in order to not disclose, directly or indirectly, classified information.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

While I do not share your view that the NSA is inherently evil (it does do a heck of a lot more than what has been discussed on this site), I obviously take issue with anything that can even remotely be interpreted as those in its employ sharing that same characteristic.

Why do you continue to insist on taking what I said out of context? I did NOT say that the NSA is inherently evil, nor do I believe it. The quote was clearly pointing out that they should have realized that MAKING THEMSELVES LOOK TO BE EVIL is a monumentally stupid move. I don’t understand how I can be any clearer.

Put the snippet in context and you’d understand what it meant. Why you insist on misrepresenting what I said — as you have for years, is known only to your sick and demented mind.

And, BTW, Wyden set Clapper up, leaving Clapper with no choice but to answer as he did in order to not disclose, directly or indirectly, classified information.

You don’t want to start on that bullshit again. We wiped the floor with that last time. Now you’re just trolling. You really are not nearly as smart as you seem to think you are.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The quote was clearly pointing out that they should have realized that MAKING THEMSELVES LOOK TO BE EVIL is a monumentally stupid move.

I don’t think it was that clear. You’ve now explained it clearly, but “reminding them that we’re blatantly evil people” definitely sounds like you think they’re evil people. I don’t think it was phrased very well to communicate what you meant to say. I don’t think it’s as big a deal as this guy is making it out to be, though.

mdpopescu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

This. I am sick of people defending cops (to use a different example) because “they’re not all bad”. Yes they are; if they weren’t, they’d arrest the ones we know to be this bad.

Same thing applies to the NSA. The only one of them to do something about it was Snowden. All the others are evil.

AwakeSmellingCoffee says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

When one realizes their employer is insidious, one either quits or joins that insidiousness. The fact that others may depend on your almighty dollar makes you no less insidious. Playing dumb is no excuse. If your supervisor commands you, “Look not at the terminal screen, lest you see the truth.”, and you actually avert your eyes, then you’re super-special boot-licking insidious.

Peris says:

NSA tone-deafness

Of course, that would take some actual recognition of what anyone thinks of them, and that doesn’t seem to be part of the way that the US intelligence community operates.

Like recognizing what Snowden thought of them, for instance?

Can there be a more insular organization than the NSA? This the kind of antisocial behavior that insularity breeds, produced by the great wall we have put around them. Kinda like our own little North Korea.

Similarly, I think economic sanctions are in order.

Anonymous Coward says:

A disgrace

It is an absolute disgrace that we have more spy satellites looking down on us than looking out on the galaxy. The sheer small mindedness is mind-blowingly depressing. You create hubble telescopes – and keep it down on earth out of greed and paranoia! I shudder to think how much progress has been held back by these morons running the show.

see (profile) says:

In 2015 the NSA contracted with Atandt handed over or sold phone recordings and private information to “corporations”, then digital satellite. This was after it was deemed illegal to spy on or collect information it has been on phones, which they already had collected far more than reported. Then sold them. But they also sold voices, numbers, internet contacts, content, without consent differing sides scrap and purchase these which at some level are part of what was or is known as private. People have been diagnosed for this level of caution and sight and others harmed for saying so. Listening without consent, recording very well known people and not well known, but this awareness changes things for everyone, no matter how stealthy the NSA thinks that they are. It is a ghastly practice as it screws with the brains and minds of humans it blocks spiritual fields, prayer fields.
The USA today this last March states that the CIA can spy on a home through a satellite network, these are press artcles in part to state that “we have stated this.” They are communicated as normal. These practices can induce dream states, project the watchers presence through these dishes or homes prior to court hearings, policy decisions, affect religions, affect reproduction, sexual dynamics, adjust trusts or wills by affecting diagnosis, gamers, skype, are hackable.
In the Reagan era, even in the cold war, people wanted to keep the heavens open and clear, out of fields of attack, weapons or monitoring so thorough that a group can rape or attack the brains or bodies of one group and use that same energy or attack on innocence to direct an electronic weapon toward another group from the raping or even monitoring by not telling of that group. Meaning rape based mind or body hacking is the secret energy harnessed to attack either foreign countries or our own children, women or men or freedom itself. The attack on freedom is the energy that is used to attack freedom. And the phones and these skynet, skype systems hacking and monitoring is big business, bio-techs are big business, taking brain waves from humans or qualities of children is big business that the voted governement does not understand to even be able to have laws and the things that hack these skynets are both humanly and non-humanly aweful aweful and can bully the hell out of Supreme court judge in private or on a bench and he or she would have not one law to claim his or her stance on as it is occuring.
And by stating it he or she would be a threat to the corporations access to private information and the weaponry that is coined as gaming, VR, augmented reality(no present regulation, no laws) to extort the hell out of him or her or a president or a senator or a child or a man or anyone who is alive. These companies are trying to beat humans to their own inner prayer or divine states of mind and being, communication with angelic fields is itself under attack in place of hardware capable of shielding off a town and isolating it or directing recorded energy or even opiates or stimulents that even feel ecxtatic or great but are to cause a mind that forgets or cause addictions with no freedom or foundation.
Seductive false god, false christ(false christ feelings, false innocence feelings, false demons, false aliens can be waved down from this skynet system and put people within a God ball within that is very very difficult for a person to discover their own freedom their own experience and intelligence in America. They can be emited from the towers right near a home and school. And they work. They are and can be hacked, they can be emmited from under the ground and the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security on the ground do nothing as of yet to understand how it is being done and where to identify how to stop it. They may be looking at the muslim or african man who just hit a police officer rather than the tower that agitated him for two months in a poorer zone that led him and others like him who knows an authority system is not correct and it is in the sky purposefully doing things that are distracting at best and indescribably violent and ghastly at worse. These stories ought be told and heard for years prior to any more money from anyone going into these cellular, tech uses.
The federal government or the press, schools do not explain what the combination of these contracts mean, nor what it means. They are Politically presented, or correct or seduced as financially efficient or better for safety and security. No there is violence, torture that affects the people on the grounds, on the phones involved that renders the mind and body maimed, children looking to a spirit that is substituted by a directed feeling a voice or a tone or a cellular energy and their lonliness is filled rather than faced.
The courts reporting systems that judges and DA’s, lawyer are run by the same corporation Tyler Tech/New World Systems that run these robot research and technologies like nano-neuro that have to be halted. They are oppressive, secret. They do not say that the corporations are using humans now for gains for later that have humans feel purposefully defeated and then they use that. There is no need for this level of corporate/national security in what is considered a frontier in space. No it is bargining with freedom with entities in which freedom is the treat needed to be attacked from above or below.

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