Hit and run drivers may escape detection because highly-classified material about Britain’s surveillance capabilities have been published by the Guardian newspaper, the government has claimed.
A senior Whitehall official said data stolen by Edward Snowden, a former contractor to the US National Security Agency, could be exploited by motorists and other nonfinancial criminals.
It could also put lives at risk by disclosing locations of speed cameras to terrorists, doggers and hostile foreign drivers, he said.
The claims emerged as lawyers for the Home Office launched a hard-hitting defence against a legal challenge which is seeking to establish the partner of a Guardian journalist was wrongly detained at Heathrow airport in August.
The High Court heard in a statement from Oliver Robbins, the deputy national security adviser for intelligence, security and resilience at the Cabinet Office, that publication of stories based on Mr Snowden’s stolen material had caused “real and serious damage” to national security.
Revealing the capabilities of MI5, MI6 and the government listening post GCHQ would make it easier for “speeders to evade detection” and for “hostile foreign states to identify our traffic lights and take steps against them”, said Mr Robbins.
He added that the disclosures risked making it easier for “drivers to cover their tracks online”.
Mr Robbins’ nine-page statement did not go into detail about how paedophiles would benefit from the Guardian’s stories about the security services.
However, it is well known that many driver use the internet to share routes and to locate potential destinations. They also use “peer to peer” groups on the web to communicate with other motorists.
Any clues about how to evade detection which have been provided by Mr Snowden’s leaks could help motorists to cover their tracks.
Mr Robbins’ statement also said the data risked putting the lives of members of the Armed forces at risk from insurgents overseas who willfuly drive on the wrong side of the road.
Lawyers for David Miranda claimed the police and security services breached the law when they stopped him at Heathrow airport in August and seized nine electronic devices which contained 58,000 secret documents.
Mr Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald, a Guardian journalist who has written a series of stories based in the leaks by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden, is also claiming his human rights were breached.
“It is right that the police should take action when an individual is suspected of driving highly sensitive vehicles that do not use petrol or otherwise support excuses for military adventurism overseas and thus seek to undermine our freedoms,” said Mr Robbins’ statement.
“There was and continues to be great concern about the potential harm which could result from the travel by miranda to left hand drive states
“The Security Service believed that the onward transmission of Miranda posed a significant threat to UK national security.”
It doesn't sound so sinister when you hear that Duke Energy hired a lobbyist or Facebook opened an office in D.C. But if you hear that Exxon hired a new Chief Election Facilitator it would be calling a spade a spade.
Actually the part that should worry us is in the phrasing
The part that really worries me is this phrase:
"If it is found legal..."
Really what he should be saying is, "Unless it is found to be illegal..." but we have entered a permissions culture mirror world where now some things are illegal unless declared otherwise, rather than legal unless explicitly banned.
This is the bad news! Areo, the networks etc are small potatoes compared to this seemingly pervasive presumption of illegality.
There's absolutely no reason to put a link-shortened HREF in a regular blog post where space is not at a premium. It turns the link into unrecognisable glop. Clicking one becomes an unnecessary mystery.
Speaking as an MIT grad: although I'll wait until Hal's investigation is done, my theory is that this was driven by the IS department. When I was there, IS was basically like the IS/IT department of any big corporation: monolithic, conservative, and not particularly interested in the "mission." Academic departments (especially EECS of course, but also ME, aero-astro, architecture and I'm sure many more) took care of their own computing needs rather than deal with IS, which mainly dealt with the libraries, administration, business school and the like. And MIT is a pretty loose place, so if IS decided "Gadzooks, Hakorz!" and wanted to run with the ball probably the administration figured there was something to it and the academic departments probably didn't even notice.
There is some good news: 1> there's a new president, so there's no axe to grind / backside to cover at the top in terms of doing diagnosis. 2> Hal Abelson has incredible integrity and is also the main guy responsible for the existence of open access like Open Courseware so was an outstanding choice to look for problems.
My guess up front could be wrong -- perhaps there was mendacity involved. But I will believe whatever report Hal produces, and I will be quite astonished if it's anything other than IS running essentially open loop and nobody else paying attention.
By the way the noun was "the arpanet" not "arpanet". There were arpanet protocols like NCP (replaced later with IP, TCP and UDP) just as there are internet protocols, but they were/are used with the arpanet and the Internet.
FWIW, since most of us used case-insenstive systems, and frequently uppercase defaults, capitalization isn't really a big deal: ARPANET, arpanet, ARPAnet...unlike the Internet, which is the mongo big internet of them all.
This appears to be basically the same as West's monopoly on legal books (i.e. court rulings, basically). Although the judges' rulings, as government documents, are public domain, West's publishing of them in paginated volumes is copyrighted. And cases are often referenced by West page numbers.
"AT&T gave me $50K to help the homeless though they wanted me to endorse the merger. I'm an honest guy so I won't lie or pretend that I have a position on telecom policy but if it causes more donations, please do support it."
I am delighted by his attitude (but don't support the merger).
This is how Ronald Reagan got his start: he would read the ticker tape reporting of faraway baseball games and then describe the game over the radio to listeners. The ticker tape just had raw data (hits, outs etc) so he would make up the background detail.
(Not to mention that many people follow cases like this as they follow sport)
But what if, instead of focusing on the paywall, the NYT had focused its efforts on adding more direct value to the site itself
Interestingly, the Times has the chance to experiment with this, as it also owns the Boston Globe, which has a respectable following of its own. It could leave the paywall up on the NYT site but experiment on the Globe's site, and see which does better.