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Paris as an excuse for more useless surveillance

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, November 17th, 2015 - 67 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Spying, us politics, war - Tags: , , , ,

I guess this was predictable:

NZ fear over secret communication following Paris attacks

The Government and security experts say they are concerned about the ease with which the Paris attackers were able to communicate without being detected.

Changes in technology, such as new encrypted message systems, is making it increasingly easy to speak without alerting authorities.

Encryption is the latest bugbear of the security state. Banning it is a bad idea, but that’s a post for another time. In any case, encryption wasn’t the issue with the Paris attacks:

Paris attacks: John Key says undetectable communication is increasing

Undetectable communication is closer to the truth.

The amount of “dark communications” which New Zealand spy agencies are unable to intercept is increasing, Prime Minister John Key says.

Mr Key made the comments in response to reports that French intelligence did not pick up any communications which foreshadowed the massive, co-ordinated terror attacks in Paris on Friday night.

More of that in the footnote below.

New Zealand’s Security Intelligence Service (SIS) and Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) are now under review. Mr Key was asked whether the review could lead to changes which addressed technological advances.

He said the issue was not the spy agencies’ capacity, because the legislation which governed the SIS and GCSB was already “reasonably broad”.

Isn’t that an interesting comment – Key effectively acknowledging that our spy agencies can already take anything they want.

“The issue is that this technology is very difficult to break into, essentially. So you are seeing people doing things that are a lot more sophisticated than in the past.”

Off on the wrong track again. The communications used in the case of the Paris attacks were as sophisticated as – a PS4:

Paris terrorists suspected of using PlayStation 4 to communicate

It’s being suggested that the communication tool of choice was the PlayStation 4. While that may seem like a surprising choice, from a terrorist’s point of view it’s one of the safer options. The authorities have been able to monitor standard communication channels (land lines, cell phones, email, Internet browsing) easily for years, but the IP-based voice communication offered on the PS4 is much more difficult to listen in on, as is any peer-to-peer systems used.

No encryption. No deep web / dark net buzzwords, a PS4. (Update: Disputed.)

The problem of monitoring communication on games consoles gets worse when you consider how many games have communication methods built-in. You can voice chat, message each other, or even write temporary messages on walls in a game like Call of Duty. How do you even begin to track such a wide variety of communications methods split across tens or even hundreds of different games?

That’s before you even get in to Steganography and associated methods. Trying to monitor all the possibilities would be like trying to perform significantly time consuming analysis of every frame of every video uploaded to YouTube.

So we’re going to have an ill informed debate about effective surveillance (which is impossible) and encryption (which is necessary). The tools that governments want won’t address the communication channels that smart terrorists are actually using. They can be used very effectively to spy on you and me though.


Footnote

Effective surveillance is mathematically impossible. The Paris attacks are a case in point:

Iraq Says It Warned France of ‘Imminent’ Attacks

The Associated Press is reporting that one day before the Paris attacks, Iraqi intelligence officials warned France and other anti-ISIS coalition allies that they should expect “imminent” assaults by the militant group. According to those intelligence officials, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi had ordered attacks “through bombings or assassinations or hostage taking in the coming days.”

In response, a French security official pointed out to the AP that they receive warnings like this “every day.”

67 comments on “Paris as an excuse for more useless surveillance”

  1. sabine 1

    Waleed Aly from Australia, says this life on TV

    http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/waleed-aly-hits-out-at-isis-over-paris-attacks-calls-them-weak/story-fn948wjf-1227611388541?utm_content=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_source=News.com.au&utm_medium=Facebook

    Quote: He said this “evil organisation” believes if they can make Muslims the enemy of the West, then Muslims in France and England and America and here in Australia will have nowhere to turn but to ISIL.
    “That was exactly their strategy in Iraq,” he said. “And now they want it to go global.
    “Saying that out loud, it is both dumbfounding in its stupidity and bloodcurdling in its barbarity. “We are all feeling a million raging emotions right now. I am angry at these terrorists. I am sickened by the violence and I am crushed for the families that have been left behind, but, you know what, I will not be manipulated.
    “We all need to come together. I know how that sounds. I know it is a cliche, but it is also true because it is exactly what ISIL doesn’t want.
    “So, if you are a member of Parliament or a has-been member of Parliament preaching hate at a time when what we actually need is more love — you are helping ISIL. They have told us that. If you are a Muslim leader telling your community they have no place here or basically them saying the same thing — you are helping ISIL.
    “They have told us that. If you are just someone with a Facebook or Twitter account firing off misguided messages of hate, you are helping ISIL — They have told us that.
    “I am pretty sure that right now none of us wants to help these b*stards.”

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Yes I read that an hour or so ago, and was thinking of re-posting it myself. Thanks for beating me to it.

      While it’s not a cool cerebral analysis, Waleed has made his case with rigor and balance.

      I understand anger. It is part of the natural and necessary response to Paris. But do not let yourself be manipulated into letting a healthy anger transform into a corrosive hatred.

      Required reading – and the best response to all the war-mongers posting here.

      Your hatred is helping ISIL.

      • BLiP 1.1.1

        Hatred, love, fear . . . all emotions, in fact, stirred up by the Paris outrage are currently being exploited by governments in order to further clamp down.

      • Olwyn 1.1.2

        I have for some time thought that there is an element in the west that is at war on all fronts – that their geopolitical ambitions and their economic ambitions work at odds. In general, people who are treated as outcasts or enemies welcome ideas and movements that promise liberation. It seems inane to nurture division, hatred and privation within your own society, and then suppose that they will all come together to support you as you try to inflict the roughly same formula on other societies. And that other societies, having seen the divisions and privations in yours, will somehow welcome this.

    • Bill 1.2

      The problem with that take is that it assumes Isil to be some multi-tentacled strategic octopus. It isn’t. There is an ideology and there are conditions that make that ideology ‘appealing’ to people who may (and probably) have no contact with Isil.

      eg – Did a believer in state communisim have to have any dealings with Moscow? Did propaganda try to have us believe that IRA terrorists were in contact with the Vatican? Did suffragettes have some communication line to women’s central?

  2. Paul 2

    Benjamin Franklin

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

  3. BLiP 3

    Yeah, like terrorists didn’t work it out a wee while ago that communications had to go dark. Its not like ISIS is entirely uneducated about the use of computer technology.

    Trivia Question: when did the Director of the FBI say . . .

    . . . The looming spectre of the widespread use of robust, virtually uncrackable encryption is one of the most difficult problems confronting law enforcement . . . At stake are some of our most valuable and reliable investigative techniques, and the public safety of our citizens. We believe that unless a balanced approach to encryption is adopted that includes a viable key management infrastructure, the ability of law enforcement to investigate and sometimes prevent the most serious crimes and terrorism will be severely impaired . . .

    ^^^ 1997.

    The sniveling MSM parroting of the GCSB’s propaganda on this issue is brazen. Typically, the worst example was Mike Hosking who had the entirely unjustified temerity to suggest Edward Snowden was somehow a part of the problem and, by implication, had blood on his hands. Its as if Hosking has never even considered one of the prime messages Snowden delivered: total surveillance results in impending terrorist actions going unnoticed, total surveillance as we have now has actually put people at greater risk.

  4. Tracey 4

    They did not carry out the acts in Paris but it won’t stop Politicians and their neatly placed mouthpieces using them…

    Pushing the fear hot button

    “When a politician talks about almost everything in terms of terrorism, or communism, or crime, or threats to “national security” or “our way of life,” and so on, that politician is pushing the fear hot button. It’s very easy to push. Just use a few of the right trigger words, throw in a dash of plausibility, and the subconsciousness is automatically hoodwinked into a state of fear, or at least into wondering if there is something out there to fear. Whether or not an enemy actually is out there doesn’t matter—what matters is that we think there might be one. Fear clouds the judgment, making it all the harder to discern whether there really is an enemy out there. Because we cannot be sure, we play it safe and assume there is at least some risk. Since people are risk averse, the ploy works and we become believers. We have been influenced by statements of what might be lurking out there. Our fear hot button has been pushed and it worked.”

    Imagine what a powerful weapon fear becomes when people have just been killed in Paris…

    And then consider that some of these attackers were on a radar already, some were checked and let go after the event. Detain everyone on suspicion is the next step?

  5. Tracey 5

    I thought John Key gave up the post of Head of Spy Agencies?

    • Grindlebottom 5.1

      Yes he did. Chris Finlayson is Minister for Security Intelligence Services. But PMs frequently comment on other MInisters’ portfolio issues,

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        I know but its like Key knows more about our secret servces since he stopped being responsble for them.

      • Smilin 5.1.2

        He, Key just cant stay out of the limelight on any issue which makes you wonder what the rest of the caucus are doing -navel gazing possibly or just servants of the mighty one

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    Isn’t one of the primary aims of a terrorist organisation who plants bombs etc to actually encourage states to repress their citizenry, so that the citizens actually rebel against the government?

    Also, if you were a government who wanted to spy on your own citizens, all you need is some sort of pretext such as a terrorist attack. When civil libertarians argue against the spying, they can be accused of supporting terrorists. Pretty much the same argument as the Prime Minister was using regarding Christmas Island in Parliament.

  7. Bill 8

    Sorry, but I’m not buying any of this. Why would the guys in Paris and Belgium have had to speak to anyone in Syria or Isis?

    From the post.

    …French intelligence did not pick up any communications which foreshadowed the massive, co-ordinated terror attacks in Paris…

    Occams Razor would suggest that was because there was no communication.

    It’s being suggested that the communication tool of choice was… assumes there was a need for communication – but why would there be?

    Let me put it by way of a shaky analogous example – shaky because it presents the propaganda of the time as real.

    Imagine terrorism in Ireland in the 80s. The news told us that it was all down to a religious divide and that the religion on the ‘other side’ was Catholicism. Catholicism was and is centred in the Vatican City. Now, lets imagine that some Irish person committed an act of terrorism on a genuinely religious basis. Are we to believe they could only have done so after receiving centralised instructions or having engaged in lengthy correspondence with either Buckingham Palace or the Vatican?

    Well no, of course not.

    And that’s given, that back in the 80s the need for wider and deeper communication with acknowledged authorities (to access bomb expertise, gun procurement, etc) would have been greater then given no internet loaded with info, sources and ideas.

    French and Belgium nationals, like our imaginary Irish example, hook their action to an ideology and then act in the name of that ideology. There is no need for central control or a huge volume of communication.

    • Anno1701 8.1

      “Are we to believe they could only have done so after receiving centralised instructions or having engaged in lengthy correspondence with either Buckingham Palace or the Vatican? ”

      There was actual proven collusion between UK security forces( “Buckingham palace” ) and Loyalist paramilitaries in Northen Ireland

      http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/london-told-it-must-face-up-to-fact-of-collusion-in-north-1.2250653

      http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/britains-secret-terror-deals-truly-disturbing-bbc-panorama-allegations-of-collusion-must-be-fully-investigated-says-amnesty-international-31261593.html

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      …French intelligence did not pick up any communications which foreshadowed the massive, co-ordinated terror attacks in Paris…

      Occams Razor would suggest that was because there was no communication.

      Basic Op Sec would suggest that if there was any connection with ISIL Syrian leadership that it was all organised months ago and compartmentalised so that the tactical units in France never needed to talk to anyone in Syria again.

      • Bill 8.2.1

        I’m picking there was no contact, or at most, very minimal contact. Isil in Syria decided to hit cafe goers, a rock concert and a football match?

        I. don’t. think. so.

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          I don’t think our comments necessarily preclude each other.

          A football match between France and Germany that senior politicians and officials from both countries were at.

          A concert by an American rock band.

          Final target selection could have been totally under local control, with the broad strokes of the op previously defined in Syria many months ago.

    • joe90 8.3

      Why would the guys in Paris and Belgium have had to speak to anyone in Syria or Isis?

      Indeed.

      Hit soft targets. “Diversify and widen the vexation strikes against the crusader-Zionist enemy in every place in the Islamic world, and even outside of it if possible, so as to disperse the efforts of the alliance of the enemy and thus drain it to the greatest extent possible.”

      Strike when potential victims have their guard down. Sow fear in general populations, damage economies. “If a tourist resort that the crusaders patronise … is hit, all of the tourist resorts in all of the states of the world will have to be secured by the work of additional forces, which are double the ordinary amount, and a huge increase in spending.”

      Consider reports suggesting a 15-year-old was involved in Friday’s atrocity. “Capture the rebelliousness of youth, their energy and idealism, and their readiness for self-sacrifice, while fools preach ‘moderation’ (wasatiyyah), security and avoidance of risk.”

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/15/terrorists-isis?

    • Mike the Savage One 8.4

      You raise some valid points, Bill, it is blinkered to think that these terrorists took their actions by reacting upon some “orders” from Raqqa in Syria, or that they had to communicate extensively via phone and/or internet to organise what they did. I fear there are enough “desperados” and fanatic extremists, and also some who genuinely believe they act in total righteousness, who are prepared to commit such attacks. Getting the guns and what else is needed takes a bit of an effort, but hey, how many stolen army, police and home based weapons are somewhere in circulation or storage in New Zealand?

      If seriously committed, any few or sole persons can get their hands at some automatic guns, on the black market or by burgling a place, and getting rental cars is hardly requiring much criminal energy, most certainly not dependent on some “instructions” from a faraway place in Syria. They can also easily find jihadist, black flags with some Arabic words by the Prophet on, or get them printed in any flat, house or garage with no problem.

      By that I do not rule out that there is some significant international communications via the “black web” and so, between like minded, who have plans to take certain actions.

      Even Bin Laden’s followers did all to avoid using the internet, after 9/11, and found ways to communicate, and much went on without detection.

      • Bill 8.4.1

        Manchester. 1980s. Want a gun. Who do I speak to? It’s backing up drug shit.

        Do I speak to a Columbian drug lord?

        Nope.

        Paris. 2015. I want a gun and some bomb material. Who do I speak to? It’s backing up some expreession of desperation/hopelessness.

        Do I speak to some Isil commander in Syria?

        Nope.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.5

      It’s being suggested that the communication tool of choice was… assumes there was a need for communication – but why would there be?

      A team always needs to communicate. The question is more how they communicated and if those communications could have been picked up which they probably couldn’t even with the mass surveillance that governments engage in now..

      You’re making the assumption that the authorities are assuming centralised control rather than a decentralised cell structure carrying out an operation. Unlikely that but the reporting is.

      • exkiwiforces 8.5.1

        It’s call safe hand/ dead letter drops, snail mail or need to know and enforcing strict comms silence. Just ask Pablo over Kiwipolitico or anybody who is ex-military

  8. alwyn 9

    The gist of this post appears to be the view that we shouldn’t carry out surveillance because it is completely useless.

    Try reading this article in the Dom/Post
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/paris-attacks/74097018/paris-attacks-belgian-man-abdelhamid-abaaoud-named-as-mastermind
    If the facts in this story are correct perhaps you would tell us how many other attacks would have gone ahead and how many people would have been killed if we had carried out no attempts to keep track of these people at all?
    We see such statements in the story as
    “Abaaoud was also believed to have been behind thwarted plans to attack a Paris-bound high-speed train and Paris area church, a French official said” Thwarted you will note.
    “Abaaoud was named as the head of a jihadi cell broken up by Belgian police in January, “hours or days” before a planned attack to kill police officers.” The attack appears to be have been prevented.

    I have seen other stories listing foiled attempts at terrorism. Should we do nothing because some attempts succeed?

    • r0b 9.1

      Targeted surveillance of known threats makes sense. Mass surveillance of everyone does not. Did you read the linked piece?

      The mathematics of surveillance

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2

      Clearly the only alternative to spying on everyone is to spy on no-one. No, wait, this just in: Alwyn’s false dichotomy is very very stupid.

    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      If the facts in this story are correct perhaps you would tell us how many other attacks would have gone ahead and how many people would have been killed if we had carried out no attempts to keep track of these people at all?

      In Congressional hearings in 2012 or 2013 the answer to your question was pretty clear: NSA mass surveillance had prevented zero terrorist attacks.

      This is not a surprise because NSA mass surveillance is designed as a tool of local population control (and building up security state fiefdoms), not as an anti-terrorist measure.

  9. theDude 10

    By Armstrong;
    “It Is Time to Knock off the Bullshit About Surveillance for Terrorism”

    http://www.armstrongeconomics.com/archives/39316

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-15/martin-armstrong-rages-its-time-knock-bs-about-surveillance-terrorism

    I guess we ill have to wait and see.

  10. infused 11

    First, PS4 was a load of shit, second, anyone can intercept encrypted data, but decrypting it is another story.

    You are confusing two different things here with your interpenetration of Key’s comments.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      Interpenetration? Is that like defeating extremism by winning hearts and minds rather than relying on mass-murder and panty-sniffing?

      • infused 11.1.1

        You’d know.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1

          I wouldn’t go that far: I just think that after a decade of deranged wingnut vengeance fantasies it’s past time to try something sane instead.

          Oh, and we have always been at war with North Korea 😆

          • infused 11.1.1.1.1

            I don’t think you quite grasp what I said originally. I was specifically talking about encryption.

            One interesting thing to note: If you do use strong encryption, expect to be monitored.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh I grasped it perfectly thanks.

              As for being monitored, chicken, meet egg. How do the curtain-twitching department know I’m using (say) email encryption over and above that provided by ISPs, unless they’re already watching?

              • infused

                No ISP has any type of encryption as far as I know. Unless you are talking about SSL for email? Mail stored on the DB is most likely unencrypted.

                And of course they are watching. GCSB has monitoring at most gateways and exchanges in NZ.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Apart from SSL, Google said that about 65 per cent of the messages sent by its Gmail users are encrypted…

                  So, assuming you’re right, and the GCSB is illegally hoovering up everything in direct contradiction of the Prime Minister’s craven mendacity, that’s an awful lot of “monitoring”. I expect the courts are flat our processing all the warrants 🙄

                  • infused

                    Yeah, again, you are confusing things. Hence my original post.

                    1) They only encrypt the transport, not the storage.
                    2) The gateway monitoring is only active when triggered by an alert, or they are actively searching for something. IE, pass-through mode.

                    They don’t just mass store data, as it’s physically impossible for a small country like NZ.

                    Encrypting storage is a whole different ball game and very few companies are going to do that. The biggest issue is you generally can never restore any data unless you have the key pairs. So it makes data recovery etc impossible.

          • alwyn 11.1.1.1.2

            “Oh, and we have always been at war with North Korea”

            Actually we have never been at war with North Korea.
            Although it is called the Korean War, and we are still in an armistice, no war was ever actually declared. It was a UN Police Action to which we contributed troops, not an official war.
            I doubt if the people who served there could tell the difference.

  11. Colonial Viper 12

    There is a very odd thing about the Paris attacks – up to 7 suicide bombers exploded their suicide vests…but the explosions themselves resulted in very few casualties. Compare that to the pre-election political rally in Ankara where two suicide bombs killed just over 100 people.

    • infused 12.1

      Feel free to go watch the liveleak videos if you’d like to see limbs etc in-case you are one of those people who though this was a conspiracy (there are a few).

  12. Colonial Viper 13

    Also – the Labour Party voted for John Key’s anti-terrorism/spying legislation earlier this year.

    They’re all on the same side.

    • infused 13.1

      Once you actually see what these guys collect, you’d probably change your mind.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        yeah, underwear pics and details of peoples affairs, who their ex-spouses are sleeping with, your blood test results and latest CV, stored into perpetuity.

  13. Colonial Viper 14

    ISPs have to install whatever surveillance devices required by the intelligence services. If the US example is anything to go by, the ISPs don’t complain because they are well paid to do so.

    • infused 14.1

      Well they aren’t paid well at all actually… And they are not generally installed at the ISP level. All ISPs connect to exchanges, like WIX. That’s where they are placed, and the international gateways like Southern Cross.

  14. Mike the Savage One 15

    So after passing GCSB law amendments to give the agency more powers to gather information on ordinary New Zealanders, and to also justify that they cooperate even more with other agencies under the 5 Eyes network, such as the US NSA, which has gathered huge amounts of metadata on ordinary people’s phone and internet use, we are now told by the PM, all that does not do what they claimed it should do.

    So yet again, the Prime Minister has revealed that he is a total hypocrite if not a blatant liar, and the media just reports on it, and does not raise further questions.

    And the people are fed endless media reports on the terror attacks in Paris, and their consequences, now the bulk of news on TV every evening, so they think, we need more surveillance.

    I feel treated like an ass that has been kicked too many times, when do others, and when do the casual, ignorant, silent majority finally get it, wake up, and vote this “criminal” lot out? We should not even wait that long, in any society where people used their brains, bothered to care, and stood up for their rights, there should by now be mass protests out in the streets, but I see none here in NZ.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11546206

  15. Ad 16

    I think the post is arguing too much from a position of global safety and of having not been touched by the damage on New Zealand soil from non-state terrorism. Australia has had too many dead in Bali, Sydney and elsewhere for it to be simply a principle to argue over.

    We have rightly rounded on our grossly under-regulated security apparatus, and its ridiculous new legal powers. SIS and GCSB leaders and their performance should have full scrutiny to a fully open Select Committee, with the media right there.

    But the left need to deal with the necessity of a security apparatus for New Zealand.

    If the ISIS threat continues to escalate globally, as it seems to be, we are going to have to prepare for state-licensed mosques at a minimum. We have state-regulated schools here so it’s not a great leap.

    The price of freedom in a society is regulation.

  16. Draco T Bastard 17

    Off on the wrong track again. The communications used in the case of the Paris attacks were as sophisticated as – a PS4:

    LOL

    There was concern when Apple first launched it’s G4 computer back 1999 that could do 1 giga FLOPS because of it’s potential to do real time encryption and thus it’s potential to help rogue nations to build up their military potential. Apple’s marketing department had a great time but:

    A final note on how far we’ve come: while I couldn’t find listed MTOPS ratings for the iPhone 5s, a cursory calculation using comparable Geekbench scores coupled with this chart from Intel suggests that the current iPhone has a rating of around 40,000 MTOPS.

    The average run of the mill phone makes the G4 look like a friggen calculator and yet that was all that was needed to ensure communications that couldn’t be listened to.

    The PS4’s computing power is far beyond what a phone is capable of.

  17. John Schmidt 18

    Not mentioned because it’s inconvenient is the number of terrorist events that have been thwarted that has been mentioned briefly in the public domain, some of these events would have been bigger than Paris had they been succesful. Briefly because it appears no one wants to dwell on good news or if it does not fit with one’s ideology. Would not surprise me if there are other events that never made it to the public domain. If you look at what has happened the rush to encryption began with wiki leaks and accelerated with Snowden revelations. So yes those who wish society harm have learnt a lot from all the revelations so it could be argued wiki leaks and Snowden now have blood on their hands.
    The question for society now is how many deaths are acceptable because while many threats are thwarted some are succesful. It’s impossible to be 100% safe. To eliminate the threat entirely means losing an unacceptable level of personal privacy. So the question remains are we happy as a society to accept the current level of deaths or do we reduce this through loss of personal freedom or do we accept an increasing loss by reducing the ability of the state in keeping us safe.

  18. RichardK 19

    Couple things i’d like to say n this.

    As far as i am aware military hardware is about 20 years more advanced than civilian.

    Bearing that in mind if the military have already a well functioning quantum computer even at it’s basist, there will be no encryption it could not crack in almost realtime.

    Quantum computers = scary in the wrong hands and the likelihood of the military having this is high, or if not now, within the next few years.

    and as of today when our gov and media seem complacent in not even reporting the sneaky antics and laws being passed under ugency, making laws again to cover their errors, with more lack of media coverage to hide it from the public.

    The fear i have is when governments become this powerful and agenda driven guerilla wars break out, terrorism becomes a national problem not international.

    The whole system currently under national and everything they do is crazy as batshit we do as we please, fuck you, batshit crazy..

    They really need to go before their is civil disorder

  19. greywarshark 20

    Vladimir Putin has been doing some noteworthy surveillance.
    16 November 2015
    Putin: ISIS financed from 40 countries, including G20 members
    https://www.rt.com/news/322305-isis-financed-40-countries/

    “Putin also spoke of the urgent need to curb the illegal oil trade by IS”.
    “I’ve shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil and petroleum products,” he said.
    “The motorcade of refueling vehicles stretched for dozens of kilometers, so that from a height of 4,000 to 5,000 meters they stretch beyond the horizon,” Putin added, comparing the convoy to gas and oil pipeline systems…..

    President Vladimir Putin says he’s shared Russian intelligence data on Islamic State financing with his G20 colleagues: the terrorists appear to be financed from 40 countries, including some G20 member states.
    During the summit, “I provided examples based on our data on the financing of different Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) units by private individuals. This money, as we have established, comes from 40 countries and, there are some of the G20 members among them,” Putin told the journalists….

    Putin reiterated Russia’s readiness to support armed opposition in Syria in its efforts to fight Islamic State.
    “Some armed opposition groups consider it possible to begin active operations against IS with Russia’s support. And we are ready to provide such support from the air. If it happens it could become a good basis for the subsequent work on a political settlement,” he said.
    “We really need support from the US, European nations, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran,” the president added.”

  20. Gabby 21

    You’ve got to wonder how these convoys have escaped the attention of the yankers.

  21. Liberal Realist 22

    Read an article yesterday that suggests there was a massive cyber attack on Paris infrastructure 48 hours before the attacks which blinded police surveillance.

    “French Security Left Blind During Paris Attacks

    Paul Craig Roberts

    I have received a report from European security that there was a massive cyber attack on French systems 48 hours prior to and during the Paris attacks. Among other things, the attack took down the French mobile data network and blinded police surveillance The attack was not a straightforward DDOS attack but a sophisticated attack that targeted a weakness in infrastructure hardware.

    Such an attack is beyond the capability of most organizations and requires capability that is unlikely to be in ISIL’s arsenal. An attack on this scale is difficult to pull off without authorities getting wind of it. The coordination required suggests state involvement.”

    The article does state that it is unknown if this information is credible. I’m not familiar with this author however his resume (in the about section) looks to have credibility.

    If a cyber attack did happen as this article suggest there are some very big questions to ask. We’ll probably never know.

    From here:
    https://tinyurl.com/ngqehdc

  22. sabine 23

    considering that all the terrorists were from France or Belgium, one wonders when they are starting to rain down bombs on the poor ghettos outside of Paris and Brussels. Cause clearly the terrorism is home grown.
    The ideology is stolen from Daesh, but the executioners were not Syrian Refugees.

  23. Reminds me to reinstall my Encryption software again!

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  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
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    10 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
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    11 hours ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
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    12 hours ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
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    13 hours ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
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    14 hours ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
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    15 hours ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
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    2 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
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    2 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
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    2 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
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    2 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
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    3 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
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    3 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
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    3 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
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    3 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
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    3 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
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    3 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
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    4 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
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    4 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
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    4 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
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    4 days ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
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    5 days ago
  • Innovative technology and tools to better manage freedom camping
    A package of new and expanded technology and other tools will encourage responsible camping and help communities and local councils better manage freedom camping this summer, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “Our Government has been investing to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone because we want to support ...
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    5 days ago
  • Improving wellbeing by understanding our genes
    The government is laying the groundwork to understanding our genes – work that can help us tackle some of our biggest health challenges, like heart disease and diabetes, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. $4.7 million has been invested in the Genomics Aotearoa Rakeiora programme. The programme will ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government investing to future proof school property
    Nearly every state schools will receive a capital injection next year valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.  The one-off cash injection is the first project to be announced from the Government’s infrastructure package ...
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    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure investments to be brought forward
    The Government has decided to bring forward major investments in New Zealand’s infrastructure to future proof the economy. “Cabinet has agreed to a significant boost to infrastructure investment. I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government’s short and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Future-proofing New Zealand
    It is a great pleasure to be with you today in Whanganui. Like the Prime Minister I grew up with the TV clip of Selwyn Toogood booming “What do you say Whanganui, the money or the bag?” to an unsuspecting ‘It’s in the Bag’ audience. For those under the age ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa track opened – an asset for the West Coast
    New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track, was officially opened in Blackball today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage alongside the family members of the Pike 29 and Ngāti Waewae.  Local mayors and MP for the West Coast Hon Damien O’Connor were also in attendance. “Paparoa National Park ...
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    7 days ago
  • P-8A Poseidon base works commence
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark turned the first sod of earth on the infrastructure works for the new P-8A Poseidon fleet at RNZAF Base Ohakea today. “The Coalition Government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead ...
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    1 week ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
    New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work with the world’s best and brightest at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further support to Samoa in the wake of an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. Additional medical supplies and personnel, including a third rotation of New Zealand’s emergency medical assistance team (NZMAT), further nurse vaccinators, intensive care (ICU) specialists and Samoan-speaking medical professionals, will ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cost less of a factor for Kiwis seeking GP care
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new data showing a sharp drop in the number of people who can’t afford to visit their GP is a sign of real progress. One year after the Government made it cheaper for about 600,000 Kiwis to visit their doctor, results of the New ...
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    1 week ago
  • Trade for All Board releases recommendations
    The Trade for All Advisory Board has released its recommendations for making New Zealand’s trade policy deliver for all New Zealanders.  The report was today welcomed by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.  “Trade is crucial to this country’s economy and well-being, and the benefits need to flow to all ...
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    1 week ago