Armin Medosch on Fri, 15 Jan 2010 17:46:41 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> Google

Brilliant analysis Ted. I have just been finishing a draft article on

and as this article will appear in a print magazine, I had to leave out
a lot of stuff, some of which I want to share here as it syncs with
Ted's bits. 

A literary gem is the brochure advertising the Siemens Intelligence
Platform. It asks 'if the person flying into your country at a
particular date every month is visiting his companyâs headquarters?' but
'the date sometimes falls on a weekend'? It troubles 'you', if you are a
telecommunications company, with questions how to cope with 'vague
subscriber identities' and 'undetermined Legal Interception
responsibilities'. Your solution then is the Siemens Intelligence
Platform, which can 'integrate data from many sources' and create 'new
intelligence using 'sophisticated intelligence resources'. Among those
data sources are 'data retention systems' (of course), 'internet
adresses merged with geographical information systems' (nice one),
'traffic control points' (yep), 'credit card transactions' (oops, by the
way there is some 'higher justice' and 'DNA analysis database' (minority report here we go), to give just a few examples of a much longer list. 

This and other examples I could access thanks to the Austrian
investigative journalist Erich Moechel and the NGO In an
article on the technology news website of the Austrian Broadcast
Corporation (ORF, Moechel writes that this branch of
Siemens, now merged into Siemens Nokia, has good customers in many
regions of the world, among them Iran and China, (Futurezone,
07.04.2008, Datenjagd auf Dissidenten,

Moechel points out in another article that companies such as Siemens
Nokia have a decisive competitive advantage, because they have a precise
knowledge of the 'legal interception standards' created by the European
Telecom Standards Institute (ETSI). Since 1998 an international working
group, with strong participation of the USA, called 'SEC - Lawful
Interception (LI)' populated by 'a wild mix of German, Dutch and British
secret service personnel' and 'their equipment vendors, from Siemens
Nokia to the Chinese company Huawei and representatives of telcos' is
working out how LI is to be made possible by building backdoors into
equipment such as mobile phone switches and internet routers. 

Now that those backdoors exist, how nice to make a webinterface for
automated requests by legal interceptors. This link is from Brian:

Those joint efforts we owe the oh so democratic EU with its European
Data Retention Directive of 2006

The British investigative journalist Duncan Campbell has traced how
those European initiatives have been 'initiated' by an older and really
quite secretive group called International Law Enforcement
Telecommunications Seminar (ILETS), a USA dominated international group
of spooks who have been urging governments to implement 'International
User Requirements' into technical specifications of new digital
telecommunications equipment since the early 1990s, citing as a
necessity the danger that 'interception capabilities' would fall behind
because of digitalisation of telecommunications switching equipment and
new technologies such as mobile phones and the internet (Telepolis,
29.04.1999. ILETS and the Enfopol 98 Affair, 

That this fear was partly motivated by the fact that those agencies had
for decades enjoyed quite far reaching capacities for interception
through the Echelon system was at the time of the start of ILETS, in the
early 1990s, not in the public domain. 

We remember with bright smiles full of Schadenfreude when former CIA
director, James Woolsey, did not only admit that Echelon existed but
justified its existence after the end of the Cold War with "European
Bribery", thereby admitting that Echelon was used in the 1990s primarily
for economic espionage on its European allies (Telepolis,
12.03.2000.Former CIA Director says US economic spying targets "European

Echelon looks a bit rusty compared to hot new 'research initiatives
funded by the EU. A research program under the maddening title of
Intelligent information system supporting observation, searching and
detection for security of citizens in urban environment ( INDECT).
Coordinated by the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow,
Poland, 17 universities, companies and the Northern Ireland Police Force
try to develop a platform for the 'registration and exchange of
operational data' capable of 'automatic detection of threats and
recognition of abnormal behaviour or violence' with the further aims of
tracking 'mobile objects' and of extending search engine capacities on
images and video ( Faustic-Fantastic! 

And this could go on and on and on. Add to that the Hadopi law in France
and that similar stuff is under way in Britain and other countries
mainstream media complaints about 'Chinese censorship of the internet'
look somewhat hypocritical although one evil does of course not justify
the other. Enjoy freedom, cheers

On Fri, 2010-01-15 at 08:57 -0500, t byfield wrote:

> (Wed 01/13/10 at 01:18 PM -0600):
> > It seems that a global corporation is now doing battle with 
> > a an extremely powerful state on the terrain of information. 
> > A rare event. Or there is an extremely convoluted strategy 
> > that we cannot yet understand. One way or another, how 
> > fascinating!
> Or: a global corporation is now the terrain on which extremely powerful
> states are now doing battle.
> This is all impossibly murky, and there's much more talk than facts (cf.
> my earlier remark about speech acts lying at the heart of this tussle), 
> so echo-camber effects are inevitable. That said, this sounds like it's
> getting warm:[1]

thenextlayer software, art, politics

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:
#  archive: contact: