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Social Networks Government Privacy The Almighty Buck

German Spy Agency Seeks Millions To Monitor Social Networks 59

itwbennett writes: Germany's foreign intelligence agency reportedly wants to spend €300 million (about $375 million) in the next five years on technology that would let it spy in real time on social networks outside of Germany, and decrypt and monitor encrypted Internet traffic. The agency, which already spent €6.22 million in preparation for this online surveillance push, also wants to use the money to set up an early warning system for cyber attacks, the report said (Google translation of German original). A prototype is expected to be launched next June with the aim of monitoring publicly available data on Twitter and blogs.
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German Spy Agency Seeks Millions To Monitor Social Networks

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  • Just like the NSA did.

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2014 @03:20AM (#48357457)

    The NSA is doing that for them

  • By 2020 some of that money may be spent the black market to buy zero day exploits, unpublicized vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.

    Don't forget the ecstasy and coke!

    Is this a way of propping up prices, like they do with dairy purchases for instance? Does this particular market need government subsidies at this time?

  • by Futurepower(R) ( 558542 ) <> on Tuesday November 11, 2014 @03:49AM (#48357545) Homepage
    I just saw Citizenfour []. It's interesting to know how the news about Snowden got started. The movie makes the point that those who take away privacy do that because they want control.

    In my opinion, destructiveness toward healthy society is an outbreak of symptoms of mental conflict.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Assholes. I'm a contributor in Germany. I really take issue with that. Go do something useful for society instead (for example: the streets in Berlin are incredibly filthy. Start there).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Compared to all the other crap the German government wastes money on, this is peanuts. Did you know, for example, that a lot of clergy and church buildings are paid for by your taxes (and I don't mean church taxes, those are just pocket money for the churches, I mean general taxes)? Last I looked, you couldn't even get the German federal budget in some nice convenient format (only as lots of HTML web pages and encoded in a nearly useless code) to figure out where the money was going.

    • They can't do that anymore. Last time they tried to remove the garbage from Berlin, half of the Bundestag went missing.

      (the rest escaped mostly by not showing up to work)

  • That's like what? Two consulting firms for a year? This is peanuts and gives you an indication of the scope they are aiming for. Let alone that the sheer fact that this is news ought to tell you something about the BND in Germany. Somewhen last year, the SCHUFA and the Hasso-Plattner institute tried to get funding to derive your credit score from your social network activity, the public outcry was deafening. Similarly, this will go nowhere or be so limited in scope as to be useless. We'll just rely on the f
    • If only I could read numbers ..
    • That's like what? Two consulting firms for a year? This is peanuts and gives you an indication of the scope they are aiming for.

      Did you read the part where it says they are aiming for 300million euros?

      • Yes I did, and I posted a correction like 10s later - sorry about that.
        • I guess you'll have to wear a red letter now, because of miscomment on Slashdot. The rest of us always read the summary, and always read the article.
  • by putaro ( 235078 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2014 @04:28AM (#48357669) Journal

    Yeah, Angela Merkel was upset the NSA was spying on her (and she's actually a legitimate target as a head of state and has her own security forces who are supposed to be securing her communications) but wants to return the favor to the rest of the world. They're all the same.

    • by ruir ( 2709173 )
      So much for what? This is just counter-information, they are doing it as we speak.
    • The US is supposed to be allied with Germany. When Germany accidentally tapped the line of the US Vice President they immediately destroyed the recordings. It's call honour and treating your friends as you would hope to be treated. The US doesn't have any friends though, just be allied with it out of convenience.

      It's up to you guys in the US. If you want everyone to treat you like the bunch of cunts you act like, fine, carry on. The world hates you anyway, right? If not, not being dicks to your allies might be a good start on the road to rehabilitation.

      • by chihowa ( 366380 ) *

        ...spy in real time on social networks outside of Germany, and decrypt and monitor encrypted Internet traffic.

        There's more to the world "outside of Germany" than just the US. Your response falls squarely into the "...but the US is doing it, too!" line of reasoning. If citizens of other countries are pissed at being spied on by the NSA, why wouldn't they also be pissed at being spied on by the BND?

      • lol honor. what are you, 5?

        also, germany was complicit with the nsa stuff. they cooperated in exchange for access to the pie.

      • The US is the international equivalent of the schoolyard bully. They don't have no friends. They have suck-ups. Those that pretend to be their friend because hey, it's convenient. He doesn't bully us and keeps on beating the other kids for their lunch money instead of us, and if we pretend to like him he might let us have some of that dough, too.

        Maybe that's why the US loathe the UN so much. No school bully really likes the principal.

    • Hey, she already caved like the wet sponge she is when she was informed that from now on SHE will not be targeted anymore. Oh, and the president too.

      So everything's a-ok as far as she's concerned. Who gives a shit about the rest of the nation?

  • by knorthern knight ( 513660 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2014 @05:27AM (#48357803)

    Only dumb criminals/terrorists would use social networks to plan crimes. Remember how Osama Bin Laden dropped out of sight after 9/11? No cellphones, no landlines, no email, etc. Just communicating via messangers. It took the best intelligence services on the planet years to find him. After the first few splashy cases hit the news, criminals/terrorists will go back to "sneakernet", and the social-network monitoring infrastructure will go to waste.

    • But if something bad happens they'll always be able to blame someone that looks bad because of their social activity.
      The purpose of these spy actions is not to stop terrorists or real criminals, but to control the population.
    • Really? I honestly didn't know the Mossad was involved.

  • That surely will catch some terrorists!
    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      what are the job requirements... heck i would waste my life on social networks too if it meant a real job and not moving back into mom's basement.
      Maybe this is actually a very insightful social service/jobs program. Knowing that so many kids( can't really call them adults) live in basements still... let them get paid for what they are already doing. winning

  • Well, at least that part will work, given that they perform the attack themselves.
  • by cheekyboy ( 598084 ) on Tuesday November 11, 2014 @08:36AM (#48358635) Homepage Journal

    You idiots, why bother.

    Paranoid nut cases that need to be medicated.

  • A nation that's focusing its cyber-spying efforts outside its own country! We'll finally have a country that honours the privacy of its own citizens!

    Yeah, right. From the country whose formerly Communist half gave us the Stasi. Still, it's kinda hard to blame them for ramping up their spying efforts - sometimes "do unto others as they insist on doing unto you" is necessary for survival.

    Any chance we humans will ever come to terms with our animal origins in a way that doesn't involve dominating each other an

The other line moves faster.