PDA

View Full Version : The UK spends upwards of 2 billions annually, for what exactly?


airship
7th Nov 2013, 15:53
UK intelligence work defends freedom, say spy chiefs in this BBC report (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24847399): Britain's security services defend "freedom and democracy", the head of MI5 has told MPs and peers. Andrew Parker is being grilled alongside GCHQ director Sir Iain Lobban and MI6 chief Sir John Sawers in an unprecedented public hearing...

..."The work we do is addressing directly threats to this country, to our way of life and to the people who live here."

MI6 chief Sir John Sawers was quizzed about why the security services had failed to predict the fall of the Soviet Union, 9/11 and the Arab Spring.

He said that was not their job, telling the committee: "We acquire the secrets that other countries don't want us to know... we are not all-knowing specialists in what's going to happen next month or next year."...

What "struck me in the face almost" was "we are not all-knowing specialists in what's going to happen next month or next year."

So WTF does the UK spend an important sum of $2 billions (not all that great a sum IMHO) instead of getting rid of GCHQ, MI5/6 etc. and simply devoting the 2 billions to paying "whistle-blowers" like Edward Snowden and many others (who might just come forward with truly important intelligence, whoever or wherever they are/were, if they knew and were confident that their lives would be spared, "future existences" protected etc.)?

Just think about it for a moment: 2 billions shared between 1,000 "whistle-blowers (or traitors if you prefer) is 2 million per whistle-blower. That's probably too little to guarantee the safety of these people and their families "for the rest of their lives", so why not just limit our largesse to say 200 individuals each year = 10 million per "whistle-blower" or Iranian / Iraqi / Russian / Chinese / North Korean / Pakistani national with important intelligence to share with us? :8

airship would be happy to organise all of this on behalf of HM government in the wake of the imminent demise of severely dysfunctional UK intelligence departments such as GCHQ, MI5/6 etc. in exchange for say a 10-15% commission (to cover administrative fees and employment of some ex. special-forces and intelligence professionals where special extraction facilities are required) on disbursements. Will the UK's parliamentarians be brave enough to consider throwing these people onto the scrap-heap nonetheless. Considering what they know about them (and everyone else)...?! Surely, when faced with the risk of actually losing their well-paid jobs and "final-salary" pensions, they'd fight back... :uhoh:

We've read so much recently about government / private initiatives to save money in other areas such as building road and rail infrastructure, power stations etc., so let's put it all into practice. And protect the average UK internet and mobile phone user from unnecessary spying at the same time. And why not Angela Merkel in Germany too...?! :ok:

VP959
7th Nov 2013, 16:15
I'd have thought we could have just scrapped most of the security services electronic intelligence gathering work and just hacked into the NSA's systems. After all, they are hacking into everyone else's, so it stands to reason that all the useful stuff will be in their systems.

Knowing how crap the UK government are at getting value for money with computer projects I bet we'd save a small fortune by just hiring a bunch of spotty-faced geek hackers.

Lonewolf_50
7th Nov 2013, 16:28
You may have heard the following saying:
"There is no such thing as a stupid question."
It's wrong.
So WTF does the UK spend an important sum of $2 billions (not all that great a sum IMHO) instead of getting rid of GCHQ, MI5/6 etc. and simply devoting the 2 billions to paying "whistle-blowers" like Edward Snowden and many others (who might just come forward with truly important intelligence, whoever or wherever they are/were, if they knew and were confident that their lives would be spared, "future existences" protected etc.)?
That's a stupid question.

Part of the art of intelligence gathering is already finding people willing to talk about things they should not be talking about. You don't know about it since a lot of it isn't in the papers.

The other part is analysis: making sense of the various bits a pieces of information to see how they fit together. No source is omniscient.

airship
7th Nov 2013, 16:51
Ooops, but Lonewolf_50 just raised the question of: ...the art of intelligence gathering... It's an "art", which possibly explains everything. Why you or I could "express" ourselves on a 1m canvas which would not sell for more than we paid for the materials alone, yet "others" have been able to sell for US$ millions at auction...

I see where you're "coming from" mate.

So far as "analysis" is concerned, please refer back to: "We acquire the secrets that other countries don't want us to know... we are not all-knowing specialists in what's going to happen next month or next year.".... I don't believe the UK intelligence agencies are very strong when it comes to analysis of any data. Preferring to merely "hoover it all up" and send it on to Langley or wherever for further processing.

You may have heard the following saying: "Only dumb westerners try to eat noodle-soup with chopsticks". :ok:

Ancient Observer
7th Nov 2013, 17:06
If the poor old Brits spend 2bn sterling, I hate to think what the USA spends.

Nice piece in the paper recently about Brazil admitting to spying on USA.

SilsoeSid
7th Nov 2013, 17:18
Considering this countries welfare expenditure is greater than that of the military, NHS & education combined

2 billion wouldn't even cover the cost of the motability scam, sorry scheme.

What does the government spend its money on? | Economics Help (http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/142/economics/what-does-the-government-spend-its-money-on/)

radeng
7th Nov 2013, 19:08
Nice article in the latest IEEE Spectrum magazine on steganography and how to hide secret emails by various methods.

Meanwhile we hear that because of Snowden's revelations, AQ have changed their communications. They must be pretty goddamn thick if they hadn't realised how insecure most systems are, and figured that by using the internet, it's easy to overload the security guys with trash while an alternative system stays secure.

The clandestine radio operators dropped in Yugoslavia in WW2 were sent to buy two copies of a paper back novel of their choice in Cairo. One went with them and the other stayed behind....This became their code book with a coding system committed to memory.....having several different paper back novels increased the security if they were captured. A variant of that wouldn't be that easy to crack even today with super computers.