Canada's spies surveil the whole world's downloads


The main thing I’ve taken from all these leaks, and reading No Place to Hide isn’t that spies were intercepting everything, I always thought that was a given (my old email signature at uni listed a load of keywords and asked any spooks reading to say hi), but that the agencies involved really need to up their Powerpoint game.

Seriously - this stuff is horrific.


Still, I find it hard to cast Canada in the role of Evil Empire.

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Have you ever met the guy who was just a little too friendly right off the bat? Just a little too interested in you, stands a little too close?
Watch every spy movie. The evil-looking guy in the beard turns out to be the undercover agent who’s got your back, while your closest friend sells you out.
While we’re building a fence across our soft underbelly, the real enemy is patting you on the back and telling you what a good job you’re doing while lifting your wallet.
Those well-educated, socially-conscious bastards.


While I take your point, the Brits, Australians, and Canadians all used to seem a lot more friendly, civilized, and harmless. Now it seems they’ve all joined the US’s Axis of Western Evil.


Hey, don’t give the Kiwis a free pass.


Clean your cookie jar…

Once the agents have an IP address for someone downloading a suspect file, they then run a query on it through GCHQ’s Mutant Broth tool to see which ad cookies have been tracking them (insecure marketing technologies provide an easy vehicle for spying efforts), what their likely Facebook ID is, and so on.

Clearly instead of improving the slides, they sat around debating the relative coolness of names like Mutant Broth and Atomic Banjo.


The cost of this stupid program must be enormous. And wasteful…who cares about downloads??

Adblock set to kill is a necessity. If the HTTP request won’t happen, it won’t set the cookie.

Also, the cookies may be quite persistent, even if created anew; a combination of IP address and browser peculiarities (or even the browser alone) may be a quite strong identifier.


It’s bitterly ironic.

The Harper Conservatives campaigned with huge backing against the federal gun registry on account that government had no business knowing about your guns, even going so far as preventing the provinces from getting the list do they could at least contribute the program in their own region.

But somehow it’s okay for the feds to watch where you buy your guns, what guns and accessories you buy, what you tell your friends about guns, who the people you associate with regarding guns.

Oh yeah, and they get to spy on the rest of your entire private life as well.

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They’re supporting Orange Goblin next Friday.

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