Spies, Lies and Realpolitik

Here’s the affidavit. It’s written so as not to reveal information.


  1. On or about December 20, 2020, the FBI’s attaché (“LEGAT”) in COUNTRY1 obtained a package representatives from COUNTRY1 had received in April 2020 through a mail carrier from the U.S. by an unidentified subject in an attempt to establish a covert relationship. The package contained U.S. Navy documents, a letter containing instructions, and an SD card containing specific instructions on how COUNTRY1 should respond using an encrypted communication platform, and additional documents.
  1. On May 17, 2021, the UC posing as a representative of COUNTRY iresponded and said,inpart, “We are happy to set a signal to bring you comfort and build necessary trust between us. The signal will be inside our main building from Saturday morning until Sunday evening Memorial Day weekend.”
  1. During the weekend of May 29-30, 2021, the FBI conducted an operation in the Washington, D.C. area that involved placing a signal at a location associated with COUNTRY 1 in an attempted effort to gain bona fides with “ALICE.”

I mean sure, “obtained a package” could be read as “was given”, and “conducted an operation” could be read as “asked embassy contacts to place the signal”, but on the other hand, it might have involved wiretaps, breaking into a diplomatic bag, and covert infiltration of diplomatic property.


Cross post from SolarWinds thread…


Note that this article pinpoints France as COUNTRY1

Yeah, this excerpt from one of the messages that the guy wrote doesn’t seem to leave much doubt:

Not that China and Russia don’t have cafes and wine, but that’s not exactly what they’re known for.


Sovereignty? We’ve heard of it. UK government gives contract to store MI5, MI6 and GCHQ’s data to AWS

Hands up who wants to do that info migration


The UK’s intelligence services are to store their secret files in the AWS cloud in a deal inked earlier this year, according to reports.

The GCHQ organisation (electrical/radio communications eavesdropping), MI5 (domestic UK intelligence matters), MI6 (external UK intel) and also the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will access their data in the cloud, albeit in UK-located AWS data centres.



Massive GCHQ Data Leak as Amazon Storage Bucket Left Unprotected on Elastic Search Server

Reuters, May 12, 2023

Taking bets against up to and including 1 :beer:

I wonder how many more thousands of Amazon employees will now have to get clearance… :thinking: Let’s hope that co-op student doing the CSS isn’t doing it for MSS …


Good news.


People keep falling out of windows these days.


“Either Russians are incredibly clumsy or they should stay away from open upper-floor windows” -DailyBeast


Beijing fingers foreign spies for data mischief, with help from consulting firm

Chinese media wonders why it hasn’t been reported in the West - hang on, you’re reading

China’s Ministry of State Security released details this week of three alleged security breaches that saw sensitive data illegally transferred abroad.

State-sponsored Xinhua News Agency described the breaches as “endangering the security of important data” and said by disclosing them, the Ministry sought to build awareness of non-traditional security and, by doing so, better maintain national security.

The announcement, which deliberately coincides with the seventh anniversary of the country’s anti-espionage law, described airline data stolen by an overseas intelligence agency, shipping data collected by a consulting firm that provided it to a foreign spy agency, and the construction of weather devices to transfer sensitive meteorological data abroad. It is unclear whether one or more foreign intelligence agencies conducted the alleged attacks, or if the actions were linked.


1 Like

Bellingcat reports that the diplomat is the son of Gen. Alexey Zhalo, the deputy director of the FSB’s Second Directorate and head of the FSB’s Directorate for Protection of Constitutional Order, which handles terrorism cases.


The plot thickens! (I so rarely get an opportunity to say that.)


Not the banana bread recipe!

That all sounds so ginned up.



No day in court: US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rulings will stay a secret

Eight years after Snowden, you’ll never know how much they spy on you…

The US Supreme Court this week refused [PDF] to hear a case that would have forced the country’s hush-hush Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to explain its justifications for giving the Feds the right to help themselves to bulk amounts of the public’s data.

The FISC decides who the Feds can follow according to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

In a blistering dissent filed on Monday [PDF], Justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor asked why the court would decline to review a case with “profound implications for Americans’ privacy and their rights to speak and associate freely.”

The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which had tried to use the high court to review lower court rulings on the public’s First Amendment right to see federal authorities’ legal justification for bulk data collection. The collection period in question stretches over the 12 years before former NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden brought the practice to light as well as two years after he did so (2001-2015). But the Supremes refused to certify the case.

The seven other justices, as legal news site Law360 pointed out, provided no explanation.


Something, something, national security, something, freedom.


Oh wow, that is good.

Ricky Gervais Lol GIF

1 Like

Not say’n they’re spies but they’re spies.

1 Like