Brit Embassies Listen Too (plus thermal imagers, badBIOS, general Snowden update)

Happy Guy Fawkes Day… when the British public not-so-secretly collectively prays someone would overthrow their rulers, and their rulers are OK with it because the attempt failed last time.

It’s therefore perhaps somewhat apropros that news broke today the British embassy in Berlin also contains a major listening “nest.” And, in what is a reversal of centuries-old traditional roles, the Brits are loads less subtle about it than the Americans. Where the US had the discretion to conceal their Merkel-monitoring gear behind fake architectural panels, the British just put a GIGANTIC CYLINDRICAL BRIGHT WHITE RADOME on the top of their embassy.

If in the end Snowden does end up in Deutschland, this sort of thing would underscore the argument that “it’s not JUST about the US, but learning about everyone ELSE’s misdeeds too!”

Oh, and thermal images of the US embassy also indicate that someone did a panic-shutdown of all the intercept gear once the NSA story broke. Afraid someone was going to park a local-oscillator-sniffing van outside the building? Or did they panic and take all the gear home once German domestic intelligence phoned and asked for a tour…?

Speaking of thermal imagers… Turning a $1000 thermal imager into a $6000 thermal imager with a firmware hack.

Wanna do your own analysis of badBIOS? Dragos has started posting dumps to his G+. Note the comments! The badBIOS thing is reasonably well verified now (with audio dumps of inter-computer communication being analyzed). Yet, someone’s still calling Dragos paranoid schitzophrenic, saying “nobody would want to hack you,” and politely asking him to take a break and stop working on it.

Considering Appelbaum’s statement that there’s evidence GCHQ/NSA/CSE are behind this… such comments indicate Dragos may be in a somewhat dangerous position. They can be indicative the “big boys” are about to pull off the gloves and deploy “advanced antipersonnel techniques” because what Dragos is finding out Is Not For Public Consumption. Time for Dragos to ensure he is not the weakest link — and have someone vouch he really has no need for a trip to a mental hospital?

Interpersonal dynamics. You know how I mentioned I saw something odd in Sarah Harrison? Here’s another example. Note she’s the only one with a defensive / blocking pose (at least one arm shielding her solar plexus).

Maybe she’s cold. Or maybe she’s not connecting with the Snowden & Stroebele vibe as well as everyone else. (“No Germans please, I’m British?”) Note by comparison Snowden’s relaxed, open style. Even the reporters — or maybe one’s a security goon are more un-reserved.

Spies in Berlin: The Brits do it too, and thermal imaging suggests the US embassy turned off all their eavesdropping equipment after the spying became apparent.

Here’s a company that sells radomes like the Brits use.

It’s very similar to this model.

More insight into Germany’s reluctance to offer Snowden asylum.

Admit nothing, deny everything, blame the Russkies! — You know how I speculated the US had intentionally maneuvered Snowden into Russia? This may be one reason why — so if things got too bad, it would be easy (for anyone) to smear the whole deal as a Russian disinformation campaign.

Overwhelmed by the NSA stories? NYT has a good summary.

Best commentary on the NSA/Berlin business so far.

More Snowden docs. Makes a compelling case the NSA really did hack into Google/Yahoo’s servers.

(it’s all about the pics anyway)

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