The Guardian, so former Tory MP Louise Mensch is fond of telling anyone who will listen, is just boring everyone with its series of revelations about the level of intrusion by the security services of both the UK and USA. That’s when she’s not ranting at the paper over Glenn Greenwald, whose partner David Miranda was supposedly facilitating the release of “names and addresses of agents”.
More like "Have they got news for her"
The thought occurs that Ms Mensch, who likes to suggest that Alan Rusbridger and his team are deluded Bond wannabes, has been watching a few too many 007 adventures herself. And she now has cause to consider just how boring the latest revelation, that the NSA “has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems”, really is.
Moreover, she can also consider that this story is so damn boring, with so little interest in it, that both the New York Times and ProPublica have joined forces with the deeply subversive Guardian to get the news out there, as Rusbridger warned would happen after the spooks fetched up at Guardian HQ and oversaw the ritual trashing of two computer systems.
So what is the NSA able to crack open? Medical records, for starters. Anything to do with the banking system – even for former Tory MPs who shamelessly side with the spooks while clamouring for those who let the world know of the snooping to be banged up for as long as possible. The NSA has either cracked much encryption software, or had a back-door engineered into it.
Put plainly, that means if you correspond via email with anyone in the USA, you can forget about privacy, even if the correspondence is encrypted. Even if the NSA hasn’t got a back door into your chosen software, it can get to work cracking the encryption using the reserves of processing power at its disposal. All of this is down to Operation Bullrun, a name that might get mentioned rather a lot very soon.
On top of that, Ms Mensch might note that, as she is not a US citizen, the NSA will have no problem hoovering up her medical records, so that when the next hack asks her if she’s had one or more cosmetic procedures, somebody out there already knows. And somewhere down the line, there might be another Edward Snowden, who decides instead to lift medical and banking records. You get the picture.
If Louise Mensch had anything about her, she’d stop sneering at the Guardian and worrying about just how much of her personal information is now being stored by the NSA, shared with GCHQ, and maybe even lifted and examined by others. We all should. Even Glenn Greenwald and David Miranda may be concerned that the NSA will eventually crack their encryption – why d’you think the spooks are stalling on it?
State overreach is out of control. Nobody should be jailed for letting us all know.