Where the Bourne stories a CIA invention to discredit leaks?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by aristotle, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. aristotle macrumors 68000

    aristotle

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    #1
    Having seen the recent revelations concerning the NSA and their "PRISM" project, it got me thinking about the Bourne Identity series of books and movies.

    Was that series of books put out by the CIA and NSA as a form of plausible deniability in case someone started leaking information about their programs? Did they leak the existence of certain programs with fictitious names to make leaks of actual programs in the future less believable?

    Think about it for a minute. Would any of you, at the time of the Bourne movies have imagined that the NSA could tap into our internet activity and phone conversations looking for keywords? Didn't it appear to be completely fictitious and implausible? I'm sure many of us had heard about previous leaks about programs like carnivore and had a hard time believing such a thing was possible.

    We now know that they did indeed have listening posts around the world like those portrayed in the Bourne movies and we know know that they used special software to mine the voice and internet data for specific keywords.

    I find the revelations both frightening and interesting as my work in the private sector involves similar sciences and techniques as those used in the PRISM project. In fact, one of the tools we use was actually written by the CIA originally.
     
  2. JohnLT13 macrumors 6502a

    JohnLT13

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    #2
    Technology has given the NSA the greatest tools to stop terrorism. Cellphones and the Internet. If terrorist choose to use these to commit acts of violence then why wouldn't anyone (NSA,FBI ect) use it against them. If people dont like it then don't use them. These services are regulated by the FCC and people are shocked they are tapping into it.
    Get over your foolish fears that The Big Bad Government is taking over, they did that years ago. You were all to busy sending emails and updating your statuses to realize it.
     
  3. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #3
    'The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.'

    The US government seems to think this quote is about stopping terrorism and crime by invading everybody's privacy, but it seems more relevant to me in discussing how much power citizens allow our government to take.

    @OP: Tom Clancy write a novel (Debt of Honor, 1994) in which planes were flown into the Capital building, and the book even included a section discussing that it would cause more devastation to do that when the plane's tanks were full. That does not mean that he or the government planned 9/11.

    Incidentally, Clancy's book also makes reveals Dubya's and other senior government official's claims that the 9/11 was not foreseeable as total BS.
     
  4. aristotle thread starter macrumors 68000

    aristotle

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    #4
    That's funny because I was just thinking about that phrase this morning before I even came back to look at this thread and I was about to write what you just wrote almost word for word concerning that quote. Weird.
     
  5. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #5
    One could easily flip that quote around and argue that the NSA monitoring electronic communications is "eternal vigilance."

    Not that I agree with it, but you can see that side of the argument too.
     
  6. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #6
    Hollywood and the government have always had long ties. A book that might interest you: http://www.amazon.com/The-CIA-Holly...2ORPE/ref=tmm_kin_title_0/189-9105964-8030563

    Of course there is always involvement. Anyone notice the rash of N. Korean bad guys in last years movies (red dawn, White House down, etc) that came out roughly 9-12 months (typical lead time for production of mindless films) after Un started making a fuss on the international stage?

    The CIA is in the business of opinion shaping, there are always ties, but it's more input than a case of "we need propaganda piece X, go film it."
     
  7. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    #7
    While I wasn't sure if the technology to do such a thing is out there at the time, I had no problem believing that if the tech was out there, this kinds stuff would be happening. Thats kinda what makes the movies so entertaining - the villain is believable and that it is a plausible thing today.

    Outside of Bourne himself (the idea of a super assassin who is brainwashed into a killing machine), the rest of the story is not intended to be a science fiction movie. It's more of an exaggeration of what likely was possible at the time (and to a degree I think it's still an exaggeration.

    But the idea of an assassination program? Nah. That's just a re-imagining of James Bond for modern audiences? When we want to take out a target, it's much easier to use a seal team than one person.
     
  8. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #8
    That's just untrue. It's not remotely true that the details we now know about the NSA were out in the open and no one had read them.


    Although I should say, does it matter when we learned? It's bad either way.
     
  9. JohnLT13 macrumors 6502a

    JohnLT13

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    #9
    How is it untrue or bad?
     
  10. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #10
    As far I know, these leaks about PRISIM and the NSA are SUCH a big story because this is the first time anyone has spoken publicly, on the record with evidence. And that forced the conversation to happen. To claim otherwise, I would think would required evidence.

    And it's bad because its a major increase in the power of the government in a way that wasn't clear to the public. And I would argue it violates the spirit of the constitution. At the very least, it's clear the conversation on the merits of this system didn't occur openly until after the program was set up.
     
  11. JohnLT13 macrumors 6502a

    JohnLT13

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    #11
    Big Government has been doing as it wants for YEARS.
    I can understand your stance on the constitution, but if not for national security I would not travel in a plane period.
     
  12. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #12
    Well you provided no evidence that THIS specific information was know publicly.


    Who is saying anything against the idea of national security? I think national security is important. We just need to rethink how we do it.

    Things like this

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2013/06/05/tsa-knives/2393139/

    Are a step in a well thought out direction.
     
  13. wackymacky macrumors 68000

    wackymacky

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    #13
    No, but the PRISM "partnership" with Microsoft began 7 years ago, and who knows what was going on before that.

    What is more of a concern is the safety of encrypted data.

    If Snowden can leave and release info to the public, why can't someone with technical knowledge working within the NSA leave and sell methodology to bad guys. (presuming the defeat of cryptographic keys he was alluding to wasn't just brute force using very powerful machines.
    (How many wouldn't take a backhander of say 5 million dollars from another government, or a corporation wanting to get the upper hand on thier competitors )


    I have never assumed anything I transmit over any wire is safe from prying eyes criminal or otherwise, unless it was encrypted.
     
  14. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #14
    NSA has cracked commonly used encryption algorithms. Probably so have foreign governments and criminals. It's just a matter of how much motivation they have to go after you.
     
  15. CalWizrd Suspended

    CalWizrd

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    #15
    This might be one of the silliest posts I've seen.

    The Bourne Identity was published in 1980. Netscape Navigator, the first large scale use internet browser, was developed in 1994.

    Of course, the CIA in the mid to late '90's could have used a time machine to go back to around 1979 to convince Robert Ludlum to write the novel, but that's not very likely.

    Sir, I knew Aristotle, and you are no Aristotle.
     
  16. aristotle thread starter macrumors 68000

    aristotle

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    #16
    You must be FUN at parties. :rolleyes: Maybe you should brush up on those reading skills a bit before you resort to personal attacks and insults.

    I was mainly referring to the series of movies released in the last few years which were based on the books. I am sure that they had consultants working with them to update the scenarios to reflect what was technically possible today. There was a movie in the 90's which showed government agents using something that looked like Google Earth. That was a program called Keyhole which was the predecessor what you know as Google Earth now. It ran on only a select few graphics cards and was funded by In-Q-Tel.

    I have been using the internet since the days of UUCP news group and email relays through local BBS's as a sysop and through freenet but you go ahead and continue with the insults.

    Ever heard of NER?
     
  17. anonymouslurker macrumors regular

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    #17
    Where's the lack of reading skill? Seems pretty clear to me.
     
  18. aristotle thread starter macrumors 68000

    aristotle

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    #18
    You need to stop skimming. If you have something to contribute please do, otherwise get back to work or I'll have to call your supervisor at Langley. ;)

    I quote myself in my original post:
    Unless if you have been under a rock or you are working for one of the alphabet soup agencies, you should be aware that the Guardian newspaper has revealed the existence of a program called X-Score which contains components called Trafficthief, PINWALE and MARINA which store, filter and identify meaningful information.

    Seriously, are you here to derail the thread?

    The books focused on the assassin program but the movie "portrayal" was what I was more interested in as I believe it contained descriptions of action programs such as PRISM before they were leaked.
     
  19. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    No. Are you expecting the NSA to say "Of course we aren't monitoring Internet traffic, and the proof of this that fictional movies have used this concept as a plot device."?

    Yes. Since we're talking movies, how about back in 1998 - Enemy of the State starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman.

    No, not really. I was in IT back then, and was familiar with network traces and packet inspection.
     

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