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In the networks of special services

This article is about how competent authorities are building relationships with the Internet. The service of people who care about the national security of their country in peacetime, as is well known, is not visible at all. Yet, most people know that this service is going on, and sometimes events on the so-called invisible front are not just serious, they are happening only at the level of the fate of the world, while civilians sleep well.

Outdoor
Quite a few books have also been written about the dangerous and difficult work of the staff of world intelligence agencies. The most epoch-making of them is the American film series about the representative of British foreign intelligence MI6, James “Agent 007” Bond, who in his career saved the universe several times, also a well-known handsome man. By the way, this Friday the producers of the series announced the name of the artist who will play Bond in the next film - Daniel Craig was chosen.

A day before, the employer of the mythological representative, MI6, is the blah of the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service - "secret intelligence service") - it came out of the digital underground by opening a public official website at www.mi6.gov.uk (he is www.sis.gov.uk). It is known that this domain name has existed for a long time, but there was no website before.

The existence of MI6 common was not officially recognized by British domination until 1994, although there was a special service from 1909. By 1995, reconnaissance moved to a pretentious new headquarters at Vauxhall Cross in London, which was built specifically for MI6, taking into account all the necessary technical features as well as increased security requirements. The colorful building instantly became the “hallmark” of MI6 and also in 1999 “lit up” in the next James Bond film “And the whole universe is not enough.”
A shot from the film "And the Whole Universe is Little" (The World Is Not Enough, 1999, directed by Michael Epted, as Bond Pierce Brosnan)

Beyond any doubt, the Internet as a phenomenon has never been underestimated by the British foreign intelligence officers, but the existence of the MI6 public online representation was not recognized by the intelligence officers as an urgent need. And in 2005, finally, the corresponding site appeared on the Web, the main "highlight" of which the public here was bla bla recognized section on admission to SIS for work. Of course, the site also contains fairly detailed information about this previously highly classified structure, in addition, there are sections in different languages, including Russian.

In the section "Career" it is told about some of the MI6 developments, about those who are already working for foreign intelligence, information is also given about employment opportunities (they hire agents, managers, scientists and technical specialists). Candidates are offered "trips abroad, a life full of adventures" and the opportunity to use the latest technical innovations. It is noted that the services of future intelligence officers at the headquarters have gyms, fitness equipment, a restaurant, a cafe and a bar. The initial salary is promised in the amount of 21 thousand pounds per year. Candidates must exist British citizens over the age of 21 also spend at least 5 of the last 10 years at home.

Some observers suspect that it was personnel problems that also prompted the MI6 management to create its colorful Internet resource (the site, of course, was also professionally made qualitatively). Perhaps in the light of the rampant terrorism in recent years, British young people are losing interest in espionage careers, although it may be that the department is expanding once - it’s hard to say for sure, the website constantly emphasizes that MI6 is completely surrounded by secrets. However, the painful task of how much it costs to taxpayers, is touched on the site - it is reported that the essence of the spy corps is now worth about 1.3 billion pounds for the British crown, only by 2008 this figure should increase to 1.5 billion pounds (which supports the extension hypothesis).

In general, the special services of different countries of the universe in recent years have been forced to put up with the partial removal of the aura of secrecy, because the democratic foundations of the most developed countries dictate the observance of the principles of information openness by state agencies. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the United States, the British also began to completely censure their secret services of excessive passivity, with the result that the government carried out reform in the special services. Departments of specialized purpose, including also MI6, began to work in a new way, but the British could not avoid the London bombings of this summer.

MI6 didn’t quite long ago listened to a fair number of abusive words from the public and the government for work related to the struggle in Iraq (in particular, for the brawl around the so-called "Iraqi dossier", which almost did not cost Tony Blair the chair). It is very possible that the invention of the new website is also related to this - the special service wants to show the nation that it is actively working.

Internal
A few months earlier, the Internet saw the updated site of domestic British intelligence MI5 at a similarly long time ago existing address www.mi5.gov.uk. Pages of various degrees of informativeness have appeared in this domain since about 1998 - some general information about the special service was always hosted on them, but since April of this year it has been announced that the organization’s public level has never been seen before, only the site has been turned into an information portal.

The leadership of the special service explained that the new policy of this organization envisages bringing, up to the broad masses of information about security measures, also countering terrorism in connection with the current situation in the world. As part of the portal, a recruiting section also appeared - internal intelligence also needed "fresh blood" from among savvy youth.

Of course, the site also contains calls for those who have something to say to the internal intelligence officers to act on it. Information on feasible terrorists, on foreign spies is also general about any threats to their homeland. In addition, the site MI5 began to address its visitors in the languages ​​of the large British ethnic diasporas - in Arabic also in Urdu, which is expressed by immigrants from Pakistan. Representatives of these social groups, in their own language, also called on internal intelligence to call for help in dealing with the protection of state security, as well as to report any suspicious manifestations.

London attacks in July, however, did not occur, anyway. Now the European Union is discussing plans for archiving all conversations and also letters from Europeans as well as storing this data for a year to facilitate the operational-search business of the police.

General
As already noted, it is impossible to say that the British intelligence services became interested in the Internet only in connection with the need to recruit new personnel, wanting to improve the image also by looking for ways to “constructive dialogue” with Internet users. At the very early stages of the development of the Internet, the intelligence services of the United States, Great Britain and other countries were also aware of the information potential of the global Network, and also thought about how it was allowed to use it in their own interests.

In 1999, the expression “Echelon” (Echelon) thundered to the whole universe - this concept implied the super secret information of the global Internet monitoring of any Internet service used by the special services of the USA, Great Britain and Australia, Canada and New Zealand (not without the help of governments of some other countries). activity of any Internet users. With the help of computers of unprecedented power, it turned out that it can investigate randomly taken Internet traffic for the content of given keywords that terrorists can potentially use in their correspondence.

The US-British base for the interception of Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire (United Kingdom), the largest in the world. It is believed that this is one of the first components of "Echelon" (according to FAS, the station is able to make 2 million for interceptions per hour).

The human rights defenders who declassified (with no help from hackers) the system demanded that the scouts stop listening to the entire universe - according to some reports, Echelon began even later than the Other World War to monitor the telecommunications systems of the Soviet Union. Its resources, which are controlled, according to published data, by the US National Security Agency (NSA), are built on networks of secret satellites, antennas and computer centers that can also intercept various signals, phone calls and faxes; With the spread of the Internet in the universe, the system was also oriented towards it. Among other things, the secret services were accused of the fact that later the elimination of the Soviet threat "Echelon" was reoriented to industrial espionage.

The scouts continually repudiated, but in the end some of them admitted that the "Echelon" truly exists. Information on this topic, as constantly, controversial, also that flows with the "Echelon" in our time, is difficult to say for sure - most likely, it continues to function successfully. In 2000, the train "Echelon" was heard in the European Parliament - the deputies demanded clarification from the ANB and the CIA, but they evaded dialogue. In 2001, Germany exposed the NSA representatives to the Bad Aibling station in Bavaria, accusing them of using Echelon for mercenary purposes. Then blah blah sounded similar reprimands from the Japanese.

However, at about that time, it became clear that the FBI of the United States was implementing a new, more advanced surveillance system at the facilities of some Internet providers - Carnivore ("carnivorous"), which also knows how to look for the right words in passing traffic. calculate the same traffic on different channels to determine the spring of its beginning (thus, for example, it is theoretically allowed to find a hacker hiding behind unknown proxy servers). The project to create its analogue was also found in the British (as once in the MI5 line).

At the source of the blah of the present year, the FBI secret service openly declared that Carnivore was outdated, removed from the “armament”, only the new system (created by the commercial manufacturer), which the FBI will not tell anything to anyone, uses to replace it.

Private
Thus, it is allowed to conclude that MI5, MI6 as well as their colleagues from other continents are truly well on the Web. In this August, according to some information, the British responded to the London terrorist attacks with the mysterious "forced closure" of some of the most suspicious Islamist Internet resources (and now, according to some information, there is an active competition with the spread of Al-Qaeda Internet broadcasting).

How exactly the British managed to achieve this, for sure, of course, is unknown, but the British newspaper The Sunday Times, which made public this information, refers to ... the Israeli special services. Israeli intelligence officers, some of the best in the universe, have in common a lot of things they also know.

... And also they are confronted with the tasks of the need to highlight their business efficiency on the Internet, to collect information from informants through it, in addition, of course, to recruit labor. Back in March of this year, the internal Israeli intelligence service ShABAK (“General Security Service”), which previously had not shown anything in the digital space, launched an online representation at the easily guessed address www.shabak.gov.il. So far, it has information only in Hebrew, and its main share is related to personnel policy.

The Israeli Israeli intelligence service Mossad, in turn, roughly from the beginning of 2004, in a restrained manner, informs the universe of its achievements at www.mossad.gov.il. In principle, the existence of this site is allowed to be justified by the norms of "good network behavior" given by the first special services of the United States - the CIA, the FBI, and others that maintain their detailed well-developed Internet resources from the beginning of time. Whether it is necessary to express that any sites of any special services are the favorite objects of regular hacker pranks.

Near
And here it should be noted that the norms of network behavior of intelligence services are also adequately perceived by the Russian Federal Security Service, which opened its website at the end of 1999 (without every prescription regarding the information openness of government agencies) at www.fsb.ru. Among the information sections telling about the efficiency of the ministry, some visitors at one time noted for themselves the “Helpline” section, where, in particular, it says: “Russian citizens cooperating with foreign intelligence services can contact the Federal Security Service of Russia by phone of faith. in order to become agents doubles.In this case, the monetary retribution received by such representatives from foreign intelligence services will be fully preserved, and the highest-class officers of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation will work with them. Hovhan anonymity and confidentiality. " This is followed by an excerpt from a note to article 275 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“treason”), in which it says that voluntary and timely notification of one’s own espionage business can exist as a basis for getting rid of criminal responsibility.

Earlier, the FSB, the heiress of one of the most powerful intelligence services of the universe - the KGB of the USSR - started working on its own local analogue of Carnivore - the SORM-2 system ("the system of operational search activities"), which, according to some sources, was successfully introduced in the following months at the capacities of the Russian Internet providers. By the way, from January 1, 2006, a new non-approval of the rules for interaction of communication operators with authorized state bodies carrying out operational investigative activities, approved just now by the government of the Russian Federation, comes into force.

Since about 2001, there has been a website of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia (SVR), www.svr.gov.ru, which similarly tells in detail about the efficiency of this department in the state security protection districts.

As it is known, the Internet as such grew out of the American military project, it is also quite easy for you to imagine that the information potential of the global network was also appreciated by the Pentagon and also by the American special services, which could result in the mechanisms of "control" of the Internet, embedded in its very foundation . It is not for nothing that the United States now flatly refuses to give control over the basic structures of the Network (root DNS servers) of the United Nations, which raised this task ahead of the World Summit on the Information Community (WSIS), which will break through in November in Tunisia.