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In special services networks

This article is about how competent authorities build relationships with the Internet. The service of people who care about the national security of their country in peacetime, as you know, is, as it were, invisible to the main eye. Nevertheless, most people know that this service is going on, and sometimes events on the so-called invisible front are not just serious, but only at the level of accomplishing the fate of the world, while civilians sleep in a calm sleep.

Outdoor
A lot of books have been written about the dangerous and difficult work of employees of the world special services, and many films have been shot. The most epochal of them is the American movie series about the representative of the British foreign intelligence MI6, James "Agent 007" Bond, who during his career saved the universe several times, is also a common well-known handsome man. By the way, this Friday the producers of the series announced the name of the artist, which will play Bond in the next film - Daniel Craig was chosen.

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

The existence of MI6 common was not officially recognized by the British authorities until 1994, although there has been a special service since 1909. By 1995, intelligence had moved to the pathos-looking new headquarters at Voxhall Cross in London, which was built specifically for MI6, taking into account all the necessary technical features and increased security requirements. The colorful building instantly became MI6's “calling card” also in 1999 it was “lit up” in the next James Bond film “And the Universe Is Not Enough”.
Shot from the film "And the whole universe is not enough" (The World Is Not Enough, 1999, director Michael Epted, in the role of Bond Pierce Brosnan)

Beyond every doubt, the Internet as a phenomenon has never been underestimated by British foreign intelligence officers, but the existence of a public online MI6 office was not recognized by the scouts as an urgent need. And in 2005, in the end, the corresponding website appeared on the Web, the main “highlight” of which the audience here recognized the section on hiring SIS for work. Also, the site, of course, provides fairly detailed information about this previously strictly classified structure, in addition, there are sections in different languages, including Russian.

The Career section describes some of MI6's tendencies, those who already work for foreign intelligence, also provides information on employment opportunities (they hire agents, managers, scientists and technical specialists). Candidates are offered "travel abroad, a life full of adventure" and the opportunity to use the latest technical innovations. It is noted that for the services of future scouts at the headquarters there are gyms, fitness equipment, a restaurant, a cafe and a bar. The initial salary is promised in the amount of 21 thousand pounds a year. Applicants must be UK citizens over the age of 21 and also spend at least 5 years out of the last 10 at home.

Some observers suspect that it was precisely the personnel problems that also prompted the MI6 leadership to create their own colorful Internet resource (the site, of course, was made with high quality and professionally). Perhaps, in light of the rampant terrorism of recent years, British youth are losing interest in an espionage career, although it may be that the agency is expanding once, it’s hard to say here, the site non-stop emphasizes that MI6 is completely surrounded by secrets. However, the ailing task of how much it costs taxpayers is affected on the site - it is reported that the essence of the corps of spies now costs the British crown about 1.3 billion pounds, only by 2008 this figure should increase up to 1.5 billion pounds (which reinforces the expansion hypothesis).

On the whole, in recent years, special services of different countries of the universe have been forced to put up with a partial removal of the halo of secrecy, because the democratic foundations of the most developed countries dictate that state agencies observe information transparency principles. After the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States, the British also completely began to condemn their special services in excessive passivity, as a result of which the government carried out a reform in the special services. Departments of a specialized purpose, including also MI6, began to work in a new way, but the British did not succeed in avoiding the London explosions this summer.

MI6 didn’t seem to have heard a lot of abusive words from the public also from the government for work related to the struggle in Iraq (in particular, for the debate around the so-called “Iraq dossier”, which almost cost Tony Blair an armchair). It is very possible that the invention of the newly minted site 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 an updated British internal intelligence website MI5 at a similar long-existing address www.mi5.gov.uk. Pages of varying degrees of information have been appearing in this domain since about 1998 - they always practically had some general information about the special services, but since April of this year it has been announced about a hitherto unprecedented level of publicity of the organization, only the site has been turned into an information portal.

The leadership of the special services explained that the new policy of this organization provides for bringing to the masses of information about security measures also counter-terrorism in connection with the current situation in the world. A recruiting section has also appeared within the framework of the portal - internal intelligence also found it needed "fresh blood" from smart young people.

Of course, the site also contains calls for those who have something to say to internal intelligence agents to act on this. Information about feasible terrorists is welcomed, foreign spies are also general about any threats to the homeland. In addition, the MI5 website began to appeal to its visitors in the languages ​​of large British ethnic diasporas - in Arabic also in Urdu, which is expressed by immigrants from Pakistan. Representatives of these social groups similarly called for internal intelligence in their language to provide all possible assistance in the pursuit of state security to report any suspicious manifestations.

The London attacks in July, however, did occur anyway. Now the European Union is discussing plans to archive all conversations as well as letters from Europeans and to store these data for a year to facilitate the operational-search efficiency of the police.

General
As already noted, it is impossible to say that the interest of the Internet among British intelligence services appeared only in connection with the need to recruit new personnel, the desire to improve the image and also by looking for ways of a “constructive dialogue” with Internet users. At the very early stages of the development of the Internet, the special services of the USA, Great Britain and other countries also realized the information potential of the global network and also thought how it was allowed to be used in their interests.

In 1999, the expression “Echelon” rattled the whole universe - this concept meant the top-secret system of global Internet tracking for any Internet used by the intelligence services of the USA, Great Britain and Australia, Canada and New Zealand (not without the help of the governments of several other countries) activity of any Internet users. using computers of unprecedented power, she, as it turned out, can examine randomly taken Internet traffic for the content of specified keywords that could be used by terrorists in their correspondence.

The US-British base for intercepting Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire (UK), the largest in the world. It is believed that this is one of the first components of the Echelon (according to FAS, the station is capable of making 2 million for intercepts per hour).

The human rights defenders who had declassified (not without the help of hackers) the system demanded that the scouts stop eavesdropping on the whole universe - according to some reports, the Echelon began even later than the Other World War to monitor the telecommunication systems of the Soviet Union. Its resources, controlled, according to the data released by the US National Security Agency (NSA), are built on networks of secret satellites, antennas and computer centers that can also intercept various signals, telephone calls and faxes; with the spread of the Internet throughout the universe, the system was also oriented towards it. Among other things, the security services were accused of the fact that, after eliminating the Soviet threat, the Echelon was reoriented to industrial espionage.

The scouts continued to deny for a long time, but in the end, some of them admitted that the Echelon truly exists. Information on this topic, as constantly, contradictory, as well as what happens with Echelon in our time, is hard to say for sure - most likely, it continues to function successfully. In 2000, the Echelon occupation was heard in the European Parliament - the deputies demanded clarifications from the NSA as well as the CIA, but they evaded the dialogue. In 2001, Germany expelled NSA representatives from the Bad Aibling radar station in Bavaria, accusing them of using the Echelon for personal gain. Then blah blah sounded similar censure from the Japanese.

However, around that time it became clear that the US FBI was the source of the introduction of a new, more advanced tracking system - Carnivore ("carnivorous") on the capacities of some Internet providers, which also could even search for necessary words calculate the same traffic on different channels to determine the source of its beginning (thus, for example, it is theoretically allowed to find a hacker hiding behind unknown proxy servers). A project to create its analogue was also found among the British (as it once was under the traits of MI5).

At the source of the blah of this year, the FBI intelligence service openly stated that Carnivore is out of date, is being removed from armament, only a new system is being used (replaced by a commercial manufacturer), which the FBI will not tell anyone.

Private
Thus, it is allowed to conclude that MI5, MI6 and their colleagues from other continents are really well on the Web. This August, according to some information, the British responded to the London attacks with a mysterious "forced closure" of some of the most high-profile Islamist Internet resources (and now, according to isolated information, an active contest is moving with the distribution of the recently launched Al-Qaeda Internet broadcast).

How exactly the British managed to achieve this is certainly not known, but the British newspaper The Sunday Times, which published this information, refers to ... Israeli special services. Israeli scouts, some of the best in the universe, have a lot in common. They also know a lot.

... And also they are faced with the tasks of the need to cover their business activities on the Internet, collecting through it information from informants in addition, of course, recruiting work. Back in March of this year, the Israeli internal intelligence service, Shabak (the “General Security Service”), which previously did not show any similarities in the digital space, launched an online mission at the easily guessed address www.shabak.gov.il. So far, information has been posted on it only in Hebrew, and its main share is touched specifically on personnel policy.

Israeli Mossad, in turn, has, since about the beginning of 2004, in a restrained form, notified the universe of its achievements at www.mossad.gov.il. In principle, the existence of this site can be justified by the rules of "good network behavior" set by the first US intelligence agencies - the CIA, the FBI and others who maintain their detailed well-developed Internet resources from the beginning of time. Is it necessary to express that any sites of any special services are favorite objects of regular hacker pranks.

Not far
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 any instructions regarding the information transparency of government agencies) at www.fsb.ru. Among the information sections telling about the department’s businesslikeness, some visitors at that time noted for themselves the “Helpline” section, which, in particular, says: “Russian citizens cooperating with foreign intelligence services can contact the FSB of Russia by phone of faith in order to become double agents, in this case the money retribution received by such representatives from foreign special services will be completely preserved, and the highest class FSB officers will work with them. Hovhan anonymity and confidentiality. " The following is an excerpt from the footnote to article 275 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“high treason”), which states that voluntary timely notification of one's own espionage business may also exist as a basis for getting rid of criminal liability.

Even earlier, the FSB, the heiress of one of the most powerful special services of the universe - the KGB of the USSR - started work on its own local analogue of Carnivore - the SORM-2 system ("system of operational-search measures"), which, according to some reports, was successfully implemented in the following months at the facilities of Russian Internet providers. By the way, on January 1, 2006, a new non-revision of the rules for the interaction of telecom operators with authorized state bodies engaged in operational-search activities, approved recently by the Russian government, takes effect.

Around the year 2001, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) website, www.svr.gov.ru, has been in existence, which seems to be sufficiently detailed about the businesslike nature of this agency in the state security protection district.

As you know, the Internet as such grew out of an American military project, it’s also quite easy to imagine that the information potential of the global network was also timely assessed by the Pentagon and also by the American intelligence services, which could result in mechanisms of “control” of the Internet that were laid in its very foundations . No wonder the United States now flatly refuses to give control over the basic structures of the United Nations Network (root DNS servers), which raised this task ahead of the World Summit on the Information Community (WSIS), which will break through in November in Tunisia.