Skype Scandal and the Jedi CouncilPosted by freespeech on Friday, 14 June 2013
Normally Skype isn't mentioned by name on this blog, but today I'm making an exception.
When a new scandal broke out in the Australian Army today, one of the first questions asked was how does it compare to the Skype Scandal which had everybody talking (and blushing) in 2011. A concise military reply direct from the General:
"I'd say it's worse than the Skype matter"
Jedi Council brings cultural change in the Army: from Skype to email
Since the original scandal, there have been plenty of PR-orchestrated headlines about cultural change in the Army. Sadly, it seems that several ranking officers believed that was a cue to simply start using email instead of live feeds
Operating under the operational code name Jedi Council, they've apparently been swapping annotated images of female colleagues and members of the public service.
A more detailed account summarises it:
"They were calling themselves the Jedi Council but they were doing the exact opposite of what Jedis are supposed to do"
While the Skype scandal involved cadets behaving much like college kids elsewhere, this latest scandal involves the officer corp, the most senior officer implicated is allegedly a Lieutenant Colonel. Senior ranking officers like this have given many years of dedicated service to the country. They are widely respected and the vast majority of officers in these positions are unlikely to ever be implicated in such a scandal.
Officers are in leadership roles, it should be no surprise if they have top secret security clearances.
After the revelation that Australia has a direct and high-volume data sharing arrangement with the US Government (and in turn Facebook, Google, etc), there are all kinds of questions about whether a couple of rogue officers have access to pursue their private Jedi Council project using tools like PRISM and Boundless Informant. It's already been confirmed that they were keeping their own Jedi database of their victim's names, phone numbers, home addresses and various clothing measurements and if they are already emailing these photos about on Defence computers, does it seem improbable that they would be using PRISM or other sources to cross-reference their data?
Behavior described as systematic and predatory
It can't be ruled out that some defence computer systems may have direct access to NSA copies of images from those invasive airport body scanners - like these pictures that were not supposed to exist. Just like the British undercover cops stealing the identities of dead children and fully engaging with impressionable young women from environment campaign groups, there are a long list of possible abuses when the security state is over-empowered.
While this latest Army example involves private pursuits, it is not hard to imagine many other permutations: perhaps a couple of rogue Government employees making unauthorised use of PRISM data for a commercial objective and gaining the upper hand on private sector competitors who have no such data feed.
In every organisation there will always be a few people bending the rules. It's human nature, if it wasn't that way, we'd all be robots (or drones). The Army and the Catholic Church tend to be hammered a lot more in the public eye when these transgressions are discovered although statistically their crime rates are no higher than average. The bottom line is that no organisation is perfect and people have to take some responisbility to object to the excessive growth of the security state and keep our data to ourselves as you just never know who you can trust.