46 Responses to “Spy inside Philippine telecom firm has been feeding United States our text and call records”

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  1. 13
    leona says:

    Some obvious pointers …”About me”…by Raissa Robles:

    1. She says [ or writes] “Mabuhay – Long Live!” …means she’s not pro-China but very pro-Filipino!

    2. She is ‘currently’ Manila correspondent of South China Morning Post (HK) – Asia’s oldest English language newspaper – and Radio Netherlands.

    3. She writes [ or says ] : “Views expressed in this blog are strictly my own and not those of the media outlets I write for. Meaning: Raissa is, again, not pro-China! She is strictly her own. Strictly means definitely herself and not China!

    4. Raissa writes for ABS-CBN News. This is a Filipino entity. Raissa is pro-Filipino and not pro-China! Writing for ABS-CBN Raissa is assured editorial independence! Raissa is not dependent on China at that. Thus, she is not pro-China!

    5. Raissa also used to be a contributing reporter for: Asiaweek magazine of the Time-CNN Group; Asia Inc. magazine and Riyadh Daily newspaper. Not Xinhua. Not China! She has done pieces for THE TIMES of London and BBC Radio. England and not China!

    6. Raissa also have been interviewed as a source by the Australian Radio Network and VOICE OF AMERICA! Is Raissa pro-China? I can say no.

    7. Raissa started out in Business Day, the The Manila Chronicle, Business Star and Philippine Star newspapers. Not Xinhua news paper. Pro-China? I can say Raissa is not!

    8. Raissa has contributed special reports on a wide range of topics to: The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism; Newsbreak; Vera Files, and The Philippine Daily Inquirer. These are FOUR (40 works she contributed to. Pro-China? No, she is not.

    9. Raissa published TWO biographical books: a) To Fight Without End: The Story of a Misunderstood President and b) Trianggulo. Has Raissa published any book or books on How to Side With Communism in China? I don’t know!

    10. Raissa studied in the Philippines -University of the Philippines: English literature, Major in Imaginative Writing…nothing about Chinese imaginations! … Magna Cum Laude. Member of Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society…a Fraternity at UP. Is Raissa a member of the CCP of China? What fraternity of Beijing University?

    11. Raissa is a proud member of the UP English Honors Class under late English Prof Concepcion Dadufaiza [ of course not under Pres. Exijing of China!] and as a student of the late Fr. Joseph Galdon at the Ateneo de Manila University! If Raissa is pro-China why study at the Ateneo University, a Roman Catholic Order. She will rpobably get confused on communism ideology with opposite on Christianity!

    12. Raissa honed her skills in journalism and attended a course at the International Institute for Journalism in Berlin [Germany] and not in Beijing, China! Pro-China is she?

    13. Her husband makes Raissa laugh. He is her adviser, editor and consultant. In China, communist do not laugh but Raissa laughs. Is Raissa pro-China? You can laugh!

    14. As Alan promised Raissa, she will be one of the most popular in her political blog in the country – PHILIPPINES! Not in China! She is not pro-China!

    15. Raissa says she has made mistakes in journalism, learning on the FLY! She is interested in a whole lot of things and her website will reflect that [she says]. No one is perfect not even the Chinese! Or the Americans or any penitent at that.

    16. Raissa invites everyone in her quest for a better life for the MAJORITY OF FILIPINOS and not CHINESE! And of course also for WORLD PEACE not according to China! Yes, BEAUTY QUEENS are right [Raissa says].

    Finally, Raissa says “this blog is a work in progress” China’s only progress now is bullying other Asian countries in the oceans! This blog [ she says] was built from the ground up and not from Xinhua! Wa ching!

    On No. 12 above is blog like this:

    “I did have this blog bookmarked, and occasionally visited for what I thought was insightful commentary in support of the Filipino. Now I see that the author writes for a Chinese newspaper, and makes this “finger pointing article” vs. the US. Consider me now……disenchanted with this blog and its author. Perhaps she should move to China and write more anti-US articles for them?”

    ‘Occasionally’ …come often.

    ‘I thought’ ….you did not check thoroughly Raissa’s works!

    ‘I see the author writes for a Chinese newspaper’ …meaning ‘pro-Chinese’? C’mon, she is definitely not that. Your impressions are wrong.

    ‘and makes this Finger-pointing article’ vs. the US’ …with occasional peeping here a finger-pointing is immediately seen!

    ‘Im disenchanted with this blog and its author’…OF COURSE! you will be ’cause you visit very seldom and peep only…knowing nothing about Raissa’s so many writings… if I count now it is into the thousands.

    Raissa I think has no plans to move into CHINA to write more anti-US articles!

    Meh…just a goatee sound.

  2. 12
    Penance says:

    Meh….I did have this blog bookmarked, and occasionally visited for what I thought was insightful commentary in support of the Filipino. Now I see that the author writes for a Chinese newspaper, and makes this “finger pointing article” vs. the US. Consider me now……disenchanted with this blog and its author. Perhaps she should move to China and write more anti-US articles for them?

    • 12.1
      raissa says:

      Your argument is FALLACIOUS. WRONG. INUTILE.

      Just because I write critical articles about the US doesn’t mean I’m pro-China.

      Just because I write for a Hong Kong newspaper doesn’t mean I’m pro-China.

      I am pro-Filipino.

      And you are a coward, posting here behind a non-name.

      • 12.1.1
        Penance says:

        Now, I had walked away, but the email system sent your comment my way. With that, I can’t help but make a point to the queen that sits upon her digital throne.

        I came into this with calmness, explaining some disappointment. This is normal….natural. This is how discourse begins.

        You, however,responded with big words in all caps. In internet custom, that is yelling. But I can put that aside. Many people thing that the overuse of capital letters will make those words more believable.

        But where you really lost credibility was within your very point. You accuse me of assumption in my concerns, but in the very same reply, resolve yourself to name-calling because I don’t use my real name? Can you explain exactly what difference knowing my name would make? Would you be inviting me over for tea to discuss our different points of view? Would we become “bests”? Can I have your phone number as well?

        I use an internet handle because I am opinionated, and my comments in various places call for Filipinos to wake up and make their government accountable. I’m sure you’re quite in tune with the risks involved with that, ranging from the cybercrime bill to worse. What’s interesting is that you have my email right there at your fingertips. However, you chose to “contact me” about this publicly. The question of ‘why” remains….interesting.

        As for your sentiments, I would remind you of a concept called “balanced journalism”. This is where you state both sides of a story objectively. Otherwise, it’s an “opinion piece”, in which case, t should clearly be stated at the start of your article. If you fail to do so, you are left with the perception of “biased journalism”.

        Lastly, as for who is what internationally, you may want to re-think that. Hong Kong is being swallowed up by China again bit by bit, and now by quite a bit more with the AIIB establishing its seat there. What is AIIB? AIIB is the new bank that communist china is setting up to give quick, easy infrastructure loans to asian countries. That’s right, communist money is now going to be fed into developing asian countries with far fewer conditions and restrictions than ADB has. If you don’t see this as China taking soft control over asia, you need to look deeper.

        And your newspaper, whether hong kong based or not, will soon be a part of that soft takeover. Whether you’re “pro-Filipino” or a woman that needs to make a paycheck will be determined then.

        • 12.1.1.1
          raissa says:

          Have you read my other pieces here on the South China Sea conflict?

          Obviously you haven’t.

          I gather, you are all not concerned that another country is scooping up all phone data in the Philippines. All in the name of anti-terrorism.

          And have you read the history of the Philippines and how the US screwed the Philippines big time? Obviously you haven’t.

          • 12.1.1.1.1
            Penance says:

            Well, since we’re going to engage in this….why not.

            Exactly what difference does perusing through any other article you’ve written (of which I’ve read some already, ergo why you were bookmarked) with the main cause for my dissatisfaction with the current article and the trend it follows? I’ll assist you with this one. None. It makes no difference at all. Neither does it compensate for your overreaction to a reader, which I assume is important to you, inasmuch as readership is important to every blog writer.

            However, yet again, you side with assumption, not knowing a thing about me whatsoever. Isn’t that what you originally critiqued me for?

            And lastly, I do care on a government spying. However, I highly doubt that a bunch of prepaid taglish is going to mean very much to the NSA. But even if it does, I’d say that’s a good thing since it takes every other foreign government to get the Philippines to find and arrest anyone doing evil in the Philippines….such as human trafficking and harboring islamic terrorists. If it wasn’t for every other country in the world, PH would have let Yolanda victims rot like they do with every other natural disaster.

            The Philippines is the little country that just can’t. They can’t manage their economy, they can’t cater to anyone else but the elite, they can’t regulate their government away from dynasties, they use poverty to sell out for more foreign loans, and they rely exclusively on the US for protection, even demanding the US do so at their beck and call.

            Yet the worst thing the Philippines could have done is turn down being a commonwealth of the United States. Or even just kicking them out. That was greed talking, and the super rich didn’t want the US oversight.

            But in the end, there may or may not have been some spying. But for what? To find out where the best sex tourism might be? To invade on some suit purchases? The Philippines doesn’t play any major role in the way of the world, and it’s not as strategic as it likes to think it is…especially with other neighboring countries being far more inviting to the US. PH needs to get over itself and start giving back if it wants to much from the US.

            And Filipinos, especially those “reporting” for them, need to start promoting more cooperation with them. Not stirring up more contention.

            • raissa says:

              LOL

              • WECANDOIT says:

                ay sus. akala ko itong penance na ito ay nagalit kay raissa for being pro-china instead of being pr-filipino. yun pala ang galit niya ay dahil si raissa ay pro-filipino instead of being pro-u.s. kung hindi tayo magsisimula, hindi tayo makakarating. the challenges facing the philippines in its efforts to build a nation are the same ones ukraine and afghanistan are facing. u.s.’s short and long term interests are best served by these nations being governed well by uncorrupt democratic leaders.

        • 12.1.1.2
          moonie says:

          penance, raissa is not like snowden that moved to russia. exposed the failings of his own country but not the failings of other countries that probably did worse.

          I’m a regular commenter here and found raissa to be a journalist without borders much like doctors without borders, working in all terrains and in any condition. raissa is a free thinker and writes in any directions, some of her articles are sad, outrageous and downright helter skelter, though her other articles are spot on and truly controversial. she makes people think deeper, draw them out of their shells and elicit comments. and if raissa makes mistakes in her articles, she admits making them and corrects them. in her blog, not all commenters agree with her, and are combative, but many feel safe with her. and they keep coming back to give more comments. compared to other journalists, I think, raissa is not overly hostile and has more well balanced views.

          • 12.1.1.2.1
            Penance says:

            Moonie,

            First of all, Snowden didn’t have access to the underhanded acts of other countries. He was a contractor in the US government. And I’m not saying whether I agree or disagree with his actions, but it has opened up several topics for debate, with each side of each topic having its own merits. It has people talking, and that’s the most valuable asset of Mr. Snowden’s actions.

            As for the rest, one would have to take your word for it, as she has displayed none of those qualities in her responses to me. She has been purely overreactive and insulting, merely for disagreeing with her. That’s not someone who’s engaging in discourse. That’s just someone who’s a little too sensitive to call themselves a source of news and insight.

    • 12.2
      moonie says:

      raissa is global filipino and citizen of the world, multi talented and can make her living anywhere.

      • 12.2.1
        Penance says:

        And yet, in my world (which is comprised of my perceptions and direct experiences), she has not shown those qualities. She works for a Chinese newspaper, and moderates everything everyone says. When disagreed with, she overreacts and insults.

        These are not the qualities of a champion of either the Filipino or Freedom of the Press/expression.

        However, I’m sure there are fans, and always will be. I’ve only spoken to my personal dissatisfaction with the bias in this article and the author’s demeanor towards anyone who dissents from her view.

        As they say…..your mileage may vary.

        • 12.2.1.1
          raissa says:

          I dont censor you.

          You mean i cant react the way i want in my own blog?

          • 12.2.1.1.1
            Penance says:

            Ahem……with every comment made “Awaiting moderation” before it’s posted, that’s censorship, whether you never disallow it or not. It’s a control thing, which is apparently important to you for some reason.

            As for how you react “on your own blog”, that’s a bit different. What you present this space as must be matched with your behavior and demeanor in that same space. Ergo, if this space is established as “Raissa’s Throne”, then it’s understood that you can and will act however you want. You’re allowed to dismiss people with “LOL” comments.

            But, if you’re presenting this space as a source of both news and objective insight, even if that includes an inherent support for the Filipino, then the way you react to discourse must be in such a way as to facilitate the exchange of differing opinions to come together in a conversation that enlightens both sides.

            The moral of this story is that one version is present for the benefit of the author’s ego. The other version is there for the benefit and promotion of reoccurring readership. This IS your space…of course you get to choose which version this space will be.

            • raissa says:

              It’s a penance to read uou. You have a most apt name.

              • Penance says:

                Well, it seems we’ve regressed to high school mentality at this point. Fortunately, it also acts as a cue to walk away from this knowing that one of us has the integrity to do so.

                So, enjoy the fantasy this place gives you. There are far better places for me to enjoy discourse on important topics that maintain a higher respect for their readership.

                Keep up with the “journalism”. I’m sure there’s a Pulitzer prize just waiting to find you. The international community of journalists just haven’t noticed how incredible you are yet. When they do, they’ll worship your integrity in reporting objectively, and hail you as the next champion of freedom for the press. I’d say you’re quite safe in holding your breath until this happens. In fact, I encourage you to do so. /sarcasm off.

              • raissa says:

                so why are you still here, troll?

                walk away.

              • moonie says:

                not worth a bother. too tedious.

  3. 11
    macspeed says:

    Those act of US and their paid counterparts are not to spy Philippine government he he he America knows, the Philippine intelligence are not capable of doing intricate investigation when it comes to Terrorism, just take a look at Abu Sayaf and the mass killings of innocent reporters and civilians in Maguindanao buried in depth, did the Philippine intelligence realized their act before it will happen? Imagine decoding text message and calls by American intelligence personnel, just how much man-hours are spent? Can you decode what is this>oiram<<
    he he he that is my name "Mario", but I am using Jameela because there is one maniac chasing my real name and wanted to do a ransom thing he he he …may her soul burned in HELL!!!

    Thanks to US of A for their initiative, this will benefit Philippines in the long run if some terrorism is plan by China and other communist or Al Qaeda remnants. It is free of Charge, the US Embassy in Manila will be informed in the first place, naturally, the US Officials in US Embassy Manila will call the President or the Military…

    • 11.1
      macspeed says:

      Do you know that Philippine are being used as “stop over” by drug traffickers and terrorist??? A lot of Filipinos were drug mules in return of hundreds of pesos….Some Al Qaeda used Mindanao as their training grounds. I have no time to give the links he he he but it is TRUE…

  4. 10
    JosephIvo says:

    If the NSA and similar agencies were only manned by angels, I do not see any problem. These angels could protect us from a lot of evil. Unfortunately, there are also Snowdons (a different type of angel?), curious snoopers interested in curious things celebrities do, grey areas between business and state issues… the list is endless. As in real life we need legislation to protect us from evil people misusing our common trust just as we have legislation in many other spheres of live. Believing that all intelligence people are angels is naïve. This article is essential to raise awareness of this need. (because I fear more Filipino snoopers than the NSA – the enemy is within)

  5. 9
    Joe America says:

    Hmm, my prior comment disappeared. Perhaps sent to outer space by NSA?

    Why might secret information-gathering be done by U.S. security agencies?

    If to defeat terrorists in Mindanao and elsewhere, okay.
    If to determine China’s infiltration into the Philippine cyberworld and elsewhere, okay.
    If to discern when public officials are acting for reasons other than public service, maybe okay.
    If to influence regular politics, not okay.
    If to gain business advantage for American companies (as China uses cyber-snooping), not okay.

    Trust is a very big issue in this information-gathering arena. When the head of the CIA essentially tells the Senate committee overseeing defense to “butt out”, as was recently done, or when the CIA spies on the U.S. Senate staffers who are writing a critique of CIA actions, as was recently done, that trust is sorely tested. The NSA meta-data gathering seems generally to be used to search out terrorist suspects; no infringement of citizen rights have been reported. The rumored U.S. spying on various heads of state grossly undermines trust.

    I personally think cyber information is important for the U.S. in the global battle against terrorism, and if the security agencies do not do all that can be done to protect American citizens within certain ethical boundaries, they would be negligent. Those boundaries are not clear and the current bruhaha is important to define them. That, indeed, is why this blog is so important. It helps define the boundaries.

    • 9.1
      letlet says:

      I absolutely agree with you

    • 9.2
      macspeed says:

      @Joe Am

      200% correct, IT IS ALL FOR TERRORISM, this is how the government of America is doing not to repeat the same twin tower attacked SEP 2011? The CIA were spending huge amount for LIBERTY and that is very good…it will somehow benefit Philippine for TERRORISM attack from China…

      • 9.2.1
        moonie says:

        mac, vigilant ang USA, pero nakalusot pa rin ang magkakapatid na russian responsible for the boston marathon bombing a while back. there were casualties in that bombing.

        agree though that USA is trying hard to snuff out global terrorism, cyber listening and informing relevant authorities of immenent threats and dangers. sad thing is that not all authorities take precaution despite warnings.

        • 9.2.1.1
          moonie says:

          we should be more concern of china snooping in cyber space. its citizens have been known to hack the internet and steal trade secrets and blue prints. and from stolen trade secrets and the blue prints, china manufactured goods that are substandards, lower in price that the original manufacturers of the goods are pushed out of the market and run out of business. buildings made from substandard chinese steel cannot stand earthquakes and tumble down. same with their the bolts and nuts, some have been used as part of airplanes, and caused crashes.

  6. 8
    Alex says:

    It’s perfectly ok if it’s the US. I’m sure they perfectly legitimate reasons to do so.
    But if it was China, I’m sure it would be something detrimental to us.

  7. 7
    Joe America says:

    Very necessary discussion. Trust is a big big issue here. I think the American CIA has demonstrated it’s thuggish nature by essentially telling the US Senate Defense Committee chaired by Senator Feinstein to “piss off”. NSA is clearly technologically capable of raking in metadata across the globe. The question is, “why”?

    If it is to defeat terrorism in Mindanao, great. If it is to discern that Philippine leaders are behaving for reasons other than national interest, great. If it is to get a clear readout on what China is doing in the Philippines to influence politics, great.

    If it is to influence (non-corrupt) Philippine politics. Not great.

    Odds are the “spying” is for good reasons. But it is right to be very wary.

    • 7.1
      WECANDOIT says:

      every nation must take care of it’s national interest. the question for the u.s. is whether it will for its interest to have someone very corrupt to become the next president. the u.s. placed its bet on marcos (he may be a son of a bitch but it is alright because he is our son of a bitch) but in the long run it was bad for the u.s. to have continued its support for him. i cannot help thinking that the radical left will be happy with a binay win. i for one hope that the u.s. clearly recognizes that the present state of affairs started by a non-corrupt president will be derailed by a binay presidency and that this will not be good for long term u.s. interests.

      • 7.1.1
        Joe America says:

        One of these days I’ll dig into the Marcos thing to try to sort out how the U.S. got trapped into supporting him, as they did lousy leaders in Viet Nam, in the interest of stopping the spread of communism. I think US interests are by far best served by a good president like President Aquino. If the US engages, which I would hope they would NOT, in respect of Philippine sovereignty, I suspect they would work for clean governance and a continuation of strong economic growth.

  8. 6
    Observer says:

    According to the French newspaper Le Monde, the communications of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Secretary Mar Roxas were spied by the NSA

    http://www.lemonde.fr/technologies/article/2014/05/08/revelations-sur-les-ecoutes-sous-marines-de-la-nsa_4412895_651865.html?xtmc=philippines&xtcr=8

  9. 5
    Johnny Lin says:

    Fearmongering is contagious.

    No secret that US has been spying on leaders of countries, both their allies and enemies even before 911.
    More people were included in their list after 911. Remember US thought Saudi Arabia was on their side until Twin Tower inferno happened.

    Naturally Philippines like Mexico, Kenya and Bahamas are prime targets for cell phone spying because these countries still have policies or Telcom Not registering the identitities of purchasers of their prepaid SIM cards. this is where MetaData comes along in identifying suspicious owners of unregistered SIM cards. If someone has nothing to hide criminally like being a terrorist or drug dealer or money launderer, nothing to worry about. Of course the opposite will attract US intelligence analysts.

    If Filipino activists want to catch a real Philippine spy, look again on Congress members who want to sponsor a bill requiring all Philippine Telcom SIM cards to be registered.

    Maybe the reason Washington Post recently published its report on Mystic is more financial in nature. Post changed ownership late last year. Seems the new owner’s names sounds like the clown Bozo who might have investment interest in the upcoming movie “XMen, Days of Future Past”. Imagine all the books and DVDs sold thru Amazon. Principal character in this sequel is Mystique. Bozo is only promoting controversy to the movie by claiming Mystic is the secret spy thriller of US intelligence.

    He he he

    • 5.1
      raissa says:

      He he he,Johhnny Lin.
      You have nothing to hide except your real name.
      Maybe I should ask the NSA?

      • 5.1.1
        Johnny Lin says:

        Raissa

        You don’t have to ask. Told you right in the beginning, I’m a “professional analyst”.

        Quoting character from Monsters Inc, I’m Watching You!

        He he he

  10. 4
    leona says:

    NSA is actually playing GOD! God knows everybody and everything from A to Z. If all lower animals including insects atbpa can text, phone, speak etc., NSA will know all about it.

    During the WW II US Army Intel through MAGIC was able to get into all secret codes of German and Japanese communications; knew where, what, when, who and how those enemies were conducting their wars. Admirable Yamamoto’s case was no exception. His plane was tracked down through this. His last flight indeed.

    Now NSA has MYSTIC, maybe far more improved that MAGIC. But why USA did not know Putin’s moves on Ukraine’s Crimea matter is mystic to me. Or did it really look overlooked? I doubt it. So, USA must have reasons it seems to make it appear it overlooked that. For what and why, we can guess.

    CHINA, the same too. Why and for what? We can guess again. America must be leering for it’s national security aspect as what happened to it during the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941 and the Twin Towers attack on 9/11 etc. A country with so much vast power and know how surely will use such ability on every one and all.

    For us privates [as NSA looks at us] we can’t go back to the caves. They know probably our inner-most secrets via texts and cell phone calls etc. Make our own codes then with those of our recipients…back to pre-MAGIC era.

    Now, NSA is probably getting this too! HEY! Cool off!

  11. 3
    Rene-Ipil says:

    I believe that phones of top RP officials and businessmen, journalists, etc. are tapped by NSA for counter-terrorism purposes. That’s reality.

    Tha alleged spies in the telecom companies are merely facilitators. With or without such spies, NSA gets what it wants. But Raissa’s present article and similar protests are necessary to temper NSA’s inclination to wander outside counter-terrorism goals. So, let’s get real.

  12. 2
    avahilario says:

    There are two ideas that need to be emphasized: The first is that government changes hands. Just because the current one seems benign w.r.t. civil liberties doesn’t mean it will always stay that way. We know this from a recent lifetime’s experience. Do we want any government of ours to have powers over communication which consequences we do not understand? Remember how our Senators admitted to signing RA 10175 into law without a close reading of it’s consequences relating to libel law? It isn’t enough that legislators understand these issues deeply. Our society hasn’t come to grips with the consequences of this technology infrastructure, and have, as the undersecretary Guillermo Sy has done, simply looked at what happen to be cutting edge legal precendents abroad and transplanted the same to a different, developing world context.

    The second is that the ways we cede privacy to private companies has different consequences to ceding privacy to the State. To put it bluntly, none of Facebook, Google, or Yahoo, possess police powers, the remit to use force and handcuffs to enforce law. (Or indeed, to enforce actions which might not even have support in the law.) We are, as citizens, in a precarious situation as we do NOT have easy visibility into the operation of our bureaucracies, as we lack a legislated Freedom of Information regime.

    Thank you so much for bringing this to a wider audience.

  13. 1
    Dory Crotwood says:

    It is also worth noting that Philip Goldberg, US Ambassador to the Philippines and one of the architects of the EDCA is also the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, leading one of the 16 elements of the US intelligence community. US must have upped the ante on spying through their Manila embassy.

    • 1.1
      raissa says:

      Hmm. You’re right –

      “Philip S. Goldberg was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines on November 21, 2013. From June 2010, he served served as the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Prior to 2010 he served concurrently as the Coordinator for Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1874 on North Korea.” – from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/136919.htm

      • 1.1.1
        bobot says:

        The capability to gather electronic data may be impressive but sorting that data is another matter entirely. Its just the same as your antivirus program,there’s always viruses that gets through. Surely they have the cel no. of prominent persons tagged. they can also sweep electronically small geographical areas in yemen or afghanistan, but for the rest they have no idea until something has already transpired.

        • 1.1.1.1
          moonie says:

          tama ka dyan, bobot. modern technology cannot pin point where those 200+ missing girls in nigeria are located. all they do is listen, actually doing something is another.

      • 1.1.2
        Dory Crotwood says:

        This entire Edward Snowden fiasco is freaking me out more than ghosts, aliens, and the chupacabra. Gave me nightmares recently. People really need to get off the Internet and mobile networks before these computers become self-aware and be free from human intervention. Or worse, before we become an Orwellian society.

        • 1.1.2.1
          moonie says:

          we also have cctv almost everywhere. big brother watching us, recording our movements and actions, where we go and who we see.

          snowden was all about american spying. never did expose russia spying on others, china spying on others as well, other countries spying on others and so on and so on. I dont think cyber spying is uniquely american, that only USA alone is capable of spying the airwaves. there must be others.

  14. Penance says:

    Meh….I did have this blog bookmarked, and occasionally visited for what I thought was insightful commentary in support of the Filipino. Now I see that the author writes for a Chinese newspaper, and makes this “finger pointing article” vs. the US. Consider me now……disenchanted with this blog and its author. Perhaps she should move to China and write more anti-US articles for them?

    • raissa says:

      Your argument is FALLACIOUS. WRONG. INUTILE.

      Just because I write critical articles about the US doesn’t mean I’m pro-China.

      Just because I write for a Hong Kong newspaper doesn’t mean I’m pro-China.

      I am pro-Filipino.

      And you are a coward, posting here behind a non-name.

      • Penance says:

        Now, I had walked away, but the email system sent your comment my way. With that, I can’t help but make a point to the queen that sits upon her digital throne.

        I came into this with calmness, explaining some disappointment. This is normal….natural. This is how discourse begins.

        You, however,responded with big words in all caps. In internet custom, that is yelling. But I can put that aside. Many people thing that the overuse of capital letters will make those words more believable.

        But where you really lost credibility was within your very point. You accuse me of assumption in my concerns, but in the very same reply, resolve yourself to name-calling because I don’t use my real name? Can you explain exactly what difference knowing my name would make? Would you be inviting me over for tea to discuss our different points of view? Would we become “bests”? Can I have your phone number as well?

        I use an internet handle because I am opinionated, and my comments in various places call for Filipinos to wake up and make their government accountable. I’m sure you’re quite in tune with the risks involved with that, ranging from the cybercrime bill to worse. What’s interesting is that you have my email right there at your fingertips. However, you chose to “contact me” about this publicly. The question of ‘why” remains….interesting.

        As for your sentiments, I would remind you of a concept called “balanced journalism”. This is where you state both sides of a story objectively. Otherwise, it’s an “opinion piece”, in which case, t should clearly be stated at the start of your article. If you fail to do so, you are left with the perception of “biased journalism”.

        Lastly, as for who is what internationally, you may want to re-think that. Hong Kong is being swallowed up by China again bit by bit, and now by quite a bit more with the AIIB establishing its seat there. What is AIIB? AIIB is the new bank that communist china is setting up to give quick, easy infrastructure loans to asian countries. That’s right, communist money is now going to be fed into developing asian countries with far fewer conditions and restrictions than ADB has. If you don’t see this as China taking soft control over asia, you need to look deeper.

        And your newspaper, whether hong kong based or not, will soon be a part of that soft takeover. Whether you’re “pro-Filipino” or a woman that needs to make a paycheck will be determined then.

        • raissa says:

          Have you read my other pieces here on the South China Sea conflict?

          Obviously you haven’t.

          I gather, you are all not concerned that another country is scooping up all phone data in the Philippines. All in the name of anti-terrorism.

          And have you read the history of the Philippines and how the US screwed the Philippines big time? Obviously you haven’t.

          • Penance says:

            Well, since we’re going to engage in this….why not.

            Exactly what difference does perusing through any other article you’ve written (of which I’ve read some already, ergo why you were bookmarked) with the main cause for my dissatisfaction with the current article and the trend it follows? I’ll assist you with this one. None. It makes no difference at all. Neither does it compensate for your overreaction to a reader, which I assume is important to you, inasmuch as readership is important to every blog writer.

            However, yet again, you side with assumption, not knowing a thing about me whatsoever. Isn’t that what you originally critiqued me for?

            And lastly, I do care on a government spying. However, I highly doubt that a bunch of prepaid taglish is going to mean very much to the NSA. But even if it does, I’d say that’s a good thing since it takes every other foreign government to get the Philippines to find and arrest anyone doing evil in the Philippines….such as human trafficking and harboring islamic terrorists. If it wasn’t for every other country in the world, PH would have let Yolanda victims rot like they do with every other natural disaster.

            The Philippines is the little country that just can’t. They can’t manage their economy, they can’t cater to anyone else but the elite, they can’t regulate their government away from dynasties, they use poverty to sell out for more foreign loans, and they rely exclusively on the US for protection, even demanding the US do so at their beck and call.

            Yet the worst thing the Philippines could have done is turn down being a commonwealth of the United States. Or even just kicking them out. That was greed talking, and the super rich didn’t want the US oversight.

            But in the end, there may or may not have been some spying. But for what? To find out where the best sex tourism might be? To invade on some suit purchases? The Philippines doesn’t play any major role in the way of the world, and it’s not as strategic as it likes to think it is…especially with other neighboring countries being far more inviting to the US. PH needs to get over itself and start giving back if it wants to much from the US.

            And Filipinos, especially those “reporting” for them, need to start promoting more cooperation with them. Not stirring up more contention.

            • raissa says:

              LOL

              • WECANDOIT says:

                ay sus. akala ko itong penance na ito ay nagalit kay raissa for being pro-china instead of being pr-filipino. yun pala ang galit niya ay dahil si raissa ay pro-filipino instead of being pro-u.s. kung hindi tayo magsisimula, hindi tayo makakarating. the challenges facing the philippines in its efforts to build a nation are the same ones ukraine and afghanistan are facing. u.s.’s short and long term interests are best served by these nations being governed well by uncorrupt democratic leaders.

        • moonie says:

          penance, raissa is not like snowden that moved to russia. exposed the failings of his own country but not the failings of other countries that probably did worse.

          I’m a regular commenter here and found raissa to be a journalist without borders much like doctors without borders, working in all terrains and in any condition. raissa is a free thinker and writes in any directions, some of her articles are sad, outrageous and downright helter skelter, though her other articles are spot on and truly controversial. she makes people think deeper, draw them out of their shells and elicit comments. and if raissa makes mistakes in her articles, she admits making them and corrects them. in her blog, not all commenters agree with her, and are combative, but many feel safe with her. and they keep coming back to give more comments. compared to other journalists, I think, raissa is not overly hostile and has more well balanced views.

          • Penance says:

            Moonie,

            First of all, Snowden didn’t have access to the underhanded acts of other countries. He was a contractor in the US government. And I’m not saying whether I agree or disagree with his actions, but it has opened up several topics for debate, with each side of each topic having its own merits. It has people talking, and that’s the most valuable asset of Mr. Snowden’s actions.

            As for the rest, one would have to take your word for it, as she has displayed none of those qualities in her responses to me. She has been purely overreactive and insulting, merely for disagreeing with her. That’s not someone who’s engaging in discourse. That’s just someone who’s a little too sensitive to call themselves a source of news and insight.

    • moonie says:

      raissa is global filipino and citizen of the world, multi talented and can make her living anywhere.

      • Penance says:

        And yet, in my world (which is comprised of my perceptions and direct experiences), she has not shown those qualities. She works for a Chinese newspaper, and moderates everything everyone says. When disagreed with, she overreacts and insults.

        These are not the qualities of a champion of either the Filipino or Freedom of the Press/expression.

        However, I’m sure there are fans, and always will be. I’ve only spoken to my personal dissatisfaction with the bias in this article and the author’s demeanor towards anyone who dissents from her view.

        As they say…..your mileage may vary.

        • raissa says:

          I dont censor you.

          You mean i cant react the way i want in my own blog?

          • Penance says:

            Ahem……with every comment made “Awaiting moderation” before it’s posted, that’s censorship, whether you never disallow it or not. It’s a control thing, which is apparently important to you for some reason.

            As for how you react “on your own blog”, that’s a bit different. What you present this space as must be matched with your behavior and demeanor in that same space. Ergo, if this space is established as “Raissa’s Throne”, then it’s understood that you can and will act however you want. You’re allowed to dismiss people with “LOL” comments.

            But, if you’re presenting this space as a source of both news and objective insight, even if that includes an inherent support for the Filipino, then the way you react to discourse must be in such a way as to facilitate the exchange of differing opinions to come together in a conversation that enlightens both sides.

            The moral of this story is that one version is present for the benefit of the author’s ego. The other version is there for the benefit and promotion of reoccurring readership. This IS your space…of course you get to choose which version this space will be.

            • raissa says:

              It’s a penance to read uou. You have a most apt name.

              • Penance says:

                Well, it seems we’ve regressed to high school mentality at this point. Fortunately, it also acts as a cue to walk away from this knowing that one of us has the integrity to do so.

                So, enjoy the fantasy this place gives you. There are far better places for me to enjoy discourse on important topics that maintain a higher respect for their readership.

                Keep up with the “journalism”. I’m sure there’s a Pulitzer prize just waiting to find you. The international community of journalists just haven’t noticed how incredible you are yet. When they do, they’ll worship your integrity in reporting objectively, and hail you as the next champion of freedom for the press. I’d say you’re quite safe in holding your breath until this happens. In fact, I encourage you to do so. /sarcasm off.

              • raissa says:

                so why are you still here, troll?

                walk away.

              • moonie says:

                not worth a bother. too tedious.

  15. macspeed says:

    Those act of US and their paid counterparts are not to spy Philippine government he he he America knows, the Philippine intelligence are not capable of doing intricate investigation when it comes to Terrorism, just take a look at Abu Sayaf and the mass killings of innocent reporters and civilians in Maguindanao buried in depth, did the Philippine intelligence realized their act before it will happen? Imagine decoding text message and calls by American intelligence personnel, just how much man-hours are spent? Can you decode what is this>oiram<<
    he he he that is my name "Mario", but I am using Jameela because there is one maniac chasing my real name and wanted to do a ransom thing he he he …may her soul burned in HELL!!!

    Thanks to US of A for their initiative, this will benefit Philippines in the long run if some terrorism is plan by China and other communist or Al Qaeda remnants. It is free of Charge, the US Embassy in Manila will be informed in the first place, naturally, the US Officials in US Embassy Manila will call the President or the Military…

    • macspeed says:

      Do you know that Philippine are being used as “stop over” by drug traffickers and terrorist??? A lot of Filipinos were drug mules in return of hundreds of pesos….Some Al Qaeda used Mindanao as their training grounds. I have no time to give the links he he he but it is TRUE…

  16. JosephIvo says:

    If the NSA and similar agencies were only manned by angels, I do not see any problem. These angels could protect us from a lot of evil. Unfortunately, there are also Snowdons (a different type of angel?), curious snoopers interested in curious things celebrities do, grey areas between business and state issues… the list is endless. As in real life we need legislation to protect us from evil people misusing our common trust just as we have legislation in many other spheres of live. Believing that all intelligence people are angels is naïve. This article is essential to raise awareness of this need. (because I fear more Filipino snoopers than the NSA – the enemy is within)

  17. Joe America says:

    Hmm, my prior comment disappeared. Perhaps sent to outer space by NSA?

    Why might secret information-gathering be done by U.S. security agencies?

    If to defeat terrorists in Mindanao and elsewhere, okay.
    If to determine China’s infiltration into the Philippine cyberworld and elsewhere, okay.
    If to discern when public officials are acting for reasons other than public service, maybe okay.
    If to influence regular politics, not okay.
    If to gain business advantage for American companies (as China uses cyber-snooping), not okay.

    Trust is a very big issue in this information-gathering arena. When the head of the CIA essentially tells the Senate committee overseeing defense to “butt out”, as was recently done, or when the CIA spies on the U.S. Senate staffers who are writing a critique of CIA actions, as was recently done, that trust is sorely tested. The NSA meta-data gathering seems generally to be used to search out terrorist suspects; no infringement of citizen rights have been reported. The rumored U.S. spying on various heads of state grossly undermines trust.

    I personally think cyber information is important for the U.S. in the global battle against terrorism, and if the security agencies do not do all that can be done to protect American citizens within certain ethical boundaries, they would be negligent. Those boundaries are not clear and the current bruhaha is important to define them. That, indeed, is why this blog is so important. It helps define the boundaries.

    • letlet says:

      I absolutely agree with you

    • macspeed says:

      @Joe Am

      200% correct, IT IS ALL FOR TERRORISM, this is how the government of America is doing not to repeat the same twin tower attacked SEP 2011? The CIA were spending huge amount for LIBERTY and that is very good…it will somehow benefit Philippine for TERRORISM attack from China…

      • moonie says:

        mac, vigilant ang USA, pero nakalusot pa rin ang magkakapatid na russian responsible for the boston marathon bombing a while back. there were casualties in that bombing.

        agree though that USA is trying hard to snuff out global terrorism, cyber listening and informing relevant authorities of immenent threats and dangers. sad thing is that not all authorities take precaution despite warnings.

        • moonie says:

          we should be more concern of china snooping in cyber space. its citizens have been known to hack the internet and steal trade secrets and blue prints. and from stolen trade secrets and the blue prints, china manufactured goods that are substandards, lower in price that the original manufacturers of the goods are pushed out of the market and run out of business. buildings made from substandard chinese steel cannot stand earthquakes and tumble down. same with their the bolts and nuts, some have been used as part of airplanes, and caused crashes.

  18. Alex says:

    It’s perfectly ok if it’s the US. I’m sure they perfectly legitimate reasons to do so.
    But if it was China, I’m sure it would be something detrimental to us.

  19. Joe America says:

    Very necessary discussion. Trust is a big big issue here. I think the American CIA has demonstrated it’s thuggish nature by essentially telling the US Senate Defense Committee chaired by Senator Feinstein to “piss off”. NSA is clearly technologically capable of raking in metadata across the globe. The question is, “why”?

    If it is to defeat terrorism in Mindanao, great. If it is to discern that Philippine leaders are behaving for reasons other than national interest, great. If it is to get a clear readout on what China is doing in the Philippines to influence politics, great.

    If it is to influence (non-corrupt) Philippine politics. Not great.

    Odds are the “spying” is for good reasons. But it is right to be very wary.

    • WECANDOIT says:

      every nation must take care of it’s national interest. the question for the u.s. is whether it will for its interest to have someone very corrupt to become the next president. the u.s. placed its bet on marcos (he may be a son of a bitch but it is alright because he is our son of a bitch) but in the long run it was bad for the u.s. to have continued its support for him. i cannot help thinking that the radical left will be happy with a binay win. i for one hope that the u.s. clearly recognizes that the present state of affairs started by a non-corrupt president will be derailed by a binay presidency and that this will not be good for long term u.s. interests.

      • Joe America says:

        One of these days I’ll dig into the Marcos thing to try to sort out how the U.S. got trapped into supporting him, as they did lousy leaders in Viet Nam, in the interest of stopping the spread of communism. I think US interests are by far best served by a good president like President Aquino. If the US engages, which I would hope they would NOT, in respect of Philippine sovereignty, I suspect they would work for clean governance and a continuation of strong economic growth.

  20. Observer says:

    According to the French newspaper Le Monde, the communications of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Secretary Mar Roxas were spied by the NSA

    http://www.lemonde.fr/technologies/article/2014/05/08/revelations-sur-les-ecoutes-sous-marines-de-la-nsa_4412895_651865.html?xtmc=philippines&xtcr=8

  21. Johnny Lin says:

    Fearmongering is contagious.

    No secret that US has been spying on leaders of countries, both their allies and enemies even before 911.
    More people were included in their list after 911. Remember US thought Saudi Arabia was on their side until Twin Tower inferno happened.

    Naturally Philippines like Mexico, Kenya and Bahamas are prime targets for cell phone spying because these countries still have policies or Telcom Not registering the identitities of purchasers of their prepaid SIM cards. this is where MetaData comes along in identifying suspicious owners of unregistered SIM cards. If someone has nothing to hide criminally like being a terrorist or drug dealer or money launderer, nothing to worry about. Of course the opposite will attract US intelligence analysts.

    If Filipino activists want to catch a real Philippine spy, look again on Congress members who want to sponsor a bill requiring all Philippine Telcom SIM cards to be registered.

    Maybe the reason Washington Post recently published its report on Mystic is more financial in nature. Post changed ownership late last year. Seems the new owner’s names sounds like the clown Bozo who might have investment interest in the upcoming movie “XMen, Days of Future Past”. Imagine all the books and DVDs sold thru Amazon. Principal character in this sequel is Mystique. Bozo is only promoting controversy to the movie by claiming Mystic is the secret spy thriller of US intelligence.

    He he he

    • raissa says:

      He he he,Johhnny Lin.
      You have nothing to hide except your real name.
      Maybe I should ask the NSA?

      • Johnny Lin says:

        Raissa

        You don’t have to ask. Told you right in the beginning, I’m a “professional analyst”.

        Quoting character from Monsters Inc, I’m Watching You!

        He he he

  22. leona says:

    NSA is actually playing GOD! God knows everybody and everything from A to Z. If all lower animals including insects atbpa can text, phone, speak etc., NSA will know all about it.

    During the WW II US Army Intel through MAGIC was able to get into all secret codes of German and Japanese communications; knew where, what, when, who and how those enemies were conducting their wars. Admirable Yamamoto’s case was no exception. His plane was tracked down through this. His last flight indeed.

    Now NSA has MYSTIC, maybe far more improved that MAGIC. But why USA did not know Putin’s moves on Ukraine’s Crimea matter is mystic to me. Or did it really look overlooked? I doubt it. So, USA must have reasons it seems to make it appear it overlooked that. For what and why, we can guess.

    CHINA, the same too. Why and for what? We can guess again. America must be leering for it’s national security aspect as what happened to it during the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941 and the Twin Towers attack on 9/11 etc. A country with so much vast power and know how surely will use such ability on every one and all.

    For us privates [as NSA looks at us] we can’t go back to the caves. They know probably our inner-most secrets via texts and cell phone calls etc. Make our own codes then with those of our recipients…back to pre-MAGIC era.

    Now, NSA is probably getting this too! HEY! Cool off!

  23. Rene-Ipil says:

    I believe that phones of top RP officials and businessmen, journalists, etc. are tapped by NSA for counter-terrorism purposes. That’s reality.

    Tha alleged spies in the telecom companies are merely facilitators. With or without such spies, NSA gets what it wants. But Raissa’s present article and similar protests are necessary to temper NSA’s inclination to wander outside counter-terrorism goals. So, let’s get real.

  24. avahilario says:

    There are two ideas that need to be emphasized: The first is that government changes hands. Just because the current one seems benign w.r.t. civil liberties doesn’t mean it will always stay that way. We know this from a recent lifetime’s experience. Do we want any government of ours to have powers over communication which consequences we do not understand? Remember how our Senators admitted to signing RA 10175 into law without a close reading of it’s consequences relating to libel law? It isn’t enough that legislators understand these issues deeply. Our society hasn’t come to grips with the consequences of this technology infrastructure, and have, as the undersecretary Guillermo Sy has done, simply looked at what happen to be cutting edge legal precendents abroad and transplanted the same to a different, developing world context.

    The second is that the ways we cede privacy to private companies has different consequences to ceding privacy to the State. To put it bluntly, none of Facebook, Google, or Yahoo, possess police powers, the remit to use force and handcuffs to enforce law. (Or indeed, to enforce actions which might not even have support in the law.) We are, as citizens, in a precarious situation as we do NOT have easy visibility into the operation of our bureaucracies, as we lack a legislated Freedom of Information regime.

    Thank you so much for bringing this to a wider audience.

  25. Dory Crotwood says:

    It is also worth noting that Philip Goldberg, US Ambassador to the Philippines and one of the architects of the EDCA is also the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, leading one of the 16 elements of the US intelligence community. US must have upped the ante on spying through their Manila embassy.

    • raissa says:

      Hmm. You’re right –

      “Philip S. Goldberg was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines on November 21, 2013. From June 2010, he served served as the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Prior to 2010 he served concurrently as the Coordinator for Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1874 on North Korea.” – from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/136919.htm

      • bobot says:

        The capability to gather electronic data may be impressive but sorting that data is another matter entirely. Its just the same as your antivirus program,there’s always viruses that gets through. Surely they have the cel no. of prominent persons tagged. they can also sweep electronically small geographical areas in yemen or afghanistan, but for the rest they have no idea until something has already transpired.

        • moonie says:

          tama ka dyan, bobot. modern technology cannot pin point where those 200+ missing girls in nigeria are located. all they do is listen, actually doing something is another.

      • Dory Crotwood says:

        This entire Edward Snowden fiasco is freaking me out more than ghosts, aliens, and the chupacabra. Gave me nightmares recently. People really need to get off the Internet and mobile networks before these computers become self-aware and be free from human intervention. Or worse, before we become an Orwellian society.

        • moonie says:

          we also have cctv almost everywhere. big brother watching us, recording our movements and actions, where we go and who we see.

          snowden was all about american spying. never did expose russia spying on others, china spying on others as well, other countries spying on others and so on and so on. I dont think cyber spying is uniquely american, that only USA alone is capable of spying the airwaves. there must be others.

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