These forums have been archived and are now read-only.

The new forums are live and can be found at https://forums.eveonline.com/

Intergalactic Summit

 
  • Topic is locked indefinitely.
123Next pageLast page
 

Senate Subcommittee claims "Culture of Secrecy at the Black Eagles"

Author
Muck Raker
Gutter Press
#1 - 2014-03-17 19:45:07 UTC
The SDII, the "Black Eagles", the intelligence agency set up following the Luminaire Incident of YC110, are no stranger to controversy.

The latest controversy surrounds an alleged "Culture of Secrecy" at the secret intelligence service, headed by the charismatic Mentas Blaque.

A Senate subcommittee investigating the value for Federal Taxpayers money of various budget programs for the next financial year has run into problems with the budget allocated to the Black Eagles.

"The main problem is that there is no budget. All details are classified." said one Senator.
"We are asked to vote on these budgets, and yet, for 'security reasons', we cannot even see what it is we are supposed to approve!" said another.
"We are in the farcical situation where the Caldari intelligence services know more about the SDII budget and operational capabilities than the Senate!", said a third Senator.

Outside of the sometimes insular Senate, Federation citizens expressed a number of concerns over the nature of the SDII.
"Those black ships they have, those didn't come out of nowhere. They cost taxpayers money, my money! and I want to know what I'm paying for!" said one concerned Intaki exotic dancer
"I don't think half the Black Eagles know they're actually the Black Eagles", said a Quafe vending machine technician.
"I voted for the other guy!", said a CreoDron drone whisperer.
"Black Eagles, whoah man, they're like, you know, real downers, dude, girl, hey, you know, like, there's this like, new drug thing, it's like whoah", said a Gallente pharmaceuticals enthusiast.

An SDII agent known to Gutter Press had this to say: "We're not really authorised to reveal details to media corporations. This meeting never happened, I was never here."

Rumours, Wars, Rumours of Wars, Wars of Rumours!

Cuci Cairi
#2 - 2014-03-17 20:00:55 UTC
This is a fake controversy. No concern about this actually exists. It is not uncommon for intelligence agencies to have unspecified budgets, nor are average Federation citizens worried about it.
Noden Vorpalstar
The Knights of Polaris
#3 - 2014-03-18 11:50:16 UTC  |  Edited by: Noden Vorpalstar
If there were a Senate subcommitee investigation into the SDII; why has it not been reported on by a more reputable news source than The Gutter Press? This article seems to be nothing more than a slight to stir up animosity and distrust against those in the security and intelligence fields.

The feigned concerns of an exotic dancer, a vending machine repair man, and a pharmaceuticals enthusiast, are hardly evidence of any want for an investigation, public or otherwise.

To those various agents seen and unseen who defend The Federation... I salute you.

Public Channel:  Polaris-Public Roleplaying Channel:  Gallente Lounge

Diana Kim
Caldari Colonial Defense Ministry
Templis CALSF
#4 - 2014-03-18 11:57:10 UTC
Gallenteans.
They are those, who are afraid of fight head to head, and instead backstab you.
That's why their cowardly secrecy.

Each gallentean "civilian" can be a camouflaged Black Eagle agent.
Show no mercy to gallentean swines!

Honored are the dead, for their legacy guides us.

In memory of Tibus Heth, Caldari State Executor YC110-115, Hero and Patriot.

Apollo Lyserius
Minerva Technologies
#5 - 2014-03-18 12:31:49 UTC
Cuci Cairi wrote:
This is a fake controversy. No concern about this actually exists. It is not uncommon for intelligence agencies to have unspecified budgets, nor are average Federation citizens worried about it.


Please don't judge so broadly. I, for instance, actually am worried about that. If an Intelligence Agency budget is being used to violate our people's own rights - which is also not uncommon - there should be enough transparency for it's budget to be regulated by the representatives of the people. Else we may just become like the State.

Diana Kim wrote:
Gallenteans.
They are those, who are afraid of fight head to head, and instead backstab you.
That's why their cowardly secrecy.

Each gallentean "civilian" can be a camouflaged Black Eagle agent.
Show no mercy to gallentean swines!


Yeah, Kim, but it's not different in the State.
Cuci Cairi
#6 - 2014-03-18 13:14:16 UTC
Apollo Lyserius wrote:
Cuci Cairi wrote:
This is a fake controversy. No concern about this actually exists. It is not uncommon for intelligence agencies to have unspecified budgets, nor are average Federation citizens worried about it.


Please don't judge so broadly. I, for instance, actually am worried about that. If an Intelligence Agency budget is being used to violate our people's own rights - which is also not uncommon - there should be enough transparency for it's budget to be regulated by the representatives of the people. Else we may just become like the State.


Intelligence agencies can't function without being away from the public eye, it is part of the job description. Their utility relies on it. To have to justify the budget with public committees or requisitions would be to announce activities publicly - which undermines the very function of intelligence. You cannot be effective as an intelligence agency if you are required to announce what you know and what you are capable of.

And again, the effect of the SDII on the lives of average Gallente is minimal.
Noden Vorpalstar
The Knights of Polaris
#7 - 2014-03-18 13:40:39 UTC  |  Edited by: Noden Vorpalstar
Cuci Cairi wrote:
Apollo Lyserius wrote:
Cuci Cairi wrote:
This is a fake controversy. No concern about this actually exists. It is not uncommon for intelligence agencies to have unspecified budgets, nor are average Federation citizens worried about it.


Please don't judge so broadly. I, for instance, actually am worried about that. If an Intelligence Agency budget is being used to violate our people's own rights - which is also not uncommon - there should be enough transparency for it's budget to be regulated by the representatives of the people. Else we may just become like the State.


Intelligence agencies can't function without being away from the public eye, it is part of the job description. Their utility relies on it. To have to justify the budget with public committees or requisitions would be to announce activities publicly - which undermines the very function of intelligence. You cannot be effective as an intelligence agency if you are required to announce what you know and what you are capable of.

And again, the effect of the SDII on the lives of average Gallente is minimal.


Ms. Cairi is correct in her position on this matter. To expose the budget and activities of those within the clandestine services would only serve to tie the hands of the people who's very purpose it is to defend Federation interests through clandestine activities.

One of the reasons the average Federation citizen is able to live realitively free and secure lives is because of the efforts and activities of those within our Military and Intelligence communities.

Sensationalist articles such as this one by Gutter Press does no service to anyone by attempting to throw mud into the faces of so many who selflessly serve The Federation.

Public Channel:  Polaris-Public Roleplaying Channel:  Gallente Lounge

Bryen Verrisai
Aliastra
Gallente Federation
#8 - 2014-03-18 15:14:28 UTC
Has anyone else noticed that Gutter Press almost never fails to list the opinion of at least one exotic dancer of some kind in most of their articles?
Cuci Cairi
#9 - 2014-03-18 15:22:04 UTC
Bryen Verrisai wrote:
Has anyone else noticed that Gutter Press almost never fails to list the opinion of at least one exotic dancer of some kind in most of their articles?


It is their one saving grace.
Apollo Lyserius
Minerva Technologies
#10 - 2014-03-18 15:41:48 UTC  |  Edited by: Apollo Lyserius
Indeed, they can't function properly away from the public eye. To function in total secrecy, however, is a distinct matter. It has never been a case of black or white.

See, agencies like the Black Eagles and the FIO may sometimes violate individual rights and freedoms in the name of "security". Terrorism, remote crimes, money laundering and "Federation defense interests" have often been used as reasons for over-extensive and undue surveillance, intervention and monitoring of civilian activity by such agencies.

See, Mr. Vorpalstar, that instead of actually protecting one's freedoms, Intelligence agencies may be responsible for violating them in the name of security. And to go further and say that it is okay to violate some rights in the name of collective security - well, that's a quite opposite to what the Federation truly stands for.

To oppose total secrecy is merely a way of guaranteeing that agents within these organizations can be held accountable for their actions should they incur in one of those violations.
Bryen Verrisai
Aliastra
Gallente Federation
#11 - 2014-03-18 15:53:05 UTC
It's a tricky balance, keeping secrets while also maintaining accountability. I recall speaking casually with my father about the issue a few years back, and he proposed a solution I've always been fond of in theory (though I'm not qualified to make a claim about its practicality): A rotating subcommittee on the Senate overseeing all classified material, investigating questionable content, and pressing charges when necessary. Say the committee members are rotated out every year (just throwing out an arbitrary number); that way you don't have just another small group of people privy to secrets no one else is and a large enough set of individuals that it's unlikely all of them can be bought/coerced into letting infractions slide.
Cuci Cairi
#12 - 2014-03-18 15:58:26 UTC
Apollo Lyserius wrote:
Indeed, they can't function properly away from the public eye. To function in total secrecy, however, is a distinct matter. It has never been a case of black or white.

See, agencies like the Black Eagles and the FIO may sometimes violate individual rights and freedoms in the name of "security". Terrorism, remote crimes, money laundering and "Federation defense interests" have often been used as reasons for over-extensive and undue surveillance, intervention and monitoring of civilian activity by such agencies.

See, Mr. Vorpalstar, that instead of actually protecting one's freedoms, Intelligence agencies may be responsible for violating them in the name of security. And to go further and say that it is okay to violate some rights in the name of collective security - well, that's a quite opposite to what the Federation truly stands for.

To oppose total secrecy is merely a way of guaranteeing that agents within these organizations can be held accountable for their actions should they incur in one of those violations.


Total secrecy from the public does not necessarily mean the SDII is entirely unaccountable from the FIO as a whole or the president. Simply put, we cannot know what accountability structures are in place because secrecy from public view is an absolute necessity. The accountability structures of intelligence communities are not publicly known for the same reason the activities of the agencies are not known - it risks their effectiveness. If they become publicly accountable, then they may be publicly investigated - which defeats their purpose. Lack of public accountability does not mean they have lack of accountability altogether.

As I stated earlier, the SDII's affect on the lives of Federation citizens is virtually nonexistent beyond being culturally well-known and inspiring rumors, as all intelligence agencies do. Concerns of removing liberty are unwarranted at this time.
Pieter Tuulinen
Societas Imperialis Sceptri Coronaeque
Khimi Harar
#13 - 2014-03-18 17:22:47 UTC
These people do things in your name that would make you very uncomfortable were you required to authorise them yourselves.

They murder and carry out acts that are only saved from being called terrorism because they have the loosest sponsorship by a nationstate. Do not think your ignorance of the precise actions they carry out will save you from bearing the cost of them, down the line. The universe has a way of sorting these things out, over time.

For the first time since I started the conversation, he looks me dead in the eye. In his gaze are steel jackhammers, quiet vengeance, a hundred thousand orbital bombs frozen in still life.

Apollo Lyserius
Minerva Technologies
#14 - 2014-03-18 17:44:25 UTC  |  Edited by: Apollo Lyserius
Cuci Cairi wrote:

Total secrecy from the public does not necessarily mean the SDII is entirely unaccountable from the FIO as a whole or the president. Simply put, we cannot know what accountability structures are in place because secrecy from public view is an absolute necessity. The accountability structures of intelligence communities are not publicly known for the same reason the activities of the agencies are not known - it risks their effectiveness. If they become publicly accountable, then they may be publicly investigated - which defeats their purpose. Lack of public accountability does not mean they have lack of accountability altogether.

As I stated earlier, the SDII's affect on the lives of Federation citizens is virtually nonexistent beyond being culturally well-known and inspiring rumors, as all intelligence agencies do. Concerns of removing liberty are unwarranted at this time.


I simply can't see how the maximum effictiveness of an intelligence agency should be a priority above respect to democratic principles.

Being pragmatic, I can agree with a certain degree of secrecy, as long as it doesn't violate optimal accountability. And optimal accountability does not mean maximum accountability.

The public doesn't need to know everything the FIO or the Black Eagles do. But hell, if they're spying on my private sphere, for whatever reasons, because everybody on the top brass decided so, I should know in order to have a say in it. Either by voting on a candidate that will oppose that or through referendum in our direct mechanisms.
Katrina Oniseki
Oniseki-Raata Internal Watch
Ishuk-Raata Enforcement Directive
#15 - 2014-03-18 17:52:48 UTC
In short, the Federation is not the bastion of good and chivalry and tolerance and freedom and liberty and law and more good stuff and happy and yay that it was made out to be.

Katrina Oniseki

Noden Vorpalstar
The Knights of Polaris
#16 - 2014-03-18 17:57:47 UTC
Hearsay, presuppositions, and unfounded accusations are not evident of any wrong doings or breaches of public trust by intelligence operatives or officials.

Those agencies who work within the sphere of intelligence operations are entrusted by those elected by the people, with the safe guarding of information and activities which are of vital importance to The Federation and its allies.

Unimpeded vigilant intelligence operations are crucial to ensuring that The Federation stays ready to respond to a wide range of threats.

Public Channel:  Polaris-Public Roleplaying Channel:  Gallente Lounge

Steffanie Saissore
Tyrathlion Interstellar
Rote Kapelle
#17 - 2014-03-18 17:59:11 UTC
Apollo Lyserius wrote:
But hell, if they're spying on my private sphere, for whatever reasons, because everybody on the top brass decided so, I should know in order to have a say in it. Either by voting on a candidate that will oppose that or through referendum in our direct mechanisms.


I think you fail to understand the nature of grey and black operations. If FIO felt the need to spy upon your friends and organization, they are not going to approach you and ask your permission or even inform you of the fact as it would compromise their informant/agent.

I personally have a great dislike for the organization known as Black Eagles as they are not actually under the umbrella of the FIO. We do not need the Eagles.

We do need a security/intelligence agency and that agency does need to have the flexibility to operate within the fringes. There does need to be oversight and accountability, but their operations and scope of power need not be made publicly known.

We travel in the dark of the new moon,

A starry highway traced on the map of the sky

Muck Raker
Gutter Press
#18 - 2014-03-18 18:12:16 UTC
Noden Vorpalstar wrote:
If there were a Senate subcommitee investigation into the SDII; why has it not been reported on by a more reputable news source than The Gutter Press? This article seems to be nothing more than a slight to stir up animosity and distrust against those in the security and intelligence fields.

The feigned concerns of an exotic dancer, a vending machine repair man, and a pharmaceuticals enthusiast, are hardly evidence of any want for an investigation, public or otherwise.

To those various agents seen and unseen who defend The Federation... I salute you.


1. It is not a specific investigation committee examining the SDII, the subcommittee's role is scrutinising value for money for a number of programmes.

2. As a media corporation that is not beholden to any one nation state government, Gutter Press Interstellar Media Corporation has a great deal more editorial flexibility in reporting news, compared to other news agencies, who are often restricted by political concerns. Our journalism colleagues at Amarr Certified News would find it hard to cover news stories such as finding the Bottomless Pit, due to theological concerns.

3. I see you dismiss the opinions of 3 Federal citizens, due to their profession, while not dismissing the views of a 4th citizen, a drone whisperer. Perhaps you consider some professions beneath contempt, hmmm?

4. On the subject of secret intelligence services being secret. The SDII operate a number of starships, purchased at taxpayers expense. Who are the contractors that supply those ships? What is the cost of the SDII specific modifications? How does the average Federal Citizen know that their tax money is being spent appropriately? How does the average citizen know that these ships are not simply a means to siphon taxpayers money into the contractors wallets? If the SDII pay 2Bn isk for a modified Megathron, where is the evidence that the money was well spent ? And not something like 2Bn ISK for a 1.5Bn Megathron and 500M ISK into the contractors slush fund?


Bryen Verrisai wrote:
Has anyone else noticed that Gutter Press almost never fails to list the opinion of at least one exotic dancer of some kind in most of their articles?


Exotic dancers, spending their working day on their feet, are often very interested in expressing their opinions to our correspondents, as it shows that we at Gutter Press appreciate their mind as well as their well-toned and flexible bodies, thus recognising their humanity.

Rumours, Wars, Rumours of Wars, Wars of Rumours!

Calairis
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#19 - 2014-03-18 18:17:15 UTC
Can't say I much disagree with Pilot Tuulinen on this one.

Let's play a game where this 'news' wasn't deposited on GP's floor by a passing fedo: the DSC has plenty of skeletons of their own, some well worth keeping closeted. Senators affiliated with these 'oversight' bodies are generally known for their ties to defense contractors, who, from time to time, they've partnered with on some extra-governmental shenanigans within Federation territory.

The budget numbers are precisely where they should be, in limbo, and the subcommittee members know this, as does the DSC and the Senate at large. If this was news, it would be less about Federation ideals and more about one or more of Gilles Ranchel's cronies getting muscled out of a sweet deal which involved disregarding the Constitution in Federation space. Such unfortunate senators might then feel that a review of the money they wouldn't be pocketing might be in order. Ranchel would then have to start asking some tough questions of his colleagues, but let's come back to the point here.

This isn't news.
Apollo Lyserius
Minerva Technologies
#20 - 2014-03-18 18:22:02 UTC
Steffanie Saissore wrote:

I think you fail to understand the nature of grey and black operations. If FIO felt the need to spy upon your friends and organization, they are not going to approach you and ask your permission or even inform you of the fact as it would compromise their informant/agent.

I personally have a great dislike for the organization known as Black Eagles as they are not actually under the umbrella of the FIO. We do not need the Eagles.

We do need a security/intelligence agency and that agency does need to have the flexibility to operate within the fringes. There does need to be oversight and accountability, but their operations and scope of power need not be made publicly known.


I do not fail to understand the nature of such operations. I actually know them quite well.

Intelligence organizations can't simply spy on someone when they feel they need to. They need a judicial order. They need to go to a judge and present the adequate reasons for spying someone: e.g., he/she has a history of felony or is under high suspicions. That's the kind of accountability I'm talking about.

If civilians are being monitored without respect to the due process, because Intelligence agencies can act in total secrecy, then I'd like to know, so I can do my part against it. That's my entire point here.
123Next pageLast page