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Egyptian Authorities Detain French "Spy" Bird Found With Tracker 110

Posted by samzenpus
from the duck-privacy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post reports, 'In a case that ruffled feathers in Egypt, authorities have detained a migratory bird that a citizen suspected of being a spy. A man in Egypt's Qena governorate, some 450 kilometers (280 miles) southeast of Cairo, found the suspicious bird among four others near his home and brought them to a police station Friday, said Mohammed Kamal, the head of the security in the region. With turmoil gripping Egypt following the July 3 popularly backed military coup that overthrew the country's president, authorities and citizens remain highly suspicious of anything foreign. Conspiracy theories easily find their ways into cafe discussion — as well as some media in the country. Earlier this year, a security guard filed a police report after capturing a pigeon he said carried microfilm. A previous rumor in 2010 blamed a series of shark attacks along Egypt's Mediterranean coast on an Israeli plot. It wasn't. In the bird's case, even military officials ultimately had to deny the bird carried any spying devices. They spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.'"
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Egyptian Authorities Detain French "Spy" Bird Found With Tracker

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  • FP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Monday September 02, 2013 @04:02AM (#44737001) Homepage Journal

    Two words: Hartlepool, monkey.

    Mind, that was 200 years ago when people had an excuse for being thick.

    • Re:FP (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gmack (197796) <gmackNO@SPAMinnerfire.net> on Monday September 02, 2013 @04:34AM (#44737117) Homepage Journal

      There are more recent examples such as Saudi Arabia accusing a condor of spying [theblaze.com] Or Egypt Blaming Isreal for shark attacks. [theweek.com] The fact is that the Egyptian government wants to distract it's people from the latest military takeover of the government and finding something to blame on the "Zionists" is a time tested way to do that.

      I used to have a Moroccan co worker who blamed Israel for everything bad in life down to his country's poor economy. It really is a weird how an otherwise intelligent person could miss the game of misdirection being played out repeatedly.

      • Re:FP (Score:4, Funny)

        by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday September 02, 2013 @05:07AM (#44737243)

        There are more recent examples such as Saudi Arabia accusing a condor of spying

        Hide! Spies of Sarucohen!

      • by torsmo (1301691)

        The pigeon was quite clearly Yankee-Doodle Pigeon and the condor was part of the Vulture Squadron. So this can only mean a new Wacky Races movie.

        "Wake up, Muttley, you're dreaming again, You're not Robin Hood and you're not Gunga Din"

        • Slight correction: 'Stop the Pigeon' and 'Wacky Races' were separate shows. There were characters appearing in common between these along with 'Perils of Penelope Pitstop', but they didn't form any sort of continuity and, aside from Penelope, didn't even keep their names between appearances.

        • The pigeon was quite clearly Yankee-Doodle Pigeon

          That's not even necessary. Seeing that pigeon starts with pig-, all pigeons are automatically suspect in the eyes of Egyptian authorities.

      • by gtall (79522)

        Apparently in this case, the military government said it wasn't an Israeli plot. I don't doubt that government would distract the pop., but they are more likely to use the U.S. as the kicking ball given that the last thing they need is to tick off the Israelis.

        • by gmack (197796)

          Keep in mind that they consider, North America and Europe as under Zionist control.

      • Your Moroccan friend is definitely not alone. Add the US boogeyman into the mix and you can deflect any problem large or small.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It really is a weird how an otherwise intelligent person could miss the game of misdirection being played out repeatedly.

        That never happens on Slashdot.

      • Fortunately not all countries in the region are that batshit crazy.. Turkish authorities recently cleared a bird [telegraph.co.uk] suspected of spying for Israel.. such a shame the bird in question wasn't a Turkey as that would have made for some great headlines - "Turkey spies for Israel!" followed by "Turkey clears Turkey!" etc.

      • It really is a weird how an otherwise intelligent person could miss the game of misdirection being played out repeatedly.

        Kinda like how otherwise intelligent people manage to blame everything bad on mexican immigrants, jews, fiat currencies, UN black helicopters or contrails? Conspiracy theories isn't just a specialty of the US.

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      "Mind, that was 200 years ago when people had an excuse for being thick."

      That is what happens if people get TV before they get education.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gtall (79522)

        This is the middle east, it wouldn't matter how educated they are. The educated elite of Saudi Arabia believe the same fantasies about Israel. They tend to believe there is an Iranian behind every grain of sand.

        The problem is Islam. It promotes itself over everything. That leaves the pop. unprotected from the plots and stories of the Imams and mullahs. So given a choice between what their local mosque is saying and what an educated world view would tell them, they'll believe the mosque every time. Mind you,

        • Re:FP (Score:4, Insightful)

          by skywhale (664067) on Monday September 02, 2013 @06:53AM (#44737629)
          "So I'm going to tell you what the facts are, and the facts are the facts, but then we know the truth. That always overcomes facts,"
          pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons, The Eagle Mountain International Church, Texas.
          http://www.npr.org/2013/09/01/217746942/texas-megachurch-at-center-of-measles-outbreak [npr.org]
        • by DogDude (805747)
          The problem is Islam.

          Close.

          The problem is religion.
          • Re:FP (Score:4, Insightful)

            by BluBrick (1924) <blubrick@MONETgmail.com minus painter> on Monday September 02, 2013 @08:58AM (#44738275) Homepage

            The problem is Islam.

            Close.

            The problem is religion.

            Closer yet, but still not quite accurate. You see, religion is just fine until people get involved in it. Only then does it become dangerous.

            • by korbulon (2792438)

              Closer still, the problem is people. The pervasiveness of religion betrays a basic need felt by nearly all humans to understand the world, not merely in a cause-effect sense, but in an origination and ontological sense. Where did I come from? Why am I here?. Religion is the institutionalization and politicization of spirituality, not inherently evil but prone to egregious abuse. There are many on this earth who recognize this basic need - often not being able to distinguish it from their own personal belief

            • The problem is Islam.

              Close.

              The problem is religion.

              Closer yet, but still not quite accurate. You see, religion is just fine until people get involved in it. Only then does it become dangerous.

              Not quite. Problem is people that think they are better than others for any reason.

    • The Monkey in question was still French :)
    • "A previous rumor in 2010 blamed a series of shark attacks along Egypt's Mediterranean coast on an Israeli plot. It wasn't."

      [Citation needed]
    • by mspohr (589790)

      Boston had no excuse for being thick in 2007:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Boston_bomb_scare [wikipedia.org]
      Aqua Teen Hunger Force
      A group of police found them to be sharing "some characteristics with improvised explosive devices." These characteristics included an identifiable power source, a circuit board with exposed wiring, and electrical tape. Investigators were intending to determine "if this event was a hoax or something else entirely."

      • I always find it funny when coptards say things look like an improvised explosive device, because they don't really conform to any standard pattern. If they did, they'd be mass produced explosive devices.

        It's like saying something sounds like a jazz tune.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Walk like an Egyptian when in Egypt !!

  • by o'reor (581921) on Monday September 02, 2013 @04:15AM (#44737039) Journal
    When a bird flies like a stork and quacks like a stork and walks like a stork, then it's a fucking swan.

    And a spying one, at that.
  • (french) "pigeon with a radio" is going to be the new (israeli) "shark with a laser".

  • by ameen.ross (2498000) on Monday September 02, 2013 @04:32AM (#44737105)

    I think this is indicative of the intelligence of the people that supported the overthrow of Mursi.

    FTFA

    the state-run daily newspaper Al-Ahram quoted Kamal as saying the incident showed the patriotism of the man who captured the bird in the first place.

    • Re:Intelligence (Score:5, Insightful)

      by o'reor (581921) on Monday September 02, 2013 @04:43AM (#44737153) Journal
      If you are supporting Morsi, I suppose you're supporting his vocal positions on Jews and freedom of press, here you go. [theblaze.com]

      After watching this, I consider that any man with just a little common sense would support the overthrow of Morsi. Which does not mean supporting the slaughter of hundreds of opponents in the aftermath. But the independence of the USA was not completed in one day, neither was the French revolution, nor will the Arab revolutions. It takes time before an appeased democracy takes place after centuries of colonial occupation and military dictatorships.

      • Wow. I live in Western Europe and I was detained for about 5 hours for trying to start a car with a broken head gasket (to take it to a deconstruction company). Should I now support the overthrow of my government as well?

        FYI, the West doesn't have the best track record in free speech either. That said, that I supported Mursi while he was in power doesn't mean that I agree with everything that he said or did - or was said or done by others under his leadership.

        • trying to start a car with a broken head gasket

          Next time try the key. Or a screwdriver.

      • by ianare (1132971)

        The French revolution is probably the worst example for arguing violent overthrow of the governement. It goes something like this:

        1. Overthrow the government, kill the royal family.
        2. Kill a bunch of aristocrats, a bunch of priests, desecrate tombs
        3. Kill a bunch of people that don't agree with all the killing
        4. Put a Corsican in charge, eventually becoming an Emperor
        5. More killing, war all over Europe
        6. A couple heirs to the Emperor here and there
        7. Put the kings back in place from time to time

        ... All in

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Ina democracy you do not overthrow legally elected people you don't like. You vote against them at the next election. That is something apparently a LOT of people do not understand when they applaud the coup against Morsi. Democracy isn't election of "the people we like only".
      • neither was the French revolution,

        You shouldn't take the French revolution as an example of how to do anything right. John Adams pointed out that the French revolution was a bad idea at the time.

    • 'Patriotism' is not entirely a compliment, though it is often espoused as a virtue.
    • how is this stupid? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by globaljustin (574257)

      I hate these articles...the headlines are insulting and are subtly racist IMHO...

      Headline should read: "Haha look at these Egyptian rubes! These camel jockeys don't understand technology and that is humorous."

      But it is absolutely within the realm of possibility for someone to use a live bird for surveillance, especially when you look at what the Israelis are developing right in the open. [wired.com]

      The technical ability and implicit demand are there for a live bird/spy drone.

      I think anyone who laughs at these Egyptians

  • We elected a terrorist for president, we revolted against him and the military backed us up, we have a civil government (so far).
    • Re:It's not a coup. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by oobayly (1056050) on Monday September 02, 2013 @05:24AM (#44737289)

      Yup, I was listening to a quite interesting program on BBC Radio 4. It was interviewing some Egyptian women - all of whom said that they voted for Morsi as he "appeared" to be a good choice and they felt they should give him a chance. Unfortunately he wasn't, they felt mislead and supported him being removed by the military. I know that many people were worried about Morsi from the start, and maybe these ladies were naive, but change can fill people with a huge amount of optimism.

      What was also interesting was that one said that before the Muslim Brotherhood came into power they'd never had a Sunni - Shia problem, and when they looked into it, it turned wherever Sunni - Shia sectarian violence erupted, the Muslim Brotherhood weren't far away.

      I've got to respect you guys - you (the country, maybe not you personally) voted for a politician because they promised the world, and when they did as politicians usually do, you said "screw that, we're getting rid of him". Unlike us who bitch and moan and then vote for the same bastard next time round.

      • Re:It's not a coup. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gtall (79522) on Monday September 02, 2013 @06:48AM (#44737597)

        More specifically, the choice in Egypt was between Morsi and a representative of the old regime. Hell, Stalin could win an election like that.

        Then Morsi showed his true colors. He went to work putting his people in as many positions of power as he could even down to local level. Bad news for him was that most of these were incompetent. It became clear Morsi still was working with the old MB line: one man, one vote, one time. When that became too apparent to ignore, and given the economy was getting worse and worse, the people got fed up and walked into the all too welcoming arms of the military. The people thought the military was the only organized group strong enough to counter the MB.

        Just as an example of the bone-headedness of Morsi, he put as head of the monuments in Luxor the very guy who led a terrorist attack against foreigners there. At that point, the people realized he had no economic sense because that certainly wasn't going to encourage tourism which was a big part of the Egyptian economy. He also wouldn't do anything to prevent the MB from antagonizing the Christians which were 10% of the pop. His views on women only drove home what King Abdullah of Jordan said of him, Morsi has no depth. (Incidentally, he also said Erdogan of Turkey thought of Democracy as bus, when he reaches his destination, he is going to get off. His destination will be a theocracy...I give him 10 years and another failed theocracy will be born.)

        • by isorox (205688)

          He went to work putting his people in as many positions of power as he could even down to local level.

          I love the fact that the guy from the group who caused the Luxor massacre [wikipedia.org] in 1997 was put in charge of Luxor.

          That's good for tourism. But then Egypt never really relied on tourism.

    • thank you

      We elected a terrorist for president, we revolted against him and the military backed us up, we have a civil government (so far).

      partisans in America are too dumb to see this...critics in America look at Egypt and wonder, "How can we make this Obama's fault"

      Egyptians, Syrians, Libyans, etc **all** know exactly what they are fighting FOR and who they are fighting AGAINST
      4
      American's are being duped by a media too dumb to know when the military/illuminati complex is leading them around by the nose...

      E

    • by petes_PoV (912422)
      You're correct. Chickens live in coups, pigeons live in lofts
  • by GeekWithAKnife (2717871) on Monday September 02, 2013 @04:41AM (#44737139)

    Ladies and gentleman, I propose that this is only the beginning. Soon the evil Zionists and western imperialists will send their GM mind controlling bacteria to spy on us from inside our bodies.

    Let's fight the oppression of foreign powers, the military, bad people and bacteria together. Unlike some cowardly dictators I lead by example.In the interest of public safety, as I have personally not felt a lot like myself lately, I asked officials to prove that I do not carry such bacteria. As they have failed to give any substantial evidence to the contrary I must conclude that however remote, there is a possibility this is the case.

    If you do not feel like yourself and are tempted to take a power drill to your temple PLEASE STOP this is exactly what they want. Don't let them win!

    Flying pigeons, swimming sharks and bacteria will not end us! Fight on my brothers and expose their wicked ways!
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Fight on my brothers and expose their wicked ways!

      I would gladly fight on your wicked brothers, except... I can't find them. Somebody must've hid them.

    • by b4upoo (166390)

      Were those sharks and pigeons circumcised? Where is the temple where the sharks and pigeons worship so that we may bomb it?

  • How the mighty have fallen.

  • by Bender Unit 22 (216955) on Monday September 02, 2013 @05:03AM (#44737227) Journal

    IDIOTS.
    No wonder they are having problems.

  • Not unexpected (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ianare (1132971) on Monday September 02, 2013 @05:15AM (#44737269)

    When you hear about the Western spying programs (US, UK, France, etc) all over the news, when a country is undergoing huge changes, and when said western powers have been meddling in the region for decades, it's not completly unexpected for this sort of thing to happen.

    I just feel bad for the poor stork that is still locked up.

    • For me, the bigger surprise is how the comparatively wacky and/or retro theories (is somebody using up their spare microfilm from WWII? trained attack sharks? Surveillance birds?) even in a situation with modern communications and surveillance apparatuses to worry about, and plenty of murky-and-actually-happening-to-people attacks, disappearances, just-showing-up-at-the-morgue, and so on.

      Concerns about spying are very plausible (and spying is also very plausible); but I would have expected the abundant s
  • "With turmoil gripping Egypt following the July 3 popularly backed military coup that overthrew the country's president" This statement is awkward writing, at best, a complete fabrication, at worst.

    I suppose this is true if you define "popularly" as meaning "as done by more than one member of the populace-at-large". This is a pretty-narrow reading, as it makes an almost-meaningless statement.

    I read it as if this statement is implying most people agree with the coup, and are happy it is occurring. I doubt

    • by gtall (79522)

      Morsi made a mockery of democracy by placing his cronies and MB people in every position of power he could. It was clear that he was aiming, not at running Egypt, but rather establishing an everlasting dynasty of the MB.

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Monday September 02, 2013 @05:54AM (#44737391)
    So a guy found something that he didn't understand. He took it to the authorities who examined it and told him (and the world) that it was nothing to worry about. Due to ignorance and fear however, many conspiracy theories abound and are stoked by this sort of story and the "official" explanation.

    Roswell, anyone?

  • I suspect those inept Egyptian security officials failed to follow proper protocol with this bird: he should have been separated from his for local friends, and each should have been interrogated to see if they had a straight story about their business together. Just because the foreign bird didn't crack doesn't mean his local affiliates won't!
  • by BluPhenix316 (2656403) on Monday September 02, 2013 @06:46AM (#44737591)
    That bird is a spy. It works for the NSA to capture traffic over IPoAC
  • Goddamn it, I've been looking for that packet all day ! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_over_Avian_Carriers [wikipedia.org]
  • Why is this crap getting posted when I linked a story about a massive censorship law being debated next week in the UK and it gets buried. Many of the 'campaigns' are by ordinary citizens, it is us who would lose our voice in the 12 month lead-up to any election.

    new government plans to gag charities and campaigners [independent.co.uk]

    • by gigne (990887)

      indeed.

      "Many of the 'campaigns' are by ordinary citizens, it is us who would lose our voice in the 12 month lead-up to any election."

      can you clarify this. I know the back story on this, but I was under the impression from the news (BBC mainly) that this would only affect large campaign spends to £~400k. Anyone pushing more than £5k needs to declare it with the government, but are not prohibited.

      What small groups are going to have any significant issue here? Are there small campaign groups with n

      • by MrL0G1C (867445)

        The problem is that a lot of small groups are campaigning under the umbrella of 38Degrees.org but 38degrees can be gagged which means that the literally millions of people that use the site are being gagged. Even the electoral commission is against the new changes. I don't think the gov't realised the consequences this bill.

        The separate campaigns should be treated as such for legal purposes, then i expect the £400k wouldn't be a problem and the law needs to differentiate between a democratic pr

  • Apparently a lot of migratory birds are becoming in danger because of hunters in those areas. According to this article: [yahoo.com]

    [People said]: we've been doing this for generations and the birds aren't coming like they used to. The Egyptians have mist nets along the Mediterranean coast line. Five hundred miles of continuous nets without a break catching every quail that comes in. The populations of quail are just nose-diving in Europe and they would say, you know, we're not getting anywhere near the number of quail that we used to. I wonder why. Maybe it has to do with more city lights, or development, maybe they are hunting more in Europe. It has to do with a lot of things, but I didn't hear anyone take responsibility and say I wonder if it has to do with the fact that I, personally, took nearly a thousand quail on my 300-foot stretch of net this season.

  • I'd laugh, mocking "backwards" Egyptians for putting a stork in a jail cell, except we in the US executed a baby deer [businessinsider.com], complete with body bag.

  • I knew I should have sent a raven instead of that stool pigeon!
  • ...of making you squawk.
  • I bet he communicated to command & control via a series of tweets.
  • Great cover handles! The "Stork" and the "Condor" ! Wonder which is the double agent? Do they reoport to "The Seagull"? And how did they find out about the plot.. did they have a "pigeon" in the roost?
  • This seems inadequate...

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

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