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  1. #1
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    ArmA Devs Arrested for Espionage

    Greek news sites are reporting that two Czechs have been arrested on Lemnos, after taking photographs and video of military installations. The two claim to be developers working for Bohemia Interactive, out gathering reference material for Arma 3, which takes place on the Greek island. This hasn’t yet washed with the Greek authorities who’ve slapped them with espionage charges.

    The story has been confirmed by Marek Spanel, CEO and co-founder of Bohemia Interactive, who elected not to discuss the matter any further on the official Bohemia Interactive forums, “at least until we know more specific details about the case.”

    This isn’t the first time the Greek authorities have been a bit over-enthusiastic in their counter-espionage policy. In 2001, 12 British plane spotters were held on spying charges for taking photographs at an air-show near Kalamata, in southern Greece. Though they were confident of being cleared at the time, eight received three-year sentences for espionage, and the rest were convicted of aiding and abetting.
    http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/09/11/bo...ed-for-spying/

  2. #2
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    It's a ridiculous country, but it seems a bit silly to film military installations without official permission. Especially when working in a ridiculous country.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Wow... that is the opposite of good. Here is hoping the Greeks realize it is all a misunderstanding.

    Although, this DOES pose a few questions and concerns. I am not familiar enough with the true story, but I know Afleck is in a new movie about the Iran Hostage Crisis that plays up using the development of a fake film as a cover story (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Caper suggests that the concept is sound and true). It is only a matter of time until a "bad" nation decides to go on tours of various weapons manufacturing plants to make "accurate models" and what not.

    Hell, it is sort of like the concept of Delta Force. Officially, I think the US Government STILL says they don't exist. But the US Military also cooperates with film makers and writers in telling accurate stories about them and providing insight into the mindset (I think the actors who portrayed Delta operators in Blackhawk Down even went through a one or two day boot camp by real Delta operators).

    But either way, here is hoping nothing bad happens to them.
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  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node TailSwallower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    It's a ridiculous country, but it seems a bit silly to film military installations without official permission. Especially when working in a ridiculous country.
    Assuming it is legitimately BI devs that are being held, then they are really fucking stupid. What did they think would happen if they went and filmed an actual military installation? If you need the photos and footage then go through official channels... If you get knocked back then throw a few thousand dollars at some savvy locals to do it for you. They need the money, and if they got caught the authorities would probably go easier on Greek nationals than they would foreigners.
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    *Sigh* Bohemia, you already knew beforehand Greece wasn't happy about you basing your game up in their back garden with your fancy photo-realistic terrain.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Worst case scenario: in three years they will be able to make an awesome and realistic game about Greek Prisons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    It's a ridiculous country, but it seems a bit silly to film military installations without official permission. Especially when working in a ridiculous country.
    Not nearly as ridiculous as this post though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TailSwallower View Post
    Assuming it is legitimately BI devs that are being held, then they are really fucking stupid. What did they think would happen if they went and filmed an actual military installation? If you need the photos and footage then go through official channels... If you get knocked back then throw a few thousand dollars at some savvy locals to do it for you. They need the money, and if they got caught the authorities would probably go easier on Greek nationals than they would foreigners.
    Yeah, I was probably being too harsh on the Greeks this time. Filming military installations without official permission is likely to get you into trouble in lots of countries with sensible justice systems too, and I don't think that's particularly unreasonable.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    On the other hand, who leaves a perfectly good military installation laying around where just anyone can film it?
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    Had they simply filed the correct requests through the proper channels this wouldn't have been such an issue. That said, taking photographs of an instillation and its antiquated TO&E (equipment) shouldn't be grounds for espionage charges for Christ sake. The Turks already have hi-res sat imagery of that entire island and said military base, its not as if they're unaware of its layout and components.

  11. #11
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    As much as I despise the army, there are always huge signs around army installations saying that photos and videos are prohibited, so I don't see what they thought they were doing there...

    Plus the realistic modeling of what is supposed to be a strategically sensitive island was not very appreciated in Greece. I m sure the Turks already have it, but I guess it's also to keep up appearances and justify their pay or keep hidden installations hidden.

    Also i don't think they could ever get a permission to do it, it's forbidden in any case.
    Last edited by kataras; 11-09-2012 at 09:47 PM.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Although, this DOES pose a few questions and concerns. I am not familiar enough with the true story, but I know Afleck is in a new movie about the Iran Hostage Crisis that plays up using the development of a fake film as a cover story (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Caper suggests that the concept is sound and true). It is only a matter of time until a "bad" nation decides to go on tours of various weapons manufacturing plants to make "accurate models" and what not.
    You don't even need a conspiracy of fake filmographers.

    You just need to download ArmA.

    I mean, FFS, they didn't think this through, did they?
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  13. #13
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Filming military installations without official permission is likely to get you into trouble in lots of countries with sensible justice systems too, and I don't think that's particularly unreasonable.
    The first part of that statement is true, but the conclusion doesn't follow. Is there any reason to think that such laws have any positive effect? It seems like pure paranoia.

    I've heard no end of innocent photographers harassed or charged because of stupid laws, but has there been a single actual terrorist or spy caught that way in the past decade?

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    You don't even need a conspiracy of fake filmographers.

    You just need to download ArmA.

    I mean, FFS, they didn't think this through, did they?
    Well, ArmA doesn't go too deep into the internal mechanisms.

    Something like Recoil (whatever Wolfire made that was a real gun simulator) but with less generic tech would be interesting. As "realism" becomes more popular, we are going to start field stripping guns in really bad conditions. As we do that, people are gonna use Kinnect and what not to make it "realistic". And then we really WILL have murder simulators...

    Speaking of: For laughs, go google Ubisoft's kinect video on the latest Ghost Recon. It is HILARIOUS. They make a big deal about using the kinect to disassemble and reassemble guns. The motion is "Move arms slightly apart, move arms slightly together" to explode and reassemble the guns, respectively.

    Also, I vaguely recall the Redcoats getting pissed at Google recently. Their google streetview mapper car thing has a high camera and apparently saw over a fence for the SAS compound or something?
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berzee View Post
    On the other hand, who leaves a perfectly good military installation laying around where just anyone can film it?
    They don't. If they did, those devs would not have been arrested :P.

    To be fair to the greeks, this is not at all ridicilous - The Netherlands has similar (if not exactly the same) rules. The point is not the layout of the base that is being filmed, but the airplanes and vehicles stored there. Where troops are deployed, and airplanes are stored is still classified information.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    The first part of that statement is true, but the conclusion doesn't follow. Is there any reason to think that such laws have any positive effect? It seems like pure paranoia.

    I've heard no end of innocent photographers harassed or charged because of stupid laws, but has there been a single actual terrorist or spy caught that way in the past decade?
    I have no idea. I suppose that spies and terrorists know enough to know that they can't just brazenly film this sort of stuff, so take precautions, and these precautions might limit how well they can film something. Whereas innocent photographers might not even think of such things. And so, if there were no such laws, it'd make life easier for the terrorists and spies. There might also be the point that even the work of innocent photographers could be used for not-so-innocent purposes were it made public.

    I am not a terrorist, spy, innocent photographer, or counter-espionage agent, though, so the previous paragraph might well just be utter bullshit.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Yeah, based on my understanding of espionage (I watch Ronin a lot, and I like Burn Notice. So piss-poor, at best :p), the spies are going to either be camouflaged (ghilly suit) or are going to be "stealthy" by taking a picture of the guards in the context of the girlfriend posing or pretending they are a photographer/art student. So targeting tourists and photographers probably IS the smartest move.
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  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    But we live in an age where everyone has a camera in their pocket half the size of a TV remote control. Wouldn't a spy be equipped with something completely unnoticeable? A camera in a top-hat for example.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    But we live in an age where everyone has a camera in their pocket half the size of a TV remote control. Wouldn't a spy be equipped with something completely unnoticeable? A camera in a top-hat for example.
    I thought you said unnoticeable.
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  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Yeah. Using a cell phone camera is trivial.

    Turn the flash off, pretend you are talking on the phone. Turn yourself to face away from the installation, click the clicker, and you have a picture.
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