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US National Security Agency spied on the communications of the Brazilian and Mexican presidents, accessing the Mexico leader’s emails even before he was elected, Brazil’s Globo television reported.
Glenn Greenwald, a Rio de Janeiro-based columnist for the Guardian newspaper who obtained secret files from NSA leaker Edward Snowden, told Globo on Sunday that a document dated June 2012 shows that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s emails were being accessed already a month before his election.
As for Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, the NSA said in the document that it was trying to better understand her methods of communication and interlocutors using a program to access all Internet content the president visited online, The Gulf Today reported.
“If these facts prove to be true, it would be unacceptable and could be called an attack on our country’s sovereignty,” Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said. He also met with US Vice President Joe Biden in Washington last week to discuss the matter.
The US National Security Agency’s global surveillance program directly targeted the communications of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, US journalist Glenn Greenwald told Brazilian TV news program Fantastico.
In response to what some consider over-reaching surveillance programs conducted by US intelligence agencies, which have been shown to collect thousands of communications with no terror connection, a group decrying the privacy implications of these programs is turning the tables on the president. According to the Creator’s Project, “Where is Obama” pinpoints the location of President Barack Obama using what the group calls the ”Crowd-Sourced Positioning System, or CSPS”.
“The position of the president is a state secret. The White House website shows only Barack Obama’s schedule from the current day, but never dates beyond. The accuracy of this information is controversial. Obama, on the other hand, knows your entire calendar,” the creators Kim Asendorf, Ole Fach, Kyle McDonald and Jonas Lund said of the project. “Every person in the world can now participate in the supervision of the President.”
Speaking with the Creator’s project, McDonald explained that the idea was initially spurred by the global search for whistleblower Edward Snowden after his initial leak about the NSA’s classified programs.
“The same way the press made the leaks a story about tracking Snowden, we wanted to turn it into a story about tracking Obama,” McDonald said. “To show how ridiculous it is to pin stories like this down to a single person and to give people the feeling that maybe we have the same power that the government does, if only we organize ourselves. With that power, how do we want to use it? Who do we want to track? Will we emulate the government, antagonize them, or reject their example completely?”
“Where is Obama?” has users report the position of the president with a marker on Google maps. The creators believe that with “all user inputs of the last few hours, a probable position of President (can be) calculated using a complex algorithm.”
The site would only function correctly though if it had a strong enough base of users properly tagging the president’s approximate location, but perhaps the point of tracking the president in this manner is more of a political statement anyway.
US intelligence services carried out 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, the leading edge of a clandestine campaign that embraces the Internet as a theater of spying, sabotage and war, according to the classified intelligence budget provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. That disclosure provides new evidence that the Obama administration’s growing ranks of cyberwarriors infiltrate and disrupt foreign computer networks in Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.
Under an extensive effort code-named GENIE, US computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be put under surreptitious US control. Budget documents say the $652 million project has placed “covert implants,” sophisticated malware transmitted from far away, in computers, routers and firewalls on tens of thousands of machines every year, with plans to expand those numbers into the millions.
The documents provided by Snowden and interviews with former US officials describe a campaign of computer intrusions that is far broader and more aggressive than previously understood. The Obama administration treats all such cyber-operations as clandestine and declines to acknowledge them.
The scope and scale of offensive operations represent an evolution in policy, which in the past sought to preserve an international norm against acts of aggression in cyberspace, in part because US economic and military power depend so heavily on computers.
“The policy debate has moved so that offensive options are more prominent now,” said former deputy defense secretary William J. Lynn III, who has not seen the budget document and was speaking generally. “I think there’s more of a case made now that offensive cyberoptions can be an important element in deterring certain adversaries.”
Of the 231 offensive operations conducted in 2011, the budget said, nearly three-quarters were against top-priority targets, which former officials say includes adversaries such as Iran, Russia, China and North Korea and activities such as nuclear proliferation. The document provided few other details about the operations.
US agencies define offensive cyber-operations as activities intended “to manipulate, disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information resident in computers or computer networks, or the computers and networks themselves,” according to a presidential directive issued in October 2012.
Categories: Intelligence Gathering