Compromised Code Names, Operations and Equipment / Recent and in progress ( Updated 12:37PM PST / 27OCT2013 )

Editors Note: (Ralph Turchiano) Requested Repost from the archives (Oct 2013)

EEV: Recently Compromised or exposed Code names, Operations, Software and facilities. The list is in no particular order and is being updated frequently. These are just the discoveries from the past 2 years.

* Details of ALL operations can be found through inputting the codename in the search bar. (Being Updated, will be formatted for easy access in the near future _ The most recently compromised will be at the top (for the first week) after 26 OCT 2013

Compromised Code Names, Operations and Equipment

_______________________ Recent

MUSCULAR – The NSA’s principal tool to exploit the data  links is a project called MUSCULAR, operated jointly with the agency’s British  counterpart, GCHQ.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2480411/NSA-broke-Yahoo-Google-data-centers-obtain-millions-records.html

 Einstein antenna system –  Can intercept cell phone signals while simultaneously locating people of interest.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/27/the-nsas-secret-spy-hub-in-berlin/

 Birdwatcher Program – intercepts microwave and millimeter-wave signals. Some programs,  deal primarily with encrypted communications in foreign countries and the search for potential access points. Birdwatcher is controlled directly from SCS headquarters in Maryland.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/27/the-nsas-secret-spy-hub-in-berlin/

Quantum –  NSA controls a set of servers that sit on the Internet backbone, and these servers are used to redirect targets away from their intended destinations to still other NSA-controlled servers that are responsible for the injection of malware.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/25/how-the-nsa-deploys-malware-an-in-depth-look-at-the-new-revelations/

FoxAcid –  NSA server that selects from a toolkit of exploits in order to gain access to the user’s computer. Presumably this toolkit has both known public exploits that rely on a user’s software being out of date, as well as zero-day exploits which are generally saved for high value targets.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/25/how-the-nsa-deploys-malware-an-in-depth-look-at-the-new-revelations/

Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the branch  of the US National Security Agency (NSA) which deals with cyber-attacks

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/25/was-israel-behind-the-hacking-of-millions-of-french-phones-and-not-the-u-s-extraordinary-twist-in-spying-saga-revealed/

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Opus Dei – International Roman  Catholic order, founded in 1928 and championed early by Spanish  dictator Francisco Franco, is dedicated to establishing its members in high  political, corporate, and religious offices all over the world.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/11/08/the-penn-state-scandal-faces-off-2-mysterious-government-agents-with-top-secret-clearance/

Rossotrudnichestvo exchange program – Alleged exchange program used to recruit Americans to train as Russian spies

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/23/russian-representative-denies-us-media-claims-of-his-involvement-in-espionage-rossotrudnichestvo-exchange-program/

Shenguang (“Divine Light”) – China’s laser project for inertial confinement fusion, which aims to use high-powered lasers to produce a sustained nuclear fusion reaction ( lasers designed to damage or destroy US satellites )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/17/china-pursues-systems-to-keep-us-forces-at-bay/

Apstar-7 satellite (  APT Satellite Holdings )  – Chinese Satellite the Pentagon leases to oversee communications with its African bases

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/05/01/red-faces-as-pentagon-leases-chinese-satellite/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/04/30/pentagon-leaning-on-chinese-satellite-for-africa-command-communications-sparked-outcry-by-disclosing-its-lease-of-bandwidth-from-a-chinese-satellite/

Operation Socialist – An assault on Belgacom’s “core GRX routers”

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/20/uks-gchq-blamed-for-cyber-attack-on-belgian-telecoms-company/

“Man in the Middle” or “MiTM” operations “ –  highly-sophisticated deception which allows a third party to intervene in an electronic conversation and pretend to be each of the other two parties, obtaining valuable information or spreading disinformation without the targets realizing

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/20/uks-gchq-blamed-for-cyber-attack-on-belgian-telecoms-company/

US-985D – Text messages France

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/us-spy-agency-snooped-on-french-citizens-report-code-named-us-985d/

Unit 61398 –  Engages in harmful ‘Computer Network Operations’,” is located in Shanghai’s Pudong district, China’s financial and banking hub, and is staffed by perhaps thousands of people proficient in English as well as computer programming and network operations. Is considered a Chinese State Secret. The unit has stolen “hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations across a diverse set of industries beginning as early as 2006.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/18/security-group-suspects-chinese-military-is-behind-hacking-attacks-unit-61398/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/05/02/chinese-attack-sucks-secrets-from-us-defence-contractor/

Apalachee – EU/ UN Tapping

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/08/26/codename-apalachee/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/08/25/us-spy-agency-broke-encryption-on-un-communications-report/

Bumblehive – NSA Storage Facility

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/04/16/is-the-nsa-building-a-1-2billion-data-center-to-spy-on-americans-utah-desert-facility-code-named-bumblehive-will-monitor-emails-of-u-s-citizens/

Boundless Informant – NSA Data Mining program

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/08/boundless-informant-the-nsas-secret-tool-to-track-global-surveillance-data/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/16/i-have-watched-barack-obama-transform-into-the-security-president/

CHAMP ( Counter-Electronics High Power  Microwave Advanced Missile Project ) Boeings missile with  electromagnetic pulse capability

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/12/02/from-sci-fi-to-reality-the-computer-blitzing-drone-that-can-cripple-a-nations-electronics-at-the-touch-of-a-button/

Codeword – Currently Unkown

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/02/oops-its-another-biden-blunder-vice-president-unwittingly-reveals-cover-of-codeword-classified-document/

Swag Security – China’s hack group U.S. Medicaid system / Nuclear Codes ( Ironically also a Bank of America Code Word )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/28/bank-of-america-alleged-key-word-list/

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/10/01/chinese-government-hacks-into-white-house-office-in-charge-of-the-nuclear-launch-codes/

Tailored Access Operations – NSA Special Targets

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/nsa-accessed-mexican-presidents-email/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/16/nsa-monitors-financial-world/

Flatliquid – Tap Diplomatic Communications

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/nsa-accessed-mexican-presidents-email/

Whitetamale – Mexico e-mails

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/nsa-accessed-mexican-presidents-email/

Lugar Research Center – U.S. Top Secret Biologics lab ( Republic of Georgia )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/03/the-island-of-doctor-moreau-what-kind-of-monsters-does-us-raise-in-republic-of-georgia/

Special Collection Service – Secret eavesdropping posts in 80 US embassies and consulates around the world.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/08/26/codename-apalachee/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/nsa-accessed-mexican-presidents-email/

DishFire – Text message filtering / the intelligence agency collects information on credit card transactions from some 70 banks worldwide.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/20/nsa-accessed-mexican-presidents-email/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/16/nsa-monitors-financial-world/

Sophia – Industrial Control System Computer Networking Fingerprinting Tool ( Powergrid )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/14/security-of-the-nations-power-grid-threatened-by-theft-company-says/

Visdom – Competing Industrial Control System Computer Networking Fingerprinting Tool ( Powergrid )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/14/security-of-the-nations-power-grid-threatened-by-theft-company-says/

FunVax – Biological pacification of individuals through vaccination

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/08/08/commentary-on-the-video-fundamentalist-vaccine-penatgon-using-vaccines-to-alter-human-behavior-followed-by-ann-epidemiol-201020729-733-change-in-human-social-behavior-in-response-to-a-co/

Section 6103 – IRS abuse

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/09/white-house-irs-exchanged-confidential-taxpayer-info/

IceFog – Advanced Persistent Threats ( China ? )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Tel Shahar – Where the state-of-the-art facility to host the new ballistic-missile  defense system (  Arrow 3 ) in Israel – Accidentally disclosed by the Penatgon

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/04/us-discloses-israels-top-secret-military-base-outraging-tel-aviv/

Privacy & Civil Liberties Board (PCLOB) – Board set up to oversee domestic spying whose meetings and members are difficult to confirm and may not exist

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/21/mysterious-privacy-board-touted-by-obama-has-deep-government-ties-even-worse-may-all-be-a-lie/

Spearfishing – Emailed viruses

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Hidden Lynx – Chinese Haking Group / Cyber-Mercenaries

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/29/hacking-firm-hints-at-cybercrimes-professional-elite-cyber-mercenaries-hidden-lynx%e2%80%af/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Operation Aurora – General mass espionage

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/27/apt1-that-scary-cyber-cold-war-gang-not-even-chinas-best/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

NetTraveler – Espionage Programhttps://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Red October  ( Rocra ) – Espionage campaign against military personnel in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and dozens of other nations (U.S., Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Brazil, Spain, South Africa, Japan, and the UAE.) . Features include an advanced cryptographic spy-module designed to lift data from Acid Cryptofiler, which is known to be used by NATO, the European Union, European Parliament and European Commission since the summer of 2011 to encrypt classified information.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/01/14/red-october-has-been-spying-on-world-leaders-for-5-years-researchers/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

DarkSeoul – Hacker Group (North Korean / China ? )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/21/kimsuky-and-the-secret-menace/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Shadow Network – Chinese Espionage Group

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/06/the-threat-becomes-less-mysterious-and-more-scary-operation-icefog-apt-spearfishing-hidden-linx-aurora-red-october-darkseoul-shadow-network-sea/

Team Cymru – Monitor Criminal Activty ( non profit )

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/29/hacking-firm-hints-at-cybercrimes-professional-elite-cyber-mercenaries-hidden-lynx%e2%80%af/

Follow the Money – Financial Intelligence division NSA

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/16/nsa-monitors-financial-world/

SWIFT – European Financial Network

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/16/nsa-monitors-financial-world/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/24/europe-furious-over-us-spying-allegations-worse-than-orwells-1984-emergency-meeting-called/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/24/nsa-monitored-calls-of-35-world-leaders-after-us-official-handed-over-contacts/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/30/europe-furious-over-nsa-spying-on-eu-facilities-the-us-he-added-once-the-land-of-the-free-is-suffering-from-a-security-syndrome/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/28/bank-of-america-alleged-key-word-list/

GHCQ Cheltenham – Processes Middle East  emails, telephone calls and web traffic

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/05/nsa-and-gchq-unlock-encryption-used-to-protect-emails-banking-and-medical-records-%e2%80%a2-250m-a-year-us-program-works-covertly-with-tech-companies-to-insert-weaknesses-into-products-%e2%80%a2-sec/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/08/22/exclusive-edward-snowden-leaks-reveal-uks-secret-middle-east-internet-surveillance-base/

XKeyscore – spying program is used to skim regional data from the Visa network

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/07/31/xkeyscore-nsa-tool-presentation/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/07/31/xkeyscore-nsa-tool-collects-nearly-everything-a-user-does-on-the-internet/

SOD ( Special Operations Division )- Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/08/05/secret-us-drug-agency-unit-passing-surveillance-information-to-authorities/

Total Information Awareness ( TIA ) – Pentagon intelligence gathering

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/05/05/are-all-telephone-calls-recorded-and-accessible-to-the-us-government/

ThinThread – Software correlated data from emails, phone calls, credit card payments and Internet searches and stored and mapped it in ways that could be analysed.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/09/15/nsa-whistleblower-illegal-data-collection-a-violation-of-everybodys-constitutional-rights-the-story-of-thinthread/

TrailBlazzer – Relaced Thinthread Software to correlated data from emails, phone calls, credit card payments and Internet searches and stored and mapped it in ways that could be analysed.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/11/laptops-snowden-took-to-hong-kong-russia-were-a-diversion/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/28/bank-of-america-alleged-key-word-list/

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/09/15/nsa-whistleblower-illegal-data-collection-a-violation-of-everybodys-constitutional-rights-the-story-of-thinthread/

Going Dark -FBI initiative to extend its ability to wiretap virtually all forms of  electronic communications.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/11/03/fbi-ordered-to-disclose-going-dark-surveillance-program-police-can-place-surveillance-cameras-on-private-property-without-a-search-warrant/

International Mobile Subscriber Identity locator  ( IMSI ) – These devices allows the government to electronically search large areas for a particular cell phone’s signal—sucking down data on potentially thousands of innocent people along the way.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/10/26/stingrays-the-biggest-technological-threat-to-cell-phone-privacy-you-dont-know-about/

Stingrays – Another name for International Mobile Subscriber Identity locator

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/10/26/stingrays-the-biggest-technological-threat-to-cell-phone-privacy-you-dont-know-about/

Tripwire or Trapwire – information collection software OR lines in the sand which, if crossed, cover  personnel levels, security measures, and in this case, the extreme step of  suspending operations.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/09/21/u-s-government-wreckless-use-of-trapwire-may-have-compromised-highly-senesitive-private-information-on-millions-of-citizens-to-corporations/

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/08/15/cities-use-surveillance-systems-that-identify-potential-terrorists-with-facial-recognition/

Voice Grid Nation ( VoiceGrid program ) – is a system that uses advanced algorithms to match identities to voices. Brought to the US by Russia’s Speech Technology Center, it claims to be capable of allowing police, federal agencies and other law enforcement personnel to build up a huge database containing up to several million voices.

https://engineeringevil.com/2012/09/22/speak-up-us-law-enforcement-to-use-russian-software-to-store-millions-of-voices/

Prism ( Discovered prior to Snowden ) – NSA direct access to the servers of nine prominent Internet companies, enabling the spy agency to track e-mails, photographs, and video, among other forms of digital communications .

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/06/by-the-numbers-the-nsas-super-secret-spy-program-prism/

Bullrun ( Edgehill GHCQ version ) –  NSA’s abilities to defeat the encryption used in specific network communication technologies. Bullrun involves multiple sources, all of which are extremely sensitive.” The document reveals that the agency has capabilities against widely used online protocols, such as HTTPS, voice-over-IP and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), used to protect online shopping and banking.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/05/nsa-and-gchq-unlock-encryption-used-to-protect-emails-banking-and-medical-records-%e2%80%a2-250m-a-year-us-program-works-covertly-with-tech-companies-to-insert-weaknesses-into-products-%e2%80%a2-sec/

Cheesy Name –  aimed at singling out encryption keys, known as ‘certificates’, that might be vulnerable to being cracked by GCHQ supercomputers.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/05/nsa-and-gchq-unlock-encryption-used-to-protect-emails-banking-and-medical-records-%e2%80%a2-250m-a-year-us-program-works-covertly-with-tech-companies-to-insert-weaknesses-into-products-%e2%80%a2-sec/

Humint Operations Team (HOT) Humint, short for “human intelligence –  Information gleaned directly from sources or undercover agents.The old fashion way.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/05/nsa-and-gchq-unlock-encryption-used-to-protect-emails-banking-and-medical-records-%e2%80%a2-250m-a-year-us-program-works-covertly-with-tech-companies-to-insert-weaknesses-into-products-%e2%80%a2-sec/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/02/28/bank-of-america-alleged-key-word-list/

Sigint [signals intelligence] enabling – The program “actively engages US and foreign IT industries to covertly influence and/or overtly leverage their commercial products’ designs”

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/05/nsa-and-gchq-unlock-encryption-used-to-protect-emails-banking-and-medical-records-%e2%80%a2-250m-a-year-us-program-works-covertly-with-tech-companies-to-insert-weaknesses-into-products-%e2%80%a2-sec/

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/17/obama-nsa-secret-data-gathering-transparent/

Kimsuky – North Korean Hacking group

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/21/kimsuky-and-the-secret-menace/

GENIE –  US computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be put under surreptitious US control.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/02/nsa-spied-on-brazilian-and-mexican-presidents-media/

WABASH – Tapping French offices U.N.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/02/nsa-targeted-french-foreign-ministry/

Blackfoot – Tapping French offices New York

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/09/02/nsa-targeted-french-foreign-ministry/

Tempora – GCHQ’s Tapping transatlantic  fibre-optic cables

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/10/16/british-spies-hid-activities-from-mps/

Sensitive relationship teams – Staff that were urged in one internal guidance paper to disguise the origin of “special source” material in their reports for fear that the role of the companies as intercept partners would cause “high-level political fallout”.

https://engineeringevil.com/2013/06/21/gchq-taps-fibre-optic-cables-for-secret-access-to-worlds-communications/

Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire – NSA intercept station

Atlas International Trading – Company in the Pentagon’s Foreign Materiel Acquisition and Exploitation program

Advanced Persistent Threat Groups – Nitro, Aurora, ElderWood, Sykipot, Comment Crew (APT1), NightDragon, FlowerLday, Luckycat, Pitty Panda.

Western Tradition Partnership, or WTP – Compromise U.S. Politicians – Dark Money

Obama.com – Major campaign bundler to the Obama campaign Shanghai based domain owned by Robert  Roche with strong  commercial ties to the  Chinese government. He has made 19 visits to the  White House since 2009, including a personal meeting with Obama.

Stuxnet , Duqu , Wiper, Flame – Tilded Platform malware used for cyberespionage and cybersabotage in the Middle East.

WildSage – NSA database. The system “provides a mechanism for cybersecurity centers to share signatures at the SECRET classification level

Port reader software – FBI desire to harvest information on users’ “dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling information associated with a target’s communications”. And, as the FBI stated, this information will only include source, destination IP addresses and port numbers.

Dynamo – Dutch name in COMINT

Richter – German name in COMINT

One-End Foreign (1EF) solution – system, the NSA is able to direct more than half of the internet traffic it intercepts from its collection points into its own repositories

EvilOlive – NSA’s attempt to broaden 1EF Doubling its capacity

ShellTrumpet – NSA’s processor

MoonLightPath – Metadata collection for  Special Source Operations

Spinneret – Metadata collection for  Special Source Operations

Transient Thurible -GHCQ headquarters that manages  XKeyScore (XKS) and Deep Dive metadata collections

Project Riverside – found that rich individuals and private companies had been hiring unscrupulous private detectives to obtain sensitive information on targets for years.

QinetiQ North America (QQ/) – Hi-Tech U.S. defense contractors, which are the favorite target of Cyberpillaging

Acoustic vector sensor – sensor measures the movement of air, disturbed by sound waves, to almost instantly locate where a sound originated. It can then identify the noise and, if required, transmit it live to waiting ears.

China is trying to deny it stole the plans for the Lockheed’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

2015-01-20 13:28:33
BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhuanet) — According to a report carried in the Australian Associated Press, U.S. National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden has claimed that Chinese spies stole a huge volume of data related to Lockheed’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said in response to the accusation that some countries with disgraceful records of hacking other countries’ networks are not in a position to blame others groundlessly.

“The accusation is groundless. We have always stressed that China is a victim of cyber attacks. Internet security is a common challenge for all nations in the world. China would like to work together with other countries to build a safe and open cyber space. It is untenable to blame China for cyber attacks just based on some so-called evidence. Cyber attack is complex because it’s hard to trace back and often related to many countries. So it’s very hard to pinpoint the attackers. We don’t think the so-called evidence is enough to support the accusation. According to some unveiled materials, some countries are disgraceful in cyber security record. We hope countries don’t blame others groundlessly over cyber security issues, and defend cyber attacks together cooperatively,” Hong said. Continue reading “China is trying to deny it stole the plans for the Lockheed’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter”

German Double Agent Stole Names of 3,500 Spies World-Wide

 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Investigators have found a list reportedly compiled by a BND agent accused of working for the US, containing the names and aliases of 3,500 German intelligences employees, Bild newspaper reports.

The 32-year-old, identified as Markus R., an employee of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND), was arrested by the country’s federal prosecutor last July on suspicion of passing on information to a CIA contact. Investigators seized the hard drive containing the list during a search on his apartment.

For months following the suspect’s arrest, security specialists had trouble cracking his laptop. The suspect reportedly communicated with his CIA handlers using a secure connection that opened up when he checked the weather in New York using a specially installed app, according to The Local.

The suspect, who had been working with the BND at Pullach, is believed to have stolen the document in 2011, according to Bild. The list contains the identities of employees working at Germen embassies across the globe, in addition to those accompanying army missions in Afghanistan, Mali, Lebanon and Sudan. BND agents stationed with troops are often tasked with identifying enemy targets and warning soldiers of possible attacks. The agency has some 6,500 employees. Continue reading “German Double Agent Stole Names of 3,500 Spies World-Wide”

Secret Malware in European Network Traced to NSA & GCHQ

 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Complex malware known as Regin is the suspected technology behind sophisticated cyberattacks conducted by U.S. and British intelligence agencies on the European Union and a Belgian telecommunications company, according to security industry sources and technical analysis conducted by The Intercept.

Regin was found on infected internal computer systems and email servers at Belgacom, a partly state-owned Belgian phone and internet provider, following reports last year that the company was targeted in a top-secret surveillance operation carried out by British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters, industry sources told The Intercept.

The malware, which steals data from infected systems and disguises itself as legitimate Microsoft software, has also been identified on the same European Union computer systems that were targeted for surveillance by the National Security Agency.

The hacking operations against Belgacom and the European Union were first revealed last year through documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The specific malware used in the attacks has never been disclosed, however.

The Regin malware, whose existence was first reported by the security firm Symantec on Sunday, is among the most sophisticated ever discovered by researchers. Symantec compared Regin to Stuxnet, a state-sponsored malware program developed by the U.S. and Israel to sabotage computers at an Iranian nuclear facility. Sources familiar with internal investigations at Belgacom and the European Union have confirmed to The Intercept that the Regin malware was found on their systems after they were compromised, linking the spy tool to the secret GCHQ and NSA operations. Continue reading “Secret Malware in European Network Traced to NSA & GCHQ”

Edward Snowden’s not a one-off: US.gov hunts new secret doc leaker

Poor old Julian Assange – whistleblower went straight to Glenn Greenwald

It appears former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is not the only leaker of secret US documents around, as the US government searches for another whistleblower in the aftermath of another leak of classified information.

CNN reports that leaked documents related to a terrorist watch list and published by The Intercept (a site founded by Snowden confidante journalist Glenn Greenwald) didn’t even exist before Snowden quit his job as a NSA contractor in Hawaii and high-tailed it from the US.

That means the former sysadmin couldn’t have siphoned off this particular piece of secret information and that some other unknown source must be behind the leak.

US authorities are said to be hunting the new whistleblower. Continue reading “Edward Snowden’s not a one-off: US.gov hunts new secret doc leaker”

Intelligence expert Schmidt-Eenboom: ‘It’s a huge scandal’

According to German media, an employee of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the United States. Intelligence expert Schmidt-Eenboom tells DW why this case is outrageous.

 

Intelligence expert Schmidt-Eenboom: ‘It’s a huge scandal’ | Germany | DW.DE | 05.07.2014

Erich Schmidt-Eenboom (photo: imago/Müller-Stauffenberg)

 

Erich Schmidt-Eenboom (photo: imago/Müller-Stauffenberg)

 

DW: A 31-year-old employee of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency is accused of having spied on behalf of the United States. Is that everyday business for secret services, or is it a huge scandal?

Erich Schmidt-Eenboom: It’s a huge scandal. We’re already in the situation that Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) doesn’t regard American agents in Germany as hostile forces – they are allowed a lot in terms of espionage in Germany – but that a BND employee would be sent to spy on a constitutional body is an outrageous transgression of intelligence cooperation and its boundaries.

Should this suspicion prove to be true, what kind of consequences would that spell for German-US relations? Continue reading “Intelligence expert Schmidt-Eenboom: ‘It’s a huge scandal’”

NBC Censored Snowden responses during interview

Saturday, 31 May 2014

 

Only around a quarter of the recent NBC News interview with former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden made it to broadcast, but unaired excerpts now online show that the network “neglected” to air critical statements about the 2001 terrorist attacks.

 

When the four-hour sit-down between journalist Brian Williams and Snowden made it to air on Wednesday night, NBC condensed roughly four hours of conversation into a 60-minute time slot. During an analysis of the full interview afterwards, however, the network showed portions of the interview that didn’t make it into the primetime broadcast, including remarks from the former National Security Agency contractor in which he questioned the American intelligence community’s inability to stop the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Continue reading “NBC Censored Snowden responses during interview”

Bilderberg group meets to discuss ‘Does Privacy Exist’?

Thursday, 29 May 2014

 

Many may chuckle when they learn a debate entitled “Does Privacy Exist?” is to feature at this year’s Bilderberg conference, the notoriously secretive gathering of the world’s most powerful bankers, politicians and business people.

 

There may be a further shaking of heads when they discover one of the participants at the heavily fortified, five-star Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, will be Keith Alexander, the former director of the National Security Agency (NSA), which was embarrassed by the mass-surveillance revelations leaked by Edward Snowden. In fairness to the Bilderberg, the organisers of this year’s conference – which starts on Thursday – have made efforts to be more transparent by publishing a list of all the prime ministers, chief executives and military chiefs in attendance, as well as the topics up for discussion – however should be noted the topic is mostly for public/media consumption, as the real topics usually remain hidden.

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency....

Continue reading “Bilderberg group meets to discuss ‘Does Privacy Exist’?”

NSA spied on 122 World Leaders

Sunday 30 March 2014

English: Former NSA station on Teufelsberg. De...
Secret documents newly disclosed by the German newspaper Der Spiegel on Saturday shed more light on how aggressively the National Security Agency and its British counterpart have targeted Germany for surveillance.

A series of classified files from the archive provided to reporters by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, also seen by The Intercept, reveal that the NSA appears to have included Merkel in a surveillance database alongside more than 100 others foreign leaders. The documents also confirm for the first time that, in March 2013, the NSA obtained a top-secret court order against Germany as part of U.S. government efforts to monitor communications related to the country. Meanwhile, the British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters targeted three German companies in a clandestine operation that involved infiltrating the companies’ computer servers and eavesdropping on the communications of their staff. Continue reading “NSA spied on 122 World Leaders”

NSA ‘records all phone conversations’ in unnamed target country ( MYSTIC )

US agency records every phone conversation in unnamed target nation, according to exiled whistle-blower Edward Snowden and others

UPDATED : Thursday, 20 March, 2014, 4:23am
The Washington Post

_wr16_41460745.jpg

NSA taps ‘all calls’ in one country.

The US National Security Agency is recording every single phone call in one particular country, with the agency able to rewind and review conversations up to a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden. Continue reading “NSA ‘records all phone conversations’ in unnamed target country ( MYSTIC )”

USA gives up control of Internet

Friday, 14 March 2014

U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move likely to please international critics but alarm some business leaders and others who rely on smooth functioning of the Web.

Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance last year. Continue reading “USA gives up control of Internet”

NSA’s TURBINE robot pumps ‘malware into MILLIONS of PCs’

Sysadmins, routers, criminals’ IRC botnets, and maybe terrorists, all for the pwning

By Iain Thomson 12th March 2014 21:47 GMT

The latest batch of top-secret intelligence documents from the hoard collected by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden detail the massive increase in the agency’s use of its Tailored Access Operations (TAO) hacking unit – including a system dubbed TURBINE that can spam out millions of pieces of sophisticated malware at a time.

The presentation slides, published by The Intercept, show that 10 years ago the NSA had infiltrated and tapped a modest number of computers, but has since hugely bolstered its toolkit and increased its target list. Within eight years, the number of active pieces of implanted spyware was in the tens of thousands, and slides show an extensive arms catalog of malware for the TAO team to choose from. Continue reading “NSA’s TURBINE robot pumps ‘malware into MILLIONS of PCs’”

Do Americans Have Compassion?

EEV: One of the main Articles as it appeared in Pravda. From a Propaganda stand point there is a reason you de-humanize your adversary. It does represent a subtle insidious escalation, for those versed in the history of conflict.

07.03.2014

By John Fleming

Justum et tenacem propositi virum non civium ardor prava iubentium, Non vultus instantis tyranni mente quatit solida.-Horace

Do Americans Have Compassion?

Do Americans Have Compassion?. 52351.jpeg

The world has a sick man on its hands. In this morbid country the people are all “looking out for number one” and the hardasses have no sympathetic feeling for the Golden Rule or concern about the plight of their fellow man.

Compared to Europeans, and others (Asians, South Americans), or to get more specific, South Africans, Argentineans, Ethiopians, do Americans have humane compassion and spontaneous interest in the welfare of others? Two books published rather recently declared no. The one, by British writer Ronald Segal, from 1968, develops the theme that Americans are devoid of compassion (passim). Segal-besides they’re all the same!- states the case directly by quoting a schoolteacher acquaintance of his from Britain teaching in the States: “They have no compassion,” she said (p. 55). Segal discussed the compassionlessness in relation to a competitive money society outrageously abandoned to everything, socially excessive and radical while still being politically conservative. Continue reading “Do Americans Have Compassion?”

Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ

• Optic Nerve program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk • 1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone • Yahoo: ‘A whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy’ • Material included large quantity of sexually explicit images

and  theguardian.com,              Thursday 27 February 2014 11.16 EST

Yahoo webcam image.

The GCHQ program saved one image every five minutes from the users’ feeds. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.

GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not.

In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.

Yahoo reacted furiously to the webcam interception when approached by the Guardian. The company denied any prior knowledge of the program, accusing the agencies of “a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy“. Continue reading “Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ”

‘I always wonder if someone is listening’: NSA spied on American lawyers but sometimes got other governments to do the work for them

Greenwald promises more shocking news on US surveillance, says he has sources apart from Snowden

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who broke news of US government surveillance in the Guardian newspaper, promises more revelations on US surveillance, as he has come into contact with more sources besides Edward Snowden, former NSA employee.

In an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday, Greenwald said his new stories would start to appear online early this week. He dropped hints that he and his colleagues have come into contact with sources besides Edward Snowden, who provided classified documents detailing secret US surveillance around the world. Continue reading “Greenwald promises more shocking news on US surveillance, says he has sources apart from Snowden”

US intelligence agencies incapable of detecting nuke threats – report

 

 US intelligence agencies incapable of detecting nuke threats - report

© Photo: Flickr.com/benben/cc-by-nc-sa 3.0

American intelligence and security agencies are not currently capable of detecting when foreign nations are building nuclear weapons or ramping up their existing programs, according to a newly released Pentagon report that faults a range of US agencies.

A 100-page report by the Defense Science Board, said the agencies’ finding “undeclared facilities and/or covert operations” – are “either inadequate, or more often, do not exist.” It calls for using some of the same techniques that the National Security Agency (NSA) has developed against terrorists. Continue reading “US intelligence agencies incapable of detecting nuke threats – report”

Snowden speaks: NSA spies create ‘databases of ruin’ on innocent folks

–  Firstly, the fear that everything is being recorded will change our personal behavior for the worse

– secondly that the data amounted to “databases of ruin”, storing embarrassing or harmful details can be plucked out in retroactive investigations.

Cray X-MP/24 (serial no. 115) used by NSA

‘Not all spying is bad’ but bulk collection has to go, says whistleblower in web chat

Ex-NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden used his first public Q&A to call for the US to lead a global initiative to ban mass

surveillance of populations. He also wants governments to ensure that intelligence agencies can protect national security while not invading everyday privacy.

“Not all spying is bad. The biggest problem we face right now is the new technique of indiscriminate mass surveillance, where governments are seizing billions and billions and billions of innocents’ communication every single day,” he said. Continue reading “Snowden speaks: NSA spies create ‘databases of ruin’ on innocent folks”

NSA statement does not deny ‘spying’ on members of Congress

– Senator Asked the Question ” about whether it “has spied, or is … currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials”

• Agency responds to questions from Senator Bernie Sanders

• Statement cites ‘same privacy protections as all US persons’

 in Washington and  in New York
theguardian.com, Saturday 4 January 2014 15.31 EST
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. Photograph: Alison Redlich/AP

The National Security Agency on Saturday released a statement in answer to questions from a senator about whether it “has spied, or is … currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials”, in which it did not deny collecting communications from legislators of the US Congress to whom it says it is accountable. Continue reading “NSA statement does not deny ‘spying’ on members of Congress”

How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks ‘at speed of light’: Spy tech catalog leaks

 

– It’s not as bad as you thought – it’s much worse

By       Iain Thomson

31st December 2013 04:29 GMT

Analysis A leaked NSA cyber-arms catalog has shed light on the technologies US and UK spies use to infiltrate and remotely control PCs, routers, firewalls, phones and software from some of the biggest names in IT.

The exploits, often delivered via the web, provide clandestine backdoor access across networks, allowing the intelligence services to carry out man-in-the-middle attacks that conventional security software has no chance of stopping. Continue reading “How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks ‘at speed of light’: Spy tech catalog leaks”

Not Socially Acceptable: NSA boss video ‘most hated’ on YouTube in 2013?

EEV: In all fairness to the NSA director, he is only an employee of the government. It is not appropriate he be the fall guy, unless he acted independently of his supervisors.

 Published time: January 01, 2014 10:32                                                                            

Director of the National Security Agency Gen. Keith Alexander.(AFP Photo / Alex Wong)Director of the National Security Agency Gen. Keith Alexander.(AFP Photo / Alex Wong)

A YouTube video in which NSA boss Keith Alexander tries “to set the record straight” on the agency’s spying antics has nosedived. The half-hour interview triggered a wave of criticism from users, branding it the “most hated” video on YouTube.

In the wake of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations on the  massive espionage programs of the NSA, the spy agency has been  hard pressed to defend its reputation. Since the security leaks  emerged in May, the NSA has embarked on a campaign to clear its  name. As part of the push, the US Defense Department published a  video on YouTube in October seeking to justify the agency’s spy  campaign.

However, the video had far from the desired effect and has been  branded as one of the “most hated” videos of the year.  Out of the 187,833 people who have viewed the video up until now  16,407 have hit the dislike button, compared to a mere 300 who   “liked” the video.

Thousands of commentators also laid into the video, accusing the  NSA of brazen propaganda.

“This NSA interview is the most-hated thing on YouTube right  now,” said Google+ user Andy Sweet.

“How fearful are the NSA that they’re resorting to releasing  propaganda on YouTube. I’m sure all of the upvotes are bots or  shills,” wrote Kevin Willock in the comments section.

Other YouTubers also rounded into Alexander’s claims that the NSA  is indispensable in the fight against terrorism and to ensure  national security.

“So you believe Angela Merkel is an insurgent and a dangerous  terrorist, Keith?” chided one YouTube user, referring the  reports the NSA tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal  phone.

Read More: http://rt.com/usa/nsa-unpopular-youtube-video-049/

NSA seizes full control of targeted iPhones via DROPOUTJEEP malware

Dec 30, 2013

                

The NSA developed in 2008 a software program for iPhones that can selectively and stealthily deliver data from iPhones to the NSA. The program is called DROPOUTJEEP. News of the malware is the latest to come out of the ongoing Snowden document media bonanza.

 

DROPOUTJEEP can read and retrieve SMS messages, contact lists, voice messages, and the iPhone’s location via GPS and cell phone towers. It can also remotely activate the microphone and the camera.

In short, DROPOUTJEEP can gain full covert “command and control” over any iPhone on which it is installed. Continue reading “NSA seizes full control of targeted iPhones via DROPOUTJEEP malware”

Tailored Access Operations (TAO) NSA Was Compromised Months Ago

EEV: Best Intel is always False Intel:

In response to a special request, here were the initial press leaks in regards to TAO

NSA Accessed Mexican President’s Email OCT 2013

Was ISRAEL behind the hacking of millions of French phones and NOT the U.S.?  Extraordinary twist in spying saga revealed OCT 2013

NSA Monitors Financial World Sept 2013 Continue reading “Tailored Access Operations (TAO) NSA Was Compromised Months Ago”

Our Safari through TOR – Espionage, Assasination, and Private Armies

EEV: Nothing Special Here .  Just posting up a few Common easy to find TOR posts, for our Non TOR users. Often the media makes solicitations for subversive dealings appear unusual or uncommon, but they are not. I will post web page snap shots for our readers to see. I will try not to expose web addresses or names of these sites unless requested by their web master. The validity of the sites, will always require confirmation. Since half of them are probably NSA fishing sites. The following are a couple just for fun, and I will post more later on. * Please feel free to refer other sites, that can be confirmed.

ScreenHunter_115 Dec. 29 23.24 Continue reading “Our Safari through TOR – Espionage, Assasination, and Private Armies”

Shopping for Spy Gear / Catalog Advertises NSA Toolbox

By Jacob Appelbaum, Judith Horchert and Christian Stöcker

After years of speculation that electronics can be accessed by intelligence agencies through a back door, an internal NSA catalog reveals that such methods already exist for numerous end-user devices.

Editor’s note: This article accompanies our main feature story on the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations unit. You can read it here.

When it comes to modern firewalls for corporate computer networks, the world’s second largest network equipment manufacturer doesn’t skimp on praising its own work. According to Juniper Networks’ online PR copy, the company’s products are “ideal” for protecting large companies and computing centers from unwanted access from outside. They claim the performance of the company’s special computers is “unmatched” and their firewalls are the “best-in-class.” Despite these assurances, though, there is one attacker none of these products can fend off — the United States’ National Security Agency.

Specialists at the intelligence organization succeeded years ago in penetrating the company’s digital firewalls. A document viewed by SPIEGEL resembling a product catalog reveals that an NSA division called ANT has burrowed its way into nearly all the security architecture made by the major players in the industry — including American global market leader Cisco and its Chinese competitor Huawei, but also producers of mass-market goods, such as US computer-maker Dell. Continue reading “Shopping for Spy Gear / Catalog Advertises NSA Toolbox”

NSA mass collection of phone data is legal, federal judge rules

• Dragnet program deemed ‘controversial but lawful’

• Lawsuit brought by ACLU dismissed

NSA phone data collection deemed legal: full ruling

in Washington

theguardian.com,              Friday 27 December 2013 11.52 EST

Cell phone data records
Judge said the phone data-collection system could have helped investigators connect the dots before the 9/11 attacks. Photograph: Lucas Jackson /Reuters

A legal battle over the scope of US government surveillance took a turn in favour of the National Security Agency on Friday with a court opinion declaring that bulk collection of telephone data does not violate the constitution. Continue reading “NSA mass collection of phone data is legal, federal judge rules”

Phone companies might have to store snoop data instead of NSA, Obama says

 

 
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 December, 2013, 5:49am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 December, 2013, 5:49am
 

The Washington Post

 

 

  • a6914e4eb1131c5c5b81d397c190dca9.jpg       
US President Barack Obama winds up a press conference on possible NSA reforms. Photo: AFP
 

US President Barack Obama signalled that he might halt the National Security Agency’s collection and storage of millions of Americans’ phone records and instead require phone companies to hold the data.

Speaking at a White House news conference, Obama said he would have a “pretty definitive statement” on proposed NSA reforms next month. Continue reading “Phone companies might have to store snoop data instead of NSA, Obama says”

Major computer security firm RSA took $10 mln from NSA to weaken encryption – report

 

 Published time: December 20, 2013 23:48                                                                                                     

                
 
RSA SecureID electronic keys (Reuters / Michael Caronna)

RSA SecureID electronic keys (Reuters / Michael Caronna)

                            

The National Security Agency arranged a clandestine US$10 million contract with computer security power RSA that allowed the spy agency to embed encryption software it could use to infiltrate the company’s widely used products, Reuters reported. Continue reading “Major computer security firm RSA took $10 mln from NSA to weaken encryption – report”

How GCHQ Monitors Germany, Israel and the EU

– suspicion arising from the documents that their organization engages in large-scale industrial espionage

By Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark

Documents from the archive of whistleblower and former NSA worker Edward Snowden show that Britain’s GCHQ signals intelligence agency has targeted European, German and Israeli politicians for surveillance.

The American spy stayed in northern Cornwall for three weeks. He was delighted with the picturesque setting, with its dramatic cliffs and views of the Atlantic.

In a classified report, the NSA employee also raved about the British signals intelligence agency GCHQ‘s field of antennas, located high above the Atlantic coast, about 300 kilometers (190 miles) west of London. Her Majesty’s agents have been working at the site, where 29 satellite antennas are aimed skyward, for decades. The Cornwall intelligence base, once part of the Echelon global signals intelligence network, was previously known as “Morwenstow.” Today the site is known as “GCHQ Bude.”

In addition to its geographical conditions, which are ideal for monitoring important communications satellites, Bude has another site-specific advantage: Important undersea cables land at nearby Widemouth Bay. One of the cables, called TAT-14, begins at German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom’s undersea cable terminal in the East Frisia region of northern Germany. Continue reading “How GCHQ Monitors Germany, Israel and the EU”

$1,000 BOUNTY offered for FINGERPRINTS of a GLOBAL SPY CHIEF

 

Privacy campaigner: NSA, GCHQ, NZSIS* – take your pick

By       John Leyden

Posted in Security, 18th December 2013 14:31 GMT

Privacy campaigner Simon Davies is offering a $1,000 bounty for the capture of the DNA and fingerprints of spy chiefs.

The 21st century treasure hunt offers a $1,000 cash windfall for anyone who supplies the Privacy Surgeon site run by Davies with an item – such as a drinking glass – with the DNA and fingerprints of any senior intelligence official of the “Five Eyes” alliance of spy agencies (made up from the NSA and Britain’s GCHQ as well as the signals intelligence agencies of Australia, Canada and New Zealand). Continue reading “$1,000 BOUNTY offered for FINGERPRINTS of a GLOBAL SPY CHIEF”

Merkel compares NSA to ‘Stasi police’ in heated exchange with Obama

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up. Continue reading “Merkel compares NSA to ‘Stasi police’ in heated exchange with Obama”

Snowden latest: NSA stalks the human race using Google, ad cookies

Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, they’ll be watching you

 

Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, they’ll be watching you

By   Iain Thomson

Posted in Security,    12th December 2013 19:40 GMT

The already strained relationship between Google and the NSA has got a little bit worse, after claims in the latest Snowden leak that intelligence agencies are using the Chocolate Factory’s cookies to track targets.

Documents seen by the Washington Post show that the NSA and the British snoops at GCHQ have found a way to piggyback on a Google tracking cookie dubbed PREFID. This doesn’t contain personal data, but does contain an identifier unique to each browser, so by subverting the Google code a particular user can be easily identified in a large data dump.

You just don’t pick up PREFID cookies if you’re a Gmail or Google+ user, they’re included in everything from simple search requests to websites that have a link to Mountain View’s mapping of social networking system. As such, most internet users will have one somewhere.

Once a particular browser is identified, the Google cookies can then be used for “remote exploitation” the documents state, presumably anything from monitoring usage to complete pwnage. It can also be used for “on the ground survey options,” and used to brief the FBI for domestic action.

The latest trove from ex-NSA-contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden also shows details of a location-tracking system implemented by the intelligence agencies (and presumably their Canadian, Australian and New Zealand counterparts) called HAPPYFOOT – say what you like about the coders, at least they have a gift for naming this stuff. That effort also uses advertising networks’ cookies to track the location of users.

HAPPYFOOT monitors location data sent back by mobile apps to provide localized content. GPS doesn’t need to be on for this kind of data – the phone user’s location can be triangulated pretty accurately based on cell tower and Wi-Fi locations, particularly in urban environments. As seen in last week’s FTC settlement, this location data doesn’t always need user approval to activate.

In both cases, intelligence agencies can use data from the Department of Defense’s National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, for target tracking. According to Snowden’s data the agency has an annual budget of $4.9bn to collect and analyze satellite and photo imagery from around the world.

“As we’ve said before, NSA, within its lawful mission to collect foreign intelligence to protect the United States, uses intelligence tools to understand the intent of foreign adversaries and prevent them from bringing harm to innocent Americans,” said the NSA in a statement.

Privacy experts have long been nervous about the ability of cookies to track internet users. While there are beneficial uses of cookies, besides being vital to the online advertising market, the ability to store arbitrary data in a browser is seen as a fundamental flaw in protecting privacy on the web.

It’s a measure of success that the “do not track” movement against cookies is now supported by almost all the major browser manufacturers and is often the default setting – something that is infuriating the advertising industry. It would seem, from these latest documents, that the NSA would like tracking to continue as well.

“These revelations make it ever clearer that we need to fight back against non-consensual tracking of web users, by deploying and adopting technology that allows users to block online tracking,” said privacy campaigners at the EFF in a statement.

“In the past we’ve been concerned about the profiles that web companies could build up about users without their knowledge or consent. Now we’ve seen that this tracking technology is also being hijacked for government surveillance of Internet users.” ®

Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/12/12/snowden_latest_nsa_using_google_cookies_to_id_internet_users/

TOP SECRET//COMINT//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20320108 / Topic: Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments

Spy agencies infiltrate gaming world

Xbox Live among game services targeted by US and UK spy agencies

NSA and GCHQ collect gamers’ chats and deploy real-life agents into World of Warcraft and Second Life
Read the NSA document: Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments

James Ball

The Guardian,  Monday 9 December 2013 18.26 EST

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft: the NSA described games communities as a ‘target-rich network’ where potential terrorists could ‘hide in plain sight’.

To the National Security Agency analyst writing a briefing to his superiors, the situation was clear:  their current surveillance efforts were lacking something. The agency’s impressive arsenal of cable taps and sophisticated hacking attacks was not enough. What it really needed was a horde of undercover Orcs.

That vision of spycraft sparked a concerted drive by the NSA and its UK sister agency GCHQ to infiltrate the massive communities playing online games, according to  secret documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The files were obtained by the Guardian and are being published on Monday in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica.

Continue reading “Spy agencies infiltrate gaming world”

NSA Claims Call Spying Reports Are False

1 November 2013


Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2013 08:13:57 +0100     Subject: update     From: <xxxxx[at]gmail.com>     To: Cryptome <cryptome[at]earthlink.net>

In a letter to Dutch Parliament of October 31st [0], the Dutch Minister of  the Interior and Kingdom Relations (Ronald Plasterk) disclosed the text of  an unclassified letter he claims to have received from the NSA:

      “statement on articles in European press alleging large numbers of phone call metadata collected by NSA in France, Spain, Italy   The assertions by reporters in France (Le Monde), Spain (El Mundo) and Italy  (L’Espresso) that NSA collected 10s of millions of phone calls are  completely false. They cite as evidence screen shots of the results of a  web tool used for data management purposes, but both they and the Continue reading “NSA Claims Call Spying Reports Are False”

US Agency new logo…. an Evil Octopus

 

 

Friday, 06 December 2013

Billions of dollars annually are being used to fund operations conducted by the United States intelligence community, the likes of which allow the government to eavesdrop on emails, listen to world leaders’ phone calls and about everything in-between.

One thing that budget hasn’t bought, however, is subtlety. The US National Reconnaissance Office launched a top-secret surveillance satellite into space Thursday evening, and the official emblem for the spy agency’s latest mission is, well, certainly accurate, to say the least.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence live-tweeted Thursday’s launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and throughout the course of the ordeal made no effort to ignore the logo for the NROL-39 mission.

Continue reading “US Agency new logo…. an Evil Octopus”

NSA collects data revealing location of five billion mobile phones every day

The records allow US intelligence agents to establish not just the movements of individuals but to monitor who else they communicate with

Lewis Smith

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Almost five billion records revealing the location of mobile phones around the world are collected by the US National Security Agency every day.

Data collected by the NSA provides the US with the ability to pinpoint hundreds of millions of phones and their users daily, it was reported.

Continue reading “NSA collects data revealing location of five billion mobile phones every day”

Top secret document reveals NSA spies on porn habits of suspected terrorists in bid to discredit them

  • Document  was revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden
  • It shows  agency spied on suspected radicalizers to  harm their reputations
  • Civil liberties  campaigners have voiced concerns about the revelations
  • One says:  ‘NSA surveillance activities are  anything but narrowly focused’

By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 04:50 EST, 27  November 2013 |  UPDATED: 05:58 EST, 27 November 2013

National Security Agency spies have been  tracking the online sexual activity of suspected terrorists in a bid to expose  them as hypocrites, it emerged today.

A top secret document revealed by NSA  whistleblower Edward Snowden shows the agency monitored suspected  radicalizers in a bid to harm their  reputations.

Six  targets, all Muslims, are identified as  ‘exemplars’ of how electronic  surveillance can be used to find ‘personal vulnerabilities’ to discredit  them.

The document revealed by Edward Snowdon says evidence of 'viewing sexually explicit material online' could call into question a radicaliser's devotion to the jihadist cause 

The document revealed by Edward Snowdon says evidence of  ‘viewing sexually explicit material online’ could call into question a  radicaliser’s devotion to the jihadist cause

 

The document says none of the six individuals targeted by the NSA is accused of being involved in terror plots and all are believed to currently reside outside the U.S. 

The document says none of the six individuals targeted  by the NSA is accused of being involved in terror plots and all are believed to  currently reside outside the U.S.

Continue reading “Top secret document reveals NSA spies on porn habits of suspected terrorists in bid to discredit them”

Since When Are Your Phone Calls Private, Goverment Lawyer Asks

By NICK DIVITO

MANHATTAN (CN) – Since Americans expect their phone companies to keep records of their calls, they have no basis to challenge the National Security Agency’s mass collection of that data, a lawyer for the government argued Friday.

Americans have “no reasonable expectation” to privacy when it comes to the telephone calls they make, Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery said at a packed hearing in federal court.

“People assume that phone companies are recording phone numbers and how long the call lasted,” he said. “We know that because all of us get the bills with those details.”

U.S. District Judge William Pauley III is presiding over the trial stemming from the revelation of a then-classified court order that compelled Verizon to turn over domestic phone records for millions of Americans.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked the document in June and has since received asylum from Russia.

Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, told the court that the dragnet spying program is an “abuse of the government’s investigative power.”

Continue reading “Since When Are Your Phone Calls Private, Goverment Lawyer Asks”

Government Told to Explain Need for Secrecy “But says it’s a Secret “

By JACK BOUBOUSHIAN

(CN) – The U.S. government must explain why a Feb. 19 order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court cannot be released to the public, even in a redacted form, a FISC judge ruled.

In September 2013, Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV, one of the 11 federal judges who sits on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), ruled that the U.S. government must consider publicly releasing classified opinions regarding the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program.

The ruling was issued in response to a complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union two years ago seeking the release of FISC opinions interpreting the government’s power to conduct surveillance related to terrorism under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

Saylor noted the same day in another opinion that the “publication of FISC opinions relating to this provision would contribute to an informed debate.”

On this order, the government conducted a declassification review of a February 19, 2013 FISC opinion, and concluded Monday that, “after careful review of the opinion by senior intelligence officials and the U.S. Department of Justice, the Executive Branch has determined that the opinion should be withheld in full and a public version of the opinion cannot be provided.”

Continue reading “Government Told to Explain Need for Secrecy “But says it’s a Secret “”

NSA’s goal to continually expand surveillance abilities “anyone, anytime, anywhere.”

Latest Snowden leak reveals NSA’s goal to continually expand surveillance abilities

 Published time: November 23, 2013 04:05                                                                            

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)

In a mission statement last year the US National Security Agency described how it would continue to expand its power and assert itself as the global leader in clandestine surveillance, according to a new report based on the Edward Snowden leaks.

The five-page document brought to light Friday by the New York  Times reveals the intelligence agency’s intention to   “aggressively pursue legal authorities and a policy framework  mapped more fully to the information age.” The spy agency sought  the ability to trace “anyone, anywhere, anytime,” according to  its 2012 mission statement.

Dated February 2012, the memo was written after PRISM and many of  the other programs that have since outraged the public were  implemented. It describes a four-year plan to push the NSA past  its current status and into “the golden age of SIGINT,”   code for signals intelligence.

The interpretation and guidelines for applying our  authorities, and in some cases the authorities themselves, have  not kept pace with the complexity of the technology and target  environments, or the operational expectations levied on NSA’s  mission.”

Continue reading “NSA’s goal to continually expand surveillance abilities “anyone, anytime, anywhere.””

US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to ‘unmask’ Britons’ personal data

• 2007 deal allows NSA to store previously restricted material • UK citizens not suspected of wrongdoing caught up in dragnet • Separate draft memo proposes US spying on ‘Five-Eyes’ allies
 

James Ball

theguardian.com,              Wednesday 20 November 2013 14.00 EST                

 
nsatear900 

The memo explains that the US and UK ‘worked together to come up with a new policy that expands the use of incidentally collected unminimized UK data.’

The phone, internet and email records of UK citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing have been analysed and stored by America’s National Security Agency under a secret deal that was approved by British intelligence officials, according to documents from the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Continue reading “US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to ‘unmask’ Britons’ personal data”

Fisa court documents reveal extent of NSA disregard for privacy restrictions

Incensed Fisa court judges questioned NSA’s truthfulness after repeated breaches of rules meant to protect Americans’ privacy
NSA HQ at Fort Meade, Maryland
Fisa court judge John Bates found that the NSA engaged in ‘systemic overcollection’. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP

Newly declassified court documents indicate that the National Security Agency shared its trove of American bulk email and internet data with other government agencies in violation of specific court-ordered procedures to protect Americans’ privacy.

The dissemination of the sensitive data transgressed both the NSA’s affirmations to the secret surveillance court about the extent of the access it provided, and prompted incensed Fisa court judges to question both the NSA’s truthfulness and the value of the now-cancelled program to counter-terrorism.

While the NSA over the past several months has portrayed its previous violations of Fisa court orders as “technical” violations or inadvertent errors, the oversharing of internet data is described in the documents as apparent widespread and unexplained procedural violations.

“NSA’s record of compliance with these rules has been poor,” wrote judge John Bates in an opinion released on Monday night in which the date is redacted.

Continue reading “Fisa court documents reveal extent of NSA disregard for privacy restrictions”

Germany warns US facilities could be targeted in wake of NSA leaks

Published time: November 12, 2013 22:13                                                                             

The entrance to the US Airbase is pictured in Ramstein, southern German (AFP Photo / Daniel Roland) The entrance to the US Airbase is pictured in Ramstein, southern German (AFP Photo / Daniel Roland)

Officials in Germany have cautioned authorities to prepare for possible attacks against United States facilities overseas as revelations continue to emerge about America’s secretive National Security Agency.

As leaked classified documents continue to disclose the covert  operations of the NSA, a domestic intelligence warning obtained  by Germany’s Der Spiegel suggests the revelations made possible  by former contractor Edward Snowden’s leaked files are inspiring  potentially violent protests.

Der Spiegel, an outlet which has worked closely with Snowden and  some of the leaked documents since earlier this year, announced  on Monday that it had received a domestic intelligence memo from  Germany’s Federal Office  for the Protection of the Constitution – the contents of which  cautioned officials that “an emotional response from certain  segments of the population cannot be ruled out.”

According to the magazine, the government office said that a   “potential threat” had emerged following the information  disclosed by the NSA leaks, adding that “security measures aimed at  protecting US facilities in Germany should be  increased.”

Anti-American sentiment has spread across the globe in recent  weeks as Snowden’s leaks continue to expose evidence of  questionable surveillance operations conducted by the NSA –   including recent revelations in which the agency was linked to  violating the privacy of German citizens and even the country’s  chancellor, Angela Merkel.

A poll published in the wake of those revelations by public  broadcaster ARD suggested that only 35 percent of German citizens  still see the US as a reliable partner. At the dawn of US  President Barack Obama’s first term as president, more than  three-quarters of Germans polled in a similar survey said they  trusted America.

Earlier this week, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) called for the  head of the NSA to leave office. Snowden’s leaks have caused much  embarrassment in Washington since June, and former friends of the  US have demanded answers after being told through leaked  documents that they’ve been subjected to surveillance.

“The head of the NSA, the president of the United States, the  Congressional Intelligence Committees [and] all of these  contractors we pay that were responsible for performing the  background checks” should be considered for   “wholesale housecleaning,” McCain told Der Spiegel in an  interview published over the weekend.

Friends spy on friends. We all know that, but there  have been certain boundaries,” added McCain. “Those  boundaries were probably, to some degree, there because we didn’t  have the capabilities we have now. But when you go to the point  where you invade someone’s privacy…one of the most foremost  leaders in the world, Angela Merkel, then it was a  mistake.

According to Der Spiegel, the head of Germany’s Office for the  Protection of the Constitution demanded “urgent  clarification” with regards to the heightened security alert,  but had not received a reply from federal authorities as of  Tuesday.

 

http://rt.com/news/nsa-german-snowden-protest-619/

GCHQ spoofed LinkedIn site to target global mobile traffic exchange and OPEC – report

Published time: November 11, 2013 00:23    Edited time: November 11, 2013 01:05                                                                            

Satellite dishes are seen at GCHQ's outpost at Bude, close to where trans-Atlantic fibre-optic cables come ashore in Cornwall, southwest England (Reuters/Kieran Doherty)Satellite dishes are seen at GCHQ’s outpost at Bude, close to where trans-Atlantic fibre-optic cables come ashore in Cornwall, southwest England (Reuters/Kieran Doherty)

The UK’s electronic spying agency has been using spoof version of LinkedIn professional social network’s website to target global roaming data exchange companies as well as top management employees in the OPEC oil cartel, according to Der Spiegel report.

The Government Communications Headquarters has implemented a  technique known as Quantum Insert, placing its servers in  strategic spots where they could intercept and redirect target  traffic to a fake website faster than the legitimate service  could respond.

A similar technique was used earlier this year to inject malware  into the systems of BICS, a subsidiary of Belgian state-owned  telecommunications company Belgacom, which is another major GRX  provider.

In the Belgacom scandal first it was unclear where the attacks were coming from. Then  documents from Snowden’s collection revealed that the surveillance attack probably  emanated from the British GCHQ – and that British intelligence  had palmed off spyware on several Belgacom employees.

      The Global Roaming Exchange (GRX) is a service which allows      mobile data providers to exchange roaming traffic of their      user with other providers. There are only a few dozen      companies providing such services globally.

Now it turns out the GCHQ was also targeting networking,  maintenance and security personnel of another two companies,  Comfone and Mach, according to new leaks published in the German  magazine by Laura Poitras, one of few journalists believed to have  access to all documents stolen by Snowden from the NSA.

Through Quantum Insert method, GCHQ has managed to infiltrate the  systems of targeted Mach employees and successfully procured  detailed knowledge of the company’s communications  infrastructure, business, and personal information of several  important figures.

A spokesman for ‘Starhome Mach’, a Mach-successor company, said  it would launch “a comprehensive safety inspection with  immediate effect.”

 

LinkedIn headquarters in Mountain View, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP) LinkedIn headquarters in Mountain View, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

 

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries was yet another  target of the Quantum Insert attack, according to the report.  According to a leaked document, it was in 2010 that GCHQ managed  to infiltrate the computers of nine OPEC employees. The spying  agency reportedly succeeded in penetrating the operating space of  the OPEC Secretary-General and also managed to spy the on Saudi  Arabian OPEC governor, the report suggests.

LinkedIn is currently the largest network for creating and  maintaining business contacts. According to its own data the  company has nearly 260 million registered users in more than 200  countries. When contacted by The Independent, a LinkedIn  spokesman said that the company was “never told about this  alleged activity” and it would “never approve of it,  irrespective of what purpose it was used for.”

According to a cryptographer and security expert Bruce Schneier,  Quantum Insert attacks are hard for anyone except the NSA to execute,  because for that one would need to “to have a privileged  position on the Internet backbone.”

The latest details of GCHQ’s partnership with the NSA were  revealed just last week, after the reports emerged that GCHQ was  feeding the NSA with the internal information intercepted from Google and Yahoo’s private  networks.

The UK intelligence leaders have recently been questioned by British lawmakers about their  agencies’ close ties and cooperation with the NSA.

The head of GCHQ, Sir Ian Lobban, lashed out at the global media for the coverage of  Edward Snowden’s leaks, claiming it has made it “far  harder” for years to come to search for “needles and  fragments of needles” in “an enormous hay field” of  the Internet.

However, the intelligence chiefs failed to address public fears  that Britain’s intelligence agencies are unaccountable and are  operating outside the law.

http://rt.com/news/gchq-spying-mobile-traffic-linkedin-510/

 

Britain ‘snooped’ on Icelandic officials’ emails to recover cash from broken banks

 Published time: November 10, 2013 12:06                                                                             

AFP Photo / Nicholas KammAFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm

 

An Icelandic MP says Britain spied on Iceland while wrestling to rescue its citizens’ cash from collapsed Icelandic banks after the financial crisis. Birgitta Jónsdóttir claims she received a tip-off from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Jónsdóttir, who represents Iceland’s Pirate Party, maintains that the UK’s intelligence agencies systematically intercepted messages sent by Icelandic negotiators when Britain tried to recover savers’ cash held in the country’s banks that went bankrupt.

Jónsdóttir, a prominent WikiLeaks supporter, said that she was tipped off to the spying in 2010 by Assange, Iceland’s Visir newspaper reported.

Having received the tip-off, she warned members of Iceland’s negotiating team not to send emails to each other.

“The UK authorities had very good access to everything that was going on between members of the team. It is the role of intelligence, for example MI5, to spy on other countries, especially if it concerns their national interests. Their duty was to gather information and intelligence about us, and the duty of the Icelandic government was to do everything to protect us against such espionage,” Jónsdóttir told the newspaper.

The revelation could reignite tensions between the UK and Iceland, which were stoked in 2008 when the UK government used anti-terrorism legislation to freeze an Icelandic bank’s assets in the UK. The British Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, Alastair Darling, seized the funds of Landsbanki’s Internet bank, Icesave, to protect UK depositors’ money after the Icelandic government reacted to Landsbanki’s toxic debts by nationalizing the bank.

Last week, Britain got involved in another major spy scandal when it was reported that the UK has been allegedly using its Berlin embassy to spy on the nearby Bundestag, as well as the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

A new report also revealed that British intelligence agency GCHQ allegedly helped its counterparts in France, Germany, Spain and Sweden develop methods of mass surveillance of internet and phone traffic in the last five years.

Documents supplied by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden to the Guardian newspaper show the UK Government Communications Headquarters’ enormous influence throughout Europe. GCHQ is part of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing partnership between the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The documents detail how the agency developed and promoted spying processes, built relationships with telecommunication companies and evaded national laws that restrict the surveillance powers of intelligence agencies.

Earlier reports revealed by Snowden showed that the US has been monitoring the communications of up to 35 world leaders, including Merkel and Brazilian President. Communications of hundreds of millions of people across the world were also monitored, the leaked documents revealed, including British, French, Spanish and American citizens.

 

http://rt.com/news/britain-spied-iceland-banks-497/

Terrorists and Criminals may now exploit all the vunerabilities the NSA and GCHQ had built into our systems

 

Berners-Lee: ‘Appalling and foolish’ NSA spying HELPS CRIMINALS

Crooks rush in where spies boldly tread, says internet godhead

By Jasper Hamill

Posted in Security,  7th November 2013 14:58 GMT

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, granddaddy of the internet, has attacked the NSA and GCHQ for their “appalling and foolish” cracking of online encryption.

He warned that spooks’ attempts to break encryption standards played into the hands of cyber-criminals and rival states, saying spies were “naive” to think their own techniques would not be used against them.

“It’s naïve to imagine that if you introduce a weakness into a system you will be the only one to use it,” said Berners-Lee, adding: “I’m very sympathetic to attempts to increase security against organised crime, but you have to distinguish yourself from the criminal.”

In an interview with the Guardian, the father of the internet called for a “full and frank public debate” on digital surveillance.

His comments came ahead of an unprecedented inquiry into surveillance, which will see chief spooks grilled in full public view this afternoon.

“Whistleblowers, and responsible media outlets that work with them, play an important role in society,” Sir Tim said. “We need powerful agencies to combat criminal activity online – but any powerful agency needs checks and balances and, based on recent revelations, it seems the current system of checks and balances has failed.”

The coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks “has been in the public interest and has uncovered many important issues which now need a full and frank public debate”, he continued.

The heads of MI6, MI5 and GCHQ will be interview on live TV today for the first time. Starting at 2pm, Sir John Sawers, MI6 chief, Sir Iain Lobban, director of GCHQ, and Andrew Parker, director general of MI5, will appear in front of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC).

According to a statement on the ISC website, a slight delay (reportedly of two minutes) would be used on the video feed, just in case the spooks let something controversial slip out.

“The session will give an insight into the world of intelligence and the work the agencies do on behalf of the UK,” the ISC said. “It represents a very significant step forward in terms of the openness and transparency of the agencies. The Committee will question the agency heads on the work of the agencies, their current priorities and the threats to the UK. Among other things it will cover the terrorist threat, regional instability and weapons proliferation, cyber security and espionage.”

“However,” continued the ISC, “since this is a public session, it will not cover details of intelligence capabilities or techniques, ongoing operations or sub judice matters.”

Edward Snowden sparked the surveillance scandal after revealing the existence of an NSA spying scheme called PRISM and a comparable British one called TEMPORA, operated by GCHQ.

A group of 28 Tory MPs have written to the Guardian to protest against its continued publication of Snowden’s revelations. The letter said publishing the secret material “runs the risk of compromising the vital work of the institutions, processes and people who protect the safety of this country”. ®

Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/07/berners_lee_criminal_nsa_gchq_prism_tempora_spying/

 

Mass spy programmes threaten freedom of expression: Snowden

03   Nov   2013
Berlin (AFP)

US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden says mass secret service surveillance poses a threat to freedom of expression and open society, in a text published in a German news magazine Sunday.

Snowden, who faces criminal charges in the US for leaking top-secret documents about the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) activities, said systematic snooping was a global problem that needed global solutions.

“Such programmes are not only a threat to privacy, they threaten also freedom of expression and open societies,” he wrote in the text which appeared in German in Der Spiegel magazine.

“The existence of espionage technology must not determine politics,” he said, adding there was a moral duty to see that laws and values limit surveillance programmes and protect human rights.

Entitled “A manifesto for the truth”, the news weekly said the former NSA contractor wrote the piece on November 1 in Moscow and it was sent to Spiegel’s offices via an encrypted channel.

Media reports based on Snowden’s disclosures of widespread US surveillance — including eavesdropping on nearly three dozen foreign leaders — have strained Washington’s ties with key allies.

“Anyone pronouncing the truth is committing no crime,” Snowden wrote.

He also said that initially some governments who, he said, had felt “unmasked” by the spying revelations had initiated “an unprecedented persecution campaign” in a bid to quash debate.

But, he said, debate was now taking place worldwide.

German lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele, of the opposition Green party, met Snowden at a secret location in Moscow Thursday after leaked classified documents indicated that the NSA had tapped the phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel for several years.

Stroebele told reporters in Berlin Friday that Snowden was willing to speak to the German authorities about the NSA’s activities.

http://www.afp.com/en/news/topstories/mass-spy-programmes-threaten-freedom-expression-snowden

 

Snowden document reveals key role of companies in NSA data collection

ScreenHunter_97 Nov. 02 10.15

NSA leverages relationships with commercial partners to collect vast quantities of data from fibre-optic cables, file shows

Tapping fibre-optic cables – see the NSA slide

NSA HQ at Fort Meade, Maryland

Yahoo, Microsoft and Google deny they co-operate voluntarily with the intelligence agencies. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP

The key role private companies play in National Security Agency surveillance programs is detailed in a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden and published for the first time on Friday.

One slide in the undated PowerPoint presentation, published as part of the Guardian’s NSA Files: Decoded project, illustrates the number of intelligence reports being generated from data collected from the companies.

In the five weeks from June 5 2010, the period covered by the document, data from Yahoo generated by far the most reports, followed by Microsoft and then Google.

Between them, the three companies accounted for more than 2,000 reports in that period – all but a tiny fraction of the total produced under one of the NSA‘s main foreign intelligence authorities, the Fisa Amendents Act (FAA).

It is unclear how the information in the NSA slide relates to the companies’ own transparency reports, which document the number of requests for information received from authorities around the world.

Yahoo, Microsoft and Google deny they co-operate voluntarily with the intelligence agencies, and say they hand over data only after being forced to do so when served with warrants. The NSA told the Guardian that the companies’ co-operation was “legally compelled”.

But this week the Washington Post reported that the NSA and its UK equivalent GCHQ has been secretly intercepting the main communication links carrying Google and Yahoo users’ data around the world, and could collect information “at will” from among hundreds of millions of user accounts.

The NSA’s ability to collect vast quantities of data from the fibre-optic cables relies on relationships with the companies, the document published on Friday shows.

The presentation, titled “Corporate Partner Access” was prepared by the agency’s Special Source Operations division, which is responsible for running those programs.

In an opening section that deals primarily with the telecom companies, the SSO baldly sets out its mission: “Leverage unique key corporate partnerships to gain access to high-capacity international fiber-optic cables, switches and/or routes throughout the world.”

The NSA is helped by the fact that much of the world’s communications traffic passes through the US or its close ally the UK – what the agencies refer to as “home-field advantage”.

The new revelations come at a time of increasing strain in relations between the intelligence community and the private sector. Google and Yahoo reacted angrily on Wednesday to the Washington Post’s report on the interception of their data.

The Guardian approached all three companies for comment on the latest document.

“This points out once again the need for greater transparency,” a Google spokesman said.

He referred to a letter the company and other Silicon Valley giants sent to the Senate judiciary committee on Thursday. “The volume and complexity of the information that has been disclosed in recent months has created significant confusion here and around the world, making it more difficult to identify appropriate policy prescriptions,” the letter said.

A Microsoft spokesperson said: “We are deeply disturbed by these allegations, and if true they represent a significant breach of trust by the US and UK governments. It is clear that there need to be serious reforms to better protect customer privacy.”

Yahoo had not responded by the time of publication.

The companies are also fighting through the courts to be allowed to release more detailed figures for the number of data requests they handle from US intelligence agencies. Along with AOL, Apple and Facebook, they wrote to the Senate judiciary committee this week calling for greater transparency and “substantial” reform of the NSA.

Google, the first to publish a transparency report, has reported US authorities’ requests for user data increased by 85% between 2010 and 2012 (from 8,888 in 2010 to 16,407 in 2012). But the vast majority of those are requests from local law enforcement looking for information about potential drug traffickers, fraudsters and other domestic criminal activity.

Legally compelled NSA request relating to foreign terrorist targets, which none of the firms are allowed to disclose, are thought to represent a tiny fraction of the overall figure.

While the internet companies are listed by name in the NSA document, the telecoms companies are hidden behind covernames.

The names of these “corporate partners” are so sensitive that they are classified as “ECI” – Exceptionally Controlled Information – a higher classification level than the Snowden documents cover. Artifice, Lithium and Serenade are listed in other documents as covernames for SSO corporate partners, while Steelknight is described as an NSA partner facility.

In a statement defending its surveillance programs, the NSA said: “What NSA does is collect the communications of targets of foreign intelligence value, irrespective of the provider that carries them. US service provider communications make use of the same information superhighways as a variety of other commercial service providers.

“NSA must understand and take that into account in order to eliminate information that is not related to foreign intelligence.

“NSA works with a number of partners and allies in meeting its foreign-intelligence mission goals, and in every case those operations comply with US law and with the applicable laws under which those partners and allies operate.”

UPDATE: Microsoft issued a further statement after publication of the Guardian’s story. A spokesperson said: “Microsoft only discloses customer data when served with valid legal orders and in June we published a complete view of the volume of orders we received from the US government.

“But it is clear that much more transparency is needed to help the companies and their customers understand these issues.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/01/nsa-data-collection-tech-firms