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Tag Archives: NSA

How a twenty-year-old movie foretold the Mueller witch hunt, by Patricia McCarthy

History repeats itself, first as Hollywood and then as real life. From Patricia McCarthy at americanthinker.com:

Twenty years ago, Will Smith starred in a terrific film called Enemy of the State.  It seemed a work of fiction at the time.  It was riveting for its portrayal of the government’s abuse of every hi-tech tool at the ready to surveil and destroy a man’s life.  Those tools seemed make-believe in 1998.  How naïve we film-goers were.

In the movie, a man tasked with monitoring the habits of Canadian geese inadvertently catches a murder on film with hidden cameras in a park.  The victim, a Republican senator, has steadfastly refused to vote for the Telecommunications, Security and Privacy Act that would permit the government to do what it most certainly does do today.  The senator’s refusal is unacceptable to the murderers who are agents of the NSA.  The government is bound and determined to develop the legal authority to surveil Americans, no matter the cost or the constitutional violations.

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Deep State Goes to Silicon Valley, by Bill Bonner

America’s high tech companies and the government’s intelligence agencies are locked in a giant group hug. From Bill Bonner and bonnerandpartners.com:

War is the health of the [Deep] state,” said 19th century writer Randolph Bourne. Of course, war is also very costly and harmful to individuals.

As Ike Eisenhower – who led U.S. troops in the last successful government program of the 20th century, World War II – pointed out:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, and from those who are cold and are not clothed.

More than the financial cost is the expense in dignity, shame, and common sense. Every war since Eisenhower’s day has drawn down the nation’s meager stocks of intelligence and integrity; now, there is hardly anything left.

Each one required people to believe ever more preposterous and extravagant delusions; now, they are ready to believe anything.

Sinister Dots

We pause to reveal our strategy. We are preparing to connect some sinister dots.

Specifically, we want to explore how the tech industry got into bed with the Deep State, and what a monstrous offspring this union may produce.

In China, a “social credit” score is already being used to deny airline travel and even access to dating sites to people who get a low score in “civic virtue” for speaking against the government online or smoking in non-smoking areas.

And in the U.S., social media already “scores” both customers and businesses. If you don’t measure up to the standards of Airbnb, Rocket Mortgage, or Uber, you may not be able to rent an apartment, get a mortgage, or reserve a taxi.

Facebook, Google, and other Big Tech companies already police the internet for what they identify as “fake”… or perhaps merely inconvenient… news.

Amazon – whose owner also owns Washington’s “newspaper of record,” The Washington Post – has become a “death star” for retail industries, according to billionaire businessman John Malone. It now controls the vital space between what people want… where they get it… and how they pay for it.

Truck drivers are already controlled – both in terms of hours driven and speed – electronically. GPS technology already knows how fast we are supposed to drive. How long will it be before our speed is limited electronically?

And most recently, secret “spy hubs,” used by the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect and monitor billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats, have been identified in eight major U.S. cities.

To continue reading: Deep State Goes to Silicon Valley

The Wiretap Rooms The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs in Eight U.S. Cities, by Ryan Gallagher and Henrik Moltke

How AT&T and the NSA team up to spy on us. From Ryan Gallagher and Henrik Moltke at theintercept.com:

Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. In each of these cities, The Intercept has identified an AT&T facility containing networking equipment that transports large quantities of internet traffic across the United States and the world. A body of evidence – including classified NSA documents, public records, and interviews with several former AT&T employees – indicates that the buildings are central to an NSA spying initiative that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats passing across U.S. territory.

The NSA considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.” It is a collaboration that dates back decades. Little known, however, is that its scope is not restricted to AT&T’s customers. According to the NSA’s documents, it values AT&T not only because it “has access to information that transits the nation,” but also because it maintains unique relationships with other phone and internet providers. The NSA exploits these relationships for surveillance purposes, commandeering AT&T’s massive infrastructure and using it as a platform to covertly tap into communications processed by other companies.

Much has previously been reported about the NSA’s surveillance programs. But few details have been disclosed about the physical infrastructure that enables the spying. Last year, The Intercept highlighted a likely NSA facility in New York City’s Lower Manhattan. Now, we are revealing for the first time a series of other buildings across the U.S. that appear to serve a similar function, as critical parts of one of the world’s most powerful electronic eavesdropping systems, hidden in plain sight.

To continue reading: The Wiretap Rooms The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs in Eight U.S. Cities

NSA Launches Amazon-Backed Cloud-Computing Service For Sharing “Top Secret” Info, by Tyler Burden

What could go wrong with this? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Four years after handing Amazon a $600 million contract to develop a cloud-storage service for the US intelligence community that can store information across the full range of data classifications – including Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret – the NSA announced on Thursday that it has moved most of its mission data to a front-end cloud computing system developed by the agency that’s supported by – you guessed it – Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos.

According to NextGov.com, the IC GovCloud, which was created by the NSA but is supported by Amazon’s web services, will offer similar hosting services to the other 16 members of the US intelligence community. The advantage of having all of these intelligence agencies using the same system, according to NSA Chief Information Officer Greg Smithberger, is that it will allow analysts from across agencies to share information and “connect the dots” more quickly. But even before the other agencies sign on, the NSA will use the platform to “collect, analyze and store” classified information in a “classified cloud computing environment.”

The goal of the platform is to gather all of the signals intelligence that the NSA gathers on foreign targets (and, of course, its myriad spying on the American public) into one centralized location that’s easily accessible by its analysts.

The impetus for the multi-year move is getting the NSA’s data, including signals intelligence and other foreign surveillance and intelligence information it ingests from multiple repositories around the globe into a single data lake analysts from the NSA and other IC agencies can run queries against.

“The NSA has been systematically moving almost all its mission into this big data fusion environment,” Smithberger told Nextgov in an interview. “Right now, almost all NSA’s mission is being done in [IC GovCloud], and the productivity gains and the speed at which our analysts are able to put together insights and work higher-level problems has been really amazing.”

To continue reading: NSA Launches Amazon-Backed Cloud-Computing Service For Sharing “Top Secret” Info

8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump’s campaign, by Sharyl Atkinson

What the intelligence agencies have apparently done goes far beyond politics as usual and amounts to serious criminality. From Sharyl Atkinson at thehill.com:

It may be true that President Trump illegally conspired with Russia and was so good at covering it up he’s managed to outwit our best intel and media minds who’ve searched for irrefutable evidence for two years. (We still await special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings.)

But there’s a growing appearance of alleged wrongdoing equally as insidious, if not more so, because it implies widespread misuse of America’s intelligence and law enforcement apparatus.

Here are eight signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump for political reasons.

 Code name

The operation reportedly had at least one code name that was leaked to The New York Times: “Crossfire Hurricane.”

Wiretap fever

Secret surveillance was conducted on no fewer than seven Trump associates: chief strategist Stephen Bannon; lawyer Michael Cohen; national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner; campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and campaign foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

The FBI reportedly applied for a secret warrant in June 2016 to monitor Manafort, Page, Papadopoulos and Flynn. If true, it means the FBI targeted Flynn six months before his much-debated conversation with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

The FBI applied four times to wiretap Page after he became a Trump campaign adviser starting in July 2016. Page’s office is connected to Trump Tower and he reports having spent “many hours in Trump Tower.”

CNN reported that Manafort was wiretapped before and after the election “including during a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Trump.” Manafort reportedly has a residence in Trump Tower.

Electronic surveillance was used to listen in on three Trump transition officials in Trump Tower — Flynn, Bannon and Kushner — as they met in an official capacity with the United Arab Emirates’ crown prince.

The FBI also reportedly wiretapped Flynn’s phone conversation with Kislyak on Dec. 31, 2016, as part of “routine surveillance” of Kislyak.

NBC recently reported that Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, was wiretapped. NBC later corrected the story, saying Cohen was the subject of a “pen register” used to monitor phone numbers and, possibly, internet communications.

To continue reading: 8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump’s campaign

The NSA Continues to Abuse Americans by Intercepting Their Telephone Calls, by Ron Paul

Can a social credit scoring system, like China’s, be far behind? From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

One of the few positive things in the ill-named USA FREEDOM Act, enacted in 2015 after the Snowden revelations on NSA domestic spying, is that it required the Director of National Intelligence to regularly report on its domestic surveillance activities. On Friday, the latest report was released on just how much our own government is spying on us. The news is not good at all if you value freedom over tyranny.

According to the annual report, named the Statistical Transparency Report Regarding Use of National Security Authorities, the US government intercepted and stored information from more than a half-billion of our telephone calls and text messages in 2017. That is a 300 percent increase from 2016. All of these intercepts were “legal” under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is ironic because FISA was enacted to curtail the Nixon-era abuse of surveillance on American citizens.

Has the US government intercepted your phone calls and/or text messages? You don’t know, which is why the surveillance state is so evil. Instead of assuming your privacy is protected by the US Constitution, you must assume that the US government is listening in to your communications. The difference between these is the difference between freedom and tyranny. The ultimate triumph of totalitarian states was not to punish citizens for opposing its tyranny, but to successfully cause them to censor themselves before even expressing “subversive” thoughts.

We cannot celebrate our freedom or call ourselves an exceptional nation as long as we are under control of the kind of surveillance that would have turned the East German Stasi green with envy. We know the East German secret police relied on millions of informants, eager to ingratiate themselves with their totalitarian rulers by reporting on their friends, neighbors, even relatives. It was a messy system but it served the purpose of preventing any “unwelcome” political views from taking hold. No one was allowed to criticize the policies of the government without facing reprisals.

Sadly, that is where we are headed.

To continue reading: The NSA Continues to Abuse Americans by Intercepting Their Telephone Calls

NSA Has Been Tracking Bitcoin Users Since 2013, New Snowden Documents Reveal, by Tyler Durden

So much for the anonymity of cryptocurrencies, which was always oversold. More worrisome, other intelligence agencies are using information the NSA sweeps up to make criminal cases. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

During his 2015 trial, Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht’s defense attorneys raised questions about the government’s case that, although they were ultimately disregarded by the jury, have continued to bother crypto users with an affinity for so-called “conspiracy theories.” They pointed out vagaries in the FBI’s account of its years-long pursuit of Ulbricht, and questioned whether the bureau had truly discovered Ulbricht’s involvement on its own, or whether it had help from other deep state elements, namely the National Security Agency.

Of course, the judge, who eventually sentenced Ulbricht to life in prison without the possibility of parole, refused to entertain their argument. But if they were correct, it would mean that the government’s whole case was built on evidence that was ultimately inadmissible.

As it turns out, Ulbricht’s lawyers were on to something.

In a blockbuster report published Tuesday in the Intercept, reporter Sam Biddle cited several documents included in the massive cache of stolen NSA documents that showed that the agency has been tracking bitcoin users since 2013, and has potentially been funneling some of this information to other federal agencies. Or, as Biddle puts it, maybe the conspiracy theorists were right.

It turns out the conspiracy theorists were onto something. Classified documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the National Security Agency indeed worked urgently to target Bitcoin users around the world – and wielded at least one mysterious source of information to “help track down senders and receivers of Bitcoins,” according to a top-secret passage in an internal NSA report dating to March 2013. The data source appears to have leveraged the NSA’s ability to harvest and analyze raw, global internet traffic while also exploiting an unnamed software program that purported to offer anonymity to users, according to other documents.

Using its ability to siphon data directly from the fiber-optic cables, the NSA managed to develop a system for tracing transactions that went well beyond simple blockchain analysis. The agency relied on a program called MONKEYROCKET, a sham Internet-anonymizing service that, according to the documents, was primarily deployed in Asia, Africa and South America with the intention of thwarting terrorists.

The documents indicate that “tracking down” Bitcoin users went well beyond closely examining Bitcoin’s public transaction ledger, known as the Blockchain, where users are typically referred to through anonymous identifiers; the tracking may also have involved gathering intimate details of these users’ computers.

The NSA collected some Bitcoin users’ password information, internet activity, and a type of unique device identification number known as a MAC address, a March 29, 2013 NSA memo suggested. In the same document, analysts also discussed tracking internet users’ internet addresses, network ports, and timestamps to identify “BITCOIN Targets.”

To continue reading: NSA Has Been Tracking Bitcoin Users Since 2013, New Snowden Documents Reveal

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