User “Three_Letter_Agency” put the current NSA issue in very clear focus today with the following:
We know the NSA and their UK buddy GHCQ can:
- Collect the domestic meta-data of both parties in a phone-call. Source
- Set up fake internet cafes to steal data. Source
- Has intercepted the phone calls of at least 35 world leaders, including allies such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Source
- Can tap into the underwater fiber-optic cables that carry a majority of the world’s internet traffic. Source
- Tracks communications within media institutions such as Al Jazeera. Source
- Has ‘bugged’ the United Nations headquarters. Source
- Has set up a financial database to track international banking and credit card transactions. Source
- Collects and stores over 200 million domestic and foreign text messages each day. Source
- Collects and has real-time access to browsing history, email, and social media activity. To gain access, an analyst simply needs to fill out an on-screen form with a broad justification for the search that is not reviewed by any court or NSA personnel. Source
“I, sitting at my desk, could wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”. – Edward Snowden
- Creates maps of the social networks of United States citizens. Source
- Has access to smartphone app data. Source
- Uses spies in embassies to collect data, often by setting up ‘listening stations’ on the roofs of buildings.Source
- Uses fake LinkedIn profiles and other doctored web pages to secretly install surveillance software in unwitting companies and individuals. Source
- Tracks reservations at upscale hotels. Source
- Has intercepted the talking-points of world leaders before meetings with Barack Obama. Source
- Can crack encryption codes on cellphones. Source
- Has implanted software on over 100,000 computers worldwide allowing them to hack data without internet connection, using radio waves. Source
- Has access to computers through fake wireless connections. Source
- Monitors communications in online games such as World of Warcraft. Source
- Intercepts shipping deliveries and install back-door devices allowing access. Source
- Has direct access to the data centers of Google, Yahoo and other major companies. Source
- Covertly and overtly infiltrate United States and foreign IT industries to weaken or gain access to encryption, often by collaborating with software companies and internet service providers themselves. They are also, according to an internal document, “responsible for identifying, recruiting and running covert agents in the global telecommunications industry.” Source
- The use of “honey traps”, luring targets into compromising positions using sex. Source
- The sharing of raw intelligence data with Israel. Only official U.S. communications are affected, and there are no legal limits on the use of the data from Israel. Source
- Spies on porn habits of activists to discredit them. Source
Possibly the most shocking revelation was made on February 24, 2014. Internal documents show that the security state is attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with “extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction.” The documents revealed a top-secret unit known as the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Unit, or JTRIG. Two of the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in an effort to discredit a target, and to use social sciences such as psychology to manipulate online discourse and activism in order to generate a desirable outcome. The unit posts false information on the internet and falsely attributes it to someone else, pretend to be a ‘victim’ of a target they want to discredit, and posts negative information on various forums. In some instances, to discredit a target, JTRIG sends out ‘false flag’ emails to family and friends.
Read the whole JTRIG presentation by Greenwald, just do it. Here
Now, consider the words of former NSA employee turned whistleblower Russ Tice:
“Okay. They went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things–they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial.
But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. All kinds of–heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials.
They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House–their own people. They went after antiwar groups. They went after U.S. international–U.S. companies that that do international business, you know, business around the world. They went after U.S. banking firms and financial firms that do international business. They went after NGOs that–like the Red Cross, people like that that go overseas and do humanitarian work. They went after a few antiwar civil rights groups.
So, you know, don’t tell me that there’s no abuse, because I’ve had this stuff in my hand and looked at it. And in some cases, I literally was involved in the technology that was going after this stuff. And you know, when I said to [former MSNBC show host Keith] Olbermann, I said, my particular thing is high tech and you know, what’s going on is the other thing, which is the dragnet. The dragnet is what Mark Klein is talking about, the terrestrial dragnet. Well my specialty is outer space. I deal with satellites, and everything that goes in and out of space. I did my spying via space. So that’s how I found out about this… And remember we talked about that before, that I was worried that the intelligence community now has sway over what is going on.
Now here’s the big one. I haven’t given you any names. This was is summer of 2004. One of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with, with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator from Illinois. You wouldn’t happen to know where that guy lives right now, would you? It’s a big white house in Washington, DC. That’s who they went after. And that’s the president of the United States now.” Russ Tice, NSA Whistleblower