organization:national security agency

  • ‘U.S. monopoly over Internet must go’ - The Hindu

    Most of Pouzin’s career has been devoted to the design and implementation of computer systems, most notably the CYCLADES computer network.

    Interview with Louis Pouzin, a pioneer of the Internet and recipient of the Chevalier of Légion d’Honneur, the highest civilian decoration of the French government

    Louis Pouzin is recognised for his contributions to the protocols that make up the fundamental architecture of the Internet. Most of his career has been devoted to the design and implementation of computer systems, most notably the CYCLADES computer network and its datagram-based packet-switching network, a model later adopted by the Internet as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/Internet Protocol (IP). Apart from the Chevalier of Légion d’Honneur, Mr. Pouzin, 83, was the lone Frenchman among American awardees of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, given to the inventors of Internet technology in its inaugural year, 2013.

    Ahead of the ninth annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) from September 2-5 in Istanbul, Mr. Pouzin shared his concerns regarding the monopoly enjoyed by the U.S. government and American corporations over the Internet and the need for democratising what is essentially a global commons. Excerpts from an interview, over Skype, with Vidya Venkat.

    What are the key concerns you would be discussing at the IGF ?

    As of today, the Internet is controlled predominantly by the U.S. Their technological and military concerns heavily influence Internet governance policy. Unfortunately, the Brazil Netmundial convened in April, 2014, with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), following objections raised by [Brazilian] President Dilma Rousseff to the National Security Agency (NSA) spying on her government, only handed us a non-binding agreement on surveillance and privacy-related concerns. So the demand for an Internet bill of rights is growing loud. This will have to lay out what Internet can and cannot do. Key government actors must sign the agreement making it binding on them. The main issue pertaining to technological dominance and thereby control of the network itself has to be challenged and a bill of rights must aim to address these concerns.

    What is the way forward if the U.S. dominance has to be challenged?

    Today, China and Russia are capable of challenging U.S. dominance. Despite being a strong commercial power, China has not deployed Internet technology across the world. The Chinese have good infrastructure but they use U.S. Domain Naming System, which is a basic component of the functioning of the Internet. One good thing is because they use the Chinese language for domain registration, it limits access to outsiders in some way.

    India too is a big country. It helps that it is not an authoritarian country and has many languages. It should make the most of its regional languages, but with regard to technology itself, India has to tread more carefully in developing independent capabilities in this area.

    As far as European countries are concerned, they are mostly allies of the U.S. and may not have a strong inclination to develop independent capabilities in this area. Africa again has potential; it can establish its own independent Internet network which will be patronised by its burgeoning middle classes.

    So you are saying that countries should have their own independent Internet networks rather than be part of one mega global network ?

    Developing independent networks will take time, but to address the issue of dominance in the immediate future we must first address the monopoly enjoyed by ICANN, which functions more or less as a proxy of the U.S. government. The ICANN Domain Naming System (DNS) is operated by VeriSign, a U.S. government contractor. Thus, traffic is monitored by the NSA, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) can seize user sites or domains anywhere in the world if they are hosted by U.S. companies or subsidiaries.
    ICANN needs to have an independent oversight body. The process for creating a new body could be primed by a coalition of states and other organisations placing one or several calls for proposals. Evaluation, shortlist, and hopefully selection, would follow. If a selection for the independent body could be worked out by September 2015, it would be well in time for the contract termination of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) with the U.S. government.

    The most crucial question is should governments allow citizens to end up as guinea pigs for global internet corporations ?

    Breaking that monopoly does not require any agreement with the U.S. government, because it is certainly contrary to the World Trade Organization’s principles. In other words, multiple roots [DNS Top Level Domains (TLD)] are not only technically feasible; they have been introduced in the Internet back in 1995, even before ICANN was created. This avenue is open to entrepreneurs and institutions for innovative services tailored to user needs, specially those users unable to afford the extravagant fees raked in by ICANN. The deployment of independent roots creates competition and contributes to reining in devious practices in the domain name market.
    The U.S. government is adamant on controlling the ICANN DNS. Thus, copies (mirrors) should be made available in other countries out of reach from the FBI. A German organisation Open Root Server Network is, at present, operating such a service. To make use of it, users have to modify the DNS addresses in their Internet access device. That is all, usage is free.

    But would this process not result in the fragmentation of the Internet ?

    Fragmentation of the Internet is not such a bad thing as it is often made out to be. The bone of contention here is the DNS monopoly. On August 28, nearly 12 millions Internet users subscribing to Time Warner’s cable broadband lost connectivity due to a sudden outage in one day. In a world of fragmented Internet networks, such mass outages become potentially impossible. The need of the hour is to work out of the current trap to use a more interoperable system.
    In this context, a usual scarecrow brandished by the U.S. government is fragmentation, or Balkanisation, of the Internet. All monopolies resort to similar arguments whenever their turf is threatened by a looming competition. Furthermore, the proprietary naming and unstable service definitions specific to the likes of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and more, have already divided the Internet in as many closed and incompatible internets of captive users.

    Recently, the Indian External Affairs Minister had objected to U.S. spying on the Bharatiya Janata Party. Can governments like India use a forum like IGF to raise concerns relating to surveillance ?

    Even if governments do attend IGF, they do not come with a mandate. A major problem with the Internet governance space today is that they are under the dominance of corporate lobbies. So it is a bit hard to say what could be achieved by government participation in the IGF. This is a problem of the IGF : it has no budget or secretary general, it is designed to have no influence and to maintain the status quo. That is why you have a parallel Internet Ungovernance Forum which is not allying with the existing structure and putting forth all the issues they want to change. Indian citizens could participate in this forum to raise privacy and surveillance-related concerns.

    Do you feel Internet governance is still a very alien subject for most governments and people to engage with ?

    Unfortunately, the phrase “Internet governance” is too abstract for most people and governments to be interested in. The most crucial question is what kind of society do you want to live in? Should governments allow citizens to end up as guinea pigs for global Internet corporations? The revelations by NSA contractor Edward Snowden have proved beyond doubt that user data held by Internet companies today are subject to pervasive surveillance. Conducting these intrusive activities by controlling the core infrastructure of the Internet without obtaining the consent of citizen users is a big concern and should be debated in public. Therefore, debates about Internet governance are no longer alien; they involve all of us who are part of the network.❞

  • NATO Set to Ratify Pledge on Joint Defense in Case of Major Cyberattack
    NYT By DAVID E. SANGER AUG. 31, 2014

    When President Obama meets with other NATO leaders later this week, they are expected to ratify what seems, at first glance, a far-reaching change in the organization’s mission of collective defense: For the first time, a cyberattack on any of the 28 NATO nations could be declared an attack on all of them, much like a ground invasion or an airborne bombing.

    The most obvious target of the new policy is Russia, which was believed behind computer attacks that disrupted financial and telecommunications systems in Estonia in 2007 and Georgia in 2008, and is believed to have used them in the early days of the Ukraine crisis as well.

    But in interviews, NATO officials concede that so far their cyberskills are limited at best.

    #OTAN sans stratégie en cas de #cyberguerre ; #sécurité_informatique #surveillance

    • In fact, NATO officials say they have never been briefed on the abilities of the National Security Agency and United States Cyber Command, or those of The Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, its British equivalent. Both countries have routinely placed sensors into computers, switching centers and undersea cables for years, as the documents released by Edward J. #Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, make clear.

  • The U.S. Government Can Brand You a Terrorist Based on a Facebook Post | Alternet

    Civil Liberties
    The Guardian / By Arjun Sethi

    The US government’s web of surveillance is vast and interconnected. Now we know just how opaque, inefficient and discriminatory it can be.

    As we were reminded again just this week, you can be pulled into the National Security Agency’s database quietly and quickly, and the consequences can be long and enduring. Through ICREACH, a Google-style search engine created for the intelligence community, the NSA provides data on private communications to 23 government agencies. More than 1,000 analysts had access to that information.

    This kind of data sharing, however, isn’t limited to the latest from Edward Snowden’s NSA files. It was confirmed earlier this month that the FBI shares its master watchlist, the Terrorist Screening Database, with at least 22 foreign governments, countless federal agencies, state and local law enforcement, plus private contractors.

    The watchlist tracks “known” and “suspected” terrorists and includes both foreigners and Americans. It’s also based on loose standards and secret evidence, which ensnares innocent people. Indeed, the standards are so low that the US government’s guidelines specifically allow for a single, uncorroborated source of information – including a Facebook or Twitter post – to serve as the basis for placing you on its master watchlist.

    Of the 680,000 individuals on that FBI master list, roughly 40% have “no recognized terrorist group affiliation”, according to the Intercept. These individuals don’t even have a connection – as the government loosely defines it – to a designated terrorist group, but they are still branded as suspected terrorists.

    The absurdities don’t end there. Take Dearborn, Michigan, a city with a population under 100,000 that is known for its large Arab American community – and has more watchlisted residents than any other city in America except New York.

  • Why Snowden hasn’t harmed Israel’s intelligence services
    There was an expectation that the Snowden documents would yield details on Israel’s electronic surveillance capabilities, yet Glenn Greenwald has barely reported on Israel.
    By Anshel Pfeffer | Aug. 6, 2014 |

    For over a year now, Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) systems administrator who fled to Russia, has been distributing through the media part of the hundreds of thousands of classified documents he took with him. Many of these reports have seriously damaged the operations of American and British intelligence services. On Monday, Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who cooperated with Snowden and wrote most of the reports based on his documents, published on the Intercept website new details on the close cooperation between NSA and its Israeli counterpart - the IDF’s Unit 8200. This is only the second time in which the Snowden documents have referred to Israel.

    Then report is fascinating and sheds new light on the way Israeli and American intelligence work together on joint targets in the region and elsewhere, in this case Egypt under the previous Muslim Brotherhood government. But it didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know before. The two countries have a long history of intelligence-sharing which has continued to deepen despite the political pitfalls and lack of personal chemistry between the heads of state. The new details Greenwald adds on the direct line between headquarters, the joint projects against Iran (partly funded by the U.S.) and the use of each other’s installations are interesting but hardly surprising.

    What is surprising is the paucity of mentions of Israel in the flow of Snowden documents. The two reports so far describe the contours of the US-Israel intelligence relationship but unlike the documents on the electronic intelligence-gathering by the U.S. and its ally, Britain, there have been no reports on actual details of Israel’s surveillance methods and its penetration of communication networks. The revelations of eavesdropping programs of the NSA and Britain’s GCHQ have caused immense damage to their countries ability to follow potential terror targets and gather information through phone and internet networks. They have lead to acrimonious debates in the west over the line between national security and intrusion on civilians’ privacy. The damage done to the intelligence services from the disclosure of their methods to keep tabs on terror organizations is assessed by the NSA at billions of dollars.

    Due to the close NSA-Unit 8200 cooperation, there was an expectation that the Snowden documents would yield similar details on Israel’s electronic surveillance capabilities. But in the thirteen months since they started to appear, we’ve yet to read any operational details. The timing of this week’s report was meant to embarrass the Obama administration for working with Israel while the Gaza operation was ongoing but in a tense period for the diplomatic relations between Washington and Jerusalem, a reminder of the closeness between their intelligence services boosts Israel’s international standing.

    Why hasn’t Greenwald published any damaging details on Israel’s eavesdropping techniques, as he has on the U.S. and Britain? There are four possible reasons.

    So many documents, so little time - Snowden hoovered up as many as 1.7 million classified documents, according to some estimates. It’s unclear whether this figure is accurate and how many of them have been handed to Greenwald and other journalists, but in every interview, Greenwald promises there are many more revelations to come that will embarrass the NSA. His new and well-funded website was founded mainly upon that promise. It’s possible that the Israeli chapter is still to come. And yet, it seems unlikely that Greenwald, who has been a constant and coruscating critic of Israel in his columns over the years, would hold back if he had anything that could harm its intelligence services. Especially as there are other competing journalists with access to some of the documents and any report on Israel’s spying activities is guaranteed click-bait.

    Special classification - In the months before he fled for Russia, Snowden accumulated as many documents as he could put his hands on. He used passwords of work colleagues to obtain those he had no access to. If he failed in purloining documents relating to joint operations with Israel, of the kind he found on the U.S. and Britain, it would indicate that Israel-related material is stored under a higher classification and different level of total compartmentalization from most NSA employees. This could be due to Israeli requirements or an American attempt to keep these operations separate from its core operations out of concern of Israeli spying. Snowden who showed great creativity in storing up his secret cache would be aware of the value of such material yet he seems to have failed to breach that particular wall of secrecy.

    Under threat - There is no evidence but at least one European intelligence analyst has wondered over the last year whether Israel has found a way to pressure either Snowden or Greenwald not to publish damaging details on Israel’s capabilities. “It’s impossible to believe that Snowden discovered so much about American and British networks yet found so little on Israel,” says the analyst who has devoted months to studying Snowden’s intelligence heist. “The only explanation I can think of is that Israel found a creative way to get to Snowden or Greenwald and convince them not to use these documents.”

    Russian interests – Snowden has lived in Moscow for the last year, since escaping there via Hong Kong. Western intelligence agencies are convinced that he and almost certainly his stolen documents are now controlled by the Kremlin’s spies, though they’re still unsure whether he was in their service (perhaps unwittingly) before he arrived in Russia. The Kremlin has a clear interest in damaging the American and British intelligence-gathering networks as the old Cold War rivalries swiftly reemerge in the wake of the Ukraine crisis. The embarrassment and anger caused in the west by Snowden’s revelations and the public suspicion of the governments’ intrusion into civilians’ privacy, have certainly served Russia, which intrudes on its own citizens to a much larger degree, well. Israel’s relationship with the Kremlin is much more opaque.

    Despite the strategic relationship with the U.S., successive Israeli governments have steadfastly refrained from criticizing Russia for its arms shipments to Syria, its nuclear assistance of Iran and most recently the invasion and annexation of Crimea. Snowden serves Russian interests and the fact that he has so far not published any documents damaging Israel’s intelligence operations could be a result of the careful efforts by Jerusalem to build quite links with Moscow since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

  • Leaked classified memo reveals U.S.-Israeli intel cooperation on Egypt, Iran
    Top-secret memo, published by Glenn Greenwald, describes deep exchange of information between NSA and IDF Unit 8200; takes pride in ’success stories.’
    By Amir Oren | Aug. 5, 2014

    After Mohammed Morsi became Egypt’s president in June 2012 with backing from the Muslim Brotherhood, the intelligence communities of the United States and Israel expanded their cooperation to keep an eye on what was happening in Egypt.

    With approval from U.S. National Intelligence Director Lt. Gen. (ret.) James R. Clapper, the National Security Agency’s signals intelligence agency gave the Israel Defense Forces’ intelligence Unit 8200 the task of providing information about “select strategic issues, specifically terrorist elements in the Sinai.”

    This information is included in a highly classified NSA memo from April 2013 published Monday morning on The Intercept, the website run by Glenn Greenwald, a partner of Edward Snowden. Snowden had worked in the service of the NSA, during which he gathered American intelligence documents that he subsequently leaked.

    Since the memo was written during Morsi’s term in office, before the military coup that overthrew him and led to the presidency of Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, it does not tell us whether the exchanges of information about the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, and about which Israel’s intelligence-gathering capabilities have been restricted — still continue.

    When the document in question was written, General Keith Alexander was in charge of the NSA, and Brig. Gen. Nadav Zafrir was commander of Unit 8200.

    The memo was only distributed to the two countries that had signed it, and not to other members of the Anglo-Saxon Five Eyes alliance: Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It details the intelligence relationship between the NSA and Israel, and updates a previous version of a document that Snowden published last year.

    The depth of the bilateral cooperation is reflected, among other things, in a term used to describe Unit 8200’s task to carry out espionage in Egypt: “tasking” – meaning collection of vital information, as is usual among agencies belonging to the same intelligence community.

    According to the document, which describes significant, joint intelligence successes such as those involving the Iranian nuclear program, “NSA maintains a far-reaching technical and analytic relationship with the Israeli SIGINT National Unit [i.e., Unit 2800], sharing information on access, intercept, targeting, language, analysis and reporting. This SIGINT relationship has increasingly been the catalyst for a broader intelligence relationship between the United States and Israel. Significant changes in the way NSA and ISNU have traditionally approached SIGINT have prompted an expansion to include other Israeli and U.S. intelligence organizations such as CIA, Mossad, and Special Operation Division (SOD)" – the latter is evidently a reference to the Pentagon term for the special operations department of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate.

    Most of the bilateral intelligence cooperation, if not all of it, concentrates on “targets in the Middle East which constitute strategic threats to U.S. and Israeli interests. Building upon a robust analytic exchange, NSA and ISNU also have explored and executed unique opportunities to gain access to high priority targets. The mutually agreed upon geographic targets include the countries of North Africa, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, South Asia, and the Islamic republics of the Former Soviet Union," according to the memo.

    "Within that set of countries, cooperation covers the exploitation of internal government, military, civil, and diplomatic communications; and external security/intelligence organizations. Regional Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and ’Stateless’/International Terrorism comprise the exchanged transnational target set. A dedicated communications line between NSA and ISNU supports the exchange of raw material, as well as daily analytic and technical correspondence. Both NSA and ISNU have liaison officers, who conduct foreign relations functions, stationed at their respective embassies [Washington and Tel Aviv].”

    The memo continues: “The Israeli side enjoys the benefits of expanded geographic access to world-class NSA cryptanalytic and SIGINT engineering expertise, and also gains controlled access to advanced U.S. technology and equipment via accommodation buys and foreign military sales.

    “Benefits to the U.S. include expanded geographic access to high priority SIGINT targets, access to world-class Israeli cryptanalytic and SIGINT engineering expertise, and access to a large pool of highly qualified analysts.”

    The author of the memo — the country desk officer of the NSA’s Foreign Affairs Directorate — took pride in what he called “success stories.” First among them was “the Iranian nuclear development program, followed by Syrian nuclear efforts, Lebanese Hezbollah plans and intentions, Palestinian terrorism, and Global Jihad. Several recent and successful joint operations between NSA and ISNU have broadened both organizations’ ability to target and exploit Iranian nuclear efforts. In addition, a robust and dynamic crypanalytic relationship has enabled breakthroughs on high priority Iranian targets.

    “NSA and ISNU continue to initiate joint targeting of Syrian and Iranian leadership and nuclear development programs with CIA, ISNU, SOD and Mossad. This exchange has been particularly important as unrest in Syria continues, and both sides work together to identify threats to regional stability. NSA’s cyber partnerships expanded beyond ISNU to include Israeli Defense Intelligence’s SOD and Mossad, resulting in unprecedented access and collection breakthroughs that all sides acknowledge would not have been possible to achieve without the others.”

    In September 2011, NSA and Unit 8200 also signed a memo of understanding for cooperation in communications and cyber realms. In January 2012, one of Gen. Alexander’s deputies visited Tel Aviv and specified the NSA’s targets in those fields: cyber threats from Iran, Hezbollah and other elements in the region. In exchange, the NSA would provide Israel with “limited, focused support on specific Russian and Chinese cyber threats.” Additional talks “to further develop this partnership” were held in May and December 2012.

    Moreover, under the heads of NSA and Unit 8200, encrypted video communication was inaugurated between both intelligence communities “that allows both sides to broaden and accelerate the pace of collaboration against targets’ use of advanced telecommunications. Target sets include, but are not limited to, Iran nuclear, Syrian foreign fighter movements, Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps activities.”

    According to the section of the memo entitled “Problems/Challenges:” “The three most common concerns raised by ISNU regarding the partnership with NSA is NSA’s reluctance to share on technology that is not directly related to a specific target, the ISNU’s perceived reduction in the amount and degree of cooperation in certain areas, and the length of time NSA takes to decide on ISNU proposals. Efforts in these three areas have been addressed with the partner and NSA continues to work to increase cooperation with ISNU, where appropriate and mindful of U.S. policy and equity concerns.”

  • In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are

    Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

    Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former #NSA contractor Edward #Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended #surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.


  • A consortium of interested groups launched a giant #airship to fly over the #NSA's new snooping repository in Bluffdale, Utah. A 135 foot long thermal airship flew over the snoop headquarters last Friday with the message: “NSA Illegal Spying Below” with an arrow pointing downwards at the #panopticon.

    • Le site de Bluffdale avait déjà été mentionné ici il y a plus de 2 ans (mars 2012 par @Fil) avec un compte-rendu de démêlés dus à des prises de photo.

      Il me semblait aussi l’avoir vu pour leurs soucis d’essuyages de plâtre, en fait des courts-circuits avec arc électrique (10 fois en 13 mois) qui empêchait un fonctionnement normal (oct. 2013).

      Meltdowns Hobble NSA Data Center - WSJ

      There have been 10 meltdowns in the past 13 months that have prevented the NSA from using computers at its new Utah data-storage center, slated to be the spy agency’s largest, according to project documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

      One project official described the electrical troubles—so-called arc fault failures—as “a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box.” These failures create fiery explosions, melt metal and cause circuits to fail, the official said.

      The causes remain under investigation, and there is disagreement whether proposed fixes will work, according to officials and project documents. One Utah project official said the NSA planned this week to turn on some of its computers there.
      This summer [2013], the Army Corps of Engineers dispatched its Tiger Team, officials said. In an initial report, the team said the cause of the failures remained unknown in all but two instances.

      The team said the government has incomplete information about the design of the electrical system that could pose new problems if settings need to change on circuit breakers. The report concluded that efforts to “fast track” the Utah project bypassed regular quality controls in design and construction.

    • J’oubliais : puissance électrique consommée 65 MW…

      But without a reliable electrical system to run computers and keep them cool, the NSA’s global surveillance data systems can’t function. The NSA chose Bluffdale, Utah, to house the data center largely because of the abundance of cheap electricity. It continuously uses 65 megawatts, which could power a small city of at least 20,000, at a cost of more than $1 million a month, according to project officials and documents.

      Pour le refroidissement, malgré les appels libertariens à couper l’eau (novembre 2013)
      The Salt Lake Tribune

      Op-Ed: Utahns should deny water to NSA center

      la municipalité a conclu un contrat d’approvisionnement à un tarif préférentiel (juillet 2014)

      Utah town gave NSA a deal on water | The Salt Lake Tribune

      Bluffdale agreed to sell water to the National Security Agency at a rate below its own guidelines and the Utah average in order to secure the contract and spur economic development in the town, according to records and interviews.

      The deal could mean savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for the NSA and federal taxpayers, but is more of a gamble for Bluffdale, which had to issue a $3.5 million bond to help pay for new water lines. Bluffdale leaders consider that section of the city, now covered with sagebrush, ripe for new businesses.

      Without the influx of NSA revenue, it would have been 15 years before Bluffdale could have afforded to bring water to that area, said Bluffdale City Manager Mark Reid.

      pour des quantités astronomiques

      Bluffdale allowed the NSA to redact large portions of the correspondence, but the emails still demonstrate how Bluffdale persuaded the NSA to buy what eventually may be more than 1 million gallons of water a day from the city rather than from four other bidders.

      Mais à la suite des révélations de 2013 et de nouveaux appels à couper l’eau par des votes au niveau des états, la municipalité a fait savoir (mai 2014) qu’elle envisageait de recycler l’eau de refroidissement, dont pour l’instant, une petite partie sert à arroser la pelouse d’un parc et des terrains de football.

      Bluffdale to recycle millions of gallons of water used by NSA |

      Timothy said at maximum capacity, the Utah Data Center could use as much as 1.2 million gallons of water a day. That water is purchased in shares from the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District. The NSA pays about $2 per 1,000 gallons.

      Bluffdale built a two million gallon tank to reuse water. Currently, it is being used to water a park outside city hall where soccer fields are set up for youth games. Timothy said the water reclamation will be expanded to include residential lawns and accommodate future growth in the south end of the city.

      “Eventually, as more water is returned to us, we’ll be able to add residents to the reuse project,” he said, adding it could reduce residents’ water bills.

      The NSA declined to comment on what is done with the water, or Bluffdale’s plans to reclaim it. The agency also would not answer questions about whether the facility is fully operational.

      Not even the mayor knows.

      “I have no idea,” he said. “We don’t ask that question because they wouldn’t even tell us.”

  • #Glenn_Greenwald: NSA documents on Middle East to be disclosed

    Glenn Greenwald speaks at the Sixth & I Synagogue May 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. Greenwald spoke about his new book “No Place to Hide” and about working with his subject #Edward_Snowden who leaked documents about United States surveillance and intelligence programs. (Photo: AFP-Brendan Smialowski) Glenn Greenwald speaks at the Sixth & I Synagogue May 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. Greenwald spoke about his new book “No Place to Hide” and about working with his subject Edward Snowden who leaked documents about United States surveillance and intelligence programs. (Photo: AFP-Brendan Smialowski)

    Numerous documents focusing on partnerships and surveillance tactics between America’s #National_Security_Agency and regional security (...)

    #Articles #Brazil #France #Israel #Obama_Administration #US #Yemen

  • WikiLeaks statement on the mass recording of Afghan telephone calls by the NSA

    The National Security Agency has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic (and international) phone calls from two or more target countries as of 2013 (...) Although, for reasons of source protection we cannot disclose how, WikiLeaks has confirmed that the identity of victim state is Afghanistan.

  • wikileaks_doj_05192014.pdf

    19th May, 2014
    Plaintiff : Electronic Privacy Information Center EPIC
    Defendants : U.S. Department of Justice : the Federal Bureau of Investigation “FBI”, the Criminal Division “CRM” and the Nation Security Division “NSD

    Defendants conducted a reasonable search, processed records.

    Plaintiff continues to argue about documents that do not exist.

    As to the second group of events identified by plaintiff — revelations related to the National Security Agency’s practices — plaintiff has failed to explain its relevance.

    #wikileaks #EPIC #NSA

  • Google VC invests in former NSA analysts’ start-up Hannah Kuchler 24/04/14

    Google’s venture capital arm and Silicon Valley’s Kleiner Perkins have invested in a start-up run by two former National Security Agency analysts, which promises to give large companies access to some of the world’s best cyber security researchers.

    Jay Kaplan, chief executive, and his co-founder Mark Kuhr, left the #NSA last year – just before Edward Snowden revealed a mass US surveillance programme – to launch Synack.

    Synack has vetted a pool of security researchers before letting them loose to try to find security vulnerabilities on the sites of major corporations, who are increasingly worried about the potential for cyber attacks.

    The model follows the “bug bounty” schemes run by technology companies such as #Google and Facebook who offer cash to those who report flaws in their software, which they then fix. The company aims to make such knowhow accessible to less tech-savvy corporate customers.

    #cybersécurité #silicon_army

    #Google_Ventures, the internet company’s VC arm, has been eager to invest in cyber security start ups so far this year. Synack follows investments in Shape Security, Ionic Security and Threatstream, all part of a new generation of cyber security companies that promise new innovations to thwart hackers.

    Shape Security: Shape has developed constantly morphing computer code to evade cyber criminals by never looking the same twice. This “real time polymorphism” should break botnets which are responsible for billions of dollars of fraud. Google Ventures’ investment was part of $26m fundraising round including money from Kleiner Perkins, Venrock and executives from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

    Ionic Security: The start-up aims to help companies keep track of their data as it flows out of the doors to suppliers and contractors and ensure they maintain control over who accesses it. Google Ventures funded the company as part of a $25.5m round in conjunction with Jafco Ventures and Kleiner Perkins.

    ThreatStream: ThreatStream’s Optic platform aims to aggregate threat intelligence so organisations can connect the dots and take action more quickly. Sold as a software-as-a-service model, it claims to be the “first ever crowd-sourced cyber security intelligence solution”. Google Ventures funded its first fundraising round, of $4m, earlier this year in conjunction with Paladin Capital Group and executives and former executives of Cloudera.

  • ‘We Kill People Based on Metadata’ by David Cole | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

    Supporters of the National Security Agency inevitably defend its sweeping collection of phone and Internet records on the ground that it is only collecting so-called “metadata”—who you call, when you call, how long you talk. Since this does not include the actual content of the communications, the threat to privacy is said to be negligible. That argument is profoundly misleading.

    #NSA #métadonnées

  • Are #Google and #Facebook Just Pretending They Want Limits on #NSA #Surveillance ? | VICE United States

    Il ne doit pas être nécessaire que la NSA obtienne préalablement un #mandat pour que nous collaborions avec lui, disent Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo et similaires.

    Revelations about the National Security Agency’s most controversial surveillance program, which centers on the bulk collection of hundreds of billions of records of Americans’ phone conversations, were quickly greeted with calls for reform by major internet powerhouses like Facebook, Google, #Microsoft, and #Yahoo last year. But all four companies, along with dozens of other major tech firms, are actively opposing an initiative to prevent NSA spying known as the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, leaning on secretive industry lobbying groups while they profess outrage in official statements.


    ... the industry [is] wielding its influence behind closed doors using two #lobbying groups to oppose certain restrictions on internet surveillance: the IT Alliance for Public Sector (ITAPS) and the State Privacy and Security Coalition (SPSC). A look at the actions of these two groups suggests that the companies want reform, sure, but only on terms that don’t affect their day-to-day business.

    In particular, VICE has uncovered that ITAPS and SPSC have sent letters to politicians lobbying against the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, a wide-sweeping bill that would limit the NSA’s ability to read private electronic communications without a warrant.


    “ITAPS is essentially opposed to the bill because it will do what the bill is intended to do,” Maharrey said in an interview. “The intent of that section is to stop the companies from cooperating with the NSA and violating our civil liberties. We want companies to make a choice.”

  • #Obama Lets #N.S.A. Exploit Some #Internet Flaws, Officials Say

    WASHINGTON — Stepping into a heated debate within the nation’s intelligence agencies, President Obama has decided that when the National Security Agency discovers major flaws in Internet security, it should — in most circumstances — reveal them to assure that they will be fixed, rather than keep mum so that the flaws can be used in espionage or cyberattacks, senior administration officials said Saturday.

    But Mr. Obama carved a broad exception for “a clear national security or law enforcement need,” the officials said, a loophole that is likely to allow the N.S.A. to continue to exploit security flaws both to crack encryption on the Internet and to design cyberweapons.

    #failles #surveillance

  • Google, once disdainful of lobbying, now a master of Washington influence

    The company gives money to nearly 140 business trade groups, advocacy organizations and think tanks, according to a Post analysis of voluntary disclosures by the company, which, like many corporations, does not reveal the size of its donations. That’s double the number of groups Google funded four years ago.

    After its first foray into lobbying in 2003, Google became the second-largest corporate spender on lobbying in the United States in 2012.

    • Today, Google is working to preserve its rights to collect consumer data — and shield it from the government — amid a backlash over revelations that the National Security Agency tapped #Internet companies as part of its surveillance programs. And it markets cloud storage and other services to federal departments, including intelligence agencies and the Pentagon.

      #lobbying #données

  • #Snowden Speaks : A Vanity Fair Exclusive

    “Every person remembers some moment in their life where they witnessed some injustice, big or small, and looked away, because the consequences of intervening seemed too intimidating,” former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden tells Vanity Fair about his motivation for leaking tens of thousands of secret documents. “But there’s a limit to the amount of incivility and inequality and inhumanity that each individual can tolerate. I crossed that line. And I’m no longer alone.”

  • Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald address Amnesty International event in Chicago - World Socialist Web Site$

    Last Saturday, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and reporter Glenn Greenwald addressed an event hosted by Amnesty International in downtown Chicago. Both Greenwald and Snowden were invited to speak at the organization’s annual human rights meeting on the pair’s revelations of a massive government spying dragnet of the personal communications of populations across the world.

    Snowden, who has been forced to take asylum in Russia by after being hounded by US authorities, was met by a standing ovation by the more than 1,000 people in attendance.

    Greenwald, who has reported extensively on government spying programs and the documents released by Snowden, addressed the crowd from his home in Brazil. “My hope and my belief is that as we do more… reporting and as people see the scope of the abuse as opposed to just the scope of the surveillance they will start to care more,” he said. “Mark my words. Put stars by it and in two months or so come back and tell me if I didn’t make good on my word,” he added.

  • The #NSA Spying Machine: An Interactive Graphic - Businessweek

    With every new leak from Edward Snowden’s bottomless trove of pilfered documents, it gets harder to keep track of all the bizarre ways the National Security Agency has cooked up to spy on people and governments. This may help.


  • Early Release — Jonathan Pollard is Israel’s most notorious spy. So why are Washington and Jerusalem talking about freeing him?

    Jonathan Pollard, who has been imprisoned for nearly 30 years after giving U.S. military and intelligence secrets to Israel, may be released within the next two weeks as part of what two officials familiar with the discussions described as an effort to salvage the flailing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. In exchange, these people said, Israel would consider releasing 14 Israeli-Arab prisoners who’ve also been jailed for decades as well, potentially, as Marwan Barghouti, a prominent Palestinian militant.
    “Much of what he took, contrary to what he’d have you believe, had nothing to do with Arab countries or the security of Israel, but had everything to do with U.S. collection methods, to include most specifically against the Soviet Union,” retired Adm. Thomas Brooks, the former director of naval intelligence, said in an interview. Pollard worked for Brooks in 1980 when Brooks was in charge of a Navy intelligence office based at Ft. Meade, Md, which is also the headquarters of the National Security Agency.

    Among the highly-prized secrets that former officials say Pollard gave away while working as a civilian intelligence analyst for the Navy were technical details of sophisticated U.S. spy satellites; analyses of Soviet missiles systems; and information about eavesdropping equipment used by the NSA to intercept foreign governments’ communications, including all ten volumes of a highly-classified manual known as “the Bible” that spelled out how the United States intercepted Soviet communications.
    “I think what he did is exceeded only by Edward #Snowden,” said Brooks, drawing an analogy between Pollard and the former #NSA contractor who gave millions of pages of classified documents about eavesdropping systems to journalists, and who’s now living in Russia under a grant of political asylum.

  • La #NSA aurait infiltré les serveurs du géant chinois Huawei

    L’agence américaine de renseignement, la NSA (National Security Agency), a infiltré les serveurs du siège du géant chinois des télécommunications et de l’Internet Huawei, recueillant des informations sensibles et captant des communications entre cadres dirigeants, rapporte le New York Times samedi 22 mars.


    Selon le magazine allemand Der Spiegel, qui fait également état de l’intérêt de la NSA pour Huawei, l’offensive numérique lancée par l’agence américaine vise aussi les dirigeants politiques chinois.

    Mais quel “Intérêt” ?
    Targeting Huawei: NSA Spied on Chinese Government and Networking Firm

    But the NSA made a special effort to target Huawei. With 150,000 employees and €28 billion ($38.6 billion) in annual revenues, the company is the world’s second largest network equipment supplier. At the beginning of 2009, the NSA began an extensive operation, referred to internally as “Shotgiant,” against the company, which is considered a major competitor to US-based Cisco.

    #guerre_commerciale #espionnage_industriel

  • Revelations of N.S.A. Spying Cost U.S. Tech Companies -

    SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft has lost customers, including the government of Brazil.

    IBM is spending more than a billion dollars to build data centers overseas to reassure foreign customers that their information is safe from prying eyes in the United States government.

    And tech companies abroad, from Europe to South America, say they are gaining customers that are shunning United States providers, suspicious because of the revelations by Edward J. Snowden that tied these providers to the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance program.

    #contrôle #surveillance #nsa #business

  • The Google-Military-Surveillance Complex
    FireWorks via Pando Daily | By Yasha Levine on March 7, 2014

    It was a rowdy crowd, and there was a heavy police presence. Some people carried “State Surveillance No!” signs. A few had their faces covered in rags, and taunted and provoked city officials by jamming smartphones in their faces and snapping photos.

    Main item on the agenda that night: The “Domain Awareness Center” (DAC) — a federally funded project that, if built as planned, would link up real time audio and video feeds from thousands of sensors across the city — including CCTV cameras in public schools and public housing projects, as well as Oakland Police Department mobile license plate scanners — into one high-tech control hub, where analysts could pipe the data through face recognition software, surveil the city by location and enrich its intelligence with data coming in from local, state and federal government and law enforcement agencies.

    #ville #smart_city #surveillance

    The details of Google’s business relationships with the intelligence community — even the existence of these deals — are not always easy to come by. The earliest concrete example I could dig up goes back to 2003, when Google secured a $2.07-million gig to outfit the National Security Agency (NSA) with Google’s search tech.

    “The #NSA paid #Google for a search appliance capable of searching 15 million documents in twenty-four languages,” according to Consumer Watchdog, which obtained contract documents outlining the NSA-Google partnership.
    The contract was to last only a year and apparently was never renewed by the NSA, nonetheless Google kept providing its search services for two full years — free of charge.

    At exactly the same time that Google was trying to improve the NSA’s internal search capabilities, the company was in negotiations with two other intelligence agencies: the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), a close cousin of the NSA that primarily deals with geospatial/satellite intel for both combat and civilian operations.

    These negotiations had to do with Google’s purchase of Keyhole, a tiny tech startup that developed 3-D mapping technology. The company’s main product was an application called EarthViewer, which allowed users to fly and move around a virtual globe as if they were in a video game. Google purchased Keyhole in 2004 for an undisclosed sum, and folded its technology into what later became known as Google Earth.

    At the time, Google’s acquisition of Keyhole raised serious privacy concerns. The reason was simple: In 2003, just a year before Google bought Keyhole, the company was saved from bankruptcy by #In-Q-Tel

    #silicon_army #satellite

    2010 was a heady year for Google. Aside from its #NGA contract and close collaboration with the NSA, the company secured its first major non-intelligence/non-classified contract with the federal government.

    The General Service Administration awarded Google a five-year contract worth $6.7 million to provide the agency with “cloud-based” email services.

    Even more valuable than the contract was the fact that Google became the first “cloud-based” services provider to get federal security certification for non-classified data.

    With the certification, Google got the drop on its competition — mainly Microsoft and Salesforce — and now had a much needed stamp of approval that opened the door for Google to aggressively pursue other government contracts for hosting services for non-classified purposes.

    By the end of 2013, Google had racked up contracts to provide IT services to a long list of federal agencies.

    In February 2013, U.S. Naval Academy signed up for Google Apps…

    In October 2013, the U.S. Army tapped Google Apps for a pilot program involving 50,000 “Army and Department of Defense (DoD) personnel”…

    In 2012, Idaho’s nuclear lab went Google…

    In 2012, Department of the Interior awarded Google with a seven-year contract to provide email services for $35 million…

    In 2011, U.S. Coast Guard Academy went with Google, too…

    At same time, Google began racking up a good number of state and municipal governments, including law enforcement: Los Angeles, Lake Havasu Police Department, State of Wyoming, City of North Las Vegas, Boston and 40 other agencies went over to Google Apps as of this writing.

    Hell, it even launched a creepy Soviet-style “Government Transformers” page paying tribute to government heroes who’ve made the switch to Google.

  • Snowden’s testimony to European Parliament: “Billions of innocents” unlawfully spied upon - World Socialist Web Site

    Snowden’s testimony to European Parliament: “Billions of innocents” unlawfully spied upon
    By Robert Stevens
    10 March 2014

    On Friday, the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee published the written testimony of US whistleblower and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden agreed to give testimony to the EP’s ongoing inquiry into the Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens.

    The European Parliament (EP) took his statement despite the fact that it has already agreed to publish a 60-page report based entirely on the secret documents that Snowden made public, which entirely excises any mention of his name. (See “European Parliament kills call to protect Edward Snowden”)


  • What Edward Snowden Leaked Was Nothing Compared to What He Didn’t | The Nation

    Here, at least, is a place to start: intelligence officials have weighed in with an estimate of just how many secret files National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden took with him when he headed for Hong Kong last June. Brace yourself: 1.7 million. At least they claim that as the number he or his web crawler accessed before he left town. Let’s assume for a moment that it’s accurate and add a caveat. Whatever he had with him on those thumb drives when he left the agency, Edward Snowden did not take all the NSA’s classified documents. Not by a long shot. He only downloaded a portion of them. We don’t have any idea what percentage, but assumedly millions of NSA secret documents did not get the Snowden treatment.

    Such figures should stagger us and what he did take will undoubtedly occupy journalists for months or years more (and historians long after that). Keep this in mind, however: the NSA is only one of seventeen intelligence outfits in what is called the US Intelligence Community. Some of the others are as large and well funded, and all of them generate their own troves of secret documents, undoubtedly stretching into the many millions.

    And keep something else in mind: that’s just intelligence agencies. If you’re thinking about the full sweep of our national security state (NSS), you also have to include places like the Department of Homeland Security, the Energy Department (responsible for the US nuclear arsenal), and the Pentagon. In other words, we’re talking about the kind of secret documentation that an army of journalists, researchers, and historians wouldn’t have a hope of getting through, not in a century.

    #Snowden #NSA #surveillance

  • Syria War Stirs New U.S. Debate on Cyberattacks -

    Not long after the uprising in Syria turned bloody, late in the spring of 2011, the Pentagon and the National Security Agency developed a battle plan that featured a sophisticated cyberattack on the Syrian military and President Bashar al-Assad’s command structure.

    The Syrian military’s ability to launch airstrikes was a particular target, along with missile production facilities. “It would essentially turn the lights out for Assad,” said one former official familiar with the planning.

    For President Obama, who has been adamantly opposed to direct American intervention in a worsening crisis in Syria, such methods would seem to be an obvious, low-cost, low-casualty alternative. But after briefings on variants of the plans, most of which are part of traditional strikes as well, he has so far turned them down, according to officials familiar with the administration’s long-running internal debate.

    Syria was not a place where he saw strategic value in American intervention, and even covert attacks — of the kind he ordered against Iran during the first two years of his presidency — involved a variety of risks.

    The considerations that led Mr. Obama to hesitate about using the offensive cyberweapons his administration has spent billions helping develop, in large part with hopes that they can reduce the need for more-traditional military attacks, reflect larger concerns about a new and untested tactic with the potential to transform the nature of warfare. It is a transformation analogous to what happened when the airplane was first used in combat in World War I, a century ago.

    #cyberguerre #syrie #obama