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Panopticon of global surveillance
#1

This Really is Big Brother: The Leak Nobody's Noticed

June 23, 2013
Source: Common Dreams


This McClatchy piece (written by some of the same people who got the Iraq war run-up story so right while everyone else got it wrong) is as chilling to me as anything we've heard over the past few weeks about the NSA spying. In fact, it may be worse:


Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans' phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.
President Barack Obama's unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of "insider threat" give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.
Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material. They also show how millions of federal employees and contractors must watch for "high-risk persons or behaviors" among co-workers and could face penalties, including criminal charges, for failing to report them. Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.
"Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States," says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy.
When the free free press, explicitly protected in the bill of rights becomes equivalent to an "enemy of the United States" something very, very bad is happening.
The administration says it's doing this to protect national security and that it is willing to protect those who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse. But that is not how the effect of this sort of program is going to be felt. After all, it's being implemented across the federal government, not just in national security:
The program could make it easier for the government to stifle the flow of unclassified and potentially vital information to the public, while creating toxic work environments poisoned by unfounded suspicions and spurious investigations of loyal Americans, according to these current and former officials and experts. Some non-intelligence agencies already are urging employees to watch their co-workers for "indicators" that include stress, divorce and financial problems.

"It was just a matter of time before the Department of Agriculture or the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) started implementing, Hey, let's get people to snitch on their friends.' The only thing they haven't done here is reward it," said Kel McClanahan, a Washington lawyer who specializes in national security law. "I'm waiting for the time when you turn in a friend and you get a $50 reward."
The Defense Department anti-leak strategy obtained by McClatchy spells out a zero-tolerance policy. Security managers, it says, "must" reprimand or revoke the security clearances a career-killing penalty of workers who commit a single severe infraction or multiple lesser breaches "as an unavoidable negative personnel action."
Employees must turn themselves and others in for failing to report breaches. "Penalize clearly identifiable failures to report security infractions and violations, including any lack of self-reporting," the strategic plan says.
The Obama administration already was pursuing an unprecedented number of leak prosecutions, and some in Congress long one of the most prolific spillers of secrets favor tightening restrictions on reporters' access to federal agencies, making many U.S. officials reluctant to even disclose unclassified matters to the public.
The policy, which partly relies on behavior profiles, also could discourage creative thinking and fuel conformist "group think" of the kind that was blamed for the CIA's erroneous assessment that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction, a judgment that underpinned the 2003 U.S. invasion.
I don't know about you, but that does not sound like freedom. In fact, it sounds like something else entirely to me.
This government paranoia and informant culture is about as corrosive to the idea of freedom as it gets. The workplace is already rife with petty jealousies, and singular ambition--- it's a human organization after all. Adding in this sort of incentive structure is pretty much setting up a system for intimidation and abuse.
And, as with all informant systems, especially ones that "profile" for certain behaviors deemed to be a threat to the state, only the most conformist will thrive. It's a recipe for disaster if one is looking for any kind of dynamic, creative thinking. Clearly, that is the last these creepy bureaucrats want.
This is the direct result of a culture of secrecy that seems to be pervading the federal government under president Obama. He is not the first president to expand the national security state , nor is he responsible for the bipartisan consensus on national security or the ongoing influence of the Military Industrial Complex.This, however, is different. And he should be individually held to account for this policy.:
Administration officials say the program could help ensure that agencies catch a wide array of threats, especially if employees are properly trained in recognizing behavior that identifies potential security risks.
"If this is done correctly, an organization can get to a person who is having personal issues or problems that if not addressed by a variety of social means may lead that individual to violence, theft or espionage before it even gets to that point," said a senior Pentagon official, who requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the issue publicly.
[...]
"If the folks who are watching within an organization for that insider threat the lawyers, security officials and psychologists can figure out that an individual is having money problems or decreased work performance and that person may be starting to come into the window of being an insider threat, superiors can then approach them and try to remove that stress before they become a threat to the organization," the Pentagon official said.
The program, however, gives agencies such wide latitude in crafting their responses to insider threats that someone deemed a risk in one agency could be characterized as harmless in another. Even inside an agency, one manager's disgruntled employee might become another's threat to national security.
Obama in November approved "minimum standards" giving departments and agencies considerable leeway in developing their insider threat programs, leading to a potential hodgepodge of interpretations. He instructed them to not only root out leakers but people who might be prone to "violent acts against the government or the nation" and "potential espionage."
The Pentagon established its own sweeping definition of an insider threat as an employee with a clearance who "wittingly or unwittingly" harms "national security interests" through "unauthorized disclosure, data modification, espionage, terrorism, or kinetic actions resulting in loss or degradation of resources or capabilities."
"An argument can be made that the rape of military personnel represents an insider threat. Nobody has a model of what this insider threat stuff is supposed to look like," said the senior Pentagon official, explaining that inside the Defense Department "there are a lot of chiefs with their own agendas but no leadership."
The Department of Education, meanwhile, informs employees that co-workers going through "certain life experiences . . . might turn a trusted user into an insider threat." Those experiences, the department says in a computer training manual, include "stress, divorce, financial problems" or "frustrations with co-workers or the organization."
An online tutorial titled "Treason 101" teaches Department of Agriculture and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employees to recognize the psychological profile of spies.

A Defense Security Service online pamphlet lists a wide range of "reportable" suspicious behaviors, including working outside of normal duty hours. While conceding that not every behavior "represents a spy in our midst," the pamphlet adds that "every situation needs to be examined to determine whether our nation's secrets are at risk."
The Defense Department, traditionally a leading source of media leaks, is still setting up its program, but it has taken numerous steps. They include creating a unit that reviews news reports every day for leaks of classified defense information and implementing new training courses to teach employees how to recognize security risks, including "high-risk" and "disruptive" behaviors among co-workers, according to Defense Department documents reviewed by McClatchy.
"It's about people's profiles, their approach to work, how they interact with management. Are they cheery? Are they looking at Salon.com or The Onion during their lunch break? This is about The Stepford Wives,'" said a second senior Pentagon official, referring to online publications and a 1975 movie about robotically docile housewives. The official said he wanted to remain anonymous to avoid being punished for criticizing the program.
The emphasis on certain behaviors reminded Greenstein of her employee orientation with the CIA, when she was told to be suspicious of unhappy co-workers.
"If someone was having a bad day, the message was watch out for them," she said.
Some federal agencies also are using the effort to protect a broader range of information. The Army orders its personnel to report unauthorized disclosures of unclassified information, including details concerning military facilities, activities and personnel.
The Peace Corps, which is in the midst of implementing its program, "takes very seriously the obligation to protect sensitive information," said an email from a Peace Corps official who insisted on anonymity but gave no reason for doing so.
Granting wide discretion is dangerous, some experts and officials warned, when federal agencies are already prone to overreach in their efforts to control information flow.
The Bush administration allegedly tried to silence two former government climate change experts from speaking publicly on the dangers of global warming. More recently, the FDA justified the monitoring of the personal email of its scientists and doctors as a way to detect leaks of unclassified information.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#2

How innocent citizens become terror suspects



Intelligence agencies in the US and Britain collect enormous amounts of data to track down terrorists. But they don't operate with great accuracy. Innocent citizens can also attract the attention of secret services.
When revelations about the US spying program 'Prism' had been causing a great stir for a week already, US President Barack Obama stepped in and tried to calm everybody down. In a TV interview he said the American secret service NSA (National Security Agency) consisted of "extraordinary professionals; they are dedicated to keeping the American people safe." But those extraordinary professionals are not tasked with analyzing the data - that's the job of computers. That's why the list of suspicious people does not just consist of terrorists. Ordinary people end up on it, too.


Spy scandal debate





For you to become a target of the intelligence agencies it's enough if you have a neighbor who pursues suspicious activities, said Markus Beckedahl, an internet expert with German blog netzpolitik.org. "Your mobile phone will often be in use near where your neighbor uses his. That creates a certain pattern and it makes you suspicious, too." If your profile accidentally overlaps with others' that will also cause suspicion, for instance "if there's a terrorist somewhere who happens to order the same books as you and surf on the same websites," explained Beckedahl.
Links between people are the new keywords
Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, many political scientists were falsely suspected because as part of their job they conducted online searches about the Arab World. Since then, US intelligence agencies have not only seen a major budget increase, they have also improved their search methods. "People who are actually preparing a terror attack will neither communicate names, nor target areas nor their organization. That's why the agencies no longer focus on the content of communication - what has A said to B but rather on communication patterns," said Wolfgang Krieger, an expert on intelligence agencies. The links between people are now the focus - in social networks but also in terms of money transfers through banks or via mobile phone connections.
NSA headquarters in Fort Meade
There are reports that NSA and the British secret service GCHQ are capable of processing an exabyte of data. An exabyte is one billion gigabytes. Storage space is becoming cheaper, and internet expert Markus Beckedahl assumes that enormous amounts of data are already being stored permanently. Permanent storage, however, increases the risk that links can be established between individual people that result in a suspicious profile, he added.
Entry made difficult - not just into the US
"But you'll only find out about it when you can't access certain mobile phone tariffs any more simply because it's a provider that would have made it more difficult to eavesdrop on your phone talks - or when you're denied entry into the US because you're on a so-called no-fly-list'," said Markus Beckedahl. There have been many cases where US bound planes were suddenly denied landing because they had a passenger on board whose name was on the secret no fly list' - which means they're denied entry to the US. The most prominent example in recent times was singer Cat Stevens who a few years ago took on the name Yusuf Islam.
In Europe, customs controls are often a place for travelers to find out about data transfers they had no idea about. "I know people who took part in the protests against nuclear waste transports in Germany and who are thoroughly checked every time they are trying to enter England," said Markus Beckedahl. That's because on the one hand, environmental protests border on acts of terrorism in Britain and on the other because there is an international exchange on those activists.
http://www.dw.de/how-innocent-citizens-b...a-16934329

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#3

PRISM & purity': NSA follows Nazi tradition

[Image: 24.a.jpg]Max Keiser, the host of RT's Keiser Report,' is a former stockbroker, the inventor of the virtual specialist technology, virtual currencies, and prediction markets.


Published time: July 09, 2013 11:18


AFP Photo / DPA / Peter Steffen

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DNA is data. Thanks to the scientific work of Watson and Crick and their discovery of the double-helix and all its component parts in the DNA strands that make up all living cells, we know that humans are made up of data. To microbiologists and bio-engineers, this information means the development of drugs and treatments for illnesses - leading to more healthy, better lives. The NSA in America is following in the Nazi tradition in its attempt to discriminate based on data collection, modeled around their belief system - which justifies trashing the Constitution in pursuit of pure' data.
For dystopian, nightmarish autocrats and megalomaniacs, data can be interpreted as a way to segregate populations based on outward traits such as skin color, physical appearance, family history and cultural affinities. The National Socialist Party in Germany back in the 1930s used this access and warehousing of data as the basis for their attempt to create a pure' race of people: unquestioning of authority, uniform in appearance - with homicidal and genocidal tendencies. They succeeded. Purity of data; mostly drawn from inferences from DNA data resulted in a singularly genocidal group of uniform-looking killers who lauded pure' DNA-types and went about exterminating the others (while transferring these fellow citizens' wealth; the real reason behind the pogrom).
The NSA in America, similar to Nazi's attempt to discriminate based on data collection, justifies trashing the Constitution in pursuit of pure' data. It's not about Aryan blood this time, but identifying pure, patriots' whose emails, data searches, emails, credit card charges, online chats, cell phone chats, physical mail (being photographed), fingerprints, and blood samples must pass through data-mining's Big Data' purity analyzer to make certain that every American - no, correct that, everyone on Earth who interacts digitally - is pure of heart and spirit (read: willing to shop themselves to death). All dissenters will be arrested. All assemblies will be broken up. All attempts at nonconformity will be met with harsh prison sentences.
David S. Holloway / Reportage by Getty Images

If America's Big Data' is new Nazism, who are the scapegoats?

The scapegoats being marked for death and imprisoned this time are the poor. Back in Hitler's day, the rich were targeted; their wealth stolen and the lives snuffed out, but this time it's the poor who are being sent to the Gulag.
The top 1 Basis Point (formally known as the top 1 percent - but that included too much riff raff, so now it's the top 1/100th of 1 percent or basis point') needs to keep their Ponzi scheme of inflating worthless bonds higher, by front running' markets and creating a blitzkrieg of Weapons of Mass Financial Destruction' using data-intensive algorithms.
The Data Death Machines are running at the speed of HFT (High Frequency Trading) bots; billions of transactions a second to keep the flow of money flowing from billions to the rent-seeking neo-Nazis who run the four biggest banks in the UK (the global center of accounting fraud and market manipulation) and other banks in New York, Paris and Frankfurt.

Will the resistance succeed in beating the new data Nazis? People in Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and cities all over the world are rising up against their data oppressors. Edward Snowden has emerged as a new global hero, along with WikiLeaks and Glenn Greenwald; men who embody the spirit of the founders of the United States of America (going back 200 years) when individual freedom and transparency were still considered valuable commodities.
Will the data-Nazis be defeated by Russia in the way Russia beat the Nazis back in World War II? Where is the new Stalingrad? Carrying through with this analogy we should look to data autocrats like Oracle, Google, Facebook and the big phone companies around the world as the new axis powers that need to be defeated in this new war of privacy vs. tyranny.
http://rt.com/op-edge/prism-nsa-follows-...5Y.twitter
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#4
Quote:

WHAT THE GOV'T PAYS INDUSTRY TO SNOOP

By ANNE FLAHERTY


Jul. 10 12:14 PM EDT

You are here

Home » AP Organization » What the gov't pays industry to snoop
In the era of intense government surveillance and secret court orders, a murky multimillion-dollar market has emerged. Paid for by U.S. tax dollars, but with little public scrutiny, surveillance fees charged in secret by technology and phone companies can vary wildly.
AT&T, for example, imposes a $325 "activation fee" for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it. Smaller carriers Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge only about $250 per wiretap. But snoop on a Verizon customer? That costs the government $775 for the first month and $500 each month after that, according to industry disclosures made last year to Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass.
Meanwhile, email records like those amassed by the National Security Agency through a program revealed by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden probably were collected for free or very cheaply. Facebook says it doesn't charge the government for access. And while Microsoft, Yahoo and Google won't say how much they charge, the American Civil Liberties Union found that email records can be turned over for as little as $25.
Industry says it doesn't profit from the hundreds of thousands of government eavesdropping requests it receives each year, and civil liberties groups want businesses to charge. They worry that government surveillance will become too cheap as companies automate their responses. And if companies gave away customer records for free, wouldn't that encourage gratuitous surveillance?
But privacy advocates also want companies to be upfront about what they charge and alert customers after an investigation has concluded that their communications were monitored.
"What we don't want is surveillance to become a profit center," said Christopher Soghoian, the ACLU's principal technologist. But "it's always better to charge $1. It creates friction, and it creates transparency" because it generates a paper trail that can be tracked.
Regardless of price, the surveillance business is growing. The U.S. government long has enjoyed access to phone networks and high-speed Internet traffic under the U.S. Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act to catch suspected criminals and terrorists. More recently, the FBI has pushed technology companies like Google and Skype to guarantee access to real-time communications on their services. And, as shown by recent disclosures about the NSA's surveillance practices, the U.S. intelligence community has an intense interest in analyzing data and content that flow through American technology companies to gather foreign intelligence.
The FBI said it could not say how much it spends on industry reimbursements because payments are made through a variety of programs, field offices and case funds. In an emailed statement, the agency said when charges are questionable, it requests an explanation and tries to work with the carrier to understand its cost structure.
Technology companies have been a focus of law enforcement and the intelligence community since 1994, when Congress allotted $500 million to reimburse phone companies to retrofit their equipment to accommodate wiretaps on the new digital networks.
But as the number of law enforcement requests for data grew and carriers upgraded their technology, the cost of accommodating government surveillance requests increased. AT&T, for example, said it devotes roughly 100 employees to review each request and hand over data. Likewise, Verizon said its team of 70 employees works around the clock, seven days a week to handle the quarter-million requests it gets each year.
To discourage extraneous requests and to prevent losing money, industry turned to a section of federal law that allows companies to be reimbursed for the cost of "searching for, assembling, reproducing and otherwise providing" communications content or records on behalf of the government. The costs must be "reasonably necessary" and "mutually agreed" upon with the government.
From there, phone companies developed detailed fee schedules and began billing law enforcement much as they do customers. In its letter to Markey, AT&T estimated that it collected $24 million in government reimbursements between 2007 and 2011. Verizon, which had the highest fees but says it doesn't charge in every case, reported a similar amount, collecting between $3 million and $5 million a year during the same period.
Companies also began to automate their systems to make it easier. The ACLU's Soghoian found in 2009 that Sprint had created a website allowing law enforcement to track the location data of its wireless customers for only $30 a month to accommodate the approximately 8 million requests it received in one year.
Most companies agree not to charge in emergency cases like tracking an abducted child. They also aren't allowed to charge for phone logs that reveal who called a line and how long they talked such as the documents the Justice Department obtained about phones at The Associated Press during a leaks investigation because that information is easily generated from automated billing systems.
Still, the fees can add up quickly. The average wiretap is estimated to cost $50,000, a figure that includes reimbursements as well as other operational costs. One narcotics case in New York in 2011 cost the government $2.9 million alone.
The system isn't a true market-based solution, said Al Gidari, a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie who represents technology and telecommunications companies on privacy and security issues. If the FBI or NSA needs data, those agencies would pay whatever it takes. But Gidari said it's likely that phone and technology companies undercharge because they don't want to risk being accused of making a false claim against the government, which carries stiff penalties.
Online companies in particular tend to undercharge because they don't have established accounting systems, and hiring staff to track costs is more expensive than not charging the government at all, he said.
"Government doesn't have the manpower to wade through irrelevant material any more than providers have the bandwidth to bury them in records," Gidari said. "In reality, there is a pretty good equilibrium and balance, with the exception of phone records," which are free.
Not everyone agrees.
In 2009, then-New York criminal prosecutor John Prather sued several major telecommunications carriers in federal court in Northern California in 2009, including AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, for overcharging federal and state police agencies. In his complaint, Prather said phone companies have the technical ability to turn on a switch, duplicate call information and pass it along to law enforcement with little effort. Instead, Prather says his staff, while he was working as a city prosecutor, would receive convoluted bills with extraneous fees. That case is pending.
"They were monstrously more than what the telecoms could ever hope to charge for similar services in an open, competitive market, and the costs charged to the governments by telecoms did not represent reasonable prices as defined in the code of federal regulations," the lawsuit said.






The phone companies have asked the judge to dismiss the case. Prather's lawsuit claims whistle-blower status. If he wins, he stands to collect a percentage estimated anywhere from 12 percent to 25 percent of the money recovered from the companies.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/price-sur...pays-snoop
The government's been getting data from phone carriers like AT&T and Verizon -- but not for free. "Virtually every company out there, technology company or telecommunications company charges the government, with the exception of Facebook -- which gives it away for free," says Anne Flaherty, a technology policy reporter for the AP.

The law says that when law enforcement officers and security bureaus like the NSA need data from cell phone or Internet companies and "it puts the business out, [those companies] have a right to be compensated." Flaherty says that since phone companies have had two decades of experience working with the law, "they've developed these really sophisticated fee lists." Verizon, for example, charges $775 for the first month of wiretapping and $500 for each month after that. AT&T sets up its bill a bit differently, with a $325 "activation fee" per wiretap plus $10 a day to maintain it.

[Image: NSA-V12.jpg]
Flaherty says she asked the FBI how much they spent in total wiretapping "and they said we can't give you a topline figure. We don't know how much we spend on reimbursements because it's divided up across the budget with every field office and every program."
She says it seems unlikely that phone companies are making much, if any, profit from the federal government, even if the rates may seem high. But she also adds: there's really no way to know.
http://www.marketplace.org/topics/tech/e...Gs.twitter
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#5
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#6

The NSA Has Inserted Its Code Into Android OS, Or Three Quarters Of All Smartphones


[Image: picture-5.jpg]
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/09/2013 20:34 -0400


Over a decade ago, it was discovered that the NSA embedded backdoor access into Windows 95, and likely into virtually all other subsequent internet connected, desktop-based operating systems. However, with the passage of time, more and more people went "mobile", and as a result the NSA had to adapt. And adapt they have: as Bloomberg reports, "The NSA is quietly writing code for Google's Android OS."
Is it ironic that the same "don't be evil" Google which went to such great lengths in the aftermath of the Snowden scandal to wash its hands of snooping on its customers and even filed a request with the secretive FISA court asking permission to disclose more information about the government's data requests, is embedding NSA code into its mobile operating system, which according to IDC runs on three-quarters of all smartphones shipped in the first quarter? Yes, yes it is.
Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano confirms that the company has already inserted some of the NSA's programming in Android OS. "All Android code and contributors are publicly available for review at source.android.com." Scigliano says, declining to comment further.
From Bloomberg:
Through its open-source Android project, Google has agreed to incorporate code, first developed by the agency in 2011, into future versions of its mobile operating system, which according to market researcher IDC runs on three-quarters of the smartphones shipped globally in the first quarter. NSA officials say their code, known as Security Enhancements for Android, isolates apps to prevent hackers and marketers from gaining access to personal or corporate data stored on a device. Eventually all new phones, tablets, televisions, cars, and other devices that rely on Android will include NSA code, agency spokeswoman Vanee' Vines said in an e-mailed statement. NSA researcher Stephen Smalley, who works on the program, says, "Our goal is to raise the bar in the security of commodity mobile devices."
See, there's no need to worry: the reason the NSA is generously providing the source code for every Google-based smartphone is for your own security. Oh but it's open-sourced, so someone else will intercept any and all attempts at malice. We forgot.
The story continues:
In a 2011 presentation obtained by Bloomberg Businessweek, Smalley listed among the benefits of the program that it's "normally invisible to users." The program's top goal, according to that presentation: "Improve our understanding of Android security."
Well one wouldn't want their bug to be visible to users now, would one...
Vines wouldn't say whether the agency's work on Android and other software is part of or helps with Prism. "The source code is publicly available for anyone to use, and that includes the ability to review the code line by line," she said in her statement. Most of the NSA's suggested additions to the operating system can already be found buried in Google's latest releaseon newer devices including Sony's Xperia Z, HTC's One, and Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S4. Although the features are not turned on by default, according to agency documentation, future versions will be. In May the Pentagon approved the use of smartphones and tablets that run Samsung's mobile enterprise software, Knox, which also includes NSA programming, the company wrote in a June white paper. Sony, HTC, and Samsung declined to comment.
Apple appears to be immune from this unprecedented breach of customer loyalty, if only for now, although open-sourced Linux may not be as lucky:
"Apple (AAPL) does not accept source code from any government agencies for any of our operating systems or other products," says Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for the company. It's not known if any other proprietary operating systems are using NSA code. SE for Android is an offshoot of a long-running NSA project called Security-Enhanced Linux. That code was integrated a decade ago into the main version of the open-source operating system, the server platform of choice for Internet leaders including Google, Facebook (FB), and Yahoo! (YHOO). Jeff Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation, says the NSA didn't add any obvious means of eavesdropping. "This code was peer-reviewed by a lot of people," he says.
But that's not all:
The NSA developed a separate Android project because Google's mobile OS required markedly different programming, according to Smalley's 2011 presentation. Brian Honan, an information technology consultant in Dublin, says his clients in European governments and multinational corporations are worried about how vulnerable their data are when dealing with U.S. companies. The information security world had been preoccupied with Chinese hacking until recently, Honan says. "With Prism, the same accusations can be laid against the U.S. government."
In short: the (big brother supervised) fun never stops in Stasi 2.0 world. Just buy your 100 P/E stocks, eat your burgers, watch your Dancing With The Stars, pay your taxes, and engage in as much internet contact with other internet-addicted organisms as possible and all shall be well.
Oh, and from this...
[Image: phone_bug.gif]
To this (courtesy of @paradism_)
[URL="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/07/your%20move%20NSA.jpg"][Image: your%20move%20NSA.jpg]
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-09...martphones[/URL]
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#7
Quote:"Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States," says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy

The military-intelligence-industrial complex is essentially stroking the Inner Nazi in every corporate manager and saying:

"If any of your employees challenges the ethics or integrity of your decisions just label them an Insider Threat, and they're done. They'll never work again. We guarantee it."
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
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#8
The Russian FSB are going back to typewriters as a means to improve security. http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?...Id=6495414

Edited to add maybe not.
Quote:An order of old-fashioned typewriters from the Russian Federal Guard Service (FSO) has sparked a media storm, with assumptions that the low-tech equipment purchase was prompted by recent US intelligence leaks surrounding the NSA surveillance program.
The FSO, a body tasked with protecting Russia's president and other high-ranking officials, has issued an order of 20 electric portable typewriters, according to an announcement on the state procurement agency website, zakupki.gov.ru.

The agency has ordered typewriters capable of both Russian and Latin typeface. The equipment is to have been produced no earlier than 2012, with total cost just over 486,000 rubles (US$15,000).

The news triggered a media frenzy, with many journalists assuming the move was connected with the Kremlin's concerns over the revelations leaked by former CIA employee Edward Snowden.

"After scandals surrounding the distribution of secret documents by WikiLeaks, the [revelations] by Edward Snowden, and reports about Dmitry Medvedev being listened on during his visit to the G20 summit in London, it has been decided to expand the practice of creating paper documents," an unnamed FSO source told Russia's Izvestia newspaper.

The news was quickly picked up by the international media, with USA TODAY's headline reading, "Spooked by NSA, Russia reverts to paper documents." The Guardian's headline read, "Russian guard service reverts to typewriters after NSA leaks."

However, a source from the guard service told RT that all Russian special services have always used typewriters. He said that it was simply time to buy new ones because the old equipment was out of date.

"It's not something unusual...the time came to change them. Everyone has these typewriters the Emergencies Ministry, Ministry of Defense, every special service has them," the source said.


Another source confirmed to Itar-Tass news agency that typewriters have always been used for work and it is "a regular practice to provide information security."
[URL="http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?u=http://www.zakupki.gov.ru/pgz/public/action/orders/info/common_info/show?notificationId=6495414"]
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"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#9
View full contract here
[Image: 12-07-2013-11-09-08-AM.jpg]The US government compelled Telstra and Hong Kong-based PCCW to give it access to their undersea cables for spying on communications traffic entering and leaving the US.

Telstra was compelled to strike a secret 2001 deal with the FBI and the US Department of Justice to give them surveillance access to the undersea cables owned by its subsidiary Reach, a new document released online and provided to Crikey reveals.

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#10
Beyond NSA spying: It isn't just phone calls and emails
by gjohnsit Jul 11, 2013 6:10pm PDT
Everything you put out on the internet, whether it is text messages, phone calls, emails, or web browsing, is being collected by the NSA.
That much is proven. Only the amount of data that is being analyzed is up for debate.
However, it doesn't stop there.

Don't be evil
Remember when the Google executive proclaimed that Google was "not in cahoots with NSA"?
Boy they must have had quite the laugh at Google headquarters. It turns out that Google is doing far more than just letting the NSA peek at their servers.
Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano confirms that the company has already inserted some of the NSA's programming in Android OS. "All Android code and contributors are publicly available for review at source.android.com," Scigliano says, declining to comment further....
NSA officials say their code, known as Security Enhancements for Android, isolates apps to prevent hackers and marketers from gaining access to personal or corporate data stored on a device. Eventually all new phones, tablets, televisions, cars, and other devices that rely on Android will include NSA code, agency spokeswoman Vanee' Vines said in an e-mailed statement.
The code is to enhance security. Right. Because the NSA is all about helping people keep their secrets. The Android operating system is on 75% of all smart phones and tablets. Chances are you are already using one.
"Your privacy is our priority"
Chances are if you use a computer at home or work then you use a Microsoft Windows machine.
Microsoft blazed a trail with corporate cooperation with the NSA.
All the way back in 1999 people have known that Microsoft put a backdoor into their Windows operating system for the NSA.
However, the extent of Microsoft's complicity was only revealed yesterday.
Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.The documents show that:
Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;
The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;
So if you are using a Microsoft product, whether it be Skype, Hotmail, or Windows, and you take every security measure to ensure your privacy, the NSA can still break your encryption. What these Microsoft and Google measures indicate is that the spying efforts go beyond just what you voluntarily send out on the internet. These are backdoors into your smart phone, tablet and home computer. If the NSA wants, and your phone or computer is turned on, they can check out the information on our hard drive whether you have encrypted it or not.
The FBI wants a backdoor to ALL software.
So then turn your phone off. That should be enough, right? Wrong.
The FBI can listen to everything you say, even when the cell phone is turned off. A recent court ruling in a case against the Genovese crime family revealed that the FBI has the ability from a remote location to activate a cell phone and turn its microphone into a listening device that transmits to an FBI listening post, a method known as a "roving bug." Experts say the only way to defeat it is to remove the cell phone battery.
Government computer spying isn't just a passive thing. They have become very assertive, and that includes creating computer virus.
Evidence suggest that the virus, dubbed Flame, may have been built on behalf of the same nation or nations that commissioned the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran's nuclear program in 2010 [i.e. the U.S. and Israel], according to Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cyber security software maker that took credit for discovering the infections.
Flame can gather data files, remotely change settings on computers, turn on PC microphones to record conversations, take screen shots and log instant messaging chats.
That the government is actually developing computer virus is amazing. Not for who they design the virus for, but because virus spread in unexpected ways. There is virtually a 100% chance that innocent and unintended people are going to get infected. After all wars governments use the technology they developed for commercial purposes. Well, the cyberwar has just started.
German police have already been caught using trojan virus to spy on people and take control of their webcams.
Hackers have started doing the same thing.
So you live in the stone age. No computer or cell phone? Then you are safe from spying, right? Wrong.
Surreptitious activation of built-in microphones by the FBI has been done before. A 2003 lawsuit revealed that the FBI was able to surreptitiously turn on the built-in microphones in automotive systems like General Motors' OnStar to snoop on passengers' conversations.
OK. So you don't have a modern car either. That should deter spying, right? Wrong.
After signing up with the German smart-meter firm Discovergy, the researchers detected that the company's devices transmitted unencrypted data from the home devices back to the company's servers over an insecure link. The researchers, Dario Carluccio and Stephan Brinkhaus, intercepted the supposedly confidential and sensitive information, and, based on the fingerprint of power usage, were able to tell not only whether or not the homeowners were home, away or even sleeping, but also what movie they were watching on TV.
A really detaled smart meter can see what TV shows you watch and scan for copywrite protection on your DVDs. Smart meter energy usage is used to bust pot growers. Insurance companies could use the information from a smart meter to determine dietary and obesity trends or uses of a specific medical device. It doesn't stop there. Private security cameras can be accessed
Why?
Why do these big technology companies help the government's spying efforts?
Many people like to imply that they are being forced to cooperate with an obtrusive government, but they are kidding themselves.
One ex-CIA agent says that the CIA helped bankroll Google at its start. Is that true? It's hard to say, but what is known is that the CIA and Google have abusiness partnership called Recorded Future.
It's not the very first time Google has done business with America's spy agencies. Long before it reportedly enlisted the help of the National Security Agency to secure its networks, Google sold equipment to the secret signals-intelligence group. In-Q-Tel backed the mapping firm Keyhole, which was bought by Google in 2004 and then became the backbone for Google Earth.
Google has been working with our spy agencies for a very long time. It doesn't sound like Google or Microsoft need to have their arms twisted. Big companies have financial reasons to cooperate with the government's spying.
Wall Street banks spied on Occupy protestors with tax-funded monitoring centers. Plans for the center were created years before the protests.
It is estimated that 23,000 representatives of private industry are working with Homeland Security and the FBI to collect information on other Americans.
In return, members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public, and at times before elected officials. "There is evidence that InfraGard may be closer to a corporate Total Information Awareness program (TIPS), turning private-sector corporationssome of which may be in a position to observe the activities of millions of individual customersinto surrogate eyes and ears for the FBI," according to an ACLU report titled "The Surveillance-Industrial Complex: How the American Government Is Conscripting Businesses and Individuals in the Construction of a Surveillance Society."
So called "Fusion Centers" have been set up all over the country, run by the DoJ and Homeland Security.
Participation in fusion centers might give Boeing access to the trade secrets or security vulnerabilities of competing companies, or might give it an advantage in competing for government contracts. Expecting a Boeing analyst to distinguish between information that represents a security risk to Boeing and information that represents a business risk may be too much to ask.
And that is a clue as to why corporations are tripping over each other to help out our spy agencies.
There is evidence of CIA and executive branch officials acting on information about top-secret authorization of coups to front-run markets. Selling insider information 5 minutes before the general market gets it can make someone a lot of money. A lot of money.
This includes things like Federal Reserve minutes.
"At this time, we do not know whether there was any trading related to inadvertent early distribution of the minutes," a Fed spokesman said.
More than 100 people, primarily congressional staffers and employees of trade associations, had received the minutes of the Fed's March policy meeting around 2 p.m. on Tuesday -- about 24 hours before their scheduled public release.
The minutes, which suggested policymakers were nearing a decision on tapering their bond purchases, pushed prices for U.S. government debt lower and helped lift the dollar to a four-year high against the yen after they were released broadly Wednesday morning.
The most obvious case of someone using insider information from an intelligence agency to front-run the markets was the infamous airline shorts made the afternoon before 9/11.
Sources tell CBS News that the afternoon before the attack, alarm bells were sounding over unusual trading in the U.S. stock options market.
An extraordinary number of trades were betting that American Airlines stock price would fall.
The trades are called "puts" and they involved at least 450,000 shares of American. But what raised the red flag is more than 80 percent of the orders were "puts", far outnumbering "call" options, those betting the stock would rise.
Sources say they have never seen that kind of imbalance before, reports CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. Normally the numbers are fairly even.
After the terrorist attacks, American Airline stock price did fall obviously by 39 percent, and according to sources, that translated into well over $5 million total profit for the person or persons who bet the stock would fall.
At least one Wall Street firm reported their suspicions about this activity to the SEC shortly after the attack.
This much is well known. No one ever came to collect on those short positions, so we'll never know for certain who placed them.
What isn't as well known is the SEC response.
This letter is in response to your request seeking access to and copies of the documentary evidence referred to in footnote 130 of Chapter 5 of the September 11 (9/11) Commission Report.
*
We have been advised that the potentially responsive records have been destroyed.
I have long suspected that the SEC was the most incompetent agency in the government, but now I'm thinking it is by design. However, the most obvious way that corporations can benefit from the government is through police-enforced protection from protestors and activists.
For instance, protesting against fracking can get you labelled a terrorist. So can distributing counterfeit DVDs and cigarettes. In fact the act of selling mixed CDs can bring in SWAT teams.
Videotaping animal abuse at a factory farm is now considered a terrorist act.
9:00 PM PT: How much does it cost the taxpayer for the government to spy on you? A lot.
AT&T, for example, imposes a $325 "activation fee" for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it. Smaller carriers Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge only about $250 per wiretap. But snoop on a Verizon customer? That costs the government $775 for the first month and $500 each month after that, according to industry disclosures made last year to Congressman Edward Markey.Meanwhile, email records like those amassed by the National Security Agency through a program revealed by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden probably were collected for free or very cheaply. Facebook says it doesn't charge the government for access. And while Microsoft, Yahoo and Google won't say how much they charge, the American Civil Liberties Union found that email records can be turned over for as little as $25.
http://m.dailykos.com/stories/1222870
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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