Thursday, November 07, 2013

133.5 - More on NSA spying

More on NSA spying

So, have you heard the latest on the listening? The listening, of course, being that done by the NSA, now busily defending every new discovery by invoking the magic talisman "9/11" as part of a conscious PR strategy. Literally: A master list of NSA talking points obtained by Al Jazeera America through a Freedom of Information Act filing has 9/11 references at the top of a listing of "sound bites that resonate," such as “I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that we were not able to prevent.”

As I said last week, this is crappola: Despite claims that the previously-secret programs had stopped 54 terrorist plots, NSA Director Keith Starship Captain Alexander admitted last month in only "one or possibly two" of those cases did the massive spying make any difference and Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall said the NSA's dragnet of phone data "played little or no role" in those 54 cases.

But anyway, what's the new stuff? It's this: A week ago, the Washington Post reported that the NSA has secretly broken into the main links connecting Google and Yahoo data centers around the world. This gives them unrestricted access to everything - everything - moving through the networks of either of those internet giants.

And I do mean everything: The Post reports than an internal NSA document, dated January 9, 2013 and among those released by Edward Snowden, says that in the preceding 30 days, field collectors had processed and sent back over 181 million new records - ranging from “metadata,” which would indicate who sent or received e-mails and when, to actual content such as text, audio, and video.

The Post also says that when two Google techs were shown the image on the left, which came from a National Security Agency presentation on “Google Cloud Exploitation,” they "exploded in profanities."

I'm sure part of the reason for that reaction is that we've heard about PRISM, the NSA's program to tap into the servers of a number of internet corporations to extract data. However, that refers - at least hypothetically - to data the companies either willingly give up in response to a request or unwillingly in respose to an order from the secret FISA Court. You might well call the the front door: The companies knew about this (even though some tried to deny it or be evasive about it) and knew what was going on.

This new revelation, under a project called MUSCULAR, is then the back door. This is not someone at the front door looking for a donation, this is the sneak thief breaking in the back to steal whatever looks good to them; it's the embezzeler trying to suck out the goodies without you even knowing it's going on. Now, no, of course the data doesn't disappear from the Google or Yahoo cloud, it's just copied, but the image still works: Companies who thought they were cooperating with the feds have learned that their data is being ripped off behind their backs.

The data links being exploited, of course, are outside the US, where, thanks to the rigorous oversight of Congressional leaders and our carefully-crafted laws, the NSA can pretty much do whatever it dang well wants because after all, if the data is outside the US it must be about foreigners which makes absolutely no sense but don't worry because the NSA swears it doesn't ever ever ever spy on Americans nosiree honest to gosh.

And don't you feel better.


No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');