Sir Tim Berners-Lee accuses government of 'draconian' internet snooping
posted by Keito
2012-09-06 20:47:39'The inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has accused the government of invading the privacy by monitoring internet use.
Sir Tim warned that plans to monitor individuals' use of the internet would result in Britain losing its reputation as an upholder of web freedom
The plans, by Theresa May, would force service providers to keep records of every phone call, email and website visit in Britain.
Sir Tim told the Times: "“In Britain, like in the US, there has been a series of Bills that would give government very strong powers to, for example, collect data. I am worried about that."
Yesterday was the launch of the World Wide Web Foundation's first global Web Index analysing the state of the web in 61 countries using indicators such as the political, economic and social impact of the web, connectivity and use.
Britain came third in the list which was topped by Sweden and the United States in second place.
Speaking at the launch, Sir Tim said that Britain would soon slip down the rankings if the draft Communications Data Bill became law.
“If the UK introduces draconian legislation that allows the Government to block websites or to snoop on people, which decreases privacy, in future indexes they may find themselves farther down the list,” he said.
The draft bill extends the type of data that internet service providers must store for at least 12 months. Providers would also be required to keep details of a much wider set of data, including use of social network sites, webmail and voice calls over the internet.
Mrs May has justified the need for the new legislation by saying that it is necessary to combat organised crime and terrorism.
Sir Tim's comments came on the same day as he denied that there was an 'off'; switch for the internet.
He said the only way the internet could only ever be completely shut down is if governments across the world coordinated to make it a centralised system:
"At the moment, because countries connect to each other in lots of different ways, there is no one off switch, there is no central place where you can turn it off.
"In order to be able to turn the whole thing off or really block, suppress one particular idea then the countries and governments would have to get together and agree and coordinate and turn it from a decentralised system to being a centralised system.
"And if that does happen it is really important that everybody fights against that sort of direction."'
FBI denies link to leak of 12 million Apple codes
posted by Keito
2012-09-06 19:57:13Following on from the leaked Apple UDID codes earlier this week, the FBI has come out saying "We never had info in question. Bottom Line: TOTALLY FALSE"... Funny that! =) It couldn't possibly be that a 3 letter agency is lying to the public and gathering information about innocent civilians via any means at hand?... Could it?!
The BBC covers it as such:
'The FBI says there is "no evidence" that a hacker group gained access to 12 million identifying codes for Apple devices via an FBI agent's laptop.
AntiSec, a hacker group, posted a file on the internet on Monday that it said contained more than one million of Apple's so-called UDID codes.
UDIDs are a 40-character string unique to each Apple device.
AntiSec said it gained the codes from the laptop of an FBI agent called Christopher Stangl.
Mr Stangl works in the bureau's Regional Cyber Action Team, Wired Magazine reports.
AntiSec suggested that the 12 million codes were being used by the FBI to track the associated users.
Along with the posted file, the group said in a statement that it had only released one million IDs and had scrubbed identifying information, including full names, telephone numbers and addresses.
Commenting on the AntiSec revelation, the FBI said it had no indication of any link to its agent or computer.
"At this time there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data," the bureau said in a statement on Tuesday.
Peter Kruse, an e-crime specialist with CSIS Security Group in Denmark, tweeted on Tuesday that the leak "is real" and that he confirmed three of his own devices in the data.
Johannes Ullrich of the SANS Internet Storm Center told the AFP that while "there is nothing else in the file that would implicate the FBI... it is not clear who would have a file like this".
Hackers identifying themselves with AntiSec have made previous hits this year on the websites of Panda Labs' anti-malware products and New York Ironwork - a company that sells equipment to US police.'
For those that want to take a look at the source of this leak, check it out here. It reads as follows...
"Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that's what."
― Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
we share ideas sometimes through the voice of twitter.com/@AnonymousIRC
so then there is where to look for news.
So well, some of you know what we were at during these last long weeks, and
probably less people know we were also testing new stuff and shits for our next
so, whatever. Happy to bring this Special #FFF Edition to you (so special that's
even not on friday), again for the utterly lulz.
we have written our very honest statement here, ofc it was intended for those
who are truely interested on reading it, for those fellows who dont give a fuck
about ideology and who are just lurking for the candy, skip it and jump
directly to the candy and lulzy part titled: Candy and Lulzy part. we hope you
find it useful as well as funny. and for those who dont care about the whole
fucking shit... wtf r u doing here?? go and download a movie.
so here we go...
just a comment: we are still waiting for published news about the
$ 2 billions worth loans Assad has taken from Russia,
mentioned on the syrian mails
and also about the transfer of money to austrian banks etc....
and also cocks...
So, don't be lazy journos and look for them.
a few words.
"For when all else is done, only words remain. Words endure."
In July 2012 NSA's General Keith Alexander (alias the Bilderberg Biddy) spoke
at Defcon, the hacker conference in Las Vegas, wearing jeans and a cool EFF
t-shirt (LOL. Wtf was that?). He was trying to seduce hackers into improving
Internet security and colonoscopy systems, and to recruit them, ofc, for his
future cyberwars. It was an amusing hypocritical attempt made by the system to
flatter hackers into becoming tools for the state, while his so-righteous
employer hunts any who doesn't bow to them like fucking dogs.
We got the message.
We decided we'd help out Internet security by auditing FBI first. We all know
by now they make Internet insecure on purpose to help their bottom line. But
it's a shitty job, especially since they decided to hunt us down and jail our
It's the old double standard that has been around since the 80's. Govt Agencies
are obsessed with witchhunts against hackers worldwide, whilst they also
recruit hackers to carry out their own political agendas.
You are forbidden to outsmart the system, to defy it, to work around it. In
short, while you may hack for the status quo, you are forbidden to hack the
status quo. Just do what you're told. Don't worry about dirty geopolitical
games, that's business for the elite. They're the ones that give dancing orders
to our favorite general, Keith, while he happily puts on a ballet tutu. Just
dance along, hackers. Otherwise... well...
In 1989 hagbard (23yrs old) was murdered after being involved into cold war spy
games related to KGB and US. Tron, another hacker, was
murdered in 1998 (aged 26) after messing around with a myriad of cryptographic
stuff (yeah, it's usually a hot item) and after making cryptophon easily
accesible for the masses. And then you have Gareth Williams (31), the GCHQ
hacker murdered and "bagged" inside a MI6's "safe" house (we'd hate to see what
the unsafe ones look like) in August of 2010 after talking about being curious
about leaking something to Wikileaks with fellow hackers on irc. And the list
goes on. It's easy to cover up when they want to, hackers often have complex
personalities, so faking their suicide fits well.
You are welcome to hack what the system wants you to hack. If not, you will be
Jeremy Hammond faces the rest of his productive life in prison for being an
ideological motivated political dissident. He was twice jailed for following
his own beliefs. He worked until the end to uncover corruption and the
connivance between the state and big corporations. He denounces the abuses and
bribes of the US prison system, and he's again facing that abuse and torture at
the hands of authorities.
Last year, Bradley Manning was tortured after allegedly giving WikiLeaks
confidential data belonging to US govt... oh shit. The world shouldn't know how
some soldiers enjoy killing people and even less when they kill journalists. Of
course, the common housewife doesn't deserve to know the truth about the
hypocrisy in the international diplomacy or how world dictators spend money in
luxury whilst their own people starve. Yep, the truth belongs only to the
elite, and if you are not part of them (forget it, that won't happen), fuck
People are frustrated, they feel the system manipulating them more than ever.
Never underestimate the power of frustrated people.
For the last few years we have broke into systems belonging to Governments and
Big corporations just to find out they are spending millions of tax dollars to
spy on their citizens. They work to discredit dissenting voices. They pay their
friends for overpriced and insecure networks and services.
We showed how former govt and military officials were making new businesses
using their government relationships.
They funnel public money to their own interests for overpriced contracts for
crap level services. They use those
relationships to extra-officially resolve affairs involving their businesses.
We exposed a criminal System eliminating those who think different;
criminalizing them. This System won't tolerate those who dig for the truth, it
can't. So no one has the right to question anything coming from this system. if
you buy a piece of hardware or software you just need to use it as it was
supposed to be used: anything else is forbidden.
No tinkering allowed.
If you buy a Playstation, you are not allowed to use it as you want to -- you
can only use it the Sony wants you to. If you have found a way to improve
something, just shut up. You are not allowed to share this info with anyone
else and let them make improvements, too. We are not the real owners of
anything anymore. We just borrow things from the System. Shiny, colorful
things, we agree to play with for a fee. A fee for life.
Because this system works only if you keep working to buy new things.
Not important if they are good things, just buy new crap, even better like that.
So everything gets outdated soon.
You home, stuff, car and computer, you will pay for everything you have for all
of your life. All the time: a monthly fee, forever until you die. That's the
future; nothing is really yours. LAAS - Life As A Service.
You will rent your life.
And better hurry up and work all day if you want to stay alive. Work 'til
you're exhausted and don't think. No -- thinking is bad. Play games instead, do
drugs too, why not? Or go to the movies. The Entertainment Industry is here to
resolve all your philosophical and trascendental problems. Shiny colorful crap.
but please don't think too much.
Thinking is dangerous.
Accept the offer, it's the perfect deal.
You get all those amazing shiny colorful beads.
It will only cost you freedom...and your life.
Indians did it with Manhattan.
There's nothing to worry about it, is there?
And what if you are a lone wolf who quietly outside the system, doing your own
thing, without saying a word? They will be mad as hell. They will try to find
you. You will be fucked up anyway, sooner or later. Because the system wants
you clearly identified, with all your personal details well packed into a
government database so it can make its watchdogs' lives easier.
Security researchers are often questioned and their movements tracked by Secret
Service, FBI and other shits. They are asked about their projects, who their
clients are, who they are talking to, what they know about other hackers, etc..
So be a good monkey, follow the rules, head down and you'll get some coins
that let you keep renting your life.
But hey! Wait...
We are hackers...
We are supposed to look beyond the rules, to find things others don't see. And
THE SYSTEM, yeah the whole fucking system, it's just another system.
...and we do that.
we hack systems.
This is our next challenge: to decide whether to become tools for the system,
or for ourselves. The system plans to use us to hold the next in their endless
wars, their cyberwars.
Hackers vs. hackers, slaves vs slaves.
We are trapped.
Jack Henry Abbott, a writer who was incarcerated almost his whole life for his
crimes, wrote before hanging himself: "As long as I am nothing but a ghost of
the civil dead, I can do nothing…", the 'civil dead' are those, like himself,
who had their autonomy systematically destroyed by the state. Now his words
extend to cover all of us. We have seen our own autonomy being systematically
destroyed by the State. We are becoming ghosts of our dead civil rights.
So yes we are criminals, we are the criminals our dear system have created:
Argumentum ad Baculum
In a world where you fear the words you use to express yourself. Where you are
punished for choosing the wrong ones, we have just decided to follow our own
way. There's no worst kind of slavery than one where you are afraid of your own
Governments around the globe are already in control of us in real life, and
they have now declared war on the people to take over the Internet.
It's happening now. It's not waiting for you to wake up.
So now my dear friends, it's your turn to decide where you belong,
and what you are made of.
"When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government
fears the people there is liberty."
― Thomas Jefferson
CANDY! CANDY! CANDY!...............candy.
HOW TO GET THE CANDY ONCE YOU HAVE DOWNLOADED THE FILE
first check the file MD5:
(lol yes, a "1337" there for the lulz, God is in the detail)
then decrypt the file using openssl:
openssl aes-256-cbc -d -a -in file.txt -out decryptedfile.tar.gz
tar -xvzf decryptedfile.tar.gz
and then check file integrity using the MD5 included in the password u used to
^ yeah that one.
if everything looks fine
then perhaps it is.
there you have. 1,000,001 Apple Devices UDIDs linking to their users and their
the original file contained around 12,000,000 devices. we decided a million would be
enough to release.
we trimmed out other personal data as, full names, cell numbers, addresses,
not all devices have the same amount of personal data linked. some devices
contained lot of info.
others no more than zipcodes or almost anything. we left those main columns we
consider enough to help a significant amount of users to look if their devices
are listed there or not. the DevTokens are included for those mobile hackers
who could figure out some use from the dataset.
file contains details to identify Apple devices.
Apple Device UDID, Apple Push Notification Service DevToken, Device Name,
We never liked the concept of UDIDs since the beginning indeed.
Really bad decision from Apple.
so the big question:
why exposing this personal data?
well we have learnt it seems quite clear nobody pays attention if you just come
and say 'hey, FBI is using your device details and info and who the fuck knows
what the hell are they experimenting with that', well sorry, but nobody will care.
FBI will, as usual, deny or ignore this uncomfortable thingie and everybody will
forget the whole thing at amazing speed. so next option, we could have released
mail and a very small extract of the data. some people would eventually pick up
the issue but well, lets be honest, that will be ephemeral too.
So without even being sure if the current choice will guarantee that people
will pay attention to this fucking shouted
'FUCKING FBI IS USING YOUR DEVICE INFO FOR A TRACKING PEOPLE PROJECT OR SOME
SHIT' well at least it seems our best bet, and even in this
case we will probably see their damage control teams going hard lobbying media
with bullshits to discredit this, but well, whatever, at least we tried and
eventually, looking at the massive number of devices concerned, someone should
care about it. Also we think it's the right moment to release this knowing that
Apple is looking for alternatives for those UDID currently and since a while
blocked axx to it, but well, in this case it's too late for those concerned
owners on the list. we always thought it was a really bad idea. that hardware
coded IDs for devices concept should be erradicated from any device on the
market in the future.
so now candy was delivered.
few words, and just a few, about how the shit came. we don't like too much
about disclosing this part, we understood it would be needed, so, fuck
whatever. lost asset. Hope it serves for something.
During the second week of March 2012, a Dell Vostro notebook, used by
Supervisor Special Agent Christopher K. Stangl from FBI Regional Cyber Action
Team and New York FBI Office Evidence Response Team was breached using the
AtomicReferenceArray vulnerability on Java, during the shell session some files
were downloaded from his Desktop folder one of them with the name of
"NCFTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv" turned to be a list of 12,367,232 Apple iOS
devices including Unique Device Identifiers (UDID), user names, name of device,
type of device, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, zipcodes, cellphone
numbers, addresses, etc. the personal details fields referring to people
appears many times empty leaving the whole list incompleted on many parts. no
other file on the same folder makes mention about this list or its purpose.
to journalists: no more interviews to anyone till Adrian Chen get featured in
the front page of Gawker, a whole day, with a huge picture of him dressing a
ballet tutu and shoe on the head, no photoshop. yeah, man. like Keith
Alexander. go, go, go.
(and there you ll get your desired pageviews number too) Until that happens,
this whole statement will be the only thing getting out
directly from us. So no tutu, no sources.
Our support to Wikileaks and Julian Assange.
respect to Tunisian and Egyptian people, keep the good fight. Dont accept new
oppressors in the place of the old ones.
To Syrian rebels: If Assad wins he will exterminate all of you till the very
last one, so better go and kill the motherfucker and his
bunch of suckers for once.
Support to Pussy Riot: Hang in there, babes! Resistance forever.
we r sorry mike about what happened to you and princess.
we didnt want to bring you in troubles with the feds
and we ve heard about the reasons leading you to have spoken out to them,
it's sad you ve just hanged around couple of weeks with us
(we vagely understood u felt misplaced),
but looking back to some events, at the end, it was also a good choice for
hope u finish understanding it's not about the things we think we have seen.
its always about those things we dont see.
theres always another behind behind the behind.
Greetings to all other groups struggling on their daily fight.
Remember that fights between us it's what our adversaries are looking for.
Now this is your time.
"This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those
alone who conquer them each day anew."
LulzSec, AntiSec, LulzXmas series, ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US,
MegaCockLulzFestival, "I'm 12 and wat iz diz?", CIA Tango Down,
#FuckFBIFriday, #StratforHasTheButtInFlames, #BlueHairedAaronBarr,
#WestboroChurchLovesEatingCocks, White Hats Can't Jump, "Keith Alexander
dressing an exhuberant ballet tutu" image and others are all trademarks of
Anonymous Inc. and well...all the people in general...
Romney aber, sag's ihm, er kann mich im Arsche lecken!
Disclaimer: We like beer and the use of manipulated bacterial ADN to transmit
well that's all now we can move on and go to sleep.
RAP NEWS 15: Big Brother is WWWatching You
posted by Keito
Frank Church: Surveillance State evils
posted by Keito
2012-09-04 20:42:36'35 years ago, a leading liberal Senator issued a grave warning about allowing the NSA to spy domestically.
“Th[e National Security Agency's] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. [If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A.] could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.“
That dramatic warning comes not from an individual who is typically held up as a symbol of anti-government paranoia. Rather, it was issued by one of the most admired and influential politicians among American liberals in the last several decades: Frank Church of Idaho, the 4-term U.S. Senator who served from 1957 to 1981. He was, among other things, one of the Senate’s earliest opponents of the Vietnam War, a former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Chairman of the Committee (bearing his name) that in the mid-1970s investigated the widespread surveillance abuses committed under every President since FDR (that was the investigation that led to the enactment of FISA, the criminal law prohibiting the Executive Branch from intercepting the communications of American citizens without first obtaining a warrant from a court: the law which the Bush administration got caught violating and which, in response, was gutted by the Democratic-led Congress in 2008, with the support of then-Senator Obama; the abuses uncovered by the Church Committee also led to the enactment of further criminal prohibitions on the cooperation by America’s telecoms in any such illegal government spying, prohibitions that were waived away when the same 2008 Congress retroactively immunized America’s telecom giants from having done so).
At the time of the Church Committee, it was the FBI that conducted most domestic surveillance. Since its inception, the NSA was strictly barred from spying on American citizens or on American soil. That prohibition was centrally ingrained in the mindset of the agency. Church issued that above-quoted warning out of fear that, one day, the NSA’s massive, unparalleled surveillance capabilities would be directed inward, at the American people. Until the Church Committee’s investigation, most Americans, including its highest elected officials, knew almost nothing about the NSA (it was referred to as No Such Agency by its employees). As James Bamford wrote about Church’s reaction to his own findings about the NSA’s capabilities, “he came away stunned.” At the time, Church also said: “I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”
Of course, that bridge has long ago been crossed, without even much discussion, let alone controversy. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, George Bush ordered the NSA to spy on the communications of Americans on American soil, and they’ve been doing it ever since, with increasing aggression and fewer and fewer constraints. That development is but one arm in the creation of an American Surveillance State that is, literally, ubiquitous — one that makes it close to impossible for American citizens to communicate or act without detection from the U.S. Government — a state of affairs Americans have long been taught since childhood is a hallmark of tyranny. Such are the times — in both America generally and the Democratic Party in particular — that those who now echo the warnings issued 35 years ago by Sen. Church (when surveillance was much more restrained, legally and technologically) are scorned by all Serious People as radical hysterics.
Yesterday, Democracy Now had an extraordinary program devoted to America’s Surveillance State. The show had three guests, each of whose treatment by the U.S. Government reflects how invasive, dangerous and out-of-control America’s Surveillance State has become:
William Binney: he worked at the NSA for almost 40 years, and resigned in October, 2001, in protest of the NSA’s turn to domestic spying. Binney immediately went to the House Intelligence Committee to warn them of the illegal spying the NSA was doing, and that resulted in nothing. In July, 2007 — while then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was testifying before the Senate about Bush’s warrantless NSA spying program — Binney’s home was invaded by a dozen FBI agents, who pointed guns at him, in an obvious effort to intimidate him out of telling the Senate the falsehoods and omissions in Gonzales’ testimony about NSA domestic spying (another NSA whistleblower, Thomas Drake, had his home searched several months later, and was subsequently prosecuted by the Obama DOJ — unsuccessfully — for his whistleblowing).
Jacob Appelbaum: an Internet security expert and hacker, he is currently at the University of Washington and engaged in some of the world’s most important work in the fight for Internet freedom. He’s a key member of the Tor Project, which is devoted to enabling people around the world to use the Internet with complete anonymity: so as to thwart government surveillance and to prevent nation-based Internet censorship. In 2010, he was also identified as a spokesman for WikiLeaks. Rolling Stone dubbed him “The Most Dangerous Man in Cyberspace,” writing: “In a sense, he’s a bizarro version of Mark Zuckerberg: If Facebook’s ambition is to ‘make the world more open and connected,’ Appelbaum has dedicated his life to fighting for anonymity and privacy. . . . ’I don’t want to live in a world where everyone is watched all the time,’ he says. ‘I want to be left alone as much as possible. I don’t want a data trail to tell a story that isn’t true’.”
For the last two years, Appelbaum has been repeatedly detained and harassed at American airports upon his return to the country, including having his laptops and cellphone seized — all without a search warrant, of course — and never returned. The U.S. Government has issued secret orders to Internet providers demanding they provide information about his email communications and social networking activities. He’s never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime.
Laura Poitras: she is the filmmaker about whom I wrote two weeks ago. After producing an Oscar-nominated film on the American occupation of Iraq, followed by a documentary about U.S. treatment of Islamic radicals in Yemen, she has been detained, searched, and interrogated every time she has returned to the U.S. She, too, has had her laptop and cell phone seized without a search warrant, and her reporters’ notes repeatedly copied. This harassment has intensified as she works on her latest film about America’s Surveillance State and the war on whistleblowers, which includes — among other things — interviews with NSA whistleblowers such as Binney and Drake.
So just look at what happens to people in the U.S. if they challenge government actions in any meaningful way — if they engage in any meaningful dissent. We love to tell ourselves that there are robust political freedoms and a thriving free political press in the U.S. because you’re allowed to have an MSNBC show or blog in order to proclaim every day how awesome and magnanimous the President of the United States is and how terrible his GOP political adversaries are — how brave, cutting and edgy! — or to go on Fox News and do the opposite. But people who are engaged in actual dissent, outside the tiny and narrow permissible boundaries of pom-pom waving for one of the two political parties — those who are focused on the truly significant acts which the government and its owners are doing in secret — are subjected to this type of intimidation, threats, surveillance, and climate of fear, all without a whiff of illegal conduct (as even The New York Times‘ most celebrated investigative reporter, James Risen, will tell you).
Whether a country is actually free is determined not by how well-rewarded its convention-affirming media elites are and how ignored its passive citizens are but by how it treats its dissidents, those posing authentic challenges to what the government does. The stories of the three Democracy Now guests — and so many others — provide that answer loudly and clearly.
Beyond the stories of these guests, I want to highlight two particularly significant exchanges from yesterday’s show (and I really urge you to find the time this weekend to watch the whole thing; it’s embedded below or, alternatively, can be viewed here). First is this:
JUAN GONZALEZ: And the differences in the [Bush and Obama] administrations?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Actually, I think the surveillance has increased. In fact, I would suggest that they’ve assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens.
AMY GOODMAN: How many?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Twenty trillion.
AMY GOODMAN: And you’re saying that this surveillance has increased? Not only the—
WILLIAM BINNEY: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: —targeting of whistleblowers, like your colleagues, like people like Tom Drake, who are actually indicted under the Obama administration—
WILLIAM BINNEY: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: —more times—the number of people who have been indicted are more than all presidents combined in the past.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Right. And I think it’s to silence what’s going on. But the point is, the data that’s being assembled is about everybody. And from that data, then they can target anyone they want . . . That, by the way, estimate only was involving phone calls and emails. It didn’t involve any queries on the net or any assembles—other—any financial transactions or credit card stuff, if they’re assembling that. I do not know that, OK.
That sounds like a number so large as to be fantastical, but it’s entirely consistent with what The Washington Post, in its 2010 “Top Secret America” series, reported: “Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications.” Read that sentence again and I defy anyone to deny that the U.S. has become the type of full-fledged, limitless Surveillance State about which Sen. Church warned.
Note, too, how this weapon has been not just maintained, but — as Binney said — aggressively expanded under President Obama. Obama’s unprecedented war on whistleblowing has been, in large part, designed to shield from the American public any knowledge of just how invasive this Surveillance State has become. Two Obama-loyal Democratic Senators — Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado — have spent two full years warning that the Obama administration is “interpreting” its spying powers under the Patriot Act in ways so “twisted” and broad that it would shock the American public if it learned of what was being done, and have even been accusing the DOJ and Attorney General Holder of actively misleading the public in material ways about its spying powers (unlike brave whistleblowers who have risked their own interests to bring corruption and illegality to the public’s attention — Binney, Drake, Bradley Manning, etc — Wyden and Udall have failed to tell the public about this illegal spying (even though they could do so on the Senate floor and be immune from prosecution) because they apparently fear losing their precious seat on the Intelligence Committee, but what’s the point of having a seat on the Intelligence Committee if you render yourself completely impotent even when you learn of systematic surveillance lawbreaking?).
None of this should be surprising: Obama — in direct violation of his primary campaign pledge — infamously voted for the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 that not only immunized lawbreaking telecoms, but also legalized much of the NSA domestic spying program Bush had ordered in the aftermath of 9/11. At the time, he and his acolytes insisted that Obama was doing so only so that he could win the election and then use his power to fix these spying abuses, yet another Obama-glorifying claim that has turned out to be laughable in its unreliability. The Obama administration also advocated for full-scale renewal of the Patriot Act last year, and it was Harry Reid who attacked Rand Paul for urging reforms to that law by accusing him of helping the Terrorists with his interference.
But whereas massive Surveillance State abuses were once a feigned concern of progressives, they now no longer are. Just last week, The New York Times began an editorial about the proposed massive expansion of Internet spying powers in Britain with this sentence: “The George W. Bush team must be consumed with envy” — because, of course, Barack Obama has no interest in such things.
Similarly, Hilary Bok is a Philosophy Professor at Johns Hopkins who blogged about civil liberties and executive power abuses during the Bush years under the name “Hilzoy.” I have a lot of respect for her; she gave valuable insight into the draft of my first book on Bush’s surveillance abuses. But barely five months into the Obama presidency, she announced that she would no longer blog because she started blogging to combat the “insanity” that prevailed in the U.S. but now, in the wake of Obama’s election, “it seems to me that the madness is over” — even as the out-of-control Surveillance State she spent so much time protesting continues to explode. Along the same lines, let me know if MSNBC ever mentions, let alone denounces, any of these trends or stories of oppression of the type experienced by Binney, Appelbaum and Poitras. That is one major reason why it continues unabated: because the political faction with a history of opposing these abuses — American liberalism, which spearheaded the Church Committee reforms — has largely decided that the Democratic President whom they elected can be trusted with these vast and unaccountable powers or, worse, they just pretend that this isn’t happening.
Then there’s this: Appelbaum describing the various government efforts to intrude into his private discussions and Internet activities, all without a warrant:
JACOB APPELBAUM: But in the period of time since they’ve started detaining me [at airports], around a dozen-plus times. I’ve been detained a number of times. The first time I was actually detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, I was put into a special room, where they frisked me, put me up against the wall. One guy cupped me in a particularly uncomfortable way. Another one held my wrists. They took my cell phones. I’m not really actually able to talk about what happened to those next.
AMY GOODMAN: Why?
JACOB APPELBAUM: Because we don’t live in a free country. And if I did, I guess I could tell you about it, right?And they took my laptop, but they gave it back. They were a little surprised it didn’t have a hard drive. I guess that threw them for a loop. And, you know, then they interrogated me, denied me access to a lawyer. And when they did the interrogation, they has a member of the U.S. Army, on American soil. And they refused to let me go. They tried—you know, they tried their usual scare tactics. So they sort of implied that if I didn’t make a deal with them, that I’d be sexually assaulted in prison, you know, which is the thing that they do these days as a method of punitive punishment, and they of course suggested that would happen.
AMY GOODMAN: How did they imply this?
JACOB APPELBAUM: Well, you know, they say, “You know, computer hackers like to think they’re all tough. But really, when it comes down to it, you don’t look like you’re going to do so good in prison.” You know, that kind of stuff.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And what was the main thrust of the questions they were asking you?
JACOB APPELBAUM:Well, they wanted to know about my political views. They wanted to know about my work in any capacity as a journalist, actually, the notion that I could be in some way associated with Julian. They wanted, basically, to know any—
AMY GOODMAN: Julian Assange.
JACOB APPELBAUM: Julian Assange, the one and only. And they wanted—they wanted, essentially, to ask me questions about the Iraq war, the Afghan war, what I thought politically. They didn’t ask me anything about terrorism. They didn’t ask me anything about smuggling or drugs or any of the customs things that you would expect customs to be doing. They didn’t ask me if I had anything to declare about taxes, for example, or about importing things. They did it purely for political reasons and to intimidate me, denied me a lawyer. They gave me water, but refused me a bathroom, to give you an idea about what they were doing.
AMY GOODMAN: What happened to your Twitter account?
JACOB APPELBAUM: Well, the U.S. government, as I learned while I was in Iceland, actually, sent what’s called an administrative subpoena, or a 2703(d) order. And this is, essentially, less than a search warrant, and it asserts that you can get just the metadata and that the third party really doesn’t have a standing to challenge it, although in our case we were very lucky, in that we got to have—Twitter actually did challenge it, which was really wonderful. And we have been fighting this in court.
And without going into too much detail about the current court proceedings, we lost a stay recently, which says that Twitter has to give the data to the government. Twitter did, as I understand it, produce that data, I was told. And that metadata actually paints—you know, metadata and aggregate is content, and it paints a picture. So that’s all the IP addresses I logged in from. It’s all of the, you know, communications that are about my communications, which is Bill’s specialty, and he can, I’m sure, talk about how dangerous that metadata is.
What Appelbaum is referring to is the fact that the Patriot Act has decreed then when the U.S. Government demands information about an individual — all without a search warrant — the party who receives the demand is criminally prohibited from discussing that demand. That’s why Appelbaum can be targeted with such intimidating, constant and chilling invasions without any allegation of wrongdoing: because the powers of the Surveillance State are exercised almost entirely in the dark. That’s what makes it so significant that two Democratic Senators have been warning for two years now that these powers are being exercised far beyond what the statute permits, far beyond what the public can even imagine, and that the Obama DOJ is lying about it.
The domestic NSA-led Surveillance State which Frank Church so stridently warned about has obviously come to fruition. The way to avoid its grip is simply to acquiesce to the nation’s most powerful factions, to obediently remain within the permitted boundaries of political discourse and activism. Accepting that bargain enables one to maintain the delusion of freedom — “he who does not move does not notice his chains,” observed Rosa Luxemburg — but the true measure of political liberty is whether one is free to make a different choice.'
Sworn Declaration of Whistleblower William Binney on NSA Domestic Surveillance Capabilities
posted by Keito
2012-09-04 20:30:23The following sworn declaration of William Binney, a former employee of the NSA and specialist in traffic analysis, was filed July 2, 2012 in support of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s case against the National Security Agency (Jewel v. NSA) regarding their illegal domestic surveillance programs which, according to Binney “are consistent, as a mathematical matter, with seizing both the routing information and the contents of all electronic communications” inside the U.S. Thanks to Jacob Appelbaum for originally drawing attention to the declaration.
I, William Binney, declare:
1. I am a former employee of the National Security Agency (“NSA”), the signals intelligence agency within the Department of Defense. Unless otherwise indicated, I have personal knowledge of each and every fact set forth below and can competently testify thereto.
2. A true and correct copy of my resume is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
3. In the late 1990′s, the increasing use of the Internet for communications presented the NSA with a special kind of problem: The NSA could not collect and smartly select from the large volume of data traversing the Internet the nuggets of needed information about “Entities of Interest” or “Communities of Interest,” while protecting the privacy of U.S. persons. Human analysts had to manually identify the groups and entities associated with activities that the NSA sought to monitor. That process was so laborious that it significantly hampered the NSA’s ability to do large scale data analysis.
4. One of my roles at the NSA was to find a means of automating the work of human analysts. I supervised and participated in the development of a program called “Thin Thread” within the NSA. Thin Thread was designed to identify networks of connections between individuals from their electronic communications over the Internet in an automated fashion in real time. The concept was for devices running Thin Thread to monitor international communications traffic passing over the Internet. Where one side of an international communication was domestic, the NSA had to comply with the requirements of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”). With Thin Thread, the data would be encrypted (and the privacy of U.S. citizens protected) until such time as a warrant could be obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Comi.
5. The advent of the September 11 attacks brought a complete change in the approach 18 of the NSA toward doing its job. FISA ceased to be an operative concern, and the individual liberties preserved in the U.S. Constitution were no longer a consideration. It was at that time that the NSA began to implement the group of intelligence activities now known as the President’s Surveillance Program (“PSP”). While I was not personally read into the PSP, various members of my Thin Thread team were given the task of implementing various aspects of the PSP. They confided in me and told me that the PSP involved the collection of domestic electronic communications traffic without any of the privacy protections built into Thin Thread.
6. I resigned from the NSA in late 2001. I could not stay after the NSA began purposefully violating the Constitution.
7. The NSA chose not to implement Thin Thread. To the best of my knowledge, the NSA does not have a means of analyzing Internet data for the purpose of identifying Entities or Communities of Interest in real time. The NSA has the capability to do individualized searches, similar to Google, for particular electronic communications in real time through such criteria as target addresses, locations, countries and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email. The NSA also has the capability to seize and store most electronic communications passing through its U.S. intercept centers. The wholesale collection of data allows the NSA to identify and analyze Entities or Communities of interest later in a static database. Based on my proximity to the PSP and my years of experience at the NSA, I can draw informed conclusions from the available facts. Those facts indicate that the NSA is doing both.
8. The NSA could have installed its intercept equipment at the nation’s fiber-optic cable landing stations. See Greg’s Cable Map, cablemap.info. There are more than two dozen such sites on the U.S. coasts where fiber-optic cables come ashore. If the NSA had taken that route, it would have been able to limit its interception of electronic communications to international/international and international/domestic communications and exclude domestic/domestic communications. Instead the NSA chose to put its intercept equipment at key junction points (for example Folsom Street) and probably throughout the nation, thereby giving itself access to purely domestic communications. The conclusion of J. Scott Marcus in his declaration that the “collection of infrastructure … has all the capability necessary to conduct large scale covert gathering of IP-based communications information, not only for communications to overseas locations, but .for purely domestic communications as well,” is correct.
9. I estimate that the NSA installed no fewer than ten and possibly in excess of twenty intercept centers within the United States. I am familiar with the contents of Mark Klein’s declaration. The AT&T center on Folsom Street in San Francisco is one of the NSA intercept centers. Mr. Klein indicated that the NSA’s equipment intercepted Internet traffic on AT&T’s peering network. It makes sense for the NSA to intercept traffic on AT &T’s peering network. The idea would be to avoid having to install interception equipment on each of the thousands of parallel data lines that eventually lead into and out of peering networks. By focusing on peering networks, the NSA intercepts data at the choke point in the system through which all data must pass in order to move from one party’s network to another’s. This is particularly important because a block data is often broken up into many smaller packets for transmission. These packets may traverse different routes before reaching the destination computer which gathers them and reassembles the original block.
10. One of the most notable pieces of equipment identified in Mr. Klein’s declaration is the NARUS Semantic Traffic Analyzer. According to the NARUS website, each NARUS device collects telecommunications data at the rate of ten gigabits per second and organizes the data into coherent streams based on the protocol associated with a specific type of collected data. A protocol is an agreed-upon way for data to be broken down into packets for transmission over the Internet, for the packets to be routed over the Internet to a designated destination and for the packets to be re-assembled at its destination. Protocols exist at each layer of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) 7-layer telecommunications model and are used for a wide variety of data, not just electronic communications. That means that NARUS can reconstruct all information transmitted through the peering network and forward all of the electronic communications to a database for analysis. The NARUS device can also select predetermined data from that path and forward the data to organizations having interest in the data. As I indicated above, the predetermined data would involve target addresses, locations, countries, and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases.
11. A further notable development has been the NSA’s public announcement in October 2009 that it was building a massive, $1.2 billion digital storage facility in Ft. Williams, Utah. According to some reports, the Utah facility will eventually have a data storage capacity measured in yottabytes (1024 bytes). Even if the Utah facility were to have no more than the amount of data storage that is presently commercially available, then one would expect the data storage to be in the range of multiples often exebytes (1018 bytes). See www.cleversafe.com. (According to Cleversafe, its ten exebyte storage solution fills no more than two hundred square feet). In April 2011, the NSA also announced that it would build a new supercomputing center at its Ft. Meade, Maryland headquarters.
12. The amount of data that each NARUS device can process per second is large (10 gigabits is 10 billion bits). To illustrate the sheer size of the data storage capacity ofthe Utah facility, one could assume the installation of twenty-five NARUS devices in the U.S. and that all of 2 the NARUS-processed data is sent via fiber-optic cable to Utah. That means that the NARUS processing rate of 10 billion bits per second means that one machine can produce approximately 4 x 1016 bytes per year. That in turn means that it would take twenty-five devices one year to fill an exebyte or ten years to fill ten exebytes.
13. The sheer size of that capacity indicates that the NSA is not filtering personal electronic communications such as email before storage but is, in fact, storing all that they are collecting. The capacity of NSA’s planned infrastructure far exceeds the capacity necessary for the storage of discreet, targeted communications or even for the storage of the routing information from all electronic communications. The capacity of NSA’s planned infrastructure is consistent, as a mathematical matter, with seizing both the routing information and the contents of all electronic communications.