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William Binney

December 18, 2012

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muscular code-breaking program “…The NSA wants it all, foreign and domestic. No more pretense. No need for the pretext of terrorist threats, or even actual terrorists. Nor, heaven forbid, oversight in the form of courts and warrants. Checks and balances are sooo last century. The intelligence community’s wet dream of total information awareness is taking a giant step closer to fruition in the Utah desert where the agency is constructing the mother of all data-gathering facilities. As reported by James Bamford in the April issue of Wired, the installation will be five times the size of the U.S. Capitol, (and we know how useful that building has been). It will host 100,000 square feet of servers, 1 million square feet of data storage, and 900,000 square feet for tech support and administration. (They could probably save taxpayers a lot of money by outsourcing all that tech support to India. But I digress.) Beyond capturing the minutia of your daily life, the center will conduct a muscular code-breaking program using the latest-generation supercomputer. Reportedly, it is much faster than the “warehouse-sized” Cray XT5 previously used by the NSA which, at a speed of 1.75 petaflops, was the world’s fastest, at least back in 2009. Considerably more horsepower will be required in order to crack hardened data shells. Capturing messages doesn’t mean they can actually be read. Encryption methods have gotten so sophisticated that unraveling the algorithm used in the Advanced Encryption Standard by means of a brute-force computer attack, “would likely take longer than the age of the universe,” or an episode of Desperate Housewives. It seems that the NSA has a backlog of encrypted messages it would like to read, plus a daily stream of financial, diplomatic, military, and other deep web data…” – Victor Rozek (READ MORE)

to spy on US citizens “…The NSA also has the ability to eavesdrop on phone calls directly and in real time. According to Adrienne J. Kinne, who worked both before and after 9/11 as a voice interceptor at the NSA facility in Georgia, in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks “basically all rules were thrown out the window, and they would use any excuse to justify a waiver to spy on Americans.” Even journalists calling home from overseas were included. “A lot of time you could tell they were calling their families,” she says, “incredibly intimate, personal conversations.” Kinne found the act of eavesdropping on innocent fellow citizens personally distressing. “It’s almost like going through and finding somebody’s diary,” she says. But there is, of course, reason for anyone to be distressed about the practice. Once the door is open for the government to spy on US citizens, there are often great temptations to abuse that power for political purposes, as when Richard Nixon eavesdropped on his political enemies during Watergate and ordered the NSA to spy on antiwar protesters. Those and other abuses prompted Congress to enact prohibitions in the mid-1970s against domestic spying. Before he gave up and left the NSA, Binney tried to persuade officials to create a more targeted system that could be authorized by a court. At the time, the agency had 72 hours to obtain a legal warrant, and Binney devised a method to computerize the system. “I had proposed that we automate the process of requesting a warrant and automate approval so we could manage a couple of million intercepts a day, rather than subvert the whole process.” But such a system would have required close coordination with the courts, and NSA officials weren’t interested in that, Binney says. Instead they continued to haul in data on a grand scale. Asked how many communications—”transactions,” in NSA’s lingo—the agency has intercepted since 9/11, Binney estimates the number at “between 15 and 20 trillion, the aggregate over 11 years…” – James Bamford (READ MORE)

Trailblazer Project “Trailblazer was a United States National Security Agency (NSA) program intended to analyze data carried on communications networks like the internet. It was able to track communication methods such as cell phones and e-mail. It ran over budget, failed to accomplish several goals, and was cancelled…In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to find whoever had disclosed information about the NSA electronic surveillance program and its disclosure in the New York Times. Eventually this investigation led to the people who had filed the 2002 DoD Inspector General request, even though they had nothing to do with the New York Times disclosure. In 2007, the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe were raided by armed FBI agents. According to Mayer, Binney claims the FBI pointed guns at the heads of himself and his wife. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union. None of these people were ever charged with any crime. Drake was raided in November 2007 and his computers and documents were confiscated…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

unnamed surveillance program “…An electronic surveillance program, whose actual name is currently unknown, was implemented by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. It was part of the President’s Surveillance Program which was in turn conducted under the overall umbrella of the War on Terrorism. The NSA, a signals intelligence agency, implemented the program to intercept al Qaeda communications overseas where at least one party is not a US person. In 2005 the New York Times disclosed that technical glitches resulted in some of the intercepts including communications were “purely domestic” in nature, igniting the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy. Later works, such as James Bamford’s The Shadow Factory, would describe how the nature of the domestic surveillance was much, much more widespread than initially disclosed. In a 2011 New Yorker article, former NSA worker Bill Binney said that his people told him “They’re getting billing records on U.S. citizens! They’re putting pen registers on everyone in the country!…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

everybody is a target “…By this time, the NSA network has long outgrown a single room in the AT&T building in San Francisco, says Binney: “I think there are ten to twenty of them. This is not just San Francisco; they have them in the middle of the country and also on the East Coast.” Binney suspects the new center in Utah will simply collect all the data there is to be collected. Virtually, no one can escape the new surveillance, created in the US for the War on Terror. Some data, of course, would be crucial in the anti-terrorism battle: exposing potential adversaries. The question is how the NSA defines who is and who is not a potential adversary. “Everybody is a target; everybody with communication is a target,” remarks another source close to the Utah project…” – Patrick Henningsen (READ MORE)

William Binney is a former NSA crypto-mathematician who quit NSA after he realized it was openly and deliberately ignoring privacy limitations built into the Constitution, said in an interview with Bamford, holding his thumb and forefinger close together: “We are this far from a turnkey totalitarian state.” Binney headed up a team that built the infrastructure to spy on everyone all the time and, at the time, recommended that NSA install its “tapping gear” only at the nation’s “landing sites” — physical locations where fiber optic cables come ashore — to limit its eavesdropping to international communications only and preserving Americans’ right to privacy. But NSA ignored Binney’s recommendation and instead decided to build its spy center in Utah, connecting it with satellites and listening posts in Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Hawaii, and elsewhere, with direct links to NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, NSA’s research facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and last but not least, the White House. – Bob Adelmann (READ MORE)

Related Reading:
Data Mining You
Out in the desert
CIA Super Spy Centers Near Completion
Exposé of the NSA By Top Insider
“We Are This Far From A Turnkey Totalitarian State” – Big Brother Goes Live September 2013
NSA Chief Appears to Deny Ability to Warrantlessly Wiretap Despite Evidence
National Security Agency not vouching for details about its Utah spy center
Top NSA Mathematician: ‘I should apologize to the American people. It’s violated everyone’s rights.’
Coast To Coast AM March 29 2012 – NSA Surveillance, Mysterious ObjectsBooms, & Fukushima Part 2 (Video)

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