Posts Tagged ‘National Security Agency’
Amidst current attention on the Federal Court’s attempt to require Apple to install a backdoor allowing the FBI to access a criminal’s iPhone, may we remind ourselves of the NSA’s spectacular access to the same device using DROPOUT JEEP:
“DROPOUT JEEP is a software implant for the Apple iPhone that utilizes modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. This functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection. All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted.”
The flowchart of how the NSA makes your iPhone its iPhone is presented below:
- NSA ROC operator
- Load specified module
- Send data request
- iPhone accepts request
- Retrieves required SIGINT data
- Encrypt and send exfil data
- Rinse repeat
Big Victory: Judge Pushes Jewel v. NSA Forward
We won a groundbreaking legal victory late Friday in our Jewel v. NSA case, which challenges the NSA’s Internet and telephone surveillance. Judge Jeffrey White has authorized EFF, on behalf of the plaintiffs, to conduct discovery against the NSA. We had been barred from doing so since the case was filed in 2008, which meant that the government was able to prevent us from requesting important information about how these programs worked.
This marks the first time a party has been allowed to gather factual evidence from the NSA in a case involving the agency’s warrantless surveillance. The government had fought all our requests to proceed with this lawsuit, arguing that the state secrets privilege protects it against both discovery and liability. Judge White previously rejected that argument for our statutory claims under the Wiretap Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the Stored Communications Act. This ruling affirms Judge White’s previous decision and opens the door for discovery.
This is an important step forward to lifting the cloak of secrecy that has thus far shielded the NSA from judicial scrutiny, and EFF looks forward to finally getting to the nuts and bolts of this extraordinarily important lawsuit.
Sen. Patrick Leahy says the American people are at risk of being controlled by their government due to the expansive surveillance powers of the National Security Agency.
Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” the Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee told host Chris Wallace that the nation’s lawmakers must act to return control of the government to the people.
“I think that we are going to maintain our ability to protect the United States,” Leahy began. “That’s extremely important.”
“The concern everybody has is allowing our government to have such a reach into your private life, my private life, and everybody else’s, that we are, we have the government controlling us instead of us controlling the government.”
“And that’s what both Republicans and Democrats are joined together on the Hill to try to change,” Leahy concluded.
Earlier in the program, Leahy suggested that viewers consider history when deciding whether the government should have so much access to the private communications of American citizens.
“I just think that there should be oversight,” Leahy said. “Think back in the history of this county, in J. Edgar Hoover’s day and all — if he had had the power when he was spying on protesters and those against the Vietnam War and Martin Luther King — if he had had the power that’s in here, think what might have happened. We Americans believe in our safety. We also believe in our ability to be private.”
“You still have to have some checks and balances before you have a government that can run amok,” Leahy said
by Philip Bump
Edward Snowden was not the first high-profile person to reveal secrets about the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations after September 11th. He was the third. The first two — Thomas Drake and Mark Klein — have now come forward to express support for Snowden’s revelations. Part of their motivation, it seems safe to assume, is to ensure that this time, something actually changes.
Among the Snowden leaks was confirmation of what Klein described. One of the PRISM-related slides notes the “collection of communications on fiber cables … as data flows past.” That’s exactly what Room 641A — and, presumably, the equivalent rooms in other facilities — was built to do.
“I don’t expect this to happen, [but] Congress should give Edward Snowden retroactive immunity for standing and defending the Constitution. He’s done a service for the entire country. What’s revealed politically is that both parties are in on this.” – Mark Klein
Thomas Drake’s story and background are very different. Drake served in a high position with the NSA, eventually leaking non-classified details of the agency’s wasteful spending practices to a reporter from the Baltimore Sun. After pleading guilty to a computer-related charge, he spent a year on probation.
Snowden, Drake writes, has revealed only “the tip of the iceberg.” Warning that Snowden will pay a “high price,” for his actions, he nonetheless understands why it was taken. “I didn’t want to be part of the dark blanket that covers the world,” Drake writes, “and Edward Snowden didn’t either.”
- Snowden spying revelations vindicate ten years of NSA whistleblowing (vancouverobserver.com)
- Former NSA Whistleblower Sheds Light on the Science of Surveillance [Q&A] (scientificamerican.com)
By JENNIFER BAIN
Last Updated: 6:18 PM, June 17, 2013
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly launched a stinging rebuke to the federal government’s secret phone and Internet monitoring campaign — and suggested leaker Edward Snowden was right about privacy “abuse.”
“I don’t think it ever should have been made secret,” Kelly said today, breaking ranks with US law-enforcement officials.
“I think the American public can accept the fact if you tell them that every time you pick up the phone it’s going to be recorded and it goes to be recorded and it goes to the government,” Kelly said. “I think the public can understand that. I see no reason why that program was placed in the secret category.”
“Secondly, I think if you listen to Snowden, he indicates that there’s some sort of malfeasance, people . . . sitting around and watching the data. So I think the question is: What sort of oversight is there inside the [National Security Agency] NSA to prevent that abuse, if it’s taking place?”
Kelly said of the leaker:
“He tried to give the impression, it seems to me, that these system administrators had carte blanche to do what they wanted to do,” he said. “I think it’s a problem if that’s in fact what’s happening.”
The National Security Agency’s collection of phone data from all of Verizon’s U.S. customers is just the “tip of the iceberg,” says a former NSA official who estimates the agency has data on as many as 20 trillion phone calls and emails by U.S. citizens.
William Binney, an award-winning mathematician and noted NSA whistleblower, says the collection dates back to when the super-secret agency began domestic surveillance after the Sept. 11 attacks.
“I believe they’ve been collecting data about all domestic calls since October 2001,” said Mr. Binney, who worked at NSA for more than 30 years. “That’s more than a billion calls a day.”
He called his figures “back of the envelope” estimates, adding that they include emails as well as telephone calls.
Using analytical software, the NSA could use mobile phones’ metadata over time to paint a picture of where their users went, who they talked to and what their habits were, Mr. Wicker said.
“The metadata available is now so fine-grained that it reveals where we’re going, what we’re doing, what our preferences and beliefs might be and who our friends are,” he said.
- TRAPWIRE + PRISM:
- TrapWire works by collecting data from thousands of security cameras, then applying GPS tracking data and facial recognition data [PRISM]
- Secretive TrapWire companys affiliations revealed
- Facial recognition and GPS tracking: TrapWire company conducting even more surveillance
Federal law and rulings by federal courts have consistently held that metadata, including information about the location of mobile phones, is not covered by the warrant requirements of the U.S. Constitution.
“Unfortunately, technology and the opportunities it presents for surveillance have outpaced our understanding of the Fourth Amendment,” Mr. Wicker said, citing the constitutional ban on unlawful searches and seizures.
Mr. Binney said that, in any case, the NSA already is collecting the content of calls and emails, as well as metadata.
- Report: France operates PRISM-like spy network (miamiherald.com)