Posts Tagged ‘United States

Lest We Forget: The NSA already has backdoor access to your iPhone

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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:

From 2013

How The NSA Hacks Your iPhone (Presenting 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

And visually:



Jewel v NSA: EFF Allowed to Conduct Discovery Against Unwarranted NSA Surveillance Programs

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February 19, 2016 | By David Greene

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.

Key US missile interceptor fails test again, says Pentagon

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Department of Defense confirms third consecutive failure of system managed by Boeing

A test of the only US defense against long-range ballistic missiles failed on Friday. The Department of Defense said it was the third consecutive failure involving the interceptor system that is managed by Boeing Co.

The military has tested the so-called ground-based midcourse defense system 16 times. It has succeeded eight times, with the last intercept in December 2008.

The Pentagon said this week that the test would not affect its decision to bolster the US missile defense system. Defense secretary Chuck Hagel announced the move in March, following threats by North Korea. Under that plan, the Pentagon will add 14 new anti-missile interceptors at a total cost of nearly $1bn.

The United States has 26 interceptors deployed at Fort Greely in Alaska and four at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

In Friday’s test, a long-range ballistic missile target was launched from the US Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. The interceptor missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Via:  Key US missile interceptor fails test again, says Pentagon | World news |


FLASHBACK:  June 5, 2013:


            Boeing Co., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $6,820,626 modification (P0008), to cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HQ0277-12-C-0001). Under this modification, the contractor will make aircraft modifications to accommodate instruments and payloads on Boeing’s existing experimental prototype aircraft and gather, analyze, and report flight test data to characterize potential payload environments.  The modification increases the total contract value from $2,213,873 to $9,034,499.  The work will be performed in Huntsville, Ala.; St. Louis, Mo.; Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; and Albuquerque, N.M.  The performance period is award plus five months.  Fiscal 2013 Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funds in the amount of $3,100,000 are being obligated on this award.  The Missile Defense Agency, Albuquerque, N.M., is the contracting activity.

FLASHBACK: December 30, 2011:

Boeing Corp. awarded $3.5 billion missile defense contract

Boeing Corp. has landed a seven-year, $3.5 billion contract extension to oversee Missile Defense Agency work for the Department of Defense, including operations at Fort Greely near Delta Junction.  Boeing has held the Ground-based Midcourse Defense contract, known as GMD, for the past decade. The extension will last through 2018, according to a government announcement Friday.  Under terms of the contract, Boeing will lead GMD development, integration, testing, operations and other activities. Northrop Grumman will oversee the ground system elements, while providing support for operations, system engineering and system tests, according to Boeing.  Carlton said some remaining details, including a formal schedule for a transition to the new contract, likely would be discussed next week. Boeing employs about 80 people at Fort Greely, Carlton said, among the 900 workers employed nationwide through its GMD program.  The contract is part of the Global Ballistic Missile Defense System, which is designed to protect the United States from long-range ballistic missile threats. Boeing said it has more than 20 operational interceptors at Fort Greely and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The Other NSA Whistleblowers Hope This Time Is Different

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The Atlantic Wire

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.”

The Other NSA Whistleblowers Hope This Time Is Different – Philip Bump – The Atlantic Wire.

NSA should come clean about domestic spying: Ray Kelly

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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.”

via NSA should come clean about domestic spying: Ray Kelly –

The Patriot Act must not be used to violate the rights of law-abiding citizens | Ron Wyden and Mark Udall

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Secret data collection does not strike the ‘right balance’ between protecting US security and protecting Americans’ privacy

and, Friday 7 June 2013 18.04 EDT

… We also disagree with the statement that the broad Patriot Act collection strikes the “right balance” between protecting American security and protecting Americans’ privacy.

In our view, it does not.

When Americans call their friends and family, whom they call, when they call, and where they call from is private information.

We believe the large-scale collection of this information by the government has a very significant impact on Americans’ privacy, whether senior government officials recognize that fact or not.

Finally, we have long been concerned about the degree to which this collection has relied on “secret law”.

Senior administration officials have stated on multiple occasions that the Patriot Act’s “business records” authority is “analogous to a grand jury subpoena”.   And multiple senior officials have stated that US intelligence agencies do not collect information or dossiers on “millions of Americans”.

We appreciate the recent statement from the director of national intelligence, which declassified certain facts about this collection, including its breadth.

Now that the fact of bulk collection has been declassified, we believe that more information about the scale of the collection, and specifically whether it involves the records of “millions of Americans” should be declassified as well.

The American people must be given the opportunity to evaluate the facts about this program and its broad scope for themselves, so that this debate can begin in earnest.

via The Patriot Act must not be used to violate the rights of law-abiding citizens | Ron Wyden and Mark Udall |

Iranian scientist claims to have invented ‘time machine’ – Telegraph

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Update:  False, possibly State-Sponsored propaganda:


An Iranian businessman claims to have mastered time with a machine that allows users to fast forward up to eight years into the future.

Ali Razeghi, a Tehran scientist has registered “The Aryayek Time Traveling Machine” with the state-run Centre for Strategic Inventions.

The device can predict the future in a print out after taking readings from the touch of a user, he told the Fars state newsagency.

Razaeghi, 27, said the device worked by a set of complex algorithims to “predict five to eight years of the future life of any individual, with 98 percent accuracy”.

As the managing director of Iran’s Centre for Strategic Inventions, Razeghi is a serial inventor with 179 other inventions listed under his own name. “I have been working on this project for the last 10 years,” he said.

“My invention easily fits into the size of a personal computer case and can predict details of the next 5-8 years of the life of its users. It will not take you into the future, it will bring the future to you.”

Razeghi says Iran’s government can predict the possibility of a military confrontation with a foreign country, and forecast the fluctuation in the value of foreign currencies and oil prices by using his new invention.

“Naturally a government that can see five years into the future would be able to prepare itself for challenges that might destabilise it,” he said. “As such we expect to market this invention among states as well as individuals once we reach a mass production stage.”

Razeghi said his latest project has been criticised by friends and relatives for “trying to play God” with ordinary lives and history. “This project is not against our religious values at all. The Americans are trying to make this invention by spending millions of dollars on it where I have already achieved it by a fraction of the cost,” he said. “The reason that we are not launching our prototype at this stage is that the Chinese will steal the idea and produce it in millions overnight.”

via Iranian scientist claims to have invented ‘time machine’ – Telegraph.