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Thread: U.S. data mining; NSA; Ed Snowden

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    Nepal Avalon Member InCiDeR's Avatar
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    Default U.S. data mining; NSA; Ed Snowden

    Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge
    Video provided in the link!


    The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.

    The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

    Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”

    PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Bush’s secret program of warrantless domestic surveillance in 2007, after news media disclosures, lawsuits and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced the president to look for new authority.

    Congress obliged with the Protect America Act in 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with U.S. intelligence collection. PRISM recruited its first partner, Microsoft, and began six years of rapidly growing data collection beneath the surface of a roiling national debate on surveillance and privacy. Late last year, when critics in Congress sought changes in the FISA Amendments Act, the only lawmakers who knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

    The court-approved program is focused on foreign communications traffic, which often flows through U.S. servers even when sent from one overseas location to another. Between 2004 and 2007, Bush administration lawyers persuaded federal FISA judges to issue surveillance orders in a fundamentally new form. Until then the government had to show probable cause that a particular “target” and “facility” were both connected to terrorism or espionage.

    In four new orders, which remain classified, the court defined massive data sets as “facilities” and agreed to certify periodically that the government had reasonable procedures in place to minimize collection of “U.S. persons” data without a warrant.

    In a statement issue late Thursday, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said “information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats. The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”

    Clapper added that there were numerous inaccuracies in reports about PRISM by The Post and the Guardian newspaper, but he did not specify any. (...)

    ---

    Through a top-secret program authorized by federal judges working under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the U.S. intelligence community can gain access to the servers of nine Internet companies for a wide range of digital data. Documents describing the previously undisclosed program, obtained by The Washington Post, show the breadth of U.S. electronic surveillance capabilities in the wake of a widely publicized controversy over warrantless wiretapping of U.S. domestic telephone communications in 2005. These slides, annotated by The Washington Post, represent a selection from the overall document, and certain portions are redacted (...)

    Read more/How it works

    ---

    Hmmmm... wonder why Washington Post is allowed to reveal this!?
    Last edited by InCiDeR; 7th June 2013 at 15:33.
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    Two different versions of the PRISM scandal were emerging on Thursday with Silicon Valley executives denying all knowledge of the top secret program that gives the National Security Agency direct access to the internet giants' servers.

    The eavesdropping program is detailed in the form of PowerPoint slides in a leaked NSA document, seen and authenticated by the Guardian, which states that it is based on "legally-compelled collection" but operates with the "assistance of communications providers in the US."

    Each of the 41 slides in the document displays prominently the corporate logos of the tech companies claimed to be taking part in PRISM.

    However, senior executives from the internet companies expressed surprise and shock and insisted that no direct access to servers had been offered to any government agency.

    The top-secret NSA briefing presentation set out details of the PRISM program, which it said granted access to records such as emails, chat conversations, voice calls, documents and more. The presentation the listed dates when document collection began for each company, and said PRISM enabled "direct access from the servers of these US service providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple".

    Senior officials with knowledge of the situation within the tech giants admitted to being confused by the NSA revelations, and said if such data collection was taking place, it was without companies' knowledge.

    An Apple spokesman said: "We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers and any agency requesting customer data must get a court order," he said.

    Joe Sullivan, Facebook's chief security officer, said it did not provide government organisation with direct access to Facebook servers. "When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinise any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law."

    A Google spokesman also said it did not provide officials with access to its servers. "Google cares deeply about the security of our users' data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government 'backdoor' into our systems, but Google does not have a 'back door' for the government to access private user data."

    Microsoft said it only turned over data when served with a court order: "We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don't participate in it."

    A Yahoo spokesman said: "Yahoo! takes users' privacy very seriously. We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.

    Within the tech companies, and talking on off the record, executives said they had never even heard of PRISM until contacted by the Guardian. Executives said that they were regularly contacted by law officials and responded to all subpoenas but they denied ever having heard of a scheme like PRISM, an information programme internal the documents state has been running since 2007.

    Executives said they were "confused" by the claims in the NSA document. "We operate under what we are required to do by law," said one. "We receive requests for information all the time. Say about a potential terrorist threat or after the Boston bombing. But we have systems in place for that." The executive claimed, as did others, that the most senior figures in their organisation had never heard of PRISM or any scheme like it.

    The chief executive of transparency NGO Index on Censorship, Kirsty Hughes, remarked on Twitter that the contradiction seemed to leave two options: "Back door or front?" she posted.

    Source

    ---

    NSA taps in to internet giants' systems to mine user data, secret files reveal

    • Top secret PRISM program claims direct access to servers of firms including Google, Facebook and Apple
    • Companies deny any knowledge of program in operation since 2007 (...)
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    If we're just now hearing about it you can probably bet it's been going on since the 80's or 90's secretly. That would be my guess.

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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    So.... I think "I told you so" doesn't even cover this....... my friends are in shock


    Meet PRISM / US-984XN - The US Government's Internet Espionage Super Operation
    Quote The disclosures involving this (and the prior) administration's Big Brother surveillance state, which would make Nixon blush with envy are now coming fast and furious (one wonders - why now: even that bastion of liberalism the NY Times, has turned against Obama). Although while the Guardian's overnight news that Verizon (and most certainly AT&T as well among others) was cooperating with the NSA on spying on US citizens, so far at least the internet seemed, if only to the great unwashed masses, immune. That is no longer the case following news from the WaPo exposing PRISM, a highly classified program, which has not been disclosed publicly before. "Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy." What PRISM does is to allow the NSA and the FBI to tap directly "into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time."

    The secrecy is so deep we expect even the president himself may not know about it (but he does):


    The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

    Of course, PRISM is from the government, and it is here to help you. But the question is why are some of the biggest private companies explicitly collaborating with what is now the biggest exposed spying operation in history, companies which include such household names as Microsoft Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Yes, everyone's beloved Apple was added in October 2012: the NSA knows all about your music playlist, not to mention has a database of all your iMessages

    Quote In other words, all those newly minted people known as corporations are in on it, but not: dear debt serf. It's a small club, and there is a multimillion liquid net-worth cutoff... and you are not in it. From WaPo:


    An internal presentation on the Silicon Valley operation, intended for senior analysts in the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, described the new tool as the most prolific contributor to the President’s Daily Brief, which cited PRISM data in 1,477 articles last year. According to the briefing slides, obtained by The Washington Post, “NSA reporting increasingly relies on PRISM” as its leading source of raw material, accounting for nearly 1 in 7 intelligence reports.



    That is a remarkable figure in an agency that measures annual intake in the trillions of communications. It is all the more striking because the NSA, whose lawful mission is foreign intelligence, is reaching deep inside the machinery of American companies that host hundreds of millions of American-held accounts on American soil.



    The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.



    ...



    the PRISM program appears more nearly to resemble the most controversial of the warrantless surveillance orders issued by President George W. Bush after the al-Qaeda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Its history, in which President Obama presided over “exponential growth” in a program that candidate Obama criticized, shows how fundamentally surveillance law and practice have shifted away from individual suspicion in favor of systematic, mass collection techniques.

    Spying on US citizens is "incidental"... kinda like killing thousands of women and children in drone raids is "collateral damage":


    Even when the system works just as advertised, with no American singled out for targeting, the NSA routinely collects a great deal of American content. That is described as “incidental,” and it is inherent in contact chaining, one of the basic tools of the trade. To collect on a suspected spy or foreign terrorist means, at minimum, that everyone in the suspect’s inbox or outbox is swept in. Intelligence analysts are typically taught to chain through contacts two “hops” out from their target, which increases “incidental collection” exponentially. The same math explains the aphorism, from the John Guare play, that no one is more than “six degrees of separation” from any other person.

    This is how the big corporations sleep at night:


    Formally, in exchange for immunity from lawsuits, companies like Yahoo and AOL are obliged to accept a “directive” from the attorney general and the director of national intelligence to open their servers to the FBI’s Data Intercept Technology Unit, which handles liaison to U.S. companies from the NSA. In 2008, Congress gave the Justice Department authority to for a secret order from the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court to compel a reluctant company “to comply.”

    In practice, there is room for a company to maneuver, delay or resist. When a clandestine intelligence program meets a highly regulated industry, said a lawyer with experience in bridging the gaps, neither side wants to risk a public fight. The engineering problems are so immense, in systems of such complexity and frequent change, that the FBI and NSA would be hard pressed to build in back doors without active help from each company.

    Some "do lots of evil" by their customers. They just don't disclose it:


    “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data,” a company spokesman said. “We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data.”

    Time to kill that Facebook profile... or be accidentally killed for being "of a terroristy persuasion" based on some NSA algo:


    There has been “continued exponential growth in tasking to Facebook and Skype,” according to the 41 PRISM slides. With a few clicks and an affirmation that the subject is believed to be engaged in terrorism, espionage or nuclear proliferation, an analyst obtains full access to Facebook’s “extensive search and surveillance capabilities against the variety of online social networking services.”

    And some more charts:

    Introducing the program

    A slide briefing analysts at the National Security Agency about the program touts its effectiveness and features the logos of the companies involved.


    Quote Monitoring a target's communication

    This diagram shows how the bulk of the world’s electronic communications move through companies based in the United States.


    Quote Providers and data

    The PRISM program collects a wide range of data from the nine companies, although the details vary by provider.


    Quote In retrospect, it is sad what a farce this country has become: artificial market, centrally-planned economy, pervasive spying on the people, a tax collector that target political enemies, an administration that openly lies under oath...

    If we didn't know better we would say this was 1955 Stalingrad, although Stalingrad at the height of totalitarianism was for amateurs. This is next level ****: "Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said."
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-0...uper-operation

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/06/06/...ining-program/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...ion-documents/

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworst...ments-are-for/

    http://www.businessinsider.com/prism...-google-2013-6
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    Quote Posted by FraZZleD (here)
    If we're just now hearing about it you can probably bet it's been going on since the 80's or 90's secretly. That would be my guess.
    Well, I guess we have to back even further... like 1947 when they started ECHELON. I cover that a bit in this post here

    They also have the top secret program "Tempest" that I talked about a bit in same thread

    ... also the surveillance covered here and here

    ---


    ... and people still talks about freedom?! LOL

    But I still wonder why they play this card. I mean the MSM is owned by you know who. So what is the gain?
    Last edited by InCiDeR; 7th June 2013 at 15:31.
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    Quote Posted by InCiDeR (here)


    But I still wonder why they play this card. I mean the MSM is owned by you know who. So what is the gain?
    This is the important question..... Is this release being used to cover something else? Is this released in an attempt to guage reaction? WHAT is the motivation !?
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    The NSA has monitored their own citizens for years. An intercept is only this once the information is listen to or read. They have collected and still collecting data from every possible sort, legal or not. The NSA is the most secretive of agencies in the DOD, this alone protects their activities, since no law can be written to reveal their sources and methods.
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    OK... I'm trying to find a possible explanation why they play this card. Would they like people to know they are monitored so they don't dare to start protest movement via facebook, twitter and similar? Like what happened in Egypt, Libya, Turkey etc etc.

    Anyone have a better idea?
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    Modelling... computer modelling of what to seed in the MSM and its alternate to generate an interactive, real time spread of psy-ops like the Boston Marathon's bombings "it's all fake" that spread like wild fire all over the planet.

    In other words, it's the modelling of: "Problem, Reaction, solution." All the "Arab Spring" revolution were lettered-agencies seeded... so, they know how to turn a run-of-the-mill incident into a non- event or out of proportion into a revolution spark... civil war in the US?
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    Quote Posted by Amzer Zo (here)
    Modelling... computer modelling of what to seed in the MSM and its alternate to generate an interactive, real time spread of psy-ops like the Boston Marathon's bombings "it's all fake" that spread like wild fire all over the planet.

    In other words, it's the modelling of: "Problem, Reaction, solution." All the "Arab Spring" revolution were lettered-agencies seeded... so, they know how to turn a run-of-the-mill incident into a non- event or out of proportion into a revolution spark... civil war in the US?
    Yes, I agree to that... but why the leakage that people are monitored? They probably expect people to be furious about this, then they present a solution that is... what exactly? A promise that people are not monitored anymore? Hmmm, I do not get this honestly!
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    Triggering of the "omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent" gag
    "La liberté de chacun s'arrête là où commence celle des autres"
    “There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn't there.” LRH

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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    Because someone's heart, mind and patriotism woke them up to being a participator of people playing GOD.

    Do we want this type of "skynet surveilence on our children and grandchildren? With the collection of DNA for even a traffic stop, I can't help but think they will use the DNA to pin crimes on people to cover their own arze, to confuse evidence against them in courts.

    Are they gonna wipe people out or allow something to wipe us out, then recreate based on our collection of DNA to make new slaves for their NWO plans? They've been cloning, prove they don't like women, and want to control the birthing of children w/out female influence to turn them in to testosteronic non-feeling droids and murdering monsters, that will do whatever they are programmed to do, or not have fresh air or water to survive after cataclysmic activity.

    Just a feeling they are wounding down for the big finale, and hoping they've crossed every t and dotted every i.
    Last edited by Lifebringer; 7th June 2013 at 20:13.

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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    30 minutes ago I read an article in veteranstoday, posted today.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/06...r-if-we-do-it/

    I decided to go back and copy the report to analyze the sources and what I found was this:

    PAGE NOT FOUND
    The page you are looking for no longer exists. Perhaps you can return back to the site's homepage and see if you can find what you are looking for.

    The report contained some images of this story on the PRISM and harsh criticism of the Obama administration.

    EDITED.
    I was testing the link and story is back on the air.
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    Maybe closing the programs PEOPLE don't want over them in the future, because the risk of other nations hacking that info from defense, is just as viable as them hacking us/citizens in nations around the world. Any opposition to what they plan will be quickly gotten rid of. I don't think any human will allow that, and a reset is definitely needed.

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  29. Link to Post #15
    Nepal Avalon Member InCiDeR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    Swedish authorities mails can be intercepted
                                            
    Email to Swedish authorities, companies and organizations can be intercepted by the U.S. government.

    Swedish business and operators send their e-mail to be washed from spam and malware by Microsoft and Google, which is monitored by U.S. security agencies, writes the magazine Computer Sweden.
                                            
    IT security Stay Secure has put together a list of Swedish companies that store in the U.S. or send their email over the country. The list includes Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, several municipalities such as Stockholm municipality and also the political Liberal Party.

    ---

    This will soon turn out to be a pretty nice and nasty international scandal, don't you think?

    You don't need spies anymore, you just provide a service to clean foreign governments mails...
    There are 10 types of people in this world, those that can read binary, and those who can't...

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    Nepal Avalon Member InCiDeR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    Quote Posted by InCiDeR (here)
    Swedish authorities mails can be intercepted
                                            
    Email to Swedish authorities, companies and organizations can be intercepted by the U.S. government.

    Swedish business and operators send their e-mail to be washed from spam and malware by Microsoft and Google, which is monitored by U.S. security agencies, writes the magazine Computer Sweden.
                                            
    IT security Stay Secure has put together a list of Swedish companies that store in the U.S. or send their email over the country. The list includes Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, several municipalities such as Stockholm municipality and also the political Liberal Party.

    ---

    This will soon turn out to be a pretty nice and nasty international scandal, don't you think?

    You don't need spies anymore, you just provide a service to clean foreign governments mails...
    Why U.S?

    One of the reasons is that the bulk of the world’s internet infrastructure is based in the U.S. For example, 10 out of 13 internet root servers are situated there. I showed them all here
    There are 10 types of people in this world, those that can read binary, and those who can't...

    नमस्कार
    Namah-te


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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    Quote Posted by InCiDeR (here)
    Why U.S?

    One of the reasons is that the bulk of the world’s internet infrastructure is based in the U.S. For example, 10 out of 13 internet root servers are situated there. I showed them all here
    Incider, it was actually that post that you link to that got me thinking and dissecting things a bit and i started to think about it and how others here have refer to word magic and so forth. It's called the inter-net and the world wide web, i dunno just struck me as funny and i've not been able to get it out of my head since.

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    Default Re: Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge

    An Obama retrospective: surveillance


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    Nepal Avalon Member InCiDeR's Avatar
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    Default Boundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data

    Revealed: The NSA's powerful tool for cataloguing data – including figures on US collection


    The color scheme ranges from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance). Note the '2007' date in the image relates to the document from which the interactive map derives its top secret classification, not to the map itself.


    The National Security Agency has developed a powerful tool for recording and analysing where its intelligence comes from, raising questions about its repeated assurances to Congress that it cannot keep track of all the surveillance it performs on American communications.

    The Guardian has acquired top-secret documents about the NSA datamining tool, called Boundless Informant, that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.

    The focus of the internal NSA tool is on counting and categorizing the records of communications, known as metadata, rather than the content of an email or instant message.

    The Boundless Informant documents show the agency collecting almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in March 2013. One document says it is designed to give NSA officials answers to questions like, "What type of coverage do we have on country X" in "near real-time by asking the SIGINT [signals intelligence] infrastructure."

    An NSA factsheet about the program, acquired by the Guardian, says: "The tool allows users to select a country on a map and view the metadata volume and select details about the collections against that country."

    Under the heading "Sample use cases", the factsheet also states the tool shows information including: "How many records (and what type) are collected against a particular country."

    A snapshot of the Boundless Informant data, contained in a top secret NSA "global heat map" seen by the Guardian, shows that in March 2013 the agency collected 97bn pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide.


    The heat map reveals how much data is being collected from around the world. Note the '2007' date in the image relates to the document from which the interactive map derives its top secret classification, not to the map itself.

    Iran was the country where the largest amount of intelligence was gathered, with more than 14bn reports in that period, followed by 13.5bn from Pakistan. Jordan, one of America's closest Arab allies, came third with 12.7bn, Egypt fourth with 7.6bn and India fifth with 6.3bn.

    The heatmap gives each nation a color code based on how extensively it is subjected to NSA surveillance. The color scheme ranges from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance).

    The disclosure of the internal Boundless Informant system comes amid a struggle between the NSA and its overseers in the Senate over whether it can track the intelligence it collects on American communications. The NSA's position is that it is not technologically feasible to do so.

    At a hearing of the Senate intelligence committee In March this year, Democratic senator Ron Wyden asked James Clapper, the director of national intelligence: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

    "No sir," replied Clapper.

    Judith Emmel, an NSA spokeswoman, told the Guardian in a response to the latest disclosures: "NSA has consistently reported – including to Congress – that we do not have the ability to determine with certainty the identity or location of all communicants within a given communication. That remains the case."

    Other documents seen by the Guardian further demonstrate that the NSA does in fact break down its surveillance intercepts which could allow the agency to determine how many of them are from the US. The level of detail includes individual IP addresses.

    IP address is not a perfect proxy for someone's physical location but it is rather close, said Chris Soghoian, the principal technologist with the Speech Privacy and Technology Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. "If you don't take steps to hide it, the IP address provided by your internet provider will certainly tell you what country, state and, typically, city you are in," Soghoian said.

    That approximation has implications for the ongoing oversight battle between the intelligence agencies and Congress.

    On Friday, in his first public response to the Guardian's disclosures this week on NSA surveillance, Barack Obama said that that congressional oversight was the American peoples' best guarantee that they were not being spied on.

    "These are the folks you all vote for as your representatives in Congress and they are being fully briefed on these programs," he said. Obama also insisted that any surveillance was "very narrowly circumscribed".

    Senators have expressed their frustration at the NSA's refusal to supply statistics. In a letter to NSA director General Keith Alexander in October last year, senator Wyden and his Democratic colleague on the Senate intelligence committee, Mark Udall, noted that "the intelligence community has stated repeatedly that it is not possible to provide even a rough estimate of how many American communications have been collected under the Fisa Amendments Act, and has even declined to estimate the scale of this collection."

    At a congressional hearing in March last year, Alexander denied point-blank that the agency had the figures on how many Americans had their electronic communications collected or reviewed. Asked if he had the capability to get them, Alexander said: "No. No. We do not have the technical insights in the United States." He added that "nor do we do have the equipment in the United States to actually collect that kind of information".

    Soon after, the NSA, through the inspector general of the overall US intelligence community, told the senators that making such a determination would jeopardize US intelligence operations – and might itself violate Americans' privacy.

    "All that senator Udall and I are asking for is a ballpark estimate of how many Americans have been monitored under this law, and it is disappointing that the inspectors general cannot provide it," Wyden told Wired magazine at the time.

    The documents show that the team responsible for Boundless Informant assured its bosses that the tool is on track for upgrades.

    The team will "accept user requests for additional functionality or enhancements," according to the FAQ acquired by the Guardian. "Users are also allowed to vote on which functionality or enhancements are most important to them (as well as add comments). The BOUNDLESSINFORMANT team will periodically review all requests and triage according to level of effort (Easy, Medium, Hard) and mission impact (High, Medium, Low)."

    Emmel, the NSA spokeswoman, told the Guardian: "Current technology simply does not permit us to positively identify all of the persons or locations associated with a given communication (for example, it may be possible to say with certainty that a communication traversed a particular path within the internet. It is harder to know the ultimate source or destination, or more particularly the identity of the person represented by the TO:, FROM: or CC: field of an e-mail address or the abstraction of an IP address).

    "Thus, we apply rigorous training and technological advancements to combine both our automated and manual (human) processes to characterize communications – ensuring protection of the privacy rights of the American people. This is not just our judgment, but that of the relevant inspectors general, who have also reported this."

    She added: "The continued publication of these allegations about highly classified issues, and other information taken out of context, makes it impossible to conduct a reasonable discussion on the merits of these programs."

    ---

    Boundless Informant NSA data-mining tool – four key slides
    There are 10 types of people in this world, those that can read binary, and those who can't...

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    Default Re: Boundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data

    We know our own government lies, now we know the NSA lies ... the federal reserve lies, the IRS lies, is there no diginity or character left in our leaders ??? All the people invlolved in government should resign, if they had any intergrity or backbone , instead of knowingly being of part of corruption and intentionaly misleading the citizens whom they are supposed to be working for... your all fired ... bunch of vampires , get your arse in Jail ...
    FOLLOW YOUR HEART, AND YOU'LL FIND YOUR WAY ... Raiding the Matrix , One Mind at a Time ...

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