National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)
On a scale of one to 10, American readiness to deflect a major cyber-attack on its infrastructure is “around three,” head of the National Security Agency and the US Cyber Command said in a rare speech at a hacker conference.
The general said the US saw a 17-fold increase in computer attacks on its power grids, water utilities and other key facilities between 2009 and 2011. He said criminal gangs, hackers and foreign nations were responsible for the attacks.
The collective blame for the weakness lies with both the government and the IT industry, he said, even though it was the rapid development of technology that put America at cyber risk. He called for the two groups to work better as a team to address the issue.
Alexander advocated the passage of legislation, which would enable the NSA to set security standards for information infrastructure. The general expects “voluntary incentivized [sic] compliance” of those future standards. Earlier some civil rights croups expressed concerns about some of the cyber bills currently under consideration in the Congress over possible adverse effect on privacy they may cause.
As compared to the defensive part, Alexander said the US is “a little bit better” prepared to take military cyber action against possible targets. He said Cyber Command did perform those and that it is up to the president to decide on carrying out such operations.
At the same time he declined to comment on whether the US is behind StuxNet virus, which damaged Iranian uranium-enrichment facilities, and the Flame virus, which was engaged in a major sophisticated spying operation in the Middle East.
Posted by truther on July 19, 2012
Spy agency has Google-style capability to search all communications
The National Security Agency is storing all electronic communications and analyzing them in real time, according to former NSA employee turned whistleblower William Binney, who warns that the federal agency has a Google-style capability to search all conversations for keywords.
Since 2008, the NSA has had the legal power to intercept all phone calls, emails and text messages sent byAmerican citizens without probable cause. However, although long suspected, the agency has never admitted that it is analyzing the content of such messages, conceding only that persons, dates and locations are part of the snooping process.
However, in a recent sworn declaration to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Binney, a former NSA employee with the signals intelligence agency within the DoD, divulges that the federal agency, “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.”
Using as many as twenty data intercept centers throughout the United States which can each store an almost unimaginable quantity of information, Binney notes that, “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.”
Binney also points to FBI Director Robert Mueller’s 2011 admission that the FBI, with the aid of the NSA and DoD, had “put in place technological improvements relating to the capabilities of a database to pull together past emails as well as … and future ones as they come in so that it does not require an individualized search.”
Binney said he quit the NSA in 2001 because “the individual liberties preserved in the U.S. Constitution were no longer a consideration,” after 9/11.
Binney’s revelations coalesce with the fact that, according to many privacy experts, the NSA has been intercepting and recording all electronic communications across the entire world since at least the early 1990′s.
In 1999, the Australian government admitted that they were part of an NSA-led global intercept and surveillance program called Echelon in alliance with the US and Britain that could listen to “every international telephone call, fax, e-mail, or radio transmission,” on the planet.
In addition, a 2001 European Parliament report stated that “within Europe all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted” by the NSA.
Under the Clinton Administration Echelon certainly turned its attention to citizens of countries around the globe and monitored millions of calls and other communications.
Echelon expert Mike Frost, who spent 20 years as a spy for the Canadian equivalent of the National Security Agency, told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the agency was monitoring “everything from data transfers to cell phones to portable phones to baby monitors to ATMs.”
When Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall of the intelligence oversight committee asked that the NSA provide a rough estimate as to how many U.S. citizens have had their communications monitored under the expanded Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the federal agency refused to provide the figure because it would “further violate the privacy of U.S. persons.”
US President Barack Obama (AFP Photo/Pool/Luke Sharrett)
President Obama released his latest Executive Order on Friday, July 6, a 2,205-word statement offered as the “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions.” And although the president chose not to commemorate the signing with much fanfare, the powers he provides to himself and the federal government under the latest order are among the most far-reaching yet of any of his executive decisions.
“The Federal Government must have the ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances to carry out its most critical and time sensitive missions,” the president begins the order. “Survivable, resilient, enduring and effective communications, both domestic and international, are essential to enable the executive branch to communicate within itself and with: the legislative and judicial branches; State, local, territorial and tribal governments; private sector entities; and the public, allies and other nations.”
President Obama adds that it is necessary for the government to be able to reach anyone in the country during situations it considers critical, writing, “Such communications must be possible under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage emergencies and improve national resilience.” Later the president explains that such could be done by establishing a “joint industry-Government center that is capable of assisting in the initiation, coordination, restoration and reconstitution of NS/EP [national security and emergency preparedness] communications services or facilities under all conditions of emerging threats, crisis or emergency.”
“The views of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public must inform the development of NS/EP communications policies, programs and capabilities,” he adds.
On the government’s official website for the National Communications Systems, the government explains that that“infrastructure includes wireline, wireless, satellite, cable, and broadcasting, and provides the transport networks that support the Internet and other key information systems,” suggesting that the president has indeed effectively just allowed himself to control the country’s Internet access.
In order to allow the White House to reach anyone within the US, the president has put forth a plan to establish a high-level committee calling from agents with the Department of Homeland Security, Pentagon, Federal Communications Commission and other government divisions to ensure that his new executive order can be implemented.
In explaining the order, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) writes that the president has authorized the DHS “the authority to seize private facilities when necessary, effectively shutting down or limiting civilian communications.”
In Section 5 of his order, President Obama outlines the specific department and agency responsibilities that will see through his demands. In a few paragraphs, President Obama explains that Executive Committee that will oversee his order must be supplied with “the technical support necessary to develop and maintain plans adequate to provide for the security and protection of NS/EP communications,” and that that same body will be in tasked with dispatching that communiqué “to the Federal Government and State, local, territorial and trial governments,” by means of“commercial, Government and privately owned communications resources.”
Later, the president announces that the Department of Homeland Security will be tasked with drafting a plan during the next 60 days to explain how the DHS will command the government’s Emergency Telecommunications Service, as well as other telecom conduits. In order to be able to spread the White House’s message across the country, President Obama also asks for the purchasing of equipment and services that will enable such.
“In recent years, we have seen angry minds at work, mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated, in the Goldwater movement, how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority. But, behind this, I believe, there is a style of mind that is far from new, and that is not necessarily right-wing. I call it the paranoid style, simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind.” (emphasis added)
FBI and DOJ campaign to enlist workers in 25 industries to spy on fellow workers and citizens and report findings to federal authorities. Citizen spies being recruited from hotel and motel personnel, dive shop operators, car and property rental agents, tattoo parlors employees, gun dealers and Internet cafe clerks.
James F. Tracy is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University.
A chilling Federal Security Service (FSB) report on the recently completed gathering of global internet professionals attending the Russian Internet Governance Forum (RIGF) held in Moscow on 14 May states that the consensus of these world experts is that not only will the United States notagree to sign the International Code of Conduct for Information Security, but fears have increased that the Americans are, instead, planning to use the internet as a“weapon of war”.
The International Code of Conduct for Information Security raises a series of basic principles of maintaining information and network security which cover the political, military, economic, social, cultural, technical and other aspects.
The principles stipulate that countries shall not use such information and telecom technologies as the network to conduct hostile behaviors and acts of aggression or to threaten international peace and security and stress that countries have the rights and obligations to protect their information and cyberspace as well as key information and network infrastructure from threats, interference and sabotage attacks.
They advocate establishing a multilateral, transparent and democratic international Internet governance mechanism, fully respecting the rights and freedom of information and cyberspace with the premise of observing laws, helping developing countries develop the information and network technologies and cooperating on fighting cyber crimes.
In preparing the American people for their governments refusal to sign an international agreement stating that the internet should not be used as a weapon of war, this report says, the Obama regime has launched an all-out propaganda assault telling their people falsely that the International Code of Conduct for Information Security would lead to the United Nations control of the internet.
In fact, the US State Department’s top official for information policy warned lawmakers yesterday that proposals to give the United Nations more control over the Internet could lead to international censorship. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philip Verveer testified that the measures would “slow the pace of innovation, hamper global economic development and potentially lead to an era of unprecedented control over what people can say and do online.”
US tech leaders, likewise, joined the Obama regime in attacking The International Code of Conduct for Information Security by falsely claiming it “could lead to broad new regulations of the Internet, including per-click taxes.”
Unbeknownst to most people, this report continues, was that one of Obama’s first acts as President was to declare that the internet was a “strategic national asset” whose control he then gave over to the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Department of Defense (DoD) thus creating what has been called one of the most frightening, and all encompassing, surveillance regimes in history.
Even more frightening about the US, the FSB says, is that the Americans are “most likely” behind what is being called the most dangerous, and potentially catastrophiccomputer virus ever made that has thepower to destroy whole nations and caused the United Nations yesterday to issue itsmost serious warning ever about what is called the Flame Computer Virus.
Roel Schulenburg, a senior security researcher with Kaspersky Labs, told Fox News that Flame is twenty times larger than previous cyberbombs, and immensely more powerful. So large, in fact, that it contains 250,000 lines of code and is like having a virtual army at your disposal.
To who built the Flame Computer Virus it is not known, but US computer security experts told NBC News yesterday that the virus bears the hallmarks of a US cyber espionage operation, specifically that of the super-secret National Security Agency.
Under the terms of The International Code of Conduct for Information Security, this report continues, the actions of any nation creating such a dangerous virus would be prohibited and shows why the Obama regime is so contemptuous of any international law or agreement that would keep it from using the internet as a weapon of war.
Likewise, the FSB reports, under The International Code of Conduct for Information Security the US would no longer be able to spy on its own citizens like it is currently doing with the FBI and NSA.
So pervasive has spying upon the American people by their government become that the US tech blog Network World reported this past week that “the FBI is plowing ahead with plans to wiretap the web and requiring backdoors for eavesdropping on electronic communications. In fact, the FBI has a new web surveillance unit to help create the backdoor technology.”
Even worse for the American people living under the Obama regime, and as reported by the Wired News Service:
“Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks.
The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration.”
To what words being used by the American people over the internet that could potentially mark them as terrorists were recently learned when the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was forced to release a list of these “dangerous” words following a freedom of information request and include such words as: pork, sick, cloud, bridge, aid, flood…and so many other such common words as to mark all of these people as enemies of the state.
And in a case of the plight of these Americans going from bad to worst, last week an amendment was approved to the Defense Authorization Act and passed out of the US House of Representatives on Friday, 18 May that amends two existing acts: the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (1987) that makes it legal for the Obama regime to target propaganda and “psychological operations” directly at US citizens for the first time in their history.
To the American people themselves living under what can only be described as one of the most brutal and totalitarian regimes of the 21st Century, there appears to be nothing that will awaken them from their long slumber before all is lost and they become the debt slaves their elite masters have always envisioned them to be.