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The world's best cyber army doesn’t belong to Russia

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Winston

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The world's best cyber army doesn’t belong to Russia
by James Bamford
August 4, 2016

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-election-intelligence-commentary-idUSKCN10F1H5

Excerpt from intro:

National attention is focused on Russian eavesdroppers’ possible targeting of U.S. presidential candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Yet, leaked top-secret National Security Agency documents show that the Obama administration has long been involved in major bugging operations against the election campaigns -- and the presidents -- of even its closest allies.

The United States is, by far, the world’s most aggressive nation when it comes to cyberspying and cyberwarfare. The National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on foreign cities, politicians, elections and entire countries since it first turned on its receivers in 1952. Just as other countries, including Russia, attempt to do to the United States. What is new is a country leaking the intercepts back to the public of the target nation through a middleperson.

There is a strange irony in this. Russia, if it is actually involved in the hacking of the computers of the Democratic National Committee, could be attempting to influence a U.S. election by leaking to the American public the falsehoods of its leaders. This is a tactic Washington used against the Soviet Union and other countries during the Cold War.

In the 1950s, for example, President Harry S Truman created the Campaign of Truth to reveal to the Russian people the “Big Lies” of their government. Washington had often discovered these lies through eavesdropping and other espionage.

Today, the United States has morphed from a Cold War, and in some cases a hot war, into a cyberwar, with computer coding replacing bullets and bombs. Yet the American public manages to be “shocked, shocked” that a foreign country would attempt to conduct cyberespionage on the United States.

NSA operations have, for example, recently delved into elections in Mexico, targeting its last presidential campaign. According to a top-secret PowerPoint presentation leaked by former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden, the operation involved a “surge effort against one of Mexico’s leading presidential candidates, Enrique Peña Nieto, and nine of his close associates.” Peña won that election and is now Mexico’s president.

The NSA identified Peña’s cellphone and those of his associates using advanced software that can filter out specific phones from the swarm around the candidate. These lines were then targeted. The technology, one NSA analyst noted, “might find a needle in a haystack.” The analyst described it as "a repeatable and efficient" process.

The eavesdroppers also succeeded in intercepting 85,489 text messages, a Der Spiegel article noted.

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A previous "What's up with that?" post of mine in a thread I started:

Intel and Micron Produce Breakthrough (non-volatile) Memory Technology

http://www.rocketryforum.com/showth...tile)-Memory-Technology&p=1482535#post1482535

"Their production facility is in Lehi, Utah which, interestingly, is also the location of that new, huge, controversial NSA data center. How convenient, a huge customer right next door."

To that, I'll add this "Wafer Scale Integration" link which would be an extremely compact way for a "special customer" to use the above new memory tech in a unique, custom package:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wafer-scale_integration

Just ship the custom, encapsulated memory modules directly across town... Supposedly, from what I can manage to find, they will just process the wafers at the Lehi, Utah foundry, but encapsulation could apparently be done in a very small space considering this bit about the wafer production:

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1328682

"180 wafers/hour in 26 square feet of floor space for first generation products to handling a whopping 1,000 w/h in 20 square feet for third generation parts." EDIT: Although that may have been a typo which should have said 26k and 20k...

I haven't seen this possible connection between the huge NSA data center and the wafer fab mentioned anywhere else. Of course, I haven't seen mention of the interesting coincidence of an NSA facility in Texas that's very close to a Microsoft Cloud facility either. :)

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James Bamford's excellent books on the NSA:

https://www.amazon.com/James-Bamford/e/B000APPIUM
 
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Winston

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Just in case anyone thinks, incorrectly, that I in any way support what Snowden did, let me say that I think he is, at best, just another example of an all too common high-IQ idiot.

He claims that what has developed in the US is basically a "turn-key tyranny" and I agree. We have put in place the tools required for the perfect police surveillance state although I've read it has simply resulted in a gigantic torrent of data that hides a needle in a haystack, but that's something that can probably be fixed in time with advanced AI.

He claims that his greatest fear is that nothing positive will come from his leaks, but anyone knowledgeable of history would have realized that nothing would be done about what he revealed beyond lip service.

If he had limited himself to just the release of info on programs that only spied on American citizens illegally, then I could have somewhat supported him. But he didn't. He handed over nearly EVERYTHING he stole to the ("lets all hold hands worldwide and sing 'I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing'") columnist Glenn Greenwald and left it up to HIM and his staff to determine what to release which resulted in the VAST majority of what was released being our programs to spy on other governments, not on Americans.

So, as any informed person could have easily predicted ("informed" meaning having read Bamford's books on the NSA and possibly on other topics like the Vietnam War era COINTELPRO), what has he actually accomplished? Absolutely nothing other than giving away our entire playbook to foreign adversaries... and providing me and others with some really interesting stuff to read.

On intel agency "oversight," I knew of this statement from seeing it somewhere else on-line, but a Google search now turned it up here:

[In 2007] Charles Davis, a freelance reporter, briefly interviewed Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, made this startling statement about how the U.S. government really functions:

ROCKEFELLER: Don't you understand the way Intelligence works? Do you think that because I'm Chairman of the Intelligence Committee that I just say I want it, and they give it to me? They control it. All of it. All of it. All the time. I only get, and my committee only gets, what they want to give me.


The audio recording:

http://www.tinyrevolution.com/mt/mt-static/images/Rockefeller.mp3
 

tmacklin

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In the end, me thinks the greatest discovery in all this spying will be the huge amount of porn being watched by "the good people of the world".
 
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