Why, Yes, Of Course The NSA Spying Involves More Companies Than Already Listed

from the them-too?-the-club-is-getting-bigger dept

This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but the NSA's spying on Verizon call logs were not, of course, limited to just Verizon. The WSJ has confirmed that AT&T and Sprint are both under similar orders. That article also says that a number of internet firms and credit card companies are participating as well.

And, of course, as the story gets bigger and bigger, we're now getting quotes from ex-government officials saying that even they are surprised at how comprehensive the surveillance appears to be.
“It looks from what I’ve seen to be larger than anything I thought we were doing,” says Paul Rosenzweig, author of a recent book, Cyber Warfare.

Rosenzweig should know. As a former acting assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, he was one of those people given the kind of Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information clearances needed to work on any project as sensitive as this. But, he says, “I wasn’t read in on this.”
I heard the same basic thing from another ex-government official, who didn't want to be named, who had some knowledge of these kinds of programs back at the beginning in the 2008/2009 timeframe -- saying that if what's being said is true, the program has greatly expanded from where it originated.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:27am

    I expect traffic to this page to soar in the coming days and weeks

    https://torrentfreak.com/which-vpn-providers-really-take-anonymity-seriously-111007/

    Get in now before the traffic slows it drastically.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:34am

    Surveilance

    Can we have waterproof microphones covering every inch of the golf courses, and in every corporate box at any stadium. That way the corporate executives will have their social networks as thoroughly monitored as everybody else's.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Blatant Coward (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:39am

    X-Box One Bundled with PRISM

    EFF releases NSA activities timeline:

    https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/timeline

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Manok, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:49am

    So here everyone was, the other year, wondering why the hell MicroSoft was buying Skype, for the incredible amount of 1 billion for a company that does not earn money. The only "logical" answer seemed to that they did not want one of the competitors to buy it.

    Then they started to dismantle the decentralized Skype infrastructure: where Skype used to make use of excess computer and internet capacity of power users, they moved to a centralized solutions, where Microsoft needed to buy loads of computer power, bandwidth capacity, plus creating a kind of bottleneck...

    With all these NSA things going on, what Microsoft is doing all of a sudden starts making far more sense... They are on purposely routing all of the previously uncontrollable Skype communication through U.S. servers.

    The question remains is: did Microsoft get the 1 billion to buy Skype, or are they getting some other kind of favors for it in return?

     

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  5.  
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    Anders K. Nielsen (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:54am

    What about XBox One?

    So anyone else having the thought that XBox One can/will be exploited in the same way?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:10am

    Re: What about XBox One?

    In my youth I read a book called ‘1984’ by George Orwell where every house had a camera in it controlled by the state.

    And so I think: ‘Is this how it starts?’

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:14am

    Re: What about XBox One?

    With the always on, always connected Kinect?

    It is inevitable.

     

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  8.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:17am

    Re: Re: What about XBox One?

    Starts?

    It started with the Patriot Act

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:21am

    Anonymous have responded

    http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2013/06/anonymous-goes-tit-for-tat-and-leaks-a-trove-of-nsa-documents/#comm ent-212890

    They have leaked some secret documents from the NSA.

    Talk about inevitable,

     

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  10.  
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    Mark McA, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:28am

    Response to: Manok on Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:49am

    Nope. Even scarier (and may mean some of these companies are indeed being hacked, not cooperating): they were monitoring Skype - a non-US company - before MS bought it. (For $8.5bn.)

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:40am

    Re: Re: What about XBox One?

    I think 1984 is enough of a scare-story and is sufficiently read to not be the ending point. However, it is likely that other kinds of surveillance will be introduced to a point where it is possible to say that we have ended in another type of the same kind of society.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:40am

    BlackBriar

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:56am

    Re: What about XBox One?

    Sure. But gamers are stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Want proof of that? Okay. Look at how they keep EA in business, despite the fact that it shits on its best customers as often as it possibly can. Any sane demographic would have long ago stopped trying to give EA money, and they would have ceased to exist.

    But not gamers. No, gamers are happy to line up for more of the same, to pay even more for it.

    So even if it turns out that the Xbox One provides a full feed of everything directly to the NSA, gamers will still buy it. They're just not smart enough to know any better.

     

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  14.  
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    vegetaman (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:56am

    Wonderful.

    I turned across CNN while eating supper last night and I heard Ari Fleischer say something akin to the following to Anderson Cooper:

    "People are willing to give up some civil liberties to prevent terrorism."

    To quote James Bond in Goldeneye talking about the former USSR (and it's new leadership):

    "Governments change. The lies stay the same."

     

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  15.  
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    santa lawsuit clause, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 5:15am

    @1

    ya got use a credit card at a VPN to hide form the same people thatwill wack ya for downloading ...i cant see any reason why as soon as visa and mastercard see these vpns dont just hand over that data too your friendly neighborhood holywood

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 5:22am

    Where is the MPAA and RIAA screaming about all of the unauthorized copies being made by the NSA?

     

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  17.  
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    Susan, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 5:27am

    So, what's the answer?

    We don't seem to be able to elect or maintain an honest goverment, so will someone please write some articles about how to protect ourselves? Or explain why it's impossible to do so.

    Seems like everyone is complaining, but not a single article discusses how to address the problem.

    At the expense of seeming like I am wearing a tin-foil bonnet, it seems pretty clear that our congress has been blackmailed into going along with all this. Their communications aren't exempt, and I bet the NSA has mined enough informatiion about their dealings to keep them in line.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 5:28am

    Re:

    The page you linked to was created in 2011. You may want to look at this one as it was made this year.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 6:22am

    Bigger than Google is a commercial front for NSA?

    I've written that here: you just tried to dodge knowing! I've focused on Google because it's OBVIOUS. And yet YOU, Mike, never gave an inkling of this! So NOW which of us is more credible? ... Blind Mike, the fanboys say! HA!



    "This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone," -- Geez, you and minions use that OFTEN! You should really notice that, too. It's just lousy writing and loses the reader's interest right off.


    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    Where Mike fights CISPA without mentioning major data sources Google and Facebook.
    02:22:40[c-485-4]

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 6:35am

    Re: Bigger than Google is a commercial front for NSA?

    Being legally coerced into doing something by the government isn't even in the same ballpark as being a commercial front for the government...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    RyanNerd (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 6:36am

    NSA what a bunch of lying Asshats

    ...The current director of the NSA General Keith Alexander, declined Fox News's requests to sit down for an interview, so we stopped by the offices of a Washington think tank, where Alexander was speaking at a cyber security event last year.
    Asked if the Utah Data Center would hold the data of American citizens, Alexander said, "No...we don't hold data on U.S. citizens," adding that the NSA staff "take protecting your civil liberties and privacy as the most important thing that they do, and securing this nation."

    *** Sorry but my Bullshit-O-Meter just exploded...

    The news report above is from:
    http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/04/12/nsa-data-center-front-and-center-in-debate-over-libert y-security-and-privacy/

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Bigger than Google is a commercial front for NSA?

    @ AC: "Being legally coerced into doing something by the government isn't even in the same ballpark as being a commercial front for the government..."

    Show me Google is being coerced. You can't, of course.

    Do you know about In-Q-Tel, the CIA's investment branch? It funded Google's start-up: those server farms didn't just pop out of nowhere. Do you know that Eric Schmidt is in Watford England at the Bilderberg conference? This "leak" is just a planned announcement of what's already happening, while the globalists move on to the next stage.

    So you're basically trying to cut the one person here's who TODAY, with this and other articles, confirmed to have been right all along, while Mike has been CLUELESS, or pretends to be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 7:27am

    Re:

    My government ate a whole bag of batshit and went 300% crazy in the process spying on its citizens.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: What about XBox One?

    It started with J. Edgar Hoover.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Bigger than Google is a commercial front for NSA?

    Show you facts already in evidence? The authorization is coming from a FISA court. The thing that was leaked is literally the evidence that it's being legally coerced.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: What about XBox One?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 8:28am

    NSA: Yes, we know about you more than you know about you. But please make no mistake. We are not here to prevent anything. We're just observers. We can't interfere with fate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 8:35am

    Re: Bigger than Google is a commercial front for NSA?

    I've brought up Google and other data collection companies because I think it is an artificial line to distinguish private data collection from public data collection. If the data is being collected, stored, analyzed, and monetized by someone, there is surveillance going on.

    What I keep suggesting is that pointing a finger at government alone will just encourage government to privatize all of this and allow the corporations to do this unfettered. That's what I suspect is going on when there's a discussion about government surveillance without an accompanying discussion about private surveillance.

    If the government removes its hands from this, and then allows private companies to handle all of what falls under "national security" or even "security" of any type, there is less monitoring, accountability, and political talk about who does what.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Re: @1

    You can get prepaid debit cards to use for this and still retain your anonymity.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Bigger than Google is a commercial front for NSA?

    When do the black helicopters come to turn me into a chemtrail?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    Re: So, what's the answer?

    You can't do much about the government capturing transactional data with the telephones. But the internet is a different situation -- you can do what you should have been doing all along:

    1) Do not use the cloud, not even to store encrypted or unimportant information.

    2) Do not use the services provided by Google, Amazon, Apple, etc.

    3) Do not use email systems where the emails are stored on computers you don't own and control.

    4) Encrypt everything. Use a VPN (your own, not a VPN service) over TOR.

    ...and so forth. You get the idea. In the end, you'll have to decide how much inconvenience you're willing to take on to retain your privacy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2013 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: So, what's the answer?

    Cryptography is the answer.

    I've come up with a way to create distributed anonymous identities. I call it http://eccentric-authentication.org/

    I hope it inspires a crypto-renaissance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 10th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: So, what's the answer?

    Cryptography is an incredibly powerful and useful tool. It is not, however, a panacea. If your use of encryption is causing you to believe that you are "safe", you are in greater danger than if you aren't using encryption at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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