UPS Insists That It Is Not Helping The NSA 'Interdict' Packages To Install Backdoors

from the not-us! dept

After Glenn Greenwald's book came out last week, one of the big stories was the additional revelations about the NSA's interdiction program -- in which the NSA grabs packages of computer equipment that are being shipped, outfits the equipment with backdoors -- and sends them along their shipping route as if nothing happened. Most famously, it included an image of it happening, showing a clear Cisco box:
Cisco has insisted publicly that it has nothing to do with this program and apparently complained directly to the President about this program, and how it harms their reputation. While some people doubt whether or not Cisco is being totally forthright, others wondered if perhaps it wasn't Cisco, but a third party, such as whoever ships Cisco's equipment. It turns out that company is often UPS, and Matthew Keys, writing for TheBlot, got UPS to vehemently deny assisting the NSA as well:

UPS, which Cisco has used since 1997 to ship hardware to customers around the world, said on Thursday that it did not voluntarily allow government officials to inspect its packages unless it is required to do so by law.

“UPS’ long-standing policy is to require a legal court-ordered process, such as a subpoena, before responding to any third-party requests,” UPS spokeswoman Kara Ross wrote in an e-mail to TheBlot Magazine. “UPS is not aware of any court orders from the NSA seeking to inspect technology-related shipments.”

In a follow-up e-mail, Ross said UPS had no knowledge of similar orders from the FBI, CIA or any other federal agency.

Keys also reached out to other popular shipping options, including the US Postal Service, FedEx and DHL. USPS says that they don't participate in any such NSA program (though, some may question the validity of that statement). FedEx and DHL appear to have simply ignored repeated requests for comment from Keys.

Of course, it's not impossible that there are other methods being used to get the equipment -- or that the folks who handle these "special" projects are kept way far away from any official spokesperson. Clearly, however, the NSA can get these packages, and now the doubt is going to spread across pretty much everyone in the logistics chain, no matter what they say.

Filed Under: glenn greenwald, interdiction, nsa, surveillance, tao
Companies: cisco, ups


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2014 @ 2:13pm

    The NSA has once again damaged the creditability of all. Through the use of the NSL's no one can believe any statements made about this as no one who knows can tell the truth. What you are left with instead is damaged corporate trust in products and an even worse distrust of government functions.

    This will continue to spread until the US has nothing the world wants to purchase for fear of some method of spying, be that teddy bears, software, hardware, or regular products of any nature. It has done itself no favors in all this cover up. It hasn't even gained short term benefits given the distrust it has sowed in the process.

    At some point the government will have to acknowledge it's war footing is over. So is the endless money being spent on it. This business of trillions of dollars in debt will have to be addressed and sooner rather than later is called for. Our politicians and the government have spent us into the poor house and with their aid have buried the economy under debt.

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