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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The First Word

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  1. icon
    GEMont (profile), 31 May 2014 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: does UPS necessarily know?

    I would assume UPS Corporate knows absolutely everything that the Federal Government does in its "interdiction" operations on UPS property, upon to-be-UPS-delivered products belonging to American citizens. The examples given were about UPS doing its part to assist the fed in the War on Drugs.

    How much more so would UPS be willing to assist/allow federal "interdiction" operations that pertained to the War on Terror?

    The question now, is Why?

    ---

    However, I still think the really important aspect of this situation is as John Fenderson noted:

    "Whether or not UPS is involved in the situation, this brings up an excellent point about NSLs: that they exist mean that no denial any company issues actually means a thing."

    NSLs change the whole playing field completely.

    That the federal government can now legally force a company to lie to the public means that the apparently honest companies and the obviously dishonest companies are now indistinguishable and that nobody should really accept what any company says in its own defense when it comes to assisting the federal government in clandestine operations.

    It would appear that the NSA, CIA, FBI, HLS and the US Fed are hell-bent on utterly destroying any remaining trust between global citizens and all US companies, by every means at their disposal.

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