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posted by azrael on Sunday July 13 2014, @02:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the pinch-of-salt dept.

At least 80 percent of all audio calls are gathered and stored by the NSA, whistleblower William Binney has revealed. The former code-breaker says the spy agency's ultimate aim is no less than total population control.

"At least 80 percent of fiber-optic cables globally go via the US", Binney said. "This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80 percent of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores."

Binney has no evidence to substantiate his claims as he did not take any documents with him when he left the NSA. However, he insists the organization is untruthful about its intelligence gathering practices and their ultimate aim. He says that recent Supreme Court decisions have led him to believe the NSA won't stop until it has complete control over the population.

Related Stories

Congressman Asks NSA to Provide Metadata for 'Lost' IRS Emails 18 comments

Per ArsTechnica, Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) has sent a formal letter to the National Security Agency asking it to hand over "all its metadata" on the e-mail accounts of a former division director at the Internal Revenue Service. "Your prompt cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated and will help establish how IRS and other personnel violated rights protected by the First Amendment," Stockman wrote on Friday. The request came hours after the IRS told a congressional committee that it had "lost" all of the former IRS Exempt Organizations division director's e-mails between January 2009 and April 2011.

The IRS blames a "computer glitch" for erasing the emails which could have implicated Agency employees in illegal activity. "The metadata will establish who Lerner contacted and when, which helps investigators determine the extent of illegal activity by the IRS," says Stockman.

Hugh Pickens also notes that this is a case where one government agency accused of misconduct is asked to "assist" another government agency accused of misconduct.

Claims that Rare "Leaked NSA Source Code" Reveals Tor Servers Targeted 12 comments

Two Germany-based Tor Directory Authority servers, among others, have been specifically targeted by the National Security Agency's XKeyscore program, according to a new report from German public broadcaster ARD. Tor is a well-known open source project designed to keep users anonymous and untraceable-users' traffic is encrypted and bounced across various computers worldwide to keep it hidden.

This marks the first time that actual source code from XKeyscore has been published. ARD did not say how or where it obtained the code. Unlike many other NSA-related stories, the broadcaster did not specifically mention the information being part of the trove leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Microsoft Thumbs Its Nose at the NSA, Hardening the Encryption Used for Both Outlook and OneDrive 21 comments

According to a recent article in El Reg, "Microsoft has flipped the switch to activate stronger encryption on its OneDrive and Outlook.com cloud services as part of a broader effort to make it harder for the NSA and other spying agencies to snoop on its customers' data." Specifically, Outlook.com has begun using TLS for both incoming and outgoing connections whenever possible. Microsoft has also added support for PFS, or Perfect Forward Secrecy, for key exchange whenever possible.

Technically, that means any email sent using the service will be fully encrypted during transit, from end to end. But for that to actually happen, the receiving mail server must also support TLS encryption. Many don't.

To that end, Microsoft has been working with major email providers to ensure that they get TLS up and running on their servers. In a Tuesday blog post, Matt Thomlinson, VP of Redmond's Trustworthy Computing group, named Deutsche Telekom, Mail.ru, and Yandex as three examples of companies that have partnered with Redmond in this effort.

A good move by Microsoft here.

NSA News 44 comments

Two articles have been received regarding the NSA and its activities:

NSA chief knew of Snowden file destruction by Guardian in UK

Surprising absolutely no one, the Guardian reports that Keith Alexander was fully briefed and supportive of the GCHQ's plan to destroy Snowden-related computers at the Guardian's offices in London.

The revelation that Alexander and Obama's director of national intelligence, James Clapper, were advised on the Guardian's destruction of several hard disks and laptops contrasts markedly with public White House statements that distanced the US from the decision.

White House and NSA emails obtained by Associated Press under freedom of information legislation demonstrate how pleased Alexander and his colleagues were with the developments. At times the correspondence takes a celebratory tone, with one official describing the anticipated destruction as "good news".

A Compromise with the NSA

"The NSA wants to know everything we do? Fine, but only if We the People see everything the NSA does. The real problem with the current mass surveillance is asymmetry."

Now we all know that the NSA is not going to open its doors and reveal its secrets - that would be foolhardy in the extreme and seriously endanger the US and its citizens. And despite the sincerely-held views of many of our members and others elsewhere, from the outside there doesn't appear to be anything like a groundswell of dissent in the US regarding Snowden's revelations about the NSA's activities.

However, perhaps by being a little more open it might begin to win back the trust of those who currently doubt that the NSA is working in their interests. What would it take for you to be convinced that the NSA was under control and acting in the best interests of every US citizen, and not just the interests of a small number who appear to use it to cling to power? What amount of spying on allies and partners would be acceptable while remembering that each time such activity is discovered it weakens the trust of the ally and can have serious repercussions for US business? Would clearly stating which terrorist plots had been thwarted by intelligence gathered, in part at least, by the NSA be enough? Or have we already passed the point of no return?

NSA Whistleblower Snowden Seeks to Develop Anti-Surveillance Technologies 10 comments

Edward Snowden has called on supporters at the HOPE hacking conference to develop easy-to-use technologies to subvert government surveillance programs.

Mr Snowden, who addressed conference attendees on Saturday via video link from Moscow, said he intends to devote much of his time to promoting such technologies, including ones that allow people to communicate anonymously and encrypt their messages.

"You in this room, right now, have both the means and the capability to improve the future by encoding our rights into programs and protocols by which we rely every day," he told the New York City conference, known as Hackers on Planet Earth, or HOPE. "That is what a lot of my future work is going to be involved in."

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @02:31AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @02:31AM (#68325)

    Good think I never use my phone! What % of Soilent trolls does NSA read?

    Niger Niger Niger Niamey!

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by davester666 on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:30AM

      by davester666 (155) on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:30AM (#68351)

      I believe they have a dedicated 10 Mb HD tasked with storing all the content and metadata of soylent news. That should last the next 10 years or so.

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday July 13 2014, @02:32AM

    by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 13 2014, @02:32AM (#68326) Journal

    Makes you wonder what they are going to use total population control for..

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @02:39AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @02:39AM (#68330)

      To sell you Obamacare.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:19AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:19AM (#68344)

        oh plz.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by keplr on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:09AM

      by keplr (2104) on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:09AM (#68341) Journal

      It's about protecting the US's economic system, from threats both external and internal. If someone starts to get too popular with the masses, preaching a message of pacifism, humanism, and non-materialism, that person needs to be discredited and silenced. Even better, let's try to identify and discredit them before they get popular. Then there are the actual violent foreign terrorists, we need to stop them too. No need to be subtle with them, they're not even US citizens (some actually are) so they're beyond concern: track their cellphones and drop a missile on them remotely.

      You've got a certain type of person who sees our economic model and way of life as the apex of the human spirit. It's our right to spread this model far and wide, and dominate all other systems of thought and ways of life. This incidentally pisses a lot of people off, and since the people in charge have an us-vs-them mentality, anything is justified in protecting "us" and our interests; loosely defined as what is best for the top US corporations and political factions.

      --
      I don't respond to ACs.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Covalent on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:23AM

        by Covalent (43) on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:23AM (#68348) Journal

        "The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were- cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?"

        Old Mr. Orwell has it right, yet again. The government does not seek power for some idealistic reason, or even some nefarious reason. The government seeks power for its own sake. They seek power so that they can become more powerful. They seek power because having power makes you powerful, and being powerful is useful in all sorts of unimagined scenarios. Power is not a means, it is an end. And our government, even though it may be better than many, is fundamentally no different from any other: it seeks to become more powerful.

        --
        You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 19 2014, @01:48AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 19 2014, @01:48AM (#71083)

        If you think you're getting the truth from Bush, Obama, or any one of their cronies at NSA then pleas watch the two part video from PBS, Frontline titled, "United States of SECRETS". It tells the entire story of the rise of 100% spying on the U.S. population by both Presidents. If you care about your freedom and the Constitution it is well worth watching.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @02:48AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @02:48AM (#68334)

    Back in 2008, Shia LeBeouf blew the whistle while on the Tonight Show. [youtube.com]

    It is interesting to read the rebuttal by the (presumptive) FBI consultant. [wired.com] His reasoning about why the NSA wouldn't want to over-collect seems kind of hollow nowadays.

    • (Score: 1) by johaquila on Sunday July 13 2014, @05:54AM

      by johaquila (867) on Sunday July 13 2014, @05:54AM (#68386)

      Fun fact: Shia Labeouf said in 2008 that the FBI is storing 20 % of phone conversations in the US. Now Edward Snowden said the NSA is storing 80 %. There are several possible explanations that bring the two statements together, most of which involve that the 2008 statement wasn't completely correct and/or the outright criminal part of the NSA's snooping activity has become worse since.

      But there is also the explanation that has to do with the fact that 20 % + 80 % = 100 %.

  • (Score: -1) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:28AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:28AM (#68350)

    It is simple. If these NSA practices are conductive for procreation of the people, the evolution will vote respective genes or cultural memes up, otherwise down.

    So lets look how US are faring now in terms of NRR or Net Reproductive Rate:

    US: 1.0
    comparison: Philippines: 1.5

    So now US have 300 million and Philippines 100 millions - ratio 3:1

    Assuming constant rate, in 4 generations or 100 years it will be 300 millions US - 506 millions Philippines - ratio 1:1.7 These numbers will be probably both reduced by Earth hitting the resource limit.

    So - good luck with this NSA. Who are you going to staff with in few generations? And are you sure those people will share the same values and personality makeup conductive to your kind of operations?

    Karel Kulhavy, Twibright Labs [twibright.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:35AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @03:35AM (#68353)

      > Assuming constant rate

      And there is your error.

      Well, your post is full of errors, but that's the easiest one to knock off.

      BTW, if you don't think pilipinos have to worry about this kind of shit, you haven't been paying attention to the ridiculous amount of corruption there. The only thing stopping it from happening is a lack of pesos. This kind of surveillance is getting cheaper by the day, and guys like the MILF are even more convenient justifications than alqaeda because they actually do kill a few people every year.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @02:16PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @02:16PM (#68531)

        Where is the president? Why has he failed us? He could put an end to this in a few weeks. Instead he has, if anything circled the wagons.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by c0lo on Sunday July 13 2014, @04:06AM

    by c0lo (156) on Sunday July 13 2014, @04:06AM (#68358) Journal
    What is those 20% they are not storing? Awkward silences during phone calls?
    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @04:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @04:25AM (#68365)

      > What is those 20% they are not storing? Awkward silences during phone calls?

      Their own comms and the comms of big banks and other friendlies.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by meisterister on Sunday July 13 2014, @05:17AM

      by meisterister (949) on Sunday July 13 2014, @05:17AM (#68375) Journal

      Actual illegal communications.

      --
      (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by r3dakted on Sunday July 13 2014, @05:56AM

      by r3dakted (409) on Sunday July 13 2014, @05:56AM (#68387)

      Perhaps the ~20% of international communications that doesn't route through the US?

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday July 13 2014, @07:24AM

        by c0lo (156) on Sunday July 13 2014, @07:24AM (#68406) Journal
        That was years ago. You sure they still don't?
        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday July 13 2014, @10:01AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 13 2014, @10:01AM (#68452) Journal

      Maybe all the hotline calls where you hang up after hearing the waiting loop music for half an hour?

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday July 13 2014, @01:19PM

        by c0lo (156) on Sunday July 13 2014, @01:19PM (#68515) Journal

        Maybe all the hotline calls where you hang up after hearing the waiting loop music for half an hour?

        Not the kind of hotline I call, but granted those I do call don't rely on articulated speech to convey the message
        (ducks)

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @01:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @01:34PM (#68520)

      Robodialer calls. Nobody wants to listen to those.

  • (Score: 2) by hash14 on Sunday July 13 2014, @05:04AM

    by hash14 (1102) on Sunday July 13 2014, @05:04AM (#68373)

    As much as I'd love to believe this is true, we have a responsibility to make sure that these kinds of statements have reliable evidence. If we simply accept what this guy says without any hard evidence, we'd be as responsible as victims of NSA propaganda for the opposite cause. Yes, clearly this guy is a former insider, but his perspective on the NSA's activities is no more than a few months (approximately?) after Sept. 2011, but so much has gone on since then that it's hard to accept this as a viable insider viewpoint. Plus, statements like 'their objective is total population control' are fairly generalized and difficult to accept, though we may certainly feel that the NSA is nefarious enough to have such aims.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @07:36AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @07:36AM (#68412)

      Yup, it's time for hard evidence. How about we shut down NSA and cow through all their data with a fine comb. I'm sure they have nothing to hide.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Sunday July 13 2014, @09:36AM

      by sjames (2882) on Sunday July 13 2014, @09:36AM (#68442) Journal

      Given the zero credibility the NSA has since they have been caught in multiple lies to the people, including when under oath to Congress, I would say we have adequate probable cause right now.

      Of course, since the NSA supposedly works for the people, we don't require even probable cause to order them dis-banded or to order them to open 100% of their records to auditing.

    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Sunday July 13 2014, @07:42PM

      by Bot (3902) on Sunday July 13 2014, @07:42PM (#68619) Journal

      Once upon a time Andreotti, high ranked Italian politician, was accused of mafia links. Then somebody testified that he had kissed the top mafia don of the moment (which has a social, not sexual meaning). Then the story was proven false and Andreotti defenders could play the "victim of conspiracy" card. Not that it worked flawlessly in the end.

      So this could be a disinfo operation.

      OTOH it seems a bit too weak of an accusation. Intelligence agencies are the perfect front for sufficiently powerful people, there must be heaps of dirt among justified self-defense ops. We could have obtained more interesting stuff.

      --
      Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by ticho on Sunday July 13 2014, @11:04AM

    by ticho (89) on Sunday July 13 2014, @11:04AM (#68475) Homepage Journal

    So, what now? Everyone should keep making long calls with nothing but Never Gonna Give You Up looping forever, to starve NSA of their capacity?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @11:17AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13 2014, @11:17AM (#68481)

    Good thing FB is doing such an excellent job at this already

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Pav on Sunday July 13 2014, @12:28PM

    by Pav (114) on Sunday July 13 2014, @12:28PM (#68498)

    ...here's the same story from The Guardian [theguardian.com].

    If I was contracting for NSA Public Relations Inc I'd link to the most questionable sources possible, and I'm sure RT would hit Joe Sixpacks mental filter.