Humint Events Online: NSA Abuses -- the Latest from Greenwald

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

NSA Abuses -- the Latest from Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald spent the hour on Democracy Now! yesterday and it was worth listening to. Greenwald is an incredibly compelling speaker and while he didn't say anything really new about the NSA, it was a good summary of his findings.

Key points:
-- despite their claims of limited data collection and protecting American rights, the NSA has a "collect-it-all" mentality
-- perhaps the most outrageous practice is the NSA intercepting electronic hardware after being shipped from the manufacturer, e.g. Cisco Systems, then inserting hidden spyware, repackaging it then sending it on to the customer. They even have a picture of this in the interview.
-- Greenwald is still working on the story, but says the whole NSA spying is all about helping US businesses and has nothing to do with catching terrorists.  The spying is largely economic in nature-- it's all about the Benjamins...

There was some important new info about Snowden.

Key points:
-- he was radicalized by observing the US drone war and spying system
-- before working at Booz-Allen, he worked at Dell Computers as a CIA agent

GLENN GREENWALD: One of the things that he told me was like a turning point for him was he had an NSA job in Japan, where—and this was the job right before Dell—that he said he was able to watch the real-time surveillance being fed by drones, in which you could see an entire village in a place where America is not at war, like Yemen or Somalia or Pakistan. And you could see literally little dots of people and what they were doing, and then you would have intelligence about who they were and who they were calling and this vast picture that was able to be created of them by not even physically being in the country. And the invasiveness and the extent of that surveillance, he said, was something even he, working inside this community, had no idea even existed. And—
AMY GOODMAN: He was watching a village before it was struck by a drone?
GLENN GREENWALD: Right. I mean, these were surveillance drones, typically. And so, it wasn’t even necessarily that the drones were killing people, though a lot of times they did. That was the reason for putting these villages under surveillance, was to decide who to kill. But he could watch just how much the U.S. government covertly could put entire populations under a microscope. And the fact that this had been done without any democratic debate or without his fellow citizens knowing about it was extremely alarming to him. And the more he came to see just how ubiquitous this system of suspicionless surveillance was, the more compelled he felt not to keep it a secret.
AMY GOODMAN: And not only the drone surveillance, but watching people type every letter—explain what that was.
GLENN GREENWALD: There is a certain kind of what the NSA calls "malware," which is essentially a virus that enters your computer. And there’s all kinds of ways they can get that virus onto your computer. They can induce you to click on a link by sending it to your email, that once you click on it will inject that virus into your system. They can send you a file that, once you open, by calling it "urgent banking notice," you open—or "tax notice," you open the file, and the opening of that file injects this virus. Or they can physically access your computer and put it in that way. And once that virus is there, they, as they call it, own your computer, which means that they can literally see every keystroke that you enter. And one of the documents we published said that they had done this to 50,000 machines. The New York Times thereafter reported that it was 100,000. And then we, just about a month and a half ago, at The Intercept reported that it was millions of machines they’re preparing to do this to. And so, he would be able to watch the outcome of this malware, where people, without any idea that their machines had been infected, were having every keystroke that they entered, every Google search, every website they clicked on, every email they sent or opened or read, every chat in which they engaged, read by an analyst thousands of miles away. And he found that deeply disturbing.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

glenn greenwald. he sure does know a lot about everything until the topic of 9/11 or obama's documentation comes up, then suddenly he knows nothing.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's because he's a spook

5:08 PM  

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