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At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US, says whistleblower William Binney – that's a 'totalitarian mentality'
William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.
On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.
“At least 80% of fibre-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% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”
The NSA will soon be able to collect 966 exabytes a year, the total of internet traffic annually. Former Google head Eric Schmidt once argued that the entire amount of knowledge from the beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes.
Binney, who featured in a 2012 short film by Oscar-nominated US film-maker Laura Poitras, described a future where surveillance is ubiquitous and government intrusion unlimited.
In the early 1970's, the U.S. government learned that an undersea cable ran parallel to the Kuril Islands off the eastern coast of Russia, providing a vital communications link between two major Soviet naval bases. The problem? The Soviet Navy had completely blocked foreign ships from entering the region.
Not to be deterred, the National Security Agency launched Operation Ivy Bells, deploying fast-attack submarines and combat divers to drop waterproof recording pods on the lines. Every few weeks, the divers would return to gather the tapes and deliver them to the NSA, which would then binge-listen to their juicy disclosures.
A subsidiary program for these operations -- Tempora -- sucks up around 21 million gigabytes per day and stores the data for a month. The data is shared with NSA, and there are reportedly 550 NSA and GCHQ analysts poring over the information they've gathered from at least 200 fiber optic cables so far.
Tempora is the codeword for a formerly secret computer system that is used by the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). This system is used to buffer internet communications that are extracted from fibre-optic cables, so these can be processed and searched. It was tested since 2008 and became operational in the autumn of 2011.
TEMPORA comprises different components, like the actual access points to fiber-optic cables, a sanitisation program codenamed POKERFACE, the XKEYSCORE system developed by NSA, and a Massive Volume Reduction (MVR) capability
XKeyscore is considered a "passive" program, in that it listens, but does not transmit anything on the networks that it targets. But it can trigger other systems, which perform "active" attacks through Tailored Access Operations which are "tipping", for example the Quantum family of programs, including Quantuminsert, Quantumhand, Quantumtheory, Quantumbot and Quantumcopper and Turbulence (NSA). These run at so-called "defensive sites" including the Ramstein Air Force base in Germany, Yokota Air Base in Japan, and numerous military and non-military locations within the US. Trafficthief, a core program of Turbulence, can alert NSA analysts when their targets communicate, and trigger other software programs, so select data is "promoted" from the local XKeyscore data store to the NSA's "corporate repositories" for long term storage.
originally posted by: Swills
Former Google head Eric Schmidt once argued...
originally posted by: FlyersFan
originally posted by: Metallicus
We already KNOW the NSA is breaking the law.
They all are ... all through Washington ... all through the leaderships around the world everywhere. The Earth is a tribal lawless deadly mess.