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PBS airs footage of Bin Laden's logistic center... and his phone number!

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posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 02:50 PM
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Originally posted by Studenofhistory
I was aware of the NSA's snooping before but what really amazed me was that they would let NOVA reveal that info about the satellite phone # and the exact building where his logistics and communications nerve center was. Anyone with half a brain will immediately realize that the NSA would never allow that info to go public unless it didn't matter anymore


I haven't seen it yet, but I'm guessing this was PBS' The Spy Factory? This is based on a book by James Bamford, The Shadow Factory (which I have read), so I'm guessing most of the information comes from his work and his contacts.

Bamford wrote the first (published) book on the NSA in 1982, The Puzzle Palace. He has been following the Agency for quite some time now.

Most of the information he has about the NSA comes from information acquired through FOIA, and his sources inside the Agency.

If the information revealed on the show is similar to the one presented in his books, then it's information that is either public or has been made public through FOIA, so the NSA can't really deny anything.




posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 04:55 PM
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reply to post by Thistled
 


I'm not saying El-Queda does not exist. Just the White Houses interest
in finding Osama.

It's still a fake war on terror though, that's only real part.
And Blair won't trust the US anymore after he found out he was conned,
not that it matters anymore.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 05:00 PM
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"The program clearly states in no uncertain terms that every single phone call, email, fax, etc. sent or received by Americans, is recorded and sifted by the NSA."

And you believe that? Seriously...I don't think NSA has the manpower, or the time, to do that.

I also don't believe Osama Bin Laden exists, or ever existed. Discussions about his whereabouts are as fundamentally flawed as the hype over Jesus Christ's ossuary...you'll have to prove to me that he exists before I'll believe any details about his life...



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 10:55 PM
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Originally posted by nicholaswa
"The program clearly states in no uncertain terms that every single phone call, email, fax, etc. sent or received by Americans, is recorded and sifted by the NSA."

And you believe that? Seriously...I don't think NSA has the manpower, or the time, to do that.

I also don't believe Osama Bin Laden exists, or ever existed. Discussions about his whereabouts are as fundamentally flawed as the hype over Jesus Christ's ossuary...you'll have to prove to me that he exists before I'll believe any details about his life...



If NSA is even superficially sifting through the trillions of communications of Americans, they would have to be the biggest employer in the history of the world. If the government implemented this, there would never be unemployment in the US.

Osama Bin Laden exists. He was extensively photographed, interviewed in the press and on video. Hundreds of credible people Middle Eastern and Western have interfaced with him personally. His involvement in the planning of 9/11 has been thoroughly documented by both Western and Muslim media.

The conflicting reports of his whereabouts and the phony broadcasts have been since 2002.


Mike F



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 11:10 PM
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The reason why its ok for them to discuss the satellite phone Is because he stopped using it a decade ago.

In August 1998 President Bill Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack on Bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan in retaliation for the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa. Bin Laden survived, and he stopped using his satellite phone the next day.

So why did Bin Laden stop using his sat phone after the attacks? It’s possible that he read The Washington Times the day after the attack on his Afghan base. But the most likely scenario is that the attack itself provided a compelling reason for him to change his behavior. Id say even Bin Laden was smart enough to figure out that they triangulated off his satellite phone.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 11:57 PM
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I woul like to call Bin laden and have an interesting convo some time.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 11:58 PM
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Originally posted by nicholaswa
"The program clearly states in no uncertain terms that every single phone call, email, fax, etc. sent or received by Americans, is recorded and sifted by the NSA."

And you believe that? Seriously...I don't think NSA has the manpower, or the time, to do that.


Manpower? What should be relevant is the computing power of the NSA.

The intercepts are all collected and analyzed by computers. The intercepts that are flagged (because they contain 'interesting' information) are only then listened to by actual people. Most of the information collected isn't actually "listened to", but it is stored.

And if you are questioning the number of people that work there perhaps you should take a look at Fort Meade, the agency's HQ.



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 12:15 AM
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reply to post by converge
 


Now i used to be stationed there nothing but motor pools. Running joke on the base if you asked someone else what they did that was usually the answer . Funniest part is its in a wooded area and people dont realize just how big it really is there. And the other amazing thing is that was the 1st base i was stationed at that had such a loose command structure. The right hand truly doesnt know what the left one is doing. Learned alot while there also probably lead to some of my paranoia, I tend to read news articles etc and try to figure out the true motivation.



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 09:34 AM
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reply to post by nicholaswa
 



And you believe that? Seriously...I don't think NSA has the manpower, or the time, to do that.


It is about computer power, it's all machines recording and listening for key words and then flagging which sends it to a more sophisticated machine that might flag it for human review. Everything is recorded, pretty much like your phone company logs everything for your bill the NSA simply records it on spools of tape. If enough computers are disturbed by the words recorded it might end up being listened to by a live human being. It's a simple and I gather fairly efficient process.

As far as time, the government has 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year to do the crazy things that it does.

Hey so do I!



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 10:13 AM
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Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler


It is about computer power, it's all machines recording and listening for key words and then flagging which sends it to a more sophisticated machine that might flag it for human review. Everything is recorded, pretty much like your phone company logs everything for your bill the NSA simply records it on spools of tape. If enough computers are disturbed by the words recorded it might end up being listened to by a live human being. It's a simple and I gather fairly efficient process.

As far as time, the government has 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year to do the crazy things that it does.

Hey so do I!




Do you have any idea as to the vast storage space and processing time require for a quick scan of everything communicated. Add to that language, encoding, and concealment measures taken by people dealing with sensitive material.

Add to that the manpower required to sift through the various degrees of suspicious information. They'd have to classify, file and document an insane number of questionable transmissions. They'd have to compare them with other data from the same source and see who they were dealing with. Most of it would prove to be innocuous, but a file would have to be maintained anyway.

It's would be like like trying to fish with a series of nets that cover the entire ocean.

It's plenty of work just tracking those they've already raised alarm bells for.
Even if governments wanted to keep tabs on everybody's communication it's just not doable.


Mike F



posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by mmiichael
Do you have any idea as to the vast storage space and processing time require for a quick scan of everything communicated.


And you do? So how can you say that they don't have that capacity?

The NSA has a building dedicated to housing their supercomputers. It's called the Tordella Supercomputer Building, named after Louis Tordella, the longest serving deputy director of the NSA (58-74), a cryptanalyst and early advocate of the use of computers for cryptologic work.


Bell provided general construction for a new supercomputer facility serving the National Security Agency (NSA). One of the largest facilities of its kind in the world, the 183,000-square-foot complex is located on a 25-acre site at the NSA Headquarters at Fort Meade. Featuring a building skin of precast metal panels and louvers that complement the surrounding area, the tightly secured complex features administrative offices, support areas, and 78,000 square-feet of raised flooring for data processing and supercomputer support. The total site package included utilities, earthwork, and paving and required 10,000 cubic yards of building concrete and approximately one mile of high-voltage ductbank. The utilities serving the facility feature built-in redundancy and include a 13.8-KV underground electrical service with a total capacity of 29 million volt amperes. The equipment installation consisted of three 2,000-ton chillers, two 1,000-ton chillers, and 7,000 linear feet of pipe that was prefabricated at Bell’s Fabrication Shop. Bell also installed a 500-kw emergency generator.


One of the known Supercomputers used by the Agency was FROSTBURG, built in 1991 and decommissioned in 97.


It was the first massively parallel processing computer bought by the NSA, originally containing 256 processing nodes. The system was upgraded in 1993 with an additional 256 nodes, for a total of 512 nodes. The system had a total of 500 billion 32-bit words of memory(~2 terabytes), and could perform at 65.5 gigaflops. The operating system was based on UNIX, but optimized for parallel processing.

The FROSTBURG system cost US$25 million.


Here's a clip from a Discovery program about some of the Agency's supercomputers and housing facility, claiming it's the "greatest concentration of supercomputers on Earth".



Here are some quotes from the NSA's virtual tour of the National Cryptologic Museum


Working with companies, such as Cray Research Inc., NSA has been a leader in computer development throughout its history. Some of the earliest supercomputers were designed and built for the National Security Agency. ...

NSA, with its partners in industry, continues to be a leader in research and development of computer technologies, pioneering the frontiers of computer science and engineering. To house and develop these new systems, NSA has the world's largest supercomputing facility and the Special Processing Lab located on its campus.



It seems to me mmiichael, that you haven't even looked at what the Agency's capabilities might be or the computer power they have, but simply because you don't believe they can do it or you can't even understand the computing power they have, you merely declare it as not possible.

Don't bother me with the facts, my mind's made up ― Stanton Friedman



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 12:18 AM
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reply to post by mmiichael
 


Before you say it cant be done i would suggest you do some research a super computer would have the capability to monitor voice communications rather easily in fact there actually quite slow. Heres the Latest us government purchase it has more computing power then every desk top pc made if you put them all together.

CRAY

As far as man hours about 5 people and lots of coffee to stay awake as they set in a chair listening to cooling pumps.



[edit on 2/6/09 by dragonridr]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 07:37 PM
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Originally posted by dragonridr

Before you say it cant be done i would suggest you do some research a super computer would have the capability to monitor voice communications rather easily in fact there actually quite slow. Heres the Latest us government purchase it has more computing power then every desk top pc made if you put them all together.

[edit on 2/6/09 by dragonridr]




There's no real point in arguing here. What I said has be morphed into something else.

Of course computing power is there. But are you saying all the emails, voice mail, telephone conversations, etc can be inputted, questionable conversations and messages isolated, then examined, then put into files, then the patterns of communication of the suspicious ones correlated, a new subcategory file then made with comments, and on and on and on.

Who is going to determine the coding, technological or human on the messages people try to keep secret?

What are the criterion put into place to even start looking. Use of the expression "government coverup" "send the weapons" "enriched plutonium."

Millions of history per day - who is going to separate suspicious from the innocuous? Who is going to check the source, analyze each message and apply a ranking to the level of seriousness.

Another super computer?


MF



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 01:50 AM
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reply to post by mmiichael
 


Well if i was writing a program i would start with a hot list of words to scan for with of course ability to assign new ones. Then set up a the program to do a context review example my car broke down the other day and i could kill some one. By the way did you see the president on tv? well thats ok Now in a conversation they say they want to kill the president not ok. Then with context review i would assign it a threat level cross reference the number and start keeping a data base 1 time would probably be ignored for most keywords. Eventually they would pop enough triggers to make someone listen.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 01:56 AM
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reply to post by Studenofhistory
 


They showed you old areas with an old satellite phone. Most of the photos he was using an iridium phone... and no doubt he has a handful of SIM chips to jump Iridium accounts.

I doubt you were giving any compromising details of material value.

The US Intelligence agencies have their share of screw-ups but I don't think your reference is one of them.

cheers



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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Originally posted by dragonridr

Well if i was writing a program i would start with a hot list of words to scan for with of course ability to assign new ones. Then set up a the program to do a context review example my car broke down the other day and i could kill some one. By the way did you see the president on tv? well thats ok Now in a conversation they say they want to kill the president not ok. Then with context review i would assign it a threat level cross reference the number and start keeping a data base 1 time would probably be ignored for most keywords. Eventually they would pop enough triggers to make someone listen.



I agree with what you're saying and I'm sure this sort of narrowing down filtration is implemented by intelligence agencies worldwide.

I have some familiarity with similar set ups having to process massive amounts of data. Believe me, you cannot avoid a huge amount of human input in sorting it all out and correlating.

If, say, they decide to track some organized crime major drug dealing, someone somewhere has to read through a lot of material and isolate what's relevant and usable. Then they have to organize what they found into some kind of report for others to read.

People involved in heavy duty political crime are becoming pretty sophisticate. There are ways to embed messages in something like a jpg. Blabbing indiscriminately is done less and less with the public aware they can be bugged.

The argument goes back to my initial point, if they had to process communications from a quarter million people in North America, even when it's all done at lightning speed, you'd have hundreds of thousands of messages to analyze and evaluate.

Not everything can be relegated to a program that does the work.

If I type "kill the president" someone will have to look at the context and decide if I'm making a threat, who I am, what else I've said. And what if I do it in code. Will they spot it by using decoding software on every single transmission?

You're really talking about something on the scale of a separate intelligence service and an army of drone staffers when it comes to processing and sifting the volume of public generated data discussed.

Really.


Mike F



posted on Feb, 11 2009 @ 05:13 PM
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Originally posted by mmiichael
The argument goes back to my initial point, if they had to process communications from a quarter million people in North America, even when it's all done at lightning speed, you'd have hundreds of thousands of messages to analyze and evaluate.
Not everything can be relegated to a program that does the work.


Have you read the book or seen the PBS program yet mmiichael? It answers many of your questions.



If I type "kill the president" someone will have to look at the context and decide if I'm making a threat, who I am, what else I've said. And what if I do it in code. Will they spot it by using decoding software on every single transmission?


Again, this is answered on the PBS Nova program or Bamford's book.

But yes, if you type an email with certain keywords the NSA's filtering system is prepared to flag, then it will be flagged for further review (by a human). But everything is stored.

Bamford talks about the dangers of the NSA having too much information, because it was starting to be overwhelming for the NSA's system.

Too much information would mean that the human component of the system (voice interceptors, operators, analysts) couldn't keep up with the stored information.

Bamford claims that the NSA system captures about 4 petabytes of data every month. To have an idea of how much data this is, 200 petabytes would be the equivalent of all printed material.

The NSA has many different listening stations and employs several thousands of interceptors, operators, analysts and linguists to listen, analyze and develop and improve the filtering systems.

Like I said, I highly recommend that you either watch the program or read the book. It will answer many of the questions you pose.



posted on Feb, 13 2009 @ 10:45 PM
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Originally posted by converge


Have you read the book or seen the PBS program yet mmiichael? It answers many of your questions.

Again, this is answered on the PBS Nova program or Bamford's book.

But yes, if you type an email with certain keywords the NSA's filtering system is prepared to flag, then it will be flagged for further review (by a human). But everything is stored.

Bamford talks about the dangers of the NSA having too much information, because it was starting to be overwhelming for the NSA's system.

Too much information would mean that the human component of the system (voice interceptors, operators, analysts) couldn't keep up with the stored information.

Bamford claims that the NSA system captures about 4 petabytes of data every month. To have an idea of how much data this is, 200 petabytes would be the equivalent of all printed material.

The NSA has many different listening stations and employs several thousands of interceptors, operators, analysts and linguists to listen, analyze and develop and improve the filtering systems.

Like I said, I highly recommend that you either watch the program or read the book. It will answer many of the questions you pose.



--

Sorry, just catching up to this. Thanks for the feedback. I don't consider documentaries a valid form of documentation, and haven't read the book.

I have worked on projects related to storage of massive amounts of raw data and can tell you there are difficulties few realize. Theoretical possibilities are different from practical realities.

A revealing anecdote that may give you some idea of the unforseen problems. I got to know someone while working in Eastern Europe in the 90s, who was high up in a Soviet program to monitor calls, conversations, and communications of Hungarians. He was fluent in 5 languages.

He said as they tried to broadened the range of those being scrutinized beyond the "Usual Suspects" - known dissidents, those with some record, agitators, friends or relatives of these - to the population at large - quality of intelligence diminished precicipitously.

There is finite time, funds, manpower, computer power, analysis - that can be allocated to any project of any size. In the end the needed fine tuning suffers with data overload. Paraphrasing his summary, when you try to track everybody you end up effectively tracking nobody.

Handling each individual file may take only a 10 seconds, but a million files at 10 seconds each, with teams going 24 hours a day 7 days a week, non-stop, is about 4 months. By the time you finish, you have millions more files to look at, and on and on.

Again, people who deal in illegal and politically sensitive information largely employ evasion technology and strategies, so your program ends up looking for those who are essentially careless and loose lipped.

I'm sure you're right that everything is being stored somewhere, and clever filters are being applied to narrow down sensitive and significant information exchanges.

But, again, going past the theoretical possibilities, who has the resources and the combined language skills needed to properly categorize, track, and analyzed even a tiny percentage of the questionable stuff, and do it properly? The human input requirement may be minimized, but it can't be eliminated.

Computers can do marvelous things, but not everything.


Mike F



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