Hidden Gems In The Snowden Files: Part Two

In this series we divulge fascinating nuggets of information found hidden within the Snowden files that were not reported by corporate media and are not yet widely known.

In August 2016, The Intercept published it’s second bulk release of files from the Snowden archives, 263 documents from SIDtoday, the newsletter of the Signals Intelligence Directorate of the National Security Agency.

It is an internal publication of bite size proportions, averaging just over a page per article. Predictably upbeat and celebratory in nature, the general themes are news bulletins on:

  • HR: awards, promotions and vacancies
  • Compliance & oversight
  • Theatres of NSA operations and “customers” (other agencies)
  • Employee safety including mental health
  • Events, meetings, trainings and employee profiles

The following is a set of unique findings from analysing the second batch of SIDtoday files.


1. Rather than it being strange, as many suggested, that Snowden moved from CIA to the NSA, the exchange of human resources between the agencies seems common.

In fact, the SIDtoday files lay waste to the theory that the CIA and NSA are in competition with each other, or that they aspire to usurp each other’s roles and resources. The documents consistently depict the agencies working in partnership as the left and right hands of the executive.

One specialises in collecting the information and the other specialises in acting on it.

Multiple documents announce appointments from senior executives on down to analysts moving between one agency and the other. As revealed in the last part of this series, the CIA even gave service awards to over 100 NSA employees.

This document refers to “a retired NSA senior executive with significant CIA experience” and details NSA staff members attending classes at the CIA which the then Director of the CIA participated in.

The tone of the class was set on the first full day of presentations with a discussion led by the Honorable George J. Tenet, DCI.”


2. Bloated overstatement over the historical significance of the Iraq War effort is rife in SIDtoday.

In a document titled “Driving History, the NSA likens its participation in the Iraq War to the cracking of the Enigma code in World War II.

The publication claims that history will see the “role of NSA in the global war on terrorism… in a similar light” to the cryptographic breakthrough that SIDtoday says won World War II for the Allies.

Several documents assert how great it is that ‘democracy’ has been brought to Iraq. Thirteen years on it is clear that the actual historical record on the conflict is a far cry from what the NSA had predicted it would be. The Iraqi ‘theater’ remains, of course, an unmitigated disaster.


3. “Analysts want to see data the way the user saw it“, says one document, explaining the concept of a “native view” of data being viewed in the same environment as the target experienced it, as if through their eyes. It states a need to enhance this view with easy access to analytical tools.


4. Multiple documents in the cache brag about NSA’s contributions to ‘capture-and-kill’ operations in Iraq.

This document in particular states that NSA analysts on the ground in Baghdad “witnessed the importance of ‘translating’ SIGINT for the tactical commanders to help them understand how the SIGINT could serve as the basis for military operations.

It continues: “in the last six months, tactical units have captured, killed, or wounded tens of thousands of insurgent forces in Iraq..

The documents are littered with references to analysts being spread out in various locations around the world and the agency aspires to “evolve into an expeditionary SIGINT force.”


5. Post-Patriot Act Intelligence-sharing hubs known as Fusion Centers have existed on American soil since at least 2006.

If you type “Fusion Center” into Wikipedia, the search result in the drop-down has a blurb which reads: “Fusion Centers are owned and operated by state and local entities. They are not a product of, or under the control of the Federal Government.”

However, this SIDtoday document reveals that there are in fact fusion centres operated by the military, specifically the NSA. There is a specific reference to one being in Baghdad.

More, there is another reference to a mobile Fusion Center being established at the Olympics and partially staffed by an (expeditionary) 8-man NSA team.

This raises hugely significant questions. Such as:

  • Did the very concept of Fusion Centers come from the military?
  • Why does Wikipedia insist in its description of them that Fusion Centres operating on U.S. soil are non-military and not Federal entities if the very concept is from the military, as is a portion of the data?
  • Is this because it is illegal for the military to operate on US soil? If so, are they not in fact participating in the ventures anyway, by feeding them information collected at military facilities by military resources?

6. There is perhaps no greater insight into the psyche of an ‘expeditionary’ NSA staff member than that found within this document. It was authored by a female NSA staffer who was deployed to Iraq:

I’m in the military, we kill people and blow things up. It’s our job.”


7. When friends are enemies and enemies are friends: in the days of Obama’s ‘Pivot To Asia’ it’s hard to imagine that Chinese military officers would be hanging out in the halls of the Pentagon but according to this Snowden document, they were in 2003.


8. Many companies are hesitant to hire spouses or family members of existing employees. The NSA is apparently the opposite. In this document, a second-generation NSA employee tells a story of a co-worker having three parents (mother, father, step-father) and a sibling all working at the agency.


This article is part of a series so keep an eye out for more fascinating insights from the Snowden docs. To read Part One please click here.

This series would not be possible without the obviously immense amount of work invested by staff at The Intercept in preparing the Snowden files for release – you can read their report on the May 2016 SIDtoday files by clicking on this link.

Thanks to the awesome Twitter account @HelpSnowden for creating the header graphic used in this article.

By Suzie Dawson

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We Are Change investigative reporter Suzie Dawson is one of the most accomplished independent New Zealand journalists on the international stage. She specialises in writing about whistleblowers, intelligence agencies and technology.

Hidden Gems In The Snowden Files: Part One

In this series we divulge fascinating nuggets of information found hidden within the Snowden files that were not reported by corporate media and are not yet widely known.

Last May, The Intercept published it’s first bulk release of files from the Snowden archives, 166 documents from SIDtoday, the newsletter of the Signals Intelligence Directorate of the National Security Agency.

It is an internal publication of bite size proportions, averaging just over a page per article. Predictably upbeat and celebratory in nature, the general theme is news bulletins on:

  • HR: awards, promotions and vacancies
  • Compliance & oversight
  • Theatres of NSA operations and “customers” (other agencies)
  • Employee safety including mental health
  • Events, meetings, trainings and employee profiles

Some of the reference terms inspire deeper digging. An early but unexplained reference to the ‘Target Office of Primary Interest (TOPI)’ led me to search the term. According to an extremely edifying article on Electrospaces.net:

topi

So these are the people who were famously revealed to have been spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s cellphone, among others.

There are other interesting references that appear in the SIDtoday files, which are from 2003.

The NSA was already perturbed about the consequences of ‘today’s information overload‘, suggesting that analysts already had more data than they knew what to do with. However this doesn’t appear to have put a damper on the ‘Collect It All‘ mentality on display a decade later.

The following is a set of unique findings from analysis of the first batch of SIDtoday files.


1. There is an oblique reference to ‘Transformation 2.0‘ which in the context it is placed in, reads as if it is some kind of NSA strategic directive or change management program.

It is followed by talk of allowing people in other agencies with ‘unique expertise‘ to access data that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to, by having them ‘swim upstream‘.


2. The Director of Central Intelligence gives out Denial and Deception Awards‘. Over 100 NSA employees were on the awards list.


3. As far back as 2003, the U.S. relationship with Turkey was ‘seriously weakened and the U.S. was ‘unlikely to champion Turkey’s cause with Europe‘.


4. The files show an obsession with controlling the flow of information to congressional overseers and adherance to established protocols for responding to requests from them. These seem to be largely budget related. In a document titled ‘SIDs Interactions With Congress: Setting The Budget‘ there is a reference to a 761-page ‘Congressional Budget Justification Book’ for the 2004 fiscal year, and an explanation of budget ‘markups‘.

In a document titled ‘SIDs Interactions With Congress: Communications‘ there is a reference to opportunities ‘to influence the markups‘ in the budget and it is stressed that Congress should hear both ‘good news as well as bad news…from us before they read it in the paper’. Bad news includes power outages that have resulted in degradation of service or security breaches at field stations‘ which in theory means that Congressional overseers learned about the Snowden leaks before reading them in the Washington Post or The Guardian.


5. In ‘Profile: SIGINT Legislative Affairs‘ this is expanded upon. The writer states that the Signals Intelligence Directorate must be ‘proactive with Congress‘ in ‘providing notifications‘ and that the Legislative Affairs office will advise ‘affected offices‘ of any ‘funding impacts‘ and ‘will assist you with preparing reclamas to adverse funding language‘. Reclamas are, to paraphrase Merriam Webster, requests for reconsideration of a policy directive or decision. Use of the term is prevalent within military circles and related organisations.

The document says that all communications with Congressional overseers should adhere to ‘The 5 c’s‘, namely ‘candid, complete, correct, consistent, corporate‘.


6. In ‘Crisis Support For Employees SIDtoday incongruously states in back-to-back sentences that employees can seek help with obtaining weapons training and with potential employee suicides, from the same department.


7. As early as November of 2003, SIDtoday was announcing that ‘elements of‘ the exit strategy for Iraq (referred to in the document as ‘phase IV’) were ‘already underway‘. In the document titled ‘Post-War Iraq Plan‘ key responsibilities mentioned include ‘maintaining domestic security’, ‘watching for efforts to undermine the nascent Iraqi government’, and ‘uncovering war criminals’. These tasks are stated to have been ‘complicated by much broader international participation’.


8. Sometimes it is easy to forget just how far back this type of spying goes. In a document titled SID Support To POW Rescue, particularly, that of Jessica Lynch, there is a reference to SIGINT reporting (on the location of an Iraqi General Hospital) dating back to 1979. Of course, the history of the NSA goes back even further – formally, to 1952 but in its historical forefather was in its earliest incarnation established in 1917.


This article is part of a series so keep an eye out for more fascinating insights from the Snowden docs.

This series would not be possible without the obviously immense amount of work invested by staff at The Intercept in preparing the Snowden files for release – you can read their report on the May 2016 SIDtoday files by clicking on this link.

Thanks to the awesome Twitter account @HelpSnowden for creating the header graphic used in this article.

By Suzie Dawson

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We Are Change investigative reporter Suzie Dawson is one of the most accomplished independent New Zealand journalists on the international stage. She specialises in writing about whistleblowers, intelligence agencies and technology.

Wikileaks Leaks 90GB Of Documents Linking NSA And German BND

Wikileaks has released 90 gigabytes of information in a torrent relating to the German inquiry into the surveillance activities of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and its cooperation with the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA).

In a press statement, Wikileaks said: “The 2,420 documents originate from various agencies of the German government including the BND and Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV) and were submitted to the inquiry last year in response to questions posed by the committee.”

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has warned that the documents could derail Angela Merkel’s hopes of dominating the EU.

“This substantial body of evidence proves that the inquiry has been using documents from Mr Snowden and yet it has been too cowardly to permit him to testify. Germany can not take a leadership role within the EU if it’s own parliamentary processes are subservient to the wishes of a non EU state.”Julian Assange, said.

The BND was withholding this list from the inquiry into the connection between U.S. intelligence agencies in the wake of the 2014 Snowden revelations. As well as WikiLeaks previous revelations of NSA spying on Angela Merkel and top officials at German ministries, the EU and France also contributed to the political inquiry.

The BND argued that releasing the data in the inquiry could cause a rift in the BND’s relationship with the NSA.

The documents also expose the agreements between the BND and NSA and that one of the BND’s employees was tasked with writing the mass surveillance search tool Edward Snowden leaked, XKeyscore.

“The collection contains early agreements between the BND and the NSA and internal processes at the BND, but also more recent details on the close collaboration between the two agencies. For example, one document from the BND states that a BND employee will be tasked to use and write software for XKeyscore, an NSA system for searching and analysing data collected through mass surveillance,” Wikileaks, writes.

They continue, “A number of the documents show how intelligence agencies find ways to work around their own government. Documents pertaining to an audit visit by Germany’s data protection agency to the BND’s offices show that BND officers withheld the notes made by the auditors during their visit. The BND would only release the notes to the auditors once they had checked the content for themselves.”

The depth of the NSA relationship with the BND was unknown to the German public and much of its government. Snowden was asked to testify about what went on at the NSA between the two agencies but was later told that his safety wouldn’t be guaranteed and his extradition was likely.

Last week, November 21st, 2016, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice upheld the complaint and ruled that the committee was obliged to hear Edward Snowden in person. However, three days later, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Union bloc and the Social Democrats removed Snowden’s invitation from the agenda of the inquiry and are contesting the Court’s decision.

Are some of these documents from Snowden or perhaps there is a new whistle-blower on the scene?

We will make sure to keep you updated with any further information that may come out of this latest Wikileaks data dump. Stay tuned to We Are Change.

If you liked this story, please share it, if you want to donate and help us to keep continuing this operation, you can do so here. Remember, we are nothing without you. This is your news site and together, We Are Change.

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I am an Activist a writer a blogger and an investigative journalist writing for (www.wearechange.org)

A Radio host of the Blog-talk Radio Series:
#SmokeScreenDisclosure

My Sources are everywhere..
Enemy of the New World Order.

How Trump’s Surveillance State Will Affect You

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When Donald Trump is inaugurated, he will gain control of Barack Obama’s “surveillance state,” which includes power over the NSA’s unconstitutional mass surveillance program, and the fate of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Trump will have the power to choose a new NSA director that the Senate must still nominate, but he’s in full control and can literally choose anyone—a situation that demands careful monitoring.

The secured email and Gmail competitor Protonmail noted in a piece on the surveillance state and Trump’s influence –

“Due to the way the US government is structured, President Trump will have a large amount of control over the NSA. The NSA is not different from any other federal agency which the president controls. The US president will be able to dictate how the agency operates through his power to appoint the NSA Director. The NSA Director needs to be confirmed through majority vote by the US Senate, but due to Republican control over the Senate, President Trump will have complete freedom to appoint anyone he wants to carry out his orders.

With Republican control over both houses of Congress, President Trump would have broad power to rewrite existing FISA regulations or create a new law.”

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act protects against federal agencies’ overreach—essentially dictating what they can and cannot do.

“As a federal agency however, the activities of NSA are governed by federal law, in particular, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” Protonmail’s statement noted. “However, with Republican control over both houses of Congress, President Trump would have broad power to rewrite FISA as he sees fit or introduce a new law. Of course, a new law could be subject to court challenge which could eventually work its way up to the US Supreme court, but Trump is also expected to gain control over the Supreme court. Therefore, all things considered, there is no denying that President Trump would have broad powers to re-shape the US surveillance apparatus to serve his agenda. Should Americans Be Worried?”

Regardless of the federal law in place, we have already witnessed the broad spectrum of illegal spying that the NSA can carry out without consequence. For example, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied under oath to the American people and said that “they weren’t domestically spying on Americans wittingly.” 

In contrast, various programs have proved that the U.S. has not only spied on American people, it has done so wittingly and specifically. Whistleblower Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician, revealed the NSA had a secret room the NSA used to spy on the American people en masse. There was also the revelation of an NSA spying program using U.S. tech giants Yahoo, Facebook, and Google called PRISM.

This NSA overreach didn’t start with Clapper. NSA Director Michael Hayden also lied and misled Congress. In his 10/17/02 testimony, Hayden told a committee investigating the 9/11 attacks that any surveillance of persons in the United States was done consistent with FISA. However, Hayden was fully aware of Bush’s presidential order to conduct warrant-less wiretaps.

As Protonmail notes,

“The same terror the political right has experienced is now being felt in liberal bubbles such as Silicon Valley for the first time. The left is correct to be terrified of a Trump-led NSA snooping on their communications, especially since Silicon Valley giants like Google and Facebook can be forced to spy on users on behalf of Trump’s NSA. However, this precedent was not set by Trump – he hasn’t even taken office yet. The first major incident of a US tech giant being complicit in US government spying actually took place in 2015 under the Obama administration.”

This all comes together to suggest, as Protonmail expresses, “President Trump would have broad powers to re-shape the U.S. surveillance apparatus to serve his own agenda.”

President Trump may use the NSA to catch terrorists and jail corporate criminals – or he may use it to intimidate political opponents and spy on the general public as President Obama’s administration did.

Protonmail claims the solution is to “build technologies, such as end-to-end encryption, which cannot be abused for mass surveillance.”

“The only way to protect our freedom is to build technologies, such as end-to-end encryption, which cannot be abused for mass surveillance. Governments can change, but the laws of mathematics upon which encryption is based, are much harder to change.”

 

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I am an Activist a writer a blogger and an investigative journalist writing for (www.wearechange.org)

A Radio host of the Blog-talk Radio Series:
#SmokeScreenDisclosure

My Sources are everywhere..
Enemy of the New World Order.

Female Muslim Immigrant Votes Trump, Exposes Democrat Media Dishonesty

The highly anticipated 2016 presidential election has finally come to an end.

After months of rigorous campaigning from both Trump and Clinton, Donald J. Trump has been officially declared President-elect of the United States.

trumpsupporter

However, as to be expected, the ‘tolerant liberals’ have taken to the streets to violently protest and riot against this victory. So triggered by the fact that their paradigm of censorship, a sugar coated reality and their wishes for the continuation of a status quo government have been shattered.

The phrase ‘Love Trumps Hate’ has become incredibly ironic, given that the almost all of the hatefulness and violence has been initiated by Hillary’s minions harassing and physically harming Trump supporters throughout this election cycle, and only increased in severity since the start of the Trump protests.

When interviewed by CNN, a protester alarmingly went so far as to state that “there will be casualties on both sides, there will be, because people have to die to make a change in this world.” Clearly inciting extreme violence and exemplifying the intolerance of the ‘progressive’ left for any diversity of opinion. It has also just been reported that on Saturday morning a man had been shot during an anti-Trump protest on Morrison Bridge in Portland. Luckily his injuries are not life-threatening.

Hillary Clinton lost the election, and with this, the Democrats’ dream of a society which panders to a politically correct agenda and suppresses freedom of speech has been diminished if not destroyed. The countless tactics and lies told about Trump and his supporters failed to manipulate voters. The people of America rightfully distrusted the mainstream media, their polls showed Trump could have never succeeded, yet here we are, with Trump having won electoral votes by a clear margin.

In an article by The Washington Post on Thursday,

As the results began to come in from each state, it became more and more evident that a Trump presidency was likely. States like Pennsylvania, with a history of voting Democrat, went Republican. Like we’ve seen with Brexit, this momentous victory for Trump marks a populist uprising against a system run by corrupt career politicians who have provided nothing for the citizens of America for so long. The American people have taken a stance against transgressing into a society of cultural Marxism pushed by the left, rejected a politically correct narrative, and elected Donald J Trump to be the 45th President of the United States.

Enjoy…

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Advocate of freedom. Writer for several alternative media outlets. “Give me liberty or give me death.” – Patrick Henry

Cahill vs. Kalma Debut Album Out Now!

Cahill vs Kalma October 31

The debut album by Cahill vs. Kalma is an extremely ambitious, experimental and emotionally powerful album recorded in NYC between 2013 thru 2016. The album has a wide array of musical styles including pop, hard rock, gypsy jazz, new wave & more. The concept album’s story focuses on dualism found in nature and the world, life vs. death, robots vs. humans, analog vs. digital, acoustic vs. electric, Cahill vs. Kalma.

Cahill vs. Kalma now available on CD, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and more.

Purchase a physical CD using your credit card or PayPal:

Cahill vs. Kalma

  • Produced by Dave Cahill & Brian Herman
  • Engineered, Mixed & Mastered by Brian Herman
  • Dave Cahill vocals, guitar, bass, synth & noise
  • Brian Herman guitar, drums, bass, synth & noise
  • Alex Radus backing vocals on tracks 1, 2, 6 & 8
  • Andy Janowiak drums on tracks 3, 5, 6, 8, & 10
  • Dallas Vietty accordion on track 3
  • Music written by Dave Cahill & Brian Herman
  • Lyrics written by Dave Cahill
  • Album artwork by Dennis Gatz
  • Recorded sporadically between 2013 to 2016
  • SMT Studios NYC & Treefort Recording in Brooklyn
  • ©2016 Dave Cahill & Brian Herman


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7v4OZEKCmA

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I’m a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, political activist, web developer and small business owner. I have composed and produced 5 albums.or original music and have performed hundreds of live shows across the country. I also own and operate a computer company, River Net Computers, as well as a web development firm, River Net Creative Industries alongside my brother James.

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