"If the program were in place before 9/11, I believe it would have prevented 9/11," Mike Morell said earlier today on the CBS television program `Face the Nation.' "And by the program, I mean two things. I mean, NSA's ability to query the database, which would have allowed NSA to find one of the 9/11 hijackers in California, and the part of the … Read more
Consumer advocates have asked federal regulators to declare phone companies to be in violation of federal privacy rules when they sell subscriber information to third parties, including the CIA.
Led by Public Knowledge, several privacy groups asked the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday to declare that such cooperation in violation of the Communications Act, which restricts how carriers may use or sell subscribers' personal information. The action is in response to a New York Times report last month that the CIA pays AT&T for access to subscriber data.
"Americans should be able to rest assured that carriers … Read more
Another secret surveillance effort that sweeps up and stores bulk data on Americans has apparently come to light -- this time involving financial records, and not the NSA but the Central Intelligence Agency.
The CIA program reportedly nabs data from cross-border money transfers handled by US companies such as Western Union in an effort to discover and track the funding of terrorist efforts.
It reportedly operates under the same provision of the Patriot Act that the NSA points to in defending its massive collection of Americans' phone call records. And like the NSA program, it's also subject to guidelines … Read more
AT&T reportedly has a contract with the CIA to provide the agency with data on certain phone calls.
Citing information from unnamed government officials, The New York Times said on Thursday that AT&T receives more than $10 million a year from the Central Intelligence Agency in exchange for providing customer phone records used to help track down potential terrorists. The CIA gives AT&T the phone numbers of suspected terrorists in other countries, according to the Times. In return, AT&T culls through its database for any call records that could identify the associates … Read more
Amazon has (finally) secured a $600 million contract to power a U.S. spy agency's secret cloud, leaving IBM limping away from the contested deal.
On Wednesday, Big Blue withdrew its protest to power the private cloud-based US Central Intelligence Agency project, ceding to Amazon Web Services.
Amazon was awarded the contract earlier this year, but IBM filed with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) in an effort to be granted the contract for itself -- a process not too uncommon in a highly lucrative business space.
The protest was upheld, forcing the secret intelligence agency to throw open … Read more
The National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency have teamed up to spy on German government officials' phone calls, a new report out of Germany claims.
Spiegel, a German news outlet, reported on Sunday that the US is using its embassy in Berlin as a "nest of espionage," where the country's two biggest spy agencies listen in on cell phone communications around government buildings in Germany, including those made by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
US-German relations have been a bit strained since reports surfaced saying the US has been monitoring the chancellor's communications. Merkel called President Obama … Read more
Amazon Web Services won a key court ruling Monday in its battle with IBM over a $600 million contract to construct a cloud infrastructure for the Central Intelligence Agency.
After hearing arguments on the matter Monday, Judge Thomas Wheeler of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled today in favor of Amazon's request for judgment on the administrative record in the matter. The written text of the opinion has not yet been published but is expected shortly.
An IBM statement indicated it would appeal the ruling.
"We are disappointed with the ruling from the U.S. Court … Read more
In 2011, US spy agencies carried out 231 offensive cyberattacks, primarily targeted at Iran, Russia, North Korea, and China, The Washington Post reported Friday.
The Post also revealed that under a $652 million project called "Genie," US agencies broke into foreign computer networks, placing "covert implants&… Read more
Among the NSA's annual budget of $52.6 billion are requests to bankroll "groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities" that can beat cryptography and mine regular Internet traffic, new documents leaked by Edward Snowden to the Washington Post reveal.
The document in question, the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Justification -- referred to as the "Black Budget" -- states on page 4: "...we are investing in groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities to defeat adversarial cryptography and exploit Internet traffic."
When U-2 spy planes first soared over Nevada in 1955, they flew higher than any other plane ever: 60,000 feet. The development and construction of the vessels were part of a top-secret CIA operative in the remote desert of Nevada known as Area 51.
When people who lived nearby saw the sleek planes -- far above, glinting in the sun -- they had no idea what they were. And naturally, it became widely believed they were UFOs carrying aliens.
Many of the details and history around Area 51 and U-2 planes were recently declassified by the CIA and revealed … Read more