> Notably, a much stricter rule was set for US government communications found in the raw intelligence. The Israelis were required to "destroy upon recognition" any communication "that is either to or from an official of the US government". Such communications included those of "officials of the executive branch (including the White House, cabinet departments, and independent agencies), the US House of Representatives and Senate (member and staff) and the US federal court system (including, but not limited to, the supreme court)".
The NSA is giving intel about officials in the US government to another country, on the honor system.
Snowden and Manning are considered traitors for doing even less.
And it's not just Israel - I'm guessing that the other five eyes all get this stuff too.
Here is the first half of the following paragraph:
>It is not clear whether any communications involving members of US Congress or the federal courts have been included in the raw data provided by the NSA, nor is it clear how or why the NSA would be in possession of such communications.
Beware the sensationalism in this article. The only fact provided by the Guardian in this article is that NSA shares surveillance data with Israel. It is not known what kind of data is shared.
Not making a statement on the information sharing, just pointing out that the existence of a clause within an agreement does not mean the situations that clause covers are going to happen. For example,the iTunes EULA prohibits the software from being used to build weapons of mass destruction < http://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/itunes/appstore... >
is unacceptable in this case.
If it "_might_" happen, then this particular sharing agreement should be scrapped. When it comes to this sort of thing, we need to operate in an environment of guarantees not one of assurances.
That's not the way OpSec works guy.
I realize my view is strongly informed by the military... but I view this as essentially OpSec for the civilian leadership, and the principles can't be that different. I may be wrong in my interpretation of this as OpSec, but I doubt it.
If you need that clause in an agreement, FOR ANY REASON... then you need to re-evaluate the agreement. Full stop.
Cooperating government Z gets email Y, and discovers it's from senator X because they look more closely and connect dots the US may not have. No process could have prevented this (except stopping the sharing entirely). It's a reasonable clause.
Of course that wouldn't scale to a system that shares a big firehose of data or does that in real-time. Easy to solve too: don't share the firehose, and don't share in real-time. Collaboration with allies is fine but that should come as a distant second to protecting your own [citizen's] interests.
A manual process could certainly do a better job, but no, it still isn't a guaranteed thing.
What makes you think the NSA is sharing data with Israel for any other reason? We have strategic and human interests where they are located.
So the only secure path seems clear.
To me at least.
Again, maybe this information is not as critical as information you might be exchanging in the military. I don't know. But, to me, it seems a good example of information you don't want foreign powers being privvy to.
My gut would tell me that you want as perfect OpSec as you can manage, but then have contingencies for the occasion when something fails. Otherwise you would get the kind of flailing we're seeing right now after the Snowden leaks.
1) When classified information is accidentally moved to a computer with a lower classification it is a shit storm. Everything stops. All hardware involved is isolated and scrubbed. If it can't be scrubbed with certainty (e.g. deallocated sectors on the hard disk that might contain classified data but can't be scrubbed anymore because they are deallocated) then the equipment is destroyed (or classified to match the level of the information that was leaked).
2) All information on a classified system is considered classified at the level of the computer system it is stored on. When there is a need to move not-really-classified information off that system (like send a log file that a vendor needs to help debug software) then it is manually inspected by a SME (subject matter expert) to positively verify it does not contain classified information and then copied off to unclassified media. But if there is any doubt, like a binary core file, the file is forbidden from leaving the system.
The main point here is that the SME positively identifies all the data as being unclassified. The assumption is that the data is classified and it must be pain-stakingly verified on a line-by-line basis. It is a real PITA.
Considering that these NSA programs are highly classified, at least TS and I'm thinking TS sci/codeword given the style of single-word names for the programs, the same sort of manual, positive identification process should be used when giving the data to another country.
Also, Israel is considered a major intelligence adversary by the US DoD. Israel and China are at the top of the list of countries they warn people with clearances to be careful of. Blithely handing over this raw SIGINT data is ridiculous given that context.
True. Manning is in jail for a very long time based on what might happen. Clearly, the USG feels might is unacceptable in the case of release of official sources to foreign agents.
It's why we have cops and a legal system instead of locking everyone in padded rooms.
What do you mean, "there are no guarantees, ever"? The NSA employs some of the brightest minds in America, and has billions of dollars of funding and (we are just finding out) the influence and authority to do virtually anything.
There fucking MUST be guarantees. If guarantees are not possible, then information MUST NOT BE SHARED.
If you design a system based on guarantees, it's going to be brittle. It will fail, and it will be very unpleasant. If you design a system to handle contingencies, like elected official's data getting through, it's going to be more resilient. If you design a system that will handle contingencies and then spending as much money as you can on preventing those contingencies from needing to be used -- well, you're finally developing something useful.
Hell, the best guarantee a cryptographer can give you is a one-time pad, and they'll tell you that the human factors involved will be just as bad (and probably worse) than algorithms with weaknesses.
But, back to putting words in my mouth: this stuff shouldn't be shared because spying on American citizens is unconstitutional and giving the data to allied nations is backstabbing us in the name of national security -- not because it's impossible to build a perfect system to protect elected officials.
If we don't share the information with them... then we guarantee they won't be given that information by us.
You need police and a legal system because, as a general rule, citizens have rights. Israel... has no inherent right to the data in question. Therefore, if we cannot share information with them without leaking the operational particulars of the civilian leadership... then we are free to not share data with them at all. And there you have your guarantee.
You can order a command to ensure that evals are submitted on time as much as you like but in a Navy of 320,000+ active duty sailors eventually some command somewhere will screw it up, so the Navy has procedures for that case too.
This is an argument of secrecy versus convenience, which you'd think for your National Security Agency, would be a pretty simple equation.
A more cynical view of this is that they've made an intentionally leaky ship to do a ring around domestic spying laws using a 'trusted' partner, but given the recent publicity, I'm not sure they care enough to have even that slim cover of legality.
Unfiltered data. The other fact shared is that Israelis are on the honor system with the data. As with any other spies, Israeli intel isn't known for its adherence to law or agreements.
I think it's safe to assume that Israelis have high access to the same intel the NSA has on American officials.
If you think that israel doesnt have access to NSA systems because they are on a "secure" network, then you're not really paying attention.
You aren't the first person I've seen make this erroneous assertion. Snowden worked at an NSA site, the Hawaii Regional Operations Security Center at Naval and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific. http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=31660
Furthermore, Snowden was only "outsourced" in the sense that the division of Booz Allen that employed him is essentially an employment agency for the DoD. They aren't significantly different from the bodyshops that proliferate in the tech industry. Other parts of Booz Allen (which are now practically an entirely separate company) do operate like mini spy agencies of their own, but that is not who Snowden worked for or reported to.
Also, while it is partly hyperbolic to think that Israel has direct access to NSA systems, they have 1) far less scruples than even our NSA (they send assassins into hotels to take out enemies in foreign countries in broad daylight) 2) they've been directly building cyber weapons WITH the NSA 3) they are being directly handed raw intelligence BY the NSA.
For me - the most worrysome piece is that if you look at this revelation - whereby Israel is "politely asked" to respect the privacy of USG officials, who is to say they cannot use the information within this raw data to blackmail/usurp non USG assets in lobbying, defense, civilian-intelligence-contracting positions.
We basically have zero privacy, we also have zero security, as a nation, due t the actions of the NSA.
We are now in a position where it is literally every Human being against the intelligence community.
Keepin' it classy.
If this was Chile or Brunei you bet there would be 0 apologists here justifying it. "You know I don't condone it wholeheartedly but ... blah blah sensationalized, let's all keep our cool ..." etc etc.
Remember, Israel is a foreign country not bound by the US Constitution.
What is remarkable is that quite often these revelations come after government officials have revved up their PR machine and have lied about some fact. Before they would tell lies and it was all "Yeah this is rumors, unfounded, disgruntled employee, traitor, communist homosexual etc etc wanted revenge". Now they spew a lie and bam! a new proof of contradiction follows it from Snowden's documents.
This must be very infuriating for them. World top intelligence apparatus got its pants pulled down in front of the whole world to laugh at.
I wouldn't be surprised if someone out there in Langely, VA is not planning a fatal accident involving Snowden by now. Piano falls on him from 5th floor, hmm, or something ridiculous like that. Something that might "teach" others a lesson perhaps too.
I used to think this government wasn't operating like that (obviously through my own naivete) but these days I just don't know.
> In 2009, however, the New York Times reported on "the agency's attempt to wiretap a member of Congress, without court approval, on an overseas trip".
My favorite part:
>1.d) This agreement is not intended to create any legally enforceable rights and shall not be construed to be either an international agreement or a legally binding instrument according to international law.
Hey Israel, we're totally against you violating the constitutional rights of American citizens --to say nothing of the human rights of all people-- but it's not like this is a "legally binding instrument" or anything. Just don't be bad, m'kay?
Maybe if these people are so 'sick' of hearing about it they should do something to stop it. Or is willful ignorance bliss?
Not saying all NSA stuff is off-topic, just that it's irritating to open a thread about something interesting and wade through tangential political discussion. We used to punt that stuff elsewhere and for good reason.
I don't flag them (it's pointless I think), but I think the people flagging these stories are doing so because they're tired of hearing about it, and because one interpretation of the HN Guidelines supports it.
> The NSA surveillance topic is highly relevant as it
> intersects with technology.
Discussion of NSA surveillance is certainly something 'that good hackers would find interesting' - hence the current thread being on the front page and the hundreds of tech stories submitted and upvoted here daily.
Amdocs "helped" install the phone lines in the White House in 1997.
Also, people have to understand this:
With the government spying like this, there will be no democracy left, very soon. It's as simple and frightening as that.
I see where you're coming from, but such outlandish claims may be doing more harm than good.
Are you serious? Mass surveillance means people will refrain from expressing their thoughts freely. And that is part of the foundation of every democracy.
1. Democracy only works if we have access to unmonitored electronic communications, which doesn't really stand up because democracy predates electronic media.
2. When people know they are being monitored, there is a profound chilling effect around politically important speech. That hasn't exactly been proven. If anything, I've seen more expression of free thoughts since the NSA stories broke.
I think it's more accurate to say HN enables rather than supports the communication of news, the content is moderated and prohibits explicitly and implicitly many topics.
I am far from an expert, but this seems like saying water is wet (inside certain temperature/pressure limits). Of course countries get a lot of access, if they have something to give back (it helps if they are democratic).
That link is DELETED. Here was the TEXT.
I tried to submit a NSA* story a couple days ago about how the N S A(1) is snooping on iPhone that directly related to the FSF article(2) today while connecting it to something I read on HN 2 years ago...(3). While it isn't startup news, it does directly show and relate to EFF that the iPhone can't be a trusted platform.
It seems that you directly removed the ability to add comments as well as see articles that are related to any N S A information. Why? Are you trying to control HN and dictate the direction?
(1) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/09/nsa-steve-jobs_n_38... (2) https://www.fsf.org/news/free-software-foundation-statement-... (3) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13145562
>"The U.S. National Security Agency is able to crack protective measures on iPhones, BlackBerry and Android devices, giving it access to users' data on all major smartphones....in which the agencies describe setting up dedicated teams for each type of phone as part of their effort to gather intelligence on potential threats such as terrorists."
This is news to me, I assume they could pull any data from an iPhone/Android/Blackberry, maybe even activate the camera if "need" be.
In plain English, if another country tells us which Americans to go after, do we issue warrants and actually go after them? I'd be willing to bet money that we do, but nobody will want to admit to it.
We already know they are using intelligence data to tip off police to invent reasons to stop cars (i.e. 2mph speeding ticket) and find drugs.
This would be trickier for warrant affidavits because (I believe) those become available to defense counsel during discovery. They could hide the identity of a confidential informant from defense counsel, but I believe the judge is entitled to verify the legitimacy of CIs and might do so if the defense claimed that the probable cause came from the NSA.
Local LEOs have already been caught phoning in "anonymous tips" to themselves/their teams to create probable cause for surveillance already conducted. This was before and unrelated to the NSA revelations.
In the past at least, how likely is it that a judge would dig much deeper once they got to "and we were tipped off to this by sources from within a foreign intelligence agency"?
Does anyone know the legal status of foreign intelligence agencies as far as probable cause? I don't think it'd be considered valid probable cause.
So there is no shoe to drop.
> In plain English, if another country tells us which Americans to go after, do we issue warrants and actually go after them?
The only time this comes up is with that country's own intelligence. In which case America would ask to see it, and unless you expect the intelligence to be faked there is no particular excitement.
The position of the NSA et al is that collecting data is not an invasion of privacy until you deliberately look at it. And they never intentionally target Americans. So there is no privacy implication for Americans in their data collection. But if they are giving that data wholesale to foreigners, who then examine it, and then hand us back names to target, then it is harder to claim that our privacy is not being compromised by the initial collection.
If you argue that they would break the law, then there is no reason for a sharing agreement as the agency could just break the law and do things themselves. So, this myth can probably be buried whatever you think about the integrity of the agencies...
I believe there are many ways to do it without asking.
>Destroy upon recognition any communication contained in raw SIGINT provided by NSA
that is either to or from an official of the U.S. Government. Government officials" include
officials of the Executive Branch (including the White House, Cabinet Departments. and independent
agencies); the House of Representatives and Senate (members and staff); and the U.S. Federal
Court system (including, but not limited to. the Supreme Court). "Officials" include civilian and
military members and employees performing the official business of these branches of govemment, and
is independent of seniority or position.
>Process only for purposes unrelated to intelligence against the U.S any communications
contained in raw SIGINT provided by NSA that include references to activities. policies, and views of
It's not that Israel is supposed to destroy any data they get that is either to or from a U.S. Government official that troubles me. It's both that they collect that data and that they pass it out blindly to other nations.
That is absolutely irresponsible.
Can by these deals the NSA whitewash intelligence? If something has come from outside sources they can use it.
But in this case, deciding when to strategically leak things, a little theatricality goes a long way, and a metric ton of theatricality goes even longer. And the machine for spinning and glossing over this stuff is so quick and vast that a handy cheap morality play might be all that stands between awareness and total effective oblivion.
So, thank FSM for Glenn Greenwald being insufferably obnoxious.
Not sure why you'd fix in on "Greenwald is annoying".
His ripping of the New Atheists got to you?
Other than Citizens United, I can't recall an issue where I've thought Greenwald was wrong on principle. I can recall a lot where I thought he was naive, annoying or obtuse. Sort of like RMS.
And in this case, it's a very good thing that he's over the top and naive. Someone who was understated and pragmatic probably wouldn't publish this at all or get as much attention if they did.
Analysed, filtered data can then be accessed in BigData style to gather a digital picture of almost anyone globally, covering financial transactions, phone, email and medical.
out of this comes (unsurprisingly) actionable information that covers not terrorism but more common international and domestic crime (drug smuggling, other organised crime)
however due to legal and political issues the information cannot be given directly to law enforcement so it is provided via cut outs - departments in FBI / DEA who get tip offs from "anonymous sources" and pass it on.
A similar legal niceitie is performed by say having Canada process raw data about US officials and the passing on useful data to the NSA (thus no country ever actually spies on its own people)
on top of this Israeli intelligence get raw data and probably join in the game of deniable whispers.
I think that's about it so two things
1. is there a wiki where we can all update / view what is know and provable? if not who wants to help?
2. is there any evidence they have gotten into VISA ? that might tip the balance against this program publically
3. WTF !?
It should also be noted that NSA + Israel were purportedly confirmed to have colluded on the creation of Stuxnet and Duqu.
Here is what i want to know: Israel has a booming tech sector. How much of the NSA data they get is shared with their tech sector to use industrial espionage to boost the performance, intel, capabilities and innovation of their tech sector?
By VISA do you mean the credit card company "Visa"? If so, then yes of course they are there. Credit card purchasing records have been shared with law enforcement for years, and that isn't some secret NSA program.
You may be unaware, but Visa shares purchasing information with companies like Acxiom already and has done for years.
Of course, you may be talking about some other "VISA".
if visa simply hands over all raw data to companies already, and they just feed it off to NSA in Utah then, I don't know I give up.
As of now, the LA times, Mother Jones and Salon have it. I imagine by tomorrow, it'll hit physical papers.
It's urgent to a lot of Americans, judging by the non-mainstream legs this story has.
Quickly developing events hit the mainstream outlets quite quickly, but with stories about newly-revealed but long-term stuff like this they can usually afford to wait a few days to get the story polished.
Will the news change depending on if it's reported today, tomorrow or next way ? No ? Then it's NOT urgent.
OT, but a good rule to follow in civil public discussion is avoid imputing motive or desire on the part of the person you're conversing with.
IOW, avoid making it personal if you don't want to appear rude or uncivil.
At least most of the tech news sites picked up the story.
This story has 55 points and is 3 hours ago and is on the second page, but a story with 45 points from 7 hours ago is on the homepage.
Thanks mysterious inner-workings of HN :).
I don't see a steep drop, the tell-tale sign of a mod adjusting ranking weights/gravity.
Now, computers can track the development of that nemesis for nearly free. If the situation develops the global network of finance can be made to exert pressure on the undesirable. Then, if the situation continues to develop, near perfect information can be used to find a law that they broke and arrest them.
We see out country using lethal force in the only situations that benefit it, namely armed confrontations or societies outside the reach of our financial and political power.
These actions are definitely a step along the slippery slope of legitimizing other practices. Plus, it is entirely possible that our intelligence agencies have already targeted some individuals very specifically for neutralization somehow. We can only confirm that they have not done so through transparency and oversight.
Remember the criteria for that? If there is a suspect, not convicted, but merely a suspect, its simply collateral damage if you also wipe out his wife and kids, oh, and family... and friends..... by standers. No due process.
Or did you mean Americans?
Well, even if you did, I have to wonder how long it will take for drones to be , er, surgically taking out drug dealers in shitty areas in the US. For the sake of the children, you understand.
Israel is pretty strongly focused on the Arab countries near it who are trying to destroy it. Not too many American citizens in those countries, and almost impossible for one to reach any kind of high position which would make them a target.
It's not far-fetched to imagine Israel could do it too (with more traditional methods)
They'd want to recruit them - or maybe not, since an American Arab would never be trusted by other Arabs.
An American Arab would never be trusted enough to gain any useful information, so would not be of interest to Israel (not to recruit, not to kill).
> He is best known for his espionage work in 1961 - 1965 in Syria, where he developed close relationships with the political and military hierarchy and became the Chief Adviser to the Minister of Defense.
Secondly, you do realize that many thousands of Arab families have family members -- brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and cousins -- who are U.S. citizens? You think they suddenly don't trust them? Same goes for lifelong friends who immigrate to different countries. I'm sure this applies to almost all Arabs (and in fact all nationalities) who have family who are U.S. citizens, regardless of whether they are fundamentalist, secularist, pacifist, or ultra-religious.
And here I thought the media was full of stories about the potential for U.S citizens to be radicalised and go to join jihadis.
The parent was asking about executions though.
Plausible deniability plays a role here. Not all executions look like executions.
This is shocking. If I were a member of Congress I would be pissed! Where is the outrage!!
I think this is actually one of the few revelations so far which is so previously unthinkable that it has the potential to isolate the NSA from the rest of the USG.
Basically, the survival of Israel trumps any other US interest, even when Israel is seen as antagonistic. That's shocking.
We may never see that kind of Israeli-Iranian cooperation ever again. It shows how much can change in 30 years.
See the defence budget. They're on the shitlist for cyberattack, along with Iran, China, and friends. In fact, see the article, which cites this too.
If it turns out to be false, then it's anti-semitic to even think that Israel would engage in such a heinous act.
Although I doubt Glenn would deign to leak any details that made any such data sharing appear more innocuous (i.e. the existence of a good reason for intelligence agency cooperation here, which may very well exist).
Other people think the story doesn't belong here and they flag it.
The site has some mechanisms for ageing stories.
NSA is partnered with the Five Eyes countries as well as any other Atlanticist government.
If you lead off with, say, Belgium, you are going to encounter a large amount of "eh, not particularly concerning." However leading off with a country infamous for (correctly or otherwise, it does not matter) extraordinary rendition, assassinations, and human right abuses...
So "eh, not particularly concerning" is what you would say about Israel. With Belgium I'd say exactly the opposite - this is very concerning, why is the NSA sharing data with a county with few enemies in common.
Or in other words you have your argument exactly backward.
There isn't a productive conversation to be had in discussing the merits of such a concern. The issue is too toxic, so I am being intentionally neutral on this. I'm presenting the point of view, not endorsing or disputing it. Since that point of view exists and is widespread, it makes since to take advantage of it.
The vast majority and Americans are fully supportive of America's relationship with Israel.
> and is widespread
It's actually not widespread. Well I guess it is with a certain minority, and if you only read stuff from there you'll get the impression that it's more common than it is.
Debatable (and keep in mind that Americans themselves are a minority here), but not an interesting debate. What is undeniable is that is an an issue that gets eyeballs, and an issue that people are vocal about.
I think you are still mixing your "understand" and "agree" signals. I am talking about a sort of realpoltik attitude towards journalism. The merits of the US/Israel relationship do not matter here, what matters is how using this example drives the story.
The vast majority and Americans are fully supportive of America's
relationship with Israel.