Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

It looks pretty speculative to me. Directly from this article: "The most controversial revelation in Sentry Eagle might be a fleeting reference to the NSA infiltrating clandestine agents into “commercial entities.”", "It is not clear whether these “commercial entities” are American or foreign or both." and "The document makes no other reference to NSA agents working under cover. It is not clear whether they might be working as full-time employees at the “commercial entities,” or whether they are visiting commercial facilities under false pretenses."

The author is also picking quotes from different programs and mashing them together to come up with their speculation. Note how the commercial entities are discussed under the "Sentry Owl" program on page 7, but the "covert or under cover" quote comes from the "Sentry Osprey" section on the last page, which appears to be talking about the NSA working with the CIA. If NSA employees were working with the CIA on anything outside the US, it would make sense that they'd be undercover. Maybe they are infiltrating companies, but the source document doesn't support that assertion.

Schneier isn't name-dropped at all in the article. I find it odd that they would quote Matt Green and Chris Soghoian by name, but mix in the opinions of someone as well-known as Bruce Schneier without mentioning his name anywhere.

It's not really speculative. Remember that previous leaks showed definitively that the NSA had broken into Google and Yahoo, notwithstanding they had some partnerships/participation from them.

Bruce Schneier was given an opportunity to meet and review a large collection of documents but yes its true we don't really know.

The previous leaks did not definitely show anything like that. In fact its not clear they showed anything beyond an informational briefing on issues with intercepting Google related data.

There's a Chinese whispers effect to all this where vague assertions are repeated over and over until they become considered definite facts.

"This is a major leap forward in the NSA's ability to exploit Facebook using FISA and FAA authorities" - NSA

"...by exploiting inherent weaknesses in Facebook's security model." - GCHQ


That's Facebook. The Yahoo and Google stuff has been very widely reported and are direct from Greenwald and the Snowden leaks. Other links (in particular the PKH link) contain other information.


Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact