Author Topic: Confirmed: NSA has broken into Google, Yahoo data centers and now monitors all web searches, Gmail  (Read 1100 times)

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Offline happyg

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If the reports earlier this summer detailing how the National Security Agency monitors all data passing through the nation's internet service providers and tech companies was a little too much to digest or accept, that's understandable.

After all, this is America, right? And the NSA isn't supposed to be spying on Americans.

Only, it does, as a new report proves beyond any doubt.

According to The Washington Post, the NSA has managed to secretly hack into the main communication links that connect Yahoo! and Google data centers to the rest of the world, as per documents obtained from former NSA contractor-turned-fugitive Edward Snowden, as well as interviews with insider officials.

The paper said:

By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from among hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot.

MUSCULAR, PRISM data collection programs

A top-secret accounting dated Jan. 9, 2013, provided details about how the NSA's acquisitions directorate sends millions of records daily from Yahoo and Google internal networks to databases located at the agency's headquarters at Fort Meade, Md.

In the 30 days prior, the report noted, field collectors processed and returned 181,280,466 new records, ranging from "metadata," which can provide information about who actually sent and received emails and when and content like text, video and audio.

The Post reported:

The NSA's principal tool to exploit the data links is a project called MUSCULAR, operated jointly with the agency's British counterpart, GCHQ. From undisclosed interception points, the NSA and GCHQ are copying entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information between the data centers of the Silicon Valley giants.

The infiltration is especially striking because the NSA, under a separate program known as PRISM, has front-door access to Google and Yahoo user accounts through a court-approved process.

But apparently, even that access - authorized by the USA Patriot Act - isn't good enough. Obviously, the NSA wants no oversight of its activities at all.

The Post said the MUSCULAR project looked to be "an unusually aggressive use" of NSA capabilities against American tech companies. To be sure, the NSA is built to conduct high-tech spying, and has a wide range of digital tools at its disposal, but has no previous reputation of using them at will against U.S. firms.

Despite the revelations, no one in government wanted to talk about them on the record. "White House officials and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the NSA, declined to confirm, deny or explain why the agency infiltrates Google and Yahoo networks overseas," the Post reported.

Privacy? What privacy?

Google released a statement saying the company was certainly "troubled by allegations of the government intercepting traffic between our data centers, and we are not aware of this activity."

"We have long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping, which is why we continue to extend encryption across more and more Google services and links," the company said.

A spokeswoman from Yahoo added: "We have strict controls in place to protect the security of our data centers, and we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency."

According to earlier releases of top secret information by Snowden, the PRISM program is used by the NSA to gather incredible amounts of online communications records through legal means; tech companies, via warrants issued by the secret FISA court, are compelled to turn over data matching the court's approved search terms.

That program is authorized under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

"Intercepting communications overseas has clear advantages for the NSA, with looser restrictions and less oversight. NSA documents about the effort refer directly to 'full take,' 'bulk access' and 'high volume' operations on Yahoo and Google networks," the Post reported. "Such large-scale collection of Internet content would be illegal in the United States, but the operations take place overseas, where the NSA is allowed to presume that anyone using a foreign data link is a foreigner."

In today's online, interconnected world, America, you have no more privacy. That should be crystal clear by now.

Oh, and the NSA's spying and data storage capability is only going to increase. The agency is building a massive new facility in Utah for just those purposes, among others: http://nsa.gov1.info.

http://www.washingtonpost.com

http://www.theguardian.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://nsa.gov1.info


Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/042744_National_Security_Agency_technology_companies_data_center_surveillance.html##ixzz2jP2EkTAT

Online Fishrrman

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I believe NSA has long-term goals that go even further.

I predict that they are working on technology that would give them access into every operating computer in America. With the capability to "go around" such things as firewalls, NAT, etc. -- just as they are able to "go around" established protections for the large commercial data operations mentioned above, to get at what they want to monitor.

I realize that "sounds impossible" right now.

But ten years ago, if someone had told you that they would have the capabilities that they have today, what would you have said?

Offline happyg

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I agree, Fishrrman. There will be no place to hide. They will find whoever they want to find. By they, I mean the government.

Offline DCPatriot

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OTOH, they could be putting it out there just to make everybody paranoid to a degree.
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"Journalism is about covering the news.  With a pillow.  Until it stops moving."    - Iowahawk

"You can lead a liberal to the Truth, but you can't make them Think" - damned if I know

Offline SlapLeather

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It's so they can fabricate what ever they want/need and no one can dispute it. 

… pwned …

Hmmm… it leaves a *mark*.

Offline Oceander

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Quote
"We have long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping, which is why we continue to extend encryption across more and more Google services and links," the company said.

Which is nothing more than the application of rhetorical band-aids.  If the NSA has compromised your systems google, then they already have the keys to whatever security protocols you might implement, making those protocols useless as far as the NSA is concerned.

Offline Atomic Cow

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I'll make sure my gmail account bores them to death unless they like spam because it is my junk account that has nothing of value on it.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Oceander

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I'll make sure my gmail account bores them to death unless they like spam because it is my junk account that has nothing of value on it.

That gmail accounts might be compromised is not something to joke about too much.  For example, many attorneys use gmail accounts because (a) gmail is ubiquitous, (b) it works well, and (c) it runs on secure http (the "https" you see at the start of the url in the address line).  If those accounts have really been compromised, then attorneys will have to switch to some other email provider in order to maintain client confidentiality and not run afoul of the disciplinary rules.  That will not only be time-consuming and potentially costly, it may also be largely fruitless because if the NSA has compromised all gmail accounts, then it has probably compromised almost every other email provider.

Offline Atomic Cow

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Like I said, it's my junk e-mail account so I don't care.  There is nothing in it of value.

I would never use Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc. for business or confidential e-mail.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Oceander

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Like I said, it's my junk e-mail account so I don't care.  There is nothing in it of value.

I would never use Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc. for business or confidential e-mail.

Up 'til now gmail has been, to all appearances, a secure email provider.  Those who do use it are not being negligent or incompetent.

Offline Atomic Cow

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I've always been wary of anything free on the Internet so my faith in Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail has never been great.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Oceander

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I've always been wary of anything free on the Internet so my faith in Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail has never been great.

Thing is, you don't get gmail "for free" - TINSTAAFL - it's simply folded into some other benefit google extracts from you.  It's just like the cost of those ubiquitous plastic bags grocery stores use - they don't give them away for free, they include those costs in their overhead costs, which are then taken into account in determining how to set the prices for the goods they sell.  In this case, google benefits from the traffic, the recognition, and the ability to gather certain types of data about the people who use its services - data that doesn't personally identify any one particular individual - which they can then use to sell advertising and marketing services to other people.


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