Author Topic: they know what you are doing  (Read 126427 times)

space otter

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #630 on: July 09, 2015, 04:29:31 PM »

Hackers Stole Social Security Numbers From 21.5 Million People In Recent Data Breach, U.S. Says

   Posted:  07/09/2015 3:53 pm EDT    Updated:  2 hours ago

WASHINGTON, July 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said on Thursday that hackers had stolen sensitive information - including Social Security numbers - of about 21.5 million people who have undergone background checks for security clearances since 2000.

Those exposed included 19.7 million people who applied for the clearances, plus 1.8 million non-applicants, mostly spouses or co-habitants of applicants, OPM said.

The 21.5 million affected is in addition to information about 4.2 million current and former federal workers stolen in a separate but related incident. There is significant overlap between the two groups.

The United States has identified China as the leading suspect in the massive hacking of the U.S. government agency, an assertion China's Foreign Ministry dismissed as "absurd logic."

The incidents have outraged members of Congress and worried the millions of Americans affected since they were revealed last month. Some lawmakers have called for the resignation of Katherine Archuleta, the OPM director.

OPM said in a release that its investigation had found no information "at this time" to suggest any misuse or further dissemination of the information stolen from its systems.

Background investigation records contained some information on mental health and financial history provided by security clearance applicants and others contacted during their investigations. OPM said there was no evidence that separate systems storing information on health, financial, payroll and retirement records of federal employees were affected by the hacking.

OPM said it is highly likely that anyone who went through a background investigation after 2000 was affected by the cyber breach. Those who underwent background checks before 2000 might be impacted but it is less likely, the personnel agency said. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Sandra Maler and Bill Trott)

Offline thorfourwinds

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #631 on: July 09, 2015, 07:47:03 PM »
Rain helps the garden grow…much love from above.

The more we check in to this 'WALLED GARDEN' carp, the more irritating it becomes.

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Offline zorgon

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #632 on: July 09, 2015, 08:02:43 PM »
Perhaps time to find a new IP provider?

Offline ArMaP

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #633 on: July 10, 2015, 06:07:57 AM »
Rain helps the garden grow…much love from above.

The more we check in to this 'WALLED GARDEN' carp, the more irritating it becomes.
Some ISPs have very limiting conditions, like not allowing (or reducing the speed) peer to peer or TOR (not thorfourwinds ;)) connections.

That and what they allow us to have on our computers connected to their equipment is one of the things I always look into when comparing ISPs.

space otter

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #634 on: July 15, 2015, 10:46:51 AM »

in my opinion tech just gets scarier
it's not a convenience it's a invasion

 The Huffington Post    |  By  Ron Dicker   
 Posted:  07/13/2015 12:21 pm EDT    Updated:  07/13/2015 12:59 pm EDT

'Hands-Free Tinder' App Will Let You Swipe Right With Your Heartbeat

If you have a pulse, you won't need to swipe.

Texas marketing and advertising firm T3 is developing a hands-free Tinder-like app for the Apple Watch that measures your heart rate as you view potential dates. If your pulse quickens, it's a match. No right swipe necessary.

The app is intended to launch when the new Apple Watch OS software becomes available to users, a T3 spokeswoman told The Huffington Post. (Apple has said that would be this fall. )

While the app's follow-your-heart sentiment is admirable, AdWeek noted that our pulses normally tend to fluctuate. The media outlet noted a few other potential flaws: "What if I had a pacemaker? Or a heart murmur? Or one of those coal-fired difference engine hearts like Dick Cheney?"

Apple sold an estimated 4.5 million watches in the last quarter, according to Fortune, so just imagine the matchmaking possibilities.

Offline zorgon

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #635 on: July 15, 2015, 10:31:28 PM »
How about THIS?


I watched the new Terminator last night  Awesome movie!  It was about how all this tech we connect to everything takes over... literally

What was really scary? The theater had only about 20 people in it, while the movie Minions was packed.  All the people that exited the Minion movie LOOKEd like Minions :P  And they all stopped in the hallway on their cell phones and Ipads  It was CREEPY  after watching the Terminator about just this scenario

Offline burntheships

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #636 on: July 16, 2015, 09:56:05 PM »
I was driving along last night and observed a sign on a road that read:
No Cell Zone. I immediately thought hey, thats nice!
It may come to the point where we need tech free zones to ensure
a layer of protection.

On a seperate but related note: In the one of the last hacking of
Gov Database, fingerprints were compromised...1 million of them.
Time to change your fingerprints..........oh wait! 
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Offline zorgon

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #637 on: July 16, 2015, 11:00:36 PM »

Offline Elvis Hendrix

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #638 on: July 17, 2015, 04:03:59 AM »
They could be watching you right now!!

This zoom really makes me wanna buy one of these.

Not even too expensive really.
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space otter

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #639 on: July 18, 2015, 10:02:27 AM »

hey BTS
that probably meant you couldn't pick up a signal because of no tower..sadly

8 insane ways your phone and computer can be hacked

Business Insider

Hacking is the new spying. And, as we've learned time and time again, both government and private organizations are using cyber-spy techniques to gain as much intelligence as they can. But getting this data can be difficult. In fact, some of the most previous of digital information is safeguarded by machines that have no contact with the outside world. So can this internet-less data be hacked? Well, yes. With some help from the research of the security firm Kaspersky Lab, as well as some of our own personal digging, here's a look into some of the insane and creepy technologies used to hack offline devices.

1 Detecting electromagnetic radiation

Both the US and the USSR have spent decades looking into the electromagnetic radiation that an electronic device emits. Kaspersky Lab writes that once a device is plugged into a power line it "generates electromagnetic radiation that can be intercepted by proven technologies." Now people have figured out how to harness this information to track keystrokes. Writes Kaspersky Lab: Keystrokes can be remotely tracked with high accuracy at the 67-feet (20-meter) distance by using a homemade device that analyzes the radio spectrum and costs around $5,000. It is interesting to note that the attack is equally effective against common cheap USB keyboards, expensive wireless keyboards with a signal encryption, and built-in notebook keyboards.

2 Power consumption analysis

While on the topic of electricity, it's also possible to deduce a person's device activity based on the power their gadgets consume. A technique called Load Monitoring monitors voltage and current changes to understand activity. It's been used by electricity companies to better understand what is causing certain changes in electricity usage in a specific place. But in Japan load monitoring has been shown to be able to pinpoint exactly what device is running at what time. Similarly, researchers have begun looking at electricity consumption as a way to detect when a computer malware has been injected into a computer network.

3 What's inside your smartphone

It's true that smartphones are connected to the internet, but there are other parts inside it that also give away a slew of information. For example, the accelerometer inside a phone — which is the sensor used to track a phone's tilt and motion — can be used to detect what someone is typing on a computer. According to Kaspersky Lab, if a smartphone is near a computer keyboard it "provides an approximate 80 percent recognition accuracy rating" at tracking what a person is typing.

4 But wait there's more...

Not only can accelerometers analyze what a person is typing, they have also been proven successful at tracking where people go if they are traveling on an underground train. The way it works is that the bumps and duration of each individual trip between train stations works as a sort of fingerprint of motion. So if a spy is trying to track someone on the subway, they could look at their accelerometer and deduce which train station the person traveled to.

5 Beware the laser!

There are other, more futuristic-sounding methods for keylogging. For example, aiming a laser ray at a computer is a way to "register vibrations," says Kaspersky Lab. This method is more accurate than using the accelerometer, but it requires that laser being pointed at a part of the device that reflects light

6 Radio waves that intercept the most secure of networks

This one is a bit more complicated, but is probably the most sophisticated sort of cyberspying. Oftentimes organizations holding very confidential data don't connect the computers holding this information to the internet. Instead, these devices are considered air-gapped. This means they are completely isolated from any external networks. It may seem impossible to hack into these devices, but it turns out there is a way. If a spy wants to get this data, they could implant a small device onto the computer that infects the closed-off network with a piece of malware. Then, this malware can collect data on the infected network and send it via radio signals that every computer video card automatically generates. And here's where it gets even crazier: People's smartphones can work as the way to deliver this data. So if someone with a mobile phone is nearby, they can unwittingly receive data sent from the device to the mobile phone via FM waves and then send that data to a hacker. To set this up would require both getting the malware onto the air-gapped computers, as well as infecting a mobile phone to receive this data. But it's not impossible, and it's likely a variation of this method that the well-known Stuxnet worm was first implanted.

7 Your computer's heat...

This is another complicated tactic to extract data from air-gapped, or offline, computers. And it uses the heat from the motherboard as a method of wireless data transfer. According to Kaspersky Lab, air-gapped computers are often put next to internet-connected computer for ease. If both computers are infected with a special malware, some crazy spying can ensue. It works like this: "The malware reads classified data and periodically changes the system temperature by adjusting the load level and producing a modulated heat signal. The second computer reads and decodes it and sends the classified data over the Internet." So the changes in heat send a 'signal.' Of course, this sort of communication is very slow. And Kaspersky says the maximum transmission speed is eight bits per hour.

8 Talking through steel walls

Even if a device is shielded in a closed-off room, sometimes even those walls can be permeated. For example, there is a spy device that can send and receive data through steel walls. Kaspersky Lab explains, "One unit is inconspicuously placed inside of the classified room, while the other is placed somewhere outside of it. The data transfer rate through steel for ultrasound reaches up to 12 MB/s. Additionally, no power supply is required for one of the units, as the energy is transmitted along with data."

oh yeah and there are those numbers again..3 6 9 ..maybe I just notice them and it doesn't mean anything else
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 10:04:03 AM by space otter »

space otter

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #640 on: July 29, 2015, 08:23:50 AM »

they heard it from a  I stopped posting pic a while back.
.maybe I'm psychic   ;)    :P
By Joseph Menn
Posted: 07/29/2015

Hackers are using increasingly complex methods, researchers say.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Russian government-backed hackers who penetrated high-profile U.S. government and defense industry computers this year used a method combining Twitter with data hidden in seemingly benign photographs, according to experts studying the campaign.

In a public report Wednesday, researchers at security company FireEye Inc <FEYE.O> said the group used the unusual tandem as a means of communicating with previously infected computers. FireEye has briefed law enforcement on what it found.

The technique, uncovered during a FireEye investigation at an unnamed victim organization, shows how government-backed hackers can shift tactics on the fly after they are discovered.

“It’s striking how many layers of obfuscation that the group adopts,” said FireEye Strategic Analysis Manager Jennifer Weedon. “These groups are innovating and becoming more creative.”


The machines were given an algorithm for checking a different Twitter account every day. If a human agent registered that account and tweeted a certain message, instructions for a series of actions by the computer would be activated.

The tweeted information included a website address, a number and a handful of letters. The computer would go to the website and look for a photo of at least the size indicated by the number, while the letters were part of a key for decoding the instructions in a message hidden within the data used to display the picture on the website.

Weedon said the communication method might have been a failsafe in case other channels were discovered and cut. Vikram Thakur, a senior manager at Symantec Corp <SYMC.O>, said his team had also found Twitter controls combined with hidden data in photos, a technique known as steganography.

FireEye identified the campaign as the work of a group it has been internally calling APT29, for advanced persistent threat. In April, it said another Russian-government supported group, APT28, had used a previously unknown flaws in Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash software to infect high-value targets.

Other security firms use different names for the same or allied groups. Symantec recently reported another data-stealing tool used in tandem with the steganography, which it calls Seaduke. Thakur said both tools were employed by the group it knows as the Duke family.

Thakur said another tool in that kit is CozyDuke, which Russian firm Kaspersky Lab says is associated with recent breaches at the State Department and the White House.


(Reporting by Joseph Menn; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Offline Ellirium113

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #641 on: August 01, 2015, 07:25:10 AM »
Microsoft has rolled out free Windows 10 upgrade for anyone using Windows 7 SP1 or newer. There's a catch (of course)...

While the upgrade is currently free of charge to owners of licensed copies of Windows 8 and Windows 7, it does come at a price. Several tech bloggers have warned that the privacy settings in the operating system are invasive by default, and that changing them involves over a dozen different screens and an external website.

According to Zach Epstein of BGR News, all of Windows 10’s features that could be considered invasions of privacy are enabled by default. Signing in with your Microsoft email account means Windows is reading your emails, contacts and calendar data. The new Edge browser serves you personalized ads. Solitaire now comes with ads. Using Cortana – the voice-driven assistant that represents Redmond’s answer to Apple’s Siri – reportedly “plays fast and loose with your data.”

Offline ArMaP

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #642 on: August 01, 2015, 07:58:11 AM »
I am installing Windows 10 on my home computer (I installed it yesterday on a computer at work) and I read the agreement (I always do), and that part about accessing emails is not really as presented by that (and other) blogger(s). This is what the agreement for Microsoft services (not Windows 10) says about data collection:

Microsoft collects data to operate effectively and provide you the best experiences with our services. You provide some of this data directly, such as when you create a Microsoft account, submit a search query to Bing, speak a voice command to Cortana, upload a document to OneDrive, or contact us for support. We get some of it by recording how you interact with our services by, for example, using technologies like cookies, and receiving error reports or usage data from software running on your device.

We also obtain data from third parties (including other companies). For example, we supplement the data we collect by purchasing demographic data from other companies. We also use services from other companies to help us determine a location based on your IP address in order to customize certain services to your location.

The data we collect depends on the services and features you use, and includes the following.

Name and contact data. We collect your first and last name, email address, postal address, phone number, and other similar contact data.

Credentials. We collect passwords, password hints, and similar security information used for authentication and account access.

Demographic data. We collect data about you such as your age, gender, country and preferred language.

Interests and favorites. We collect data about your interests and favorites, such as the teams you follow in a sports app, the stocks you track in a finance app, or the favorite cities you add to a weather app. In addition to those you explicitly provide, your interests and favorites may also be inferred or derived from other data we collect.

Payment data. We collect data necessary to process your payment if you make purchases, such as your payment instrument number (such as a credit card number), and the security code associated with your payment instrument.

Usage data. We collect data about how you interact with our services. This includes data, such as the features you use, the items you purchase, the web pages you visit, and the search terms you enter. This also includes data about your device, including IP address, device identifiers, regional and language settings, and data about the network, operating system, browser or other software you use to connect to the services. And it also includes data about the performance of the services and any problems you experience with them.

Contacts and relationships. We collect data about your contacts and relationships if you use a Microsoft service to manage contacts, or to communicate or interact with other people or organizations.

Location data. We collect data about your location, which can be either precise or imprecise. Precise location data can be Global Position System (GPS) data, as well as data identifying nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots, we collect when you enable location-based services or features. Imprecise location data includes, for example, a location derived from your IP address or data that indicates where you are located with less precision, such as at a city or postal code level.

Content. We collect content of your files and communications when necessary to provide you with the services you use. This includes: the content of your documents, photos, music or video you upload to a Microsoft service such as OneDrive. It also includes the content of your communications sent or received using Microsoft services, such as the:
- subject line and body of an email,
- text or other content of an instant message,
- audio and video recording of a video message, and
- audio recording and transcript of a voice message you receive or a text message you dictate.

Additionally, when you contact us, such as for customer support, phone conversations or chat sessions with our representatives may be monitored and recorded. If you enter our retail stores, your image may be captured by our security cameras.

You have choices about the data we collect. When you are asked to provide personal data, you may decline. But if you choose not to provide data that is necessary to provide a service, you may not be able to use some features or services.

Service-specific sections below describe additional data collection practices applicable to use of those services.

space otter

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #643 on: August 06, 2015, 06:50:46 AM »

well as far as I know they still need a court to say ok to them listening in on a land line
but soon even that will be gone...sigh

I have only so many days left on Norton and when they cancel my landline I will be in hermit status
and enjoying the garden even more
and as soon as they have us totally electronic..maybe another 10 years tops..
 the power will go out then we'll see who runs what
it's all good..i guess ?  ::)
Landline users, consumer advocates fear switch from copper to fiber networks

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, 12:01 a.m.
Updated 9 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The copper network behind landline phones, a communications mainstay for more than a century, is going away, as cable and fiber-optic lines are installed with faster Internet speeds.

But the alternatives have drawbacks, including an inability to withstand power outages. The federal government is considering rules Thursday to make sure Americans aren't caught off guard in emergencies if they switch.

Many people scoff at the idea of a landline. About 45 percent of the nation's households use only cellphones. But outside of cities, cell service can be poor.

Yet even among households with wired phone service, according to a government study last year, about half of them have already ditched copper-based landlines for an Internet-based phone service sold by phone and cable companies and typically packaged with TV and Internet services. That's expected to continue.

Fiber and cable networks carry big benefits, such as faster Internet service and expected improvements in 911, including the ability to send texts and photos. Verizon says fiber lasts longer than copper and doesn't need as much maintenance.

But a home phone that relies on the Internet will go out when the power does. With copper networks, the phone line delivers its own power source and will continue to work — as long as the phone isn't a cordless one needing separate power.

In addition, many home burglar alarms and medical alert systems run on the copper network, so people need time to get replacements.

“One of the concerns we all have is people don't understand the difference in these kinds of phone service. They see a phone is a phone is a phone,” said Mimi Pickering, a documentary filmmaker in rural Whitesburg, Ky. She fought unsuccessfully against her state's recent decision to drop requirements that phone companies provide old-fashioned phone service to all homes. Instead, they can now offer a wireless or Internet-based service instead.

The march away from copper appears inevitable.

“There will be so few people on the network that it won't be economical to maintain it,” said Jon Banks, a senior vice president at United States Telecom Association, which represents Verizon, AT&T and other phone companies. “When copper wears out, nobody really wants to replace it with more copper.”

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to require that phone companies warn residential customers three months before they abandon a copper network. For businesses, six months' notice would be required.

Phone and cable companies would have to warn customers with newer technologies that the phone will go out with the power, so people have time to get replacement alarms and backup batteries if necessary.

“If you mess with people's phone systems without explaining what's going on, you have real issues,” said Harold Feld, senior vice president at the public-interest group Public Knowledge. “People's lives depend on it.”

He estimates that about 80 million people as well as several million small businesses still have traditional copper-based phone service.

Some customers, consumer advocates and the telephone workers union accuse the phone companies of not repairing copper networks that they want to shut down. The new rules would prohibit companies from retiring a copper network through neglect. If it wants to abandon copper, it would need to tell customers.

In FCC filings, Verizon says retirement-by-neglect is a myth, while CenturyLink says it spends billions of dollars to maintain its copper network and doesn't see the need for this rule.

Consumer advocates have particular concerns about remote areas. They worry that copper will be replaced there with wireless services that don't do as much.

They point to what happened on the western part of New York's Fire Island when Superstorm Sandy destroyed a lot of the copper wiring there in 2012. Verizon wanted to replace it with a home phone service called Voice Link, which relies on the cellular network but is not a cellphone. But, unlike copper, Voice Link couldn't be used for Internet service and didn't work with faxes or credit-card machines used by small businesses.

After complaints, Verizon said it would also build a fiber network.

But some people, even in big cities, just want to keep their copper phone line.

“I'm on the 40th floor of an elevator building,” said Lynn Caporale, 57, who lives in New York. In a power failure, “I would have no elevator, no lights, no running water,” she said. And if Verizon took away her copper landline, “I would have no way of communicating with anybody.”

The FCC wants to assuage her fears. To keep phones running on newer networks and make sure people can call 911 in an emergency, the agency would require that phone and cable companies sell customers backup batteries with eight hours of power, if they want it. Verizon sells one for $40. In three years, the battery would have to last 24 hours.

Under the FCC proposal, phone companies would be able to shut down their copper without FCC approval if “no service is discontinued, reduced or impaired.” Otherwise, they would need permission. But the standards for what constitutes worse service are still being worked out. The agency is asking for opinions on things such as voice quality and support for home alarm and medical monitoring systems.

While the notifications requirements would take effect in a few months, if they get approved Thursday, the standards on service quality will take longer.

bwhahahahahahaha..just found this..never fear we can use ballons..what progress humans make when they have to..

Aaron Barksdale
Editorial Fellow for Voices, The Huffington Post
Posted: 08/05/2015 03:20 PM EDT | Edited: 08/05/2015 06:44 PM EDT

Google's Internet Balloons Connect Remote Locations To The Web

Looks like the sky really is the limit.



Fast Company: Sri Lanka Is The First Country To Deploy Google's Balloon-Based Internet

Google is on a mission to get everyone around the globe faster and cheaper Internet using an unlikely source of connectivity -- balloons. The balloons, which are attached to a solar panel, carry a transmitter that connects with stations on the ground. Each balloon goes about 12 miles high -- double the height at which airplanes travel or clouds form -- and provides connectivity to a ground area 25 miles in diameter.

Sri Lanka, where only 1 in 5 people are online, will be the first country to make use of the ballon-powered Internet. Earlier this year, Google brokered a deal to let local telecommunications companies transmit signal to the balloon network for free. The technology has the potential to allow people living in rural areas across the world access to the Internet. The initiative is part of a Project Loon, which seeks to increase educational and social well-being in places that were previously unable to access the Internet.

"Hopefully, in a few months, every person and every device on the island will be covered by 3G," said Harsha De Silva, deputy minster of policy planning and economic affairs, on Facebook.

"Today's agreement will certainly provide a huge boost to our game plan to create a knowledge based highly [competitive] social market economy that will help every household achieve their own dreams," De Silva added.

Other tech companies are also finding ways to connect rural and remote areas to the web. Facebook recently launched its flying drone web-initiative,, that beams Internet via lasers to locations that don't have access.

« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 08:48:16 AM by space otter »

space otter

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #644 on: August 15, 2015, 11:29:19 AM »

The New York Times
1 hr ago

AT&T Helped N.S.A. Spy on an Array of Internet Traffic

This story was reported by Julia Angwin, Charlie Savage, Jeff Larson, Henrik Moltke, Laura Poitras and James Risen.

The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T.

While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed N.S.A. documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as “highly collaborative,” while another lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.”

AT&T’s cooperation has involved a broad range of classified activities, according to the documents, which date from 2003 to 2013. AT&T has given the N.S.A. access, through several methods covered under different legal rules, to billions of emails as they have flowed across its domestic networks. It provided technical assistance in carrying out a secret court order permitting the wiretapping of all Internet communications at the United Nations headquarters, a customer of AT&T.

The N.S.A.’s top-secret budget in 2013 for the AT&T partnership was more than twice that of the next-largest such program, according to the documents. The company installed surveillance equipment in at least 17 of its Internet hubs on American soil, far more than its similarly sized competitor, Verizon. And its engineers were the first to try out new surveillance technologies invented by the eavesdropping agency.

One document reminds N.S.A. officials to be polite when visiting AT&T facilities, noting, “This is a partnership, not a contractual relationship.”

The documents, provided by the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden, were jointly reviewed by The New York Times and ProPublica. The N.S.A., AT&T and Verizon declined to discuss the findings from the files. “We don’t comment on matters of national security,” an AT&T spokesman said.

It is not clear if the programs still operate in the same way today. Since the Snowden revelations set off a global debate over surveillance two years ago, some Silicon Valley technology companies have expressed anger at what they characterize as N.S.A. intrusions and have rolled out new encryption to thwart them. The telecommunications companies have been quieter, though Verizon unsuccessfully challenged a court order for bulk phone records in 2014.

At the same time, the government has been fighting in court to keep the identities of its telecom partners hidden. In a recent case, a group of AT&T customers claimed that the N.S.A.’s tapping of the Internet violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches. This year, a federal judge dismissed key portions of the lawsuit after the Obama administration argued that public discussion of its telecom surveillance efforts would reveal state secrets, damaging national security.

The N.S.A. documents do not identify AT&T or other companies by name. Instead, they refer to corporate partnerships run by the agency’s Special Source Operations division using code names. The division is responsible for more than 80 percent of the information the N.S.A. collects, one document states.

Fairview is one of its oldest programs. It began in 1985, the year after antitrust regulators broke up the Ma Bell telephone monopoly and its long-distance division became AT&T Communications. An analysis of the Fairview documents by The Times and ProPublica reveals a constellation of evidence that points to AT&T as that program’s partner. Several former intelligence officials confirmed that finding.

A Fairview fiber-optic cable, damaged in the 2011 earthquake in Japan, was repaired on the same date as a Japanese-American cable operated by AT&T. Fairview documents use technical jargon specific to AT&T. And in 2012, the Fairview program carried out the court order for surveillance on the Internet line, which AT&T provides, serving the United Nations headquarters. (N.S.A. spying on United Nations diplomats has previouslybeenreported, but not the court order or AT&T’s involvement. In October 2013, the United States told the United Nations that it would not monitor its communications.)

The documents also show that another program, code-named Stormbrew, has included Verizon and the former MCI, which Verizon purchased in 2006. One describes a Stormbrew cable landing that is identifiable as one that Verizon operates. Another names a contact person whose LinkedIn profile says he is a longtime Verizon employee with a top-secret clearance.

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, AT&T and MCI were instrumental in the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping programs, according to a draft report by the N.S.A.’s inspector general. The report, disclosed by Mr. Snowden and previously published by The Guardian, does not identify the companies by name but describes their market share in numbers that correspond to those two businesses, according to Federal Communications Commission reports.

AT&T began turning over emails and phone calls “within days” after the warrantless surveillance began in October 2001, the report indicated. By contrast, the other company did not start until February 2002, the draft report said.

In September 2003, according to the previously undisclosed N.S.A. documents, AT&T was the first partner to turn on a new collection capability that the N.S.A. said amounted to a “ ‘live’ presence on the global net.” In one of its first months of operation, the Fairview program forwarded to the agency 400 billion Internet metadata records — which include who contacted whom and other details, but not what they said — and was “forwarding more than one million emails a day to the keyword selection system” at the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Md. Stormbrew was still gearing up to use the new technology, which appeared to process foreign-to-foreign traffic separate from the post-9/11 program.

In 2011, AT&T began handing over 1.1 billion domestic cellphone calling records a day to the N.S.A. after “a push to get this flow operational prior to the 10th anniversary of 9/11,” according to an internal agency newsletter. This revelation is striking because after Mr. Snowden disclosed the program of collecting the records of Americans’ phone calls, intelligence officials told reporters that, for technical reasons, it consisted mostly of landline phone records.

That year, one slide presentation shows, the N.S.A. spent $188.9 million on the Fairview program, twice the amount spent on Stormbrew, its second-largest corporate program.

After The Times disclosed the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program in December 2005, plaintiffs began trying to sue AT&T and the N.S.A. In a 2006 lawsuit, a retired AT&T technician named Mark Klein claimed that three years earlier, he had seen a secret room in a company building in San Francisco where the N.S.A. had installed equipment.

Mr. Klein claimed that AT&T was providing the N.S.A. with access to Internet traffic that AT&T transmits for other telecom companies. Such cooperative arrangements, known in the industry as “peering,” mean that communications from customers of other companies could end up on AT&T’s network.

After Congress passed a 2008 law legalizing the Bush program and immunizing the telecom companies for their cooperation with it, that lawsuit was thrown out. But the newly disclosed documents show that AT&T has provided access to peering traffic from other companies’ networks.

AT&T’s “corporate relationships provide unique accesses to other telecoms and I.S.P.s,” or Internet service providers, one 2013 N.S.A. document states.

Because of the way the Internet works, intercepting a targeted person’s email requires copying pieces of many other people’s emails, too, and sifting through those pieces. Plaintiffs have been trying without success to get courts to address whether copying and sifting pieces of all those emails violates the Fourth Amendment.

Many privacy advocates have suspected that AT&T was giving the N.S.A. a copy of all Internet data to sift for itself. But one 2012 presentation says the spy agency does not “typically” have “direct access” to telecoms’ hubs. Instead, the telecoms have done the sifting and forwarded messages the government believes it may legally collect.

“Corporate sites are often controlled by the partner, who filters the communications before sending to N.S.A.,” according to the presentation. This system sometimes leads to “delays” when the government sends new instructions, it added.

The companies’ sorting of data has allowed the N.S.A. to bring different surveillance powers to bear. Targeting someone on American soil requires a court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. When a foreigner abroad is communicating with an American, that law permits the government to target that foreigner without a warrant. When foreigners are messaging other foreigners, that law does not apply and the government can collect such emails in bulk without targeting anyone.

AT&T’s provision of foreign-to-foreign traffic has been particularly important to the N.S.A. because large amounts of the world’s Internet communications travel across American cables. AT&T provided access to the contents of transiting email traffic for years before Verizon began doing so in March 2013, the documents show. They say AT&T gave the N.S.A. access to “massive amounts of data,” and by 2013 the program was processing 60 million foreign-to-foreign emails a day.

Because domestic wiretapping laws do not cover foreign-to-foreign emails, the companies have provided them voluntarily, not in response to court orders, intelligence officials said. But it is not clear whether that remains the case after the post-Snowden upheavals.

“We do not voluntarily provide information to any investigating authorities other than if a person’s life is in danger and time is of the essence,” Brad Burns, an AT&T spokesman, said. He declined to elaborate.


AT&T Helped N.S.A. Spy on an Array of Internet Traffic

« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 11:31:54 AM by space otter » USA, LLC
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