“We Are This Far From A Turnkey Totalitarian State" - Big Brother Goes Live September 2013

Tyler Durden's picture

George Orwell was right. He was just 30 years early.

In its April cover story, Wired has an exclusive report on the NSA's Utah Data Center, which is a must read for anyone who believes any privacy is still a possibility in the United States: "A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks.... Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.”... The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013." In other words, in just over 1 year, virtually anything one communicates through any traceable medium, or any record of one's existence in the electronic medium, which these days is everything, will unofficially be property of the US government to deal with as it sees fit.

The codename of the project: Stellar Wind.

As Wired says, "there is no doubt that it has transformed itself into the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever created."

And as former NSA operative William Binney who was a senior NSA crypto-mathematician, and is the basis for the Wired article (which we guess makes him merely the latest whistleblower to step up: is America suddenly experiencing an ethical revulsion?), and quit his job only after he realized that the NSA is now openly trampling the constitution, says as he holds his thumb and forefinger close together. "We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state."

There was a time when Americans still cared about matters such as personal privacy. Luckily, they now have iGadgets to keep them distracted as they hand over their last pieces of individuality to the Tzar of conformity. And there are those who wonder just what the purpose of the NDAA is.

In the meantime please continue to pretend that America is a democracy...

Here are some of the highlights from the Wired article:

The Utah Data Center in a nutshell, and the summary of the current status of the NSA's eavesdropping on US citizens.

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.


But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”


In the process—and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration—the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. Finally, the agency has begun building a place to store all the trillions of words and thoughts and whispers captured in its electronic net. And, of course, it’s all being done in secret. To those on the inside, the old adage that NSA stands for Never Say Anything applies more than ever.


...Shrouded in secrecy:

A short time later, Inglis arrived in Bluffdale at the site of the future data center, a flat, unpaved runway on a little-used part of Camp Williams, a National Guard training site. There, in a white tent set up for the occasion, Inglis joined Harvey Davis, the agency’s associate director for installations and logistics, and Utah senator Orrin Hatch, along with a few generals and politicians in a surreal ceremony. Standing in an odd wooden sandbox and holding gold-painted shovels, they made awkward jabs at the sand and thus officially broke ground on what the local media had simply dubbed “the spy center.” Hoping for some details on what was about to be built, reporters turned to one of the invited guests, Lane Beattie of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. Did he have any idea of the purpose behind the new facility in his backyard? “Absolutely not,” he said with a self-conscious half laugh. “Nor do I want them spying on me.”


Within days, the tent and sandbox and gold shovels would be gone and Inglis and the generals would be replaced by some 10,000 construction workers. “We’ve been asked not to talk about the project,” Rob Moore, president of Big-D Construction, one of the three major contractors working on the project, told a local reporter. The plans for the center show an extensive security system: an elaborate $10 million antiterrorism protection program, including a fence designed to stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour, closed-circuit cameras, a biometric identification system, a vehicle inspection facility, and a visitor-control center.


Inside, the facility will consist of four 25,000-square-foot halls filled with servers, complete with raised floor space for cables and storage. In addition, there will be more than 900,000 square feet for technical support and administration. The entire site will be self-sustaining, with fuel tanks large enough to power the backup generators for three days in an emergency, water storage with the capability of pumping 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day, as well as a sewage system and massive air-conditioning system to keep all those servers cool. Electricity will come from the center’s own substation built by Rocky Mountain Power to satisfy the 65-megawatt power demand. Such a mammoth amount of energy comes with a mammoth price tag—about $40 million a year, according to one estimate.

Presenting the Yottabyte, aka 500 quintillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text:

Given the facility’s scale and the fact that a terabyte of data can now be stored on a flash drive the size of a man’s pinky, the potential amount of information that could be housed in Bluffdale is truly staggering. But so is the exponential growth in the amount of intelligence data being produced every day by the eavesdropping sensors of the NSA and other intelligence agencies. As a result of this “expanding array of theater airborne and other sensor networks,” as a 2007 Department of Defense report puts it, the Pentagon is attempting to expand its worldwide communications network, known as the Global Information Grid, to handle yottabytes (1024 bytes) of data. (A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.)


It needs that capacity because, according to a recent report by Cisco, global Internet traffic will quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching 966 exabytes per year. (A million exabytes equal a yottabyte.) In terms of scale, Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO, once estimated that the total of all human knowledge created from the dawn of man to 2003 totaled 5 exabytes. And the data flow shows no sign of slowing. In 2011 more than 2 billion of the world’s 6.9 billion people were connected to the Internet. By 2015, market research firm IDC estimates, there will be 2.7 billion users. Thus, the NSA’s need for a 1-million-square-foot data storehouse. Should the agency ever fill the Utah center with a yottabyte of information, it would be equal to about 500 quintillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text.

Summarizing the NSA's entire spy network:


Before yottabytes of data from the deep web and elsewhere can begin piling up inside the servers of the NSA’s new center, they must be collected. To better accomplish that, the agency has undergone the largest building boom in its history, including installing secret electronic monitoring rooms in major US telecom facilities. Controlled by the NSA, these highly secured spaces are where the agency taps into the US communications networks, a practice that came to light during the Bush years but was never acknowledged by the agency. The broad outlines of the so-called warrantless-wiretapping program have long been exposed—how the NSA secretly and illegally bypassed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which was supposed to oversee and authorize highly targeted domestic eavesdropping; how the program allowed wholesale monitoring of millions of American phone calls and email. In the wake of the program’s exposure, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which largely made the practices legal. Telecoms that had agreed to participate in the illegal activity were granted immunity from prosecution and lawsuits. What wasn’t revealed until now, however, was the enormity of this ongoing domestic spying program.

Luckily, we now know, courtesy of yet another whistleblower, who has exposed the NSA's mindblowing efforts at pervasive Big Brotherness:

For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail. William Binney was a senior NSA crypto-mathematician largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network. A tall man with strands of black hair across the front of his scalp and dark, determined eyes behind thick-rimmed glasses, the 68-year-old spent nearly four decades breaking codes and finding new ways to channel billions of private phone calls and email messages from around the world into the NSA’s bulging databases. As chief and one of the two cofounders of the agency’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center, Binney and his team designed much of the infrastructure that’s still likely used to intercept international and foreign communications.


He explains that the agency could have installed its tapping gear at the nation’s cable landing stations—the more than two dozen sites on the periphery of the US where fiber-optic cables come ashore. If it had taken that route, the NSA would have been able to limit its eavesdropping to just international communications, which at the time was all that was allowed under US law. Instead it chose to put the wiretapping rooms at key junction points throughout the country—large, windowless buildings known as switches—thus gaining access to not just international communications but also to most of the domestic traffic flowing through the US. The network of intercept stations goes far beyond the single room in an AT&T building in San Francisco exposed by a whistle-blower in 2006. “I think there’s 10 to 20 of them,” Binney says. “That’s not just San Francisco; they have them in the middle of the country and also on the East Coast.”


The eavesdropping on Americans doesn’t stop at the telecom switches. To capture satellite communications in and out of the US, the agency also monitors AT&T’s powerful earth stations, satellite receivers in locations that include Roaring Creek and Salt Creek. Tucked away on a back road in rural Catawissa, Pennsylvania, Roaring Creek’s three 105-foot dishes handle much of the country’s communications to and from Europe and the Middle East. And on an isolated stretch of land in remote Arbuckle, California, three similar dishes at the company’s Salt Creek station service the Pacific Rim and Asia.

In other words, the NSA has absolutely everyone covered.

We now know all of this, courtesy of yet another person finally stepping up and exposing the truth:

Binney left the NSA in late 2001, shortly after the agency launched its warrantless-wiretapping program. “They violated the Constitution setting it up,” he says bluntly. “But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and they were going to crucify anyone who stood in the way. When they started violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.” Binney says Stellar Wind was far larger than has been publicly disclosed and included not just eavesdropping on domestic phone calls but the inspection of domestic email. At the outset the program recorded 320 million calls a day, he says, which represented about 73 to 80 percent of the total volume of the agency’s worldwide intercepts. The haul only grew from there. According to Binney—who has maintained close contact with agency employees until a few years ago—the taps in the secret rooms dotting the country are actually powered by highly sophisticated software programs that conduct “deep packet inspection,” examining Internet traffic as it passes through the 10-gigabit-per-second cables at the speed of light.


The software, created by a company called Narus that’s now part of Boeing, is controlled remotely from NSA headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland and searches US sources for target addresses, locations, countries, and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email. Any communication that arouses suspicion, especially those to or from the million or so people on agency watch lists, are automatically copied or recorded and then transmitted to the NSA.

Everyone is a target.

The scope of surveillance expands from there, Binney says. Once a name is entered into the Narus database, all phone calls and other communications to and from that person are automatically routed to the NSA’s recorders. “Anybody you want, route to a recorder,” Binney says. “If your number’s in there? Routed and gets recorded.” He adds, “The Narus device allows you to take it all.” And when Bluffdale is completed, whatever is collected will be routed there for storage and analysis.


After he left the NSA, Binney suggested a system for monitoring people’s communications according to how closely they are connected to an initial target. The further away from the target—say you’re just an acquaintance of a friend of the target—the less the surveillance. But the agency rejected the idea, and, given the massive new storage facility in Utah, Binney suspects that it now simply collects everything. “The whole idea was, how do you manage 20 terabytes of intercept a minute?” he says. “The way we proposed was to distinguish between things you want and things you don’t want.” Instead, he adds, “they’re storing everything they gather.” And the agency is gathering as much as it can.


Once the communications are intercepted and stored, the data-mining begins. “You can watch everybody all the time with data- mining,” Binney says. Everything a person does becomes charted on a graph, “financial transactions or travel or anything,” he says. Thus, as data like bookstore receipts, bank statements, and commuter toll records flow in, the NSA is able to paint a more and more detailed picture of someone’s life.

Can you hear me now? The NSA sure can:

According to Binney, one of the deepest secrets of the Stellar Wind program—again, never confirmed until now—was that the NSA gained warrantless access to AT&T’s vast trove of domestic and international billing records, detailed information about who called whom in the US and around the world. As of 2007, AT&T had more than 2.8 trillion records housed in a database at its Florham Park, New Jersey, complex.


Verizon was also part of the program, Binney says, and that greatly expanded the volume of calls subject to the agency’s domestic eavesdropping. “That multiplies the call rate by at least a factor of five,” he says. “So you’re over a billion and a half calls a day.” (Spokespeople for Verizon and AT&T said their companies would not comment on matters of national security.)

In fact, as you talk now, the NSA's computers are listening, recording it all, and looking for keywords.

The NSA also has the ability to eavesdrop on phone calls directly and in real time. According to Adrienne J. Kinne, who worked both before and after 9/11 as a voice interceptor at the NSA facility in Georgia, in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks “basically all rules were thrown out the window, and they would use any excuse to justify a waiver to spy on Americans.” Even journalists calling home from overseas were included. “A lot of time you could tell they were calling their families,” she says, “incredibly intimate, personal conversations.” Kinne found the act of eavesdropping on innocent fellow citizens personally distressing. “It’s almost like going through and finding somebody’s diary,” she says.

There is a simple matter of encryption... Which won't be an issue for the NSA shortly, once the High Productivity Computing Systems project goes online.

Anyone—from terrorists and weapons dealers to corporations, financial institutions, and ordinary email senders—can use it to seal their messages, plans, photos, and documents in hardened data shells. For years, one of the hardest shells has been the Advanced Encryption Standard, one of several algorithms used by much of the world to encrypt data. Available in three different strengths—128 bits, 192 bits, and 256 bits—it’s incorporated in most commercial email programs and web browsers and is considered so strong that the NSA has even approved its use for top-secret US government communications. Most experts say that a so-called brute-force computer attack on the algorithm—trying one combination after another to unlock the encryption—would likely take longer than the age of the universe. For a 128-bit cipher, the number of trial-and-error attempts would be 340 undecillion (1036).


Breaking into those complex mathematical shells like the AES is one of the key reasons for the construction going on in Bluffdale. That kind of cryptanalysis requires two major ingredients: super-fast computers to conduct brute-force attacks on encrypted messages and a massive number of those messages for the computers to analyze. The more messages from a given target, the more likely it is for the computers to detect telltale patterns, and Bluffdale will be able to hold a great many messages. “We questioned it one time,” says another source, a senior intelligence manager who was also involved with the planning. “Why were we building this NSA facility? And, boy, they rolled out all the old guys—the crypto guys.” According to the official, these experts told then-director of national intelligence Dennis Blair, “You’ve got to build this thing because we just don’t have the capability of doing the code-breaking.” It was a candid admission. In the long war between the code breakers and the code makers—the tens of thousands of cryptographers in the worldwide computer security industry—the code breakers were admitting defeat.


So the agency had one major ingredient—a massive data storage facility—under way. Meanwhile, across the country in Tennessee, the government was working in utmost secrecy on the other vital element: the most powerful computer the world has ever known.


The plan was launched in 2004 as a modern-day Manhattan Project. Dubbed the High Productivity Computing Systems program, its goal was to advance computer speed a thousandfold, creating a machine that could execute a quadrillion (1015) operations a second, known as a petaflop—the computer equivalent of breaking the land speed record. And as with the Manhattan Project, the venue chosen for the supercomputing program was the town of Oak Ridge in eastern Tennessee, a rural area where sharp ridges give way to low, scattered hills, and the southwestward-flowing Clinch River bends sharply to the southeast. About 25 miles from Knoxville, it is the “secret city” where uranium- 235 was extracted for the first atomic bomb. A sign near the exit read: what you see here, what you do here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here. Today, not far from where that sign stood, Oak Ridge is home to the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and it’s engaged in a new secret war. But this time, instead of a bomb of almost unimaginable power, the weapon is a computer of almost unimaginable speed.


At the DOE’s unclassified center at Oak Ridge, work progressed at a furious pace, although it was a one-way street when it came to cooperation with the closemouthed people in Building 5300. Nevertheless, the unclassified team had its Cray XT4 supercomputer upgraded to a warehouse-sized XT5. Named Jaguar for its speed, it clocked in at 1.75 petaflops, officially becoming the world’s fastest computer in 2009.


Meanwhile, over in Building 5300, the NSA succeeded in building an even faster supercomputer. “They made a big breakthrough,” says another former senior intelligence official, who helped oversee the program. The NSA’s machine was likely similar to the unclassified Jaguar, but it was much faster out of the gate, modified specifically for cryptanalysis and targeted against one or more specific algorithms, like the AES. In other words, they were moving from the research and development phase to actually attacking extremely difficult encryption systems. The code-breaking effort was up and running.


The breakthrough was enormous, says the former official, and soon afterward the agency pulled the shade down tight on the project, even within the intelligence community and Congress. “Only the chairman and vice chairman and the two staff directors of each intelligence committee were told about it,” he says. The reason? “They were thinking that this computing breakthrough was going to give them the ability to crack current public encryption.”

So kiss PGP goodbye. In fact kiss every aspect of your privacy goodbye.

Yottabytes and exaflops, septillions and undecillions—the race for computing speed and data storage goes on. In his 1941 story “The Library of Babel,” Jorge Luis Borges imagined a collection of information where the entire world’s knowledge is stored but barely a single word is understood. In Bluffdale the NSA is constructing a library on a scale that even Borges might not have contemplated. And to hear the masters of the agency tell it, it’s only a matter of time until every word is illuminated.

As for the Constitution... What Constitution?

Before he gave up and left the NSA, Binney tried to persuade officials to create a more targeted system that could be authorized by a court. At the time, the agency had 72 hours to obtain a legal warrant, and Binney devised a method to computerize the system. “I had proposed that we automate the process of requesting a warrant and automate approval so we could manage a couple of million intercepts a day, rather than subvert the whole process.” But such a system would have required close coordination with the courts, and NSA officials weren’t interested in that, Binney says. Instead they continued to haul in data on a grand scale. Asked how many communications—”transactions,” in NSA’s lingo—the agency has intercepted since 9/11, Binney estimates the number at “between 15 and 20 trillion, the aggregate over 11 years.”


When Barack Obama took office, Binney hoped the new administration might be open to reforming the program to address his constitutional concerns. He and another former senior NSA analyst, J. Kirk Wiebe, tried to bring the idea of an automated warrant-approval system to the attention of the Department of Justice’s inspector general. They were given the brush-off. “They said, oh, OK, we can’t comment,” Binney says.

In conclusion, the NSA's own whistleblower summarizes it best.

Sitting in a restaurant not far from NSA headquarters, the place where he spent nearly 40 years of his life, Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together. “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state,” he says.

... And nobody cares.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Lednbrass's picture

Ehhh only .40 cal, pffft.  Short range pistol ammo. While this is disturbing, I would be more worried if they were buying for real weapons and not peashooters.

putaipan's picture

ok. thanks lead and brass. feel much better now.

just don't take a tear gas canister in the head.

Vendetta's picture

lol.  How many rounds will it take to kill the idea of what the USA used to stand for?

paratrooper325's picture

Can someone break this down for me? WTH is he talking about the Secretary of each Department capable of making loans and such?




is he saying that he is giving each department the capability to regulate all of these individual things thus ripping the power from Congress and the Senate? This is sure what it seems like.

Getting Old Sucks's picture

Yeah, WTF?  Sounds like he's thinking about taking over some privately owned resources and drafting some peolple.  Just enough ambiguity to leave you wondering about it all.  I'm sure that most of this is already part of law, but why the need to reiterate it and modify it now?

Two examples, but many in there. 

(a)  procure and install additional equipment, facilities, processes, or improvements to plants, factories, and other industrial facilities owned by the Federal Government and to procure and install Government owned equipment in plants, factories, or other industrial facilities owned by private persons;

(2)  upon request by the Director of Selective Service, and in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, assist the Director of Selective Service in development of policies regulating the induction and deferment of persons for duty in the armed services;

Winston Churchill's picture

I was listening to Infowars the other day.

One of his guests was ruminating over the enormous number

of BIG long term bunkers being built by Govt.s all over the

world sudenly,also about the seed bank in Artic Norway.

What do they know that we don't ?

Vendetta's picture

What do they know that we don't ?  Answer: Not much

Jendrzejczyk's picture

Also look into how local governments are modifying existing large buildings (such as schools) so they can be used as mass shelters in an "emergency".

CoolBeans's picture

Yep...it would seem it says, "Hands up...we're taking what we want."

AndTheRest's picture

Just laying the legal framework to grant them the powers they'll need during World War 3.  And solidifying some elements of the fascist merger of state and corporate power.

Lednbrass's picture

It certainly looks that way, what a deeply disturbing document.  Good catch. There is alot here to make one suspicious on many levels.

francis_sawyer's picture

 WTH is he talking about the Secretary of each Department capable of making loans and such?

He doesn't know WTF he's talking about... He's focused on his BRACKETS... After that, he'll be focused on his long putting stroke...

takinthehighway's picture

I've been recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, which is usually a death sentence. Everyone around me has expressed amazement that I am so calm and accepting of this fact. Yet, given the state of our world and my personal faith in a far better eternal home, why should I be sad to be leaving? Indeed, my only sorrow is for those who remain after I depart. I pray that someday my children might be able to forgive my ignorance and inaction which have contributed to this state of affairs. Lord, please give me what I need to stand against this abomination for the time still allotted to me.

CH1's picture

Sorry for the diagnosis, friend.

A thought borrowed from Ben Franklin:

Life, like a dramatic piece, should finish handsomely.

God bless.

noob's picture

Vitamin B17 - Laetrile (prevalent in Air dried almonds [as apposed to sun dried], apple seeds etc )

whosetosay's picture

As someone else wrote below, B17. Apricot Kernels.

You have an amazing attitude and I wish you healing, health and happiness.

noob's picture

(my implant is acting up :-/ )
yes, apricot kernels (I meant to write that) thx…
read somewhere that “apricot kernels” have been used as currency

whosetosay's picture

I just appreciate you bringing up B17. Perhaps it may help someone. It's all in the seeds (almonds aside as thay have regulated the processing so much as to render them useless).

JustObserving's picture

Alkaline water and alkaline foods and best wishes from your friends at Zero Hedge. They use low carb diets in Germany for your condition. You must have lived a good life to have no fear.  If you have lived a good life, you have lived for eternity.  I drink to your health, happiness and courage.

"To see a World in a Grain of Sand 

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 

And Eternity in an hour."

William Blake

N57Mike's picture

“And God shall make thy Soul a Glass, Where eighteen thousand eons pass,

And thou shall see the gleaming Worlds, As Men see dew upon the grass.”

                                                                                   James Elroy Fletcher: The Gates of Damascus

CoolBeans's picture

Many blessings, brave soul.

We will stand with you - here and on the next plane.

francis_sawyer's picture

Yo go my friend... (in peace)...

and take the HIGHway by all means!

KK Tipton's picture


Empty everything out; hold fast to your stillness.
Even though all things are stirring together,
watch for the movement of return.
The ten thousand things flourish and then
each returns to the root from which it came.
Returning to the root is stillness.
Through stillness each fulfils its destiny.
That which has fulfilled its destiny
becomes part of the Always-so.
To be aware of the Always-so is to awaken.

Those who innovate while in ignorance of the Always-so
move toward disaster.
Those who act with awareness of the Always-so
embrace all, are not possessed by particular desire,
and move toward the Tao.
Those who are at one with the Tao abide forever.
Even after their bodies waste away, they are safe and whole.

AndTheRest's picture

There are no gods and no after life.  Whatever you're going to do, do it here on Earth.


But the Jewish mythological religion of Christianity does keep the goyim in check, does it not?  After all, if you didn't believe in the parsimonious fairy tales of your religious leaders you might seize your opportunity to go do something bold before you keel over and are extinguished from reality forever.


On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

Joebloinvestor's picture

Just look up "Carnivore program".

The government has been spying on everyone it can.

bugs_'s picture

False Positive Soup - we'll need a much bigger bowl and a far larger spoon

malek's picture

We should not go overboard on all fronts.

Eavesdrop on all non-encrypted communication - sure, doable.

But breaking AES encryption:
If Most experts say that a so-called brute-force computer attack on the algorithm would likely take longer than the age of the universe
is true,
then a 1000 times faster computer will still take 1/1000 of the age of the universe. For one encryption. So speeding up the systems is not going to really help the code breakers.
It is conceivable they found a weakness in the encryption standard, that -at least under certain conditions- allows to break a code within days or weeks of brute computer power.

But by all reasonable thinking, for self-created keys (like in PGP) it is always easier to intercept the entering of the password when the user wants to open the encrypted container.
We have seen in the last few years that all OS and applications still have so many even remotely exploitable bugs that it is not a big problem to install a keylogger onto an internet-connected computer. Then record the password entry, that's a much easier way to "break" the code.
And for standardized encryption (like SSL) you might want to break into the CAs.

sIewie the pi-rat's picture

in the first iteration of chrome key logging was built in

MrPalladium's picture

They don't break the key. They mash the message with AI natural language, finding vowels first, etc. This process is greatly enhanced if their are multiple messages - for example encrypted emails with unencrpted subject lines indicative of the encrypted text, or a standard greeting to the named email recipient. Once the machine has mashed a few of your messages and learns your word patterns, the process speeds up considerably.

Changing the key does little good.

You must change your email personality to slow them down.

malek's picture

You should really update your knowledge on encryption.

Today's routines are block ciphers, that means they encrypt a whole block of text, and any single character (or bit) change in the original leads to a completely different encrypted block.
And usually they add a different salt to each message, which makes comparison to earlier messages useless.

mkkby's picture

Agreed.  I call bullshit.  This is psyops.

If they are storing every byte ever transmitted, that means they can't make sense out of it.  They are storing for some future time when they hope it may come in handy.  Probably never.

Look at the pitiful state of commercial speech to text.  Even scanning type written text documents into software is highly error prone.

Look how long it took to find Bin Laden.  Look how easily Chinese "students" steal important military secrets.  These clowns can't do anything despite all this technology.

If a known subject is targeted for spying, that's do able.  But to capture all data and find random incriminating evidence -- NO FUCKING WAY.

This is all another way to justify big MIC budgets and fleece the taxpayer.

Cathartes Aura's picture

perhaps the "technology" available to the average consumer is like leftover dinner in the dog's bowl. . . I'm guessing "they" eat better pork than we do.

malek's picture

There are very well ways to make use of unencrypted information like emails or voice messages.
And if it's only to mark possible hits, so a real human can take a closer look / a sharper ear at it.

I just wanted to point out that wide-scale encryption code breaking is very very likely science fiction.

geekgrrl's picture

I tend to agree. Significance is a funny thing, and largely in the eye of the beholder. I really don't think that a computer can be programmed to make those sort of distinctions. I could be wrong, but that is my current working hypothesis. I also don't think that this facility is being used as a cryptography resource as some have suggested.

It is a model of the All-Seeing Eye that captures every communication, with the underlying belief that collecting everything equals perfect knowledge. This is just Total Information Awareness resuscitated, and this time it's completely legal (thanks to Obama, the Constitutional law scholar).

Escapeclaws's picture

Isn't this just Poindexter's TIA--total information awareness?

AndTheRest's picture

You didn't read the article.


They intercept everything.  Then they use automated systems to search for key words and so forth.  If the traffic triggers on something, THEN it is stored.  This happens at line speed.


Example 1 email:

"Hey Mike, how's it going?  Want to grab a beer tonight?"

This flies on by and into the aether, never to be seen again.

Example 2 email:

"Hey Mike, let's make some car bombs and blow something up."

Flagged, stored, and forwarded for review.


Problem is, cracking encrypted traffic at line speed is impossible.  So most of the encrypted traffic doesn't get inspected.  The article on wired specifically states that the primary purpose of the Utah data center is to STORE all of that encrypted traffic to break LATER after advances in computing make brute force attacks feasible.


Along with everything else, of course.

AndTheRest's picture

Sure, today.  But if you intercept and store all that encrypted data then you can carry out brute force attacks in the future when advances in computing power make it feasible to do.  That's the whole point of the wired.com article if you actually read it.

Atomizer's picture



Faith Collapsing 

When you reach this path in life, you have to ask the NSA what they’re hiding.  

Israel's NSA meets Chidambaram



Please tune into your local media to find out your next Goebbels NSA angle. As I stated, you will see many unknown faces appear on TV. :P

Normalcy Bias's picture

Let's have some fun ZH'ers! In 08/13 let's start sending massive files of encrypted gibberish all over the place. Let HAL chew on that shit 'til he assplodes. I'll be back in a second, there's someone knocking at my doo

wretch's picture

As futile as pissing into the ocean so it floods DC.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Great link! Weaponize the totalitarian bureacracy against itself using leftist tactics...beautiful and ironic!

francis_sawyer's picture

I'll take the PETER NORTH approach if you don't mind...

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Are you referring to the porn actor or to the Jesuit academician? In any case, the Jay North approach may be more suitable for prime time.

francis_sawyer's picture

Peter North was a Jesuit?... Get right outta town!

I know Dennis the Menace wasn't a Jesuit... Maybe Mr. Wilson was... I dunno...