Wikileaks Publishes "Spy Files Russia" Detailing Russia's Mass Surveillance System

Tyler Durden's picture

Perhaps in an attempt to refute recurring allegations that it has traditionally focused on exposing only US state secrets, if not being an outright covert and subversive Moscow front, today Wikileaks released a new cache of documents which it claims detail surveillance apparatus used by the Russian state to spy on Internet and mobile users. It’s the first time the organization has leaked material directly pertaining to the Russian state.

The full datadump can be found here.

In its summary of the cache of mostly Russian-language documents, Wikileaks claims they show how a long-established Russian company which supplies software to telcos is also installing infrastructure - with the government's blessing - that enables Russian state agencies to tap into, search and spy on citizens’ digital activity, suggesting a similar state-funded mass surveillance program to the one utilized by the U.S.’s NSA or by GCHQ in the U.K. (both of which were detailed in the 2013 Snowden disclosures).

And speaking of, shortly following the publication, another famous whistleblower, one also exiled and currently residing in Russia, Edward Snowden tweeted "Plot twist: @Wikileaks publishes details on Russia's increasingly oppressive internet surveillance industry."

To be sure, arguments have already broken out on Twitter suggesting that Wikileaks/Assange is trying to deflect from charges that it is a front for the Kremlin by finally dumping "something" on Russia. (see this tweet comment thread as one example). Making matters more complicated, it’s not possible at this point to verify the value or veracity of the latest Wikileaks document release.

The documents published today by Wikileaks (there are just 34 “base documents” in this leak) relate to a St. Petersburg-based company, called Peter-Service, which it claims is a contractor for Russian state surveillance. According to Tech Crunch, the company was set up in 1992 to provide billing solutions before going on to become a major supplier of software to the mobile telecoms industry.

Wikileaks writes:

The technologies developed and deployed by PETER-SERVICE today go far beyond the classical billing process and extend into the realms of surveillance and control. Although compliance to the strict surveillance laws is mandatory in Russia, rather than being forced to comply PETER-SERVICE appears to be quite actively pursuing partnership and commercial opportunities with the state intelligence apparatus.

 

As a matter of fact PETER-SERVICE is uniquely placed as a surveillance partner due to the remarkable visibility their products provide into the data of Russian subscribers of mobile operators, which expose to PETER-SERVICE valuable metadata, including phone and message records, device identifiers (IMEI, MAC addresses), network identifiers (IP addresses), cell tower information and much more. This enriched and aggregated metadata is of course of interest to Russian authorities, whose access became a core component of the system architecture.

One of Wikileaks’ media partners for the release, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that the documents cover “an extended timespan from 2007 to June 2015”, and describes the contents as “extremely technical”. It also caveats that the documents do not mention Russia’s spy agency, the FSB, but rather “speak only of state agencies”, a formula it asserts “certainly includes law enforcement, who use metadata for legal interception”. It also says the documents do “not clarify what other state apparatus accesses those data through the solution of the St. Petersburg company”.

Wikileaks says that under Russia law operators must maintain a Data Retention System (DRS), which can store data for up to three years. La Repubblica reports that Peter-Service’s DRS stores telephone traffic data and “allows Russian state agencies to query the database of all stored data in search of information” — which it specifies can include calls made by a certain telephone company’s customer; payment systems used; the cell phone number to which a user is calling.

“The manuals published by WikiLeaks contain the images of interfaces that allow you to search within these huge data fields, so access is simple and intuitive,” it adds.

Some technical details:

  • According to Wikileaks, Peter-Service’s DRS solution can handle 500,000,000 connections per day in one cluster. While the claimed average search time for subscriber related-records from a single day is ten seconds. “State intelligence authorities use the Protocol 538 adapter built into the DRS to access stored information,” it adds.
  • Peter-Service has also apparently developed a tool called TDM (Traffic Data Mart) — which allows the database to be queried to determine “where users’ data traffic is stored in order to understand visited sites, forums, social media”, as well as how much time is spent on a certain site and the electronic device used to access it.
  • Wikileaks describes TDM as “a system that records and monitors IP traffic for all mobile devices registered with the operator”,  and says it maintains a list of categorized domain names — “which cover all areas of interest for the state. These categories include blacklisted sites, criminal sites, blogs, webmail, weapons, botnet, narcotics, betting, aggression, racism, terrorism and many more”.
  • “Based on the collected information the system allows the creation of reports for subscriber devices (identified by IMEI/TAC, brand, model) for a specified time range: Top categories by volume, top sites by volume, top sites by time spent, protocol usage (browsing, mail, telephony, bittorrent) and traffic/time distribution,” it adds.

Wikileaks points to a 2013 Peter-Service slideshow presentation (it says this also appears to be publicly available on the company’s website), which it claims is targeted not at telco customers but at state entities such as Russia’s FSB and Interior Ministry (despite this document apparently being in the public domain) — in which the company focuses on a new product, called DPI*GRID; which it says is a hardware device for Deep Packet Inspection that takes the form of “black boxes” apparently able to handle 10Gb/s traffic per unit.

Wikileaks adds that “the national providers are aggregating Internet traffic in their infrastructure and are redirecting/duplicating the full stream to DPI*GRID units. The units inspect and analyse traffic (the presentation does not describe that process in much detail); the resulting metadata and extracted information are collected in a database for further investigation. A similar, yet smaller solution called MDH/DRS is available for regional providers who send aggregated IP traffic via a 10Gb/s connection to MDH for processing.”

Wikileaks also makes a point of noting that the presentation was written “just a few months after Edward Snowden disclosed the NSA mass surveillance program and its cooperation with private U.S. IT-corporations such as Google and Facebook”.

“Drawing specifically on the NSA Prism program, the presentation offers law enforcement, intelligence and other interested parties, to join an alliance in order to establish equivalent data-mining operations in Russia,” it adds — sticking its boot firmly back into U.S. government mass surveillance programs.

The full release can be found here.

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Nona Yobiznes's picture

Oh yeah, Wikileaks is definitely a Russian asset....

YUNOSELL's picture

I guess Wikileaks is working for China now?

CH1's picture

Now they can't say "they only leak about the US."

Good to see. Ruskies are no saints either.

MozartIII's picture

So Russia has their own google & microsoft.

Ghost of PartysOver's picture

Don't forget about Assange's meeting with a Congressmen to strike a potential deal with Trump.   Thinking this is just a little good will tossed into the equation.   Perhaps he does have info about the DNC hack.

svayambhu108's picture

Plot twist, Peter works for Jesus,

Orange Jesus 

The Alarmist's picture

So.does Assange have to register as an agent of the Russian state?

Manthong's picture

 

Now that the cat is out of the normal contemporary state policy bag, I just wish Russia or the NSA would release Hillary’s 33,000 Emails.

 

DWD-MOVIE's picture

I'm making over $14k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... http://disq.us/url?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.Jobzon3.com%3Ab8eR_DQLwGRPVGtFvv...

general ambivalent's picture

Yandex (google), vk (facebook), and 2ch (4chan). Only ones I know off the top of my head, but Yandex and vk are huge.

caconhma's picture

I am shocked. Prostitutin is spying on its own people? How else this mafioso and his hoodlums can stay in power?

11b40's picture

Maybe by the 80% approval rating Putin enjoys with the Russian people?

DisorderlyConduct's picture

I never got the idea that Wikileaks was about saints and sinners but about hypocrisy. The US govt pretends to be based upon law, and yet it ignores law at its whim. Hence the leaks to expose US hypocrisy.

To the extent that Wikileaks exposes hypocrisy they are an asset to all people and an enemy of all govt that would ignore the rule of law. To the extent that they are just an outlet for secrets, they are arguably an enemy to all. Do these latest docs on Russia expose hypocrisy or simply secrets? I see the US as being hypocritical with Prism, but did Russia ever say they wouldn't do what they did? Is it against their core values?

I think people who hate Wikileaks like John McCain don't see their own inherent hypocrisy as a problem. They think all secrets are equal. Such is the thought process of the psychopath.

Chupacabra-322's picture

"Manafort has been under an ongoing wiretap, approved by the FISA courts, going back to 2014 and tied to his consulting arrangements with Ukraine's former ruling."

Ha! That's nothing.

The entire US populace has been under metadata surveillance since that little pesky AT&T room 641A & since October 2001. Right after the False Flag of 911.

#Vault7
#UMBRAGE

According to the Times piece, the siphoning of internet data from AT&T began in 2003 and continued for a decade in a relationship that the NSA called “highly collaborative.” The telecom giant, according to one Snowden document, was extremely willing to help out the spy agency, and its engineers “were the first to try out new surveillance technologies invented by the eavesdropping agency.”
According to the Times, AT&T began turning over emails and other internet data to the spy agency around October 2001, even before the secret rooms were built, in a program dubbed “Fairview.” The program forwarded 400 billion Internet metadata records to the NSA’s headquarters at Ft. Meade in Maryland—which included the senders and recipients of emails and other details, but not the content of the correspondence. AT&T also forwarded more than one million emails a day to be run through the NSA’s keyword selection system. In September 2003, AT&T apparently enabled a new collection capability for the spy agency, which amounted to a “‘live’ presence on the global net.” The Times doesn’t elaborate on what this involved.

https://www.wired.com/2015/08/know-nsa-atts-spying-pact/

The Illegal, Criminal surveillance continues to this day with Impunity especially after the Criminal Centralized Telecommunications Companies were given retroactive immunity by a Criminal, Tyrannical Lawless Supreme Court.

It's the exact reason why the absolute, complete, open in your Face

Tyrannical Lawlessness

continues to this day.

But in the US, large and powerful actors must not be and are not subject to the rule of law. So telecoms hired former government officials from both parties to lobby for them and poured money into the coffers of key Democratic Senators such as Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (who became the chief advocate of telecom immunity).

In 2008, the industry obtained an extraordinary act of Congress that gave them the gift of retroactive immunity from all criminal and civil liability for their participation in the illegal eavesdropping programs aimed at Americans on US soil. The immunity was enacted by an overwhelming bipartisan vote, with the support of leading Democrats including Barack Obama, who had promised - when seeking his party's nomination - to filibuster any bill that contained retroactive telecom immunity.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/10/supreme-court-tele...

BarkingCat's picture

Of course they are not.

However, they do not have a Bill of Rights and don't go around telling everyone how they value freedom and democracy.

 

The central planners's picture

If he expose any intel about China then he definely works for Papua Guinea republic.

svayambhu108's picture

That's why is called the Holly Land because no one says bad things happen there.

Urban Roman's picture

It's Christmas every day in Holly land!

I was thinking maybe Assange works for Grand Fenwick.

MrBoompi's picture

I'd say Wikileaks is working for Iran or North Korea, the last 2 Axil of Evil countries still not overthrown.  

BarkingCat's picture

I think he is a secret Nigerian prince.

You can clearly see it in his facial features.

y3maxx's picture

-next up...China and Israels internet snooping.

Badsamm's picture

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. That is all.

khnum's picture

OK now tell us about Israels capabilities

CH1's picture

OK now tell us about Israels capabilities

To feed your obsession?

Billy the Poet's picture
Four Part Series Carl Cameron Israeli Spies in U.S

 

In which we learn that most US phone calls are routed through Israel.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k43_NKYs50&t=4s

messystateofaffairs's picture

My (((obsession))) is hungry, would Wikileaks feed it please.

A. Boaty's picture

Someone has to leak it first.

roadhazard's picture

Pootin like Trump gets a pass on ZH.

TheLastTrump's picture

Fuck Putin.

 

If you think Trump gets a free pass on ZH you aren't thinking.

BarkingCat's picture

Not just not thinking. He has an absolute lack of reading comprehension.

Crypto Kevin's picture

All the ZH Putin worshippers coming to his defense in 3,2,1....

Billy the Poet's picture

Exactly zero Putin worshipers arrived in accordance with your timeline.  As you said that's "all" of them.

Insurrector's picture

Chickenshit Putinistas don't self identify as such.  They'll deny it while still covered in vodka-fueled piss.

I've seen PLENTY of ZHers linking to Sputnik News and spouting the Russian narrative.

kenzo7's picture

so Zhers must refer to CNN only?

peddling-fiction's picture

"so Zhers must refer to CNN only?"

Only the ones wanting to peddle fiction.

BarkingCat's picture

Great point...using your gif and handle.

11b40's picture

Then please challenge the facts presented and le's see how 'the Russian narrative stacks up when debated.

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

Wait a minute, the libs said Wikileaks were working for the Russians to deny Hillary her turn.

nevertheless's picture

The "libs" said nothing, the Zionist media said that, liberals just buy into the lies, just like those on the right who buy that Trump is a "nationalist". Trump is a Zionist. 

TheLastTrump's picture

Looks like Wikileaks realised they better try harder to appear fair before the US Congress flies a drone up their ass.

 

 

nevertheless's picture

AS you know, Wiki is likely CIA/Mossad

CatsPaw's picture

SO thats why its laggyw hen we play with russians online games.

dark fiber's picture

CNN busy trying to figure out how to blame this on the Russians.

Consuelo's picture

 

 

In the end, all you can trust are your basic instincts/intuitions.    We're near a point where there is almost nothing or anyone you can believe to give a straight answer or the facts as they are.

nevertheless's picture

EXACTLY

 

The greater the appearance of "impartiality, the more likely they are controlled. 

 

Obama was sold as the Peace President", he was anything but.

Trump is sold as a man who would focus on America, he has not, and will most likely grant amnesty...

 

If they allow us to hear it, and use it in their narratives, it is a lie. 

Insurrector's picture

And Faux News is "fair and balanced."

BarkingCat's picture

As pathetic as it is, they are a lot more balanced  and lot more fair than the likes of CNN all the other three letter networks

general ambivalent's picture

But all those iTube videos promise "The Truth About ______."