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Training Materials for NSA Spying Tool "XKeyScore" Revealed

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the how-did-this-just-get-even-worse dept.

Privacy 347

dryriver writes with news of the latest document release on NSA spying programs. Quoting The Guardian: "A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats, social media activities and the internet browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its 'widest-reaching' system for developing intelligence from the Internet. The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian's earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisa surveillance court oversight. The files shed light on one of Snowden's most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10. 'I, sitting at my desk,' said Snowden, could 'wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email.' U.S. officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden's assertion: 'He's lying. It's impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.'" The slides in question. Looks like it was Mike Rogers that was lying and not Snowden. So much for the NSA's attempt at quieting public fear by releasing information on the Verizon phone data collection program before Congressional hearings today.

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Quote from another dead hero (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | about a year ago | (#44436217)

"They don't want the voice of reason spoken, folks, 'cause otherwise we'd be free. Otherwise we wouldn't believe their fucking horseshit lies, nor the fucking propaganda machine, the mainstream media, and buy their horseshit products that we don't fucking need, and become a third world consumer fucking plantation, which is what we're becoming. Fuck them! They're liars and murders. All governments are liars and murderers, and I am now Jesus. Now. And this is my compound."

- Bill Hicks, Live at Laff Stop in Austin

Re:Quote from another dead hero (-1, Troll)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about a year ago | (#44436439)

Linux shminux. Just notice how many stories [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] there are lately on /. and elsewhere showing Russia and a negative light. Our marketing machine is running overtime to change public opinion and shape the debate on and around the whistleblower Snowden (correction, Spy named Snowden). Do you know how many resources it takes to stuff /. submission systems and voting AND every similar news channels out there. Lucky for us the media echo chamber [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org] helps us do our work for us, most people cant smell the propaganda if we had an army of monkeys throw that shit at them. The focus is on Snowden and all who offer him help and asylum, NOT the actual details of what he has revealed and how far we can peer into everyones lives. Please ignore this new news, it is nothing new everyone knew this was happening anyway, Snowden is a liar, we will scramble countries to bring down air force one jets/presidents if we think you might harbor him. Just carry on with your life in the glass house... and please, do not even think of moving to encryption solutions - SSL is perfect as it is, and forget voting us out or taking away our power - we know what you do at night and can identify the key players in all your civil movements before your email even hits anyones inbox...

/sacasm

Re:Quote from another dead hero (-1, Offtopic)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about a year ago | (#44436447)

woops sorry double post... will correct below.

Re:Quote from another dead hero (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44436493)

Sarcasm doesn't do well with the wall-of-text format. There's only so many words you can read in your mind's inner "sarcastic tone" before it just feels screechy.

Re:Quote from another dead hero (0)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about a year ago | (#44436693)

lucky you kan reed, I spose :). Your right all up bad rushed post. Apologies...

Re:Quote from another dead hero (3, Insightful)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about a year ago | (#44436459)

Page 9 of the slides show the locations of the 150 servers. It appears they have servers in Russia and China. I wonder how those nations feel about this?

Re:Quote from another dead hero (5, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#44436491)

Just fine. Its so much easier to do their own snooping when they just have to tap the lines going into one location. Not to mention they can seize the servers at will.

Sorry /. AC, your really not when using http (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about a year ago | (#44436767)

Interesting:

"The XKeyscore program also allows an analyst to learn the IP addresses of every person who visits any website the analyst specifies..."

Re:Quote from another dead hero (5, Interesting)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year ago | (#44436559)

I wonder if the people of the US are ever going to rise up, or if it just gets much worse before it gets better.

Re:Quote from another dead hero (0)

fredrated (639554) | about a year ago | (#44436741)

Whats this "gets better" that you speak of?

Re:Quote from another dead hero (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436963)

I wonder if the people of the US are ever going to rise up, or if it just gets much worse before it gets better.

IMO it will need to get much much worse before the US population rises up.

Re:Quote from another dead hero (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436817)

You know? That's America's problem. Heroes. You've gotten so used to having heroes do this, do that, that when something bad happens, you stick your head in the sand and wait for a "hero" to take care of it.

Solve your own damned problems instead of blaming others and just watching from the sidelines. It's your country, nobody elses, and unless you don't want that to change, you better act fast.

Re:Quote from another dead hero (1)

GigaBurglar (2465952) | about a year ago | (#44436945)

I love you man. His legend lives.

Before anybody asks... (5, Funny)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | about a year ago | (#44436265)

...yes. It runs Linux.

b&

Re:Before anybody asks... (2)

sageres (561626) | about a year ago | (#44436377)

MASSIVE DISTRIBUTED LINUX CLUSTER!!!!! Yeeeey, NSA!!!!!!! As long as you are using Linux!!!!!

Re:Before anybody asks... (-1, Troll)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about a year ago | (#44436415)

Linux shminux. Just notice how many stories [slashdot.org] there are lately on /. and elsewhere showing Russia and a negative light. Our marketing machine is running overtime to change public opinion and shape the debate on and around the whistleblower Snowden (correction, Spy named Snowden). Do you know how many resources it takes to stuff /. submission systems and voting AND every similar news channels out there. Lucky for us the media echo chamber [wikipedia.org] helps us do our work for us, most people cant smell the propaganda if we had an army of monkeys throw that shit at them. The focus is on Snowden and all who offer him help and asylum, NOT the actual details of what he has revealed and how far we can peer into everyones lives. Please ignore this new news, it is nothing new everyone knew this was happening anyway, Snowden is a liar, we will scramble countries to bring down air force one jets/presidents if we think you might harbor him. Just carry on with your life in the glass house... and please, do not even think of moving to encryption solutions - SSL is perfect as it is, and forget voting us out or taking away our power - we know what you do at night and can identify the key players in all your civil movements before your email even hits anyones inbox...

/sacasm

Re:Before anybody asks... (2, Funny)

bogie (31020) | about a year ago | (#44436597)

Yes I saw that, and although it shouldn't by now it really pisses me off.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/jul/31/nsa-xkeyscore-program-full-presentation [theguardian.com]

"Massive distributed Linux cluster"
"System can scale Linearly - simply add a new server to the cluster"

How about we get Linus to bury some code in there so we can spy on the NSA? See how they like it?

Re:Before anybody asks... (3, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44436867)

Yes I saw that, and although it shouldn't by now it really pisses me off.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/jul/31/nsa-xkeyscore-program-full-presentation [theguardian.com]

"Massive distributed Linux cluster"
"System can scale Linearly - simply add a new server to the cluster"

How about we get Linus to bury some code in there so we can spy on the NSA? See how they like it?

Yea... something tells me they aren't on a current, publicly available release.

Although, the idea of secret NSA servers hitting http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ quantal main restricted does kinda crack me up.

No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (-1, Flamebait)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44436273)

Unless someone can demonstrate that this database includes data on everyone, rather than suspects that they're authorized to track.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (5, Insightful)

Digital Vomit (891734) | about a year ago | (#44436357)

Why would anyone assume the database includes only suspects that they're authorized to track? Given the track record of the NSA it is less likely that that is the case and it is more likely that they have anyone they want in it.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (4, Insightful)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | about a year ago | (#44436569)

They've already cop'd to mapping networks out to (n>2) degrees of contact. It's the "implicit authorization to track people networked to a suspect" that makes this all so dangerous.

I'm not the first to refer to the lame "Kevin Bacon" jest.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (4, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#44436859)

If you tell a kid that it should not steal cookies and when it does you do nothing about it, it will assume that it is allowed to take the cookies. The longer you allow it, the harder it will be to enforce the rule.

The defense of the parent could be anything from "Because I said so." to "My house, my rules."

So who has told the NSA to stop it and what actions have been taken to punish them? If I were the NSA, I would assume that all I do is authorized, until somebody stops me.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436375)

The burden of proof lies with the government, not Snowden.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44436419)

Kool-Aid tastes good, huh? The authorities should have to prove their innocence. That is the price we have to demand for such power. Put them all under the Sword of Damocles.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (3, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#44436999)

Exactly. There is a reason they are called PUBLIC servants, and we are called PRIVATE citizens. Their actions are supposed to be public so that we can make sure they are representing our interests and vote accordingly. A representative democracy in which that is impossible is fundamentally broken, and one in which the privacy of all the private citizens is ignored, even more so.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436429)

What part of PRISM didn't you get? The part where they hoover up data on everyone without a warrant or the part where they don't have to justify it to anyone?

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436463)

So what does being a bootlicker pay these days?

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (0)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#44436727)

'bout tree-fitty.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436985)

It turned out that bootlicker was the lochness monster!

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (2, Insightful)

MiG82au (2594721) | about a year ago | (#44436489)

I take it you either failed to read or comprehend the presentation then. Unless I'm misunderstanding, slide 18 makes it pretty clear.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436511)

You can do most of what Snowden says for free on the internet with a couple of specific search engines for pete's sake. For instance: https://pipl.com/search/?q=Jeff+Flanagan&l=Bolingbrook%2C+IL%2C+US&sloc=US|IL|Bolingbrook&in=5
That's a literal 3 seconds of work on a publicly available site without an email address, doesn't require an extensive database for even that small amount of information and your profile is relatively clean. They've already admitted that nearly the entire US was in their "authorized" group of people through 3 hops from the target. I'd guess that their software has access to a lot more than this really simple public tool, and even some of the paid tools. Make no mistake I can ruin your life without NSA tools, the NSA can most definitely do what Snowden was saying they could do and believes it has the authority to do so.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44436531)

Unless someone can demonstrate that this database includes data on everyone, rather than suspects that they're authorized to track.

Because they have been saying they need to collect everything so that when they know what they're looking for it's already there.

They've been steadily expanding into the "record everything" domain for years now.

I see no reason to doubt that they're grabbing everything they can get and then deciding if it's pertinent later. That's been their stated goal for a long time.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436567)

FYI try plugging in your middle initial and it gets really creepy from there.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436669)

How could you even implement a search unless you had a database that already contains scads of generic data to search through? If you could make a database consisting only of "suspects they're authorized to track", then you wouldn't have to search anything. You've already got the search results.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (2)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44436675)

A database containing only suspects they are authorized to track would be worthless to them in the context they're trying to sell it. Every argument they have made makes it clear that they see it as searching for a needle in the haystack, and all of us, all of us, are the hay.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (5, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44436883)

A database containing only suspects they are authorized to track would be worthless to them in the context they're trying to sell it. Every argument they have made makes it clear that they see it as searching for a needle in the haystack, and all of us, all of us, are the hay.

That is, until someone in some government somewhere decides you look more like a needle.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44437001)

You raise a very important point. It's more like they're looking for arbitrarily chosen pieces of hay, and all the pieces of hay that they suspect may in some way be related to that other hay. By their own arbitrary criteria, of course.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436701)

I'm not exactly sure what they mean by a "strong-selector," and maybe someone can explain that, but it seems to me slide 15 implies they can look through large pools of data they've already collected to find targets. So it seems like they're gathering info about everyone they can.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44436717)

That the data is collected has already been established, by more than one whistleblower. That's old news.

The new revelation here is that a relatively low-level guy could easily search through the database looking for everything they want. That lapse in security is actually surprising, even if you have a low opinion of the NSA.

From a legal perspective, it seems they are allowed to collect the data, but they can only look at it if authorized (ie, crtain requirements are met). What Snowden is saying is that the authorization method wasn't very robust, which means that someone somewhere probably has actually abused this to check up on his girlfriend or something.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44436751)

well.. it's only people they're authorized to track(EVERYONE OUTSIDE USA!) and then people with connections to them..

soo.. yeah, figure it out.

yes, I am aware that it is a bit of a hyperbole because they've only admitted to two levels of separation between persons of interests.. those being anyone with ties to iran, middle eastern groups, unwanted groups etc.

besides, how the fuck do you think you add people to the system? that the judge reviews the data on the case, ponders and then the judge gives an authorization key that lets them add a contact? fuck no. you just add their addresses while making a single promise holding up your pinky that you "believe" you have rights to to add that tap. they don't have the manpower to go through every tap added.

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (1)

aitikin (909209) | about a year ago | (#44436891)

I'm sorry, but you actually believe that they don't or are you just playing devil's advocate? Because frankly, the thought that they got authorizations to track all of these individuals that it would require, "Over 700 Servers"

Re:No, it still looks like Snowden was lying... (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44436997)

He did also show that they were snarfing up all call data on everyone. Gee, I wonder where they put that mass of data. If only there was some stable base platform for storing data....

Is anyone really surprised? (4, Informative)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44436307)

First off, almost anything "publicly" done on the Internet or through a third party server is suspect. Second, the idea that the NSA isn't doing this is patently absurd. Third, if you believe the NSA when they deny doing things like this, you are an idiot. Espionage agencies are basically required to lie. It's in their job description. Quite literally, their job is to deceive people.

Honest, I SWEAR . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436331)

. . . I bought that Midnight Sparkle inflatable love-pony for a FRIEND.

Re:Honest, I SWEAR . . . (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44436593)

Next time, go and buy doggy treats and condoms.

What? I don't want my dog to ruin the fun by barking so I have to keep him busy somehow while I fuck hi... my girlfriend.

Re:Honest, I SWEAR . . . (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44436933)

Next time, go and buy doggy treats and condoms.

What? I don't want my dog to ruin the fun by barking so I have to keep him busy somehow while I fuck hi... my girlfriend.

In a hilariously incidental twist, today is the ASPCA's annual adopt-a-pet gala [huffingtonpost.com] on Capitol Hill...

Re:Honest, I SWEAR . . . (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44436941)

No, wait, it was yesterday.

Still funny.

The NSA is out of control. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436335)

They run themselves. They have a secret court where defendants are not allowed to attend, and are not even told they are on trial. They lie to congress. They lie to the president. They have an unlimited secret budget that nobody can check. They appear to be mostly controlled by the contractors and companies that sell them services. It's a giant graft. Private parties are helping themselves to public money, creating a surveillance state for unknown reasons under the guise fighting terrorism.

This is going to end badly. People with money and lots of power don't give up their toys easily. Expect to see the following soon: Lots of assassinations, or the NSA being raided by another enforcement branch of govt. Or maybe both.

The NSA is lying, ALWAYS (3, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44436341)

Every public statement they make is a fucking lie. If they tell you it's sunny outside, you can bet that it's raining. They lie to Congress, they lie to the public, they lie to the President. When they go home at night, they lie to their wives and kids. They tell their dying grandmothers that they're fine and don't need chemo. They take down "Road Closed" signs and laugh when people wreck their cars as a result. They will climb a tree to lie when they could stand on the ground and tell the truth.

They always lie. They always WILL lie.

Re:The NSA is lying, ALWAYS (5, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44436599)

Every public statement they make is a fucking lie. If they tell you it's sunny outside, you can bet that it's raining. They lie to Congress, they lie to the public, they lie to the President. When they go home at night, they lie to their wives and kids. They tell their dying grandmothers that they're fine and don't need chemo. They take down "Road Closed" signs and laugh when people wreck their cars as a result. They will climb a tree to lie when they could stand on the ground and tell the truth.

They always lie. They always WILL lie.

Not true. When you assume that they're always lying, they'll tell the truth, under the secure knowledge that you won't believe them.

For them it's not about truth/falsehood, it's about manipulation of people to achieve the desired ends. People who always assume they lie are much easier to manipulate than those who continually think critically.

I'm with the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436815)

I'm with the NSA and I'm posting as AC for obvious reasons.

When you assume that they're always lying, they'll tell the truth, under the secure knowledge that you won't believe them.

We always lie and I'm lying.

Hey, it worked on Star Trek!

Re:The NSA is lying, ALWAYS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436659)

I'm guessing thats because there is absolutely no incentive not to lie and all to gain by lying.

Once upon time the people used to bring out the torches, pitchforks and hanging rope for lesser things.

The US populace is complacent and appearently supporting the ones abusing the power BY NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

They want it, theyre going to get it.

Re:The NSA is lying, ALWAYS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436771)

Once upon time the people used to bring out the torches, pitchforks and hanging rope for lesser things.

I'd settle for the time-honored tar and feathers.

metadata (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436343)

"we only plan to store metadata" my buntrocks.

Re:metadata (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44436617)

Hey, they just omitted "'cause we already store pretty much the rest".

You gotta let them end their sentences...

Re:metadata (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44436973)

Hey, they just omitted "'cause we already store pretty much the rest".

You gotta let them end their sentences...

I was thinking more along the lines of, "Because Facebook and Google store the rest of it for us."

VPNs not safe from the NSA (5, Interesting)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | about a year ago | (#44436351)

Lovely bullet point:

* Show me all the VPN startups in country X, and give me the data so I can decrypt and discover the users.

Translation: not only do you have no privacy, doing what you think will make you hidden will just shine a spotlight on yourself.

b&

Re:VPNs not safe from the NSA (2)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44436623)

I've heard the same about using Tor. Personally, I support the idea of everyone using Tor just to screw with them and make them dig through more irrelevant crap. I want them to have to dig through my pictures of cats saying silly things if they're sifting traffic. I want them to have to see the recipe I used to make that batch of beer-braised short ribs. I want them to have to look at pages and pages of sports scores or movie reviews.

I would put this right up there with those who argue that refusing a warrantless search is probable cause to search. If we don't demand our rights and make their infringement attempts more visible in the public eye as well as more difficult, our rights will disappear.

Re:VPNs not safe from the NSA (4, Funny)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | about a year ago | (#44436987)

Along the same lines, I've wondered exactly where the line is when "admitting" that you've committed a crime. Obviously I wouldn't suggest that people start talking like they're a terrorist, but is it against the law to "admit" to robbing a bank that hasn't been robbed? Is it against the law to talk in depth about an AK47 that I don't own (as though I do own it)? I would imagine with enough people pretending that they've committed crimes that their monitoring would become useless.

Seriously, what are they going to do? Break into my house and grab me while I'm in the middle of typ

Re:VPNs not safe from the NSA (2)

geogob (569250) | about a year ago | (#44436901)

Or they crawl under piles of VPN requests from GEMA-pist off germans.

"Congressional hearings" (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44436367)

Bogus! It's a congressional coverup designed to rationalize all this bullshit, with people like Pelosi on her knees before the NSA. Of course what makes it worse is the idiot public who believes all this crap and reelects these bums. How do we stop them from voting away our rights?

Re:"Congressional hearings" (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#44436609)

While I have no doubt that Pelosi is probably all in with the NSA, she's not running the House.

Re:"Congressional hearings" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44436637)

I had an idea, but my lawyer said it's illegal for simple citizens to own atomic bombs.

2nd amendment my ass...

Sunlight (2, Insightful)

hhawk (26580) | about a year ago | (#44436369)

For me the only viable solution is making the NSA's work/effort and all of their data capture completely transparent with audit trails, Etc. not to stop them, but so when the abuses do come we can figure out who did want and seek redress.

Re:Sunlight (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44436689)

You mean, like, the same way we do when some corporation does it?

1) Catch them red handed.
2) Fight through years of legal bullshit battles.
3) Have them convicted
4) Hear a press conference where all the upper echelons swear they didn't know and it was all an idea from some bad apple below them.
5) Have them fire some uninvolved mid-level scapegoat.
6) See them receive a slap on the wrist, which is more insult than an acquittal would have been (since you can't even appeal it).
7) Continue doing whatever they did before that started this process.

Re:Sunlight (1)

hhawk (26580) | about a year ago | (#44436801)

I didn't promise nor did I describe an Utopian system. WIth the current system they could be blackmailing anyone, using it for insider trading, Etc. Etc., The NSA has said they can't SEARCH their own email system. They can search YOURS.. but not THEIR OWN.. http://www.propublica.org/article/nsa-says-it-cant-search-own-emails [propublica.org]

Thus, even with a legitimate suing of them there just isn't any discovery! No opportunity to learn what they did, and when they did it.

My point again, if you can't stop them, and I just don't see how that is possible, the best case left is to pour in the sunlight..

God says (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436387)

over-abound laxly madest possessor portions rounds doted
voluptuous return Italian marriageable unwholesome phantasm
grossness I'll_get_right_on_it succeeded poured warning
Homer's allaying dangers inspired increasing smiled Cyprus
Suppose skill marrow lattice warning Cross services killed
grant studiously Percival Rebuke IF mastered dumb biting
supercelestial touch phasors_on_stun do_over breathing
wondrously bedimmed unhappy PURPOSE family-estate Professor

Russia (1)

sageres (561626) | about a year ago | (#44436393)

Now how did they get their server in a territory of Russia? I understand Ukraine, but Russia???!!!!!

Re:Russia (1)

sageres (561626) | about a year ago | (#44436405)

And there is one in China according to the map as well...

Re:Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436533)

I'ld tell you but then I'ld have to...

Re:Russia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436589)

Those would likely be _inside_ embassys, as would those in some other countries.

As for redirecting the traffic to be processed _onto_ these servers, they would need either:
- Exploitable security vulnerabilities in networking equipment (internet, private networks over public infrastructure, phone services, etc...)
- Agents in place that reconfigure said networking equipment (or order said configurations)
- Cooperation from local authorities

Just add a network connection with the required bandwidth (whose capacity might raise some eyebrows on that country).

Re:Russia (1)

sageres (561626) | about a year ago | (#44436793)

Yes I was just thinking about that.. What they showing on a slices is a raw TCP traffic. In order to get it at that level they have to be sniffing on the same network as a major router. How did they get there in their hosts countries?

Re:Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436673)

Create an ISP, which does actually provide services but whose real purpose is to hide the server machine tied into the pipes?

Re:Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436677)

Embassy grounds. And/or cloud hosting.

Everyone's throwing their shit in the cloud, man.

Re:Russia (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44436925)

I guess I'm not looking as silly as my old boss thought in my security concerns regarding the cloud...

whatever "the cloud" is. It's pretty much a nonsense term meaning "wherever the hell it is, it isn't here."

Re:Russia (1)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#44436797)

Two possibilities come to mind :

These servers are at Embassies or Consulates, which means that what they receive from the local net is likely to be filtered, or...

They have set up dummy corporations, and have servers sitting in commercial internet provider spaces in those countries.

(Or, of course, both.) Note that there appear to be no servers in Southern India, which has a lot of Internet colo sites (Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc.), which is in favor of option 1. Also note that there is only one site in Brazil, in Brasilia, which is of course where the Embassy is, but is by no means a hub of Internet traffic, also in favor of option 1.

Also note that there are no servers in Canada. What do you want to bet that there is a backstory there.

At any rate, I suspect that most of these servers are the equivalent of the google spiders (i..e., doing active probing). The data they really want can only be gotten at a hub with the cooperation of the local Internet provider, and I would be astounded if Russia or China went along with that.

page 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436395)

Rolling buffer of 3 days of ALL unfiltered data? So much for not collecting content.

Re:page 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436651)

Oh but you see it's not collecting. It's "buffering". Much like it's not torture, it's "enhanced interrogation"

More info (4, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44436485)

Wikipedia has an entry on it: X-Keyscore [wikipedia.org]

Good background story: Solving the mystery of PRISM [theweek.com]

Spiegel Online covered it: 'Key Partners': Secret Links Between Germany and the NSA [spiegel.de]

Oddly enough it appears that news about intelligence programs used by America and its allies is reported in Persian [parsine.com] . Go figure.

Search their own e-mail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436539)

I thought they couldn't search their own e-mail [slashdot.org] ? It can't be that good a tool if they don't even use it on their own stuff.

Re:Search their own e-mail? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44436721)

*gasp*

You did assume that someone was allowed to use surveillance on the NSA? What audacity! Of course there need not be any oversight or restraints. It's for the good of the nation. Protecting terrorism and fighting children. Or something like that.

How did the government pull this off? (5, Funny)

null etc. (524767) | about a year ago | (#44436545)

It's shocking to discover that the government can actually accomplish anything, as opposed to wasting $800 million in taxpayer money with nothing to show for it.

Re:How did the government pull this off? (1)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year ago | (#44436743)

Dont worry, the populace will not benefit from the success of the program in any way or form.

Re:How did the government pull this off? (1)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#44436769)

It's not that they have nothing to show for the money they spent, it's just they won't show us what they actually spend the money on.

Re:How did the government pull this off? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436931)

It may be shocking to discover that the "Government can't do anything and only wastes money" is a narrative constructed to influence your thoughts and behavior. To what end you ask? Well, that's the tough part. If you're under the influence of the narrative you have no way to tell.

It could be that the government (all things considered( does a reasonable job, and the people constructing the narrative have something to benefit by portraying the government as useless and wasteful.

It could be the government is actually very effective, but wants you to think it isn't so you're complacent and unaware.

You could also be right.. But you don't know for sure until you challenge your beliefs and go poking around below the "surface". Personally, I've found being right and not knowing why to be far worse than being wrong and then discovering why I was wrong.

Well that's damning... (3, Insightful)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#44436563)

But I'm sure if they would just show us the redacted slides, it would clear everything up... right?

Seriously though, I kind of expected things to be this bad, and they may even be worse, but this really does add frightening perspective. If they release enough information about their systems, perhaps one day someone or some group will come up with a way to at least partially work against it, or at least muddy up the data they are collecting.

Rogers was not lying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436585)

Mike Rogers did not say that it wasn't possible for someone to eavesdrop from their desk, he was saying that official policy was not to do that (without the OK of a superior). I think he was fairly clear on that point. He's not saying that it's not technically feasible, just that NSA personnel are told that it's contrary to stated policy and are (officially) requested to comply. He didn't address whether the policy was enforced in any way or whether that sort of activity was audited - but then again, everyone was careful not to ask that question.

Maybe Not A Lie .. Exactly (2)

Toad-san (64810) | about a year ago | (#44436591)

Rep. Mike Rogers may not have been lying, exactly, with what he stated earlier. He may have been misinformed (e.g., lied to) by whoever briefed him on NSA's capabilities and available data. Which is not surprising, given the blatant lies and deception exhibited over and over again by the highest levels of NSA executives.

this doesn't amount to wiretapping you (0)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about a year ago | (#44436595)

Hear me out. Snowden said he could wiretap you with just your email address.

This doesn't amount to that. All this is is a large database. All the data they get they put into a database. That's how they use "big data".

But you can only search for what's in there.

What will be in there is metadata from the metadata drag net (pen register/trap and trace). This includes email from/to, etc, but not the content. It also includes phone call from and to numbers but not the content, although Snowden said email, so I guess he wasn't talking about that.

Also in there will be the content of communications which were captured previously. This is what amounts to an actual wiretap. But they cannot capture these communications between Americans with a drag net, they have to get individual warrants (presumably secret FISA warrants).

So, if you gave your email to Snowden, he could look up everything which is in there, but unless you were already wiretapped, he wouldn't find any wiretap info. If you are American, he cannot put on a wiretap just by you supplying your email address.

So the original denials were correct. Snowden did overstate what he could do. He may not have been limited enough in what he could do, but this was not one of the things he could do.

Re:this doesn't amount to wiretapping you (2)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#44436819)

You seem to be under the impression that they do not have the content. There have been several reports from NSA Whistleblowers prior to Snowden that have come right out and said they have the ability and they do listen in on phone calls. Why you are believing an agency who consistently lies to the public is beyond me. The bill of rights id over, which means the Constitution is done. Our government has no authority beyond might anymore.

Re:this doesn't amount to wiretapping you (1)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#44436829)

There appears to be at minimum a 3 day buffer within which everyone and everything is effectively wiretapped.

Re:this doesn't amount to wiretapping you (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#44436959)

I am sorry but to suggest you are not already wiretapped strains credibility. There is only one reason to put storage on the order of 12 exabytes, which is what some estimates put the NSA planned Utah facility at. That reason is you are keeping payloads.

I don't think you need anything close to 12 exabytes to keep all the meta data you could get your hands on for even decade time scales.

Sorry given all the revelations lately, all the lies we have been told by the folks who say Snowden is lying and some back of the envelope estimates based on the little information i do know there is no reason I can see to accept of any public statements made by NSA. Credibility and trust are be earned; If the NSA wants to be believed its incumbent upon them to offer something better than "because we say so"; right now their critics are more credible than they are. Snowden has little to gain and everything, perhaps his life to loose doing what he did, Snowden has documentation that even if may be inadequate to fully support all his claims does offer proof the NSA dramatically exceeded its understood activities, and absolutely has mislead the public.

Sounds Useful! (4, Funny)

AdamStarks (2634757) | about a year ago | (#44436663)

I heard the NSA has had trouble complying with a recent FOIA request, something about not being able to read their own emails. Someone should tell them about this "XKeyScore" thingamajig!

Re:Sounds Useful! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436907)

No doubt there are filters on the front end of this thing to automatically exclude anything NSA originated from their database.

Which is probably why they didn't notice what Snowden was up to.

Security Engineered Out (1)

FellowConspirator (882908) | about a year ago | (#44436739)

Why is it that nobody points to the obvious?... That this is evidence that the NSA (and US government) has intentionally undermined the security of all communications and computer systems. The global financial and communications infrastructure is wide open for anyone that has the key. Every power the NSA has, they have also granted to everyone else on the planet with the interest and means to wield it. They might say, "well, if someone could do that, then we'd know about it..." but I don't believe that it would be so obvious. If someone set up a trade in industrial trade secrets, or skimmed financial transactions properly, the world wouldn't be the wiser. Blackmail, extortion, ...

Chrome Incognito (5, Funny)

skaralic (676433) | about a year ago | (#44436747)

I wonder how much of an accident it is that Chrome's Incognito mode tells you:

Going incognito doesn't affect the behavior of other people, servers, or software. Be wary of:

  • Websites that collect or share information about you
  • Internet service providers or employers that track the pages you visit
  • Malicious software that tracks your keystrokes in exchange for free smileys
  • Surveillance by secret agents
  • People standing behind you

How do they get the data? (1)

sageres (561626) | about a year ago | (#44436757)

OK what I see is a raw TCP traffic that they are scanning and parsing for hosts, request types (get,post), header info (referrer), and content. So they are talking about any web site. So does it mean they have access to record every single piece of traffic passed through a major backbone? But than they have a server in Russia. And in China. Someone above mentioned that the servers could be inside of the embassies. Not exactly intelligence friendly countries. Does it mean they managed to put a sniffer on their hosts' networks backbone? HOW if they do not have a physical access to the major routers?

SMBC comic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44436875)

Here is an SMBC comic about intelligence agencies [smbc-comics.com] .

Lies and more lies (2)

AndyKron (937105) | about a year ago | (#44436889)

How many more lies are we going to put up with until something is actually done?

So much for the MetaData myth (3, Interesting)

Squidlips (1206004) | about a year ago | (#44436937)

Too bad the media bought it hook, line, and sinker. They did not build the huge, Soviet-style Utah Data Center to store meta data...
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