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“A Goldmine to Exploit”: NSA’s “DISHFIRE” Program Collects Hundreds of Millions of Text Messages Daily

In Archive, GCHQ, NSA, NSA Files, Surveillance on January 16, 2014 at 10:07 PM

01/16/2014

James Ball/Guardian:

The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents.

The untargeted collection and storage of SMS messages – including their contacts – is revealed in a joint investigation between the Guardian and the UK’s Channel 4 News based on material provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The documents also reveal the UK spy agency GCHQ has made use of the NSA database to search the metadata of “untargeted and unwarranted” communications belonging to people in the UK.

The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects “pretty much everything it can”, according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets.

The NSA has made extensive use of its vast text message database to extract information on people’s travel plans, contact books, financial transactions and more – including of individuals under no suspicion of illegal activity.

An agency presentation from 2011 – subtitled “SMS Text Messages: A Goldmine to Exploit” – reveals the program collected an average of 194 million text messages a day in April of that year. In addition to storing the messages themselves, a further program known as “Prefer” conducted automated analysis on the untargeted communications.

The Prefer program uses automated text messages such as missed call alerts or texts sent with international roaming charges to extract information, which the agency describes as “content-derived metadata”, and explains that “such gems are not in current metadata stores and would enhance current analytics”.

On average, each day the NSA was able to extract:

• More than 5 million missed-call alerts, for use in contact-chaining analysis (working out someone’s social network from who they contact and when)

• Details of 1.6 million border crossings a day, from network roaming alerts

• More than 110,000 names, from electronic business cards, which also included the ability to extract and save images.

• Over 800,000 financial transactions, either through text-to-text payments or linking credit cards to phone users

The agency was also able to extract geolocation data from more than 76,000 text messages a day, including from “requests by people for route info” and “setting up meetings”. Other travel information was obtained from itinerary texts sent by travel companies, even including cancellations and delays to travel plans.

More…

Intelligence Budget Transparency Act: Bill Would Require Disclosure of Black Budget “Top-Lines”

In Archive, Army, CIA, DEA, DHS, FBI, Military, Navy, NGA, NRO, NSA, Politics, Surveillance, USA on January 16, 2014 at 8:04 AM

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On Tuesday (Jan.14) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Rep. David Price (D-NC) announced bipartisan legislation that would require disclosure of intelligence spending levels at each of the 16 federal agencies responsible for intelligence activities.  They also released a bipartisan letter to President Obama urging him to begin disclosing these numbers when he submits his fiscal year 2015 budget to Congress next month.

Spending levels on intelligence activities are currently treated as classified information.  H.R. 3855The Intelligence Budget Transparency Act, would require the President to include in his annual budget submission to Congress the total dollar amount requested for intelligence activities at each intelligence agency.

“The biggest threat to the successful implementation of a vital national program is the combination of unlimited money with non-existent oversight. That’s the situation Congress has allowed to develop in the critical work of intelligence gathering,” said Rep. Welch. “The top-line intelligence budgets for America’s 16 intelligence agencies are unknown to the American taxpayer and largely unknown to the Members of Congress who represent them. It’s led to dubious policies, wasted money and questionable effectiveness. Requiring the public disclosure of top-line intelligence spending is an essential first step in assuring that our taxpayers and our national security interests are well served.”

Welch told The Daily Caller that the legislation was not directly related to the treasure trove of classified documents released last year by Edward Snowden, one of which was the black budget for a number of the agencies indicating that the United States spends about $52 billion a year on intelligence. However, Welch said Snowden’s releases “really raised the question as to whether we’re way out of balance in the security versus privacy balance. The revelation that there’s this huge metadata program where everybody’s phone logs and everybody’s emails are in custody of the NSA is very disturbing. That wasn’t the intent of the Patriot Act, and it’s given an indication that there’s a lack of oversight when it comes to intelligence gathering activities.”

“Writing checks without any idea of where the money is going is bad policy,” said Rep. Lummis. “It would also give people a comparison from year to year, illustrating which agencies were becoming more or less dominant.”

The bill would apply to at least the following 16 agencies known to receive taxpayer funding for intelligence activities.

Air Force Intelligence
Army Intelligence
Central Intelligence Agency
Coast Guard Intelligence
Defense Intelligence Agency
Department of Energy
Department of Homeland Security
Department of State
Department of the Treasury
Drug Enforcement Administration
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Marine Corps Intelligence
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
National Reconnaissance Office
National Security Agency
Navy Intelligence

The bill is sponsored by:

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Member of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Vice Chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security
Rep. David Price (D-NY), Ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), senior Member (and former Chairman) of the House Judiciary Committee
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), senior Member of the House Intelligence Committee
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a senior Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and former Chair of the Republican Study Committee
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Member of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security

January 14, 2014

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Ensuring America’s national security requires professional and competent intelligence agencies to perform this vital mission. But the urgency of the mission assigned to the sixteen agencies charged with this responsibility should not shield them from budget accountability and transparency. In fact, the urgency of their mission makes the need for transparency greater in order to assure Congress and the American people of the quality and effectiveness of their work.

As the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission Report) states, “when even aggregate categorical numbers remain hidden, it is hard to judge priorities and foster accountability.”

The current practice of providing no specificity whatsoever regarding the overall budget requests for each intelligence agency falls woefully short of basic accountability requirements.

In August, the Washington Post reported for the first time on the spending levels of individual intelligence agencies. This report provided a small but important window into the previously secret intelligence budget. For example, it revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency received a 56 percent increase in its budget over the past 10 years while the National Security Agency received a 54 percent increase.

As you develop your fiscal year 2015 budget, we strongly urge you to take a simple step toward much needed transparency by including the total amount requested for each of the sixteen intelligence agencies. We believe the top line number for each agency should be made public, with no risk to national security, for comparative purposes across all federal government agencies. Congress and the American people will be better served by knowing this basic information.

Mr. President, we understand you will soon announce a series of reforms regarding intelligence gathering, reporting and judicial review. Providing basic information about the intelligence budget in your fiscal year 2015 budget request would be a further step in the right direction and is wholly consistent with the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission Report.

Sincerely,

Rep. Peter Welch
Rep. Cynthia Lummis
Rep. David Price
Rep. Luis Gutierrez

Ransomware – Target Pharmacy

In Activism, Anonymous, ASIO, Australia, CIA, Conspiracy, Internet, Julian Assange, Kim Dotcom, leaksource, LEAKSOURCE ORIGINAL NEWS, Malware, MI5, MI6, Microsoft, News, NSA, NSA Files, NWO, PSYOP, Raytheon, Sabu, SPIN, Technology, Tor, TrapWire, TSA, Viral Videos, WikiLeaks on January 16, 2014 at 6:19 AM

The Pharmacy Industry has become the latest target for “ransomware”.
The CPU locker is sent with an official looking letter head and and demands a payment within a certain time period. If the ransom is not paid the computer is locked and rendered near useless.
This type of malware has been around in a number of different formats and has given rise to a number of open source remedies which successfully remove the malware.AFPlocked-small

The recent module of the malware highlights the importance of backing up important customer and industry information. It is also interesting how the major computer protection companies have remained mute over this phenomenon  of ransom ware.

The globalisation of ransomware can be seen as the currency changes as it moves from continent to continent. Sometimes spread inadvertently, sometimes by ignorances and stupidity.

Below is a video showing how the recent digitalisation of the Pharmacy Industry has made it a target for unscrupulous criminal organisations. As more industries come to rely on the internet for core business growth, more targets will avail themselves.

Asleep at the wheel, technology, software and computer companies need to lift their game…or risk a deflation of public confidence which could render a once trusted industry into a worthless shell.

video 

Inside Israel’s Vast Network of Animal Spies

In CIA, Israel, MI5, MI6, Mossad, News, NSA on January 16, 2014 at 4:09 AM

via 4thAnon

01/14/2014

Vocativ:

Your guide to the sharks, vultures and pigeons that just may be working for the Mossad

The Middle East has long been fertile ground for a good conspiracy theory—whether it’s Jews and the Sept. 11 attacks, the CIA and Arab Spring, or the alliance of Western businessmen, journalists and politicians that supposedly helped oust Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi last year. Your guide to the sharks, vultures and pigeons that just may be working for the Mossad

But it’s not just humans that are surreptitiously helping to bring down governments. There’s apparently also a whole sub-world of animal spies that are working to destabilize Mideast regimes. In one case, a very suspicious stork was turned over to local police in Egypt. In another, a shark that was attacking swimmers was briefly linked to a Mossad plot.

Even puppets sometimes need to answer for their actions. Abla Fahita, an Egyptian muppet-type character, was forced to go on national television recently to deny that her appearance in a phone commercial was actually a coded message to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Tweet at us: Is your animal spying on you?

As with all good conspiracy theories, there’s just enough historical precedent to resonate with believers.

American and British forces used homing pigeons during World War II to carry messages, and the CIA reportedly trained dolphins, ravens and even cats for use in surveillance and weapons detection with varying degrees of success during the Cold War. Israel, too, has tried to cultivate some four-legged allies: Its security service was said to have trained gerbils for use in airport security, believing their keen sense of smell could help detect a rise in adrenalin. Problem was they couldn’t distinguish between a nervous flyer and a potential bomber.

The gerbils, in fact, may have been the inspiration for G-Force, a 2009 Disney film about “an elite team of animal spies.” The comedy was largely dismissed by critics. “The plot is pretty ridiculous,” wrote one.

Here are some of the most recent cases involving suspected Israeli animal spies.

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When: August 2013
The Animal: Stork
The Case: “Death on the Nile”

Egyptian authorities “arrested” the bird after a device was found attached to its leg. A fisherman in the Nile River southeast of Cairo first detained the suspicious stork and handed it over to the local police. The device turned out to be a wildlife tracker used by French scientists to trace the stork’s migrating patterns.

While cleared of spying, things did not end well for the stork. It was reportedly caught and eaten shortly after being released into a conservation area in southern Egypt.

A Kestrel (Falco Tinnunculus)  waits to be freed in the Great Hungarian Plain at Hortobagy, 200 km (124 miles) east of Budapest, August 11, 2011. The Kestrel, which had been injured, was rescued and marked with an identification ring before it was returned to nature, ornithologists said. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh (HUNGARY - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT) - RTR2PU6B

(Reuters)

When: July 2013
The Animal: Falcon Kestrel
The Case: “Day of the Falcon”

Turkish police seized a small Falcon Kestrel who had an Israeli tag attached to its foot. Medical personnel at Firat University in eastern Turkey identified the bird as an “Israeli Spy” in their registration documents. The bird was forced to undergo a battery of tests, including X-ray scans, which found that it wasn’t carrying any surveillance equipment. (It was,however, found to be carrying a grudge. Jews do that.)

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(AFP/Getty Images)

When: January 2013
The Animal: Carrier pigeon
The Case: “Bird on a Wire”

A few months before the Stork incident, a carrier pigeon was captured north of Cairo after a message was found attached to one of its feet and a microfilm to the other. The microfilm supposedly carried the message “Islam Egypt.”

Egypt’s Criminal Investigation Department took the lead in the investigation, had the microfilm developed and determined that the bird was not a spy. Or was it? The mystery of the microfilm was never explained.
Pets of Mossad_06

When: December 2010
The Animal: Vulture
The Case: “Agent R65″

A griffon vulture, caught by a hunter in rural Saudi Arabia, was turned over to security forces after it was found to be wearing a suspicious GPS device and a “Tel Aviv University” leg tag with the ID code R65. Rumors quickly spread, and were picked up by several Saudi newspapers, that the bird was an agent dispatched by Mossad.

The real explanation was a little more mundane. The griffon is in danger of extinction in the mountains of Israel and is the subject of a reintroduction project. As part of that project, vultures are tagged to keep track of the population.

(A similar case was reported in Sudan in December 2012. Authorities accused a vulture of being an Israeli spy. An Israeli ecologist explained the bird was part of a group of about a 100 tagged by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and fitted with a GPS system that could take distance and altitude readings.)

A fisherman holds the shark which was identified by an Egyptian diver as the shark which attacked four tourists in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh December 2, 2010. The killer shark was caught off the resort a day after it mauled the tourists on Wednesday, Egypt's Environment Ministry quoted to RIA Novosti. RIA Novosti also reported that the Egyptian diver, who rescued one of the tourists, identified the shark by recognizing the predator's damaged fin. Authorities will investigate further to confirm that this particular shark was responsible for the attacks. REUTERS/Stringer (EGYPT - Tags: ANIMALS SPORT DIVING DISASTER TRAVEL IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTXVB6Y

A fisherman holds the shark which was identified by an Egyptian diver as the shark which attacked four tourists in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Dec. 2, 2010. (Reuters)

The Animal: Shark
The Case: “Jaws” (or as more than one blogger dubbed it, “Jews”)

A series of rare shark attacks in the Egyptian beach resort of Sharm el-Sheikh prompted accusations that the sharks were part of a Mossad plot—sent into Egyptian waters to scare off visitors and disrupt tourism. Reports claimed a remote controlled GPS tracking device was attached to the shark and was being used to control it.

“What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark (in the sea) to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question, but it needs time to confirm,” a local government official was quoted as saying.

Others pointed out that it would be difficult for the Mossad shark to distinguish its Arab target from a friendly Jew, aside from the fact that the Jew would probably not be a good swimmer and would most likely be accompanied by his mother who would be yelling at him to swim closer to shore.

In any event, the shark in question was eventually caught and dismissed as a spy threat.

Leaked Photos of US Marines Burning Dead Iraqi Insurgent Bodies Prompt Military Investigation

In Archive, Iraq, Military, USA on January 16, 2014 at 4:01 AM

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01/15/2014

TMZ:

The United States military is conducting a formal investigation into American soldiers burning the dead bodies of what appear to be Iraqi insurgents.

TMZ obtained 41 pictures that we’re told were shot in Fallujah in 2004.

Two pictures show a Marine appearing to pour gasoline or some other flammable on the remains of what officials believe are 2 insurgents.  Two other photos show the bodies on fire.  You then see charred remains.

Another photo shows a Marine crouched down next to a dead body and mugging for the camera.

Still another pic shows a Marine rifling through the pocket of the pants on a corpse.

We have not included all of the photos.  Many are just too gruesome.  There are well over a dozen bodies in the pics and some are covered with flies and one is being eaten by a dog.

We turned them all over to the Pentagon last week, and a Pentagon official tells us the pics have triggered a Marine Corps investigation.

We’re told U.S. Central Command — the organization in charge of military operations in the Middle East — also reviewed the photos to determine if they had been previously brought to their attention and determined they had not.

Col. Steve Warren, Director of Press Operations for the Dept. of Defense, tells TMZ … the pictures appear to show U.S. soldiers in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice … which makes it a crime to mishandle remains.

There is no statute of limitations on the crime — even if the soldiers are now private citizens … they can still be prosecuted, which could land them behind bars.

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