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Archive for the ‘OPEC’ Category

Vodafone – Secret Six

In Activism, Anonymous, ANT, Archive, ASIO, Australia, Bahrain, Big Brother, Big Data, CENTCOM, CIA, CYBERCOM, DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE, DEA, DOJ, EFF, Encryption, FBI, Five Eyes, FOI, FOIA, FRA, GCHQ, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Huawei, India, Indonesia, INSCOM, Internet, INTERPOL, Israel, Japan, Kenya, LAPD, leaksource, Mali, Mandela, NDAA, New Zealand, News, Norway, OPEC, Politics, PSYOP, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Snowden, Somalia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Surveillance, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, TAO, Technology, TrapWire, TSA, Turkey, Uganda, UK, Ukraine, USA, Venezuela, Verizon on June 7, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Vodafone in all their magnificence and gorgeosity have shocked the monkey and released a “Law Enforcement Disclosure Report” (here). At the request of little old Gardai.

Unfortunately they have upset the Department of Justice who are claiming that the information Vodafone released could ‘compromise national security and hinder investigation of  serious criminal activity’.

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The wonderful folk at Vodafone reveal in the report the surveillance practices of governments in 29 countries which it operates in, but stops short of disclosing details of data surveillance in Ireland.

One can only assume this is to thwart any recriminations, from spooks. Vodafone also point out in the release that reports from other operators can have inherent flaws…

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We have compared the statistical information we hold for our own operations in the two countries in question with the information recently published by other local operators in those countries. For some categories of agency and authority demand, the volumes involved seem closely comparable between Vodafone and other local operators, although as explained above, there is a significant risk of under or over-counting overlapping demands issued to multiple operators. Furthermore, it is also clear that certain categories of agency and authority demand have been omitted from local operators’ publications, either to comply with legal restrictions (in the case of Australia) or (in Germany) for reasons not disclosed to us.”

The Report chants the mantra “it is unlawful to disclose any information related to wiretapping or interception of the content of phone calls and messages including whether such capabilities exist.” but points that in 6 countries “authorities” have unfettered access and that the law either ‘obliges’ telecom operators to install direct access pipes, or allow governments to do so.

Vodafone further explain that these 6 un-named countries have “regimens” that could retaliate by imprisoning staff…who could that be? (read the .pdf)

However after reading through the lines and thinking about it for a few minutes…it’s not hard to narrow down the “6” countries. The graphic below from The Guardian’s Juliette Garside makes this a no brainer.

With all respect to the fantastic and marvellous work Law Enforcement do, it is important Telecommunication Companies are finally finding their own voice amongst the schrills and squawks that have become a hysterical mist of white noise…well done Vodafone.

 

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Oil Espionage: How NSA and GCHQ Spied on OPEC

In Archive, Economy, GCHQ, NSA, NSA Files, OPEC, Surveillance on November 12, 2013 at 3:33 AM

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11/11/2013

SPIEGEL:

America’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ are both spying on the OPEC oil cartel, documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal. The security of the global energy supply is one of the most important issues for the intelligence agencies.

Documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that both America’s National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have infiltrated the computer network of the the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

In January 2008, the NSA department in charge of energy issues reported it had accomplished its mission. Intelligence information about individual petroleum-exporting countries had existed before then, but now the NSA had managed, for the first time, to infiltrate OPEC in its entirety.

OPEC, founded in 1960, has its headquarters in a box-like building in Vienna. Its main objective is to control the global oil market, and to keep prices high. The 12 member states include Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran and Iraq.

When the NSA used the Internet to infiltrate OPEC’s computers, its analysts discovered an internal study in the OPEC Research Division. It stated that OPEC officials were trying to cast the blame for high oil prices on speculators. A look at files in the OPEC legal department revealed how the organization was preparing itself for an antitrust suit in the United States. And a review of the section reserved for the OPEC secretary general documented that the Saudis were using underhanded tactics, even within the organization. According to the NSA analysts, Riyadh had tried to keep an increase in oil production a secret for as long as possible.

Saudi Arabia’s OPEC governor is also on the list of individuals targeted for surveillance, for which the NSA had secured approval from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The documents show how careful the Americans were to suspend their surveillance when the Saudi visited the United States. But as soon as he had returned to Riyadh, the NSA analysts began infiltrating his communications once again.

According to a 2010 report, one of the analysts’ conclusions was that the Saudis had released incorrect oil production figures. The typical “customers” for such information were the CIA, the US State Department and the Department of Energy, which promptly praised the NSA for confirming what it had suspected for years.

The British, who also targeted OPEC’s Vienna headquarters, were at least as successful as the NSA. A secret GCHQ document dating from 2010 states that the agency had traditionally had “poor access” to OPEC. But that year, after a long period of meticulous work, it had managed to infiltrate the computers of nine OPEC employees by using the “Quantum Insert” method, which then creates a gateway to gain access into OPEC’s computer system. GCHQ analysts were even able to acquire administrator privileges for the OPEC network and gain access to two secret servers containing “many documents of interest.”

OPEC appears in the “National Intelligence Priorities Framework,” which the White House issues to the US intelligence community. Although the organization is still listed as an intelligence target in the April 2013 list, it is no longer a high-priority target. Now that the United States is less dependent on Saudi petroleum, thanks to fracking and new oil discoveries, the fact that OPEC is not identified as a top priority anymore indicates that interest in the organization has declined.

Related Link: Economic Espionage: NSA Spies on Brazil Oil Giant Petrobras

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