As discussed previously here, if you haven’t already
started bugging your house, you’ll soon be doing so. Some felt that the scenario discussed strayed into the realm of paranoia, particularly in reference to the government using supercomputing systems to spy upon citizens. If anything, however, material that has come to light over the course of the past several days indicate that the threat was substantially understated.
The National Security Agency is building a $2 billion spy facility near Bluffdale, Utah, which will contain 1 million square feet of enclosed space, including 100,000 square feet of space just for computers that will gather and digest intelligence information.
As you may recall from our most recent post on the subject, CIA head General David Petraeus stated unequivocally that the emerging technology incorporating small chips from ARM and other manufacturers into lighting systems, heating systems, autos, telephones, copiers, scanners, and a range of other devices and systems – all connected to the Internet – is a game-changer for the spooks; obviating the need for infiltration of homes and businesses in order to plant bugs, the citizens will do it themselves.
Indeed, with widespread adoption of home computers and internet-connected entertainment systems, the process is already underway. The days of obtaining a court order to plant a gps tracking unit on your car, or to tap your phone, are over. Citizens are already, and will continue to, bug themselves, and the data can be retrieved using remote assets. In the very near future, every movement of any given individual – every telephone conversation, every email, every snail-mail, every fax – will be trackable by the government.
The NSA, originally designed for the monitoring of global intelligence outside the United States, has morphed to include the USA, primarily as an outgrowth related to the ill-advised War On Terror. Reasoning that there is no Constitutional right to privacy, the US government is on a fast track toward rendering privacy obsolete.
This brings us to the spy center presently underway in the Utah desert. Once built, it will be more than five times the size of the US Capitol. And its sole purpose will be gathering, collating, and analyzing data from multiple sources – satellite, cable, broadcast, ordinary mail – any and all avenues of communication and tracking sources.
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.”
Indeed, according to William Binney, one of the two co-founders of the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center, it goes even further:
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 other words, your bank records will be open. Email, whether encrypted with PGP or more powerful tools, will be available. The name given to the NSA project is Stellar Wind.
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.
Understandably, you may value freedom. You may view privacy as integral to that goal. That, however, is already lost. Watch what you say.