Monday, September 09, 2013

The black budget

The weekend's NSALeaks: Edward Snowden has leaked the US's "black budget":

The $52.6 billion “black budget” for fiscal 2013, obtained by The Washington Post from former ­intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, maps a bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny. Although the government has annually released its overall level of intelligence spending since 2007, it has not divulged how it uses the money or how it performs against the goals set by the president and Congress.

The 178-page budget summary for the National Intelligence Program details the successes, failures and objectives of the 16 spy agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, which has 107,035 employees.

The summary describes cutting-edge technologies, agent recruiting and ongoing operations. The Post is withholding some information after consultation with U.S. officials who expressed concerns about the risk to intelligence sources and methods. Sensitive details are so pervasive in the documents that The Post is publishing only summary tables and charts online.

...which means that we get about as much information on how much money they spend and on what as we get from our own NZ intelligence agencies.

It also means that we can't go through it line-by-line to find out whether the NSA really is funding "our" GCSB. But hopefully a journalist with access to the file can tell us that (or just stick it all online for anyone to see because, well, fuck the spies).

Also, the NSA pwns your smartphone too:
The United States' National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all leading manufacturers. Top secret NSA documents that SPIEGEL has seen explicitly note that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google's Android mobile operating system.

The documents state that it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.

So basicly, if its electronic and contains private information, its probably been hacked or compromised by the NSA. How can we operate as a society like this?