Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The spycloud


The Intercept has a major expose today on the NSA's ICREACH program, a front-end for searching their massive databases of communications metadata. In other words, their spycloud.

ICREACH has been accessible to more than 1,000 analysts at 23 U.S. government agencies that perform intelligence work, according to a 2010 memo. A planning document from 2007 lists the DEA, FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency as core members. Information shared through ICREACH can be used to track people’s movements, map out their networks of associates, help predict future actions, and potentially reveal religious affiliations or political beliefs.


The search tool was designed to be the largest system for internally sharing secret surveillance records in the United States, capable of handling two to five billion new records every day, including more than 30 different kinds of metadata on emails, phone calls, faxes, internet chats, and text messages, as well as location information collected from cellphones. Metadata reveals information about a communication—such as the “to” and “from” parts of an email, and the time and date it was sent, or the phone numbers someone called and when they called—but not the content of the message or audio of the call.

And as the graphic shows, the GCSB is feeding them.

Its a horrifying insight into the scale of NSA and GCSB surveillance. Information supposedly being collected for national security purposes is being used by fuck knows who for who knows what - and often explicitly to circumvent legal restrictions on law-enforcement surveillance. This isn't what spy agencies are supposed to do. They need to be shut down and their surveillance networks permanently destroyed.