GLENN GREENWALD RATTLES NEW ZEALAND WITH ‘SPYING’ CLAIMS
Journalist claims Government Communications Security Bureau snooped on New Zealanders as part of Five Eyes pact between US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand
Glenn Greenwald rattles New Zealand with ‘spying’ claims
by RT.COM | SEPTEMBER 13, 2014
US journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, said New Zealand officials are spying on their citizens, a charge that has provoked a harsh response from NZ Prime Minister John Key.
Greenwald, who is in New Zealand to attend Kim Dotcom’s much anticipated “Moment of Truth” event Monday, said the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had been snooping on New Zealanders as part of the so-called Five Eyes pact between the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
READ MORE: Switzerland unlikely to extradite Snowden,’ if he appears for NSA testimony
In June 2013, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras were given thousands of classified NSA documents from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. Greenwald said he has spent several months pouring over the files in an effort to determine whether GCSB broke the law and spied on citizens.
Greenwald told the Nation television program: “The government does engage in extraordinary amounts of analysis of metadata – meaning who’s talking to who, for how long, where they are when they speak – on a massive indiscriminate scale, not just internationally but of New Zealanders as well.”
According to Greenwald, New Zealand spends a disproportional part of its budget on electronic surveillance.
“Every single thing that the NSA does… involves NZ directly,” he said.
Prime Minister Key, who said last year that he would resign if the GCSB was proven to have carried out domestic mass surveillance, passionately denied there had been large-scale spying on New Zealanders.
“There is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by GCSB and there never has been mass surveillance of New Zealanders by GCSB,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“One of the problems is when you hack into people’s information and you steal it sometimes you get part of the information but not all of the information.”
The prime minister said he would respond to Greenwald’s allegations on Monday “in the fullness of time.”
“But mark my words, I’m right and he’s wrong and I’ll prove I’m right.” Key said, then attempting to belittle Greenwald by calling him “Dotcom’s little henchman.” Greenwald responded to the attack, tweeting: “Does the Prime Minister think that bizarre ad hominem attacks against me will make the facts – and the documents – disappear?”
Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, who is wanted by US law enforcement officials for alleged copyright infringement, this year launched his own political party, which aims to give the Internet generation “a voice in politics.” He has also been outspoken over New Zealand’s alleged surveillance of citizens’ communications.
Taken together, New Zealanders are gearing up for what promises to be an interesting Monday, with Greenwald scheduled as a guest speaker at Dotcom’s highly anticipated event, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange participating via video hookup from his years-long residence at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
During the event, Kim Dotcom has promised to reveal information on “the sordid workings of Hollywood.”
Whether these latest assertions involve the prime minister or the government remains to be seen.
Key told TV3′s Firstline program he had not lost “a moment’s sleep” over Monday’s planned announcement.
“He’s just another guy that wants to throw a bit of mud,” Key said. “He’s just another guy who wants to create a conspiracy theory.”
However, the promised revelations are already causing a stir in New Zealand’s political circles, especially with elections just one week away.
Labour Party leader David Cunliffe told reporters that if Greenwald did reveal evidence that shows Key had misled the public, it would be “extremely serious.”
“I would be extremely upset if the pledges that have been made to New Zealand around our freedom from mass surveillance prove to be false,” Cunliffe said. “If the Prime Minster of the country has lied to New Zealand, I expect New Zealanders to react in the ballot box.”
Late Sunday, the continued lack of answers — or even many clues — to the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Boeing 777-200 aircraft’s disappearance added to misery of family members left behind.
The latest would seem that parts of the plane has been found. A New Zealand oil rig worker had seen a plane on fire pass near the rig he was on a few days ago? Is it 370? Why has it taken so long with – 27000 nautical miles of search area, and some 20 countries assisting?
“With Malaysian officials refusing to release many details of their investigation and sometimes presenting conflicting information, the families and friends of victims became increasingly frustrated, the New York Times reported late Sunday. (Emphasis added)
It is conceivable that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane is “cloaked,” hiding with high-tech electronic warfare weaponry that exists and is used. In fact, this type of technology is precisely the expertise of Freescale, that has 20 employees on board the missing flight
Austin-based high-tech eco-friendly company Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL) has confirmed that 20 of its employees were confirmed passengers on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Twelve are from Malaysia and eight are from China. The company’s key product solutions include those for electric vehicles.
“The entire Freescale Semiconductor community is deeply saddened by this news,” the company said in a written statement Saturday afternoon, adding it will provide more information as it becomes available.
“At present, we are solely focused on our employees and their families,” said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO, Freescale. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragic event.”
The company has assembled counselors and other professionals through Freescale’s Employee Assistance Program, with around-the-clock support for those impacted by this tragedy.
“Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL) is a global leader in embedded processing solutions, providing industry leading products that are advancing the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets,” the company says on its website and in its statement today. ”… our technologies are the foundation for the innovations that make our world greener, safer, healthier and more connected.”
Freescale says its “key applications and end-markets include: automotive safety, hybrid and all-electric vehicles, next generation wireless infrastructure, smart energy management, portable medical devices, consumer appliances and smart mobile devices. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world. www.freescale.com
Malaysian airlines flight 377 has been provably hijacked by an AWACS plane. This is outlined in the updates below.
The Malaysian military tracked this plane for a full hour with military radar after it “vanished from civilian radar because “the transponders were switched off” (B.S.) radar is radar, it does not need a “transponder” to track a plane. Radar is there to prevent private planes which have no transponders from hitting commercial ones among other things, and if radar can see a private plane that has no transponder it certainly can see a huge jumbo jet. So you can take the transponder lies and trash them.
But the plane DID disappear from civilian radar even though military radar tracked it for a now admitted full hour longer. Only an AWACS type system could do this.
What could make a plane disappear from civilian radar while at 36,000 feet yet still be visible on military radar?
ONE THING, and it looks like a UFO (as some have speculated) only it’s attached to a boeing jet – the antenna on a U.S. Air Force AWACS plane.
The fact that this missing jet vanished from civilian radar yet remained visible on more robust military radars proves well enough for me that this indeed was an AWACS hijacking, just like we saw on 9/11 where AWACS planes were seen on video observing if not controlling the crashes into the twin towers. Once the plane flew far enough West, Awacs was obviously enough to jam both civilian and military radars, probably because they entered a zone where the angle of both incoming signals allowed for their simultaneous cancellation. That is where the plane finally “vanished” forever, an hour after the “official” vanishing act. The final vanish happened while at 29,500 feet.
In this scenario, we now have: The plane did a u-turn and flew the other way for a now admitted full hour. THAT supports the Awacs story.
Obvious fake photoshopping of “terrorists”. THAT supports the Awacs story.
Cell phones still ringing, which would only be possible with a safe landing. THAT supports the Awacs story
Missing black boxes. THAT supports the Awacs story (the plane is obviously intact)
A reason to electronically hijack the airplane – 20 top people from a semiconductor firm that works defense, with employees working for countries that are not allies yet VERY powerful – THAT supports the Awacs story
And the GRAND FINALE: PLANE DISAPPEARS FROM CIVILIAN RADARS WHILE REMAINING VISIBLE ON MILITARY RADARS. THAT supports the Awacs story and pushes it to the forefront of logic like a tsunami on a beach umbrella, if THAT does not raise a few eyebrows people are sleeping.
And I’d have to say the CIA’s obvious pushing of B.S. regarding this supports the Awacs story as well; If this plane shows up somewhere in pieces now, it was electronically hijacked by an AWACS plane – the same type seen on 9/11, and the people were offloaded and questioned (engineers probably waterboarded for defense secrets). IF that plane shows up in pieces now it happened last night, not three days ago FINAL ANSWER.
UPDATE: Exact logic sequence for proving the U.S. air force hijacked the Malaysian airlines flight.
1. Absent an awacs type system which can precisely monitor a received signal and spoof a return signal (or phase cancel it) you cannot disappear a non stealth aluminum skinned plane from ANY radar system. After vanishing from civilian radars, it remained on military radars that would work better against AWACS. That pretty much says it all.
2. Iran is an ally of Russia. Russia has Awacs type systems, but would not try to frame up Iran in a terror plot with a fake passport story supported by idiotically faked photos. Russia did not do this.
3. China and Malaysia also have Awacs type systems. Since it was a Malaysian plane flying with Chinese engineers, it is safe to rationalize out that neither China nor Malaysia did this.
4. Though the engineers on the plane also worked with stealth technologies such as Awacs, it takes a huge UFO shaped antenna to make such systems work, and Malaysian passenger jets do not have them as a standard feature. This was not a stunt played by Freescale Semiconductors.
5. Israel wants war with Iran, and the CIA hatching a terror plot with horribly faked photos stands in the evidence pool against the U.S. air force, which is their sex slave.
6. The obvious motive was military, and a real tie in was the fact that the plane disappeared from civilian radar while at full cruising altitude, but not the military radars. In this case the air force had to choose which radar they would spoof with Awacs (there is extreme difficulty with spoofing more than one system simultaneously unless there is a lucky alignment of signals) and they just hoped the military would not catch on. ONE PROBLEM, the Malaysian military was not as inept as the Air Force thought. PLAN FAILURE.
7. The Iranian terror plot fits the logic tree well. Since the photos were obviously faked, WHO WOULD DO THAT? WHO WANTS WAR WITH IRAN? No brainer there.
8. The cell phones are ringing, and the only organization in the world that can say where they are is the NSA. WHY THE SILENCE?
logic sequence output: Because the plane was hijacked electronically by those who keep the NSA funded, and the NSA has been told to SHUT UP.
If those phones were in lost baggage, the NSA would have said so RIGHT AWAY, and even the airline company would have figured it out by now, found the bags, heard the phones ringing and said, OH, WE KNOW WHY THEY RING. And the phones are not dead ringing as can happen with some american carriers, because on one occasion one of the phones was picked up and hung up without anything being said. But NOPE, NOTHING on this from the NSA, which means those phones are ringing on a runway somewhere, and the NSA knows EXACTLY WHERE.
Yet they still support the CIA, which is doing it’s best to hatch a B.S. terror plot about a couple Iranians with fake photos and
THERE IS YOUR ANSWER, AMERICA HAS THAT PLANE AND IS PROBABLY QUESTIONING THE FREESCALE ENGINEERS RIGHT NOW, EXTRACTING CHINESE MILITARY SECRETS.
If the plane is now “found” in pieces it will mean “they” gave up on the B.S. story line and decided to ditch it somewhere rather than use it on the Petronas towers or the Sears tower.
The hijacking story won’t work now that we know the Malaysian military was able to track the plane because a hijacker cannot switch off a radar system 500 miles away and cannot prevent the plane from being found on radar wherever it went to, ONLY AWACS COULD.
BLOCKBUSTER UPDATE: FAKE PASSPORT GUYS WERE PHOTOSHOPPED. Take a look at their legs.
Caption below original photo: “A Malaysian police official displays photographs of the two men who boarded the Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight using stolen European passports to the media at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on March 11, 2014. — PHOTO: AFP”
Now that’s an absolute LAUGH. That’s as bad as the blood spatters going the wrong way at the batman shooting last year.
See new article Malaysia 370 – What we think we know
The National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have been developing capabilities to take advantage of “leaky” smartphone apps, such as the wildly popular Angry Birds game, that transmit users’ private information across the internet, according to top secret documents.
The data pouring onto communication networks from the new generation of iPhone and Android apps ranges from phone model and screen size to personal details such as age, gender and location. Some apps, the documents state, can share users’ most sensitive information such as sexual orientation – and one app recorded in the material even sends specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.
Many smartphone owners will be unaware of the full extent this information is being shared across the internet, and even the most sophisticated would be unlikely to realise that all of it is available for the spy agencies to collect.
Dozens of classified documents, provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden and reported in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica, detail the NSA and GCHQ efforts to piggyback on this commercial data collection for their own purposes.
Scooping up information the apps are sending about their users allows the agencies to collect large quantities of mobile phone data from their existing mass surveillance tools – such as cable taps, or from international mobile networks – rather than solely from hacking into individual mobile handsets.
Exploiting phone information and location is a high-priority effort for the intelligence agencies, as terrorists and other intelligence targets make substantial use of phones in planning and carrying out their activities, for example by using phones as triggering devices in conflict zones. The NSA has cumulatively spent more than $1bn in its phone targeting efforts.
The disclosures also reveal how much the shift towards smartphone browsing could benefit spy agencies’ collection efforts.
One slide from a May 2010 NSA presentation on getting data from smartphones – breathlessly titled “Golden Nugget!” – sets out the agency’s “perfect scenario”: “Target uploading photo to a social media site taken with a mobile device. What can we get?”
The question is answered in the notes to the slide: from that event alone, the agency said it could obtain a “possible image”, email selector, phone, buddy lists, and “a host of other social working data as well as location”.
In practice, most major social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, strip photos of identifying location metadata (known as EXIF data) before publication. However, depending on when this is done during upload, such data may still, briefly, be available for collection by the agencies as it travels across the networks.
Depending on what profile information a user had supplied, the documents suggested, the agency would be able to collect almost every key detail of a user’s life: including home country, current location (through geolocation), age, gender, zip code, marital status – options included “single”, “married”, “divorced”, “swinger” and more – income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education level, and number of children.
The agencies also made use of their mobile interception capabilities to collect location information in bulk, from Google and other mapping apps. One basic effort by GCHQ and the NSA was to build a database geolocating every mobile phone mast in the world – meaning that just by taking tower ID from a handset, location information could be gleaned.
A more sophisticated effort, though, relied on intercepting Google Maps queries made on smartphones, and using them to collect large volumes of location information.
So successful was this effort that one 2008 document noted that “[i]t effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system.”
The information generated by each app is chosen by its developers, or by the company that delivers an app’s adverts. The documents do not detail whether the agencies actually collect the potentially sensitive details some apps are capable of storing or transmitting, but any such information would likely qualify as content, rather than metadata.
Data collected from smartphone apps is subject to the same laws and minimisation procedures as all other NSA activity – procedures that the US president, Barack Obama, suggested may be subject to reform in a speech 10 days ago. But the president focused largely on the NSA’s collection of the metadata from US phone calls and made no mention in his address of the large amounts of data the agency collects from smartphone apps.
The latest disclosures could also add to mounting public concern about how the technology sector collects and uses information, especially for those outside the US, who enjoy fewer privacy protections than Americans. A January poll for the Washington Post showed 69% of US adults were already concerned about how tech companies such as Google used and stored their information.
The documents do not make it clear how much of the information that can be taken from apps is routinely collected, stored or searched, nor how many users may be affected. The NSA says it does not target Americans and its capabilities are deployed only against “valid foreign intelligence targets”.
The documents do set out in great detail exactly how much information can be collected from widely popular apps. One document held on GCHQ’s internal Wikipedia-style guide for staff details what can be collected from different apps. Though it uses Android apps for most of its examples, it suggests much of the same data could be taken from equivalent apps on iPhone or other platforms.
The GCHQ documents set out examples of what information can be extracted from different ad platforms, using perhaps the most popular mobile phone game of all time, Angry Birds – which has reportedly been downloaded more than 1.7bn times – as a case study.
From some app platforms, relatively limited, but identifying, information such as exact handset model, the unique ID of the handset, software version, and similar details are all that are transmitted.
Other apps choose to transmit much more data, meaning the agency could potentially net far more. One mobile ad platform, Millennial Media, appeared to offer particularly rich information. Millennial Media’s website states it has partnered with Rovio on a special edition of Angry Birds; with Farmville maker Zynga; with Call of Duty developer Activision, and many other major franchises.
Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, said it had no knowledge of any NSA or GCHQ programs looking to extract data from its apps users.
“Rovio doesn’t have any previous knowledge of this matter, and have not been aware of such activity in 3rd party advertising networks,” said Saara Bergström, Rovio’s VP of marketing and communications. “Nor do we have any involvement with the organizations you mentioned [NSA and GCHQ].”
Millennial Media did not respond to a request for comment.
In December, the Washington Post reported on how the NSA could make use of advertising tracking files generated through normal internet browsing – known as cookies – from Google and others to get information on potential targets.
However, the richer personal data available to many apps, coupled with real-time geolocation, and the uniquely identifying handset information many apps transmit give the agencies a far richer data source than conventional web-tracking cookies.
“They are gathered in bulk, and are currently our single largest type of events,” the document stated.
The ability to obtain targeted intelligence by hacking individual handsets has been well documented, both through several years of hacker conferences and previous NSA disclosures in Der Spiegel, and both the NSA and GCHQ have extensive tools ready to deploy against iPhone, Android and other phone platforms.
GCHQ’s targeted tools against individual smartphones are named after characters in the TV series The Smurfs. An ability to make the phone’s microphone ‘hot’, to listen in to conversations, is named “Nosey Smurf”. High-precision geolocation is called “Tracker Smurf”, power management – an ability to stealthily activate an a phone that is apparently turned off – is “Dreamy Smurf”, while the spyware’s self-hiding capabilities are codenamed “Paranoid Smurf”.
Those capability names are set out in a much broader 2010 presentation that sheds light on spy agencies’ aspirations for mobile phone interception, and that less-documented mass-collection abilities.
The cover sheet of the document sets out the team’s aspirations:
Another slide details weak spots in where data flows from mobile phone network providers to the wider internet, where the agency attempts to intercept communications. These are locations either within a particular network, or international roaming exchanges (known as GRXs), where data from travellers roaming outside their home country is routed.
These are particularly useful to the agency as data is often only weakly encrypted on such networks, and includes extra information such as handset ID or mobile number – much stronger target identifiers than usual IP addresses or similar information left behind when PCs and laptops browse the internet.
The NSA said its phone interception techniques are only used against valid targets, and are subject to stringent legal safeguards.
“The communications of people who are not valid foreign intelligence targets are not of interest to the National Security Agency,” said a spokeswoman in a statement.
“Any implication that NSA’s foreign intelligence collection is focused on the smartphone or social media communications of everyday Americans is not true. Moreover, NSA does not profile everyday Americans as it carries out its foreign intelligence mission. We collect only those communications that we are authorized by law to collect for valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes – regardless of the technical means used by the targets.
“Because some data of US persons may at times be incidentally collected in NSA’s lawful foreign intelligence mission, privacy protections for US persons exist across the entire process concerning the use, handling, retention, and dissemination of data. In addition, NSA actively works to remove extraneous data, to include that of innocent foreign citizens, as early as possible in the process.
“Continuous and selective publication of specific techniques and tools lawfully used by NSA to pursue legitimate foreign intelligence targets is detrimental to the security of the United States and our allies – and places at risk those we are sworn to protect.”
The NSA declined to respond to a series of queries on how routinely capabilities against apps were deployed, or on the specific minimisation procedures used to prevent US citizens’ information being stored through such measures.
GCHQ declined to comment on any of its specific programs, but stressed all of its activities were proportional and complied with UK law.
“It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters,” said a spokesman.
“Furthermore, all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework that ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. All our operational processes rigorously support this position.”
• A separate disclosure on Wednesday, published by Glenn Greenwald and NBC News, gave examples of how GCHQ was making use of its cable-tapping capabilities to monitor YouTube and social media traffic in real-time.
GCHQ’s cable-tapping and internet buffering capabilities , codenamed Tempora, were disclosed by the Guardian in June, but the new documents published by NBC from a GCHQ presentation titled “Psychology: A New Kind of SIGDEV” set out a program codenamed Squeaky Dolphin which gave the British spies “broad real-time monitoring” of “YouTube Video Views”, “URLs ‘Liked’ on Facebook” and “Blogspot/Blogger Visits”.
A further slide noted that “passive” – a term for large-scale surveillance through cable intercepts – give the agency “scalability”.
The means of interception mean GCHQ and NSA could obtain data without any knowledge or co-operation from the technology companies. Spokespeople for the NSA and GCHQ told NBC all programs were carried out in accordance with US and UK law.
• This article was amended on 28 January 2014. It referred to martial status, instead of marital status. This has been corrected.