Home > Uncategorized > US Spy Agencies Hacking Networks Globally, 61,000 Operations! (Snowden Dishes More Dirt)

US Spy Agencies Hacking Networks Globally, 61,000 Operations! (Snowden Dishes More Dirt)


Perhaps we are getting to the real juicy bit of Edward Snowden’s knowledge, perhaps he’s dangling some bait and posturing, but he has given new details about something that many already suspected is true:  US conducts massive amounts of cyber-espionage in the world.

NSA alone, says Snowden, conducts 61,000 ops globally currently, and has been hacking into China (including HK) for years.  For what purpose, who knows, there aren’t that many terrorist groups to go after.  That can only mean that US is conducting cyber-espionage on pretty much every nation on Earth, with China on top of the list.

I won’t go into the details of what this revelation means.  I’ll let you all just think about it.

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  1. Black Pheonix
    June 12th, 2013 at 13:06 | #1

    We hack network backbones — like huge internet routers, basically — that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” Snowden said, according to the paper. “Last week the American government happily operated in the shadows with no respect for the consent of the governed, but no longer.”

    Hmmm… hacking “network backbones”, eh?

    Sounds like Cisco was giving information about the backbone routers to US government.

    I guess the Chinese government was again quite correct in suspecting the foreign tech companies.

  2. pug_ster
    June 12th, 2013 at 19:22 | #2

    Gee, that’s more hacking than what China allegedly did. Probably a good case for international companies to get rid of their cisco routers and switch to Huawei ones!


    It gets better. The US has been hacking China and Hong Kong since 2009.

  3. June 12th, 2013 at 23:50 | #3

    China Daily has picked it up and filed a short report on it:

  4. Zack
    June 13th, 2013 at 04:09 | #4

    on that note, Indians had better wake up and see who their real friends and enemies are:

  5. Black Pheonix
    June 13th, 2013 at 08:12 | #5

    14 groups in HK plan to protest on June 15, in front of US consulate and HK city government.


  6. pug_ster
    June 13th, 2013 at 19:11 | #6

    Usually you see Pro-Bejing and Pro-Democrats in HK fighting each other over stupid issues. It is rare that you see both groups agreeing on something like this.

  7. Black Pheonix
    June 14th, 2013 at 05:35 | #7

    The thought that went through the Pro-Democracy (pro-West) people in HK:

    Yay, US spying on China. Oh Wait, you mean that included us in HK? WTF, I thought we were “friends”?! BOOO!

    I bet Snowden is really hiding part of the truth, that SOME in HK are actually helping US spying on people in HK and in mainland.

    CIA had and has a large presence in HK. Snowden said that there was a CIA office right down the street from his 1st hotel in HK.

    Snowden probably didn’t want to get anyone in trouble as “collaborators”. But that is a serious but logical implication.

    Of course, Beijing probably knew that there are “collaborators” and “traitors” in HK working for US/UK. Beijing didn’t want to stir up trouble in HK by going on a witchhunt.

    But now, perhaps this will become an ammunition or excuse for a spy hunt in HK.

  8. Zack
    June 14th, 2013 at 07:12 | #8

    i’m more interested in Snowden’s point about the NSA PRISM being used to spy on Hong Kong businesses. Now we’re not talking about your average chicken stall in kowloon here, we’re talking about major movers and shakers in the Asia-Pacific, groups like Swire Group or the hongs/conglomerates. Why on earth would the NSA, a governmental organisation be so concerned about Asian based businesses?

    The logical answer is of course industrial espionage.Given the close links between Washington, Congress, the corporate sector and its lobbyists, it’s not far fetched to assume that PRISM and its private contractors have been supplying data to American businesses and corporations/companies-which is of course what the Washington whores and elites have been accusing China of doing!! Isn’t this the entire basis of sidelining ZTE and Huawei?
    IT also brings to mind that wikileaks cable detailing the role stratfor had to play in industrial espionage.

  9. Black Pheonix
    June 14th, 2013 at 07:32 | #9

    Of course it’s industrial espionage, and financial espionage, to control the markets around the world, and to collapse governments if necessary.

    61,000 hacking ops? There is no way that they need that many hacking ops to catch terrorists and block Iranian money laundering.

    If they are doing that many hacking ops to catch terrorists, they are basically GUESSING (using what they called “cyber-sweep”) and finding nothing useful.

  10. pug_ster
    June 14th, 2013 at 09:45 | #10

    @Black Pheonix


    Actually, now to think about it, Snowden going to Hong Kong probably got him the most bang for the buck in terms of gaining much publicity while gaining safety. China has the ‘luxury’ of not doing in its media about Snowden to test out what the Chinese thinks about this guy during the dragonboat festival. Right after the Sunnyside summit between Xi and Obama, coincidentally Snowden outed that China and HK was hacked for years. Now they got the Pro-China and Pro-Democracy pissed off at the US about this situation and the HK government will probably take its sweet time to extradite Snowden when the request comes in. Even so, Beijing government will probably step in and require Snowden to tell Beijing what kind of hacking was done in China and how can it be stopped for their own security reasons. Snowden will be free to roam around Hong Kong and the CIA thugs would not dare to go near him otherwise they will be embarassed.

    While Iceland would probably be a better place to go to for asylum than Hong Kong, he simply would not get the publicity as he would compared to Hong Kong. Who knows, maybe by the time it is all over, Hong Kong would simply allow Snowden to go to Iceland or some other country who would welcome him.

  11. pug_ster
    June 14th, 2013 at 17:05 | #11


    Evan Osnos is clueless as ever. Considering that Snowden have very high support in Chinese citizens, why does Chinese government want to shoot themselves in the foot and ship him back to the US without getting anything in return?

  12. Black Pheonix
    June 14th, 2013 at 19:08 | #12


    I get the distinct feeling that some of the Expat /China Bloggers are just praying like crazy right now that China won’t help Snowden (by publicly poo-pooing the idea, and pointing out all the possible problems for China and Snowden).

    Yeah, once again, China is not stupid, and China can see your paranoia and fears.

    And let’s just put this in perspective, an Ex-US intelligence worker, who just happen to drop to the doorstep of China, with NSA documents about US cyber-espionage programs.

    You honestly think China would be bothered by Snowden’s personal beliefs and will turn him out into the cold to be killed by US, and to make Obama feel better about China, (while Obama is encouraging a secretive US panel to smear Chinese businesses as spies and to lock them out of markets around the world)??

    What planet is Osnos on?

    This is why US is not competitive any more. It’s just full of delusional voices who make up BS for living.

  13. June 15th, 2013 at 04:58 | #13

    James Fallows said in an interview with Charlie Rose that the Chinese claims of being victims of US cyber espionage completely accurate but he said that the Chinese are unique in that they are state sponsored espionage of US corporations.

    I don’t but it. First of all, I wouldn’t be surprised if the US gov goes after foreign corporations (which might be revealed later) but even if true US corps are a legitimate targets because the US uses corporations, not just the obvious corps like Lockeed Martin in the defense industry, but google, facebook, verizon etc etc to spy on others including people in China and HK. So they are liable because they are part of the government-corporate complex. Fallows is worried because corporations are his employers and he must protect them which explains his touchyness and reflexive answers.

  14. Black Pheonix
    June 15th, 2013 at 12:54 | #14

    1 interesting thought on “direct access”.

    The government does not need to compel companies like Google to give data access, if Google voluntarily “shared” data with the government (without any court orders).

    Well, Google obviously denies sharing data voluntarily, but US companies have had a long history of doing so voluntarily.

    Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979), US Supreme Court ruled that a person’s use of communication equipment, such as a phone, which exposes the person’s identity information to the telephone company, effectively releases private information to the telephone company. The telephone company may turn over the information to the government without a warrant, and it would NOT be a violation of the 4th Amendment.

    Thus, I note, Google may disavow that they are doing the same as the telephone company did in Smith v. Maryland, but that’s just their word for it.

    The problem is, no one will know for sure how much Google is sharing with the US government and on what basis, until they used the information in public.

  15. Zack
    June 16th, 2013 at 04:58 | #15

    remember a few months back when Mandiant came out with their report against so called ‘Chinese hacking’?
    well i suspect most if not all of their Bullshit was supposed to be ‘disinformation’, after all, they accused one of China’s best cybersecurity experts of being party to these hacks when his research is focused on network defence:

    trying to put the onus on one of China’s best web defenders..tsk, tsk, tsk. This is the price of Empires, gentlemen (and ladies), utter disregard for honesty, honour and facts, and a willingness to commit casuist and despicable acts.

  16. Zack
    June 24th, 2013 at 07:04 | #16

    i pointed out a few months back in the open forum that Chinese scientists had made breakthroughs in quantum technology; well it looks like the Chinese government may turn to quantum encrypted comms to prevent NSA spying:

    now quantum comms are definitely a field in which Chinese researchers excel over their american counterparts!
    In fact,

  17. Black Pheonix
    November 20th, 2013 at 07:20 | #18

    Indonesia furious with Australian /US spying.


    Australia refuses to apologize, calling the spying “legitimate”.

    I guess that’s part of that “Asia Pivot” too. And that “shame-less” Western Soft power.

  18. Black Pheonix
    November 20th, 2013 at 07:42 | #19


    A company that playing with the fire of Nationalism, will only get burnt, because sooner or later, your foreign clients/partners won’t want to work with you any more.

    1 partner of my law firm taught me an interesting lesson the other day.

    He says, our firm don’t expand to China. We just don’t. Other US firms are busy expanding offices in China. We don’t.

    I asked why.

    He replied, we get Chinese clients through Chinese firms. If we expand into China, we are basically setting up to compete with our Chinese partners. Then, we would see all of our Chinese clients disappear. (And this is very true, lot of US firms are losing money in their Chinese offices).

    Lesson: There is some value in “Middle men”. There is some value in sharing business, and cooperation. (And YES, US companies overlook each other’s “IP theft” all the time, for the sake of future working relationship. I know this, because I have seen clear cases of IP infringements, where US companies simply refused to sue the infringer to avoid business relationship problems).

    When you get greedy (Seriously, Cisco, you had 80% of network market in China, and you have the gall to complain about Chinese espionage?), then other people are less likely to want to work with you in the future.

    1 big reason is clear: If I was an attorney for Huawei or any other Chinese company, I would tell the employees to avoid ALL contact with CISCO people, period. Because I don’t know when/if CISCO will sue me again in the future for some allegations of “IP theft” by my employees who happened to had 1 phone call with some CISCO guy.

    I would tell the employees, if CISCO calls, tell them to sign a waiver 1st.

    Guess what, CISCO, that would be my Middle Finger at you via legal papers. You smear me and my friends, and now, none of us want to talk to you. 2nd thing we do, will be to discuss how to make your equipment non-compatible in China, because well, like you, we also want to protect our “IP”.

    And it’s too bad, we can’t share information with you, because, you don’t know how to share.

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