Home > Uncategorized > When the Gimmick Could be Worse Than the Rumor, Imagine the Worst For the Truth.

When the Gimmick Could be Worse Than the Rumor, Imagine the Worst For the Truth.

The disclosures from Snowden just won’t stop, and they get worse and worse as new ones come out.



Complete with snarky smiley face drawn by US government hackers who supposedly proudly presented to the NSA masters how they broke into Google and Yahoo’s user data.

Even an usually pro-US government surveillance online blogger tweeted that this was a troubling development.

Why?  Well, apparently, surveillance done with the PERMISSION of the corporation is OK, but not otherwise.

But really, no one really knows for sure that this was done without the permission of Google and Yahoo.  While we know full well that they have denied giving “backdoor” access to NSA, the newly released documents can be also interpreted as the NSA actually getting access from Google and Yahoo perhaps through implicit permissions (or plain willful ignorance).

The rumor of this MUSCULAR program collection is bad enough, but the Gimmick could be worse, that Google and Yahoo knew this was going on and simply let it happen.  (I mean, come on, was there really a point to putting all the emails on “clouds” and move them around across the World?  Other than to let the NSA intercept them from unsecured unencrypted links?)

The Truth may be the worst:  The “cloud” was perhaps even designed to be easily intercepted by NSA.  Afterall, in the NSA documents, it was commented that Yahoo transition their email data to NARCHIVE, a standard built with the help of NSA, which made it easier for NSA to get at email attachments.


On that note:  NSA defended its surveillance of US allies by saying effectively, that “they do it too.”

Well, interesting, and BTW, US “do it too.”

I personally have no problem with that, since I don’t keep secret data online.

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  1. October 31st, 2013 at 14:04 | #1

    From the Washington Post Article titled “NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say” provided:

    The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials.

    By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot.

    It also provided this image (this picture does speak a thousand words).

    google stream tap

    This did not surprise me at all.

    When the NSA leaks first came out, Google and Yahoo and Twitter and other U.S. Internet companies defensively stated that they never offered the gov’t “direct access” to user data.

    At that time, I had noted that even if the “direct access” bit can be taken at face value (a big if), the government could still gather all the requisite information by tapping into “backup or synchronization” streams. And companies can easily make that easy for the gov’t – and with a straight face say they don’t give gov’t “direct access.” This article proves that my speculations had been correct. The gov’t does do that after all with all these “private companies”!

    My full comment could be found here, with the last two paragraphs copied below:

    Just as gov’t doesn’t need a backdoor to Twitter to mine Twitter because Twitter sends out streams of all content for anyone to download anyways, gov’t may also not need backdoor to google and facebook and the likes. So long as they provide a stream that the gov’t can then record elsewhere, that’s all that’s needed. If the stream were live streams, the gov’t would not have direct access, but they would have the pieces and the technology to piece together the pieces offsite all user data and communication from a certain date forward. If the stream were backup or synchronization streams, the gov’t could potentially have access to all data.

    Facebook and google and others synchronize and backup data across nodes spread around the nation and the world. The gov’t needs only to have such access to build its database. It needs not have “direct access” – a backdoor key – to have access.

    And it was not just me that was onto this… Jxie also made an observation along similar lines:

    Parsing some of the languages:

    Google: we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers.

    Part, or all of the server data can be replicated to some government’s systems, “in accordance with the law”.

  2. ersim
    November 1st, 2013 at 10:20 | #2

    In a capitalist “democracy”, when the government and corporations work hand in hand, it’s a corporate state. It’s better known as FASCISM. The whole Snowden thing is no surprise.

  3. Black Pheonix
    November 5th, 2013 at 07:07 | #3

    The Blame Game:


    Apparently, now NSA is blaming the US diplomats for being the “policy makers” who told NSA who to spy on, including the foreign governments.

    Personally, I doubt very much this assertion from NSA director, General Keith Alexander.

    US diplomats don’t have that kind of power to influence spy targets. (And frankly, if they did, they would expose the NSA activities much easier, because the foreign governments would probably find out very easily.)

    On the other hand, Why take the chance?

    And since it has been revealed that Australians were using their embassies to help US spy on China (and other nations), we should thus assume that current ambassadors like Gary Locke were directing spy operations for the NSA, and China should kick them out.

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