Oct 22 2013

NSA Busted for Spying on Other Countries For Profit

The revelation that the NSA was using its hoovering of data from other countries broke in August with the Der Spiegel report that the NSA had bugged the UN Headquarters in New York City, as well as,  European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In early September, a week before the UN General Assembly meeting in NYC, Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, cancelled her visit in Washington with President Barack Obama over the NSA’s spying on her, her inner circle of top aides and Brazil’s largest company, the oil giant Petrobras.

Now, this week its Mexico and France and its not about keeping us safe, its about industrial espionage:

In France, grabbed the data of over 70,000 phone calls:

Le Monde said the documents gave grounds to think the NSA targeted not only people suspected of being involved in terrorism but also high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics. [..]

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault [said]  “I am deeply shocked…. It’s incredible that an allied country like the United States at this point goes as far as spying on private communications that have no strategic justification, no justification on the basis of national defence,” he told journalists in Copenhagen.


   The NSA has been systematically eavesdropping on the Mexican government for years. [..]

   In the space of a single year, according to the internal documents, this operation produced 260 classified reports that allowed US politicians to conduct successful talks on political issues and to plan international investments.

As has been revealed this summer, the NSA was recently revealed to have been spying on Brazil’s largest oil company. We now know they were also spying on the biggest financial payments systems such as VISA and Swift and on the on Chinese technology company Huawei.

One of the slides leaked by Edward Snowden from from a 2012 NSA presentation explained “economic” was one of the main justifications for spying.

The NSA would also like to keep better tabs on Wall Street under the guise of protecting it:

Drawing an analogy to how the military detects an incoming missile with radar and other sensors, (General Keith) Alexander imagined the NSA being able to spot “a cyberpacket that’s about to destroy Wall Street.” In an ideal world, he said, the agency would be getting real-time information from the banks themselves, as well as from the NSA’s traditional channels of intelligence, and have the power to take action before a cyberattack caused major damage.

Wall Street saw through Alexander’s “collect it all” ploy and quickly labeled it “wild:”

His proposed solution: Private companies should give the government access to their networks so it could screen out the harmful software. The NSA chief was offering to serve as an all-knowing virus-protection service, but at the cost, industry officials felt, of an unprecedented intrusion into the financial institutions’ databases.

The group of financial industry officials, sitting around a table at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, were stunned, immediately grasping the privacy implications of what Alexander was politely but urgently suggesting. As a group, they demurred.

“He’s an impressive person,” the participant said, recalling the group’s collective reaction to Alexander. “You feel very comfortable with him. He instills a high degree of trust.”

But he was proposing something they thought was high-risk.

“Folks in the room looked at each other like, ‘Wow. That’s kind of wild.’ ”

DSWRight at FDL News Desk duly notes that the US government has been doing what it has prosecuted others for doing under  the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the same law that was used to harass Aaron Swartz:

The hypocrisy is epic and disgusting. The NSA has disgraced and embarrassed the American people at home and abroad.

The rampant criminality and antisocial behavior of America’s intelligence community has not only diminished American rule of law at home, but is leading to increasing friction internationally with our allies. It is well past time for us to reexamine the power of the NSA and friends.

It is well past time the NSA was stopped before it shreds what remains of US credibility in the international and business community

1 comment

  1. TMC

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