Skip to comments.U.S. steps up commercial spying
Posted on 12/20/2005 4:52:41 AM PST by Halfmanhalfamazing
NEW YORK, May 7 Newly unearthed documents, mostly letters from the CIA to Congress, lay out evidence of an intensive intelligence effort to help U.S. corporations win contracts overseas. The documents, all published during the Clinton administration, appear to confirm reports that Americas electronic eavesdropping apparatus was involved in commercial espionage.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.com ...
The NY Times is out to destroy america, as far as I can tell. That means we need to destroy them first. They have made themselves the enemy.
Controversy breaks out over the alleged NSA "Echelon" project, which privacy groups describe as a worldwide surveillance network that eavesdrops on all communications traffic. The NSA allegedly maintains the network, which privacy groups say involves the sharing of intelligence gathered by the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
A European Parliament report states that the project targets civilian communications, including political advocacy groups like Amnesty International and Greenpeace. The NSA declines to comment on the project but reiterates that it follows U.S. law.
You are not supposed to spy on your friends. As details emerge of US intelligence agencies eavesdropping on the e-mail, faxes, and phone calls of European businesses, politicians here are calling for better ways to safeguard industrial secrets.
The most contentious source of trenchcoat contretemps among transatlantic allies: Internet encryption.
The United States is trying to persuade the European Union to allow only Internet codes for which law enforcement and national security agencies would have a "key." That would help to combat terrorists and drug smugglers. But it would also give US officials potential access to foreign companies' commercial secrets.
"Unless we have guarantees of safeguards, controls over who listens to whom and what for, Europe is not going to leave the key under the doormat so that the Americans can walk in and steal the family silver," says Glyn Ford, a member of the European parliament.
But with no communist threat to occupy them, Western intelligence agencies in the 1990s appear to be devoting more of their time and resources to industrial espionage against each other. And, says Michael Hershman, chairman of DSFX, the world's largest private investigative agency, "Industrial espionage is going up steadily" because of "globalization and increased competition."
Slate: My understanding was that Echelon gave authority, in Europe, to spy on calls and faxes. But only in the European theater. And so, therefore, when suspicious things happened in the American theater there was no way to really do anything with it. Am I correct?
Inman: You're close. In fact it wasn't just Europe; it was worldwide. It was a worldwide effort to collect information on faxes then go back and apply what I've already told you. First, that's a foreign intelligence collection operation. It can't collect in the U.S. And secondly, anything it collected internationally on U.S. citizens or people with green cards couldn't be used, couldn't be published.
When I see "electronic" eavesdropping, I connect Clarke AND ALSO Christopher Wolf, Joe Wilson's attorney.
Television Broadcast February 27, 2000
ECHELON; WORLDWIDE CONVERSATIONS BEING RECEIVED BY THE ECHELON SYSTEM MAY FALL INTO THE WRONG HANDS AND INNOCENT PEOPLE MAY BE TAGGED AS SPIES
STEVE KROFT, co-host:
If you made a phone call today or sent an e-mail to a friend, there's a good chance what you said or wrote was captured and screened by the country's largest intelligence agency. The top-secret Global Surveillance Network is called Echelon, and it's run by the National Security Agency and four English-speaking allies: Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
The mission is to eavesdrop on enemies of the state: foreign countries, terrorist groups and drug cartels. But in the process, Echelon's computers capture virtually every electronic conversation around the world.
Echelon: Big brother without a cause?
The Echelon system covers all international communications
By News Online's Martin Asser
Critics accuse the United States' intelligence community and its English-speaking partners of waging what is in effect a new Cold War.
At stake are international contracts worth billions of dollars, and at the disposal of the spymasters is an intelligence gathering system of immense power.
The Echelon spy system, whose existence has only recently been acknowledged by US officials, is capable of hoovering up millions of phone calls, faxes and emails a minute.
I hope you'll call your favorite freeper to this thread. I've searched out several old links about project echelon contradicting the NY Times' assertion that the bush program is a "sea change" in how things are done.
It appears that the bush administration is indeed following the lead of the clinton administration. Americans should be soooooo proud.
What I find so hilarious about these links is contrast them with news reporting today. In most of these links, they don't specifically refer to the clinton administration specifically the way they now refer to the bush administration. Like the BBC article for example. It's that evil america. It's so funny to read old articles.... at least it is to me.
They're just not Losers at this point, they're IRRELEVANT PATHETIC LOSERS!
I know. It's amazing that they still haven't realized that they don't have their monopoly anymore.
This echelon thing was *BIG NEWS* back in 98. There's no way the NYT could've forgotten about it. They purposely lied in their article.
President Bush is NOT doing what Bill Clinton did against Americans.
Since you're so unhappy here, why not find a more hospitable country.
Yes, they did.
Attorney General Janet Reno (1994)
announcement that NIST and the Department of the Treasury would be the key escrow holders . Reno also released the procedures for release of the keys to law enforcement officials for under Title III, state and national security wiretap orders.
AND, a Freeper posted article from 2000, here.
ARTICLE BELOW AS POSTED:
Al Gore wants to be Big Brother. Since taking office in 1993, Vice President Al Gore has spearheaded a project designed to monitor America. Gore's leadership in this scheme to bug American telephones is too well documented for him to deny.
One such document released by the Justice Department is a March 1993 memo from Stephen Colgate, assistant attorney general for the administration, to Webster Hubbell. In 1993, Hubbell, a former Rose office law partner of Hillary Clinton, served as the No. 2 at the Justice Department.
Colgate's 1993 memo to Hubbell provides the details of the Gore plan. According to the Colgate memo, the vice president chaired a meeting with Hubbell, Reno, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and Leon Panetta in March 1993. The meeting was on the "AT&T Telephone Security Device."
In 1992, AT&T had developed secure telephones that the U.S. government could not tap. In response, AT&T was secretly paid by the Clinton administration to keep the secure phones out of the American market. According to Colgate's memo, the secure phones were simply too dangerous for American citizens.
"AT&T has developed a Data Encryption Standard (DES) product for use on telephones to provide security for sensitive conversations. The FBI, NSA and NSC want to purchase the first production run of these devices to prevent their proliferation. They are difficult to decipher and are a deterrent to wiretaps," Assistant Attorney General Colgate wrote to Webster Hubbell.
In 1993, Webster Hubbell was personally tasked to run the project by both Gore and Janet Reno. Hubbell arranged for the entire production run of secure AT&T phones to be secretly purchased, using the Justice Department "confiscation" slush fund supplied by the Drug War, in order to keep the purchase off the general books.
Part of the secret project included re-fitting the purchased AT&T phones with a new chip called "Clipper." The National Security Agency developed the Clipper chip at Ft. Meade, Md. This chip contained a secret "exploitable" feature allowing the government to tap phone conversation with a special backdoor key.
The Hubbell files show that in 1994 the Whitewater figure met with Gore, Ron Brown, NSA Director McConnell and White House powerbroker John Podesta. The files show Hubbell met in late January 1994 at "the White House Situation Room" on secret presidential orders such as "PDD-5" and "PRD-27." The 1994 secret meeting included details on the Clipper project and "Podesta Alternative Draft Legislation."
The project also included plans to "mandate" the Clipper chip into all U.S. homes and businesses. According to the March 1993 Colgate memo to Hubbell, "FBI, NSA and NSC want to push legislation which would require all government agencies and eventually everyone in the U.S. to use a new public-key based cryptography method."
According to a 1993 FBI memo to then Clinton national security advisor George Tenet, "technical solutions, such as they are, will only work if they are incorporated into all encryption products. To ensure that this occurs, legislation mandating the use of Government approved encryption products or adherence to Government encryption criteria is required."
As part of the Gore plan, the Federal government was required to buy the Clipper chip in large quantities, making it the de facto standard. Even the Defense Department was forced to implement Gore's Clipper project by purchasing a "smart card" or Clipper equipped electronic card called "FORTEZZA." The Gore plan was for the U.S. military to use the FORTEZZA card to protect "sensitive but unclassified information."
The Clipper chip with its "exploitable feature" also had many flaws, including an Achilles heel. In 1993, Benita Cooper, NASA associate administrator for Management Systems and Facilities, documented the fatal flaw in Gore's great computer-security idea.
"The (Clipper) Chip programmer is a device provided by the National Security Agency. There is no assurance, without scrutiny, that all keying material introduced during the chip programming is not already available to the NSA. Thus, not only do the escrow key agents have a decryption capability, the NSA also retains this capability," wrote Ms. Cooper in her rejection of the Clipper chip for NASA.
"Compromise of the NSA keys, such as in the Walker case, could compromise the entire EES (Escrowed Encryption Standard) system," concluded Ms. Cooper.
In response to the discovery, government agencies and computer engineers were silenced by the administration. Cooper's memo was not publicly released until the administration was forced by legal action from this reporter.
Nonetheless, word leaked out. In 1994, Gore struggled with a reluctant Congress and argued for the doomed Clipper project.
According to a July 1994 letter from Gore to Representative Maria Cantwell, "Key escrow encryption offers a very effective way to accomplish our mutual goals. That is why the Administration adopted the key escrow encryption standard in the 'Clipper Chip' to provide very secure encryption for telephone communications while preserving the ability for law enforcement and national security."
Gore also lied to save the sinking Clipper project. According to Cooper, the NSA could read any Clipper chip whether it was legal to do so or not. Recalling her words, "Not only do the escrow key agents have a decryption capability, the NSA also retains this capability."
However, Gore's July 1994 letter to Representative Cantwell makes no mention of the NSA's super powers.
"We also want to assure users of key escrow encryption products that they will not be subject to unauthorized electronic surveillance. As we have done with the Clipper Chip, future key escrow schemes must contain safeguards to provide for key disclosures only under legal authorization and should have audit procedures to ensure the integrity of the system," wrote Gore.
Gore wasted years and millions of tax dollars on the flawed Clipper project. The Justice Department and the Defense Department eventually abandoned the expensive chips. Gore, however, did not give up. Gore's stewardship of U.S. computer security led him to announce yet another scheme to give the government power to monitor all communications.
A recently released Department of Defense memo shows just how much Al Gore wanted to be Big Brother. Gore's son-of-Clipper was called "key recovery." Just as before, it was rammed down the throat of everyone, including the Defense Department.
According to a March 10, 1997, memo from Deputy Secretary of Defense John White to Attorney General Janet Reno, "On October 1, 1996, the Vice President announced Administration support of key recovery mechanism as an essential element of the National Encryption Policy."
"Accordingly," wrote White. "We will transition the FORTEZZA card to a key management infrastructure-based key recovery scheme. Procedures for access to private key exchange keys for properly authorized law enforcement purposes are being developed. ... We understand this interim approach will not fully meet the key recovery criteria being developed by the Interagency Working Group."
Thus, the military dumped the Clipper chip in favor of Gore's new scheme, allowing the government to recover keys and monitor communications. Today, Gore's "key recovery" scheme has collapsed into oblivion.
Al Gore tried twice and failed to invade your privacy in an operation that seems more fitting for a totalitarian government. The topper to this story is that the technical information was also shared with communist China, a totalitarian government.
Chinese army computer engineers from the Beijing Academy of Sciences and the Laboratory of Information Security were given access to key-recovery communications designs. Thus, the Gore plan gave the repressive communist regime the technology to monitor its citizens and hold them in electronic chains forever.
Will the Red Chinese benefit from the Gore-sponsored technical exchange?
"Absolutely," stated Admiral McConnell, former Director of the National Security Agency under both President Bush and President Clinton.
"Even if the Chinese use weak encryption, the sheer volume of their communications will make it impossible for us to monitor. If China were to erect a public key infra-structure it will severely impact our intelligence gathering ability," said McConnell in a rare interview.
The current result of this electronic fistfight over personal privacy is the stalemate that still exists today, seven years after Al Gore took over. It was only due to the vigilant action of a few independent computer scientists and privacy advocates that Gore's Clipper chip and key recovery plans failed here in the United States. The same cannot be said for Red China.
Al Gore has laid claim to many things. He claimed to have invented the Internet. He claimed that a book, "Love Story," was based on his life and the romancing of second lady Tipper Gore. One thing, however, that Al Gore will not claim is his plan to tap every phone in the United States.
SOURCE DOCUMENTS (next post in thread).
"In most of these links, they don't specifically refer to the clinton administration specifically the way they now refer to the bush administration."
I was pouring over dozens of the OLD msm E/chelon articles last night and it was really funny to just search out the word "Clinton" in them. It was like the guy didn't even exist.
If we had/have all this "spying" going on....How come 9/11/2001 happened?
I look forward to the collective amnesia that will descend up on FR when a Dem gets into the White House, and Big Government becomes a bad thing again.
How come 9/11/2001 happened?
How come indeed.
I look forward to the collective amnesia that will descend up on FR when a Dem gets into the White House, and Big Government becomes a bad thing again.
Yeah, although I get the feeling that the republican, "party of smaller government, lower taxes, and less spending" charade is just about over. No one believes it anymore.
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