Table of Contents Main
C. Table of Contents (Psychological Operations/ Surveillance/ Warfare)
ECHELON (surveillance program)
ECHELON, originally a code-name, is now used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory nations to the UKUSA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to by a number of abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS and Five Eyes). It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications. It was created in the early 1960s to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War, and was formally established in the year of 1971.
By the end of the 20th century, the system referred to as “ECHELON” had evolved beyond its military/diplomatic origins, to also become “… a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications.
The system has been reported in a number of public sources. One of the earliest reports to describe the program, code-named “ECHELON”, was Duncan Campbell’s 1988 article, “Somebody’s listening”, published in the New Statesman. The program’s capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001, and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States. The European Parliament stated in its report that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.
Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by ground stations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.
*** See Also ***
- List of government surveillance projects
- 2013 mass surveillance disclosures
- Boundless informant
- Carnivore (software)
- Hepting v. AT&T
- Magic Lantern (software)
- Mass surveillance
- Operation Ivy Bells
- Onyx (interception system), the Swiss “Echelon” equivalent
- PRISM (surveillance program)
- Red Hook (FBI)
- SIGINT, intercept database
- Stellar Wind
- Trailblazer Project
- Turbulence (NSA)
- UKUSA Agreement
Signals intelligence (often contracted to SIGINT) is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether between people (“communications intelligence”—COMINT) or from electronic signals not directly used in communication (“electronic intelligence”—ELINT), or a combination of the two. As sensitive information is often encrypted, signals intelligence often involves the use of cryptanalysis. Also, traffic analysis—the study of who is signaling whom and in what quantity—can often produce valuable information, even when the messages themselves cannot be decrypted.
As a means of collecting intelligence, signals intelligence is a subset of intelligence collection management, which, in turn, is a subset of intelligence cycle management.
*** See Also ***
- Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Science & Technology
- Geospatial intelligence
- Human intelligence (espionage)
- Imagery intelligence
- Intelligence Branch (Canadian Forces)
- List of intelligence gathering disciplines
- Open-source intelligence
- Radio Reconnaissance Platoon
- RAF Intelligence
- Signals intelligence by alliances, nations and industries
- Signals intelligence operational platforms by nation for current collection systems
AUSCANNZUKUS is a naval Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) interoperability organization involving the Anglosphere nations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The acronym is also used as security caveat in the UKUSA Community, where it is also known as “Five Eyes”
The “Five Eyes”, often abbreviated as “FVEY”, refer to an anglophonic alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are bound by the multilateral UKUSA Agreement – a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.
The origins of the FVEY can be traced back to World War II, when the Atlantic Charter was issued by the Allies to lay out their goals for a post-war world. During the course of the Cold War, the ECHELON surveillance system was initially developed by the FVEY to monitor the communications of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, although it was later used to monitor billions of private communications worldwide.
In the late 1990s, the existence of ECHELON was disclosed to the public, triggering a major debate in the European Parliament and, to a lesser extent, the United States Congress. As part of efforts to win the ongoing War on Terror since 2001, the FVEY further expanded their surveillance capabilities, with much emphasis placed on monitoring the World Wide Web. The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden described the Five Eyes as a “supra-national intelligence organisation that doesn’t answer to the laws of its own countries”. Documents leaked by Snowden in 2013 revealed that the FVEY have been intentionally spying on one another’s citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations on spying.
Despite the impact of Snowden’s disclosures, the general consensus among experts in the intelligence community holds that no amount of global outrage will affect the Five Eyes relationship, which, to this day, remains the most powerful espionage alliance in world history.
*** See Also ***
- Collective intelligence
- Five Nations Passport Group
- Signals intelligence by alliances, nations and industries
Vortex, previously known as Chalet, was a class of spy satellite operated by the United States during the 1980s and 1990s to collect signals intelligence (SIGINT) from high Earth orbit. The Vortex satellites were operated by the National Reconnaissance Office for the United States Air Force and listened to radio transmissions originating from Earth or space. The intercepted data is believed to have been fed into and analyzed by the National Security Agency ECHELON system.
The satellites each had a mass of approximately 1,800 kilograms and are operated from non-stationary geosynchronous orbits. Each reportedly carried a 38-meter-diameter umbrella-like reflecting dish to collect radio signals from Earth. At least six launch attempts were made of Chalet/Vortex satellites between 1978 and 1989. The Chalet/Vortex satellites replaced the older generation of Canyon satellites, and were superseded by the larger, more capable Mercury satellites.
ADVISE (Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement) is a research and development program within the United States Department of Homeland Security Threat and Vulnerability Testing and Assessment (TVTA) portfolio. It is reported to be developing a massive data mining system, which would collect and analyze data on everyone in the United States and perform a “threat analysis” of them. The data can be everything from financial records, phone records, emails, blog entries, website searches, and any other electronic information that can be put into a computer system. The information is then analyzed, and used to monitor social threats such as community-forming, terrorism, political organizing, or crime.
**ADVISE will possess the ability to store one quadrillion data entities
The exact scope and degree of completion of the program is unclear. ADVISE is in the 2004-2006 Federal DHS Budget as a component of the $47 million TVTA program.
The program was officially scrapped in September 2007 after the agency’s internal Inspector General found that pilot testing of the system had been performed using data on real people without required privacy safeguards in place
*** See Also ***
- Information Awareness Office
- NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
- Data warehouse
- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
- TALON (Threat and Local Observation Notice)
In computing, a data warehouse (DW, DWH), or an enterprise data warehouse (EDW), is a system used for reporting and data analysis. Integrating data from one or more disparate sources creates a central repository of data, a data warehouse (DW). Data warehouses store current and historical data and are used for creating trending reports for senior management reporting such as annual and quarterly comparisons.
*** See Also ***
- Accounting intelligence
- Anchor Modeling
- Business intelligence
- Business intelligence tools
- Data integration
- Data mart
- Data mining
- Data presentation architecture
- Data scraping
- Data warehouse appliance
- Database management system
- Decision support system
- Data Vault Modeling
- Executive information system
- Extract, transform, load
- Master data management
- Online analytical processing
- Online transaction processing
- Operational data store
- Semantic warehousing
- Snowflake schema
- Software as a service
- Star schema
- Slowly changing dimension
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technologies for use by the military. DARPA has been responsible for funding the development of many technologies which have had a major effect on the world, including computer networking, as well as NLS, which was both the first hypertext system, and an important precursor to the contemporary ubiquitous graphical user interface.
DARPA began as the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) created in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower for the purpose of forming and executing research and development projects to expand the frontiers of technology and science and able to reach far beyond immediate military requirements. The administration was responding to the Soviet launching of Sputnik 1 in 1957, and ARPA’s mission was to ensure U.S. military technology be more sophisticated than that of the nation’s potential enemies. From DARPA’s own introduction
TALON (Threat and Local Observation Notice), is a database maintained by the United States Air Force after the September 11th terrorist attacks. It was authorised for creation in 2002 by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, in order to collect and evaluate information about possible threats to U.S. servicemembers and civilian workers in the US and at overseas military installations. The database included lists of anti-war groups and people who have attended anti-war rallies. TALON reports are collected by various US Defense Department agencies including law enforcement, intelligence, counterintelligence and security, and are analyzed by a Pentagon agency, the Counterintelligence Field Activity. CIFA has existed since 2004, and its size and budget are secret.
On August 21, 2007, the US Defense Department announced that it would shut down the database, as the database had been criticized for gathering information on peace activists and other political activists who posed no credible threat, but who had been one topic of this database due to their political views. The department is working on a new system which would replace TALON, but for the time being, information on force protection threats will be handled by the FBI’s Guardian reporting system.
Boundless Informant or BOUNDLESSINFORMANT is a big data analysis and data visualization tool used by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). It gives NSA managers summaries of the NSA’s world wide data collection activities by counting metadata. The existence of this tool was disclosed by documents leaked by Edward Snowden, who worked at the NSA for the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Those disclosed documents were in a direct contradiction to the NSA’s assurance to United States Congress that it does not collect any type of data on millions of Americans
Stellar Wind or STELLARWIND is the code name of a Sensitive Compartmented Information security compartment for information collected under the President’s Surveillance Program (PSP). This was a program by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) during the presidency of George W. Bush and revealed by Thomas Tamm to The New York Times in 2008.
The operation was approved by President George W. Bush shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001. STELLARWIND was succeeded during the presidency of Barack Obama by four major lines of intelligence collection in the territorial United States together capable of spanning the full range of modern telecommunications.
The program’s activities involved data mining of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including e-mail communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity. William Binney, a retired Technical Leader with the NSA, discussed some of the architectural and operational elements of the program at the 2012 Chaos Communication Congress.
The intelligence community was also able to obtain from the Treasury Department suspicious activity reports, or “SARS”, which are reports of activities such as large cash transactions that are submitted by financial institutions under anti-money laundering rules.
There were internal disputes within the Justice Department about the legality of the program, because data are collected for large numbers of people, not just the subjects of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants. During the Bush Administration, the Stellar Wind cases were referred to by FBI agents as “pizza cases” because many seemingly suspicious cases turned out to be food takeout orders. According to Mueller, approximately 99 percent of the cases led nowhere, but “it’s that other 1% that we’ve got to be concerned about”.
In March 2012 Wired magazine published “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)” talking about a vast new NSA facility in Utah and says “For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed STELLARWIND, in detail,” naming the official William Binney, a former NSA code breaker. Binney went on to say that the NSA had highly secured rooms that tap into major switches, and satellite communications at both AT&T and Verizon. The article suggested that the otherwise dispatched STELLARWIND is actually an active program. This conclusion was supported by the exposure of Room 641A in AT&T’s operations center in San Francisco in 2006.
In June 2013 the Washington Post and the Guardian published an OIG draft report, dated March 2009, leaked by Edward Snowden detailing the Stellar Wind program
|National Security Agencysurveillance|