In 2011, the Pentagon released its first formal cyber strategy, which called computer hacking from other nations an “act of war,” according to the Wall Street Journal. In late June of this year, WSJ reported that Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, released information alleging the U.S. government was hacking Chinese targets “that include the nation’s mobile-phone companies and one of the country’s most prestigious universities.”
Now that EU offices have been hacked by the U.S. government as well, one must wonder if that was an “act of war” on the part of the United States.
Pentagon officials emphasized in 2011, however, that not every cyberattack would be considered an act of war unless it threatened American lives, commerce or infrastructure. There would also have to be indisputable evidence that the suspected nation state was involved.
U.S. hacking of China and the EU may not have caused such harm to those countries, but that hasn’t stopped EU officials from expressing outrage. “I am deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of U.S. authorities spying on EU offices,” Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament said. “If the allegations prove to be true, it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-U.S. relations.”
Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign minister, also chimed in, calling the practice “abominable.”
A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that “bugging friends is unacceptable.”
French President Francois Hollande condemned the practice as well, saying, “We cannot accept this type of behavior between partners and allies.” Hollande later said that the hacking was not necessary for anti-terrorism efforts. “We know that there are systems which have to control notably for the threat against terrorism, but I do not think that this is in our embassies or in the EU that this risks exist,” he said.
President Obama, however, doesn’t seem to think he’s done anything wrong.
Apparently, you might be a terrorist if you work for the EU.
“The world will be shocked” by the next story on the National Security Agency’s vast spying operations, said Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist leading the exposure—made possible by leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden—of the agency’s far-reaching surveillance.
Glenn Greenwald speaking with Eric Bolling on Fox & Friends about the ongoing revelations of NSA spying and whistleblower Edward Snowden. Greenwald hinted that a new NSA story was forthcoming and potentially explosive.
When asked if he was ready to unveil a new NSA scoop, Greenwald responded:
I will say that there are vast programs of both domestic and international spying that the world will be shocked to learn about that the NSA is engaged in with no democratic accountability, and that’s what’s driving our reporting.
Greenwald also gave a preview of this next exposé over the weekend during a speech given to the Socialism 2013 conference, saying it would report on “a brand new technology [that] enables the National Security Agency to redirect into its own repositories one billion cell phones calls every single day.”
The example the Obama administration is setting with Snowden, Greenwald explained to Bolling, is to give a warning to future whistleblowers that the repercussions will be swift and harsh.
I think what the Obama administration wants and has been trying to establish for the last almost five years now with the unprecedented war on whistleblowers that it is waging is to make it so that everybody is petrified of coming forward with information about what our political officials are doing in the dark that is deceitful, illegal or corrupt.
They don’t care about Edward Snowden at this point; he can no longer do anything that he hasn’t already done. What they care about is making an extremely negative example out of him to intimidate future whistleblowers from coming forward because they’ll think that they’re going to end up like him. That’s their objective.
On what he sees as “Snowden’s endgame,” Greenwald, who said he has not seen the whistleblower since he left Hong Kong, replied:
Well, from the very first time that I spoke with him he said that he completely understood that once he came forward against the U.S. government and the Obama administration that he would become the most wanted man on earth, and would be hunted down by the world’s most powerful state, and that he felt that it was worthwhile to do that because he could not in good conscience allow this massive spying program aimed at the American people to be constructed in the dark. And he said obviously he wants to stay out of the clutches of the U.S. government given the way they’ve persecuted whistle blowers. He’s obviously trying to find a place where he can do that but his real goal is to continue to be part of the conversation about why he did what he did, what it is that he saw in the NSA, how these spying powers were being abused, and to continue to make people around the world and his fellow citizens in the United States aware of what their government is doing.
In the interview with Bolling, Greenwald explained:
This is what journalism is about—shining a light on what the most powerful people in the country are doing to them in the dark.
The video below is about "big data and Jared Cohen is Google's regime change agent who technologically formented revolutions in the "Arab Spring". Twitter and FaceBook were agents used in the Arab Spring. Jared Cohen formerly was with the U.S. State Department.
A pair of new reports in Bloomberg and Reuters indicate that many big tech companies actually knowingly cooperate much more extensively with US intelligence agencies than previously acknowledged.
Tech firms including Microsoft are said to voluntarily give advanced warning to the US government of vulnerabilities in software products sold to governments overseas before they are patched, allowing US agencies to effectively use them to conduct foreign surveillance. Microsoft’s corporate vice president of corporate communications Frank X. Shaw confirmed to Bloomberg that the company tips-off multiple government agencies to vulnerabilities, but said this was designed for risk assessment and management.
Another company that Bloomberg highlights is McAfee, a subsidiary of Intel, which is said to be in regular cooperation with the NSA as well as the FBI and CIA. The firm reportedly provides government intelligence agencies with insights gained from its monitoring of global internet traffic, which includes cyber espionage by “foreign powers.” But this type of activity is in many way business as usual for Silicon Valley, as Reuters points out, diving deep into the history of the US tech industry to note that many early tech giants got their start working on military or intelligence projects. The Reuters report notes that in order to maintain the integrity of tech companies with international customers, the government typically works through a thriving industry of third-party firms that offer services capable of compromising “virtually every major software vendor.” Altogether, the new reports a reminder that although the US government and tech companies often clash when it comes to business regulations, on national security matters, they are often more in sync than they let on.