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Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:32 PM

Dianne Feinstein Accidentally Confirms That NSA Tapped The Internet Backbone

Dianne Feinstein Accidentally Confirms That NSA Tapped The Internet Backbone

It's widely known that the NSA has taps connected to the various telco networks, thanks in large part to AT&T employee Mark Klein who blew the whistle on AT&T's secret NSA room in San Francisco. What was unclear was exactly what kind of access the NSA had. Various groups like the EFF and CDT have both been asking the administration to finally come clean, in the name of transparency, if they're tapping backbone networks to snarf up internet communications like email. So far, the administration has declined to elaborate. Back in August, when the FISA court declassified its ruling about NSA violations, the third footnote, though heavily redacted, did briefly discuss this "upstream" capability:



..............during Thursday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Dianne Feinstein more or less admitted that they get emails via "upstream" collection methods. As you can see in the following clip, Feinstein interrupts a discussion to read a prepared "rebuttal" to a point being made, and in doing so clearly says that the NSA can get emails via upstream collections:

Upstream collection... occurs when NSA obtains internet communications, such as e-mails, from certain US companies that operate the Internet background, i.e., the companies that own and operate the domestic telecommunications lines over which internet traffic flows.


She clearly means "backbone"rather than "background." She's discussing this in an attempt to defend the NSA's "accidental" collection of information it shouldn't have had. But that point is not that important. Instead, the important point is that she's now admitted what most people suspected, but which the administration has totally avoided admitting for many, many years since the revelations made by Mark Klein.

So, despite years of trying to deny that the NSA can collect email and other communications directly from the backbone (rather than from the internet companies themselves), Feinstein appears to have finally let the cat out of the bag, perhaps without realizing it.


MORE:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130927/13562624678/dianne-feinstein-accidentally-confirms-that-nsa-tapped-internet-backbone.shtml
and:
http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/09/27/whoa-whoa-whoa-stop-dianne-feinstein-misstates-the-2011-violations/#more-38428

38 replies, 6857 views

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Reply Dianne Feinstein Accidentally Confirms That NSA Tapped The Internet Backbone (Original post)
kpete Sep 2013 OP
rhett o rick Sep 2013 #1
Hydra Sep 2013 #3
Bolo Boffin Sep 2013 #5
rhett o rick Sep 2013 #6
bvar22 Sep 2013 #7
rhett o rick Sep 2013 #18
WilliamPitt Sep 2013 #17
Enthusiast Sep 2013 #32
Hydra Sep 2013 #2
90-percent Sep 2013 #4
riderinthestorm Sep 2013 #8
rhett o rick Sep 2013 #20
quakerboy Sep 2013 #9
Uncle Joe Sep 2013 #10
PoliticAverse Sep 2013 #11
DirkGently Sep 2013 #12
Rex Sep 2013 #13
zeemike Sep 2013 #14
rhett o rick Sep 2013 #21
zeemike Sep 2013 #29
rhett o rick Sep 2013 #31
tblue37 Sep 2013 #38
formercia Sep 2013 #15
PowerToThePeople Sep 2013 #16
PoliticAverse Sep 2013 #22
Conium Sep 2013 #19
mythology Sep 2013 #23
myrna minx Sep 2013 #24
jazzimov Sep 2013 #25
randome Sep 2013 #27
leveymg Sep 2013 #26
Coyotl Sep 2013 #28
JDPriestly Sep 2013 #30
leveymg Sep 2013 #34
progressoid Sep 2013 #33
kenny blankenship Sep 2013 #35
rhett o rick Sep 2013 #36
WovenGems Sep 2013 #37

Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:44 PM

1. HE WAS NEVER THE NOMINEE!

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:45 PM

3. *lol*

good one!

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:09 PM

5. So nice that you provide your own trolling and distractions.

Saves a ton of work for the rest of us.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:12 PM

6. I dont know what came over me. nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:18 PM

7. "We do NOT have a Domestic Spying Program!"

Oops.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #7)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:09 PM

18. Wellll I guess it all hinges on the definition of "not". nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:07 PM

17. Beat me to it.

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 06:58 AM

32. ...

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:44 PM

2. Silence was their best weapon on this

Once it went public in a way that couldn't be stifled, it was over. The more they talk, the more we know...mostly because they never planned to have to defend against this. They just did it and assumed they could keep doing it forever, even as they have been using the "secret evidence" or parallel intel to put people in jail.

"We're just too cool to be questioned..."

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:06 PM

4. history

Fifty years from now, there will probably be statues of heroic patriot Mark Klein peppered about the USA. Klein, you may remember, revealed the NSA's secret room in San Francisco and the man that helped trigger the dismantling of the overblown police state apparatus that had been under construction for many years prior. We honor a patriot that steered America back to check and balance Democracy.

-90% Jimmy

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Response to 90-percent (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:25 PM

8. History belongs to the victors.

 

I wish I agreed with you that the whistle blowers will some day be recognized as heroes but I doubt it. The current trend is to intimidate, jail, and hunt them down to extinction. With the big money in politics and big Corp control over politics growing by the hour, there's no way imho, that whistle blowers will ever get the statues...



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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #8)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:16 PM

20. The problem they have is that they never will make whistle-blowers extinct.

 

There will always those that are willing to give up their freedom for the freedom of the rest.

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Response to 90-percent (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:32 PM

9. Maybe statues

But the guys in charge of actually doing this stuff will be the next generation of Kissengers, to be consulted in the halls of power no matter how bad what they have done may be.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:32 PM

10. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, kpete.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:44 PM

11. Is the Internet 'background' made of 'tubes'?... n/t

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:50 PM

12. KNR.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:51 PM

13. Opps.

 

nt.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 07:54 PM

14. Well why not admit it?

I mean we are so distracted with threats of war and economic suicide who will say anything?

And once it is said it becomes old news and then becomes acceptable to democrats and republicans alike...because there is a law or something that says if you don't complain when it happens they you have to STFU about it.

The source of the term is a quotation in an October 17, 2004, The New York Times Magazine article by writer Ron Suskind, quoting an unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove[1]):


The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study

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Response to zeemike (Reply #14)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:19 PM

21. I think we are close to a terrible tipping point. I think the NSA is at some point going

 

to say, "yes we spy, and there is nothing you can do about it." I think Pres Obama has already been given that message.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #21)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:18 PM

29. And you could be right.

or even past the tipping point...for all we know.
If Obama has any dirt in his past they probably know about it...so he will do what they tell him to.

It is like the Zappa saying, that they will maintain the illusion as long as it is profitable to do so...then they lift the curtain.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #29)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 01:21 AM

31. They dont really have to have anything on Pres Obama. They just have to explain to

 

him that he has no power to alter their programs or personnel.

I agree with Zappa.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #31)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 04:48 PM

38. When asked what surprised him most when he became president,

Jimmy Carter said it was how little power the president really has.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:02 PM

15. NATHAN HALE



I ONLY REGRET THAT I HAVE BUT ONE LIFE TO LOSE FOR MY COUNTRY
NATHAN HALE

CAPTAIN
ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES
BORN AT COVENTRY CONNECTICUT
JUNE 6, 1755
IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS
DUTY HE RESIGNED HIS
LIFE A SACRIFICE TO
HIS COUNTRY'S LIBERTY
AT NEW YORK
SEPTEMBER 22, 1776

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Nathan_Hale_%28statue%29

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:07 PM

16. So, I googled "Internet Background"

 

I just got a bunch of cool pictures.

What gives?

edit - it appears to be Google's 15th Birthday today. At least the "doodle" says so.

edit - got a 146 as my high score

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #16)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:24 PM

22. You have to look behind the pictures to see what's really going on... n/t

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:15 PM

19. So is this stuff still classified?

Or is Sen. Feinstein declassifying U.S. spy secrets "on the fly" like former vice president Dick Cheney?

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:24 PM

23. From the name Prism, it was pretty clear that's what was happening

 

Prisms split light signals which is what was set up in the room in AT&T in San Francisco. The NSA set up a fiber optic splitter so they could get a carbon copy of the data being sent through AT&T as a Tier 1 internet service provider. There are several others of these Tier 1 ISPs and they sell to Google, Microsoft, etc and to the local ISPs like Comcast or whoever, who then sell to us.

To tap the internet, it's a lot easier to go to the handful of Tier 1 ISPs and install fiber optic splitters than it is to bother with National Security Letters or creating backdoors in software.

Director of Intelligence James Clapper should absolutely be fired, arrested and convicted for going to Congress and saying that the government didn't have this capability.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:30 PM

24. Bookmarking. n/t

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 08:51 PM

25. I can do selective quotes, too!

First of all, upstream collection by the NSA is a well-known fact.

Secondly, Mark Klein revelations was about programs that happened under BUSH in 2006, and helped lead to the investigation by Congress and the new law passed by congress in 2008

The conclusion of DiFi's statement from YOUR second link:

This bundling is done by Internet companies in order to make it easier to send information quickly over the telecom lines that make up the Internet. Unfortunately, NSA’s technical systems could not easily separate the individual messages within these bundles. And the result was that NSA collected some e-mail messages it did not intend to acquire.

OK. We held a lengthy hearing on the court’s ruling on October 20, 2011, at which General Alexander and Lisa Monaco — then the assistant attorney general for national security — described the court’s ruling and what they were doing to address it.

Here’s my point: It was a mistake. Action was taken immediately to correct it. It came to us. We took action
.
- See more at: http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/09/27/whoa-whoa-whoa-stop-dianne-feinstein-misstates-the-2011-violations/#more-38428

Granted the OPINION piece then goes to say that "immediate" is laughable, because the incident happened in 2008 - under BUSH.

The real issue here is that the problem was FIXED before Snowden's "revelations".

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Response to jazzimov (Reply #25)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:04 PM

27. It's almost to the point where I say 'Why bother?'

 

In any issue like this, the very first thing that should cross the mind of someone who is objective is: 'How can I be wrong about this?'

The same way you fully test a software app by trying your damnedest to break it.

Unfortunately, too many see and hear what they want on the first reading and don't take those extra steps to fine-tune their conclusions.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]Stop looking for heroes. BE one.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:02 PM

26. "Upstream from the backbone" is venacular for the NSA taps into CALEA-compliant switches.

Virtually every network switch and router installed by US telcos and ISPs must have the capability of being tapped (signal recorded or diverted to a "trusted third-party" since that 1995 Act was passed.

That's how the NSA does it. The answer is hiding in plain sight.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 09:10 PM

28. Deja DU: This information was on DU a long time ago. We have known this all along.

 

Been going on for a very long time:

Nov-09-07
Are ALL COMMUNICATIONS routed overseas to circumvent US law and the Constitution?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x2245762

I was told years ago that ALL fiber optic communication traffic was routed overseas so that "everything" was moved outside the protections of the law and Constitution and ANYTHING could be monitored. I thought the idea quite fantastic even though it came from a very reliable source that would know exactly such things. Then, the story of the fiber optic splitters hit my radar. I now see now how easily exactly that, routing ALL COMMUNICATIONS overseas, was accomplished.

Is that Bush's and the Telecom's HUGE crime hidden and covered-up behind this story?

If the telecoms get immunity, will it aid in covering up Bush's crime.
ABSOLUTELY! That is why it is so important to the Rs! Support = obstruction of justice.

Have we arrived at the point in the history of the Bushco junta where
laws passed and people nominated are part of crimes of obstructing justice?

.........

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2013, 11:07 PM

30. Dianne Feinstein has no more idea than a two-year-old about what goes on with the internet.

It's just magic to her. That is what I think.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #30)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 10:08 AM

34. That's why the NSA is so pleased she's Chair of the Committee.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 10:04 AM

33. Blah blah blah. Didja hear about Kanye?



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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 10:12 AM

35. Leaks are Espionage!

Guess she'll have to flee the country now...

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Response to kenny blankenship (Reply #35)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 10:36 AM

36. I bet we will find "pole dancing" in her past. Not that there is anything wrong with that. nm

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 01:42 PM

37. Proof the NSA is not good

I have perfected time travel and am selling one way tickets. Now where be those dreaded men in black? See? Write what you will.

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