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The data running along these cables between data centers is not encrypted

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was busted for spying on the data centers of Internet giants like Google and Yahoo. But the question is, how did it do it?

The New York Times has a theory. According to a new report on the subject, NYT said the NSA may have gained access to Google and Yahoo's data running on fiber-optic cables that connect data centers. 

These cables are owned by companies like Verizon Communications, the Vodafone Group,  the BT Group and Level 3 Communications. Level 3 Communications, in particular, owns the cables that Google and Yahoo use. 

While these data centers are kept secure, the cables running between them are not. NYT said the data running along these cables between data centers is not encrypted, which would allow the NSA to intercept the information without Google or Yahoo knowing about it. 

“It is our policy and our practice to comply with laws in every country where we operate, and to provide government agencies access to customer data only when we are compelled to do so by the laws in the country where the data is located," said Level 3 Communications. “We are party to an agreement with the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense addressing the U.S. government’s national security and law enforcement concerns. This agreement imposes significant requirements on us related to information storage and management; traffic management; physical, logical and network security arrangements; personnel screening and training; and other matters.”


It hasn't been confirmed whether this is what really happened or not, but NYT referenced several past methods of eavesdropping methods by the government, starting as early as spy agencies tapping telegraph communications. 

Another example includes spy operation Echelon in the 1960s, which used satellite, microwave and fiber-optic cables to spy on the Soviet Union and its allies voice, fax and data traffic.

NYT further pointed out that former national security adviser John M. Poindexter (who served under President Ronald Reagan) proposed the Total Information Awareness plan back in 2002. This plan wanted to scan all electronic information, including phone calls, emails and financial and travel records. However, this plan was trashed in 2003.

But now we have the NSA's surveillance programs like Prism and Bullrun, which are very similar to Poindexter's Total Information Awareness plan. 

NYT's point is this: would it really be surprising if the NSA found a way to sneak in the backdoor without anyone noticing?

Google and Yahoo said they're now encrypting data that runs on the cables between their data centers, and Microsoft may do the same. 

Earlier this month, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that the NSA's alleged spying on data centers is "outrageous" and that its strategies of pulling hundreds of millions of records to find a few hundred is "bad public policy" and even "illegal."

Source: The New York Times



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Unconstitutional
By bitmover461 on 11/27/2013 9:33:41 AM , Rating: 5
By now it should be obvious that our federal government operates unconstitutionally. Read the Constitution sometime. It authorizes a very limited federal government with the majority of power to be held by the States. The reality is now 180 degrees from that.




RE: Unconstitutional
By wordsworm on 11/27/13, Rating: -1
RE: Unconstitutional
By arazok on 11/27/2013 10:39:08 AM , Rating: 3
Your so right. And clearly if the constitution is a barrier to all of that, then simply ignoring it is the right thing to do. I mean, changing it is such a pain in the ass with all those idiots out there standing in the way of progress. Ignoring it is WAY easier. What could possibly go wrong?

What I don’t like is how unpredictable elections are. What if the people elect some dangerous person who’s wreckless and ends up putting the safety of America at risk by starting wars or some terrible thing? The government should just ignore elections, and let the NSA appoint our rulers. They know who the true Americans are anyways. What could possibly go wrong?


RE: Unconstitutional
By Jeffk464 on 11/27/2013 11:45:45 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Laws needed to be written.


Turning the US into a police state is not progress, doing away with the middle class is not progress, this country is going down a bad path. Personally I think the government is just using 911 as an excuse to exert more control.


RE: Unconstitutional
By wordsworm on 11/28/2013 3:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Some of us believe that 9/11 was an event orchestrated by certain politicians. Certainly, Bush II was in power when it happened and I think most reasonably logical people cannot buy into the official story, thus we can deduct that he was instrumental in the coverup. I had hoped that when Obama came into power, that the world would have finally seen an American government that was interested in what had really happened. Unfortunately, nothing was done about it other than to assassinate Laden.

And yes, 9/11 is a means to control. People will exchange freedom for safety. For example, we lost the freedom to run through intersections with our vehicles when the intersection lights came up. It was an exchange of freedom for security. But who here will argue against that as being an evil committed by a restrictive government. I bring this up to say that no one in their right mind can say with absolute authority that they would not willingly give up freedom for safety. The question is where we are willing to draw the line. America wanted security. For that, it gave up certain fundamental rights to privacy which, in my opinion, it should not. But, then again, it is not my country that was attacked by terrorists.


RE: Unconstitutional
By Reclaimer77 on 12/1/2013 8:57:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some of us believe that 9/11 was an event orchestrated by certain politicians. Certainly, Bush II was in power when it happened and I think most reasonably logical people cannot buy into the official story, thus we can deduct that he was instrumental in the coverup.


So...you really are crazy.


RE: Unconstitutional
By wordsworm on 12/4/2013 10:26:18 AM , Rating: 1
Bin Laden was on Bush I's payroll for decades. It's hard to believe that Bush I wasn't somehow responsible for 911. Bush II certainly did everything he could to cover up the truth. I thought everyone knew this.


Why Would Anyone...
By mmatis on 11/26/2013 4:34:18 PM , Rating: 1
believe that NSA or any other Federal Agency would need to "sneak" to get access? Does Gibson Guitars not ring a bell? Do you REALLY think that the executives of Google, Yahoo, et al, have enough honor to tell them to stuff it whenever they ask for access? Even if they do NOT have a warrant?




RE: Why Would Anyone...
By hpglow on 11/26/2013 5:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
Because even if yahoo and google wanted to just hand over data it costs money to monitor the amount of traffic that those two have. Specificly for yahoo who hasn't done so well financially lately cooperating with the NSA would be financial genocide. We aren't talking about some simple solution here it would take racks of equipment and employees to help the NSA skim that traffic.

As unpopular as the NSA is I doubt even google would want to be caught in bed with them. But as this article indicates why would the NSA bother arguing with these two when they are already in bed with their backbone provider?


RE: Why Would Anyone...
By homebredcorgi on 11/26/2013 9:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
But as this article indicates why would the NSA bother arguing with these two when they are already in bed with their backbone provider?

Because eventually someone will ask you where your evidence came from. If you don't want to tell the FBI, CIA, etc. that you have a direct line into Google and Yahoo, you make up a program like PRISM to conveniently ask Google and Yahoo for the info that you already know about - then give it to other agencies and say it came from PRISM. Call it "evidence laundering".

What I'd like to know more about is why we are giving Verizon and AT&T a pass on this. Their CEOs have been dead silent and all accounts show that they voluntarily gave the NSA more info than they wanted!


RE: Why Would Anyone...
By StillGridlocked on 11/27/2013 1:25:19 PM , Rating: 3
Verizon has come out a couple of times and said they are under Court order.


FIND AMAZING JOBS......
By aristotlexjj621 on 11/27/13, Rating: 0
"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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