US spy device tested on public in other countries
2013-05-27 0:00

By David Fisher | The New Zealand Herald



A high-tech United States surveillance tool which sweeps up all communications without a warrant was sent to New Zealand for testing on the public, according to an espionage expert.

The tool was called ThinThread and it worked by automatically intercepting phone, email and internet information.

ThinThread was highly valued by those who created it because it could handle massive amounts of intercepted information. It then used snippets of data to automatically build a detailed picture of targets, their contacts and their habits for the spy organisation using it.

Those organisations were likely to include the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) after Washington, DC-based author Tim Shorrock revealed ThinThread was sent to New Zealand for testing in 2000-2001.

Mr Shorrock, who has written on intelligence issues for 35 years, said the revolutionary ThinThread surveillance tool was sent to New Zealand by the US National Security Agency. The GCSB is the US agency’s intelligence partner - currently under pressure for potentially illegal wide-spread spying on the public.

The claim ThinThread was sent to New Zealand has brought fresh calls for the bureau to explain what it does.

A spokesman said the bureau was currently reviewing how much it did tell the public - but it would not be making comment on the ThinThread test. He said the intelligence agency "won’t confirm or deny" the claim because it was an "operational" matter.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister John Key also refused to comment saying it was an operational matter.

The claim emerged in an article by Mr Shorrock which ran in a magazine last month and featured whistleblower William Binney - a former high-ranking NSA official who designed ThinThread.

Mr Shorrock said the "ThinThread prototype" was installed at two NSA listening posts in late 2000 and at Fort Meade where the NSA is based.

"In addition, several allied foreign intelligence agencies were given the program to conduct lawful surveillance in their own corners of the world. Those recipients included Canada, Germany, Britain, Australia and New Zealand."

The "lawful" aspect was due to the software’s ability to mask the identities of those whose information was being intercepted - a technical work around of the legal barrier which prohibits New Zealand and the US from spying on its own citizens.

Mr Shorrock said ThinThread operated in three phases. It began by intercepting call, email and internet traffic on a network and automatically assessing it for interest. The scale of the traffic was such that it narrowed down targets of interest by focusing on patterns of information rather than the content of the information.

Secondly, ThinThread automatically anonymised the collected data so the identities stayed hidden "until there was sufficient evidence to obtain a warrant".

The magic was in the back end of the system which used the raw data "to create graphs showing relationships and patterns that could tell analysts which targets they should look at and which calls should be listened to" using "metadata" - the same type of "information about information" which featured in about 60 of the 88 potentially illegal spying cases identified in the GCSB review.

The Greens and Labour both said it showed the need for an inquiry into the GCSB - an investigation which both have repeatedly demanded. Greens’ co-leader Russel Norman said the Prime Minister and GCSB needed to explain to the public whether it was spied on by ThinThread.

"It reinforces why there is a different set of rules for the GCSB - they are integrated into this global spy network," he said.

Article from: nzherald.co.nz



ThinThread:

The program would have used a technique of encrypting sensitive privacy information in order to comply with legal concerns, and would have automatically identified potential threats. The sources of the data for this program would have included "massive phone and e-mail data," but the extent of this information is not clear. [...]

The Pentagon report concluded that ThinThread’s ability to sort through data in 2001 was far superior to that of another NSA system in place in 2004, and that the program should be launched and enhanced. ThinThread was designed to address two key challenges: One, the NSA had more information than it could digest, and, two, increasingly its targets were in contact with people in the United States whose calls the agency was prohibited from monitoring. Source







Tune into Red Ice Radio:

Frank O’Collins - Hour 1 - The Rise of Nihilism & The Apex of World Control

Joseph P. Farrell - Hour 1 - Fake Terrorism, Covert Wars & ET Threat Assessment

Daniel Estulin - The Octopus Deception, WikiLeaks & Bilderberg

Patrick Henningsen - Hour 1 - Boston Bombings & Third Way Control Mechanism

Kenn Thomas - PROMIS Software, Danny Casolaro & The Octopus

Holland Vandennieuwenhof & James Lane - Hour 1 - A Noble Lie: Oklahoma City 1995

Peter Dale Scott - Hour 1 - Norway’s Massacre, Breivik & Deep Events

John Hall - Satellite Terrorism, Surveillance Technology, Implantable Microchips & Biometric ID Cards

Charles Farrier - No CCTV, Campaign Against Big Brother Camera Surveillance

H.P. Albarelli Jr. - Project MKULTRA, LSD, CIA, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb & Occult Government Studies





Related Articles
Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?
Space Surveillance: With New Mini-Satellites, Special Ops Takes Its Manhunts off Planet
US Justice Dept acknowledges wide-ranging surveillance of Associated Press
Boston suspect was under FBI surveillance
Facial recognition and GPS tracking: TrapWire company conducting even more surveillance
TrapWire Resistance is not futile!
Trapwire: Big Brother Now Monitors Your Every Move
"Riot" Software tracks people on social media, by Raytheon
Software that tracks your every move and predicts future behavior
Google developing eavesdropping software (2006)
60 Minutes report NSA and Thinthread


Latest News from our Front Page

USDA on board with shipping U.S. chickens to China for processing, then re-entry to States for human consumption
2015-03-03 21:32
“Chinese chicken” will soon have a whole new meaning, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently gave the green-light to four chicken processing plants in China, allowing chicken raised and slaughtered in the U.S. to be exported to China for processing, and then shipped back to the U.S. and sold on grocery shelves here. Furthermore, the imported processed ...
Feinstein: Netanyahu does not speak for all Jews
2015-03-03 21:52
US Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an “arrogant” man who does not speak for all Jews. The Jewish lawmaker made the remarks in an interview with CNN on Sunday ahead of Netanyahu's controversial visit to the United States. The Israeli premier arrived in Washington, DC, on Sunday night ...
Netanyahu to US: Don’t negotiate ‘bad deal’ with Iran
2015-03-03 21:12
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the United States not to negotiate “a very bad deal” with Iran over its nuclear energy program. Speaking at a joint session of the US Congress in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Netanyahu said, “We’ve been told for over a year that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well this is a ...
School Textbook: “There’s No Such Thing as Reverse Racism” Only White People can be Racist
2015-03-03 2:14
Only white people can be racist. A school textbook teaches students that “there is no such thing as reverse racism” and that women can never be as sexist as men. The passage, which appears to be taken from a “multicultural education series” book entitled Is Everyone Equal, states, “STOP: There is no such thing as reverse racism or reverse sexism (or the ...
Americans to Receive Full Biometric Treatment for all Forms of European Travel
2015-03-02 23:39
Travel becomes truly ominous... In a trend that isn't wholly surprising, EU Observer reports: US citizens and other non-EU nationals who enter Europe will be asked to have their faces image-captured and fingerprints scanned upon arrival at a half-dozen major airports. [emphasis added] This "biometric dragnet" is the pilot test for the EU's new "smart borders" packages. The test ...
More News »