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Monday, January 5, 2015

US Social Surveillance Abuse Puts Civil Liberties in Jeopardy

Land Destroyer: How Many of These Secret Surveillance Programs Do you Know About? 

January 4, 2015 (Vladimir Platov -NEO) - According
to various publications in the American and foreign media, the United
States has created a global system of cyber espionage that allows the
interception and processing of personal data around the globe in
violation of fundamental human rights. Tapped phones, intercepted short
messages, supervised discussions in social networks and stolen emails –
this is the ugly reality we are living in. The NSA and other units of
the United States Intelligence Community are more than capable of
breaching any mobile operating system, be it iOS, Android or 
BlackBerry OS.

In 2011 US intelligence agencies successfully finished the development
of geo-location tracking software that allows the NSA to collect and
save more than five billion location records of mobile users around the
world on a daily basis, and then through a special program labeled
CO-TRAVELER analyze and monitor the movement of certain individuals that
could be of interest for Washington. In addition, since 2010
 information on social contacts of US citizens, their personal data,
including telephone calls, Internet logs, bank codes, insurance data is
being processed by intelligence agencies on a regular basis.

The NSA’s secret project codenamed Boundless Informant seeks to
establish control over “information space.” According to The Guardian it
has been able to collect the data on 97 billion phone calls worldwide
since March 2013.

The global electronic intelligence net Echelon (AUSCANNZUKUS or Five
Eyes), that was established by the US in cooperation with the UK back in
1947, allowed the intelligence agencies of the the Untied States, the
United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark,
Germany, Turkey and other countries to exchange secret information,
including the records on their respective citizens.

Yet another secret project codenamed Prism
established by the NSA and Britain’s Government Communications
Headquarters (GCHQ), allowed intelligence agencies to establish close
partnerships with major IT companies back in 2007, including Microsoft,
Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. Such
cooperation allows the secret services to read private e-mails and
monitor the transfer of files throughout global information space. This
allows the NSA to control sovereign leaders, business 
representatives and foreign diplomats as has been repeatedly reported on by various international media outlets.

However, Washington doesn’t seem to be satisfied with its “progress”
since it continues funding and developing new secret projects that would
not simply allow the United States to retain an effective control over
global information space, but to influence  web users worldwide to its
own advantage as well.

Thus, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity Agency
(IARPA) in recent years has started a number of research programs to
manipulate social networks.

Programs for analysis of the socio-cultural content of language
(Socio-Cultural Content in Language – SCIL Program) is implemented in
order to develop algorithms, methods and technologies that could enable
the intelligence community to supervise the activities of various
non-governmental organizations that do not agree with the social
policies of certain governments. The development of this program is
dictated by the need to recognize the content of messages transmitted
over the Internet, taking into account linguistic differences and

IARPA in close collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology is also developing a program codenamed Reynard,
which aims at studying the phenomena of social dynamics in  so-called
virtual worlds such as MMOs. This particular study is carried out in the
interest of the security agencies in order to assess the political mood
of the population and taking proactive measures once it changes.

The intelligence community is also sponsoring the development of the
Aladdin program designed for automated analysis and description of video
content (Automated Low-Level Analysis and Description of Diverse
Intelligence Video – VACE). The main goal of this program is to provide
intelligence analysts with automated search capabilities to track videos
that could be of interest for them. Videos for analytical processing
can come from different sources – television, surveillance cameras,
regular pictures, interviews or even footage shot by drones. The footage
is systematized by time and place to identify certain individuals and
determine the sequence of their actions which may be in certain semantic
relations to present-day events.

Currently, IARPA implemented a program called Babel, which aims at
developing effective speech recognition software in different languages
and dialects.

Washington and its agencies are literally spending billions of taxpayer
dollars annually under the convenient guise of the “war on terror”,
which in fact turns out to be a hidden war against its own citizens, now
deprived of basic human rights. But what makes it even worse is that
it’s pushing its satellite countries to launch an all-out offensive
against the civil liberties of Europe and beyond.

Vladimir Platov, Middle East expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

Land Destroyer: How Many of These Secret Surveillance Programs Do you Know About?