The NSA’s mass and indiscriminate spying on Brazilians
As it does in many non-adversarial countries, the surveillance agency is bulk collecting the communications of millions of citizens of Brazil
I’ve written an article on NSA surveillance for the front page of the Sunday edition of O Globo, the large Brazilian newspaper based in Rio de Janeiro. The article is headlined (translated) “US spied on millions of emails and calls of Brazilians”, and I co-wrote it with Globo reporters Roberto Kaz and Jose Casado. The rough translation of the article into English is here. The main page of Globo’s website lists related NSAstories: here.
As the headline suggests, the crux of the main article details how the NSA has, for years, systematically tapped into the Brazilian telecommunication network and indiscriminately intercepted, collected and stored the email and telephone records of millions of Brazilians. The story follows an article in Der Spiegel last week, written by Laura Poitras and reporters from that paper, detailing the NSA’s mass and indiscriminate collection of the electronic communications of millions of Germans. There are many more populations of non-adversarial countries which have been subjected to the same type of mass surveillance net by the NSA: indeed, the list of those which haven’t been are shorter than those which have. The claim that any other nation is engaging in anything remotely approaching indiscriminate worldwide surveillance of this sort is baseless.
As those two articles detail, all of this bulk, indiscriminate surveillance aimed at populations of friendly foreign nations is part of the NSA’s “FAIRVIEW” program. Under that program, the NSA partners with a large US telecommunications company, the identity of which is currently unknown, and that US company then partners with telecoms in the foreign countries. Those partnerships allow the US company access to those countries’ telecommunications systems, and that access is then exploited to direct traffic to the NSA’s repositories. Both articles are based on top secret documents provided by Edward Snowden; O Globo published several of them.
The vast majority of the GuardianUS’s revelations thus far have concerned NSA domestic spying: the bulk collection of telephone records, the PRISM program, Obama’s presidential directive that authorizes domestic use of cyber-operations, the Boundless Informant data detailing billions of records collected from US systems, the serial falsehoods publicly voiced by top Obama officials about the NSA’s surveillance schemes, and most recently, the bulk collection of email and internet metadata records for Americans. Future stories in the GuardianUS will largely continue to focus on the NSA’s domestic spying.
But contrary to what some want to suggest, the privacy rights of Americans aren’t the only ones that matter. That the US government – in complete secrecy – is constructing a ubiquitous spying apparatus aimed not only at its own citizens, but all of the world’s citizens, has profound consequences. It erodes, if not eliminates, the ability to use the internet with any remnant of privacy or personal security. It vests the US government with boundless power over those to whom it has no accountability. It permits allies of the US – including aggressively oppressive ones – to benefit from indiscriminate spying on their citizens’ communications. It radically alters the balance of power between the US and ordinary citizens of the world. And it sends an unmistakable signal to the world that while the US very minimally values the privacy rights of Americans, it assigns zero value to the privacy of everyone else on the planet.
This development – the construction of a worldwide, ubiquitous electronic surveillance apparatus – is self-evidently newsworthy, extreme, and dangerous. It deserves transparency. People around the world have no idea that all of their telephonic and internet communications are being collected, stored and analyzed by a distant government. But that’s exactly what is happening, in secrecy and with virtually no accountability. And it is inexorably growing, all in the dark. At the very least, it merits public understanding and debate. That is now possible thanks solely to these disclosures. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/07/nsa-brazilians-globo-spying
Brazil and Booz Allen:
…and the restructuring of the Brazilian financial system.
7-11-13 All work financed by BNDES (government-owned Brazilian Development Bank with assets of US$ 337 billion). Some examples:
• Characterization of National Development. Brazil BNDES Program in Action. Consortium FIFE / BOOZ-ALLEN. 1998;
• Alternatives for Strategic Reorientation of the Joint Federal Public Financial Institutions.
• Report Sanitation and Urban Transport. Consortium FIFE / BOOZ-ALLEN & Hamilton. BNDES / Ministry of Finance. São Paulo. 2000
It bears repeating: the same company umbrella spy system that operated in Brazil until 2002, Booz Allen, was the intellectual mentor of a number of studies and reports, hired by the government of the PSDB, to supply a strategy alignment [of] Brazil and the U.S. economy. More details of this ‘interactive momentum’ can be obtained here :
In appearance, always, perfect identity with stainless national interests.
The study of National Integration and Development, for example, was carried out by a consortium suggestively housed under the trade name of “Brasiliana”.
Behind the command in charge of Booz-Allen & Hamilton Consultants Brazil, with support of Bechtel International Incorporation and ABN Amro.
The ‘task force’ (to the advice of the bank) was paid for with public money by the federal government, under the supervision of the teams of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development and the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management.
The results of the study led to two central conception tucana development: “Brazil in Action” and “Advance Brazil”.
Acknowledge yourself, all done in the open, in perfect harmony between the Brazilian state and the umbrella company of the spy system in dual operation in the country.
On p. 166, a publication of the BNDES, the “contribution” of Booz-Allen is explicitly mentioned :
An analysis of how the class of versatile Booz-Allen had strong influence in shaping the national financial system (read, less public banks, as the canon of designing minimal state) can be evaluated here ***
A curious fact which can not be disregarded in the assessment of an unavoidable CPI careful about it: a former U.S. ambassador to Brazil Donna Hrinack as soon bid farewell to the position in the country, sat in the chair of qualified advisor Kroll.
Kroll, as you know, is an international spy who operated in the service of Daniel Dantas and background, Opportunity.
This is, coincidentally, one of the most important financial arm of the privatization process in Brazil, closely associated with the Citibank and of course, the entire “portfolio” of shareholders who put money in spree neoliberal 90s.
Kroll was used to snoop authorities and even ministers of the Lula government spy, as was evident with Operation Jackal, Federal Police, initiated in 2004.
*** Territorial planning in Brazil in the 1990s: the actions of global consulting firms (the case of Booz-Allen & Hamilton)
This article presents some results of our research. We analyzed global consulting firms as key actors in the enlargement of the contexts of globalization on Brazilian territory. In the 1990s, these companies expanded their cooperation ties with the state, legitimizing, among other things, a new conception of territorial planning to enable the so-called competitive integration between regions. We emphasize in this context, the actions of Booz-Allen & Hamilton with the federal government on the condition of one of the agents responsible for the new Brazilian territorial planning, with participation in the design of Multi-Year Plans (PPAs), especially the program “Advance Brazil” ( 2000-2003).
U.S. Senator: On NSA Spying: It’s As Bad As Snowden Says
7-26-13 For example, last spring the director of the National Security Agency spoke over at the American Enterprise Institute, where he said publicly that “we don’t hold data on U.S. citizens.” That statement sounds reassuring, but of course the American people now know that it is false. In fact, it’s one of the most false statements ever made about domestic surveillance. Later that same year, at the annual hackers’ conference known as DefCon, the same NSA director said that the government does not collect “dossiers” on millions of Americans. Now I’ve served on the Intelligence Committee for a dozen years and I didn’t know what “dossiers” meant in this context. I do know that Americans not familiar with the classified details would probably hear that statement and think that there was no bulk collection of the personal information of hundreds of millions of Americans taking place.
After the director of the NSA made this statement in public, Senator Udall and I wrote to the director asking for a clarification. In our letter we asked whether the NSA collects any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans. Even though the director of the NSA was the one who had raised this issue publicly, intelligence officials declined to give us a straight answer.
A few months ago, I made the judgement that I would not be responsibly carrying out my oversight powers if I didn’t press intelligence officials to clarify what the NSA director told the public about data collection. So I decided it was necessary to put the question to the director of National Intelligence. And I had my staff send the question over a day in advance so that he would be prepared to answer. The director unfortunately said that the answer was no, the NSA does not knowingly collect data on millions of Americans, which is obviously not correct.
After the hearing, I had my staff call the director’s office on a secure line and urge them to correct the record. Disappointingly, his office decided to let this inaccurate statement stand. My staff made it clear that this was wrong and that it was unacceptable to leave the American public misled. I continued to warn the public about the problem of secret surveillance law over the following weeks, until the June disclosures. http://obrag.org/?p=75641