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US National Security Agency

America's National Security Agency (NSA) is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defence responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence. The NSA is a key component of the US Intelligence community, which is headed by the Director of National Intelligence. By law, the NSA's intelligence gathering is limited to foreign communications although there have been some incidents involving domestic collection, including the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.


Indonesia protests to US over reported NSA spying in Jakarta

Jakarta launches protest over wiretapping claims, and China vows to guard data better

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 October, 2013, 4:47am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 October, 2013, 4:47am

Indonesia protested strongly to the United States yesterday after claims Washington had monitored phone calls and communication networks from its embassy in Jakarta, as the spying row spread to Asia.

Australia's The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday that a top-secret map leaked by fugitive intelligence analyst Edward Snowden showed 90 US surveillance facilities at embassies and consulates.

The report, based on a map in German news weekly Der Spiegel, gave details about such centres around the world, but paid particular attention to their presence in Australia's Asian neighbours.

It followed days of angry protests from America's European allies after reports, based on leaks from Snowden, that Washington collected tens of millions of telephone calls and online communications in Europe as part as a vast anti-terror sweep.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the issue had been raised with the US chargé d'affaires in Jakarta.

"Indonesia cannot accept and protests strongly over the report about wiretapping facilities at the US embassy in Jakarta," Natalegawa said.

"If confirmed, such action is not only a breach of security, but also a serious breach of diplomatic norms and ethics and certainly not in the spirit of friendly relations between nations."

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the map showed there were also intelligence facilities at embassies in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Yangon. It said the US facilities in East Asia were focused on China, with centres in the US embassy in Beijing and US consulates in other cities.

China said yesterday that it would take steps to protect its data better in the wake of allegations that the NSA collected millions of phone records of European citizens and spied on its allies. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing that China was concerned by the recently exposed surveillance activities. "We will also take necessary measures to resolutely uphold our own information security," she said.

It was also claimed yesterday that the US eavesdropped on cardinals before the March conclave to elect a new pope.

Italian magazine Panorama accused the NSA of listening in to phone calls to and from the Vatican, including calls by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio before he was elected Pope Francis.

The allegations follow a report on surveillance website Cryptome that said the US intercepted 46 million telephone calls in Italy in December 2012 and early January 2013.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said "we have heard nothing of this and are not worried about it".

Meanwhile, German political and intelligence envoys were due to hold talks with US officials in Washington overnight on rebuilding a "basis of trust" after alleged US tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone.

Agence France-Presse, Associated Press


More on this story

Privacy tangled in global politics
31 Oct 2013 - 4:34am

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It is scary stuff - the TPP demands that member countries give up sovereign control over capital flow, requires "banking reforms", and backs it up with ISDS (kangaroo court arbitration taking away control and jurisdiction from sovereign courts). The combination is designed to enable maximum marauding by American banksters via derivatives fraud. Now add in the data theft backed up with cutting edge technology, done on a scale larger than that of the rest of the world combined. It is clear that the hegemon is gambling for keeps.
So how would countries defend against this commercial espionage, in the face of outright lieing that the alphabet soup agencies are Not Stealing Again?
It would not surprise anyone if the negotiations at the TPP and TTIP rounds would now include demands for protection against data theft, with:
1. aggrieved party only has to show prima facie case of data theft, after which the burden of proof shifts to the side benefiting, to establish that there was no data theft;
2. quintuple damages (5 times face value of contract), and 2x attorney fees recovered; not dischargeable in bankruptcy;
3. in any ISDS (arbitration), automatic forfeiture for the side that benefited from data theft; and
4. mandatory jail time for the officers of the entity benefiting from the data theft.
That ought to do it.
It is not so much military spying that is worrisome to the common folk. Given the evidence of massive economic commercial espionage, it'd be rather difficult for national decision makers to continue to accept as fact that the successes of American businesses in the last few decades despite high operating costs, were due to some magical American ingenuity, and not due to commercial espionage done at a scale that dwarfs the rest of the world's efforts combined.
What is even more toxic is the clear trend that while America cedes Main Street economic focus, it is doubling down on "financial engineering" - the American bankster-led derivative gambling is already at US$1.2 Quadrillion and growing, threatening to swallow up traditional economies whole hog around the globe. The cancer is being spread via "trade" pacts.
Derivatives trade is already clearly fraud driven. Now there is the additional revelation that the American counterparty (who sets the crooked rules in the first place) can also see your hole card, count the money left in your wallet, and even listen in on your deliberations on how to bet!! This augmented "superior knowledge" meant that heads you lose, tails they win.


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