I have a huge interest in NSA, CIA, cryptography and history. The release of the Snowden documents is about the biggest breakthrough into the shadow government that has ever been released. You can love what he did or hate what he did… The fact is it is too late to change what he did. The fallout has been astronomical in size. Outlining the different programs to the very scary fact the NSA has worked hard to break and weaken cryptography standards used by almost all computer and cell phone manufacturers.
This news is somewhat stunning … In other ways it makes sense if you have been following the leaks.
How the CIA is targeting terrorists
“”””””””The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.
According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using.
The drone operator, who agreed to discuss the top-secret programs on the condition of anonymity, was a member of JSOC’s High Value Targeting task force, which is charged with identifying, capturing or killing terrorist suspects in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
His account is bolstered by top-secret NSA documents previously provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. It is also supported by a former drone sensor operator with the U.S. Air Force, Brandon Bryant, who has become an outspoken critic of the lethal operations in which he was directly involved in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.
In one tactic, the NSA “geolocates” the SIM card or handset of a suspected terrorist’s mobile phone, enabling the CIA and U.S. military to conduct night raids and drone strikes to kill or capture the individual in possession of the device.”””””””””””
Be careful who’s cell phone you ask to borrow. It is shocking to me there is not more oversight or ways to check the targeting information. It is easy to see how mistakes can and will be made. Metadata and cell phone location may be a fairly good indication of where a target is… It is appalling there is no further verification.