I have written about Five Eyes security arrangement before today. You can certainly search my blog or search google for more information on Five Eyes. The purpose of this post is to inform that the NSA has a program called RAMPART-A that has used various new Nation States as members to continue the spying programs that Snowden first laid out a year ago. This new information presented by Glenn Greenwald in his new online news source The Intercept are based on documents given to him by Mr. Snowden.
I have said all along that I believe the NSA can essentially claim they are not spying on Americans while at the same time doing just that. We have our partners do the spying on Americans most likely with American technology and American advisors dictating every move.
Basic Five Eyes information
The “Five Eyes”, often abbreviated as “FVEY“, refer to an anglophonic alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are bound by the multilateral UKUSA Agreement – a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.
The origins of the FVEY can be traced back to World War II, when the Atlantic Charter was issued by theAllies to lay out their goals for a post-war world. During the course of the Cold War, the ECHELONsurveillance system was initially developed by the FVEY to monitor the communications of the formerSoviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, although it was later used to monitor billions of private communications worldwide.
In the late 1990s, the existence of ECHELON was disclosed to the public, triggering a major debate in the European Parliament and, to a lesser extent, the United States Congress. As part of efforts to win the ongoing War on Terror since 2001, the FVEY further expanded their surveillance capabilities, with much emphasis placed on monitoring the World Wide Web. The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden described the Five Eyes as a “supra-national intelligence organisation that doesn’t answer to the laws of its own countries”. Documents leaked by Snowden in 2013 revealed that the FVEY have been intentionally spying on one another’s citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations on spying.
Despite the impact of Snowden’s disclosures, the general consensus among experts in the intelligence community holds that no amount of global outrage will affect the Five Eyes relationship, which, to this day, remains the most powerful espionage alliance in world history.
Huge volumes of private emails, phone calls, and internet chats are being intercepted by the National Security Agency with the secret cooperation of more foreign governments than previously known, according to newly disclosed documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The classified files, revealed today by the Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information in a reporting collaboration with The Intercept, shed light on how the NSA’s surveillance of global communications has expanded under a clandestine program, known as RAMPART-A, that depends on the participation of a growing network of intelligence agencies.
It has already been widely reported that the NSA works closely with eavesdropping agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia as part of the so-called Five Eyes surveillance alliance. But the latest Snowden documents show that a number of other countries, described by the NSA as “third-party partners,” are playing an increasingly important role – by secretly allowing the NSA to install surveillance equipment on their fiber-optic cables.
The NSA documents state that under RAMPART-A, foreign partners “provide access to cables and host U.S. equipment.” This allows the agency to covertly tap into “congestion points around the world” where it says it can intercept the content of phone calls, faxes, e-mails, internet chats, data from virtual private networks, and calls made using Voice over IP software like Skype.
The program, which the secret files show cost U.S. taxpayers about $170 million between 2011 and 2013, sweeps up a vast amount of communications at lightning speed. According to the intelligence community’s classified “Black Budget” for 2013, RAMPART-A enables the NSA to tap into three terabits of data every second as the data flows across the compromised cables – the equivalent of being able to download about 5,400 uncompressed high-definition movies every minute.
In an emailed statement, the NSA declined to comment on the RAMPART-A program. “The fact that the U.S. government works with other nations, under specific and regulated conditions, mutually strengthens the security of all,” said NSA spokeswoman Vanee’ Vines. “NSA’s efforts are focused on ensuring the protection of the national security of the United States, its citizens, and our allies through the pursuit of valid foreign intelligence targets only.”
Have a good day. You are being watched.