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Planet of the Apps: On the Subject of those “Shocking” Disclosures about NSA/GCHQ Electronic Surveillance (Y‑A-W‑N!)

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: We expe­ri­enced a mix­ture of gen­uine amuse­ment and revul­sion at the screech­ing over “dis­clo­sures” that NSA and GCHQ (the U.K. equiv­a­lent of NSA) are engaged in a mas­sive data min­ing and sur­veil­lance pro­gram involv­ing cell phones and inter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

For open­ers, this isn’t new [2], to say the least. It’s been going on for decades, scru­ti­niz­ing phone calls at first, and then inter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tions. On top of that, oth­er coun­tries do the same thing [3], includ­ing Ger­many. (See excerpt­ed arti­cle below.)

The inter­net itself was devel­oped by DARPA [4]. DARPA also devel­oped the GPS [5]. The smart phones peo­ple have so enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly embraced have a GPS func­tion that can’t be dis­abled.  That GPS func­tion per­mits the user to be pin­point­ed to with­in 30 feet of their exact loca­tion at any time. Users of these phones think noth­ing of putting their finan­cial infor­ma­tion, their tastes in recre­ation and just about every­thing else on these devices.

In the Bay Area, radio ads are hyp­ing a new “app” which will per­mit smart phone users to phys­i­cal­ly mon­i­tor their premis­es and their chil­dren’s where­abouts, as well as lock­ing doors. Smart phone are not secure. Cyber crim­i­nals must be lick­ing their chops in antic­i­pa­tion of co-opt­ing that func­tion.

Google and Yahoo make no bones about track­ing and mon­i­tor­ing peo­ple’s e‑mail and inter­net use. Google is putting the whole world online with their Google Earth func­tion. They make no bones about shar­ing this infor­ma­tion with oth­er insti­tu­tions, gov­ern­men­tal and cor­po­rate.

With the devel­op­ment of social net­works [6] (also aid­ed by the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty), those smart phones and the inter­net have made any con­cept of pri­va­cy fun­da­men­tal­ly obso­lete!  Peo­ple have enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly embraced these devel­op­ments! They would do well to stop their whin­ing.

It is also inter­est­ing to note that none of the crit­ics of Echelon/Menwith Hill/PRISM have raised any objec­tion what­so­ev­er to T‑Mobile, owned by Deutsche Telekom, which is con­trolled by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment [7]. This was autho­rized by the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. (See excerpt below.) It is a safe bet that BND-Ger­man intelligence–monitors all calls made on T‑mobile.  Deutsche Telekom–parent com­pa­ny of T‑Mobile and MetroPCS–is used by the BND. BND does the same thing. Not inci­den­tal­ly, T‑mobile owns Metro PCS [8].  (See excerpt­ed text below.) If you use T‑Mobile or Metro PCS, you are being spied on by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment [9]. Enjoy, civ­il lib­er­tar­i­ans!

It is of more than a lit­tle sig­nif­i­cance that the ini­tial attacks on the Ech­e­lon sys­tem and the Men­with Hill GCHQ/NSA sta­tion in the U.K. came large­ly from the Free Con­gress Foun­da­tion [10] (inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the far right and the Under­ground Reich) and Ger­many [11] (which has the same capa­bil­i­ty [12]!) Those attacks inten­si­fied after 9/11. [13] 

There are indi­ca­tions that the 9/11 attacks may have much to do [14] with the Ger­man-dri­ven neg­a­tive pub­lic­i­ty about NSA/GCHQ sig­nals intel­li­gence. [15] A report by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment [3] about Men­with Hill and Ech­e­lon was released just before 9/11. (Be sure to see excerpts below.) 

We sus­pect that much of the neg­a­tive pub­lic­i­ty the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion is receiv­ing recent­ly comes from GOP/Underground Reich ele­ments seek­ing to alien­ate the so-called “pro­gres­sive sec­tor” from the Democ­rats, in antic­i­pa­tion of upcom­ing elec­tions. (Oba­ma con­tin­ues to prove “gam­able” in his efforts to pla­cate the GOP. Comey’s appointment–see below–is typ­i­cal and will like­ly prove dis­as­trous.)

From the dis­clo­sure of this oper­a­tion to the pub­lic­i­ty sur­round­ing the “Olympic Games” cre­ation of Stuxnet to the Wik­iLeaks tor­rent, we are see­ing information/programs begun under the Bush admin­is­tra­tions sur­fac­ing to cre­ate embar­rass­ment for Oba­ma.

The Naz­i­fied [16] GOP [17] sure­ly knows how unpop­u­lar their agen­da is with most Americans–they seek to gut Social Secu­ri­ty and Medicare. Their best hope at the polls is to gen­er­ate suf­fi­cient apa­thy, par­tic­u­lar­ly among younger vot­ers, to enable them to game anoth­er elec­tion.

If the GOP does get back into office with Repub­li­can majori­ties in both hous­es of Con­gress, watch out! 

They will not wait for the wave of pop­ulist out­rage over their pro­grams to sweep them out of office. Some sort of mon­strous event will be allowed to happen–or created–that will eclipse the out­rage and send us into war and bank­rupt­cy at the same time.

Per­haps the Iran­ian Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards’ new cyber-war­fare unit–created in the wake of the dis­clo­sures con­cern­ing the cre­ation of Stuxnet–will cause (or be SAID to cause) a nuclear pow­er plant to melt down or some­thing along those lines. (Ptech’s soft­ware [18] is used by the Depart­ment of Ener­gy, which over­sees the nuclear pow­er plants.)

Such an event will col­lapse our econ­o­my and we will all be called upon to “put aside our dif­fer­ences” and pitch in to defeat the com­mon ene­my. Hezbol­lah oper­a­tives reli­ably report­ed to be in Mex­i­co and else­where in Latin Amer­i­ca might very well infil­trate the U.S. to add to the “emer­gency.”

What­ev­er hor­ror show is cooked up, it will have to be worse than 9/11. 

Think about it, peo­ple, and get off your butts. 

As not­ed by the vig­i­lant “Pter­rafractyl,” what is real­ly sig­nif­i­cant about the PRISM func­tion is its prob­a­ble dual use by Palan­tir, devel­oped by Ger­man-born Peter “I no longer believe that free­dom and democ­ra­cy are com­pat­i­ble . . . the exten­sion of the fran­chise to women . . . . ren­dered the notion of ‘cap­i­tal­ist democ­ra­cy’ into an oxy­moron” [19] Thiel. A finan­cial wiz­ard behind the cap­i­tal­iza­tion of Face­book [6], Thiel gives every appear­ance [20] of being Under­ground Reich.

Thiel was also the biggest con­trib­u­tor [21] to the Super-PAC of Nazi fel­low-trav­el­er Ron Paul [22]. Paul’s Tea-Par­ty son Rand Paul has been lead­ing the anti-Oba­ma charge on this. [23]

Although Palan­tir denies that its PRISM is the same used by the data min­ing pro­gram, it seems high­ly unlike­ly, giv­en Palan­tir’s close rela­tion­ship with the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty. [24] (See excerpt­ed arti­cle below.)

Idle thought: Giv­en that Peter Thiel hates Oba­ma and is asso­ci­at­ed with the Koch broth­ers’ Cato Insti­tute [25], one won­ders if the clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion made it to the media cour­tesy of–Peter Thiel and/or asso­ciates?! 

The NSA/Prism sto­ry was bro­ken in con­sid­er­able mea­sure by Glenn Green­wald of the Guardian [UK]. In addi­tion to his asso­ci­a­tion with the left-lean­ing Guardian, Green­wald is pro­fes­sion­al­ly net­worked with–the Cato Insti­tute [26]! (See excerpt­ed sto­ry below.)

At the time of 9/11 and after­ward, eagle-eye Green­wald had a high regard for George W. Bush’s behav­ior! [27] (See excerpt­ed arti­cle below.) He may just be a naif being manip­u­lat­ed by Cato Institute/Palantir/Thiel etc. He is def­i­nite­ly prov­ing use­ful, and one must won­der if “Team Thiel” had any­thing to do with the leak­ing.

Note the rela­tion­ship between Bridge­wa­ter Asso­ciates and Palan­tir. Bridge­wa­ter Asso­ciates for­mer gen­er­al coun­sel is James Comey [28], who has been nom­i­nat­ed by the “Lee Har­vey Oba­ma” (as we call him) to be head of the FBI.

Deutsche Telekom–parent com­pa­ny of T‑Mobile and MetroPCS–is used by the BND. BND does the same thing.

“Is This Who Runs Prism?” by Josh Mar­shall; Talk­ing Points Memo; 6/7/2013. [29]

EXCERPT: I want to stress this is a read­er email, not TPM report­ing. But I’m shar­ing it because after read­ing it through and doing some googling of my own there’s lit­tle doubt that Palan­tir is doing stuff like what the gov­ern­ment is doing with those tech com­pa­nies, even if they’re not part of ‘prism’ itself. Give this a read.

From an anony­mous read­er …

I don’t see any­one out there with this the­ory, and TPM is my favorite news source, so here goes:

“PRISM” is the government’s name for a pro­gram that uses tech­nol­ogy from Palan­tir. Palan­tir is a Sil­i­con Val­ley start-up that’s now val­ued at well over $1B, that focus­es on data analy­sis for the gov­ern­ment. Here’s how Palan­tir describes them­selves:

“We build soft­ware that allows orga­ni­za­tions to make sense of mas­sive amounts of dis­parate data. We solve the tech­ni­cal prob­lems, so they can solve the human ones. Com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism. Pros­e­cut­ing crimes. Fight­ing fraud. Elim­i­nat­ing waste. From Sil­i­con Val­ley to your doorstep, we deploy our data fusion plat­forms against the hard­est prob­lems we can find, wher­ever we are need­ed most.” http://www.palantir.com/what-we-do/ [30]

They’re gen­er­ally not pub­lic about who their clients are, but their first client was famous­ly the CIA, who is also an ear­ly investor.

With my the­ory in mind, re-read the denials from the tech com­pa­nies in the WSJ (empha­sis mine) [31]:
Apple: “We do not pro­vide any gov­ern­ment agency with direct access to our servers…”
Google: “… does not have a ‘back door’ for the gov­ern­ment to access pri­vate user data…”
Face­book: “… not pro­vide any gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tion with direct access to Face­book servers…”
Yahoo: “We do not pro­vide the gov­ern­ment with direct access to our servers, sys­tems, or net­work…”

These denials could all still be tech­ni­cally true if the gov­ern­ment is access­ing the data through a gov­ern­ment con­trac­tor, such as Palan­tir, rather than hav­ing direct access.

I just did a quick Google search of “Palan­tir PRISM” to see if any­one else had this the­ory, and the top results were these pages:

https://docs.palantir.com/metropolisdev/prism-overview.html [32]

https://docs.palantir.com/metropolisdev/prism-examples.htm [33]l

Appar­ently, Palan­tir has a soft­ware pack­age called “Prism”: “Prism is a soft­ware com­po­nent that lets you quick­ly inte­grate exter­nal data­bases into Palan­tir.” That sounds like exact­ly the tool you’d want if you were try­ing to find pat­terns in data from mul­ti­ple com­pa­nies.

So the obvi­ous fol­low-up ques­tions are of the “am I right?” vari­ety, but if I am, here’s what I real­ly want to know: which Palan­tir clients have access to this data? Just CIA & NSA? FBI? What about munic­i­pal­i­ties, such as the NYC police depart­ment? What about the gov­ern­ments of oth­er coun­tries?

What do you think?

FWIW, I know a guy who works at Palan­tir. I asked him what he/they did once, and he was more secre­tive than my friends at Apple.

PS, please don’t use my name if you decide to pub­lish any of this — it’s a small town/industry. Let them Prism me instead.

Late Update: Anoth­er read­er notes that Bridge­wa­ter Asso­ciates LLP, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, is also a major client of Palan­tir, which appears to be con­firmed by many press reports. . .

“This Peter Thiel Com­pa­ny Is Rip­ping The Army Intel­li­gence Com­mu­ni­ty Apart” by Wal­ter Hick­ey; Busi­ness Insid­er; 8/3/2012. [24]

EXCERPT: Palan­tir is a com­pa­ny found­ed by Peter Thiel — of Pay­pal and Face­book renown — that has soft­ware which absolute­ly changes the game with intel­li­gence.

It’s one of the best pro­grams at coor­di­nat­ing the vast data­bas­es accu­mu­lat­ed by the U.S. intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus. It’s already in use in fed­er­al domes­tic secu­ri­ty.

But it’s also caused a mas­sive fight inside the Army intel­li­gence com­mand.

Palan­tir is one of the first Sil­i­con Val­ley com­pa­nies to view the gov­ern­ment as a cus­tomer rather than an annoy­ance and — after step­ping into a game dom­i­nat­ed by top con­trac­tors like Lock­heed Mar­tin, IBM, and Raytheon — it’s proven con­tro­ver­sial in both what it does and if it should be used.
What it does is assem­ble com­pre­hen­sive dossiers on objects of inter­est, col­lat­ed from the sprawl­ing data­bas­es of intel­li­gence agen­cies.

If that sounds over-broad, it’s inten­tion­al.

The data­bas­es and dossiers in ques­tion are on every­thing from Afghan vil­lages to crooked bankers. The can pull crime infor­ma­tion and col­late it with recent deb­it card pur­chas­es.

The soft­ware was devel­oped with the idea that had it exist­ed in 2001, 9/11 would have been obvi­ous. Palan­tir would have been able to iden­ti­fy the pilots as peo­ple of inter­est from coun­tries that har­bor ter­ror­ists, con­nect­ing that with mon­ey wired around, and con­nect­ing that with one-way air­line tick­ets to cre­ate action­able intel­li­gence.

One con­tro­ver­sy comes with the civ­il lib­er­ties issues that come with that par­tic­u­lar busi­ness mod­el.

The oth­er con­tro­ver­sy is much less philo­soph­i­cal: The Army intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty is full of infight­ing over this Val­ley com­peti­tor to defense con­trac­tor tech.

The Army Intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty is split over soft­ware. The $2.3 Bil­lion DCGS‑A sys­tem, devel­oped by the stan­dard crowd of defense con­trac­tors, is either panned by some as com­pli­cat­ed and slow or defensed by oth­ers as the future of mil­i­tary dis­trib­uted intel­li­gence.

Like­wise, the cul­ty fol­low­ing of Palan­tir’s alter­na­tive have been dis­missed as on the take from the Sil­i­con Val­ley firm. That tech has been deployed by data min­ing Wall Street banks inter­est­ed in track­ing down fraud, and an ear­ly investor in the com­pa­ny was the CIA. The Army, how­ev­er, isn’t sold. . . .

“Pay­Pal Founder Peter Thiel Con­tin­ues to Tout Anti-Gov­ern­ment Man­i­festo” by Leah Nel­son [South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter]; Intel­li­gence Report [#146]; Summer/2012. [34]

EXCERPT: . . . “I no longer believe that free­dom and democ­ra­cy are com­pat­i­ble,” Thiel wrote in a 2009 man­i­festo pub­lished by the lib­er­tar­i­an Cato Insti­tute. “Since 1920, the vast increase in wel­fare ben­e­fi­cia­ries and the exten­sion of the fran­chise to women — two con­stituen­cies that are noto­ri­ous­ly tough for lib­er­tar­i­ans — have ren­dered the notion of ‘cap­i­tal­ist democ­ra­cy’ into an oxy­moron.” . . .

“Hat Tip, Glenn Green­wald” by Tim Lynch; cato.org; 6/7/2013. [26]

EXCERPT: . . . . A few years ago, Cato invit­ed Green­wald to par­tic­i­pate in a Cato Unbound exchange on gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance. Here’s an excerpt from the intro­duc­tion to his essay:

The dig­i­tal sur­veil­lance state is out of con­trol. It inter­cepts our phone calls, keeps track of our pre­scrip­tion drug use, mon­i­tors our email, and keeps tabs on us wher­ev­er we go. For all that, it doesn’t appear to be mak­ing us safer. Account­abil­i­ty has been lost, civ­il lib­er­ties are dis­ap­pear­ing, and the pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships in this area of gov­ern­ment action raise seri­ous ques­tions about the demo­c­ra­t­ic process itself. It’s time we stood up to do some­thing about it.

Cato also host­ed an event for Greenwald’s sec­ond book, A Trag­ic Lega­cy, which focused on the poli­cies of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. That event can be viewed here.

And, though not direct­ly relat­ed to gov­ern­ment spy­ing, Green­wald authored Cato’s high­ly acclaimed study, Drug Decrim­i­nal­iza­tion in Por­tu­gal.

Amer­i­can pol­i­cy­mak­ers too often serve up Bread & Cir­cus­es. Con­grat­u­la­tions to Green­wald for start­ing a real debate on one of the most impor­tant issues of our time. . . .

“Blog­ger, With Focus on Sur­veil­lance, Is at Cen­ter of a Debate” by Noam Cohen and Leslie Kauf­man; The New York Times; 6/6/2013. [27]

EXCERPT: . . . . As Mr. Green­wald tells it, the last decade has been a slow polit­i­cal awak­en­ing. “When 9/11 hap­pened, I thought Bush was doing a good job,” he said. . . .

“World Brief­ing | Europe: Report On U.S. Spy Sys­tem” by Suzanne Daley; The New York Times; 9/6/2001. [3]

EXCERPT: [Notice when this was published–9/6/2001.–D.E.] . . . The Unit­ed States-led spy­ing sys­tem known as Ech­e­lon can mon­i­tor vir­tu­al­ly every com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the world — by e‑mail, phone or fax — that bounces off a satel­lite, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment was told. But in report­ing on a year­long study of the sys­tem that was prompt­ed by con­cern that Amer­i­can com­pa­nies were using data from the sys­tem to gain a com­pet­i­tive edge, Ger­hard Schmid, a Ger­man mem­ber of the Par­lia­ment, said that many Euro­pean coun­tries had sim­i­lar abil­i­ties . . .

“The World from Berlin: Elec­tronic Sur­veil­lance Scan­dal Hits Ger­many” by David Gor­don Smith and Kris­ten Allen;  Der Spiegel; 10/10/2011. [12]

EXCERPT: A Ger­man hack­er orga­ni­za­tion claims to have cracked spy­ing soft­ware alleged­ly used by Ger­man author­i­ties. The Tro­jan horse has func­tions which go way beyond those allowed by Ger­man law. The news has sparked a wave of out­rage among politi­cians and media com­men­ta­tors.

It sounds like some­thing out of George Orwell’s nov­el “1984” — a com­puter pro­gram that can remote­ly con­trol someone’s com­puter with­out their knowl­edge, search its com­plete con­tents and use it to con­duct audio-visu­al sur­veil­lance via the micro­phone or web­cam.

But the spy soft­ware that the famous Ger­man hack­er orga­ni­za­tion Chaos Com­puter Club has obtained is not used by crim­i­nals look­ing to steal cred­it-card data or send spam e‑mails. If the CCC is to be believed, the so-called “Tro­jan horse” soft­ware was used by Ger­man author­i­ties. The case has already trig­gered a polit­i­cal shock­wave in the coun­try and could have far-reach­ing con­se­quences.

On Sat­ur­day, the CCC announced that it had been giv­en hard dri­ves con­tain­ing a “state spy­ing soft­ware” which had alleged­ly been used by Ger­man inves­ti­ga­tors to car­ry out sur­veil­lance of Inter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The orga­ni­za­tion had ana­lyzed the soft­ware and found it to be full of defects. They also found that it trans­mit­ted infor­ma­tion via a serv­er locat­ed in the US. As well as its sur­veil­lance func­tions, it could be used to plant files on an individual’s com­puter. It was also not suf­fi­ciently pro­tected, so that third par­ties with the nec­es­sary tech­ni­cal skills could hijack the Tro­jan horse’s func­tions for their own ends. The soft­ware pos­si­bly vio­lated Ger­man law, the orga­ni­za­tion said.

So-called Tro­jan horse soft­ware can be sur­rep­ti­tiously deliv­ered by a harm­less-look­ing e‑mail and installed on a user’s com­puter with­out their knowl­edge, where it can be used to, for exam­ple, scan the con­tents of a hard dri­ve. In 2007, the Ger­man Inte­rior Min­istry announced it had designed a Tro­jan horse that could be used to search the hard dri­ves of ter­ror sus­pects.

Beyond the Lim­its

The hard dri­ves that the CCC ana­lyzed came from at least two dif­fer­ent Ger­man states. It was unclear whether the soft­ware, which is said to be at least three years old, had been used by state-lev­el or nation­al author­i­ties. In a Sun­day state­ment, the Inte­rior Min­istry denied that the soft­ware had been used by the Fed­eral Crim­i­nal Police Office (BKA), which is sim­i­lar to the Amer­i­can FBI. The state­ment did not explic­itly rule out the pos­si­bil­ity that the soft­ware could have been used by state-lev­el police forces.

If the CCC’s claims are true, then the soft­ware has func­tions which were express­ly for­bid­den by Germany’s high­est court, the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tional Court, in a land­mark 2008 rul­ing which sig­nif­i­cantly restrict­ed what was allowed in terms of online sur­veil­lance. The court also spec­i­fied that online spy­ing was only per­mis­si­ble if there was con­crete evi­dence of dan­ger to indi­vid­u­als or soci­ety. . . .

“Ger­mans Were Track­ing Sept. 11 Con­spir­a­tors as Ear­ly as 1998, Doc­u­ments Dis­close” by Desmond But­ler; New York Times; 1/18/2003; p. A10. [14]

EXCERPT: . . . . Three years before the Sept. 11 attacks, Germany’s domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice was track­ing promi­nent mem­bers of the Ham­burg ter­ror­ist cell that planned and exe­cuted the air­craft hijack­ings, accord­ing to new­ly obtained doc­u­ments. The doc­u­ments, includ­ing intel­li­gence reports, sur­veil­lance logs and tran­scripts of inter­cepted tele­phone calls, appear to con­tra­dict pub­lic claims by the Ger­man author­i­ties that they knew lit­tle about the mem­bers of the Ham­burg cell before the attacks.

As ear­ly as 1998, the records show, the Ger­mans mon­i­tored a meet­ing between men sus­pected of plot­ting the attacks. The sur­veil­lance would lead a year lat­er to the Ham­burg apart­ment where Mohamed Atta and oth­er main plot­ters were liv­ing while attend­ing uni­ver­si­ties. While the records do not indi­cate that author­i­ties heard any men­tion of a spe­cific plan, they depict a sur­veil­lance mis­sion exten­sive enough to raise anew the polit­i­cally sen­si­tive ques­tion of whether the Ger­mans missed a chance to dis­rupt the cell dur­ing the ini­tial stages of plan­ning the attacks. Some Amer­i­can inves­ti­ga­tors and offi­cials have argued that the Ger­mans in the past missed evi­dence that could have stopped the plot. The Ger­mans have main­tained stead­fastly that the infor­ma­tion they had was too scanty to war­rant seri­ous alarm, and that their police and intel­li­gence agen­cies were not focused on Al Qae­da at the time.

The doc­u­ments come from the files of var­i­ous Ger­man police and intel­li­gence agen­cies. They detail how close an inves­ti­ga­tion of Qae­da con­tacts in Ham­burg begun in 1997 by the Con­sti­tu­tional Pro­tec­tion Agency, Germany’s domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice, came to the main cell mem­bers. They were pro­vided to The New York Times by some­one with offi­cial access to the files of the con­tin­u­ing inves­ti­ga­tion into the events lead­ing to the Sept. 11 attacks. When the doc­u­ments were described to offi­cials at the Ger­man Inte­rior Min­istry and the con­sti­tu­tional pro­tec­tion police, they declined to answer any ques­tions about them but did not dis­pute their authen­tic­i­ty . . .

Mr. Motas­sadeq admit­ted that he knew Mr. Atta and oth­er plot­ters and had attend­ed Qae­da train­ing camps in Afghanistan. He has main­tained in tri­al tes­ti­mony that he did not know that his friends were plan­ning to attack the Unit­ed States. No evi­dence has been pre­sented at his three-month tri­al that would reveal when the police first opened an inquiry into Mr. Motas­sadeq. But the intel­li­gence agency doc­u­ments show that by August 1998 he was under sur­veil­lance and that the trail soon led to most of the main par­tic­i­pants in the lat­er attacks. [It was in August of 1998 that Pres­i­dent Clin­ton ordered the cruise mis­sile strike against Bin Laden and the same month that Bin Laden went to a couri­er sys­tem instead of using his cell phone. Note, also, that the head of the Ham­burg police at the time the sur­veil­lance of the Ham­burg cell was in place is now head of the BND! [35]–D.E.]

Accord­ing to the doc­u­ments, the sur­veil­lance was in place on Aug. 29, 1998, when Mr. Motas­sadeq and Mohamed Hay­dar Zam­mar, who had already been iden­ti­fied by police as a sus­pected extrem­ist, met at the Ham­burg home of Said Baha­ji. [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s] The police mon­i­tored sev­eral oth­er meet­ings between the men in the months that fol­lowed, the doc­u­ments said. The record of the meet­ing shows that police had iden­ti­fied Mr. Baha­ji, anoth­er per­son sus­pected of being a cell mem­ber and believed to have been inti­mately involved in the plan­ning and logis­tics of the plot, who fled to Pak­istan days before the attacks. Mr. Baha­ji lat­er moved in with Mr. Atta and Ramzi bin al-Shibh in the now-infa­mous apart­ment at 54 Marien­strasse in the Har­burg sec­tion of Ham­burg. [There are pro­found indi­ca­tions of a link between Mohamed Atta and the BND–D.E.] [36]. . .

“It’s offi­cial: T‑Mobile clos­es deal to acquire MetroPCS  Mobile” by Mat Smith;  engagdet.com; 5/1/2013. [8]

EXCERPT: T‑Mobile has been slow­ly inch­ing clos­er to clos­ing its acqui­si­tion deal with MetroPCS, and the day for ink­ing that con­tract is final­ly here. Less than a week after MetroPCS share­hold­ers approved the merg­er, which would give them a total cash pay­ment of $1.5 bil­lion, the deal is done, and T‑Mo is a pub­licly trad­ed com­pa­ny. In addi­tion to giv­ing Deutsche Telekom [a sub­sidiary of THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT!–D.E.] a 74 per­cent stake in the new com­pa­ny, the deal will bring nine mil­lion new pre­paid cus­tomers to T‑Mobile. . . .

“US Rul­ing on Telekom Could Lead to Wave of Invest­ment” by Peter Spiegel in Wash­ing­ton; Finan­cial Times; 5/2/2001; p. 8.

EXCERPT: . . . . Although extend­ed reg­u­la­tory debates can fre­quently lead to doc­u­ments full of mealy-mouthed bureau­cratese, the 97-page order issued by the FCC is as sweep­ing and prece­dent-set­ting as Mr. Pow­ell had want­ed. It goes fur­ther than any pre­vi­ous rul­ing in the agency’s 66-year his­tory to open up the U.S. telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions mar­ket to for­eign com­peti­tors. ‘This is the green light. This is the paved road.

This is the auto­bahn,” said Rudy Baca, an ana­lyst of inter­na­tional tele­coms reg­u­la­tion with the Pre­cur­sor Group. ‘It’s more defin­i­tive than most peo­ple expect­ed.’

At the heart of the debate over the deal was a dis­creet sec­tion of the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions act that con­tains seem­ingly con­tra­dic­tory guid­ance on how to deal with for­eign tele­coms owned by their gov­ern­ments. One part of the law states flat­ly that no U.S. phone licens­es can be held ‘by any for­eign gov­ern­ment or rep­re­sen­ta­tive there­of.’ But anoth­er sec­tion allows a com­pany to buy the license if the FCC rules it in the pub­lic inter­est. The inter­pre­ta­tion of the lan­guage is cru­cial, since out­side the UK, most big over­seas com­pa­nies remain at least par­tially in the hands of gov­ern­ments.

After the Voic­eS­tream deal clos­es, for instance, Telekom will still be 45 per cent-owned by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment. . .

“Ger­man Intel­li­gence Scrubs Euroean Records after Wik­iLeaks Expo­sure” by Wik­iLeaks staff; wikileaks.org; 11/16/2008. [37]

EXCERPT: Between Fri­day night and Sun­day morn­ing, a mas­sive dele­tion oper­a­tion took place at the Euro­pean Inter­net address reg­is­ter (RIPE) to scrub ref­er­ences to a cov­er used by Ger­many’s pre­mier spy agency, the Bun­desnachrich­t­en­di­enst, or BND.

The cleanup oper­a­tion comes the night after Wik­ileaks revealed over two dozen covert BND net­works pro­vid­ed by T‑Systems (Deutsche Telekom). The IP address­es were assigned to an unreg­is­tered com­pa­ny at a Munich-based PO box linked to T‑Systems.

T‑Systems purged the RIPE data­base of all address­es exposed by Wik­ileaks, mov­ing the address­es into a sev­er­al giant anony­mous “Class B” address pools.

The move comes just a few hours after T‑Systems Com­put­er Emer­gency Response Team (CERT) con­tact­ed Wik­ileaks to demand removal of an inter­nal T‑Systems memo list­ing the BND cov­er address­es. Wik­ileaks refused and T‑System did not respond to requests for fur­ther detail by the time of writ­ing.

Yet an inves­ti­ga­tion into the address­es over the week­end reveals key infor­ma­tion about the BND’s Inter­net activ­i­ties. . . . .

Web­site ref­er­ences reveal that in 2006 numer­ous hosters of Inter­net web­sites com­plained about out of con­trol “data min­ing” robots from two of the BND-linked IP address­es. One of the hosters ran a pop­u­lar dis­cus­sion forum on counter-ter­ror­ism oper­a­tions.

The integri­ty and trans­paren­cy of the RIPE sys­tem is not assist­ed by the T‑Systems dele­tion. Ger­man cit­i­zens may won­der at the dou­ble stan­dard. At a time when the pop­u­la­tion’s Inter­net address­es are being record­ed by ISPs under laws deri­sive­ly referred to as “Stasi 2.0”, the “real Stasi”—the BND, has had the largest tel­co in Ger­many scrub its address­es from the Euro­pean record with­in 24 hours of their expo­sure.