NSA, GCHQ, Declare Civil War on Their Own People

The Guardian, NYT, and ProPublica have the first of the co-reported stories we’ve been promised, reporting that after the government failed to get Congress to require back doors into encrypted communication, it just went ahead and took it.

I’ll come back to these stories, but for the moment, want to just point to the various names it has given this effort, from ProPublica.

The full extent of the N.S.A.’s decoding capabilities is known only to a limited group of top analysts from the so-called Five Eyes: the N.S.A. and its counterparts in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Only they are cleared for the Bullrun program, the successor to one called Manassas — both names of American Civil War battles. A parallel GCHQ counterencryption program is called Edgehill, named for the first battle of the English Civil War of the 17th century.

Unlike some classified information that can be parceled out on a strict “need to know” basis, one document makes clear that with Bullrun, “there will be NO ‘need to know.’ ”

Only a small cadre of trusted contractors were allowed to join Bullrun. It does not appear that Mr. Snowden was among them, but he nonetheless managed to obtain dozens of classified documents referring to the program’s capabilities, methods and sources.

Manassas, Bullrun, and Edgehill.

All civil war battles.

Even rhetorically, our governments have declared civil war on us and our privacy.

Update: In related news, Obama’s Insider-Independent Non-Tech Tech Review Committee is seeking public comment on the dragnet.

Go let Cass Sunstein know what you think of this.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel OK, tech whizzes, let's brainstorm all the "session identifying info" a smart phone creates NSA might chain on. https://t.co/VjFxUHo5FN
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @MicahZenko Shorter Burr: Don't take my monthly snuff film away!!!!
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel USA F-ReDux: Chaining on “Session Identifying Information” that Is Not Call Detail Records https://t.co/VjFxUHo5FN
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @normative: OK, seriously: WHY DO PEOPLE USE SCRIBD? My browser can display a PDF just fine; why should I have to sign into anything for…
43mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Maybe the @Orioles can invite a bunch of Iranian women to watch the game that no public is invited to?
47mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @steve_vladeck W/exception of Olsen, entirely peopled by people who preceded Snowden disclosures Intel Comms didn't know abt. @csoghoian
51mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade Yes, I saw that. Nifty.
56mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @steve_vladeck (hint) I suspect the answer to that Q lies in tech. @OrinKerr @csoghoian
57mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @steve_vladeck Can any of the lawyers on panel explain what it means that NSA doesn't use 703 at all? @OrinKerr @csoghoian
57mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @steve_vladeck So you're saying that's another reason panel poorly designed? @OrinKerr @csoghoian
59mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @OrinKerr I'm neither a tech nor a lawyer. But I'm absolutely certain this Q demands high level of tech understanding. @csoghoian
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Pinetree_Girl Thanks. @onekade straightened me out.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
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