There’s a sense of security vested in the idea that the caller is outside the house and the woman is tucked safely in the bosom of her home. Phew, she’s safe; nothing to see here, move along…
In reality the caller is camped directly outside the woman’s window, watching every move she makes even as she assures herself that everything is fine.
After a tepid reaction to the initial reporting last week, most media and their audience took very little notice of the Washington Post’s followup piece — what a pity, as it was the singular voice confirming the threat sits immediately outside the window.
Your window, as it were, if you have an account with either Yahoo or Google and use their products. The National Security Agency has access to users’ content inside the corporate fenceline for each of these social media firms, greasy nose pressed to glass while peering in the users’ windows.
There’s more to story, one might suspect, which has yet to be reported. The disclosure that the NSA’s slides reflected Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs) unique to Google and Yahoo internal systems is only part of the picture, though this should be quite frightening as it is.
Access to proprietary RPCs means — at a minimum — that the NSA has:
1) Access to content and commands moving in and out of Google’s and Yahoo’s servers, between their own servers — the closest thing to actually being inside these corporations’ servers.
2) With these RPCs, the NSA has the ability to construct remote login access to the servers without the businesses’ awareness. RPCs by their nature require remote access login permissions.
3) Construction through reverse engineering of proprietary RPCs could be performed without any other governmental bodies’ awareness, assuming the committees responsible for oversight did not explicitly authorize access to and use of RPCs during engineering of the MUSCULAR/SERENDIPITY/MARINA and other related tapping/monitoring/collection applications.
4) All users’ login requests are a form of RPC — every single account holder’s login may have been gathered. This includes government employees and elected officials as well as journalists who may have alternate accounts in either Gmail or Yahoo mail that they use as a backup in case their primary government/business account fails, or in the case of journalists, as a backchannel for handling news tips. Read more