Richi Jennings

NSA PRISM keeps getting worse: Shocking new secrets

June 13, 2013 6:29 AM EDT

Shocking revelations re. NSA spying.

PRISM Loretta Sanchez

The NSA's PRISM program is worse than we thought. So says a congresscritter, after hearing the NSA describe what it's up to. Californian Representative Loretta Sanchez (pictured) says she's shocked to hear the full extent of the spying operations (well, 'astounded' actually, but shocked!).

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers play along.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

 
Daniel Strauss sounds stressed:

Sanchez (D-Calif.) said lawmakers learned [more] during a briefing..."significantly more than what is out in the media today." [She is] barred from revealing the classified information..."I can't speak to what we learned in there...but I will tell you that I believe it's the tip of the iceberg."
...
The briefing was meant to convince lawmakers that the surveillance programs are legal and necessary. ... Sanchez said lawmakers were "astounded" by what they heard. "I think it's just broader than most people even realize."  MORE


 
And Jennifer Baker cooks up an international dimension:

In a strongly worded letter, [European] Commissioner Viviane Reding demanded to know what U.S. authorities are doing with Europeans' personal information. [She] asked Attorney General Eric Holder how much surveillance the U.S. is conducting...whether private individuals are targeted, whether the surveillance [goes] beyond national security, under what laws [it's] conducted...how European citizens might find out if...their [is] data collected [and] what rights of redress European citizens will have if they have been spied on.
...
Reding said she wants concrete answers to her questions when she meets Holder in Dublin on Friday [warning] that this issue could have an impact on the upcoming trans-Atlantic trade talks. ... Reding is said to be very angry about the Prism revelations.
...
Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge called for the [EU] to revoke the [U.S.] safe harbor status and to cancel current data sharing agreements.  MORE


 
Ian Kennedy has seen it all before:

I posted last year about Stellar Wind, an NSA data-mining program. ... Collection of data is happening. ... Imagine how happy the NSA is to be able to tap into everyone’s Google Glass and get another set of eyes on the ground.
...
With enough data sitting around, you can know just about anything. ... Most those in the tech industry know this kind of stuff is possible but now...governmental minds are being blown.  MORE


 
Of course, it's not just the PRISM program that's putting the NSA in the spotlight, as Darlene Storm explains:

There’s a $23 billion price tag [in] the Pentagon’s five year cybersecurity budget. ... When President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met, they discussed cybersecurity. ... Apparently “Beijing was furious about the sudden elevation of cybersecurity and Chinese espionage on the meeting's agenda.”.
...
The Chinese version of CERT...disclosed that between January 1 and May 31, "4,062 US-based control servers hijacked 2.91 million mainframes in China." Another 3,551 “US-based mainframes” used backdoor programs to remotely control “27,818 websites in China.” 54 US-based IP addresses hijacked Chinese official websites. ... NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden told The Guardian, "We hack everyone everywhere. ...we are in almost every country.
...
[There's] an ultra-secret NSA office at Fort Meade that has been successfully hacking China’s computer and telecommunications systems for the nearly 15 years. ...only those "few" with special security clearance are allowed into the Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO). ...where US hackers break into targeted foreign systems by using special software developed by TAO's Data Network Technologies Branch.  MORE


 
So Mike Elgan finds a new angle:

The Prism revelations have political and intelligence implications. But there are lessons for businesses, too. It's a whole new world.
...
They seem to be OK with anybody hacking American citizens and American businesses -- the Chinese, the NSA -- anybody! Come on in, everybody!  MORE


 
Meanwhile, Melissa Elliott carefully parses Sanchez' outrage:

Representative Sanchez sounds like she’s begging someone to leak as best as she can without saying so.
...
I’d encourage @LorettaSanchez and all other representatives to remember they represent us and we want to hear what the NSA told them :)  MORE


 

Subscribe now to the Blogs Newsletter for a daily summary of the most recent and relevant blog posts at Computerworld.