lobal signed an accord to share intelligence. The

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lobal surveillance originated in 1947 when ECHELON, the name given to the international eavesdropping network run by the intelligence agencies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand signed an accord to share intelligence. The first Echelon network was built in 1971 and the National Security Agency (NSA) of the US is thought to be the main driving force behind it. This alliance was confirmed by the leaks of whistleblower and former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden.Edward Snowden worked for Booz Allen Hamilton on behalf of the NSA. During his time there he leaked top secret documents which revealed a whole host of global surveillance programs run mainly by American and British intelligence. The US has charged Snowden with violations of the Espionage Act and he is currently living under asylum in Russia. Snowden leaked the huge cache of NSA documents to a journalist called Glenn Greenwald who worked for The Guardian.While speaking to Snowden, Greenwald asked what motivated him to leak the documents. In response he said that his political views had changed radically after the 9/11 attacks and felt he needed to do his part so signed up for Operation Freedom, which was a program by the United States that used military force in the name of the war on terror, later saying that he in a way ‘fell for the propaganda’. After breaking his legs in a training accident, he was no longer able to serve in the US army. Snowden was unhappy with the disregard for privacy at the NSA and mass surveillance under President George W. Bush and with the election of President Obama, he hoped that some of the worst abuses would be reformed. This is because of him vowing to change ‘the excessive abuses of national security’ in the name of the war on terror but Instead of this the abuses got worse under Obama, according to Snowden.On why he was willing to leak information about the NSA, Snowden said that by leaking the information of the CIA he could harm people, such as informants but by leaking information about the NSA he would only harm ‘abusive systems’. Snowden grew up reading a lot of Greek mythology and was particularly impacted by Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero with a Thousand Faces’. Snowden said ‘the true measurement of a person is not what they say of believe in but what they do in defence of those beliefs and values. He also said that he was influenced by video games and shaped up on the message that even the most powerless can stand up in the face of great injustice. Snowden said that the internet allowed him to experience freedom and ‘explore his full capacity’. He continued saying that the internet is a method of ‘self-actuation for kids’ and it is only able to work without the intrusive snooping carried out by intelligence agencies. He leaked the information not to bring down their systems but instead to ‘allow the public to decide whether it should go on’.In his leaks many domestic and global surveillance programs of many countries were revealed. The four main surveillance programs and clandestine agendas being run by the intelligence agencies that had light shed on them were BULLRUN, PRISM, XKeyscore and Tempora.BULLRUNAt around the turn of the millennia when internet encryption was becoming more and more prevalent, the NSA fought a public battle for access to a backdoor for common internet encryption, but lost the battle. Due to this the NSA decided to set out on a mission to break internet encryption using several sophisticated technologies, such as quantum computing and utilising  supercomputers. By using methods such as brute force attacks, they can successfully crack and weaken a certain amount of encrypted traffic. They describe the strong decryption programs as ‘the price of admission for the US to maintain unrestricted access to and use of cyberspace’. However, this is quite unfair as most internet traffic goes through the US as it doesn’t take the most direct route but the cheapest route instead, giving people no choice over whether their traffic goes through the US or not. They claim that cracking encryption is essential to counter terrorism. Using these technologies, they can circumvent VPNs and decode data that they have collected. The NSA focuses its most intensive efforts on defeating 4G which keep mobile data safe, VPNs which help people stay anonymous and people in oppressive countries access more of the internet and SSL (Secure Socketing Layer) which secures internet traffic running between servers and computers. Circumvention of VPNs in a lot of cases compromises the liberty of citizens of the country and citizens of other countries who are utilizing them to access more of the internet. Attempting to weaken SSL could result in contingent scenarios such as the NSA getting hacked, and the vulnerability they have discovered makes its way into the public domain. This would render any computer utilizing SSL vulnerable and would also leave discarded internet data open to exploitation.BULLRUN also collaborates with technology companies to ‘covertly influence’ their product designs, for example, Microsoft implemented vulnerabilities into their Outlook email service upon request by the NSA. They also attempt to actively influence encryption standards. In 2006 they submitted a type of encryption to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The algorithm that they submitted contained a backdoor by making it easy to guess the outcome by finding the parameters. The algorithm in question which is called the Dual_EC_DRBG was used by a cybersecurity company called RSA in their software. All of their toolkits had the algorithm set to default and strongly advised that their customers didn’t use it. Had customers not been notified, a huge vulnerability would have made its way into the public domain The NSA spend around $250 million annually working with technology companies to insert vulnerabilities into their products. Annually all NSA signal intelligence programmes cost $800 million.The GCHQ in the UK also have a similar program called Edgehill. They have been developing ways to gain access to encrypted data from what they describe as the ‘big four’ service providers named as Hotmail (now known as Outlook and owned by Microsoft), Google, Yahoo! and Facebook. GCHQ have also developed a program called pilot which inserts vulnerabilities into computer systems. With such huge budgets and little need for any justification it can safely be said that the requirement of national security and personal liberty are not being balanced very well in the United States or United Kingdom.PRISMPRISM is a surveillance program what has been authorised by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court (FISA)  and mainly run by the NSA who claim to have access to the data servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. It has the capability to extract audio, video, photos, emails, documents and connection logs which are not encrypted. With this capability, they are able to access specific communications without seeking a court order. All of the companies that the NSA say are part of the program all categorically deny any affiliation or handover of governmental access to their servers. Specifically, Google said that it ‘cares deeply about the security of its users’ and ‘discloses user data in accordance with the law but reviews requests carefully’. The access was permitted under legislation passed under President Bush but then renewed under President Obama. The rules regarding whose data is stored has changed due the FISA Amendments Act. Before the NSA needed individual authorisation and confirmation that both parties that they were surveying were outside of the US now they only need ‘reasonable suspicion’. Despite this, supporters of the FISA Amendments Act say that removing these powers will result in them not being able to do their job.Related to this program the NSA run another scheme which is named MUSCULAR. They run this in collaboration with the GCHQ. Using this the NSA can gain access into the data centres and more specifically the raw unencrypted data flowing between them. This allows them to scan and capture massive amounts of data. Because they have full access to the unencrypted data, they no longer have to use FISA to gain a court order of compel companies for access through PRISM. Analysts at the GCHQ also have access to the servers of the PRISM companies which circumvents British legislation requiring a warrant to seek personal materials from overseas companies. This could be considered a clear violation if the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution which states  that it is “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”.TemporaAnother significant and striking revelation was the existence of a program called Tempora. Using this the GCHQ and NSA collect a large portion of internet traffic coming into and leaving the UK. A lot of internet data enters and leaves the UK and US since internet traffic doesn’t usually take the most direct route but instead the cheapest one. GCHQ collects this much data by placing intercept on many fibre optic cables throughout the UK. This seems to require cooperation voluntary or otherwise from ISPs. The two major companies who the GCHQ describe as ‘intercept partners’ are BT and Vodafone who are both are paid for their cooperation. They have given the intelligence agencies access to transatlantic fibre cables which make up the most of the internet’s architecture. In many cases the companies do not actually own the cables that they are giving access to. The companies can also be compelled to hand over data to the government under the 1984 Telecommunications Act. Vodafone said that it ‘complies with the law in every country in which it operates’ and they ‘don’t disclose customer data unless compelled to do so’. BT remained silent about their involvement in the program. Any 1500 of the 1600 high capacity cables which have intercepts placed on them can be surveyed at once. The probes attached to the cables have a capacity of around 10 gigabits per second which gives them, in theory to a flow of 21.6 petabytes (21,600,000 gigabytes) daily. In other words, analysts have access to 30 billion articles of data daily. They slow down the internet traffic to analyse it with a language called GENESIS and sort out the data they use a method called Massive Data Reduction (MDR) which orders, corrects and simplifies the data. Despite the huge data they have at their disposal, under the Human Rights Act 1998 they are not allowed to go on ‘fishing trips’ and have to prove that searches are ‘necessary’ and ‘proportionate’. They claim that the program has prevented many attacks on British soil. One thing that this method does question is if analysts are using the huge about of data at their disposal for counter terrorism or exploiting it for personal gain.XKeyscoreTo access and search this massive amount of data, they use a program called XKeyscore which allows analysts to see all browsing history, email contents, online chats and metadata collected by Tempora, PRISM and BLARNEY. To search for intelligence, they do not require court clearance, a warrant or a signature; all they need to do is fill in a broad online form and no superior authorisation which some may argue make it very prone to exploitation by analysts. The analyst can then search using IP addresses, keywords, type of browser and language. They can even search in broader terms such as people who have accessed a certain website. With the information that XKeyscore collects, something called a ‘fingerprint’ is collated on individuals. This is a summary of what is a person does on the internet and what they specifically use it for. The physical element of the program consists of 700 Linux servers situated globally. The NSA were held back by the capability of the servers only being able to store data collected for 3-5 days and the ability to store metadata for up to 30 days. To solve this, they developed a hierarchy of information storage, the highest of which is called PINWALE. This gives the NSA the capability to store ‘interesting’ i

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