More than a year after The Guardian first announced the leak of classified National Security Agency documents, the fallout from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s massive information dump is still being felt. In a new report for The Intercept, journalist Glenn Greenwald details the frightening tools developed by the British NSA equivalent – GCHQ – to infiltrate the internet.
“I want to start with this new revelation from the NSA that I haven’t seen anywhere,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “This is actually from Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden.”
In an article entitled “Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet,” Greenwald breaks down the tools created by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG).” This information comes from the Snowden documents, and Greenwald describes these tactics as “some of the most startling methods of propaganda and internet deception contained within the Snowden archive.”
Greenwald exposes 15 of these so-called tools that come with “boastful code names,” which he puts in parenthesis at the end of each bullet point.
Below are the JTRIG tools as described by The Intercept:
• “Change outcome of online polls” (UNDERPASS)
• “Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign” (BADGER) and “mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign” (WARPARTH)
• “Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal.” (SILVERLORD)
• “Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.” (MINIATURE HERO)
• “Find private photographs of targets on Facebook” (SPRING BISHOP)
• “A tool that will permanently disable a target’s account on their computer” (ANGRY PIRATE)
• “Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website” (GATEWAY) and “ability to inflate page views on websites” (SLIPSTREAM)
• “Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube)” (GESTATOR)
• “Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers” (PREDATORS FACE) and “Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG” (ROLLING THUNDER)
• “A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (www.ebay.co.uk)” (ELATE)
• “Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity” (CHANGELING)
• “For connecting two target phone together in a call” (IMPERIAL BARGE)
Read the entire report HERE.
In the aftermath of Snowden’s leak, when the scope of the NSA surveillance became clearer, many people brushed off the revelations because they feel as though they have nothing to hide. We are now reaching a time in which it doesn’t seem to matter if you are guilty or innocent – if they want to dig something up about you, they will find a way to.
“In, like, 1996, I said there’s going to come a time where you will not be able to believe your eyes. You’ll be able to fake things so well, you won’t know what to believe,” Glenn said. “But we’re now there. You can’t believe your eyes. You can’t believe what you hear in the news anymore. There is no trusted source. This is what I’ve been saying… You got to clean out your own life. You have to make sure you’re squeaky clean.”
“And lesson you’re teaching us is that doesn’t really matter,” Stu added, “if they want you bad enough.”