Tag Archives: US Government spying

NSA’s Alexander Caught Lying Again at Black Hat 2013! Get your copy of the XKeystone 2008 presentation here!

Click the link below to obtain your very own copy of the 2008 XKeystone presentation released by The Guardian yesterday as the National Security Agency’s top pig Gen. Keith Alexander spewed a stream of lies into the faces of the participants at Black Hat 2013!

2008 What is XKeyscore

US National Security Agency's Top Pig, General Keith Alexander (artist's rendering by Enrico Mazzanti)

US National Security Agency’s Top Pig, General Keith Alexander speaks at Black Hat 2013 (artist’s rendering by Enrico Mazzanti)

1 August 2013

Yesterday, while the top pig of the U.S.’ sinister foreign and domestic spying operation, the National Security Agency’s General Keith Alexander attempted to pull the wool over the eyes of the Black hat 2013 conference, 7900 km away, the London Guardian’s top investigative journalist was revealing – once again – that  practically every word coming out of his lying mouth was – no surprise! – yet another lie.

” ‘You lied to Congress. Why would people believe you’re not lying to us right now?’ yelled a participant at Black Hat ’13.   “Alexander hesitated for a brief moment. ‘I haven’t lied to Congress’ ” he lied.

There’s a very old joke about politicians that seems appropriate to paraphrase here: Q: “How can you tell that a member of the U.S. ‘intelligence community’ is lying?”

A: “His lips are moving.”

Alexander also, shall we say, pretended that, in contradiction to what the heroic whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed to be true,  “only 35” of the NSA’s intelligence analysts “are authorized to run queries on the database that contains metadata vacuumed up by Section 215.  ‘They have to go through three separate training regimen, and pass tests, to do queries into that database,’ he said, highlighting that not all NSA employees can access the data it has collected.”

While Alexander spoke these words, a little gremlin named Glenn Greenwald was dropping a truth bomb on his ass in the form of this article in The Guardian:   “XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’ “.

In this article, the world discovered that “A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden… training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.”  [Source: The Guardian (UK), 31 August, 2013]

Now, since Alexander and his gang of criminals at NSA have their filthy fingers so far up Glenn Greenwald’s ass that they can squeeze his adam’s apple – not to mention the number of paid informants they and/or the CIA almost undoubtedly have on the staff of The Guardian – they must have known before Alexander gave his lying speech that everything he was planning to say to the Black Hat conference was about to be revealed to be a tissue of lies.  But that didn’t stop this “Great American Hero (TM)” – far from it!  He just went right ahead with his bullshit speech as if the entire world is made up of people as dull-witted as the vast majority of American adults, and lied and kept on lying.

[The entire speech of Gen. Alexander, that arch-enemy of the world’s working class, to the 2013 Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on 31 July, 2013 is available here.]

The Black Hat Conference may be organized by some of the world’s most computer-savvy hackers; but when it comes to politics they are pathetic nOObs.  In remarks given just before General Lies-a-lot took the podium, Black Hat General Manager Trey Ford showed his true colors.  First, and very decently, he began by asking for a moment of silence in memory of super-hacker Barnaby Jack’s untimely and sudden death  last Thursday from as-yet undetermined causes.  This was noble, perhaps, of Ford to do this, but it definitely served to put a damper on the spirits of those eager to give Alexander a well-deserved verbal ass-kicking.

Referring to Alexander as “The General”, Ford stated that the organizers of Black hat had collected questions from “select members of the community” related to the recent NSA revelations and presented them to General “Pinocchio” Alexander, apparently in the wishful expectation of somehow receiving some honest answers from this most unlikely source.

“I believe that our communities are deeply linked:  the security community, the intelligence community and..  I think it’s time for the General to come and set some facts straight.  The conversation cannot continue effectively without getting some insight, some perspective, some clarity on the facts”!

Yes, that’s what’s needed! Those crazy “facts” are always going off half-cocked!  Someone could get hurt!  What the world needs is for a full-time professional liar to step forward to put those darned facts straight for us so we can understand just what the hell is going on!

Once Ford finished his fawning, lame intro for his friend “The General”, another of Black Hat’s leading geniuses came on stage.  We are still trying to figure out who he is, [it appears to be Black Hat Founder/Director Jeff Moss] […]  his remarks went even further than Ford’s to soft-soap the audience in preparation for the virile thrust of Alexander’s speech:

“Yeah… I think, um…I’ve never sensed this level of tension or apprehension in the community since… I would say… I don’t know.  How many people here were around for the “cryptowars” in the late ’90s?  Right?  I mean that was a pretty stressful time.  And that pales in comparison to what’s going on now.  That was: ‘how do we export math; how do we control cryptography?’  The ‘clipper chip’.  You know, ‘the government might want to listen in to our phone calls.’ [uncomfortable laughter]. How times have changed. [big laughs from audience].


“Rumor has it that The General’s a pretty busy guy.  And I think it would have been easy for him to sort of ‘duck out’ and not come speak to us.  You know, go to a meeting.  But, instead, uh, he’s coming here to speak with us – not because he has to – but because he wants to. And I think that really speaks toward his integrity and his interest in engaging with us and with the community.

“Last year… I’ve been trying to get a director at NSA to speak at DefCon for as long as I’ve been doing DefCon… and, finally, one came to DefCon last year – General Alexander.  And he tried to start a conversation with us about shared values and then… how do we set the needle on civil liberties, privacy; but then, security?  And it’s never going to be a static needle; this needle is gonna move around.  Ah, but how do we set it?  I think he’s a big believer in that technology, and working with communities such as ours can lead to a more transparent and easier way of setting the needle.  ‘Cause it’s gonna get set, one way or the other.  Um… I think what, what’s happening here is there’s this tension between… offense seem to really be winning right now (laughs). I mean, offense is doing sweet; defense not so much.  And so a lot of people are thinking: ‘Well, so what does that mean?  What does that mean to my business? Well… how are you going to move forward in this environment of sort of like all-pervasive offense capabilities?’  And I think, really, this is giving us an opportunity now to finally have this conversation that we’ve all been wanting to have for five or ten years.  And I think The General wants to have that conversation as well.  So, I think this topic is more important than ever and I’m just really proud that these things are going to start happening here.  Trey?”

Trey Ford:  “”I think we all look forward to hearing from The General… um… I think we can all respect that there’s a lot of things he can’t share with us;  I think that we have a responsibility to try to set aside hyperbole [! – IWPCHI] to give a very focused look at the facts… without further ado, let’s welcome General Alexander to the stage.”  [loud applause, music as “The General” enters, shaking hands with Moss and Ford, climbing the stairs to the stage carrying what may have been, judging from his slightly slurred speech, his first non-alcoholic beverage of the day – a bottle of water].

THESE are the leaders of the “black hats”?  What a pair of lying sycophantic turds!  “We’re finally going to be able to have this conversation we’ve all been waiting to have for the past… ten years”?  Yes, now that the NSA has gone ahead and shredded what’s left of our Constitutional rights, we will have a conversation!  And a one-sided one it will be, because – except for the recent revelations of heroic ex-NSA sub-contractor Edward Snowden, we’ve all been kept completely in the dark about what’s been going on… by “The General” and his co-conspirators!  “The General wants to have this conversation as well”!  Oh, good for him!  How nice of him to deign to speak to this tiny subset of the American working class after having robbed us all of our right to privacy!  “I think we can all respect that there’s a lot of things he can’t share with us!”  Yes! Because we are “merely” the citizens of the United States, mere citizens – and we don’t have the proper security clearances to be kept apprised as to what “our” government is up to in this thoroughly fake “democracy”!

General Keith Alexander inspects "new" Saudi Arabian antiaircraft weapons near Riyadh during Gulf War II

General Keith Alexander inspects surplus U.S. artillery sold to Saudi Arabia during Gulf War II.  Photographer: name redacted.

And so Alexander takes the stage (pictured above, at work during the Gulf War) sporting a sort of “military casual” look…  perhaps this is what they wear at the Pentagon on “casual Fridays”:  short sleeve white shirt, open at the neck (no tie), but still bedecked with medals and ribbons like a tinpot dictator.  And what the fuck are all those medals for, pray tell?  Alexander graduated from West Point in 1974 as the Vietnam War was winding down; according to his Wikipedia biography  he never saw active duty in Vietnam – or anywhere else.  All his assignments were either in the United States, in Germany or in Saudi Arabia.  Apparently he’s never fired so much as a slingshot in wartime!  But all those pretty ribbons serve to dazzle those who possess that almost uniquely American overweening military fetish – a fetish of the soldier so fawning that it even embarrasses the more perceptive U.S. military officers themselves.  A fetish shared, pathetically, by Trey Ford and Jeff Moss – and, if the applause in the room is authentic and not just a showing of hands to placate their bosses, by a great number of these so-called “black hat hackers” as well.

Actually, in Moss’ case, his love for all things authoritarian isn’t something he’s ashamed of at all: his official bio on the Black Hat website proudly touts “his ability to bridge the gap between the underground researcher community and law enforcement, between the worlds of pure research and responsible application.”  In plain English: he’s a willing cat’s paw of the forces of “law and order”, trolling the aisles of Black Hat conferences to help identify those people who are potential allies of the US Government and its many spy and police agencies and those who are not “responsible” members of the Black Hat “community”.

But let’s get back to “The General’s” dog-and-pony show, shall we?

[Transcriptor’s note: throughout his speech, “The General” speaks in both tone and speed, in the manner of  Mr. Rogers

;  we have tried to give a sense of the style of his speech patterns using three dots (…) to show where “The General” frequently pauses in his speech.  Where he slurs his speech, we have showed that as well by slamming a bunch of words together.  We are not trying to heap ridicule on this asshat; we are simply trying to put into textual form his style of speech – IWPCHI]

The General: “Well Trey and Jeff, thanks… thanks for that introduction.  I think that what they said to start out with… uh… is the reason I’m here.  This is [gesturing to the audience] the technical foundation for our world’s communications… you folks right here.  And the issue that stands before us today is one of what do we do next?  How do we start this discussion on defending our nation and protecting our civil liberties and privacy?

“The reason I’m here is because you may have some ideas of how we can do it better: we need to hear those ideas.  But equally important – from my perspective – izzat [sic] you get the facts.  An’ so what I’mgunnadotoday [sic]  is try to lay out those facts.

“Now as Trey or Jeff said, there are good reasons why some of this is classified.  And why some of it is stuff that we just don’t put out there.  And the big reason from my perspective is because terrorists use our communications.  They live among us.  How do we come up… with a program to stop terrorism and to protect our civil liberties and privacy?  This is perhaps one of the biggest issues facing our country today.

“I also want you to get a sense for people at the National Security Agency.  It has been… the greatest honor and privilege of my life… to lead… these noble folks.  They’re the ones – and you’ll get a little bit of sense of what they’ve done for our country over the past eight years while I’ve been there… and their reputation is tarnished… because all the facts aren’t on the table.  But you [pointing at the audience] can help us articulate the facts properly. [Someone either sneezes or pretends to sneeze and says “bullshit!” Alexander’s head quickly swivels in the direction of the sound, as if startled.  As we said, he was never a battlefield commander].  I will answer every question… to the fullest extent possible.  And I promise you… the truth:  what we know; what we’re doing;  and what I cannot tell you… [I will act out in mime? No – dammit! – IWPCHI] because we don’t want to jeopardize our future defense.

What we’re going do in this briefing is give you the facts on these programs – the business record, FISA; on FAA 702; on what we’ve done to stop terrorist attacks… address some of the problems that we see out there… with inaccurate statements… and talk about ‘where do we go from here’?

“That’s where you come in.  We need to hear from you… because the tools… and the things we use… are very much the same as the tools that many of you use in securing networks.  The difference, in part, is the oversight and the compliance that we have in these programs.  That part is missing in much of the discussion.  I believe it’s important for you to hear that: for you to understand what these people have to do in order to do their job to defend this nation.  And the oversight regime that we have.

[To be continued – IWPCHI]

US National Security Agency Releases “Talking Points” to Help Capitalist Press Defend US Police State

The United States government – a wholly-owned subsidiary of the tiny US capitalist class, whose top 450 or so members own over 50% of US wealth – likes to pose as a benevolent government dedicated to the “freedom of the press”.  Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.  The US Government has opposed a free press since the 1798 passage of the infamous “Alien and Sedition Acts” – signed into law by “Founding Father” John Adams and used by both Adams and Jefferson to gag those in the US news media of the day who dared to “defame” them in the pages of their newspapers.

Back then, in the early days of the formation of the US Government, there was a much more lively left opposition bourgeois press dedicated to “Republican” principles than their is today.  Today’s bourgeois press fully supports the rule of the US capitalist aristocracy – from Fox News to the New York Times, they all, in the last analysis, are loyal defenders of the class rule of the US capitalist class.

The latest revelations of the true nature of the “openness” and “freedom” of the US capitalist political system – provided by an employee of a subcontractor working for the Orwellian nightmare National Security Agency (NSA) , Edward Snowden – is proving, once again, that when it comes to defending even the most revolting behavior of the US capitalist class and its government agents, the US bourgeois press stands second to none.  Though it has become obligatory for the editorial boards of every US news media outlet to “condemn” the massive domestic and international spying operations being carried out by the NSA, this criticism has been of the “loyal opposition” type.  The pro-capitalist news media are united in their defense of the “right” of the US Government to spy on the “enemies of the state” – foreign and domestic – so long as that spying is being “monitored” by the elected representatives of “the people” and members of the supposedly “objective” judiciary.   The vast foreign and domestic spying operations of the US Government “are necessary” in order to “defend” the US from “terrorists”, they all opine.

Still, the NSA wants to make sure that these fawning, slavish “knights of the pen” in the capitalist media stay “on message” as the NSA seeks to derail any accidental development of any political movement by a rogue Congressman to timidly file down the razor-sharp teeth and fangs of the US “intelligence community”.  In spite of the long-running spectacle of the entire US news media  tripping over their own tongues in an obsequious effort to prove their undying loyalty to the US capitalist class – even when it appears unmasked in the guise of a 21st-century version of the Spanish Inquisition – the NSA is going the extra distance it believes to be necessary in order to ensure that no virulently anti-police state journalism obtains a foothold in any dark corner of a newsroom anywhere.  To that end it has helpfully produced a series of “talking points” memos and distributed them throughout the editorial offices of the land so that all the bootlicking defenders of the US police state can stay “en pointe”.

The pro-capitalist reformist liberals at Techdirt – who are apparently “shocked, SHOCKED!” at the very idea that the massive spying operations of “their” US Government should be directed at THEM! – have attempted to keep the NSA’s feet to the tepid breath of the US news media by releasing two of the NSA’s “talking points” memos.

They (the memos, that is) are quite interesting and even amusing.



“What is everyone so worked up about”? asks the NSA, donning grandma’s bedclothes.  “There’s nothing illegal going on – everything we’ve done has been lawfully conducted under the FISA act, which was signed into law by the very same Democratic and Republican Senators and Congressmen who today pretend to be shocked at what we’re doing!”  True enough.

The Democrats – caught presiding over a domestic spying operation every bit as intrusive as that which they once hypocritically reviled in the East German workers state… one that would make Richard Nixon blush – are now lining up to defend “their” police state, claiming that it’s “necessary” in order to fight the terrorist groups that fellow Democrat Jimmy Carter unleashed on the world in order to combat the communist menace.  The truly hideous Dianne Feinstein, long-serving Democratic Senator from “liberal” San Francisco, California and Chairman of the hilariously misnamed “Senate Intelligence Committee” makes no bones about it:

“A primary mission of the U.S. intelligence community is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, and Congress works closely with the executive branch to ensure that the authorities necessary to keep our country safe are in place. One of these authorities is the ‘business records’ provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act under which the executive branch is authorized to collect ‘metadata’ concerning telephone calls, such as a telephone number or the length of a call. This law does not allow the government to listen in on the content of a phone call.

            “The executive branch’s use of this authority has been briefed extensively to the Senate and House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, and detailed information has been made available to all members of Congress prior to each congressional reauthorization of this law.

            “Ensuring security, however, must be consistent with respect for the constitutional rights of all Americans. The alleged FISA Court order contained in the Guardian article does not give the government authority to listen in on anyone’s telephone call, nor does it provide the government with the content of any communication or the name of any subscriber. As with other FISA authorities, all information the government may receive under such an order would be subject to strict limitations. While our courts have consistently recognized that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in this type of metadata information and thus no search warrant is required to obtain it, any subsequent effort to obtain the content of an American’s communications would require a specific order from the FISA Court.

            “The intelligence community has successfully used FISA authorities to identify terrorists and those with whom they communicate, and this intelligence has helped protect the nation. The threat from terrorism remains very real and these lawful intelligence activities must continue, with the careful oversight of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.”

[Source:  http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/press/record.cfm?id=343993 , “Feinstein, Chambliss Statement on NSA Phone Records Program”, 6 June, 2013 dredged from sewer of Feinstein’s Senate website]

This is what voting for the “lesser of two evils” gets you.   It is interesting to note that while Feinstein – who has been one of the principal architects of the US police state ‘lo these many years – claims that the NSA’s continual monitoring of every form of telecommunication carried out by every US citizen capable of using the Internet has “identified terrorists” and “helped protect the nation” she does not mention a single verifiable instance of such ever happening, while the NSA claims that it has, by collecting every email, blog post and phone call in the US, actually stopped “at least one” terrorist attack.   Of course, they won’t give any details to back up that assertion, either, because if they told the world about it, then they’d have to have the CIA kill us all.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago