The reactions to the depth and scope of the NSA’s surveillance apparatus has varied from ho-hum, “that’s their job,” to OMG “it’s the end of the world as we know it!” Somewhere in the middle is the slow-boil rage that is going to transform the IT industry.
If you are of the ho-hum mindset that is perplexed at the outrage, even looking down at those that are so naive in their surprise at NSA surveillance, you should watch these two videos of Jacob Applebaum.
Applebaum is a security researcher best known for his involvement with the anonymizing Tor network but also famous for breaking Apple’s File Vault encryption system. He came under the spotlight for his advocacy of Wikileaks, which reportedly led to his Twitter account being subpoenaed by the US Justice Department in 2010. Applebaum has been subject to numerous detentions at US borders; every traveler’s nightmare expectation. He believes that he is under constant surveillance and that his apartment in Berlin, where he resides now, was subjected to a black-bag job.
With that as background watch this presentation at the recent Chaos Computing Conference in Germany. Applebaum itemizes some of the more spooky capabilities of the NSA that appeared in a seminal article in Der Spiegel the same day. It was an article that he helped write as he is one of the few technical people who has had access to the trove of Snowden documents.
[Note: Contains Classified Material]
Watch it to the end. Your lack of surprise will begin to turn to shock.
Next watch this meeting which occurred at the Whitney Museum of Art in April, 2012, well before the Snowden June 6 revelation of the NSA’s secret collection of meta data from Verizon. Jake Applebaum interviews Bill Binney, one of the ThinThread whistleblowers. ThinThread was a data capture and analysis project of the NSA that was abandoned post 9/11 in favor of TrailBlazer.
Binney’s presentation skills are no match for Applebaum’s but pay particular attention to the clips they show of Congressional testimony. Remember, this is prior to Snowden.
You mad bro? You should be.