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Review of Snowden's book Permanent Record - Part II: At the NSA

More than 6 years after the first disclosure of Top Secret documents from the NSA, after numerous video appearances and more than 4000 tweets, Edward Snowden has now written an autobiography. It's...

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US government uses Swiss diplomatic network to communicate with Iran

A number of countries are connected to each other through bilateral hotlines in order to prevent misunderstandings and miscommunications in times of severe crisis. But what when there's a crisis...

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The serial numbers of NSA reports

On January 14, the NSA disclosed a serious vulnerability in the CryptoAPI service of the Windows 10 operating system (vulnerability identifier: CVE-2020-0601) and in a rare public Cybersecurity...

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Edward Snowden and the STELLARWIND report

Last September, Edward Snowden published his memoir titled Permanent Record (see Part I and Part II of my extensive review). According to this book, he had one of his "atomic moments" when he read a...

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Maximator and other European SIGINT alliances

(Updated: May 19, 2020) One of the topics covered by this weblog is international cooperation among signals intelligence agencies. The Snowden-revelations already provided many details about the...

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Bulk interception by Germany's BND and what the Constitutional Court said...

On May 19, the German Constitutional Court presented its decision in a case about the untargeted interception of foreign communications by the German foreign intelligence service BND.Unlike suggestive...

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NSA documents and cover names from the book Dark Mirror

On May 20, yet another book about the Snowden-revelations was published: Dark Mirror, Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State. It's written by Barton Gellman, who was in direct contact with...

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A unique note from the BND about European SIGINT alliances

(Updated: July 22, 2020) Last April, an academic article by the Dutch professor for computer security Bart Jacobs revealed the existence of Maximator, a hitherto unknown SIGINT-sharing alliance of five...

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Head of Danish military intelligence suspended after misleading the oversight...

The Danish military intelligence service (Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste or FE), which is also responsible for signals intelligence, has been accused of unlawful activities and deliberately...

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About the legality and constitutionality of the Section 215 metadata program

It was one of the NSA's most controversial activities: the bulk collection of domestic telephone records under the Section 215 program. On September 2, a court of appeal ruled that this violated the...

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Danish military intelligence uses XKEYSCORE to tap cables in cooperation with...

Last August, it came out that a whistleblower accused the Danish military and signals intelligence service (Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste or FE) of unlawful activities and deliberately misleading...

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The NSA tried to spy on Danish and other European targets via cable tapping...

(Updated: December 2, 2020) According to new revelations by the Danish broadcaster DR, the NSA tried to use its collaboration with the Danish military intelligence service FE to spy on targets in some...

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The report of a Swiss investigation into the case of Crypto AG

Last month, the Swiss parliamentary intelligence oversight committee published a report about its investigation into the case of Crypto AG, the former Swiss manufacturer of encryption systems that was...

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The phones in president Biden's Oval Office

On January 20, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States. As such he has access to the presidential communications system, including secure and non-secure telephone...

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The telephone contacts of president George W. Bush

Always wanted to know who are on the contact list of the President of the United States? In the George W. Bush Presidential Library one can see the telephone from the president's desk in the Oval...

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The communications systems at the US Central Command headquarters

(Updated: April 9, 2021) Previously, this weblog provided a close look at the phones used by US president Biden. This time we turn to another end of the line and look at the communications equipment...

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What the NSA provides to its foreign partners, and vice versa

The cooperation between (signals) intelligence agencies of different countries is strictly quid pro quo, which means what you get is equivalent to what you give. This is perfectly illustrated by a...

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Edward Snowden and the targeted drone killing campaign

Two weeks ago, on October 22, a new document from the Snowden files was published for the first time in over two years. It's an entry from Intellipedia about the American drone killing campaign that...

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About Intellipedia and other intelligence wikis from the Snowden trove

For years, the NSA and other US intelligence agencies have their own internal versions of the collaboration tools that most of us are using day-to-day. Documents from some of these tools have been...

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From the Hotline to the first video call between presidents Biden and Putin

Among the most special telecommunication links are those between the presidents of the United States and Russia. The first and most famous one is the Hotline from 1963, but contrary to popular belief...

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Head of Danish military intelligence arrested but independent inquiry finds...

Unprecedented developments in Denmark: a former defense minister as well as the head of the military intelligence service FE have been charged for disclosing highly classified information, for which...

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The phones of Ukrainian president Zelensky

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Ukrainian president Zelensky bravely leads his country in the fight against the Russian armed forces. As in any war, communications are of vital...

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The highly classified documents found at Trump's residence Mar-a-Lago

This weblog is not only about signals intelligence, communications security and top level telecommunications equipment, but also about the US Classification System, which is equally fascinating in all...

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Jareh Dalke arrested for offering NSA documents to the Russians

On September 28, the FBI arrested Jareh S. Dalke, who attempted to sell the Russians some highly classified documents which he exfiltrated within less than a month after he started working at the NSA....

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A new secure red telephone for German chancellor Scholz

(Updated: October 30, 2022) In December last year, Olaf Scholz succeeded Angela Merkel as chancellor of Germany. Since about half a year ago, he has a remarkably large red telephone at his desk, which...

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