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Abbreviations, Acronyms, Nicknames and Codewords

The communications security and intelligence branch is notorious for its abbreviations, acronyms, nicknames and codewords, and recently we learned a number of new NSA codewords from many classified...

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Is PRISM just a not-so-secret web tool?

(Updated with an infographic on June 30, 2013) Since The Guardian first published about the PRISM data collection program on June 6, there have been new disclosures of top secret documents almost every...

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New insights into the PRISM program

(Updated: July 10, 2013) Last Saturday, June 29, the Washington Post unexpectedly disclosed four new slides from the powerpoint presentation about the PRISM data collection program. This disclosure...

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New slides about NSA collection programs

Over the last month, the publication of various slides of a powerpoint presentation about the top secret NSA collection program PRISM caused almost worldwide media attention. Less known is that a...

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NSA says there are three different PRISMs

(Updated: July 28, 2013) Yesterday, German media wrote about an official letter from the NSA, which was sent to the German government to clarify some misconceptions about PRISM. This because German...

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NSA also has arrangements with foreign internet providers

(Updated: September 2, 2013) Last Tuesday, August 20, the Wall Street Journal came with a big story with new details about the NSA surveillance programs. The article claims that NSA has the capacity to...

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The 50th anniversary of the Washington-Moscow Hotline

This Friday, August 30, it's exactly 50 years ago that a direct communication link between the United States and Russia became operational. This Washington-Moscow Hotline is one of the most famous top...

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The red phone that was NOT on the Hotline

Today, it's exactly 50 years ago that the famous Washington-Moscow Hotline became operational. Allthough this link has always been for written communications only, many people think there are red...

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An NSA eavesdropping case study

On September 1, the popular Brazilian television news magazine Fantástico reported about an NSA operation for wiretapping the communications of the presidents of Mexico and Brazil. Fantástico is part...

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The US classification system

Top Level Telecommunications often involve information that has to be kept secret. To ensure that, governments have systems to protect sensitive information by classifying it, which is best known from...

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PRISM as part of the BLARNEY program

(Updated: September 23, 2013) Last June, the still on-going Snowden-leaks started with the unveiling of PRISM, an NSA program which collects information about foreign targets from American internet...

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From BULLRUN to NOCON and LACONIC

On September 5, The Guardian, The New York Times and ProPublica jointly revealed that NSA has a top secret program to break encryption systems used on the internet. This is done by for example...

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What are SIGADs starting with DS for?

(Updated: November 7, 2013) Recently, some new NSA powerpoint presentations were published which mention communication intercept facilities with designators like DS-200, DS-200B, DS-300 and...

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BOUNDLESSINFORMANT only shows metadata

(Updated: November 5, 2013) Yesterday, the French paper Le Monde broke with a story saying that NSA is intercepting French telephone communications on a massive scale. This is mainly based upon a graph...

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How secure is the Merkel-Phone?

(Latest update: October 28, 2013) In an article by the German magazine Der Spiegel it was said that the NSA probably also eavesdropped on the mobile phone of chancellor Angela Merkel, which is dubbed...

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How NSA targeted chancellor Merkel's mobile phone

Last week, the German weekly Der Spiegel revealed that NSA intercepted the mobile phone of the German chancellor Angela Merkel. Although most details were not known yet, the fact itself caused a severe...

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Five Eyes, 9-Eyes and many more

On November 2, The Guardian published a lenghty article about the Snowden-leaks, which said that besides the close intelligence-sharing group of the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New-Zealand,...

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Screenshots from BOUNDLESSINFORMANT can be misleading

Over the last months, a number of European newspapers published screenshots from an NSA tool codenamed BOUNDLESSINFORMANT, which were said to show the number of data that NSA collected from those...

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DRTBOX and the DRT surveillance systems

(Updated: November 29, 2013) In recently published screenshots from NSA's BOUNDLESSINFORMANT tool about France, Spain, Norway and Afghanistan we see the mysterious term DRTBOX. For example, the...

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NSA's global interception network

On November 23, the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad published a new slide from the Snowden documents. The slide is from a Top Secret NSA management presentation from 2012 and shows the agency's...

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