In one of the final acts of the 112th Congress, the U.S. Senate dealt a fatal blow to the U.S. Constitution by passing President Obama’s National Defense Authorization Act for 2013, which contains the same illegal detention of U.S. citizens as its 2012 predecessor, and defeating amendments to and enacting Texas Republican Representative Lamar Smith’s House Resolution 5949, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2012.
HR 5949 keeps the warrantless surveillance authority imposed by the Bush-Cheney administration under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008—the National Security Agency’s operation STELLAR WIND—in place. With the Obama administration forcing through the reauthorization of STELLAR WIND, illegal wiretapping by NSA of American citizens’ phone calls, emails, faxes, telexes, social networking instant messages (IMs) and short message services (SMSs), Voice-Over-IP (VOIP), and files contained in cloud storage can now be called Obama’s illegal surveillance program.
Obama was required by NSA to seek STELLAR WIND’s reauthorization because NSA requires congressional cover for the launching of the most massive eavesdropping and storage program in the history of the world. NSA will soon be storing every form of electronic communication sent and received by U.S. citizens at its $1.5 billion Utah Data Center located within the Camp Williams Utah National Guard base near Bluffdale, Utah. The NSA will be combining its signals intelligence functions as NSA/Central Security Service with its computer intelligence and information functions as part of its U.S. Cyber Command responsibilities under the aegis of a program known as the Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center that will deploy the NSA’s follow-on to its post-9/11 data mining program, the Novel Intelligence from Massive Data (NIMD). With its new powers granted by Congress, NSA has become the most intrusive intelligence agency in the world today.
A few senators attempted to seek amendments to the HR 5949, but no no avail. A substitution to the House bill offered by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and the Senate President pro tem, failed with a vote of 38 for to 52 against with 10 not voting. Other amendments introduced by Senators Ran Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) were rejected by the Senate. The Paul amendment would have ensured that Fourth Amendments rights were protected under the re-authorization, Merkley’s amendment would have required the Attorney General to disclose Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court significant interpretations of the eavesdropping statute, and the Wyden amendment would have required an privacy impact report on the effects of the act.
The Democratic ringmaster for the “No” votes on the amendments was Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Also voting no were the “senator from NSA” Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the senator from the CIA and co-founder of Capital Cellular Corporation and major investor in NEXTEL Mark Warner (D-VA) , the Bilderberg man Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) , Kay Hagan (D-NC), Secretary of State-select John Kerry (D-MA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and the outgoing Ben Nelson (D-NE).
Paul’s “motherhood” amendment on Fourth Amendment protections only received the support of Max Baucus (D-MT), Mark Begich (D-AK), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mike Lee (R-UT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jim Webb (R-VA), and Wyden.
In the end, STELLAR WIND reauthorization passed the Senate with a vote of 73 for, 23 against, and 4 not voting. Three of the 23 no votes were Republicans: Lee, Paul, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Among the Democrats voting no were Leahy, newly-appointed Brian Schatz (D-HI), both senators from Oregon, New Mexico, Montana, Vermont, and Washington, and Mark Begich (AK), Sherrod Brown (OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Coons (DE), Al Franken (MN), Bob Menendez (NJ), Mark Udall (CO), Dan Akaka (HI),and Tom Harkin (IA).
The Congress folded like a two-dollar suitcase in giving NSA congressional cover to begin amassing a yottabyte of personal data at its Utah Data Center. A yottabyte is one septillion bytes of data. The NSA will sweep and store in Utah AT&T’s DAYTONA database of caller information, itself one of the world’s largest databases, and the firm’s 312 terabyte HAWKEYE database, containing every domestic telephone communication from 2001. A large Microsoft facility that handles 10 billion Hotmail messages per day and located near NSA Texas in San Antonio, will feed its take directly into the Utah center. All the signals intelligence (SIGINT) intercepts from NSA and its second, third, and fourth party intelligence sharing partners around the world and contained in the massive OCEANARIUM SIGINT database, which is associated with a central repository of phone number database called ANCHORY/MAUI, will also be stored in Utah. Smaller SIGINT databases called CULTWEAVE and PROTON will also feed into the monster system in Utah. The CREST database automatically translates foreign language intercepts and provides the data to operators in English. The AGILITY database, which stores intercepted voice communications, and PINWALE, which contains intercepted faxes and e-mail, will also be stored in Utah. Another voice intercept database called NUCLEON will also be streamed into the Utah Data Center. A high-capacity/high-speed vacuum cleaner once called SHARKFIN and renamed RC-10, sweeps up all-source communications intelligence (COMINT) from a variety of communication methods and systems. SIGINT analysis tools like PATHFINDER allow operators to drill down on surveillance targets.
Exchange of data for human operators is handled by automated message handling systems such as one codenamed MESSIAH. SIGINT targeting and reporting systems called SKYWRITER, SEMESTER, and There is one NSA system with the cover name FASCIA that is hauntingly close in name to the word “fasces,” the root word for fascism.
Under the UK-USA agreement that for over 65 years has seen the sharing of intercepted civilian communications between “First Party” NSA (OSCAR), and “Second Parties”—Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) (ALPHA), Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE) (UNIFORM), Australia’s Defense Signals Directorate (DSD) (ECHO), and New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) (INDIA)—the allied SIGINT partners have moved into stored data surveillance, including financial information, consumer profiling data, and stored personal computer files. All these agencies will have their hooks into the Utah Data Center and the privacy of Americans’ personal data will be routinely violated by foreign intelligence operators on duty in Cheltenham, England; Leitrim, Ontario; Waihopi, New Zealand; and Geraldton and Canberra, Australia.
But access to the most private data of Americans will not merely be accessible to the English-speaking First and Second Parties. It has been revealed that during the Cold War and its aftermath the First and Second Parties also shared intelligence between themselves and non-English speaking “Third Parties.” Such intelligence was classified with the designator DRUID and was shared with third parties, countries with NATO or defense treaty relationships with the United States, with SIGINT Exchange Designators of DIKTER (Norway), SETTEE (South Korea), DYNAMO (Denmark), RICHTER (Germany), and ISHTAR (Japan). Other intelligence was shared between First and Second Parties and “Fourth Parties” that were mainly neutral or special category partners. Such Fourth Party intelligence partners had sharing designators like JAEGER (Austria). Other SIGINT Exchange Designators with Third and Fourth Parties were ARCA, FRONTO, NECTAR, SARDINE, KAMPUS, PROTEIN, SEABOOT, DIVERSITY, KEYRUT, PYLON, MUSKET, RORIPA, and THESPIS. These designators covered the sharing of SIGINT with such nations as France, Thailand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, Turkey, the People’s Republic of China, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
There is every indication that these SIGINT agreements continue and now extend to stored data—phone calls and Internet transactions—in addition to real-time intercepts. In what should be of concern to every American, Canadian, Briton, Dane, Norwegian, Japanese, Italian, and others, intelligence operators sitting in data fusion centers in Paris (Alliance Base where French, British, German, Canadian, and Australian intelligence analysts comb through databases containing massive amounts of personal data); Cheltenham; Fort Meade, Maryland; the new $1 billion NSA Middle East and North Africa intercept and analysis facility, codenamed SWEET TEA, near Leburda, Georgia; Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado; Canberra; Ottawa; Kunia Camp, Oahu; and the Utah Data Center will be to call up electronic dossiers on everyone with a digital footprint anywhere in the world without regard to national boundaries, court oversight, or data protection and privacy laws.
1. It was a technical adviser to then Virginia Governor Mark Warner who revealed that Warner urged his staff to engage in cell phone “batteries out” conversations when they were talking about sensitive topics. Warner’s support for STELLAR WIND powers and his past knowledge of NSA’s capabilities to use cell phones turned off but with batteries still installed indicates that he was in on, and may have even profited from, NSA’s cellular phone technical capabilities.
 NSA director and Cyber Command chief General Keith Alexander has attended the last few Bilderberg meetings.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).