We've noted repeatedly how privacy technology discussions often have a bizarre and amusing lack of context, the press getting borderline hysterical about every NebuAD
scandal, while ignoring that carriers and the government buy, sell and trade all user information daily with only a fleeting regard for law.
Time and time again we've seen folks come forward with evidence of carriers like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon simply dumping all live traffic in the government's lap
in violation of law (which they simply change when they get caught).
AT&T employee Mark Klein gave evidence of this
, and a slew of intelligence whistleblowers have since confirmed it repeatedly. In an interview with RT
, NSA whistleblower William Binney is the latest to remind the public just how little privacy we actually have:
The Naris device, if it takes in the entire line, so it takes in all the data. In fact they advertised they can process the lines at session rates, which means 10-gigabit lines. I forgot the name of the device (it’s not the Naris) – the other one does it at 10 gigabits. That’s why they're building Bluffdale [database facility], because they have to have more storage, because they can’t figure out what’s important, so they are just storing everything there. So, emails are going to be stored there in the future, but right now stored in different places around the country. But it is being collected – and the FBI has access to it.
If you're not following along, what Binney is again confirming here is that major carriers have embedded hardware that gives the government access to all communications and voice data in real time
The problem hasn't been getting carriers to hand over the data, adhering to law or getting access to lines, the problem for the NSA has been analyzing this maelstrom of data and picking out pertinent information. That's why the agency is building several giant warehouses packed with supercomputers to store and dissect their information treasure trove, just one of them being a $2 billion operation in Bluffdale, Utah
This all seems fairly important to remember the next time someone gets bent out of shape because Facebook sold the fact you really like Eggs Benedict.