Berto Jongman: NSA “Tailored Access Operations” (TAO) — Focus on the 2% at Great Expense While Ignoring the 98% Open Access World 2.0 Refs Added

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

How the U.S. Government Hacks the World

Michael Riley

BloombergBusinessWeek, 23 May 2013

EXTRACT:

The men and women who hack for the NSA belong to a secretive unit known as Tailored Access Operations. It gathers vast amounts of intelligence on terrorist financial networks, international money-laundering and drug operations, the readiness of foreign militaries, even the internal political squabbles of potential adversaries, according to two former U.S. government security officials, who asked not to be named when discussing foreign intelligence gathering. For years, the NSA wouldn’t acknowledge TAO’s existence. A Pentagon official who also asked not to be named confirmed that TAO conducts cyber espionage, or what the Department of Defense calls “computer network exploitation,” but emphasized that it doesn’t target technology, trade, or financial secrets. The official says the number of people who work for TAO is classified. NSA spokeswoman Vaneé Vines would not answer questions about the unit.

The two former security officials agreed to describe the operation and its activities without divulging which governments or entities it targets. According to the former officials, U.S. cyberspies, most from military units who’ve received specialized training, sit at consoles running sophisticated hacking software, which funnels information stolen from computers around the world into a “fusion center,” where intelligence analysts try to make sense of it all. The NSA is prohibited by law from spying on people or entities within the U.S., including noncitizens, or on U.S. citizens abroad. According to one of the former officials, the amount of data the unit harvests from overseas computer networks, or as it travels across the Internet, has grown to an astonishing 2 petabytes an hour—that’s nearly 2.1 million gigabytes, the equivalent of hundreds of millions of pages of text.

Read full article.

Phi Beta Iota:  This is insane at multiple levels.  First there is the expense and then the strategic ignorance of focusing on the 2% instead of the 98% that is open.  Then there is the matter of personnel capabilities — the reality is that most of these people are low-rent, not hackers by any conceivable definition of the term.  Finally there is the matter of relevancy — with ten high level threats to humanity out there, it can safely be said that this effort in no way contributes to threat reduction.,  This is a monstrous out of control self-licking icr cream cone that cannot document more than a 1% processing rate.  What NSA should be doing is a) protecting US commercial and all sector communications and computing; b) figuring out computational mathematics to stay on top of Google — never happening; and c) creating the world’s first near-real-time all-source exploitation center with distributed analytic workstations able to make sense of everything, in all languages, at all times.  This is not to pick on NSA — every element of the US secret intelligence community, without exception, is performing at a 10% level of utility and return on investment.  They system (not the good people) is corrupt to the bone.  It lacks 21st Century leadership and is therefore incapable of producing intelligence (decision-support) with integrity, for Whole of Government — it cannot even keep national security plans, programs, acquisitions, and operations honest, so it can be said that right now the secret world is an employment program and a corporate welfare program, nothing more.

See Also:

2013 Robert Steele in HighGainBlog on Open and Secret Intelligence

2012 USA Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Scorecard 1.1

2012 USA Intelligence Scorecard – Deja Vu 2000 1 of 5

2012 USA Intelligence Scorecard – Deja Vu 2000 2 of 5

2012 USA Intelligence Scorecard – Deja Vu 2000 3 of 5

2012 USA Intelligence Scorecard – Deja Vu 2000 4 of 5

2012 USA Intelligence Scorecard – Deja Vu 2000 5 of 5

2012 PREPRINT: The Craft of Intelligence 3.4

2012 Reality Sandwich: The Battle for the Soul of the Republic

2011 Open Source Agency: Executive Access Point

2008 Open Source Intelligence (Strategic) 2.0

BGen James Cox, CA (Ret) On the Record on Open Source Information versus Open Source Intelligence versus Secret Intelligence

Fixing the White House and National Intelligence

Graphic: Jim Bamford on the Human Brain

Graphic: New Balance for the New Craft of Intelligence

Graphic: Old Versus New Intelligence Process

Graphic: Public Governance in the 21st Century

Graphic: Tony Zinni on 4% “At Best”

Intelligence for the President–AND Everyone Else

INTERVIEW: Open Everything – with Robert David STEELE Vivas UPDATED to Add Parts V and VI

Michael Bloomberg, Vice President for Education, Intelligence, & Research — Creating a Smart Nation

NATO OSINT to OSE/M4IS2 Round-Up

Reference: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) – All Humans, All Minds, All the Time [Full Text Online for Google Translate]

Review: No More Secrets – Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence

Search: humint [Human Intelligence] HUMINT + Meta-RECAP

Search: “new rules for the new craft of intelligence”

Search: osint [as of 21 Oct 2012]

Tony Zinni: Background & Confirmation of the 4% “At Best” Quote on Secret versus Open Sources