Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA] | WIKIPEDIA | MAY 13, 2017
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (“FISA” Pub.L. 95–511, 92 Stat. 1783, 50 U.S.C. ch. 36) is a United States federal law which prescribes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” suspected of espionage or terrorism). The Act created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. It has been repeatedly amended since the September 11 attacks.
Warrantless domestic wiretapping program
The Act came into public prominence in December 2005 following publication by the New York Times of an article that described a program of warrantless domestic wiretapping ordered by the Bush administration and carried out by the National Security Agency since 2002; a subsequent Bloomberg article suggested that this may have already begun by June 2000.
The Act created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and enabled it to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies (primarily the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency) against suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the U.S. The court is located within the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington, D.C. The court is staffed by eleven judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to serve seven-year terms.
Proceedings before the FISA court are ex parte and non-adversarial. The court hears evidence presented solely by the Department of Justice. There is no provision for a release of information regarding such hearings, or for the record of information actually collected.
United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court | WIKIPEDIA | MAY 13, 2017
Established and authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Such requests are made most often by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Each application for one of these surveillance warrants (called a FISA warrant) is made before an individual judge of the court. The court may allow third parties to submit briefs as amici curiae. When the U.S. Attorney General determines that an emergency exists, the Attorney General may authorize the emergency employment of electronic surveillance before obtaining the necessary authorization from the FISC, if the Attorney General or their designee notifies a judge of the court at the time of authorization and applies for a warrant as soon as practicable but not more than 7 days after authorization of such surveillance, as required by 50 U.S.C. § 1805.
If an application is denied by one judge of the court, the federal government is not allowed to make the same application to a different judge of the court, but may appeal to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. Such appeals are rare: the first appeal from the FISC to the Court of Review was made in 2002 (In re Sealed Case No. 02-001), 24 years after the founding of the court.
Also rare is for FISA warrant requests to be turned down. During the 25 years from 1979 to 2004, 18,742 warrants were granted, while only 4 were rejected. Fewer than 200 requests had to be modified before being accepted, almost all of them in 2003 and 2004. The four rejected requests were all from 2003, and all four were partially granted after being submitted for reconsideration by the government. Of the requests that had to be modified, few were before the year 2000. During the next eight years, from 2004 to 2012, there were over 15,100 additional warrants granted, and another 7 being rejected. Over the entire 33-year period, the FISA court granted 33,942 warrants, with only 12 denials – a rejection rate of 0.03 percent of the total requests. This does not include the number of warrants that were modified by the FISA court. .
In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A. | NEW YORK TIMES | JUL 6, 2013
WASHINGTON — In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.
The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions.
The 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, was once mostly focused on approving case-by-case wiretapping orders. But since major changes in legislation and greaterjudicial oversight of intelligence operations were instituted six years ago, it has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions that will most likely shape intelligence practices for years to come, the officials said.
The USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. | PRESIDENTAL ARCHIVES
Ten-letter abbreviation (USA PATRIOT) expanded, the full title is “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001” | US GOVERNMENT
Mixed Signals In The Debate Over Encryption Technology | CNN | JUN 16, 1998
“While most agree that encryption is a key element in the growth of electronic commerce, a long-running debate has raged involving the high-tech industry, government officials and lawmakers over how far the government should go in restricting the technology’s use. High-tech companies have been pushing to export much stronger encryption products than currently allowed.”
“The Clinton administration has been reluctant to relax export controls on encryption. It is worried that easing controls may hinder lawenforcement and intelligence gathering when the technology is used to block access to communications or data.”
“June 9, 1998, top law enforcement officials met with a half-dozen executives of high-tech companies to discuss both sides of the issue.”
“Among the participants in the meeting, hosted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., at her office, were FBI Director Louis J. Freeh and Attorney General Janet Reno, as well as Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, Scott McNealy, chief executive of Sun Microsystems Inc., and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.”
While still relatively small, the number of FBI cases involving computerized evidence where encryption was used increased from 3 percent to 7 percent in the last several years. And FBI officials expect it to continue rising.
Freeh took the debate one step further in 1997 by calling for restrictions on the use of encryption products within the United States — comments that sent waves of panic throughout the technology industry. (1997 CQ Weekly, p. 2140)
The FBI has been “trying to find a balance in which we can still do our job and do our job in the future as this proliferates. We hope strong encryption proliferates from a business part and from a privacy part — but how can we do it in such a way . . . that doesn’t [hurt] us,” said FBI deputy Assistant Director Edward L. Allen in an interview.
The FBI has been pushing to require manufacturers to ensure that law enforcement has some way to gain access to a decrypted version of stored data or communications.
Freeh has advocated requiring all encryption products made in the United States or those imported into the United States to include a “key recovery” feature that would require a user of encryption to store the key needed to decrypt data with a trusted third party.
In 1999, Stephen Manes quoted Soctt McNealy, “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.” | WIRED 1999
FBI Agent Edward Allen, pictured below.
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) | WIKIPEDIA | MAY 13, 2017
United States federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.
Each year’s act also includes other provisions.
The authorization bill determines the agencies responsible for defense, establishes funding levels, and sets the policies under which money will be spent.
United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) | WIKIPEDIA | MAY 13, 2017
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: Processes and examines citizenship, residency, and asylum requests from aliens.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Law enforcement agency that enforces U.S. laws along its international borders (air, land, and sea) including its enforcement of U.S. immigration, customs, and agriculture laws while at and patrolling between all U.S. ports-of-entry.
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Law enforcement agency divided into two bureaus:
- An agency that enforces U.S. laws while it investigates and gathers intelligence on national and international criminal activities that threaten the security of the homeland (Homeland Security Investigations); and
- An agency that investigates violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act and enforces the detention, deportation and removal of violators of United States immigration law (Enforcement and Removal Operations).
- Transportation Security Administration: Responsible for aviation security (domestic and international, most notably conducting passenger screenings at airports), as well as land and water transportation security
- United States Coast Guard: Military service responsible for law enforcement, maritime security, national defense, maritime mobility, and protection of natural resources.
- United States Secret Service: Law enforcement agency that investigates threats against and provides protective services for the President and Vice President of the United States and their immediate families as well as other important governmental officials. It also investigates crimes against the U.S. monetary system including the crime of counterfeiting U.S. currency and other financial instruments.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency: agency that oversees the federal government’s response to natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, etc.
- Homeland Security Advisory Council: State and local government, first responders, private sector, and academics
- National Infrastructure Advisory Council: Advises on security of public and private information systems
- Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee: Advise the Under Secretary for Science and Technology.
- Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council: Coordinate infrastructure protection with private sector and other levels of government
- Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities
- Task Force on New Americans: “An inter-agency effort to help immigrants learn English, embrace the common core of American civic culture, and become fully American.”
- Domestic Nuclear Detection Office: Develop nuclear threat detection capabilities at all levels of government and in the private sector
- Federal Law Enforcement Training Center: Interagency law enforcement training facilities located in Georgia, New Mexico, and South Carolina.
- National Protection and Programs Directorate: risk-reduction, encompassing both physical and virtual threats and their associated human elements.
- Directorate for Science and Technology: Research and development
- Directorate for Management: Responsible for internal budgets, accounting, performance monitoring, and human resources
- Office of Policy: Long-range policy planning and coordination
- DHS Office of Health Affairs: Medical preparedness
- Office of Intelligence and Analysis: Identify and assess threats based on intelligence from various agencies
- Office of Operations Coordination: Monitor domestic security situation on a daily basis, coordinate activities with state and local authorities and private sector infrastructure
- Office of the Secretary includes the Privacy Office, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Office of Inspector General,Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of the General Counsel, Office of Public Affairs, Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement (CNE), Office of the Executive Secretariat (ESEC), and the Military Advisor’s Office.
- National Cybersecurity Center
Frances Townsend | WHITEHOUSE | RELATIONSHIP SCIENCE
Decision Sciences | Board of Advisors
The Aspen Institute | Member
The Trilateral Commission | Member
The Council on Foreign Relations | Member
Department of Justice, District of Brooklyn | Counsel to the Attorney General for Intelligence Policy (1985 – 1988) | Mentored by Rudolph Giuliani and FBI Director Louis Freeh.
Department of Justice, Southern District of New York | US Attorney International Organized Crime and White Collar Crime (1988 – 1991)
Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General
International Programs | (1991 1993) to assist in establishing the newly created Office of International Programs, the predecessor to the Executive Office for National Security.
Chief of Staff to the Assistance Attorney General, Criminal Division | (1993 1995) played a critical role in establishing the Division’s international training and rule of law programs.
Director of International Affairs, Criminal Division | (1995 – 1997) | which serves as the U. S. Central Authority for extradition and mutual legal assistance, and works with the Department of State in the negotiation of international law enforcement treaties.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division | (1997 1998) where she oversaw international law enforcement and training matters, and acted as an advisor to the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General on international law enforcement policy.
Advisor to the Attorney General & Deputy Attorney General for International Law Enforcement Policy | (1997 1998)
Counsel to AG, Office of Intelligence Policy and Review for National Security Policy & Operations | (1998 – 2000) managing matters related to national security policy and operations for the Department of Justice. In this capacity she headed the office of Intelligence Policy and Review, an office that:
provides legal advice and recommendations to the Attorney General and the Department of Justice regarding national security matters, reviews executive orders, directives and procedures relating to the intelligence community, and approves certain intelligence-gathering activities, especially those matters related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Executive Office of the President
Deputy Assistant to the President & Deputy National Security Advisor For Combating Terrorism | (2003 – 2004)
Assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism | (2004 – 2008)
US Coast Guard | Assistant Commandant for Intelligence (2000 2003)
Homeland Security Council | Chairman | (2004 – 2008)
Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) | Chairman of Board of Directors
Protiviti Inc. | Advisory Board | (2015 – present)
IrisGuard Incorporated | Advisory Board
MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc. | Executive Vice President of Worldwide Government, Legal and Business Affairs
Aquamarine Investment Partners | Senior Counselor
SAP National Security Services, Inc. | Chair
Monument Capital Group, LLC | Operating Advisor
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. | Independent Director
The Western Union Company | Independent Director
SIGA Technologies | Director | (2011 – 2014)
Business Executives for National Security, Inc. | Director
Bipartisan Policy Center | Director
Baker Botts L.L.P. | Corporate Partner
CNN | National Security Expert Analyst
Secret Court’s Judges Were Warned About NSA Spy Data | WASHINGTON POST page 1 | WASHINGTON POST page 2 | FEB 9, 2006
FISA court is the secret panel created in 1978 in response to a public outcry over warrantless domestic spying by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI
The FISA court secretly grants warrants for wiretaps, telephone record traces and physical searches to the Justice Department.
Both judges had insisted that no information obtained this way be used to gain warrants from their court, according to government sources, and both had been assured by administration officials it would never happen.
Both presiding judges agreed not to disclose the secret program to the 10 other FISA judges, who routinely handled some of the government’s most highly classified secrets.
The two heads of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court were the only judges in the country briefed by the administration on Bush’s program. The president’s secret order allows the National Security Agency to monitor telephone calls and e-mails between people in the United States and contacts overseas.
Twice in the past four years (2002-2006), a top Justice Department lawyer warned the presiding judge of a secret surveillance court that information overheard in President Bush’s eavesdropping program may have been improperly used to obtain wiretap warrants in the court, according to two sources with knowledge of those events.
Between 1979 and 2004, it approved 18,748 warrants and rejected five.
So early in 2002, they decided that any case in which the government listened to someone’s calls without a warrant, and later developed information to seek a FISA warrant for that same suspect, was to be carefully “tagged” as having involved some NSA information.
Shortly after the warrantless eavesdropping program began, then-NSA Director Michael V. Hayden and Ashcroft made clear in private meetings that the president wanted to detect possible terrorist activity before another attack. They also made clear that, in such a broad hunt for suspicious patterns and activities, the government could never meet the FISA court’s probable-cause requirement, government officials said.
SECRET COURT SAYS FBI MISLED JUDGES IN 75 CASES | NEW YORK TIMES | AUG 23, 2002
The nation’s secret intelligence court has identified more than 75 cases in which it says it was misled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in documents in which the bureau attempted to justify its need for wiretaps and other electronic surveillance, according to the first of the court’s rulings to be released publicly.
In its opinion, the court rejected a secret request made by the Justice Department this year to allow broader cooperation and evidence-sharing between counterintelligence investigators and criminal prosecutors.
FBI. and the Justice Department tried to defy the will of Congress by allowing intelligence material to be shared freely with criminal investigators.
The standards of evidence required for electronic surveillance are much lower in many intelligence investigations than in criminal investigations, the authors of the law wanted to prevent the dissemination of intelligence information to criminal investigators or prosecutors.
In a number of cases the FBI and the Justice Department had made ”erroneous statements” in eavesdropping applications about ”the separation of the overlapping intelligence and criminal investigators and the unauthorized sharing of FISA information with FBI criminal investigators and assistant U.S. attorneys.”
The court said that the FBI and the Justice Department were violating the law by allowing information gathered from intelligence eavesdrops to be used freely in bringing criminal charges, without court review, and that criminal investigators were improperly directing the use of counterintelligence wiretaps.
In one case, it said, the error appeared in a statement issued by the office of Louis J. Freeh, then the FBI director, in which the bureau said that target of an intelligence eavesdropping request ”was not under criminal investigation.”
In March of 2001, the court said, ”the government reported similar misstatements in another series of FISA applications in which there was supposed to be a ‘wall’ between separate intelligence and criminal squads in FBI field offices to screen FISA intercepts, when in fact all of the FBI agents were on the same squad and all of the screening was done by the one supervisor overseeing both investigations.”
Pasquale J. D’Amuro | WIKIPEDIA | MAY 13, 2017
Pasquale J. D’Amuro | GRID | APR 2, 2017
Pasquale J. D’Amuro | CONCORDIA | MAY 13, 2017
Pasquale J. D’Amuro serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Risk & Investigative Diligence, LLC (GRID) a full-service security, crisis management and investigative consulting firm. Mr. D’Amuro also serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Giuliani Security and Safety, which he joined in April of 2005.
Mr. D’Amuro’s efforts in the private sector follow 26 years of distinguished service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Ultimately rising to the Bureau’s 3rd highest position, Mr. D’Amuro served in a variety of capacities throughout his career, including Associate Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office’s Criminal Division; Inspector in Charge of the September 11th investigation; Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division; Executive Assistant Director for both Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism; and the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office. In each position of increasing difficulty, Mr. D’Amuro excelled in achieving the FBI’s most urgent mission-critical objectives.
Beginning his career as a field agent in New York, Mr. D’Amuro went on to serve in various offices in New York and Washington and participated in investigations that stretched into regions and locales across the globe, including the European and African continents, as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Yemen, and Pakistan.
In October of 2001, Mr. D’Amuro received what was to become one of his most challenging and gratifying assignments, when he was chosen by FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead the Bureau’s investigation into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Reporting directly to the Director and the Attorney General for the United States, Mr. D’Amuro led the efforts of literally thousands of agents, coordinating one of the FBI’s largest and most comprehensive investigations, which resulted in the positive identification of all 19 hijackers and the successful prosecution of numerous individuals linked to Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Based upon the success of his efforts, Mr. D’Amuro’s responsibilities were broadened, and he was appointed to oversee field investigations into all of the nation’s threat-related activity. Despite the complexity of organizing and managing the analysis of thousands of leads, Mr. D’Amuro was praised by the Director for demonstrating “the highest level of initiative, flexibility, and innovation to accomplish the Bureau’s mission,” and in January 2002 was promoted to Assistant Director of the FBI’s national Counterterrorism Division.
Under Mr. D’Amuro’s leadership, the Counterterrorism Division more than quadrupled in budget and size, expanding both its reach and methods of operation. Included among the many enhancements Mr. D’Amuro brought to the Division was the creation of the Terrorism Financial Operations Section (TFOS), the first FBI section dedicated exclusively to targeting the financiers and the money supporting terrorist activities, as well as the Communications Exploitation Section, which greatly expanded the Bureau’s capabilities to retrieve and analyze essential telecommunications and electronic data. Mr. D’Amuro also played a critical role in advocating the needs and concerns of the Bureau to Congress, testifying on numerous occasions with respect to the events of September 11th, the changes in the Counterterrorism Program of the FBI, and the various Oversight Committees conducting reviews of FBI operations.
In November 2002, Mr. D’Amuro was appointed by the Director of the FBI to serve as Executive Assistant Director for Counterintelligence and Counterterrorism. In this role, Mr. D’Amuro helped forge significant inroads toward improving information sharing among the various federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Included among his accomplishments was the establishment of the Memorandum of Understanding that created the Terrorism Threat Integration Center and formalized the information sharing protocols between the FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense. Mr. D’Amuro also played a lead role in establishing the centralized Terrorism Watch List, which linked all previous registers into a single comprehensive database operated and managed by the FBI. Mr. D’Amuro’s strong relationships with his government counterparts, results-driven work ethic, and ability to liaise effectively with the White House and the National Security Council, were lauded as critical factors in the success of the endeavors.
In August of 2003, Mr. D’Amuro was tapped by the FBI Director to take charge of the Bureau’s New York Office, its largest and highest profile command. As Assistant Director in Charge, Mr. D’Amuro established New York as the first FBI office to operate its own Office of Intelligence. This groundbreaking achievement ensured the proper analysis of information developed by the New York Office as well as information sharing within the law enforcement/intelligence community and the private sector. Throughout his tenure in New York, Mr. D’Amuro lectured regularly and appeared publicly to provide transparency for the changes implemented within the Bureau post-9/11.
Over the course of his law enforcement career, Mr. D’Amuro has been the recipient of numerous awards and commendations, including the FBI’s Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive in the Senior Executive Service. In 2004, Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York, recognized Mr. D’Amuro’s achievements in the areas of law enforcement and counterterrorism by awarding him an honorary Doctorate of Laws.
Mr. D’Amuro previously served on the Board of Trustees of Mercy College and has appeared as a senior analyst on CNN.
Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts | NEW YORK TIMES | DEC 16, 2005
Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval was a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad.
Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation’s legality and oversight.
Administration officials are confident that existing safeguards are sufficient to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans.
The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny.
President Bush significantly eased limits on American intelligence and law enforcement agencies and the military.
The NSA breaks codes and maintains listening posts around the world to eavesdrop on foreign governments, diplomats and trade negotiators as well as drug lords and terrorists.
Traditionally, the FBI, not the NSA, seeks such warrants and conducts most domestic eavesdropping. Until the new program began, the N.S.A. typically limited its domestic surveillance to foreign embassies and missions in Washington, New York and other cities, and obtained court orders to do so.
Since 2002, the agency has been conducting some warrantless eavesdropping on people in the United States.
An Outsider’s Quick Rise To Bush Terror Adviser – Frances Townsend | WASHINGTON POST | AUG 27, 2005
In September of 2001, she worked for the Coast Guard as the intelligence chief. At the time, the Coast Guard was not part of the “intelligence community” and thus was not allowed to share sensitive information.
She helped the Coast Guard get added to intelligence legislation and transformed the agency’s priority from South American drug-smuggling to the vulnerability of America’s ports.
In Spring of 2003, Richard Clarke and General John A Gordon (Bush’s Homeland Security Chief) lobbied for Townsend, and as a result she was hired on to the National Security Council.
“Frances Townsend runs President Bush’s far-flung campaign against terrorism.”
“She obviously has the confidence of the president, and that has a huge impact on her ability to influence the process,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
She is the ‘coordinator, the facilitator, the bridge,’ as FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III put it, between the powerful institutions and clashing egos of a war cabinet.
Among her many mentors, she counts Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, longtime FBI Director Louis J. Freeh and former White House counterterrorism czar Richard A. Clarke.
“Townsend has overseen an intelligence reorganization and is now directing the first White House review of its anti-terrorism campaign since the aftermath of Sept. 11, a process intended to broaden the struggle into a new ‘strategy against violent extremism.”
Until a few months prior to 9/11, she had run the Justice Department’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review that decided which cases merited supersecret intelligence wiretaps, work that took her inside al Qaeda cases, such as the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa.”
“Her office would be a focus of controversy after Sept. 11. As the gatekeeper for intelligence wiretap requests, Townsend’s office fought efforts to invoke the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in matters that could result in criminal cases, fearing that prosecutors would use such surveillance to circumvent the more difficult threshold for obtaining a criminal wiretap. In practical terms, the result was what commission reports called “The Wall,” fencing off investigators from potentially useful information about suspects on American soil.
In an example cited by a bipartisan congressional commission, Townsend refused to endorse a secret intelligence wiretap on Los Alamos National Laboratories scientist Wen Ho Lee because the FBI’s interest in the case was “way too criminal.”
Ho Wen Lee
This guy was under investigation by the FBI after the Chinese obtained classified nuclear secrets.
After an intelligence agent from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) gave U.S. agents papers which indicated that they knew the design of a particularly modern U.S. nuclear warhead, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) started an investigation codenamed Operation Kindred Spirit to look into how China could have obtained that design.
He lied to the FBI several times.
In 1982, Lee was recorded on a wiretap speaking with another Taiwanese-American scientist who had been accused of espionage. Lee offered to the scientist to find out who had turned him in. When confronted by the FBI about this incident, Lee said he did not know the scientist, until the FBI demonstrated proof of the conversation. Despite some evidence that could have kept the case open, the FBI closed this file on Lee in 1984.
FBI leadership acted very strangely. Closed the case.
Lee did not get the attention of the FBI again for 12 years until 1998. The FBI had lost the file on Lee from the 1983 and 1984 meetings with him, and had to reconstruct the information.
In 1994, a delegation of Chinese scientists visited Los Alamos National Laboratory in an unannounced capacity for a meeting.
One of the scientists visiting was Dr. Hu Side, the head of the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics, essentially the head of the Chinese nuclear program. He also was credited with the design of the small, W88-like weapon. However, despite the visit being unannounced, Lee showed up to the meeting uninvited. Side and Lee clearly knew each other and were friendly.
This alarmed LANL officials who contacted the FBI, which opened up another investigation of Lee. On December 23, 1998 Lee was given a polygraph test by Wackenhut, a DOE contractor. He was not told of the reason why, other than that it involved his latest trip to China to escort his nephew. During the questioning, he admitted that he had, in fact, met with Dr. Hu Side in a hotel room in 1988 and that Side had asked him for classified information, which he refused to discuss.
Lee admitted that he failed to report this contact and approach by individuals requesting classified information as required by security regulations. He was told that he passed the test, but was stripped of his Q (classified) clearance to the LANL’s classified X Division section. Although he questioned the action against him, Lee went along, deleting the classified information he held on his computers, and moved to the T (unclassified) clearance zone. He was later subjected to three more polygraph tests before being told by the FBI agents that re-evaluation of the test results showed that Lee had failed all of them.
There were 60 agents and more assigned to Lee’s case, working to prove that he was a spy. The FBI conducted a search of Lee’s house on April 10, seizing any item related to computers or computing, as well as anything that had notations written in Chinese. The FBI and the Department of Energy then decided to conduct a full forensic examination of Lee’s office computer. The examination of Lee’s computer determined that he had backed up his work files, which were restricted though not classified, onto tapes, and had also transferred these files from a system used for processing classified data onto another, also secure, system designated for unclassified data.
After the FBI discovered Lee’s transfer, they revoked his badge access and clearance, including his ability to access the data from the unclassified but secure network. Lee then requested from a colleague in another part of Los Alamos to be allowed to use his computer, at which time he transferred the data to a third unclassified computer network. The government then retroactively redesignated the data Lee had copied, changing it from its former designation of “PARD” (Protect As Restricted Data), which was just above the “Unclassified” designation and contained 99 percent unclassified data, to a new designation of “Secret” (which was treated on a higher security level than PARD), giving them the crime that the government needed for a formal charge.
The Department of Justice constructed its case around the only real evidence of malfeasance, the downloading of the restricted information. It ultimately employed an unusual strategy of trying to prove that in addition to illegally handling information, Lee was trying to injure the United States by denying it the exclusivity of the nuclear information. Lee was indicted on 53 counts of mishandling information. Janet Reno confirmed with CIA Director George Tenet and Louis Freeh that if the presiding judge rules that if the government must reveal in open court what specifically was on the tapes, the prosecution would have to plea out the case or risk jeopardizing state secrets.
FBI Announces Restructuring | FBI | JUL 26, 2006
Director Robert S. Mueller announced structural changes to support the next phase of the FBI’s transformation efforts.
Director Mueller said, “The initial phase of our post-9/11 transformation was our immediate response to the new terrorist threat. The next phase focused on developing enhanced intelligence capabilities.”
“Today we are aligning our organization to better support our priorities. This includes a strategic approach to human resources, IT, science and technology, facilities, and budget. This last phase is about institutionalizing the changes we have made to date, and building a foundation to support us into the future.”
The FBI began a huge transformation after 9/11. The Bureau’s leadership shifted their focus from fighting conventional crime to fighting terrorism. Director Robert Mueller, describes the structural change as three phases.
Phase 1: The immediate response to 9/11, which included the investigation, establishment of new priorities and the shift toward countering terrorism.
Phase 2: Developed enhanced intelligence capabilities, including the creation of the Directorate of Intelligence and doubled the number of intelligence analysts.
Phase 3: Institutionalizing the changes made to date by altering the command structure to meet the demands of our increased pace of operations and build the foundation for the future.
In July, 2006, Mueller publicly announced the FBI’s advance into the final phase.
A Redeployment at a Realigned FBI | LA TIMES | JUL 27, 2006
WASHINGTON — The FBI broke with one of its most storied traditions Wednesday, announcing changes in its top management that, rather than elevating onetime agents, tapped officials with extensive experience outside of the bureau for several key positions.
Former officials of BP, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the CIA are named to lead branches as the bureau shifts its focus from crime to terrorism. – The changes leave FBI careerists in charge of the bureau’s criminal and intelligence branches. Mueller also named a longtime agent to fill a new position of associate deputy director, but he created three positions that he filled with bureau employees who made their mark elsewhere:
Donald E. Packham, a former BP senior executive, will oversee human resources and training.
Kerry E. Haynes, a former CIA director of technical collection, was picked to run a new science and technology branch.
Chief Information Officer Zalmai Azmi, whose resume includes a stint as a project manager at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, was given expanded duties in his role overseeing the bureau’s computer operations.
Mueller also established a unit to study threats from weapons of mass destruction and named Vahid Majidi, a scientist formerly at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, as its director.
U.S. Tries to Make It Easier to Wiretap the Internet | NEW YORK TIMES | SEP 27, 2010
Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.
Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble.
Newly Released Documents Detail FBI’s Plan to Expand Federal Surveillance Laws | ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION
The documents detail a fully-formed and well-coordinated plan to expand existing surveillance laws and develop new ones.
We first heard about the FBI’s Going Dark program in 2009, when the agency’s Congressional budget request included an additional $9 million to fund the program (on top of the $233.9 million it already received).
The FBI Has Been Working on “Going Dark” Since at Least 2006 and Has Lobbied Congress and the White House to Support the Program with More Money and Stronger Laws
The FBI and DOJ have been working on amendments to the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) since at least 2006, though their efforts to lobby Congress and the White House have steadily ramped up within the last few years.
The FBI has met with important Congressional committees and with the White House about Going Dark many times since January 2008 and has specific plans to “socialize [its] Strategy with key Congressional members and staff.
January 2008, the FBI director (Mueller) testified before the House and Senate at the annual threat assessment hearing and included a Q&A handout on Going Dark
In March 2008, staff from the Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science visited the FBI’s Operational Technology Division and had a briefing on Going Dark with Kerry Haynes, the Assistant Director of the Investigative Technologies Division. Topics discussed included “unfunded requirements, level of cooperation/understanding/assistance from DNI, level of sharing and cooperation with IC/telecom and [international] partners, consolidation of tech efforts across industry, working groups/detailees [sic] to consolidate efforts, the ‘data coordination center’ concept.”
The FBI Has Also Worked With State and Local Law Enforcement and Private Government Contractors to Develop and Implement its Strategy
FBI contracted RAND Corporation and Booz, Allen & Hamilton to study the problem and help devise solutions.
Louis Joseph Freeh | FBI
(1975 – 1981) FBI Agent
(1981 – 1991) United States Attorney in the Southern District of NY Freeh was the lead prosecutor of the “Pizza Connection” investigation. The case, prosecuted in the mid-1980s, involved a drug trafficking operation in the United States by Sicilian organized crime members who used pizza parlors as fronts.
(1991 – 1993) Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of NY appointed by George H.W. Bush
(1993 – 2001) FBI Director appointed by Clinton. He resigned amid criticism that the FBI needed stronger leadership. This, just after the Robert Hanssen spying allegations. Other FBI cases during Freeh’s tenure included the Vince Foster (in 1993) murder and allegations of incompetence at the FBI crime laboratory.
Upon his resignation, he was praised by Attorney General John Ashcroft, who called him “a model law enforcement officer”. He was replaced by Thomas J. Pickard, who served as acting FBI Director for 71 days until being replaced by Robert Mueller.
(2005) – Freeh (with Howard Means) published a book about his career in the FBI entitled ‘My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror.’
(2007) – Freeh formed Freeh Group International Solutions, a consulting and investigative with regional offices in Washington DC and New York. Affiliates include Freeh Group Europe and the law firm Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan, LLP. The latter firm includes Eugene R. Sullivan, a retired Federal Judge in Washington D.C. and Eugene R. Sullivan II amongst partners and Stanley Sporkin as senior counsel. Sporkin is a retired Federal judge who earlier served as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement and as general counsel to the Central Intelligence Agency.
(NOV 2011) – Penn State hired Freeh to lead in internal investigation into the child sec abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky.
According to Penn State President Eric Barron: “There’s no doubt in my mind, Freeh steered everything as if he were a prosecutor trying to convince a court to take the case.”
(JUN 2015) – THE DAILY CALLER – Louis Freeh traveled to Paris to attend a rally sponsored by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is associated with the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) organanization led by Maryam Rajavim, which had been formally designated as a terrorist organization.
John Ashcroft | 79th U.S. Attorney General (2001–2005)
Ashcroft was a key administration supporter of the USA Patriot Act.
One of its provisions, Section 215, allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to apply for an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to require production of “any tangible thing” for an investigation.
This provision was criticized by citizen and professional groups concerned about violations of privacy.
While Attorney General, Ashcroft consistently denied that the FBI or any other law enforcement agency had used the Patriot Act to obtain library circulation records or those of retail sales.
According to the sworn testimony of two FBI agents interviewed by the 9/11 Commission, Ashcroft ignored warnings of an imminent al-Qaida attack.
In July 2002, Ashcroft proposed the creation of Operation TIPS, a domestic program in which workers and government employees would inform law enforcement agencies about suspicious behavior they encounter while performing their duties. The program was widely criticized from the beginning, with critics deriding the program as essentially a Domestic Informant Network along the lines of the East German Stasi or the Soviet KGB.
SAME WASHINGTON, DIFFERENT OFFICE | NEW YORK TIMES | MAR 17, 2006
To do so, he has amassed a staff of Republican insiders and rented fancy offices.
For corporations seeking contracts from the growing homeland security budget, Mr. Ashcroft promises to draw on his central role in the war on terror and in helping set up the Department of Homeland Security.
For companies in trouble with regulators, he says his experience in cracking down on corporate corruption can provide valuable insights.
Ashcroft Finds Private-Sector Niche | WASHINGTON POST page 1 | WASHINGTON POST page 2 | AUG 12, 2006
John D. Ashcroft, whose tenure saw the creation of a burgeoning homeland security industry, has emerged as the highest-ranking former Bush administration official to lobby for and invest in companies in that field.
In all, Ashcroft’s firm has 30 clients, many of which make products or technology aimed at homeland security, and about a third of which the firm has not disclosed, to protect client confidentiality. The firm also has equity stakes in eight client companies, a trend the company plans to continue as it gradually turns its focus toward venture capital.
From 1996-2001, Comey served as Managing Assistant U.S. Attorney in charge of the Richmond Division of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. In 1996, Comey acted as deputy special counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee.
He also served as the lead prosecutor in the case concerning the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.
Comey was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from January 2002 to December 2003. Among his first tasks was to take over the investigation into President Bill Clinton’s controversial pardon of Marc Rich.
Then he was the United States Deputy Attorney General from December 2003 to August 2005. As Deputy Attorney General, Comey was the second-highest-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), and ran its day-to-day operations.
THIS IS A LETTER WRITTEN BY COMEY, ENDORSING ERIC HOLDER FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL (AFTER HE CRITICIZED HIM FOR GRANTING MARC RICH’S PARDON)
U.S. Is Secretly Collecting Records of Verizon Calls | NEW YORK TIMES | JUN 5, 2013
The Obama administration is secretly carrying out a domestic surveillance program under which it is collecting business communications records involving Americans under a hotly debated section of the Patriot Act, according to a highly classified court order disclosed on Wednesday night.
The order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in April, directs a Verizon Communications subsidiary, Verizon Business Network Services, to turn over “on an ongoing daily basis” to the National Security Agency all call logs “between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”
NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily | THE GUARDIAN | JUN 6, 2013
The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.
The order requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The document shows that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual.
FISA court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target who is suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets.
In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A. | NEW YORK TIMES | JUL 6, 2013
In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.
The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions.
The 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, was once mostly focused on approving case-by-case wiretapping orders.
But since major changes in legislation and greater judicial oversight of intelligence operations were instituted six years ago, it has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions that will most likely shape intelligence practices for years to come.
National Security Agency contractor, Edward J. Snowden, leaked a classified order from the FISA court, which authorized the collection of all phone-tracing data from Verizon business customers.
The legal interpretation uses a relatively narrow area of the law — used to justify airport screenings, for instance, or drunken-driving checkpoints — and applies it much more broadly, in secret, to the wholesale collection of communications in pursuit of terrorism suspects.
In one case, intelligence officials were granted access to an e-mail attachment sent within the United States because they said they were worried that the e-mail contained a schematic drawing or a diagram possibly connected to Iran’s nuclear program.
Created by Congress in 1978 as a check against wiretapping abuses by the government, the court meets in a secure, nondescript room in the federal courthouse in Washington. All of the current 11 judges, who serve seven-year terms, were appointed to the special court by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
A single judge signs most surveillance orders, which totaled nearly 1,800 last year (2012). None of the requests from the intelligence agencies was denied, according to the court.
Unlike the Supreme Court, the FISA court hears from only one side in the case — the government — and its findings are almost never made public.
FBI Director Comments on San Bernardino Matter | FBI | FEB 21, 2016
The following letter from FBI Director James Comey was posted on Lawfare Blog on February 21, 2016.
The San Bernardino litigation isn’t about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message. It is about the victims and justice. Fourteen people were slaughtered and many more had their lives and bodies ruined. We owe them a thorough and professional investigation under law. That’s what this is. The American people should expect nothing less from the FBI.
The particular legal issue is actually quite narrow. The relief we seek is limited and its value increasingly obsolete because the technology continues to evolve. We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist’s passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly. That’s it. We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land. I hope thoughtful people will take the time to understand that. Maybe the phone holds the clue to finding more terrorists. Maybe it doesn’t. But we can’t look the survivors in the eye, or ourselves in the mirror, if we don’t follow this lead.
Reflecting the context of this heart-breaking case, I hope folks will take a deep breath and stop saying the world is ending, but instead use that breath to talk to each other. Although this case is about the innocents attacked in San Bernardino, it does highlight that we have awesome new technology that creates a serious tension between two values we all treasure—privacy and safety. That tension should not be resolved by corporations that sell stuff for a living. It also should not be resolved by the FBI, which investigates for a living. It should be resolved by the American people deciding how we want to govern ourselves in a world we have never seen before. We shouldn’t drift to a place—or be pushed to a place by the loudest voices—because finding the right place, the right balance, will matter to every American for a very long time.
So I hope folks will remember what terrorists did to innocent Americans at a San Bernardino office gathering and why the FBI simply must do all we can under the law to investigate that. And in that sober spirit, I also hope all Americans will participate in the long conversation we must have about how to both embrace the technology we love and get the safety we need.
CIA Director John Brennan Backs FBI in Apple Privacy Debate | ABC | FEB 24, 2016
The FBI has a “legitimate basis to try to understand” what is on the San Bernardino shooter’s cellphone, CIA Director John Brennan said, siding with the FBI in the brewing battle over whether Apple should be forced to hack into the phone.
Apple has refused to allow the FBI to access the shooter’s locked and encrypted iPhone, which the FBI argues could have important information about the attack that left fourteen dead.
But “electronic communications, like other means of communication, or means of storage, have the opportunity for the government, when there is a legitimate basis, to access it,” Brennan told NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly during a interview this weekend at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Brennan talked about the balance between security and privacy, saying FBI director James Comey and others “are not calling for a sort of wholesale access to things. He’s saying under the right conditions, with the right bases, that these companies need to be able to provide, or to respond, to lawful court orders.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook has argued that creating a back door for the government into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone jeopardizes security for all iPhone users. Brennan’s predecessor, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, said recently that he sided with Apple on the issue.
Brennan was pressed on which additional capabilities he wished the CIA had to thwart attacks like the one that occurred in Paris last November.
“I would like the government to have the ability to gain access to information that is in these electronic various devices that can be used to further investigations, whether it be guilt or innocence of individuals,” he said.
Brennan stressed the need for a private-public sector partnership to adapt to the encrypted messaging technologies used by terrorists.
“The cyber environment should not provide the safe harbor for terrorists and others who are trying to do harm, and conduct violence against citizenry around the world,” he said.
Brennan spoke at length about the differences between ISIS and al-Qaeda, as well as the current state of both groups.
He said ISIS, although being pushed back in some areas of Iraq and Syria, has grown in Libya, Nigeria and Yemen, and is also moving into parts of South and Southeast Asia.
“I will say that in my experience, there is greater global attention now to ISIS than there was to al-Qaeda after 9/11, because I think people felt as though al-Qaeda was really focused on the United States and the West, while ISIS has a much broader array of targets,” Brennan told NPR.
Brennan said he sees ISIS as a bigger threat not just because of its larger scope, but because the group threatens global economic and commercial interests in addition to individuals.
Brennan called ISIS “more of a phenomenon” and a “movement” than al-Qaeda.
“It has sort of taken the hearts and souls, minds of individuals. It’s set up as false caliphate, and it has attracted thousands, upon thousands of individuals who have been misled by this narrative,” he said. “And so I am very concerned about what ISIS is doing undercutting and undermining the fabric of societies, undercutting governments, again, taking advantage of some of these ungoverned spaces that have evolved and developed, truly since some of the Arab Spring manifestations throughout the Middle East. So it is something that I think is going to take a number of years to be able to address.”
Despite the global emphasis on combating ISIS, Brennan was quick to point out that al-Qaeda, though much smaller than pre-9/11 numbers, is still a “very capable” and “lethal” organization with capabilities in Yemen, Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Russian Involvement in Syria
While Brennan wouldn’t go into detail on the CIA program to arm and train Syrian rebels, he did say Russian engagement in Syria has allowed Syrian President Assad’s forces “to withstand the opposition that has been trying to bring him down.”
He believes Assad’s departure is inevitable but called Russia’s support of the dictator “unfortunate.”
His comments on Russia’s role in Syria were not without a broader analysis of President Putin as a leader.
“Well, I think he is somebody who is trying to advance Russia’s interests on the world stage. I think he believes that Russia is a superpower, and it needs to have influence, not just in the near abroad, which involves those areas that border Russia, but far beyond it,” he told NPR.
Brennan called Putin “very assertive, very aggressive” and said he pursues Moscow’s agenda in “a variety of means.”
“He does it with his intelligence and security services when he wants to hide his hands, but also, he’s doing it rather overtly right now, obviously, with the introduction of thousands of Russian military personnel and sophisticated weaponry inside of Syria.”
Comey: Dispute between FBI, Apple “hardest question I’ve seen in government” | CBS | FEB 25, 2016
FBI Director James Comey on Thursday told Congress that the current dispute between his agency and Apple over trying to access one of the San Bernardino attacker’s phones is “the hardest question I’ve seen in government.”
He made the comment at a House Intelligence Committee hearing focused on worldwide threats, with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan testifying alongside him.
“I think conversation and negotiation is the key to resolving this,” Comey told lawmakers.
Comey said the FBI has two roles to play: to conduct an investigation into the San Bernardino terrorist attack that left 14 people dead in December using “whatever lawful tools are available to us.” The other is to ensure that people understand “the costs associated with universal strong encryption.”
While Comey said there are benefits to encryption and privacy, he also argued that law enforcement needs information to protect the public, which they often access through court orders that are search warrants, including of mobile devices. He warned that if they lose access to that information, there could be consequences.
“If we’re going to move to a world where that is not possible anymore, the world will not end, but it will be a different world than where we are today and where we were in 2014,” he said.
The FBI has demanded that Apple help unlock the encrypted iPhone that was used by Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino attackers, but Apple refused a court order last week issued by a federal magistrate judge that directed the company to override security features on his phone.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday that it would be “bad for America” if his company complied with the FBI and said he’s prepared to take the dispute all the way to the Supreme Court.
Apple has claimed that the software the FBI wants it to create doesn’t exist, and if it is developed, it could make iPhones susceptible to hacking by authorities or criminals in the future. In other words, this dispute has broad implications in the debate between privacy and security.
But the FBI has maintained that its request is very narrow and only applies to Farook’s phone.
“The San Bernardino litigation is not about us trying to send a message or establish some precedent,” Comey said.
If the FBI prevails and Apple is required to create the requested code, one lawmaker asked about the concern that the code “gets out in the wild” for criminals and terrorists to potentially steal.
Comey, however, said that the code the judge has directed Apple to write would only be compatible with the phone at issue and the idea that the code could be hacked “is not a real thing.”
WikiLeaks Vault 7 Leak Claims CIA Bugs ‘Factory Fresh’ iPhones | HEAVY | MAR 23, 2017
A new WikiLeaks Vault 7 leak titled “Dark Matter” claims, with unreleased documents, that the Central Intelligence Agency has been bugging “factory fresh” iPhones since at least 2008. WikiLeaks further claims that the CIA has the capability to permanently bug iPhones, even if their operating systems are deleted or replaced.
New WikiLeaks docs show how the CIA hacks iPhones and MacBooks | THE VERGE | MAR 23, 2017
For years, the CIA has been developing tools for hacking into Apple products — and thanks to WikiLeaks, those tools are now public. Today, the group published a new set of documents dubbed “Dark Matter,” part of the ongoing Vault 7 publication on CIA hacking tools. Today’s documents focus specifically on Apple products, detailing the CIA’s methods for breaking into MacBooks and iPhones.
“Trust us,” they say.