NSA, CIA, And FBI Swap Classified Data With Media And Tech Corporations

classifiedCould Microsoft, Google, et al. be considered bureaus of the national security apparatus? Bloomberg reports that the providing of sensitive information is a two-way street:

Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said.

These programs, whose participants are known as trusted partners, extend far beyond what was revealed by Edward Snowden, a computer technician who did work for the National Security Agency.

Michael Hayden, who formerly directed the National Security Agency and the CIA, described the attention paid to important company partners: “If I were the director and had a relationship with a company who was doing things that were not just directed by law but were also valuable to the defense of the Republic, I would go out of my way to thank them and give them a sense as to why this is necessary and useful.”

Intel Corp’s McAfee unit, which makes Internet security software, regularly cooperates with the NSA, FBI and the CIA, for example, and is a valuable partner because of its broad view of malicious Internet traffic, including espionage operations by foreign powers, according to one of the four people, who is familiar with the arrangement. The company also has knowledge of the architecture of information networks worldwide, which may be useful to spy agencies who tap into them, the person said.

Microsoft provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.

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  • http://wildernessvagabonds.com/ Mike Lewinski

    Quoting from Bloomberg the part that caught my eye:

    “Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.”

    In other words, the government gets zero-day exploits for offensive use. The more paranoid might believe these bugs were left in place deliberately from the start and always meant for use as government back doors that would later be “fixed” only if/when black hats find them. This gives plausible deniability to the software makers. If they ever got caught leaving an obvious back door their business would be over.

  • Charlie Primero

    Martin Bormann was the great innovator in this melding of State and Corporate powers.

    The thing these corporations hate most, and avoid at all costs, is free-market capitalism.

    • Anarchy Pony

      Capitalism; do you have any idea how it works? One firm in a given field eventually accrues the most capital and creates monopoly force, unless an external force prevents that from happening(regulatory body, of course then it wouldn’t be free). New competitors get driven under by economies of scale or get swallowed up. That’s exactly what would happen in your precious free market, state or not, because the monopoly force becomes analogous to the state. And of course they hate competition, competition threatens their security and brings unwanted stress.

      http://infoshop.org/AnarchistFAQSectionD1#secd14

      • Charlie Primero

        False. Monopolies cannot exist without government assistance.

        If they could, you would be able to show me one example.

        • emperorreagan

          The State itself is a monopoly – on coinage, on the use of force, etc.

          Where has capitalism existed without a state?

        • Anarchy Pony

          Ridiculous assertion.They only use existing state governments as a matter of convenience. There is no reason they couldn’t go on without them, in the free market right libertarian world, the corporation becomes a state unto itself, though they refuse to acknowledge this. http://infoshop.org/AnarchistFAQSectionF6 These private defense associations in the service of private power differs from a state how? Disallows monopoly how?

          • Charlie Primero

            Still waiting for that monopoly example which developed without government force and assistance.

          • Anarchy Pony

            Where has a corporation existed without a state? The entire conception of both operating theories here are still just that, theoretical. So how about you cough up an example. Oh you can’t? Probably because we are dealing with hypothetical situations.

          • emperorreagan

            Well, the notion of a registered, limited liability pseudo-person doesn’t exist without a state. And, of course, the existence of corporations at all creates a distortion in the hypothetical free market – shielding capital from liability, diffusing corporate liability…

          • Anarchy Pony

            That’s more or less my point. Right libertarians generally refuse to acknowledge that a corporation can resemble or fill the same role as a state itself.

          • emperorreagan

            I assumed as much, I was just piling on.

  • Reasor

    Each successive revelation about these surveillance programs makes it look ever more like the increasingly consolidated handful of corporations that own everything bribed the government into paying them with tax dollars to commit industrial espionage and harvest metadata for future use in marketing, under the guise of counter-terrorism. No wonder their hired President is prosecuting whistleblowers at a record pace.

    • Charlie Primero

      That about sums it up.

      The OSS/CIA type agencies have been an arm of Wall Street for a hundred years. This is how Lenin and Hitler got start-up funding from the transnational banks.

  • Anarchy Pony

    In other news; Bear’s catholic, Pope’s wet, water’s blue, sky shits in the woods.

  • gustave courbet

    In another generation or so, people like Michael Hayden will be able to replace the term “Republic” with “Oligarchy” or “Corporatocracy” without anyone batting an eye.

  • Haystack

    Wait, I thought leaking classified information was a crime?

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com/ James Smith

    It isn’t as if any rational person still believes the USA is a free country. Think about it. No-warrant wire taps, indefinite detention of citizens without charges, approval of rendition of prisoners and torture, stop and frisk without probable cause, search and seizure without a warrant, no-knock entry, confiscation and destruction of cameras that might have been used to film police acting illegally, police brutality, police shootings that go without investigation, managed news, and the civil-rights destroying “Patriot” Act.

    Acts of police behaving illegally, with shootings, Tasers, and unwarranted violence now appear almost daily. Rarely are these offenses punished. Most often “an investigation” is claimed, but soon forgotten.

    

In addition, the USA, with 5% of the world population, has 25% of all of the prisoners in the world. That means the USA has the most people in prison of any nation in history. Even by percentage of residents incarcerated, not just sheer numbers. USA is # 1!

 Does any of that sound like a free country?

    As Dwight D. Eisenhower said about communism, “It’s like slicing sausage. First they out off a small slice. That isn’t worth fighting over. Then they take another small slice that isn’t worth fighting over. Then another and another. Finally, all you have left is the string and that isn’t worth fighting over, either.

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com/ James Smith

    It isn’t as if any rational person still believes the USA is a free country. Think about it. No-warrant wire taps, indefinite detention of citizens without charges, approval of rendition of prisoners and torture, stop and frisk without probable cause, search and seizure without a warrant, no-knock entry, confiscation and destruction of cameras that might have been used to film police acting illegally, police brutality, police shootings that go without investigation, managed news, and the civil-rights destroying “Patriot” Act.

    Acts of police behaving illegally, with shootings, Tasers, and unwarranted violence now appear almost daily. Rarely are these offenses punished. Most often “an investigation” is claimed, but soon forgotten.

    

In addition, the USA, with 5% of the world population, has 25% of all of the prisoners in the world. That means the USA has the most people in prison of any nation in history. Even by percentage of residents incarcerated, not just sheer numbers. USA is # 1!

 Does any of that sound like a free country?

    As Dwight D. Eisenhower said about communism, “It’s like slicing sausage. First they out off a small slice. That isn’t worth fighting over. Then they take another small slice that isn’t worth fighting over. Then another and another. Finally, all you have left is the string and that isn’t worth fighting over, either.