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The NSA's invasive violations of privacy involve installing malware to stifle

thousands of domestic and foreign threats.


Schwartz, Matthew J. "NSA Surveillance Infected 50,000 PCs With Malware."InformationWeek. UBM
Tech, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has hacked into more than 50,000 PCs to install malware that monitors US government
targets. So said areport, published Saturday by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, that included a top secret NSA presentation that dates from2012. The newspaper said the document was
furnished by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The leaked presentation, which is l abeled as restricted for dissemination to the United States, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand -- the countries that comprise the "five eyes" surveillance network --
highlights the NSA's"classes of access," which include third-party agreementsor liaisons with 30 countries and 20 high-
speed optical cable access programs, and the ability to eavesdrop on 12 foreign and 40 regional
satellites. The slide also lists "80+ SCS," apparently referring to the agency's secret Special Collection Service monitoring stations, which involve a joint project with the CIA that's designed to eavesdrop on difficult-to-reach places such as foreign embassies
and communications centers. [ For more on the NSA's data interceptions, see NSA Reportedly Taps Google, Yahoo Data Centers. ] That figure squares with another leaked slide, published last month by Germany's Der Spiegel weekly news magazine, which reported that as of
2010 the NSA's SCS teams were active in about 80 locations, of which 19 were in Europe -- including such cities as Paris, Madrid, Rome, Berlin, and Frankfurt. The teams
reportedly operate from US embassies, using camouflaged surveillance equipment installed on upper floors or rooftops of the
embassies. "Wiretapping froman embassy is illegal in nearly every country. But that is precisely the task of the SCS, as is evidenced by another secret document," Der Spiegel reported. "According to the document, the SCSoperates its own
sophisticated listening devices with which they can intercept virtually every popular method of communication: cellular signals,
wireless networks, and satellite communication." Meanwhile, the leaked slide published Saturday by NRC Handelsblad also lists the aforementioned "50,000 world-wide implants,"
which were installed by the NSA's CNE -- computer network exploitation -- teams. The CNE teams operate fromwithin the agency's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group and comprise about 1,000
personnel, including 600 military and civilian personnel who are based at the NSA's headquarters in Fort Meade, Md., Foreign Policy reported. The number of
systems exploited to date by CNE squares with information contained in the LinkedIn profile of Dean Schyvincht, who as of late August 2013 claimed to be the Texas-based TAO senior computer network operator. Schyvincht said he managed 14 people
who collectively executed "over 54,000Global Network Exploitation (GNE) operations in support of national intelligence agency requirements," the
Washington Post reported. That LinkedIn profile has since been deleted. According to the Post, the NSA first began its CNE operations in 1998, and by 2008a secret American intelligence report revealed that the agency had
installed an estimated 20,000 "implants" into targeted systems. That means the number of systems infected
by the NSA has more than doubled in the past five years. The NSA might activate that malware for a period of weeks, months, or even years. "The malware can be
controlled remotely and be turned on and off at will. The 'implants' act as digital 'sleeper cells' that can be activated with a single push of a button," reported NRC
Handelsblad. "The NSA presentation shows their CNE operations [are] in countries such as Venezuela and Brazil. The malware installed in these countries can remain active for years
without being detected."