What Exactly Are the Spy Agencies Act...

What Exactly Are the Spy Agencies Actually DOING with their Bag of Dirty Tricks?

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#1 Jul 16, 2014
What Exactly Are the Spy Agencies Actually DOING with their Bag of Dirty Tricks?

Specific examples of what they may be doing

by Washington's Blog | July 16, 2014

Newly-released documents from Edward Snowden show that the British spy agency GCHQ has developed numerous offensive digital tools.

But what exactly are they doing with these dirty tricks?

We think it’s important to think through the specific possibilities, in order to gain an understanding of how pernicious these manipulations can be.

We quote verbatim (in black) the names and descriptions of some of these tools – some of which Glenn Greenwald didn’t highlight in his report. We then provide descriptions in blue of potential misuses of such tools.

Then we discuss how likely such misuses really are.

TOOLS AND POTENTIAL MISUSES

Here are the actual dirty tricks in the British spy agencies toolkit, with hypothetical examples of potential misuses …

CHANGELING: Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity. Fake an email from a privacy advocate to make it look like he’s proposing terrorism.

SCRAPHEAP CHALLENGE: Perfect spoofing of emails from Blackberry targets. Fake an email from an opponent of bank bailouts to make it look like she’s proposing bombing a bank.

BURLESQUE: The capacity to send spoofed SMS messages. Fake a message from an an anti-war pacifist to make it look like he’s advocating sabotage of a military base.

IMPERIAL BARGE : For connecting two target phone together in a call. Fake a telephone connection to make it look like an opponent of genetically modified foods spoke with a leader of Al Qaeda.

BADGER : Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign. Send out a fake, mass email pretending to be from a whistleblower “admitting” that he’s mentally unstable, disgruntled, dishonest and vindictive.

WARPATH: Mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign. Send out a fake, mass message pretending to be from a whistleblower “admitting” he’s a Russian spy.

SPACE ROCKET: A programme covering insertion of media into target networks. Insert a fake video calling for jihad on a the website of a moderate American Muslim lawyer.

CLEAN SWEEP Masquerade Facebook Wall Posts for individuals or entire countries. Put up a bunch of fake wall posts praising the Islamic State on the Facebook page of a reporter giving first-hand reports of what’s really happening in a country that the U.S. has targeted for regime change.

HAVOK Real-time website cloning technique allowing on-the-fly alterations. Hack the website of a state politician critical of those who ignore the Constitution and post fake calls for terrorism against Washington, D.C.

SILVERLORD: Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal. Disrupt websites hosting videos espousing libertarian views.

SUNBLOCK: Ability to deny functionality to send/receive email or view material online. Block the emails and web functionality of a government insider who is about to go public on wrongdoing.

ANGRY PIRATE: A tool that will permanently disable a target’s account on their computer. Disable the accounts of an activist working for clean food and water.

PREDATORS FACE: Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers. Take down a website which is disclosing hard-hitting information on illegal government actions.

UNDERPASS: Change outcome of online polls. Change the results of an online poll from one showing that the American people overwhelmingly oppose a new war which is unnecessary for the defense of America’s national security to showing support for it.

GATEWAY: Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website. Make a website calling for more surveillance against the American people appear hugely popular.

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