ECHELON Grooms Voyeurs & Future Sexual Predators
By Ann-Marie de Veer
Saturday 16 August 2014
On the 19 July 2014, the Guardian posted a transcript of a meeting between its Editor in Chief, Rushbridger and its defence and intelligence correspondent, MacAskill, with the whistleblower Snowden. The meeting, held in a secret location in Moscow, focused on Snowden's life working for the NSA, its culture, his life in Russia and the future of communications.
One of the topics discussed included:
- On NSA culture, sharing sexually compromising material:
- When you’re an NSA analyst and you’re looking for raw signals intelligence, what you realise is that the majority of the communications in our databases are not the communications of targets, they’re the communications of ordinary people, of your neighbours, of your neighbours’ friends, of your relations, of the person who runs the register at the store. They’re the most deep and intense and intimate and damaging private moments of their lives, and we’re seizing [them] without any authorisation, without any reason, records of all of their activities – their cell phone locations, their purchase records, their private text messages, their phone calls, the content of those calls in certain circumstances, transaction histories – and from this we can create a perfect, or nearly perfect, record of each individual’s activity, and those activities are increasingly becoming permanent records.
- Many of the people searching through the haystacks were young, enlisted guys and … 18 to 22 years old. They’ve suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all your private records. In the course of their daily work they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work, for example an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation but they’re extremely attractive. So what do they do? They turn around in their chair and they show a co-worker. And their co-worker says: “Oh, hey, that’s great. Send that to Bill down the way.” And then Bill sends it to George, George sends it to Tom and sooner or later this person’s whole life has been seen by all of these other people. Anything goes, more or less. You’re in a vaulted space. Everybody has sort of similar clearances, everybody knows everybody. It’s a small world.
- It’s never reported, nobody ever knows about it, because the auditing of these systems is incredibly weak. Now while people may say that it’s an innocent harm, this person doesn’t even know that their image was viewed, it represents a fundamental principle, which is that we don’t have to see individual instances of abuse. The mere seizure of that communication by itself was an abuse. The fact that your private images, records of your private lives, records of your intimate moments have been taken from your private communication stream, from the intended recipient, and given to the government without any specific authorisation, without any specific need, is itself a violation of your rights. Why is that in the government database?
- I’d say probably every two months you see something like that happen. It’s routine enough, depending on the company you keep, it could be more or less frequent. But these are seen as the fringe benefits of surveillance positions.
The fact that this was not reported by any other media outlet, except for ArsTechnica is rather telling and yet another example of the MSM's lack of due diligence to the general public. The ArsTechnica report was scant of detail but it did mention its earlier report on this issue that portrayed the problem of voyeur's as simply one of LOVEINT (Love Intelligence) carried out by disaffected or disgruntled lovers. Nonetheless, in their later report they sought to question the NSA on this issue, who responded:
- Vanee Vines wrote: (The) NSA is a professional foreign-intelligence organization with a highly trained workforce, including brave and dedicated men and women from our armed forces. As we have said before, the agency has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities or professional standards, and would respond as appropriate to any credible allegations of misconduct.
ArsTechnica then went on to confirm that:
- she (Vanee Vines) declined to respond to direct questions as to the veracity of Snowden's allegations or if anyone at NSA had ever been terminated or otherwise punished for engaging in such behavior.
However, based on data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), the number of convicted sex offenders account for between 0.5% -1.5% of the worlds' population, a rate that depends on the country involved and thereby its definition of sexual assault. The number of unreported sex crimes also varies in a similar manner but in the case of the US, for example, 60% of all sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Still in the US, while 40% of all assaults will be reported, just 3% will end up being convicted. This means that in the US 97% of all sexual assaults are either unreported or do not lead to a conviction.
Of course, those who are convicted are usually pursued rigorously by the authorities, and rightly so. That convicted offenders are appropriately punished for their crimes and their names are added to a sex-offenders register used for the protection of the public at large is now seen as the minimum response incumbent on all authorities.
And yet, the NSA and its cohorts in the ASD, CSEC, GCSB and GCHQ of ECHELON (ECHELON SIGINT Agencies), continue to view the passing round of intimate and sexually explicit images as nothing more than:
- ... the fringe benefits of surveillance positions.
Clearly this is voyeurism, at best, and sexually predatory, at worst. That this behaviour is nothing less than the wholesale debasement of the worlds' population for the sexual gratification of a perverse minority is patently obvious. Furthermore the fact that these ECHELON SIGINT Agencies have failed to address this issue is, by default, condoning the grooming of a tranche of its analysts into voyeur's and future sexual predators. We have already seen that GCHQ are leading in this field.
Thus, based on known government statistics, there are approximately 51,000 personnel working directly for these five agencies alone, excluding contractors and other affiliated organisations. In all probability, based on data from UNDOC, there are between 255-765 (0.5-1.5%) people who would ordinarily be convicted of sex offences among this group. If we extrapolate this data for just the US; there are approximately 40,000 personnel working directly for the NSA and a conservative estimate of convicted sexual offenders in this group, i.e. 0.5% of 40,000, would be 200 personnel. Furthermore, based on research by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) of the US where just 3% of sexual offenders are convicted and the remaining 97% are either not reported or not convicted, then there are potentially over 6600 offenders working for the NSA alone.
Ironically, the US has only ever reported 12 instances of NSA employees unquestionably abusing its surveillance systems.
Of course, not all employees of these agencies will have access to this level of information but it should also be noted that these figures are conservative estimates based on known data and do not include the tens of thousands of contractors and external organisations that have an analyst's right of access to this illegally obtained information.
Naturally, the MSM have once again been found to be wanting on this issue of not just national but global importance, a situation that is becoming increasingly common. They now have a record of being visually impaired, are known to suffer from cognitive dissonance and have woefully failed in their duty of due diligence to the public, yet again.
That the ECHELON SIGINT agencies are complicit in promoting these illegal activities within their respective organisations is not in question. In fact, there can be no doubt whatsoever that if they were subject to the same level of investigative and judicial scrutiny as the general public, then there would be a deluge of disciplinary actions, dismissals and prosecutions. What is even more troubling is that middle and senior managers in these agencies routinely acquiesce of this behaviour offering offenders complete protection and immunity from the law.
The worlds' population is not safe from these rogue agencies.
- Beware of those who claim to protect you at the expense of your privacy.