�Einstein� replaces �Big Brother� in Internet surveillance
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Sep 19, 2008, 00:22
(WMR) -- WMR
has learned from government sources that the Bush administration has authorized
massive surveillance of the Internet using as cover a cyber-security
multi-billion dollar project called the �Einstein� program.
Billed as a cyber-security intrusion detection system for
federal computer systems and networks, WMR has been told that the actual intent
of Einstein is to initially monitor the email and web surfing activities of
federal employees and contractors and not in protecting government computer
systems from intrusion by outsiders.
In February 2008, President Bush signed a directive that
designated the National Security Agency (NSA) as the central administrator for
the federal government�s computer and network security.
Although Einstein is primarily a program under the aegis of
the Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) of the National Cyber Security
Division of the Homeland Security Department, WMR has learned that it has the
personal support of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Mike McConnell,
a former NSA director. Einstein is advertised as merely conducting traffic
analysis within the dot (.) gov and dot (.) mil domains, including data packet
lengths, protocols, source and destination IP addresses, source and destination
ports, time stamp information, and autonomous system numbers. However, WMR has
learned that Einstein will also bore down into the text of email
and analyze message content. In fact, most of the classified budget
allotted to Einstein is being used for collecting information from the text of
messages and not the header data.
In fact, WMR has learned that most of the classified
technology being used for Einstein was developed for the NSA in conducting
signals intelligence (SIGINT) operations on email networks in Russia.
Code-named PINWHEEL, the NSA email surveillance system targets Russian
government, military, diplomatic, and commercial email traffic and burrows into
the text portions of the email to search for particular words and phrases of
interest to NSA eavesdroppers. According to NSA documents obtained by WMR,
there is an NSA system code-named �PINWALE.�
The DNI and NSA also plan to move Einstein into the private
sector by claiming the nation�s critical infrastructure, by nature, overlaps
into the commercial sector. There are classified plans, already budgeted in
so-called �black� projects, to extend Einstein surveillance into the dot (.)
com, dot (.) edu, dot (.) int, and dot (.) org, as well as other Internet
domains. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has budgeted $5.4 billion
for Einstein in his department�s FY2009 information technology budget. However,
this amount does not take into account the �black� budgets for Einstein
proliferation throughout the U.S. telecommunications network contained in the
budgets for NSA and DNI.
In anticipation of the regulatory problems inherent in
domestic email surveillance by the NSA, the Bush administration has ensured
that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and industry associations have
been stacked with pro-surveillance loyalists to ensure that Einstein is widely
accepted and implemented.
published in the Wayne
Copyright � 2008 WayneMadenReport.com
Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and
nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report
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