NSA setting up secret 'Perfect Citizen' spy system
'This is Big Brother', says corporate insider
The US National Security Agency (NSA) is embarking on a secret domestic surveillance project dubbed "Perfect Citizen", intended to monitor and protect important national infrastructure such as power grids and transport systems.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed government and industry sources, says that the NSA has awarded a "black" (classified) $100m contract to defence contractor Raytheon which will see secret monitoring equipment installed within US networks deemed to be of national importance.
According to the WSJ, Perfect Citizen has caused some disquiet among those in the know. It could be seen as the NSA - a military combat support agency whose focus is supposed to be on external threats - carrying out massive automated surveillance of American companies and citizens. The paper quotes an internal Raytheon email as saying that "Perfect Citizen is Big Brother".
The stated purpose of the project is to get a clear idea of the level of threat facing American infrastructure IT. Many older systems, designed in the pre-network world, have since been hooked up to the internet for ease of use and maintenance. It is feared by some in the US intelligence/defence community that unfriendly powers and organisations are already engaged in probing these systems with a view to learning how to attack them.
The NSA's Perfect Citizen equipment would be designed to flag up unusual network events indicating an impending cyber attack, according to the WSJ's sources.
"You've got to instrument the network to know what's going on, so you have situational awareness to take action," an unnamed military source told the paper.
Many of the networks that the NSA would wish to place Perfect Citizen equipment on are privately owned, however, and some could also potentially carry information offering scope for "mission creep" outside an infrastructure-security context. For instance, full access to power company systems might allow the NSA to work out whether anyone was at home at a given address. Transport and telecoms information would also make for a potential bonanza for intrusive monitoring.
The full scope of the project remains to be determined, according to the WSJ report, with no certainty as yet on which companies or types of companies would be asked to cooperate - or how much information the NSA would get access to.
The NSA - whose boss has now also been confirmed as head of the Pentagon's uniformed Cyber Command - apparently got the job by default, as it is considered the only US agency with enough network and cyber savvy to take the task on.
The Reg has contacted Raytheon and the NSA for comment on Perfect Citizen, but thus far has not received any reply. ®
Call it something that conjures to mind the exact opposite of what it is:
Perfect Citizen = All citizens are not to be trusted
Safety Camera = Anything but
Ministry of Truth....
FUD yet again
Those NSA boyos will never stop .. And the media dont help.
"It is feared by some in the US intelligence/defence community that unfriendly powers and organisations are already engaged in probing these systems with a view to learning how to attack them."
" Some " who's some ?
Vague statements from people " in the know " are generally people from companies trying to push their crap.There's no Cyber War raging on at the moment.Period. What's going on is that you have companies pushing their crap to the US government mentioning vague studies carried by unnamed classified or government sources and using the media to influence the
purchases of totally useless material.
Thank the Bush right wing paranoid communist hangning republicans that are still in power
when they should be the first to be fired.The real enemy is within not outside the US borders and it's called the republicans.
@"Call it something that conjures to mind the exact opposite"
Call it something that it isn't is therefore proof of their intention to deceive and manipulate. Therefore they cannot be trusted. Therefore anyone who does say they can be trusted is either ignorant of the deceitful nature of these people, or they are themselves deceitful people seeking to fool people into failing to see through other deceitful people. (After all deceitful people do not want a world where deceitful people can be seen through because in such a world they would fail to be so successful. Which is exactly the way to fight back against what is happening. Everyone needs to learn to see through these people).
"Machiavellianism is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct"" ... and the concept of Machiavellianism has existed for almost exactly 500 years (since 1513).
They also show their intention to continue to abuse ever more Orwellian technology for ever more control no matter what anyone says to them. After all the people in power want to be the people in power so they don't want to listen to other people. They want to be the people who choose (and therefore dictate) how others must live. Worse still we cannot even oppose their ideas without them thinking us as the enemy.
Therefore this Perpetual War on terror is looking ever more like a war on freedom. But then terrorists seek to dictate their will over everyone, so that means political leaders see terrorists as direct competitors for their position of power over people. The terrorists want to be in power. They are ironically the same kind of arrogant people who seek to dictate how others must live. Therefore the political leaders goal of seeking to stop terrorists is really a means to seek to stop opposition to their position of power. So they are seeking to identify all opponents and then judge who are the most extreme opponents. The danger as always is as history shows, the people in power will always feature creep their power over people to add more ways to make lesser punishments for lesser opponents. Also the law is what they say is the law. Plus they often don't use direct punishments for opposition. They instead create ever more options for using more ways to punish people such as fines and other punishments to force compliance with their wishes. So even if they do not have direct laws to punish direct opponents they will instead use and create other laws to punish opponents simply to make their lives more difficult so they are distracted from being opponents. After all these people in power prove their deceitful manipulative nature which combined with their need to dictate how others must live, shows just what a nightmare we are heading into. We are not heading towards freedom and fairness, we are heading towards a world ruled by dictators.
... Which brings us back to ... there has always been very good reasons why throughout history, people all around the world have tried very hard to protect their privacy, liberty and freedom from state interference. Fail to learn from history and we walk right back into the same problems again, only this time, with the power of ever better (yet ever more abused) technology, the state is becoming more powerful than at any time in history and yet the people in power have shown countless times how their kind cannot just be trusted with ever increasing power. Their actions have to be policed or they become part of the problem. Yet they are amassing more power than at any point in history.
We are moving into a world of endless spying and micro management over us all which is then backed up with endless fines, punishments, rules, regulations and law changes. The future is looking like a very grim endless misery of their relentless control over us all and yet we cannot speak out against it all without being labelled as wrong and then quietly punished back into silence. :(