The software, created by a company called Narus that's now part of Boeing, is controlled remotely from NSA headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland and searches US sources for target addresses, locations, countries, and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email. Any communication that arouses suspicion, especially those to or from the million or so people on agency watch lists, are automatically copied or recorded and then transmitted to the NSA.
The scope of surveillance expands from there, Binney says. Once a name is entered into the Narus database, all phone calls and other communications to and from that person are automatically routed to the NSA's recorders. "Anybody you want, route to a recorder," Binney says. "If your number's in there? Routed and gets recorded." He adds, "The Narus device allows you to take it all." And when Bluffdale is completed, whatever is collected will be routed there for storage and analysis.
According to Binney, one of the deepest secrets of the Stellar Wind program--again, never confirmed until now--was that the NSA gained warrantless access to AT&T's vast trove of domestic and international billing records, detailed information about who called whom in the US and around the world. As of 2007, AT&T had more than 2.8 trillion records housed in a database at its Florham Park, New Jersey, complex.
Verizon was also part of the program, Binney says, and that greatly expanded the volume of calls subject to the agency's domestic eavesdropping. "That multiplies the call rate by at least a factor of five," he says. "So you're over a billion and a half calls a day." (Spokespeople for Verizon and AT&T said their companies would not comment on matters of national security.) [see]
An article by Steve Sailer entitled "Does Israel Have a Backdoor to US Intelligence" discussed the intimate involvement of Israeli-connected firms within the NSA surveillance system and the possibility that such connections could be used to gather intelligence on US citizens, firms or the US government by Israel itself. Excerpts from that article follow:
The news last week that the US government had collected Verizon's "metadata" on who had called whom when and from where was widely seen as a stunning revelation. Timothy B. Lee of the Washington Post warned:
For example, having the calling records of every member of Congress would likely reveal which members kept mistresses, which could be used to blackmail members of Congress into supporting a future president's agenda. Calling records could also provide valuable political intelligence, such as how frequently members of Congress were talking to various interest groups.
Likewise, Jane Mayer reported for The New Yorker:
"in the world of business, a pattern of phone calls from key executives can reveal impending corporate takeovers.
And yet informed observers have assumed for most of this century that American telephone metadata may well already be available to a foreign military-intelligence complex via hypothesized "backdoors" coded into complex commercial software.
In December 2001, Fox News' chief political correspondent Carl Cameron delivered a four-part series on Israel's surveillance of American targets. For unexplained reasons, Fox disappeared Cameron's series down the memory hole later that month, although copies of the episodes survive on the Internet.
"It apparently hasn't hurt Israel that so many Washington and Wall Street insiders assume that Israel knows their secrets."
Cameron drew attention to Israel's strategic initiative to dominate communications software. For example, Amdocs is "the market leader in Telecommunication Billing Services." This firm is publicly traded and registered in the tax haven of Guernsey.
It sounds dull, yet the CEO from 2002 to 2010 was Dov Baharav. In 2011, Israel's formidable defense minister Ehud Barak appointed Baharav the new chairman of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., the government-owned arsenal that builds fighter jets. In other words, the boring-sounding billing guy may be connected.
Cameron reported for Fox back in 2001:
Amdocs has contracts with the 25 biggest phone companies in America, and more worldwide. The White House and other secure government phone lines are protected, but it is virtually impossible to make a call on normal phones without generating an Amdocs record of it."But sources tell Fox News that in 1999, the super secret National Security Agency, headquartered in northern Maryland, issued what's called a Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmentalized Information report, TS/SCI, warning that records of calls in the United States were getting into foreign hands -- in Israel, in particular. Investigators don't believe calls are being listened to, but the data about who is calling whom and when is plenty valuable in itself.