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15 May 2014

NSA Customs Cross-Border Implant Program

Related: CIA/NSA Special Collection Service:

NSA slide on implanting becons (via Glenn Greenwald release, p. 149):


From: Wayne Madsen <waynemadsendc[at]>
Subject: For publication
Date: Thu, 15 May 2014 11:09:15 -0400
To: <jya[at]>

The author of "No Place to Hide" Glenn Greenwald was asked by Amy Goodman on "Democracy Now" what the term "Customs" meant in relation to NSA's placement of "implants" into computer systems.

"AMY GOODMAN: Customs?

GLENN GREENWALD: Yeah, I'm not sure what that is, actually. We've asked several experts. It could be, you know, some tactic that people aren't aware of."

There are those who are, unlike Greenwald, totally aware of what is meant by Customs. Greenwald insists on sitting on his alleged cache of hundreds of thousands of classified documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden. "Customs" is a serious program. It means that every time someone crosses a border posting and is asked to hand over their laptop computers, smart phones, or other devices to the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel, there is a risk of NSA installing implants that can later "beacon" data to NSA capture points. This is why ICE says it has the authority to hold devices at border crossings indefinitely. The revelation also means that the diplomatic pouch privileges traditionally afforded embassy and other diplomatic personnel are likely being routinely breached during the transit of pouches on planes and ships.

Former NSA/CIA Special Collection Service employee Snowden knows what Customs means. Why wasn't  he one of the "experts" consulted by Greenwald and the First Looker team?

Greenwald and his Pierre Omidyar-funded colleagues routinely redact information from NSA documents obtained from Snowden. Who determined what redactions are made? Have any First Lookers ever served as a national security information Original Classification Authority? It is doubtful.

In addition, Greenwald constantly downplays the culpability of corporations in NSA spying. Greenwald has made no secret of his libertarian leanings and his belief that government is inherently more dangerous than corporations. This was made quite obvious in his interview with Goodman:

". . . what the NSA will do, whenever it decides that it wants to, is, once somebody orders a product from Cisco, Cisco then ships it to that person; the NSA physically intercepts the package, takes it from FedEx or from the U.S. mail service, brings it back to NSA headquarters, opens up the package, and plants a backdoor device on one of these devices, reseals it with a factory seal and then sends it on to the unwitting user, who then provides Internet service to large numbers of people, all of which is instantly redirected into the repositories of the NSA."

AMY GOODMAN: So, they get the Cisco router—with the knowledge or without the knnowledge of Cisco?

GLENN GREENWALD: It's unclear. There's certainly no evidence that Cisco knows about this or participates in it. [emphasis added] They could be an unwitting victim. [emphasis added] But at the same time, Cisco is listed as one of the NSA's strategic partners, so they certainly cooperate in some way with the NSA. Whether they cooperate on this specific program or are victimized by it [emphasis added] is something that we're not able to discern."

That's total B.S. and Greenwald knows it. His benefactor, Omidyar, founder of PayPal, is also one of NSA's strategic partners, although Greenwald and his "journalist" colleagues are loathe to admit it. Greenwald knows that Cisco is a major partner of NSA and it placed implanted network routers in the European Parliament twenty years ago. Cisco, like Paypal, is no damned "victim." Just as Greenwald is no damned "victim." Greenwald is not living in Brazil to escape the clutches of NSA. Snowden is the only one who is living in forced exile. Greenwald lives in Brazil because the gay scene in Sao Paulo and Rio matches up nicely with his gay marriage to a Brazilian national. No more, no less.

Greenwald is a self-serving charlatan. It would have made much better sense for Snowden to have passed his documents to John Young of Cryptome or Tony Bunyan of Britain's Statewatch. Neither would have made deals with the likes of Omidyar, The Guardian and its weak-kneed sister paper, The Observer, and the NSA censors.