Stellar Wind, Prism,EvilOlive,ShellTrumpet, US massive surveillance

By Pierluigi Paganini, Editor-in-Chief, CDM

Jul 2, 2013, 11:00 am EST

Stellar Wind, Prism,EvilOlive, ShellTrumpet are the names of some of the US massive surveillance programs revealed recently by the press …

The Guardian published new uncomfortable documents that revealed another surveillance program dubbed Stellar Wind that was started in 2001, after the tragic events of 9/11. According the secret documents obtained by the Guardian, the program was authorized by President George W. Bush’s and continued under Barack Obama Administration in 2011.

The Stellar Wind program gives to the National Security Agency the power to monitor Internet metadata and emails of all American citizens.

“The documents indicate that under the program, launched in 2001, a federal judge sitting on the secret surveillance panel called the Fisa court would approve a bulk collection order for internet metadata “every 90 days”.

The top-secret draft report by the NSA’s inspector general the NSA began “collection of bulk internet metadata” involving “communications with at least one communicant outside the United States or for which no communicant was known to be a citizen of the United States”.

It seems that metadata collected for at least a decade did not include the content of emails, but the government has analyzed all the details related to email users account including IP addresses related to senders and recipients of correspondence, information that is linked to the user’s location.


The program, such as other  surveillance programs, is the focus of internal disputes also within the US Government, the Justice Department challenged about the legality of monitoring activities that collected data for wide audience not just the subjects of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.

“Toll records, phone records like this, that don’t include any content, are not covered by the fourth amendment because people don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy in who they called and when they called,” Cole testified to the House intelligence committee on June 18. “That’s something you show to the phone company. That’s something you show to many, many people within the phone company on a regular basis.” was the argumentation provided by Deputy attorney general James Cole to defend the bulk collection of programs such as Stellar Wind and Prism.

The stellar Wind program has ended differently from various other programs that still collect Americans’ online records today. While we are discussing about Showden and his responsibilities for the revelation of Prism surveillance program, is circulating the news that in December 2012 the NSA launched a new program allowing it to “analyze communications with one end inside the US, leading to a doubling of the amount of data passing through its filters.”

The new program is managed by the Special Source Operations (SSO) Directorate inside the NSA is extensive, the agency called it the “One-End Foreign (1EF) solution”.

“It intended the program, codenamed EvilOlive, for “broadening the scope” of what it is able to collect. It relied, legally, on “FAA Authority”, a reference to the 2008 FisaAmendments Act that relaxed surveillance restrictions.” the Guardian states.

On December 26 2012, SSO revealed its capability to allow it to collect far more internet traffic and data than ever before, the NSA is able to direct more than half of the internet traffic it intercepts from its collection points into its own repositories, it must be specified that of those communication one end are inside the US.

“The 1EF solution is allowing more than 75% of the traffic to pass through the filter,” “This milestone not only opened the aperture of the access but allowed the possibility for more traffic to be identified, selected and forwarded to NSA repositories.”the SSO December document reads.” “After the EvilOlive deployment, traffic has literally doubled.” the SSO December document reads.

The NSA’s metadata collection appears unlimited, other documents another surveillance program  is referred, it is codenamed ShellTrumpet. On December 31, 2012, an SSO official wrote that ShellTrumpet had just “processed its One Trillionth metadata record”.

The higher the number confidential documents published and the greater the belief that surveillance is the practice, and consolidated, of any government.

But if governments were so efficient in maintaining the secret on their surveillance and monitoring activities why these programs are coming out all together this particular historical context … it is a coincidence, or what else?

(Source: CDM & Security Affairs – Opera, malware, Surveillance, Stellar Wind, Prism, EvilOlive, ShellTrumpet)

July 2, 2013

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