United States Senator Calls for Investigation of the Military’s Use of Tool to Acquire Private Online Data of Millions of Americans
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has urged the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to conduct an investigation of a report from a military whistleblower concerning several Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) members buying and using netflow data to gain access to the private online data of countless American citizens.
Wyden cited the report in a letter he sent to the OIG last week where he claimed that multiple branches of the US military have bought access to “petabytes” of citizens’ private data through a tool called Augury. This tool was acquired from the Florida-based internet security firm Team Cymru.
Per the report, the alleged data aggregation features an individual’s email correspondence, browsing history, and other information concerning people’s online behavior. All of this data can be accessed on demand and without a legal warrant.
On top of that, Wyden called on the OIG to investigate the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department’s acquisition and use of related records.
Press TV detailed the gravity of this situation:
Netflow data, the report noted, includes proprietary information normally available only to internet service providers, but is likely being provided to military service members without the informed consent of those providers – let alone judicial authorization.
Wyden’s investigation into the whistleblowers’ assertions apparently unveiled how the Army, FBI, Secret Service, and US Cyber Command had similarly bought the company’s data sets. In the report, it also noted that these government bodies paid $3.5 million to use Team Cymru’s tool Augury. According to Press TV, this tool can allegedly gain access to 93% of internet traffic “using a technology called packet capture data (PCAP).”
A report by the Motherboard referenced a Navy Office of Information spokesman who said that “The use of net flow data by NCIS does not require a warrant.” In addition, the spokesman asserted that the agency had not used netflow for the purposes of conducting criminal investigations. Netflow was only used for “various counterintelligence purposes.”
Team Cymru defended its tool by claiming that it “is not designed to target specific users or user activity,” noting that “the platform specifically does not possess subscriber information necessary to tie records back to any users.”
Day after day, it’s becoming clear that the private sector cannot be considered a true friend of the Right. Private companies oftentimes willingly cooperate with the Deep State to dispossess Americans and violate their freedoms.
These entities are just as much as the enemy as the state is. The Right must be willing to recognize this, and more importantly, put these organizations on a special list of institutions that should ultimately be clamped down on once the Right fully takes power.
Those who slight us and our constituencies must feel the wrath of state power.