web analytics

NSA: ‘full spectrum dominance’

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, October 28th, 2013 - 23 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, democracy under attack, internet, john key, national, slippery, Spying, telecommunications, uk politics, us politics, war - Tags:

Over the last week or so, further revelations of the extent of the NSA’s surveillance reach, in conjunction with at least one of its 5 Eyes’ partners (UK’s GCHQ) are breath taking in scope.  As Seumas Milne wrote last week in The Guardian, its

about global power, not protecting its citizens

The cumulative information leaked via Edward Snowden provides a picture of NSA-dominated international and intra-national surveillance in areas of armed conflict, aerial bombardment, politics and business.  This is looking like an updated version of the US government’s military-based, imperialistic strategy of “full spectrum dominance“.  The Wikipedia link explains this as a US military doctrine using “land,air, maritime, space, and cyber based assets“, and provides this definition of “full spectrum superiority”, quoted from a US Department of Defence dictionary,

The cumulative effect of dominance in the air, land, maritime, and space domains and information environment that permits the conduct of joint operations without effective opposition or prohibitive interference.[1]

What we are seeing with the extensive NSA-led surveillance is the extension of that kind of approach beyond the battlefield, into business and politics.

Back to the Seumas Milne article linked above.  He argues that the UK spying agencies have moved on from the seedy days of seedy counter-subversion operations of the past, with propaganda that now paints them as the “good guys”:

MI5 has well over doubled in size in the past 10 years. Glamorised beyond parody in TV dramas such as Spooks, the spying agencies’ uncheckable pronouncements about their exploits and supposed triumphs are routinely relayed by the media as fact. The same has been true in the US, but on a far larger canvas.

So faced with the avalanche of leaks from the National Security Agency and GCHQ about the epic scale of their blanket electronic surveillance, both at home and abroad, the masters of Anglo-American espionage have played the “national security” card for all it’s worth.

Milne argues that this propaganda, using counter-terrorism as a cover, masks the true agenda of,

the exercise of naked state power to gain political and economic advantage.

The extent of the surveillance, not only includes monitoring the private communications of relatively powerless citizens in countries like France, but the recording of phone calls, texts and emails of foreign heads of government in the likes of France, Germany, Brazil and Mexico.  But while the French government protests against such surveillance, it has also colluded with the US in its attempts to capture Snowden, and no doubt also in surveillance of its own citizens.

But it is the scale and reach of the NSA-GCHQ operation – and the effective global empire it is used to police – that sets it apart. And when it comes to terrorism, the evidence is that the US and British intelligence agencies are fuelling it as much as fighting it.

The use of cyber and surveillance capabilities within the military arena includes drone attacks, renditions, and land-based conflicts.  However, New Zealand’s role via the GCSB, now becoming linked with the SIS and criminal justice systems as indicated by the Dotcom saga, is most likely more connected with politics and business than with armed conflict.

This is indicated by the role that the GCSB played in testing out some of the NSA’s mass surveillance systems.  And this connects with the way NSA systems have been used to monitor communications of foreign heads of government and business entities.

The use of the NSA capabilities is indicated in the revelations of spying on Angela Merkle and the French President.  On Tuesday, the NZ Herald reported that, in relation to the French revelations, the use of specific phone numbers triggered the recording of conversations, as well as collecting text messages that used specified key words.

In Brazil, Snowden’s leaked data indicates,

 President Dilma Rousseff’s communications with aides were intercepted, the computer network of state-run oil company Petrobras was hacked,…

The latest revelations allegedly show that,

The United States has allegedly bugged German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone since 2002, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday, citing a secret National Security Agency document from 2010.

The GCSB as part of the 5 Eyes network, draws NZ’s surveillance systems into US dominated cyber-surveillance systems.  Such systems are being used by the US and UK governments for economic and political power games.  This reinforces the need to continue to oppose the changes by the current NZ government to the NZ surveillance agencies furrther enable the US-UK power games.

This means a need for a review of the GCSB law and reversal of the most recent changes; and continued opposition to the Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Bill (TICS) currently before parliament. According to an NBR article, as well as requiring Internet providers to spy on its customers’ communications it will “impose increased costs on the IT sector.

Tech Liberty NZ argues:

There is no evidence that the revelations about the extent of government spying in our intelligence allies, the USA and UK, have had any impact on the TICS Bill which is still mainly concerned about making sure that all electronic communications in New Zealand can be exposed to government scrutiny.

This indicates that the NZ government is colluding with the US agencies in its latest strategies for full political, economic and military “spectrum dominance”.  The last word in this post goes to Tech Liberty NZ:

We believe that changes in technology mean we need to rethink surveillance, search warrants and interception. We also fear that the cold war heritage of our security services unreasonably influences their thinking and their operations.

We support the idea of an inquiry into our intelligence services to ensure that what they do and how they do it are in the best interests of New Zealanders. We also support the idea that just because something is technically possible, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should do it. There needs to be limits on surveillance to protect important rights, such as freedom of expression and freedom of association.

 

 

 

23 comments on “NSA: ‘full spectrum dominance’”

  1. Tat Loo (CV) 2

    Looks like Angela Merkel has been on a US surveillance target list for over 10 years, and that the White House under Obama re-approved surveillance on her. She’s not happy, to say the least. Funny how these leaders only get steamed up when they realise it’s not just their citizens who have been targeted, but themselves personally.

    As Glen Greenwald and others are pointing out, the old US line of we’re only doing this ‘to fight the terrorists’ is looking pretty weak – as it did from the start.

    • Populuxe1 2.1

      Mind you – look what happened the last time a German leader was left to their own devices lol. But seriously, it’s a bit hypocritical when Germany was a core part of the NSA spy network keeping tabs on other European leaders.

  2. Anne 3

    Funny how these leaders only get steamed up when they realise it’s not just their citizens who have been targeted, but themselves personally.

    My reaction too Tat. As someone on the receiving end of unjustifiable surveillance years ago, I find it deeply ironic when persons of stature discover they have been spied on. Suddenly it becomes a very serious matter.

  3. Draco T Bastard 4

    Such systems are being used by the US and UK governments for economic and political power games.

    The correct term is warfare.

  4. fender 7

    Bet the yanks have had trouble finding a translator to decipher the intercepted Key phone calls…

  5. JO 8

    Let’s think about ‘the Five Eyes Network’ a bit more. Surely no one at NSA suggested that a softer name would send people back to sleep with ‘Bright Eyes’ burbling in their docile brains. Did they?

    ‘Five Eyes’ is the UKUSA Agreement (1946), between the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and NZ. Slightly less cosy? Of course. That’s why this powerful NATO side-arm needed a silencer. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s tentacles circle the planet now like a nightmare’s Kraken.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UKUSA_Agreement (according to this, it wasn’t revealed to the public until the early 2000s. Peace groups knew of it in the 1980s.)

    ‘… Orwell would have recognised these as classic examples of disguising hard reality—giving sweeping powers of surveillance to the security services—behind soft words.’
    From:
    http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/david-marsh-guardian-book-for-who-the-bell-tolls/#.UmrMv1_29aF

  6. Tracey 9

    I wonder if key has called merkel and told her if she has nothing to hide she has nothing to fear.

  7. Lloyd 10

    If Merkel is really annoyed and really wants to wake the US up, all she has to do is offer Snowden full residency in Germany with guarantee of non-extradition for his whistle-blowing activities.

  8. Tracey 11

    Of course the usa will be sharing its spy info with its corporates “negotiating” the tppa.

    confidentiality clause makes it an even playing field according to wayne mapp but he surely hasnt factored in phone taps etc…

  9. Chooky 12

    +1…. very interesting post thanks Karol

  10. Papa Tuanuku 13

    Umm, National politicians saying they haven’t been spied on (as opposed to large powerful nations like Germany, Spain and France) look incredibly naive, dumb, and like seasoned bullshitters. Don’t you just feel you’re being majorly let down with Key saying exactly what the PMs of England and Aussie are saying?

    • Tat Loo (CV) 13.1

      It also happens that UK and Aussie are two countries which along with NZ are also part of the Five Eyes network. These are countries that are classed as highly privileged “first party” intelligence partners to the USA.

  11. Rogue Trooper 14

    Casablanca “My God, there’s gambling going on here!”

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Andrew Little visits Zaatari refugee camp
    Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Little, has visited the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, Zaatari in Jordan, a day after seeing New Zealand troops at Camp Taji in Iraq. Mr Little spent several hours in the camp, meeting… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Com Com’s Z Energy decision anti-competitive
    The Commerce Commission’s decision to allow Z Energy to buy Caltex can only undermine the competition in the fuel industry that is needed to ensure New Zealanders pay the lowest price for petrol, Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.… ...
    13 hours ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    1 day ago
  • OAG raps Govt over the knuckles on HNZ contracts
    The Government has been rapped over the knuckles by the Auditor General over its failure to properly manage $2.3m of contracts and conflicts of interest in relation to a merchant banker advising them on the state house sell-off, says Labour’s… ...
    1 day ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    1 day ago
  • Brownlee must step in as EQC spin exposed
    Gerry Brownlee needs to step in after EQC’s desperate spin in the wake of yesterday’s landmark settlement has been exposed by its own documents, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Yesterday’s settlement showed that thousands of homes may not have… ...
    1 day ago
  • OIO must explain Argentine pollution prosecutions
    The Overseas Investment Office (OIO)has questions to answer about how it safeguarded our sensitive land by allowing foreign investors with criminal prosecutions to purchase Onetai Station in Taranaki, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe.   “Rafael and Federico Grozovsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    1 day ago
  • Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers
    ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This issue has arisen because their parent banks have… ...
    1 day ago
  • Murray McCully needs to come clean over Tokelau ferry debacle
    Foreign Minister Murray McCully needs to come clean on why a New Zealand aid-funded vessel intended to service the Tokelau Islands is delayed, over budget and failed its sea trials, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The new ship… ...
    2 days ago
  • Full independent inquiry needed to save New Zealand’s reputation
    Revelations that John Key's personal lawyer and trust advisor led a lobbying campaign to shut down a review of New Zealand's foreign trust regime makes the case for a full scale independent inquiry a matter of urgency, Labour's Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 days ago
  • Full independent inquiry needed to save New Zealand’s reputation
    Revelations that John Key's personal lawyer and trust advisor led a lobbying campaign to shut down a review of New Zealand's foreign trust regime makes the case for a full scale independent inquiry a matter of urgency, Labour's Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew Little visits NZ troops in Iraq and refugees in Jordan
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has visited New Zealand troops at Camp Taji, Iraq. Mr Little also met with Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled Al-Obedih and senior military officials from the Coalition forces in Iraq. He now heads to Jordan to see… ...
    2 days ago
  • Workplace death toll still too high
    It’s a damning indictment on the Government that as workers gather to remember their lost workmates on Worker’s Memorial Day, New Zealand’s workplace death toll is still far too high, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “At… ...
    2 days ago
  • Workplace death toll still too high
    It’s a damning indictment on the Government that as workers gather to remember their lost workmates on Worker’s Memorial Day, New Zealand’s workplace death toll is still far too high, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “At… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister must come clean on implications of landmark settlement
    Gerry Brownlee has urgent and serious questions to answer in the wake of today’s landmark EQC settlement, which potentially has major implications for thousands of Cantabrians, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. ...
    2 days ago
  • Mossack Fonseca links to OIO approvals must be investigated
    The Minister for Land Information must investigate and disclose how many applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) have links to Mossack Fonseca, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Labour can now reveal the OIO approved an application from… ...
    2 days ago
  • Mossack Fonseca links to OIO approvals must be investigated
    The Minister for Land Information must investigate and disclose how many applications to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) have links to Mossack Fonseca, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Labour can now reveal the OIO approved an application from… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt complacency leaves RB no room to cut
    The Government has put the economy in a holding pattern, leaving the Reserve Bank Governor with little room to manoeuvre as he tries to balance a rampant housing market with non-existent inflation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt complacency leaves RB no room to cut
    The Government has put the economy in a holding pattern, leaving the Reserve Bank Governor with little room to manoeuvre as he tries to balance a rampant housing market with non-existent inflation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler… ...
    2 days ago
  • Dam not out of doldrums yet
    Ruataniwha Dam promoters Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) still has hurdles to clear and a lot of work to do before ratepayers and taxpayers will have confidence in the scheme, says Labour’s MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Meka Whaitiri.“We need sustainable… ...
    3 days ago
  • New study shows Smith’s insulation fails Kiwi kids
    A new Otago University study shows Nick Smith’s inadequate insulation standards will see hundreds of children unnecessarily hospitalised for housing-related illnesses every year, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government out of touch on foreign trusts
    John Key’s poor handling of the foreign trusts issue is starkly revealed in a poll today which shows the majority of Kiwis are worried about the country being a tax haven and almost half think the issue has been badly… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government out of touch on foreign trusts
    John Key’s poor handling of the foreign trusts issue is starkly revealed in a poll today which shows the majority of Kiwis are worried about the country being a tax haven and almost half think the issue has been badly… ...
    3 days ago
  • Biggest trade deficit for 7 years a warning for Govt
    The biggest trade deficit for seven years shows the Government can’t be so complacent about the economy and must take action to diversify and encourage exports, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The biggest driver has been the fall in… ...
    3 days ago
  • Biggest trade deficit for 7 years a warning for Govt
    The biggest trade deficit for seven years shows the Government can’t be so complacent about the economy and must take action to diversify and encourage exports, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The biggest driver has been the fall in… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government’s record on climate change under fire
      The Royal Society’s latest report on climate change has made it clear that it believes the Government’s current approach to climate change is inadequate, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “The report, ‘Transition to a low-carbon economy… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government’s record on climate change under fire
      The Royal Society’s latest report on climate change has made it clear that it believes the Government’s current approach to climate change is inadequate, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “The report, ‘Transition to a low-carbon economy… ...
    3 days ago
  • Mainfreight director agrees with Labour on rail funding
    Richard Prebble – in the past accused of ruining rail and now a director of Mainfreight – agrees with Labour that secure funding for KiwiRail is the best way to minimise congestion in our major cities, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • Mainfreight director agrees with Labour on rail funding
    Richard Prebble – in the past accused of ruining rail and now a director of Mainfreight – agrees with Labour that secure funding for KiwiRail is the best way to minimise congestion in our major cities, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government to Reserve Bank – Rock or Hard Place?
    The Government’s complacency on the housing crisis and the economy has put the Reserve Bank Governor in a no-win position as he contemplates the OCR tomorrow, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler is stuck between a rock and… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government to Reserve Bank – Rock or Hard Place?
    The Government’s complacency on the housing crisis and the economy has put the Reserve Bank Governor in a no-win position as he contemplates the OCR tomorrow, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Graeme Wheeler is stuck between a rock and… ...
    4 days ago
  • John Key’s land tax could push up rents
    A land tax proposed by John Key as the answer to the housing crisis could push up rents and risks having no effect on skyrocketing prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Government needs to explain why the thousands… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government should ban foreign speculators
    The Prime Minister’s musings about a land tax on non-resident buyers is just more tinkering, and the Government should just ban foreign speculators as the Australian Government has done, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This is classic John Key.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government must protect Pharmac as promised
    John Key must tell New Zealanders that he will not bow to pressure from wealthy drug companies or their US negotiators and put Kiwi lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.   “News reports today have the drug… ...
    4 days ago
  • Action not words, needed on housing speculation
    John Key should be taking action to crack down on speculation in our overheated housing market, instead of random musings on land tax, Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said.  "John Key suggested today on TVNZ's Q and A programme that… ...
    6 days ago
  • Tertiary education cost rising 7x faster than inflation
    New figures show the cost of tertiary education is rising seven times faster than inflation, putting post-school education out of the reach of many, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.  “Figures release this week show how much more students or their… ...
    6 days ago
  • Buying Lotto is not an arts funding strategy
    The Government must rethink the way the arts are funded after falling Lotto sales has left the sector with declining resources and increasingly vulnerable, Labour’s Arts, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.  “Our arts sector is in a sorry… ...
    6 days ago
  • Parents hit in pocket by Government under-funding
    Parents and families are left forking out more and more for their kids’ education as a direct result of Government under-funding, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “The latest data shows that the cost to families of primary and secondary… ...
    7 days ago
  • Scientists ‘gasping for oxygen’ under National
     Steven Joyce's claims to be creating a science and innovation hub in New Zealand are a sham based on PR fluff, says Labour's Science and Innovation Spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “A damning critique of the science funding model by the New… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scientists ‘gasping for oxygen’ under National
     Steven Joyce's claims to be creating a science and innovation hub in New Zealand are a sham based on PR fluff, says Labour's Science and Innovation Spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “A damning critique of the science funding model by the New… ...
    1 week ago
  • Water for grass
    Last Saturday, my colleague Eugenie Sage took me for a drive across the Canterbury Plains. I had seen from the air the landuse changes across the plains in recent times; a patchwork of crops and stock raising has been transformed… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Water for grass
    Last Saturday, my colleague Eugenie Sage took me for a drive across the Canterbury Plains. I had seen from the air the landuse changes across the plains in recent times; a patchwork of crops and stock raising has been transformed… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Thousands of invalid votes likely after National refuses to change rules
    National’s refusal to make it easier to enrol and vote could result in tens of thousands of votes continuing to be ruled invalid at general elections, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The Justice and Electoral select committee today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Social Development stats don’t add up
    Today’s figures released by the Ministry of Social Development show that despite a drop in the number of beneficiaries, fewer people are going into paid employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fonterra sticks with high pollution goal of increasing milk supply
    This week’s reported comments by Fonterra chair John Wilson that dairy “volumes were only going to keep increasing”  are troubling. Mr Wilson was supporting a potential renegotiation of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Under the FTA dairy products such… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Coleman’s ‘efficiencies’ strangling health
    New Zealand’s district health boards have made ‘efficiencies’ of more than $672 million over the past five years at the expense of everything from new drugs to elective surgery, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “This is a body blow for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman’s ‘efficiencies’ strangling health
    New Zealand’s district health boards have made ‘efficiencies’ of more than $672 million over the past five years at the expense of everything from new drugs to elective surgery, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “This is a body blow for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Record debt to income ratio shows economy out of balance
    National’s complacent attitude to debt to income ratios rising above pre-financial crisis levels will be a concern to many New Zealanders and the Government must take action to rebalance the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.   “The borrowing… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere