US Intelligence Capabilities

When secret programs have the capability to affect or determine the direction of our lives, we cease to be a Republic. Oversight of these programs by civilians, also known as transparency, is the only was to compartmentalize that power so that it is never used against our citizens. We must protect the Republic and Constitution! Be always vigilant.

Towards that end, we need to at least know the capabilities of the intelligence agencies in the US. I have compiled a limited list and shown it below. This list was compiled from Wikipedia:


BOUNDLESS INFORMANT: Deployed by the NSA to analyze global electronic information. In March 2013, Boundless Informant gathered 14 billion data reports from Iran, 6.3 billion from India, and 2.8 billion from the United States.

BULLRUN: a highly classified NSA program to preserve its ability to eavesdrop on encrypted communications by influencing and weakening encryption standards, obtaining master encryption keys, and gaining access to data before or after it is encrypted either by agreement, force of law or hacking.

CARNIVORE: A system implemented by the FBI that was designed to monitor email and electronic communications. Apparently replaced by commercial software such as NarusInsight.

DCSNet: The FBI’s point-and-click surveillance system that can perform instant wiretaps on any telecommunications device located in the United States.

FAIRVIEW: A mass surveillance program directed at foreign mobile phone users.

ICREACH: Surveillance frontend GUI that is shared with 23 government agencies, including the CIA, DEA, and FBI, to search illegally collected personal records.

MAGIC LANTERN: A keystroke logging software deployed by the FBI in the form of an e-mail attachment. When activated, it acts as a trojan horse and allows the FBI to decrypt user communications.

MAIN CORE: A personal and financial database storing information of millions of U.S. citizens believed to be threats to national security. The data mostly comes from the NSA, FBI, CIA, as well as other government sources.

MAINWAY: NSA database containing metadata for hundreds of billions of telephone calls made through the four largest telephone carriers in the United States.

MUSCULAR: Overseas wiretapping of Google’s and Yahoo’s unencrypted internal networks by the NSA.

MYSTIC is a voice interception program used by the NSA.

PRISM: A clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the NSA which can target customers of participating corporations outside or inside the United States.

ROOM 641A: A telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the NSA.

SENTRY EAGLE: efforts to monitor and attack an adversary’s cyberspace using SIGINT, Computer Network Exploitation, Information Assurance, Computer Network Defense, Network Warfare, and Computer Network Attack. The efforts included weakening US commercial encryption systems.

SPECIAL COLLECTION SERVICE: A black budget program that is responsible for “close surveillance, burglary, wiretapping, breaking and entering.” It employs covert listening device technologies to bug foreign embassies, communications centers, computer facilities, fiber-optic networks, and government installations.

TAILORED ACCESS OPERATIONS: Intelligence-gathering unit of the NSA that is capable of harvesting approximately 2 petabytes of data per hour.

TURBULANCE: Turbulence is an NSA information-technology project started circa 2005. It was developed in small, inexpensive “test” pieces rather than one grand plan like its failed predecessor, the Trailblazer Project. It also includes offensive cyberwarfare capabilities, like injecting malware into remote computers.

US INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY (IC): A cooperative federation of 16 government agencies working together, but also separately, to gather intelligence and conduct espionage.

UTAH DATA CENTER: The Intelligence Community’s $1.5 billion data storage center that is designed to store extremely large amounts of data, on the scale of yottabytes.

X-KEYSCORE: A system used by the United States NSA for searching and analyzing internet data about foreign nationals.

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