NSA Hacked Al-Jazeera and Russia’s Aeroflot

NSA Hacked Al-Jazeera and Russia’s Aeroflot; Spied on Brazil and Mexico Leaders

Posted by on September 2, 2013                                       /   Comments Off

    Category: NSA   Tags: ,

nsa-spying.sinsa-spying.siRussia Today – September 1, 2013


Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing revelations about US surveillance got a little creepier with the revelation that the National Security Agency hacked into Al-Jazeera TV’s encrypted e-mails, as well as Russian airline Aeroflot’s ticketing system.

German newspaper Der Spiegel reported the latest leaks, after seeing documents supporting the claim.

According to the newspaper, hacking into Al-Jazeera’s protected e-mails is considered no small feat in the US intelligence community. Among other things, the Arab news network has been known for broadcasting messages sent to the world by top Al-Qaeda figures for more than a decade.

A substantial number of Osama bin Laden’s video broadcasts, from the 9/11 attacks onward, were broadcast on Al-Jazeera. Bin Laden sometimes appeared in the videos alongside his successor as Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is still at large.

One of the documents obtained by Der Spiegel refers to information from March 2006, when the NSA’s Network Analysis Center managed to gain access to e-mails from “interesting targets” protected by Al-Jazeera. But the document also says that NSA officials did not find its’ language analysis of the e-mails particularly useful.

Both Aeroflot’s ticket reservation system and Al Jazeera’s encrypted e-mails were deemed a “notable success,” the NSA document reveals. The spy agency apparently considered both of them as having a “high potential as sources of intelligence.”

The documents seen by Der Spiegel did not reveal the complete extent of the agency’s spying on Al-Jazeera’s journalists or executives, however, or how long it went on. No documents relating to the NSA spying on Al-Jazeera have previously come to light.

As far as Aeroflot is concerned, the hacked reservation system may not have been the last incident involving US spying on the airline. While Snowden was staying at the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, the Internet was awash with rumors that he was going to catch an Aeroflot flight headed for Cuba.

In mid-July, an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Havana deviated off course, FlightAware live flight tracking indicated. The news sparked a rash of online speculation that Snowden may have been aboard the flight.

The detour spawned speculation in the media that the aircraft may have been trying to avoid entering US airspace. However, the rumors were quickly dispelled, as it was discovered that America’s eastern seaboard was undergoing some rough weather that may have prompted the plane to change course.

By law, Russian airlines are banned from sharing flight passenger data with third parties, Aeroflot spokesman Andrey Sogrin told RT.

On August 1, Snowden’s stay at Sheremetyevo came to an end, as his lawyer revealed that the 30-year-old American had been whisked away by taxi to an undisclosed location.

And this post via Stephen:

mexico-brazilmexico-brazilNSA Spied on Brazil, Mexico Leaders

From Al-Jazeera – September 2, 2013


The US National Security Agency’s spy program targeted the communications of the Brazilian and Mexican presidents, and in the case of Mexico’s leader accessed the content of emails before he was elected, the journalist who obtained secret documents from NSA leaker Edward Snowden has said.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Rio de Janeiro, told Globo’s news program “Fantastico” that a document dated June 2012 shows that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s emails were being read. The document is dated a month before Pena Nieto was elected.

If the facts of the report are confirmed, they would be considered very serious and would constitute a clear violation of Brazil’s sovereignty.

– Brazilian Justice Minister Eduardo Cardoza.

The document Greenwald based the report on includes communications from Pena Nieto indicating who he would like to name to some Cabinet posts among other information. It’s not clear if the spying continues.

In the case of Brazil’s leader, the June 2012 document “doesn’t include any of Dilma’s specific intercepted messages, the way it does for Nieto,” Greenwald told The Associated Press news agency in an email.

“But it is clear in several ways that her communications were intercepted, including the use of DNI Presenter, which is a program used by NSA to open and read emails and online chats.”

Calls to Rousseff’s office and a spokeswoman were not answered. Messages sent to a spokesman for Nena Pieto weren’t immediately returned.

Brazilian Justice Minister Eduardo Cardozo told the newspaper O Globo that “if the facts of the report are confirmed, they would be considered very serious and would constitute a clear violation of Brazil’s sovereignty.”

“This is completely outside the standard of confidence expected of a strategic partnership, as the U.S. and Brazil have,” he added.

In July, Greenwald co-wrote articles in O Globo that said documents leaked by Snowden indicate Brazil was the largest target in Latin America for the NSA program, which collected data on billions of emails and calls flowing through Brazil.

The Brazilian government denounced the NSA activities outlined in the earlier reports.

Greenwald began writing stories based on material leaked by Snowden in May, mostly for the Guardian newspaper in Britain.

Before news of the NSA program broke, the White House announced that Rousseff would be honored with a state dinner in October during a trip to the US, the only such full state dinner scheduled this year for a foreign leader.