The DHS-NSA-AT&T “Cybersecurity” Partnership
Global Research | Jul 6, 2009
by Tom Burghardt
Under the rubric of cybersecurity, the Obama administration is moving forward with a Bush regime program to screen state computer traffic on private-sector networks, including those connecting people to the Internet, The Washington Post revealed July 3.
That project, code-named “Einstein,” may very well be related to the much-larger, ongoing and highly illegal National Security Agency (NSA) communications intercept program known as “Stellar Wind,” disclosed in 2005 by The New York Times.
There are several components to Stellar Wind, one of which is a massive data-mining project run by the agency. As USA Today revealed in 2006, the “National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth.”
Under the current program, Einstein will be tied directly into giant NSA data bases that contain the trace signatures left behind by cyberattacks; these immense electronic warehouses will be be fed by information streamed to the agency by the nation’s telecommunications providers.
AT&T, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the NSA will spearhead the aggressive new initiative to detect malicious attacks launched against government web sites–by continuing to monitor the electronic communications of Americans.
This contradicts President Obama’s pledge announcing his administration’s cybersecurity program on May 29. During White House remarks Obama said that the government will not continue Bush-era surveillance practices or include “monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic.”
Called the “flagship system” in the national security state’s cyber defense arsenal, The Wall Street Journal reports that Einstein is “designed to protect the U.S. government’s computer networks from cyberspies.” In addition to cost overruns and mismanagement by outsourced contractors, the system “is being stymied by technical limitations and privacy concerns.”