RAMPART-A

Summary

Screenshot from one of the unclassified slides in the published top secret documents.[1] The aim of the program is to gain access to these fiber-optic cables.
NSA lists "Approved SIGINT countries" which are divided into two groups by their cooperation level with the NSA.
  Second Partners
  Third Partners

RAMPART-A is the code name for global mass surveillance and world-wide signals intelligence partnership program led by the United States National Security Agency (NSA).[2][3] Aim of the program is to "gain access to high-capacity international fiber-optic cables that transit at major congestion points around the world".[4][5]

NSA is working with secret cooperation with the partner countries, which are hosting U.S. equipment and providing access to the fiber-optic cables.[4][3][5] In 2013 the program had "access to over 3 terabits per second of data streaming world-wide and encompasses all communication technologies such as voice, fax, telex, modem, email internet chat, virtual private network (VPN), voice over IP (VoIP), and voice call records"[6] and there were total of 37 partner countries including 17 European Union member states.[3][2][7]

There are two conditions on the partnership between the NSA and the partner country for making an agreement. The first one is that the partner countries will not use the NSA's technology to collect any data on U.S. citizens. The second one is that the NSA will not use the access it has been granted in the partner countries to collect data on the host countries' citizens.[4][5] Although these conditions have exceptions, NSA doesn't state which those exceptions are. According to Edward Snowden, these agreements between the NSA and its partner countries are vague and are easily circumvented.[8]

The program was publicly revealed in June 2014, by the Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information[3] and by The Intercept.[2] Revelation of the program was based on as part of the leaks by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

According to a NSA's classified intelligence briefing in 2010,[4] RAMPART-A was used across all NSA Analysis and Production lines, and in the previous year (2009), over 9000 intelligence reports were written based solely on the RAMPART-A data.

The program cost about $170 million between 2011 and 2013.[2][3] The program started in 1992.[4]

XKeyscore is implemented in the program's architecture.[1]

Partners

The partner countries are divided into two groups by their cooperation level, "Second" and "Third".[7][2][3]

For the host partner country, U.S. provides processing and analysis tools and equipment, which means that the partner countries are able to use the NSA's tools for processing and analysing the data that flows in and out of their country.[2][3][4][5] It's likely that not every partner country has RAMPART-A site(s); in 2013 NSA had set up at least 13 RAMPART-A sites, nine of which were in active state. Three of the largest sites, AZUREPHOENIX, SPINNERET and MOONLIGHTPATH gathers traffic from some 70 different cables or networks.[1][2][3]

Second level (partners of the Five Eyes) partner countries:

  •  Australia
  •  Canada
  •  New Zealand
  •  United Kingdom

Third level partner countries:

  •  Algeria
  •  Austria
  •  Belgium
  •  Croatia
  •  Czech Republic
  •  Denmark
  •  Ethiopia
  •  Finland
  •  France
  •  Germany
  •  Greece
  •  Hungary
  •  India
  •  Israel
  •  Italy
  •  Japan
  •  Jordan
  •  South Korea
  •  Macedonia
  •  Netherlands
  •  Norway
  •  Pakistan
  •  Poland
  •  Romania
  •  Saudi Arabia
  •  Singapore
  •  Spain
  •  Sweden
  •  Taiwan
  •  Thailand
  •  Tunisia
  •  Turkey
  •  United Arab Emirates

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Special Source Operations (SSO) slides with details on RAMPART-A sites, collection and tasking" (Classified Top Secret PDF-file. Part of the published files (see the articles from Dagbladet Information [1] and The Intercept [2]).). Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Ryan, Gallagher (June 19, 2014). "How Secret Partners Expand NSA's Surveillance Dragnet". The Intercept. Archived from the original on May 2, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Anton Geist; Sebastian Gjerding; Henrik Moltke; Laura Poitras. (19 June 2014). "NSA 'third party' partners tap the Internet backbone in global surveillance program". Dagbladet Information. Archived from the original on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "RAMPART-A Project Overview" (PDF) (Classified Top Secret PDF-file. Part of the published files (see the articles from Dagbladet Information [3] and The Intercept [4]).). 1 October 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "Special Source Operations (SSO) Overview presenting the RAMPART-A program" (Classified Top Secret PDF-file. Part of the published files (see the articles from Dagbladet Information [5] and The Intercept [6]).). Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Black Budget" (PDF). United States Intelligence Community (Classified Top Secret PDF-file. Part of the published files (see the articles from Dagbladet Information [7] and The Intercept [8]).). 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b Glenn Greenwald (13 May 2014). No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. Henry Holt and Company. pp. 104–105. ISBN 978-1-62779-074-1.
  8. ^ "Edward Snowden's testimony - European Parliament" (PDF). 7 March 2014. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.