National Guard cyberspies employed at Google, Boeing, Cisco, Verizon, and Microsoft


Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is the vice-chairman of the National Governors Association, addressed the issue during the annual “State of the States” speech earlier this month in Washington, D.C. 

“As the nation develops resiliency to cyberattacks, the Guard should be mobilized to support federal and state efforts to protect networks and respond to incidents,” said Hickenlooper, a Democrat. “While the federal government seeks to clarify how it will work with the private sector and states to better secure cyberspace, states are already moving forward to develop and implement new cyberpolicies to protect their economies and ensure public safety.”  

“The National Guard provides a cost-effective and uniquely capable force that can provide capability for the DoD, homeland defense, civil support and intrastate missions,” the National Guard Association said in a statement. “Most importantly, the National Guard is composed of citizen-soldiers, working in communities and providing knowledge of critical infrastructure at the local level.”

The federal government is taking notice, judging from the National Defense Authorization ActPresident Barack Obama signed into law on Dec. 26.  The measure requires the Department of Defense to consider the Guard’s capabilities as it shores up the Pentagon’s cybersecurity. It also orders the department to consult with governors as it assesses states’ cybersecurity needs and the Guard’s ability to help on that front.

Washington was the first state to find a role for the National Guard in its cybersecurity efforts, said Maj. Gen. Tim Lowenberg, who commanded the state’s forces as adjutant general from 1999 to 2012 before retiring from the Guard, and is now vice president of Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs. Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, Utah, and Rhode Island are among the other states that have created Guard units to counter cyberattacks.

Guard soldiers hold civilian jobs or attend college while maintaining their military training part time. Washington recognized the potential of its Guard as a cyberforce when it discovered that many of its Guard soldiers spent the workweek toiling for tech-related employers such as Google, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Comcast, Verizon, Microsoft, Cisco and Hewlett-Packard.  Washington decided to capitalize on that experience. 

“It is generally accepted that we will never be able to recruit, train and retain sufficient numbers of [active duty] cybersecurity specialists in the military to meet our national security requirements,” Lowenberg said.  “With the National Guard, we found a combination of leading-edge technical knowledge and long and stable career commitment that are really unique.”

Washington has used its Guard for cyberemergency planning and to search for vulnerabilities in its state networks through “red team” exercises conducted at the direction of the governor. Such exercises were used to demonstrate the security of the Washington Department of Licensing’s network when the state was seeking permission to implement an Enhanced Driver License, which can be used to cross the Canadian border, according to Lowenberg. Implementing the program required persuading the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to allow access to its databases—which required hard proof of network security.

DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) capabilities guide

Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Yahoo release US surveillance requests:

Tens of thousands of accounts associated with customers of Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Yahoo have their data turned over to US government authorities every six months as the result of secret court orders, the tech giants disclosed for the first time on Monday.

As part of a transparency deal reached last week with the Justice Department, four of the tech firms that participate in the National Security Agency’s Prism effort, which collects largely overseas internet communications, released more information about the volume of data the US demands they provide than they have ever previously been permitted to disclose.

But the terms of the deal prevent the companies from itemising the collection, beyond bands of thousands of data requests served on them by a secret surveillance court. The companies must also delay by six months disclosing information on the most recent requests – terms the Justice Department negotiated to end a transparency lawsuit before the so-called Fisa court that was brought by the companies.

In announcing the updated data figures, the companies appeared concerned by the lack of precision over the depth of their compelled participation in government surveillance.
“We still believe more transparency is needed so everyone can better understand how surveillance laws work and decide whether or not they serve the public interest,” said Google’s legal director for law enforcement and information security, Richard Salgado, in a post on the company’s official blog.

Yahoo disclosed that it gave the government communications content from between 30,000 and 30,999 accounts over the first six months of 2013, and fewer than 1,000 customer accounts that were subject to Fisa court orders for metadata.

Facebook disclosed that during the first half of 2013, it turned over content data from between 5000 and 5999 accounts – a rise of about 1000 from the previous six month period – and customer metadata associated with up to 999 accounts.

Microsoft, Facebook and Yahoo also gave the FBI certain customer records – not content – under a type of non-judicial subpoena called a national security letter. Since disclosure of national security letters is not subject to a six-month delay under last week’s deal, Microsoft revealed that it received up to 999 such subpoenas between June and December 2013, affecting up to 999 user accounts. Facebook’s National Security Letter total was the same.

Yahoo received up to 999 national security letters during the same period, affecting 1,000 to 1,999 accounts. Google received the same total, and disclosed that since 2009, national security letters have compelled the handover of customer records from as many as 1999 accounts every six months. Last week Apple disclosed that between 1 January and 30 June 2013 it had received less than 250 national security orders – including national security letters and other requests – relating to less than 250 accounts.

LinkedIn, the professional networking service, disclosed on Monday that it received the same total of generic “national security requests.”

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, posted on the company’s blog that “only a fraction of a percent of users are affected by these orders”, and argued that “we have not received the type of bulk data requests that are commonly discussed publicly regarding telephone records.”

Universities have been spying on students since the 1970’s:

In September 2013, former director of the Department of Homeland Security  Napolitano became the president of one of the nation’s largest public university systems, the University of California. In her role as President of the UC system, Napolitano oversees almost 19,000 faculty members and over 200,000 students, as well as a staff of nearly 200,000.

Soon after she started the job, Napolitano embarked on a “listening and learning” tour of all the UC campuses. She was reportedly met with protest by immigrant and undocumented students, who did not forget that their university president once steered the biggest deportation ship in the history of the United States. (The Obama administration will soon have deported two million people, most of whom were kicked out of the country during Napolitano’s reign at DHS, the parent organization of ICE.)

But it’s not just students. Some faculty also have also voiced their opposition to Napolitano’s appointment, and to the opaque and antidemocratic process that facilitated it. UC Irvine Middle Eastern History professor Mark LeVine worries that the interests of students are not served by the hiring of a university president well-versed in complex bureaucracy and government surveillance, but completely ignorant of educational theory or praxis. “Secretary Napolitano has no professional experience in higher education,” LeVine writes.

But the areas where Secretary Napolitano does have experience raise even greater concerns: security, surveillance, intelligence, immigration and border control. 

These are all sectors of government and industry defined by values that are the antithesis of the commitment to the free exchange of ideas, open and public expressions of dissent, the first amendment, the fourth amendment, and the privacy rights of faculty, students, and staff that must define the life of any university. Secretary Napolitano has been responsible for policies including (but not limited to) confiscating and searching through travellers’ computers without a warrant, participating in broader government surveillance activities such as those precipitating the latest NSA scandal, and managing the highest deportation levels on record. Her Department also has warned employees that they can be penalised for opening a Washington Post article containing classified slides about the NSA. All all of these activities, even if “legal” (whether they are, or should be, constitutional is another matter), clearly violate core principles of academic freedom, free speech and the creation of a safe and nurturing environment for students regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality or political views that every university must provide.

A document from COINTELPRO papers shows in black and white how FBI agents meddled in the internal affairs of universities, effectively intervening with administrations to depose left-wing professors. Describing efforts to sabotage “New Left” activism at the University of Pittsburgh, an agent wrote in April 1971:

On March 12, 1971, in accordance with authority granted in Bureau letter to Pittsburgh dated 3/11/71, information concerning the arrest and conviction of [REDACTED], who is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, was furnished to [REDACTED]. 

[REDACTED] advised that he was aware that [REDACTED] continues in his position at the University of Pittsburgh but that he had been recently advised by a representative of the administration at the University that [REDACTED] has reached a “dead end” at Pittsburgh and that it is highly likely that in the near future [REDACTED] will seek employment elsewhere. [REDACTED] was most appreciative of receiving the information concerning the conviction of [REDACTED] and indicated that in the event the opportunity arose to make use of the information, he would do so. He was impressed with the necessity of maintaining Bureau’s interest in this matter in the strictest confidence and advised that he realized the Bureau’s position and that he would in no way divulge the Bureau’s interest in this matter.

Another FBI “New Left” COINTELPRO memo from 1971 describes similar efforts to monitor and interfere with professors’ academic pursuits and job security:

The Bureau, in letter dated 12/31/70, approved a Mobile suggestion for the mailing of an anonymous letter to [REDACTED] University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala. concerning two instructors of the University who were supporting the production of an underground type newspaper at the University known as “Rearguard.”

This letter was anonymously mailed to [REDACTED] on 1/8/71. As pointed out to the Bureau in Mobile [REDACTED] when contacted on another matter, advised that the two professors [REDACTED] had been placed on probationary status in view of complaints concerning their activities at the University. Both have tenure with the University, but apparently, in view of their probationary status, both are seeking other positions, and were expected to leave the University in the near future.

Find out professors are helping students with a radical newspaper? Tell a friendly administration official and watch even tenured professors leave their jobs.

These activities were commonplace. In Betty Medsger’s book on the FBI’s war on the left, “The Burglary”, she describes how, until COINTELPRO came to light in the 1970s, every business and university approached by Hoover’s G-Men collaborated with their demands and kept quiet about their cooperation. If FBI agents wanted records about students, the vast majority of university administrators were happy to comply. The one exception she names was Stanford University, which reportedly told FBI agents they could not have access to student records without a warrant.

It’s absolutely critical that university administrations not only rhetorically endorse student and faculty rights to engage in democratic protest and dissent, but also that they refuse to participate in government-led witch-hunts to undermine academic freedom. Can UC students and faculty trust that Janet Napolitano, a person who oversaw a notoriously secretive and paranoid intelligence agency, will defend them when the FBI or DHS come calling for their records?

Professor Mark LeVine:

As one of the world’s premier public university systems, UC’s highest priority must be the production of knowledge and the protection of the free exchange of ideas without which no university can fulfill its public mandate to educate future generations and help sustain a healthy and robust economy. Since the Regents and Secretary Napolitano were unwilling or unable to offer a vigorous defence of her experience, qualifications, and views before the Regents’ vote, and allow the university community a meaningful role in determining the wisdom and viability of her nomination, UC faculty should consider ourselves served notice that the UC to which so many of us have devoted our professional lives has finally been put out to pasture, and that a very different institution, administered by people with increasingly little experience, understanding or even concern for the core purposes and ethics of higher education, is emerging in its place.


2014 future headline: ‘Soldiers & National Guard to be employed at supermarkets, theaters, convenient stores and gas stations’

We’re not that far away from a complete 100% police state…

A nation of spies: Movie theaters & doorman spying on Americans

Movie theaters join the police state conducting “random bag & jacket checks”

Postal service is spying on every piece of mail for law enforcement

Police are asking mail carriers and garbage collectors to spy on citizens


3 thoughts on “National Guard cyberspies employed at Google, Boeing, Cisco, Verizon, and Microsoft

  1. Hopefully you realize that this has nothing to do with terrorism or cyber attacks, but instead it’s about spying on Americans to determine which of them will give resistance to the commie coup, and hopefully you’re boycotting Google, Boeing, Cisco, Verizon, and Microsoft, because these scumbag corporations are stabbing you in the back to help destroy your nation. (I have a “blogspot” which is Google-owned, but I haven’t posted anything there in years)

    “Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, posted on the company’s blog that “only a fraction of a percent of users are affected by these orders”

    WRONG……we’re ALL affected by these orders, because any or all of us can have our rights violated tomorrow if we acquiesce to “only a fraction of a percent of users” being violated in this way today. A violation of ANY Americans’ rights is a violation of YOUR rights.

  2. “Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is the vice-chairman of the National Governors Association”

    For those of you who might be unaware of it, the National Governors Association is one of the (major) implementing “arms” of UN’s Agenda 21.

    “The ICLEI is a UN agency that provides “local” community plans, software and training to towns and cities. Some other private organizations in league with ICLEI are:

    • National League of Cities
    • International City/County Management Group
    • National Governors Association
    • American Planning Group”

    This list does not cover all that is involved, and is NOT including a lot of those governmental agencies that are both funding and implementing UN’s Agenda 21.

    Agenda 21 IS treason.

  3. I can’t wait until we throw that commie Hickenlooper out on his ass…or in one of those private prisons or camps he loves so much. What a spineless bitch he is. No better than the drug dealing mexicans he works for.

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