- Netflix’s instant rewind button is not popular with users 5 Years Ago
- Offset interrupted Cardi B’s set at Rolling Loud Festival, and fans are pissed Today 1:18 PM
- ‘Ms. Marvel’ gets a new, award-winning writer in Saladin Ahmed Today 11:32 AM
- ‘SNL’ gives us the daddy pageant we’ve been dying for Today 10:28 AM
- How pranksters fooled the internet in 2018 Today 8:00 AM
- 2018 belonged to trans people Today 6:30 AM
- How to watch local channels on Roku Today 6:30 AM
- How to watch Levante vs. Barcelona online for free Today 6:19 AM
- How to watch Liverpool vs. Manchester United online for free Today 6:00 AM
- The best couch co-op video games for couples Today 6:00 AM
- Pete Davidson is OK and at work following alarming Instagram post Saturday 7:26 PM
- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker doesn’t know how to use a Venn diagram Saturday 5:38 PM
- This college student made a movie trailer to tease her boyfriend, and Twitter can’t get enough (updated) Saturday 3:13 PM
- ‘Kappa Delta Crypto’ aims to break stereotypes in five-minute Snapchat episodes Saturday 2:29 PM
- Two iPhone X customers are suing Apple over screen size Saturday 1:18 PM
The two “upstream” programs collect data directly from fiber optic cables, but details about that data remain sparse.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post published another PowerPoint slide leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, revealing two more National Security Agency surveillance programs whose names had been withheld by the Guardian.
The programs, OAKSTAR and STORMBREW, are described by the slide as “upstream” data gathering programs and are listed alongside another set of operations, BLARNEY and FAIRVIEW.
According to the slide, upstream data collection is the “collection of communications on fibre optic cables and infrastructure as data flows past.” Accompanying the explanation is a map of the world strung with underwater cables, presumably surveilled by one of the four programs.
Of the four programs, only information about BLARNEY is known. The Washington Post reported that BLARNEY “gathers up ‘metadata’—technical information about communications traffic and network devices—as it streams past choke points along the backbone of the Internet.” According to the Post, another unreleased slide describes BLARNEY as “an ongoing collection program that leverages IC [intelligence community] and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.”
Mark Klein, the former AT&T employee who blew the whistle in 2006 on an NSA surveillance program that is now thought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to be BLARNEY, told the Daily Dot that he hadn’t heard of OAKSTAR or STORMBREW.
The Post published the slide under the headline “The NSA slide you haven’t seen.” This is only partially true. In fact, the slide was released by the Guardian weeks earlier, but the names of OAKSTAR and STORMBREW were redacted by the U.K. paper.
When asked about the discrepancy in what information was censored, the Washington Post said only, “we do not collaborate with the Guardian.”
The Post wouldn’t comment on whether it possessed further slides that would elucidate technical details of the OAKSTAR or STORMBREW.
Illustration via Wikimedia Commons
Joe Kloc is a former Daily Dot contributor who covered technology and policy. He's contributed to Newsweek and Mother Jones, discussed his reporting on air with WNYC, and written Weekly Reviews for Harper's Magazine.