I believe this 2001 FCC document, which you can read in full here explains EXACTLY how the US contracted with telecoms to data mine for the NSA via the DOJ, FBI, and the FCC. The "definition of terms" and wording is simply stunning.
The Agreement is a pdf so I can't copy and paste it for you.
It is astounding to note that Telstra signed this Agreement on April 10, 2001
before September 11th, before the Patriot Act, and before all the other legislative actions in response to the hienous attacks of 911.
We can logically assume that the Agreement was in the works prior to this date.
What is VERY INTERESTING to note is that the CEO of Telstra was listed on the George W. Bush for President ORGANIZATION list seen here, so Telstra had a relationship with George W Bush BEFORE THE ELECTION of 2001!
I want you to read this 2001 agreement. Knowing the Bush DOJ, Gonzalez, one might assume this is what the agreements with other worldwide telecoms looked like, too. I believe this is the blue print for Agreements between foreign telecoms and the USA requiring telecoms to gather and store customer activity. If you read the document you will learn the process to do so.
How could this telecom surveillance agreement between the companies above and the US DOJ and FBI (on behalf of NSA) legally be in the works in April, 2001?
Reach signed this document in October, 2001, and the DOJ and FBI signed the Agreement on November 29, 2001.
I tried to track down how this could be possible and found a few documents.
This 1995 Senate record is quite revealing. The word "surveillance" is used:
(ii) Notwithstanding any other law, providers of wire or electronic communication service, their officers, employees, and agents, landlords, custodians, or other persons, are authorized to provide information, facilities, or technical assistance to persons authorized by law to intercept wire, oral, or electronic communications or to conduct electronic surveillance, as defined in section 101 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 if such provider, its officers, employees, or agents, landlord, custodian, or other specified person, has been provided with--A quick search of Passed TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPETITION AND DEREGULATION ACT OF 1995 Laws didn't result in finding this language again. The above was produced in the Republican-controlled Senate during the 104th Congress action.
(A) a court order directing such assistance signed by
the authorizing judge, or
(B) a certification in writing by a person specified
in section 2581(7) of this title or the Attorney
General of the United States that no warrant or court
order is required by law, that all statutory
requirements have been met, and that the specified
assistance is required, setting forth the period of
time during which the provision of the information,
facilities, or technical assistance is authorized and
specifying the information, facilities, or technical
No provider of [wire or electronic
communication service,] wire, electronic, or digital
communication service, officer, employee, or agent
thereof, or landlord, custodian, or other specified
person shall disclose the existence of any interception
or surveillance or the device used to accomplish the
interception or surveillance with respect to which the
person has been furnished an order or certification
under this subparagraph, except as may otherwise be
required by legal process and then only after prior
notification to the Attorney General or to the
principal prosecuting attorney of a State or any
political subdivision of a State, as may be
Any such disclosure, shall render such
person liable for the civil damages provided for in
section 2520. No cause of action shall lie in any court
against any provider of [wire or electronic
communication service,] wire, electronic, or digital
communication service, its officers, employees, or
agents, landlord, custodian, or other specified person
for providing information, facilities, or assistance in
accordance with the terms of a court order or
certification under this chapter.
PRESIDENTIAL DECISION DIRECTIVE/NSC-63 - SUBJECT: Critical Infrastructure Protection
Because of our military strength, future enemies, whether nations, groups or individuals, may seek to harm us in non- traditional ways including attacks within the United States. Because our economy is increasingly reliant upon interdependent and cyber-supported infrastructures, non-traditional attacks on our infrastructure and information systems may be capable of significantly harming both our military power and our economy.1995 - EXECUTIVE ORDER 12958 - CLASSIFIED NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION
This order prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information. Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their Government. Also, our Nation's progress depends on the free flow of information. Nevertheless, throughout our history, the national interest has required that certain information be maintained in confidence in order to protect our citizens, our democratic institutions, and our participation within the community of nations. Protecting information critical to our Nation's security remains a priority. In recent years, however, dramatic changes have altered, although not eliminated, the national security threats that we confront. These changes provide a greater opportunity to emphasize our commitment to open Government.Perhaps ironic in retrospect, at least President Clinton et al was thinking about "Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their Government.
Key in the relationships with DOJ, FBI, and NSA are authorizations required by the FCC for a telecom to operate. Each telecom, in order to communicate into the US has to apply using a 214 Application. If you click on this link you can learn more about FCC 214s.
The question is:
Are these telecoms required to enter similar agreements with the DOJ & FBI on behalf of NSA?
The good news is that the FCC has to notify the public. Personally, I wouldn't have thought of scouring FCC records to see which telecoms might have signed similar agreements.
For example, here is the FCC page pertaining to Reach and the File Number: ITC-214-20001228-00771 mentioned in the Agreement:
Description: Application for authority to provide facilities-based and resale services between the United States and permissible international points except Kiribati. Applicant agrees to be classified as dominant on the U.S.-Australia route and the U.S.-Hong KongYou can spend some time in this FCC compilation of documents pertaining to Reach. But it is interesting to note that Kiribati may have declined to play along.
What is also fascinating to note is the law firm representing Reach, VINSON & ELKINS L.L.P. the law firm where Alberto Gonzales was a partner before becoming a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court and later Bush's Attorney General.
The FCC actually provides long lists of telecom reports called International Authorizations Actions Taken
Here are links to a few, so you can get a gist of what information the FCC makes public:
February, 2012 - International Authorizations Actions Taken PN
There is reference to Reach in this 2001 report.
February, 2004 - STREAMLINED INTERNATIONAL APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED FOR FILING
A team of investigators with a budget could use this FCC info to track the NSA programs quite possibly.
Here's another question that arises:
How long were the plans, at least in this Agreement's care, in process before 2001?
Personally, I'm thankful Snowden dropped the dime!
AN ASIDE: People keep saying: OK, we know this, now what are we going to do about it.
My answer: Journalism. The media has completely dropped the ball and not dug into the Telstra story. We may not be Matt Taibbe, Amy Goodman, or Bill Moyer, and we certainly don't have the budgets and staff
BUT WE CAN DIG AND REPORT. Every little bit helps.
Also, people drop in here alot with the help of twitter. You, the community, can help dig a little deeper with a diary that exposes some aspect of information being hidden or obfuscated by the media.
If you see a topic, like the info in this diary that is under reported, and you have some spare time, you can contribute. NO INFORMATION IS TOO SMALL. Perhaps you can dig and share additional information in the comments section below. This will help others interesting in uncovering and exposing not just what is happening but HOW.
I'm certainly not a trained journalist, but my passion to help people see what we have to fix is what drives me to spend a few hours everyday trying to add to the information the media refuses to research and report, with few exceptions.
Well, time to wrap up today.
Thanks for dropping in.