Sloppy behavior by U.S. spies, NSA cooperation with Ethiopia, and a secret NSA joint facility in the U.K. are among the stories detailed in articles from the agency's internal news site SIDtoday and released today by The Intercept. The 294 documents, dating to the first half of 2005, also discuss successful efforts to crack the encryption of movies and music shared online, aggressive mass surveillance efforts in Iraq, details of reforms within British intelligence, and a wide variety of other highlights.
The latest release from SIDtoday covers the second half of 2004, highlighting the NSA’s struggles with searching Arabic-language PDFs, cooperation with other U.S. government agencies, and its work in Pakistan. The Intercept with this latest release is also publishing a detailed history of the NSA’s secret relationship with Japan, and two articles that highlight the agency’s domestic work, including the use of a blimp to spy in the United States, and its work at political conventions.
This release includes 262 articles from SIDtoday covering the first half of 2004. A recurring theme is information overload, with the NSA disclosing collection of a staggering 85 billion call metadata records, struggling to translate communication in other languages, and failing to effectively monitor all the computer networks it had hacked worldwide. An agency staffer also wrote a damning historical account of how the Reagan White House “cavalierly” leaked what appeared to be raw, classified intelligence related to Nicaragua. The historical account is the focus of a related Intercept article published with this batch of documents; NSA support of federal law enforcement, the OPSEC slip-ups of agency employees, and a wide range of other topics are covered in an accompanying roundup article.
The posts from our second SIDtoday release were issued in the last half of 2003 and cover topics like internet monitoring, medical intelligence, the NSA’s struggle to monitor al Qaeda radios, and more about the agency’s role in the Iraq War. The Intercept is publishing a total of 263 SIDtoday articles in this batch, along with two articles of our own. The first describes how the U.S. collects medical intelligence, including through the monitoring of nonprofit organizations, while the second outlines a variety of other highlights from this release.
The Intercept’s first SIDtoday release comprises 166 articles, including all articles published between March 31, 2003, when SIDtoday began, and June 30, 2003, plus installments of all article series begun during this period through the end of the year. Major topics include the National Security Agency’s role in interrogations, the Iraq War, the war on terror, new leadership in the Signals Intelligence Directorate, and new, popular uses of the internet and of mobile computing devices.
Along with this batch, we are publishing the stories featured below, which explain how and why we’re releasing these documents, provide an overview of SIDtoday as a publication, report on one especially newsworthy set of revelations, and round up other interesting tidbits from the files.