Newly exposed Edward Snowden documents reveal the NSA’s in-depth plan to “map the entire Internet — any device, anywhere, all the time.”
According to a report published today by German news publication Der Spiegel, the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, “[aim] to map the Internet, and not just the large traffic channels, such as telecommunications cables. It also seeks to identify the devices across which our data flows, so-called routers.” The program “allows for the creation of an ‘interactive map of the global Internet’ in ‘near real-time,'” the report said.
This program, dubbed “Treasure Map,” was first revealed late last year by the NY Times. But at the time, intelligence officials apparently told the NY Times that Treasure Map “is not used for surveillance … but to understand computer networks.”
Der Spiegel‘s report, however, details how the Treasure Map program plays a far more aggressive role. The program apparently aids in “Computer Attack/Exploit Planning,” offering “a kind of battlefield map for cyber warfare,” the report said. Among the programs targets are Deutsche Telekom, the owner of T-Mobile, and Netcologne, another German telecommunications company.
Der Spiegel’s report suggests that the program enables the NSA to “monitor the networks of these companies,” watch “data that travels through them,” and spy on “the end devices of their customers.”