Chinese Cyberwar Takeout | Unfilter 98

Chinese Cyberwar Takeout | Unfilter 98

After we breakdown the new NSA revelations, we’ll discuss the escalating “cyber tensions” between the US and China. And the recent high profile indictment that may have pushed China into the hands of Russia, sealing the largest gas deal of the century.

Plus the explosive story from the North West, our follow up, and much more!

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— Show Notes —

NSA is Crazy

Data Pirates of the Caribbean: The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call in the Bahamas


  • In addition to the Bahamas, The Intercept‘s report also revealed NSA’s targeting of mobile networks in Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines.

According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the surveillance is part of a top-secret system — code-named SOMALGET — that was implemented without the knowledge or consent of the Bahamian government. Instead, the agency appears to have used access legally obtained in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to open a backdoor to the country\’s cellular telephone network, enabling it to covertly record and store the \”full-take audio\” of every mobile call made to, from and within the Bahamas — and to replay those calls for up to a month.

All told, the NSA is using MYSTIC to gather personal data on mobile calls placed in countries with a combined population of more than 250 million people. And according to classified documents, the agency is seeking funding to export the sweeping surveillance capability elsewhere.


If an entire nation’s cell-phone calls were a menu of TV shows, MYSTIC would be a cable programming guide showing which channels offer which shows, and when. SOMALGET would be the DVR that automatically records every show on every channel and stores them for a month. MYSTIC provides the access; SOMALGET provides the massive amounts of storage needed to archive all those calls so that analysts can listen to them at will after the fact. According to one NSA document, SOMALGET is “deployed against entire networks” in the Bahamas and the second country, and processes “over 100 million call events per day.”

When U.S. drug agents need to tap a phone of a suspected drug kingpin in another country, they call up their counterparts and ask them set up an intercept. To facilitate those taps, many nations – including the Bahamas – have hired contractors who install and maintain so-called lawful intercept equipment on their telecommunications. With SOMALGET, it appears that the NSA has used the access those contractors developed to secretly mine the country’s entire phone system for “signals intelligence” –recording every mobile call in the country. “Host countries,” the document notes, “are not aware of NSA’s SIGINT collection.”


The State Department considers the Bahamas both a \”major drug-transit country\” and a \”major money laundering country\” (a designation it shares with more than 60 other nations, including the U.S.). According to the International Monetary Fund, as of 2011 the Bahamas was home to 271 banks and trust companies with active licenses. At the time, the Bahamian banks held $595 billion in U.S. assets.

  • SOMALGET operates under Executive Order 12333, a Reagan-era rule establishing wide latitude for the NSA and other intelligence agencies to spy on other countries, as long as the attorney general is convinced the efforts are aimed at gathering foreign intelligence.

Documents published with this article:

WikiLeaks vows to reveal second country where NSA is recording all mobile phone

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The U.S. dramatically escalated its battle to curb China’s technology theft from American companies by accusing five Chinese military officials of stealing trade secrets, casting the hacker attacks as a direct economic threat.

China Arrests Former CEO Of JPMorgan Asia

Just one day after the FBI issues arrest warrants for 5 Chinese military officials, Caixin reports that Fang Fang – the former CEO of JPMorgan Asia – has been arrested in Hong Kong by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (or anti-graft agency).

​Russia and China seal historic $400bn gas deal


After 10 years of negotiations, Russia\’s Gazprom and China\’s CNPC have finally signed a historic gas deal which will provide the world\’s fastest growing economy with the natural gas it needs to keep pace for the next 30 years.

The total value of the contract is $400 billion, Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller said. However, the price of gas stipulated in the document remains a \”commercial secret.\”

Assuming the overall price of the contract includes only the cost of supplies of Russian gas, then the $400 billion price tag means China will pay about $350 per 1,000 cubic meters. Delivery price for the contract will be tied to market oil prices, Putin said from Shanghai on Tuesday.

  • Last year, China consumed about 170 billion cubic meters of natural gas and is expected to consume 420 billion cubic meters per year by 2020.

Russia, China sign deal to bypass U.S. dollar

PHOTO: Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping celebrate 'gas deal of the century' between Russia, China

— RT (@RT_com) May 21, 2014

\”Breaking the dominance of the U.S. dollar in international trade between the BRICS is something that the group has been talking about for some time,\” said Chris Weafer, a founding partner of Macro-Advisory, a consultancy in Moscow. \”The Ukraine crisis and the threats voiced by the U.S. administration may well provide the catalyst for that to start happening.\”

China calls for new security pact with Russia, Iran


China\’s president called Tuesday for the creation of a new Asian structure for security cooperation based on a regional group that includes Russia and Iran and excludes the United States.

Weed Wackers:

More young children getting their hands on vaping devices


In 2010, Washington state had one report of an e-juice poisoning with kids under the age of 6. But the numbers steadily climbed each year to 51 in 2013. And already 39 cases so far in the first quarter of this year.


\”So, why — I think parents would be concerned that this is something that is opening up in the NFL. No?\” she added, nodding her head in expectation of the guest\’s agreement.

Drug lab explosions set car on fire in Puyallup

Authorities in Puyallup, Washington, say a hash oil extraction operation ended in explosions that set a car afire Tuesday night.

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