NEWS ALERT: Revealed: US Military Bought Mass Surveillance Tool That Includes Internet Browsing, Email Data

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As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News App offers the following information published by VICE.COM:

Multiple branches of the U.S. military have bought access to a powerful internet monitoring tool that claims to cover over 90 percent of the world’s internet traffic, and which in some cases provides access to people’s email data, browsing history, and other information such as their sensitive internet cookies, according to contracting data and other documents reviewed by Motherboard.

Additionally, Sen. Ron Wyden says that a whistleblower has contacted his office concerning the alleged warrantless use and purchase of this data by NCIS, a civilian law enforcement agency that’s part of the Navy, after filing a complaint through the official reporting process with the Department of Defense, according to a copy of the letter shared by Wyden’s office with Motherboard.

The material reveals the sale and use of a previously little known monitoring capability that is powered by data purchases from the private sector. The tool, called Augury, is developed by cybersecurity firm Team Cymru and bundles a massive amount of data together and makes it available to government and corporate customers as a paid service. In the private industry, cybersecurity analysts use it for following hackers’ activity or attributing cyberattacks. In the government world, analysts can do the same, but agencies that deal with criminal investigations have also purchased the capability. The military agencies did not describe their use cases for the tool. However, the sale of the tool still highlights how Team Cymru obtains this controversial data and then sells it as a business, something that has alarmed multiple sources in the cybersecurity industry.


According to the report, the U.S. Navy, Army, Cyber Command, and the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency all combined have shelled out at least $3.5 million to access Augury.

Sen. Wyden (D-Oregon) tweeted, “This is big: the U.S. military and FBI bought access to a massive trove of Americans’ private internet data. This is a shocking violation of Americans’ rights, and I will use every tool at my disposal to hold the government accountable for this overreach.”

Motherboard journalist Joseph Cox shared the following alarming details in a thread of Twitter posts, as follows:

New: the US military has spent millions of dollars on a powerful internet monitoring tool that includes browsing data, email data, cookies, more. Data is worldwide, covers 90%+ of the internet, harvested from ISPs then sold to military by private company.

Senator Wyden says a whistleblower has approached them about warrantless purchase and use of this tool by NCIS, the law enforcement arm of the Navy. Whistleblower said they already filed formal complaints. Wyden is asking oversight bodies to investigate.

The tool is called Augury, made by the cybersecurity firm Team Cymru. For years Cymru has got data from internet service providers—the companies you have to use to access the internet—and then sold access to that data. Here’s how Cymru describes it https://vice.com/en/article/y3p

The data available to the military through Team Cymru is massive: petabytes of data gathered from locations all around the world, Europe, the Middle East, North/South America, Africa and Asia. 100 billion new records each day.

Specifically Motherboard found Cyber Command, the Navy, the Army, and the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency have bought access to Augury. Also found contracts between Cymru’s affiliate and FBI and Secret Service.

As for the data that at least some of the military instances of Augury have, one is PCAPs of email data. PCAP is “everything. There’s nothing else to capture except the smell of electricity.” (Cymru does then limit those results but didn’t specify what)

The data also includes web browser information such as cookies, URLs visited, and User Agent information. All of these can be highly specific to a device, and by extension a person.

Update: Navy says it uses this data for counterintelligence purposes. When I asked if it has used the data without a warrant, Navy said NCIS does not require a warrant to do so.

The ACLU responded to the report, tweeting, “This is very disturbing. We need to know how US military and law enforcement agencies are exploiting their warrantless access to vast amounts of our internet activity — including data revealing what websites we visit online. We have a right to privacy.”

To get more information about this article, please visit VICE.COM.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Welcome to Orwells 1984. US Civil service which is 98% Democrat secretly implements this oversight. Hell, even communist countries don’t go this far.

    My time is over, but I feel sorry my sons live through this mess. Thank Biden, Milley, and Austin.

  2. Not just the military but the fbi also all warrantless searches into people’s private lives. But tell me the biden dictatorship is all above board and are doing all of this for you. Stupid liberals can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. They always eat their own.

  3. Use a VPN.There are several good ones out that are relatively cheap.It will hide your IP address.Do NOT use a free one!They will sell your data

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