Tuesday, October 15, 2013

CAC-98CG monitors Internet and/or IM traffic

This slide from yesterday's Washington Post article on contact list harvesting provides a nice demonstration of the level of integration in the operations of the "Five Eyes" signals intelligence agencies. It also indicates that at least one Canadian intercept site is collecting Internet and/or instant messaging traffic for the NSA and other "Five Eyes" partners:

The legend on the right of the slide shows the SIGADs of collection sites associated with all five of the agencies, the U.S. National Security Agency, Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, Australia's recently renamed Australian Signals Directorate (formerly Defence Signals Directorate), New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau, and Canada's Communications Security Establishment Canada.

A number of DS- sites are also listed. The Washingon Post interprets these sites as Australian (presumably on the assumption that DS refers to Defence Signals), but I don't think that interpretation is correct. Australian SIGADs all begin with AU, like the two Australian SIGADs that can be seen on the slide above.

I don't know what DS- refers to, but I would guess that it probably means something like Data Source -- possibly data purchases from telecommunications companies? [Update 8:25 pm: The Top Level Communications blog suggests "Distribution System", which seems like a good theory, but the exact nature of these sources is still unclear.]

One of the DS- sites listed, DS-800, was a major source of the telephone and Internet metadata used in CSE's analysis of the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy's communications.

There is one Canadian SIGAD listed, CAC-98CG. The C following the CA indicates that the site is civilian operated, presumably by CSE itself.

The military-operated site at Canadian Forces Station Leitrim is or was designated CAF-98. The fact that both sites have the same numerical designator may indicate that CAC-98CG is also located at Leitrim, or perhaps elsewhere in nearby Ottawa. The letters that follow the 98 (i.e., CG) may indicate a detachment associated with the main site.

[Update 21 October 2013: One possibility is that CG is an abbreviation for CANDLEGLOW.]


Blogger P/K said...

I was also intrigued by the new DS-SIGADs, so I did some research and it seems a fair option that DS stands for Distribution System, not related or bound to a specific country: http://electrospaces.blogspot.com/2013/10/what-are-sigads-starting-with-ds-for.html

October 15, 2013 7:02 pm  
Blogger Bill Robinson said...

Very interesting! Thanks for the tip!

October 15, 2013 8:24 pm  

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