NSA Revelations: ICTP, Honduran Resort, Telecoms, Upstream, Datagate

ICTP NSA Targets ICTP, Honduran Resort, TelecomsNSA Revelations: ICTP, Honduran Resort, Telecoms & More. Edward Snowden revelations to the French newspaper “Le Monde” break the wall of silence and inaction of the government on the Italian scandal erupted following the revelations of Edward Snowden.

The Parisian newspaper has revealed a new espionage operation of the communications made ​​by the National Security Agency (NSA) to the detriment of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste: the ICTP, one of the most prestigious scientific institutes in the world dedicated to the Pakistani physicist and Nobel laureate Abdus Salam.

Despite its truly international character, the ICTP in Trieste is in all respects an Italian research center and owes its existence and its operations to finance the government, which, however, is silent on the case. A silence now constant since the beginning of the scandal that Datagate, such as “L’Espresso” has written for months, also cover Italy, as evidenced by the top secret documents Snowden inspected by our newspaper and files that the American journalist Glenn Greenwald has shared with L’Espresso on programs of mass surveillance of the NSA who have also targeted our country.

Always been the strategy of the government and the Italian intelligence services is denial and silence. Just remember the statements of Prime Minister Enrico Letta in the House a few weeks before the Espresso reveal files Snowden for Italy: “Based on the analysis of our intelligence and international contacts,” he said Letta, “there are no compromises security of communications, nor the leaders of the government, nor of our embassies, nor that the citizens’ privacy has been violated. “ The documents published by our newspaper told another story instead. But in spite of those top-secret files, the strategy of the ostrich went on, waiting for the storm to pass and that the scandal vanished from the radar screen of public opinion. Now, however, the revelations of Le Monde on the center of Trieste reopen the game. And, Letta jumped from the bridge, it’s up to Matteo Renzi.
According to the revelations of “Le Monde”, the program with which the ICTP has been spied on by the NSA called “Upstream” and is one of the many programs of mass surveillance agency that emerged from the top-secret documents revealed by Edward Snowden almost a year ago and still continue to be published throughout the world.

Upstream says “Le Monde”, the work on submarine cables: the great highways of communication that carry huge data streams. More than 99 percent of intercontinental communication takes place all over the world thanks to fiber optic submarine cables, “says Alan Mauldin of” Telegeography “, a leader in the field of consulting and research for the telecom market. By accessing these cables, the NSA can “suck” indiscriminately phone calls, internet traffic, emails, web sites visited, videos posted on YouTube and comments posted on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

“Upstream” is not the only program of mass surveillance of the NSA who work on submarine cables: in August, the Express revealed that the Italian communications that pass through three cables with knots in Sicily named Fea, SeaMeWe3 and SeaMeWe4 , were spied on by the NSA’s UK partner : the GCHQ, which, since 2009, has put together a killer program named “Ember”. As reported by Le Monde, however, the term “Upstream” would seem even more complex operation Tempora: under this code, in fact, the NSA would encompass a whole range of programs of mass surveillance, “the details of which are still largely unknown» . Le Monde Upstream defines a “program sprawling interception” as all the agency’s programs that have the power to have a systematic and indiscriminate access to huge flows of communication.

It now remains to be seen whether Matteo Renzi will demand an explanation from the U.S. government as to why the ICTP in Trieste, a scientific structure of an international character and born from the collaboration between Italy and two United Nations agencies was spied on and what type of information is were acquired.

The ordinary face of the targets of the national American Security Agency (NSA) appears on one of the pages of an internal document, unveiled by Edward Snowden and decrypted by Le Monde. This text presents the main interception means used by the United States in the world. One of the programs of this wild collection, Upstream, acts on submarine cables carrying the bulk of communications data.

Here are a handful of examples of these ‘victims’ of the NSA, touted for a month in 2013.


Two Philippines addresses appear on the list of the NSA. Jejomar Binay, Vice Philippine President Manuel Roxas, Minister of the Interior, are not known for their anti-American positions. Elected in 2010, in the wake of the election of Benigno Aquino at the head of the country, Jejomar Binay occupies a notable place in the policy landscape. This cacique, long time Mayor of Makati business district of Manila, is a figure of the economic sphere. Manuel Roxas was a Senator before taking several ministerial posts, including those of transport and communications. Business banker, son of Senator and grandson of a former Philippine President, he is illustrated as a Senator by his activism against the signature of public contracts with Chinese partners, especially in telecommunications. He was beaten by Jejomar Binay in the race for the nomination for the Vice Presidency in 2010.

Nothing in the course of the two men, who have not given up on the issues of the World, seems to threaten Washington. On the contrary, they seem to defend of the institutions built on a very close model of their colonizer. The two countries are linked by a defense agreement in 1951. Displacement, mid-April, in Manila, the US president, Barack Obama, allowed to reformulate this political and military alliance. The Republic of the Philippines is a regional relay for the United States, a significant ally that Washington seeks to keep in her lap facing the power Chinese.


Another target of choice of American spies: the Ensenada Resort in Tela, in Honduras. This resort and seminar centre is lined with palms facing the sea of the Caribbean. This is where that was the headquarters of the United Fruit Company, the multinational has become American banana company of agri-food.

The NSA knows that the place offers to its visitors, speakers and guests, all the technology necessary for rapid communication. Wi – fi, broadband, key USB home, everything is done to facilitate the stay of residents. The Association of municipalities of the Honduras and Central America gathered its members as well as the American food and drug products in a meeting with two public structures of Central America and the South, the international body and agency regional health watch for livestock and agriculture and the national Service for animal health. Climate change experts have come, and the Comisca, transnational structure which brings together health ministers of Central America and the South, also took its neighborhoods.

The economic world is also a regular at the site: the subsidiary BMW of Honduras, Unicomer, this distribution of electronic goods group throughout the Spanish-speaking world, or Corporation AstraZaneca then Asofarma, pillars of the continental and international pharmaceutical world. Even the presence of the french Lafarge group.

AN Institute of physics in Italy

On the list of the NSA also appears the international Centre for theoretical physics (ICTP). Created in 1964 by a future Nobel Prize, the Pakistani scientist Abdus Salam, and located in Trieste (Italy), ICTP is a foundation that allows young researchers to meet developing countries leading international scientists and access to theoretical training with very wide application fields, from optics to sustainable development through the geometry.

Under the patronage of Unesco and chaired, since 2009, by Fernando Quevedo, Guatemalan physicist born in Costa Rica, ICTP is 80% funded by the Italian Government. It works under the auspices of the International Agency for Atomic Energy (IAEA) who pays her funds. ICTP / IAEA implemented the common teachings. Indeed, the Abdus Salam Center hosts courses management of nuclear data, on the preservation of the know nuclear power and on the role of the isotopes.

These two institutions are anxious to see the number of researchers in this field, under the only civilian component, will reduce in the non-industrialized world. Where the will of the IAEA and the ICTP promote such knowledge and training of scientists in all aspects of nuclear physics. Student researchers have access, for their studies at the plant of Krsko, Slovenia.

The Deputy Director of the IAEA, Alexander Bychkov, recalled, in the month of August, that “it is by educating researchers from around the world that one defends good practices in nuclear programmes”. ICTP helps, for example, Pakistan to create its own centre for theoretical physics. Islamabad is, moreover, considered to be one of first ‘proliferators’ in the world. The centre also supports the installation of a synchrotron in Jordan and the development of science in the Arab world.



The world has already revealed the interest by the NSA for the Wanadoo.fr portal and therefore, probably, for a very large share emails exchanged by users using this service from France Telecom (now Orange). It is not, in fact, the only actor in telecommunications to see a part at least of his e-mails copied to the databases of the NSA. It is also the case of AT & T, the US telecommunications company. The NSA is not interested in AT & T as a whole, but at “att.net”, which is the endpoint of the e-mails that the company proposes to its customers.

This indication is thinking that a significant number of e-mails of U.S. citizens were able to be collected by the NSA, while the Act imposes on the latter to address foreign targets. The document does not indicate if so-called “minimization”procedures, aimed at reducing the volume of data of Americans intercepted, have been implemented in the context of this collection. In addition, if email addresses “att.net” licensed Americans have been captured, it gone similarly for all those, American or not, who were contacted by the latter.

It is likely that, far from wanting to intercept the integralite, messages, NSA is interested in one or more individuals, perhaps organized network, suspected to use this e-mail service.

It is without doubt the same logic that presides over the interest the Agency to Chello, a small Austrian Internet access supplier, bought since by many larger than him. Although Chello no longer exists as such, the addresses assigned to the era are still active. Several messages with ‘chello.at’ addresses were mailed recently, indicating that they are still active. No doubt the NSA, interested in the exchange of a target with a ‘chello.at’ address, decided to intercept all exchanges between emails @chello.at, lack of power access directly, by injunction, to this provider’s email servers, as it does with American digital firms.

This document is also the largest company of telecommunications in the Middle East, the Saudi Telecom Company (Stc.com.sa). This provider of Internet access and Saudi telephone operator is present in countries that we imagine to be of interest to the United States, like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Bahrain.


In the heart of the prerogatives of the NSA is the defense against computer attacks. It is therefore not surprising that computer security activities interested also the powerful Agency.

Founded in 2006 and based in Pakistan, the Tranchulas company thus appears on listings of the NSA. This company, which has offices in the United Kingdom and the United States, said register in the ‘ethical hacking ‘. Rather than exploit or cause of the faults in computer systems, she hears instead the fill. It finances, for example, a non-profit organization not intended to respond to cyber attacks to Pakistan.

This has not prevented, in the year 2013, that his name appears in a virus found in several computers administrations and Indian militaries. The company denied any involvement. It is close to the Pakistani authorities and participated in the defence of governmental it infrastructure where malicious software had been discovered. The founder and patron of Tranchulas is also consultant for an agency of the Government of Pakistan.

This company is located in the heart of one of the new fronts of computer conflicts. While China remains the stronghold of malicious cyber attacks in Asia, the ancient rivalry betweenIndia and Pakistan gave rise to several skirmishes between the two countries, strong of a strong technological culture .


Subsidiary of the Libyan Telecom, the company Libyan International Telecom Company is responsible for connecting the Libyan Internet with neighboring telecommunications infrastructure. End of November, it signed an agreement to connect the country in high throughput with an Italian partner. Given the country’s coastal position, she invests a lot in submarine cables, through which passes a significant part of global communications. An economic strategic sector for the NSA, making monitoring of cables one of the cornerstones of its monitoring of the network.

The International Centre for theoretical physics (ICTP), founded in 1964 by Abdus Salam, Pakistani Nobel Prize scientist. The Ictp is funded for the 80% from the Italian Government and also organises management courses on data management and knowledge of nuclear power, often open to non-Western countries. The Centre of Trieste, where he collaborated in the past even the astrofisca Margherita Hack, working under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and cooperates with countries like Jordan and Pakistan. In particular, the Ictp which helped Islamabad develop its Centre for research on theoretical physics. Perhaps these are the elements that have prompted Americans to take an interest in the activities of the Ictp

ICTP NSA Targets ICTP, Honduran Resort, TelecomsNote: Rough translation from French, vist the sources if you know French.

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Sources: http://www.lemonde.fr/technologies/article/2014/05/08/revelations-sur-les-ecoutes-sous-marines-de-la-nsa_4412895_651865.html , http://espresso.repubblica.it/internazionale/2014/05/09/news/nsa-spiato-un-centro-di-ricerca-a-trieste-ma-il-silenzio-del-governo-continua-1.164754 , http://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/2014/05/09/la-nsa-spiava-anche-a-trieste-nel-mirino-i-fisici-nucleari21.html

3 thoughts on “NSA Revelations: ICTP, Honduran Resort, Telecoms, Upstream, Datagate

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