November , 2010 -- All U.S. and Israeli embassies and consulates around the world spying on host nation citizens....
With revelations that U.S. embassies in Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm have carried out spying operations against the host citizens of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden from the respective embassies, comes news to WMR that the system carrying out the secret surveillance -- the Security Incident Management Analysis System or SIMAS -- not only also spies on citizens of the two Nordic partners of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, namely Iceland and Finland, from U.S. embassies in Reykjavik and Helsinki, respectively, but spies on individuals from all U.S. embassies and consulates around the world -- from Santiago, Chile and Canberra, Australia to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Maputo, Mozambique to Lebanon....
The Finnish paper, Helsingin Sanomat, is reporting that the Finnish Security Police (SUPO) has asked U.S. authorities about the activities of SIMAS in Helsinki... One nation that has adopted a sanguine reaction to the U.S. embassy spy program is Denmark, described by one intelligence insider as a "zone of control" for U.S. surveillance activities in Scandinavia... The cooperation between the U.S. and Denmark in surveillance operations began under Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and it was one of the reasons he was rewarded by Washington with the job as Secretary General of NATO.
The Norwegian and Swedish governments have demanded answers to questions from U.S. authorities about SIMAS spying but State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley, a retired Air Force colonel who has historically been assigned by the CIA to oversee the Clintons, whether at the White House or, now, at the State Department, claimed that the government of Norway had been informed by the United States of SIMAS surveillance from a Surveillance Detection Unit (SDU) located in a building near the U.S. embassy in Oslo.
On November 4, Crowley was asked at a State Department press conference about his earlier statement that Norway had been informed about SIMAS. The question and answer session:
"Q. . . on Monday when I asked you, you said that the Norwegian Government was aware of these activities. They say they are not. So who's lying here?"
A. "I'm, we, the security of our Embassy involves cooperation between our security officials and Norwegian security officials. Ill just stand by those words."
Q. "But why have you hired a building outside your Embassy in Norway, in Oslo, and filled it with Norwegian police officers and also Norwegian military officers?"
A. "That's a better question to ask our Embassy. I haven't been there in a while, so I can't provide you any insight."
Q. "But just to follow up. But both the State Department in Norway and also the Justice Department in Norway said they're not aware that you have some activities outside your Embassy building. Why haven't you informed the Norwegian Government?"
A. "Well, look, embassy diplomatic posts all over the world are ripe targets for a terrorist attack, whether they're U.S. embassies, whether they are the embassies of other governments. It is right and proper that we would take appropriate steps to protect our diplomatic posts anywhere around the world, and we would expect any government to do the same, whether its somewhere over out overseas or here in the United States. So we have a program where we look carefully to make to evaluate if we believe our Embassy is under observation and potentially under threat. We share that information across the United States Government. But as appropriate, we share that information with our host government partners. The essence of addressing this challenge which confronts the United States and other countries in the West is the very kind of intelligence cooperation and law enforcement cooperation that has been a hallmark of our alliances for a number of years. So how much the host nation government knows about specific activities, I can't say. But everything that we do is fully consistent with our security arrangements that we have with any host nation government anywhere in the world, including Norway."
Q. "Can I just follow up? Is there written agreements about this --"
A. "I can't say. At this point, I would just defer further questions back to our Embassy in Norway."
Media reports that U.S. embassy spying on civilians has been going on for the past ten years, since 2000. A State Department Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) submitted on January 5, 2010, states "The Security Incident Management and Analysis System (SIMAS) is a worldwide Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) web-based application, which serves as a repository for all suspicious activity and crime reporting from U.S. Diplomatic Missions abroad (all U.S. embassies and consulates). Department of State personnel, including Diplomatic Security personnel, regional security officers, and cleared foreign nationals, enter Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) into SIMAS as a central repository for all physical security incidents overseas. SIMAS Reports typically contain a detailed narrative description of the suspicious activity prompting the report, available suspicious person(s) and vehicle descriptors, and other identification data as may be available (e.g. photographs). Reports also indicate date, time and location of suspicious activity, and may include amplifying comments from relevant Bureau offices."
In other words, SIMAS is global and, in some cases, cleared nationals of foreign nations have access to the SIMAS system. The State Department was recruiting local foreign nationals to work with SIMAS in Accra, Ghana; Bujumbura, Burundi; Beirut and Sydney, Australia. Even U.S. citizens abroad are subjected to spying by SIMAS. The PIA also states: "SIMAS collects and maintains the following types of PII [personally-identifiable information] on members of the public, foreign nationals, U.S. government employees, and contractors who are identified as being directly or indirectly involved in or associated with suspicious activities and/or criminal allegations near USG property. All types of information may not be collected on each specific group of individuals. However, it may be possible for all forms of PII to be collected on any individual."
Translating the government gobbledy-gook language, while SIMAS is not authorized to collect certain types of data on groups of individuals, when it comes to each individual, anything is fair game.
At the very least, SIMAS contains data on: gender, race, height, weight, eye color, skin tone, hair color, hair style, images, age or estimated age, body type (build), scars, marks, tattoos, name, address, date of birth, telephone number, father’s name, and mother’s name, citizenship status and Information.
SIMAS data is also shared with the Central Intelligence Agency, MOSSAD, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, SHABAK, AMAN, Department of Justice, Department of Agriculture, Department of Treasury, Department of Defense (including the National Security Agency), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of Health and Human Services , the S Capitol Police, and all other US embassies and consulates around the world...
Although the PIA states that SIMAS data is retained by the Diplomatic Security Bureau according to a set retention schedule and is not shared for purposes other than crime and terrorism prevention, the same cannot be said for the other agencies that access and retain SIMAS data, including the CIA, FBI, and NSA.
The State Department PIA concludes that "SIMAS has been designed to minimize risk to privacy data." That is hard to believe considering the global access permitted to the system, as well as the fact that not only do a dozen or more U.S. agencies have access to the data but so also do foreign intelligence agencies and foreign nationals.
So, if you are in Winnipeg or Warsaw, BEIRUT or Lusaka or Lisbon, or Malabo or Paramaribo, and you stroll past the U.S. embassy or consulate, "smile, you're on clandestine camera and now in the SIMAS database...."
The people and companies behind the U.S. embassy spying in Scandinavia.
State Department SIMAS Big Brother network and its politically-connected contractor....
A lone resume posted on the web opens a door into one of the prime contractor firms that was responsible for the operation of the SIMAS -- Security Incident and Management Analysis System -- network, which now stands accused of conducting surveillance from U.S. embassies in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Beirut and Helsinki of people deemed as threats to the United States ....
Searching for references to SIMAS yield little, but when one searches its overall program at the State Department, the Surveillance Detection Program (SDP), a clearer picture emerges of who and what are behind the "Big Brother"-like SIMAS network, which operates in all U.S. embassies, consulates, and interest sections around the world and collects personal data on individuals in the host nations, making the data available to all U.S. diplomatic posts, as well as to the CIA, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, FBI, MOSSAD, AMAN, SHABAK and even the US Capitol Police.
There is reason to believe that the Department of Agriculture, which has access to SIMAS, is using the embassy surveillance and detection system to report to it cases of disease outbreak in foreign nations, including avian flu, mad cow, SARS, and swine flu.
The SDP operates through Surveillance Detection Units (SDUs) at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. In Oslo, however, the SDU operated from a building close to the embassy, where a number of former Norwegian police and security personnel helped keep tabs on Norwegians and others by providing input to SIMAS.
A May 10, 2010 job vacancy announcement at the U.S. embassy in Accra, Ghana, called for the hiring of an individual, U.S. or foreign citizen, who had "knowledge of host country law enforcement organizations, responsibilities, and capabilities" who would also be responsible for briefing the "RSO [Regional Security Officer] on SD [surveillance detection] operations and incident/sightings." The requirements also specify that the candidate: "Ensures that all SD sighting reports are fully documented and properly entered into the SD database and the Security Incident Management and Analysis System (SIMAS) by the SD program data technician. Overseas SD team administration and logistical support requirements. Ensures SD team properly utilizes issued communications, photographic and video, and other surveillance detection equipment in performance of assigned duties and tasks, in accordance with U.S. Government regulations and Post/RSO policies and guidelines."
A similar job announcement was posted for the U.S. embassy in Bujumbura, Burundi on August 23, 2010, and another similar position was announced for the U.S. embassy in Canberra. One of the largest SDP activities is at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City. Another large SDP operation is at the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, and Beirut Lebanon....
The SDP, along with its SDUs, operate at every U.S. diplomatic post abroad. On May 17, 2000, David Carpenter, the assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security, told the House International Relations Committee, "The newest addition to our programs and of major significance has been the establishment, in less than one year, of surveillance detection programs at almost all of our overseas posts . . . Since going operational in January 1999, surveillance detection teams, most of which work with host government's security services, have observed over 700 suspected incidents of surveillance against our personnel and facilities. It has, in a sense, expanded our security perimeter and zone of control beyond our previous limitations. The surveillance detection program is clearly a 'work in progress,' but we feel that it is destined to become a major aspect of our overseas security defenses." The SDP was authorized by then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright...
In a March 11, 1999, hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, one senator told Carpenter he would get his money for the full SDP and the rest of the overall security system, including the SDUs and SIMAS, saying, "But I guess that what I'm saying to you is that State will get more money. We will have more money." That senator was Joe Biden from Delaware, now the vice president....
On February 4, 1999, Bonnie Cohen, the Under Secretary of State for Management, told the House Appropriations Committee that the SDP was "global," with 90 posts already having "an up-and-running surveillance detection program."
The General Accounting Office (GAO) in 2000 discovered that the added costs for Surveillance Detection Units at new U.S. embassies in Croatia, Uganda, Beirut and Qatar, significantly increased the costs of those facilities, to the tune of $85 million. These costs included the hiring of additional special agents and other security staff for the SDUs. Overall, U.S. embassy security upgrades were reported by GAO to have run some $800 million more than original estimates...
A May 9, 2005, GAO report reveals how SDP and SIMAS surveillance slowly expanded beyond the areas surrounding the U.S. embassies. First, Regional Security Officers (RSOs) authorized the expansion of the surveillance to detection at school bus stops and outside schools attended by dependents of U.S. personnel, including international and American schools. Later, some RSOs argued that the SDP guidelines were too restrictive and that State had to permit flexibility in using surveillance detection for areas outside the embassy deemed appropriate by the RSO. Soon, the surveillance was expanded to private and public transportation, residences, additional schools, and "other community-based facilities."
A GAO report issued on November 12, 2009, stated that during a two-month period the RSO in Abuja, Nigeria had only four staff members assigned and was unable to carry out SDP functions. Local contractors had simply stopped carrying out their duties.
The resume for a former executive of Triumph Technologies, Inc. of Falls Church, Virginia, yields the fact that he, as Program Director for the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security's Office of Overseas Protective Operations, was responsible for the SDP, of which SIMAS is a part. The contractor's responsibilities also included contractor oversight management for the Worldwide Personnel Protection Services Program (WPPS), the State Department overseas security program that involved three primary private security company contractors -- Dyncorp, Triple Canopy, and the controversial Blackwater, now known as Xe Services. From 2000 to 2007, the contractor was a top executive for Triumph Technologies, Inc. of Falls Church, Virginia, a woman-owned business that garnered millions in dollars of post-9/11 federal contracts. Curiously, the company's web site, http://www.triumph-tech.com, is now inoperative.
The contractor's role with SDP and WPPS are spelled out in his resume: "provide operational oversight and management of the Office of Overseas Protective Operations contractor personnel. Supervise contractor personnel providing program management services compatible with the various office programs and initiatives with an annual budget of over $500,000,000. Conduct on site reviews to assess the quality and effectiveness of services provided by office contractor personnel. Analyzed program procedures for the purpose of improving the efficiency, accuracy and effectiveness of technical, fiscal and administrative operations. Provided contractor management oversight for the Local Guard Program, Residential Security Program, Surveillance Detection Program, Financial Management Initiative, Contract Management Initiative, Information Management Initiative, and Worldwide Personnel Protection Services Program. GS-14 grade level equivalency."
Triumph Technologies is politically-connected. In May 2006, then-New Mexico Senator Peter Domenici's office announced that Triumph had been selected by the Department of Energy to "provide program management, security and information technology services at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)." The contract value was $5.8 million.
Triumph Technologies' vice president for business development was Tom Bolvin, who also happened to represent northern Virginia's Fairfax County in the Virginia House of Delegates as a Republican.
In 2005, Triumph Technologies was listed on the General Services Administration (GSA) as a large woman-owned business. It has millions in dollars of contracts with the State Department under "security technical services," "support services," "other professional services" and "personal services" vehicles. It is also contracted to the US Agency for International Development (USAID/CIA....), Department of Health and Human Services, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Archives and Records Administration, Census Bureau, National Science Foundation, Defense Information Systems Agency, U.S. Customs Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Agriculture, and Minerals Management Service of the Interior Department, Department of Transportation, and Peace Corps/CIA....
Triumph Technologies, which lists an address and corporate officers living in Woburn, Massachusetts, was apparently acquired by Interliant, Inc. of Purchase, New York, in November 1999. The merger press release stated that Triumph Technologies, founded in 1988, was "one of the premier providers of IT services and secure enterprise networking expertise in New England." One of Triumph Technologies industry partners listed in the merger announcement was CheckPoint Software/MOSSAD, headquartered in Tel Aviv....
A November 28, 2005, Washington Post article stated that Triumph Technologies' chief executive officer, Gloria Redman, had "more than 20 years managing a business." Redman is listed in corporate releases as a retired Army Colonel. In 2003, Triumph Technologies was among a group of government contractor firms that banded together under the aegis of the Retired Military Officers' Association to hire Focus Enterprises, Inc. of Washington, DC, an investment firm, to be their investment bank. Focus is involved with a joint venture with New Vantage Group of Vienna, Virginia, and Seraphim Capital of London.
Focus helped engineer the sale of Lanex, a video security firm, to Loronix Information Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Comverse Technology/MOSSAD,founded in Israel and now headquartered in Woodbury, New York. Comverse now owns Verint/MOSSAD, which provides security services to governments and corporations, including the U.S. government. Comverse, formerly known as Comverse Infosys, was founded by Israeli national Jacob (Kobi) Alexander, wanted by the FBI for securities fraud and now on the lam from U.S. justice in Namibia. Comverse Infosys provided wiretapping equipment to the U.S. Justice Department in the months before 9/11 and it was later reported that the firm was working with Mossad to eavesdrop on U.S. government and other U.S. communications prior to and after the inside job of 9/11 attacks....