NSA intercepts US-made routers, adds spy backdoors: report

MANILA, Philippines – An excerpt from journalist Glenn Greenwald’s upcoming book, No Place to Hide, alleges the NSA intercepts US-made routers and other Internet devices and installs backdoor programs and spying mechanisms in them.

Posted on The Guardian, the excerpt juxtaposes the allegations against the US’ own admonitions that Chinese companies’ routers and Internet devices were being compromised by the Chinese government.

Greenwald writes that a June 2010 report from the head of the NSA’s Access and Target Development department points to routine interceptions of routers, servers and other computer network devices.

These devices, which are meant for export from the US, are then implanted with backdoor surveillance tools and repackaged with factory seals.

The excerpt continues, "The NSA thus gains access to entire networks and all their users.” Devices with these backdoor tools eventually connect back to the NSA, providing further access so the device can be exploited and the network involved watched further.

Greenwald notes, "It is quite possible that Chinese firms are implanting surveillance mechanisms in their network devices. But the US is certainly doing the same.”

Greenwald publicized reports acquired by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden regarding the NSA's digital surveillance activities. The revelations served to increase public scrutiny and discussion on civil liberties as it relates to maintaining national security.

The document mentioned in the book excerpt will be made public Wednesday, May 14, and will also be available in his upcoming book, according to a tweet.

@mattblaze It will be online tomorrow. It's in the book, too. — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) May 12, 2014



Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.