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Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet By Yasha Levine

Surveillance valley
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Herbicidal Warfare - Britain's use in Malaya

Operation Ranch Hand - US use in Vietnam

"soap operas "get more advertising messages across to the consumer"—and sell more soap—simply because the housewife can absorb the messages for hours on end while she goes about her household chores." The Cleanup Man,” Time , October 5, 1953

"The fact is, as I see it, that the military greatly needs solutions to many or most of the problems that will arise if we tried to make good use of the facilities that are coming into existence. I am hoping that there will be, in our individual efforts, enough evident advantage in cooperative programming and operation to lead us to solve the problems and, thus, to bring into being the technology that the military needs. When problems arise clearly in the military context and seem not to appear in the research context, then ARPA can take steps to handle them on an ad hoc basis. As I say, however, hopefully, many of the problems will be essentially the same, and essentially as important, in the research context as in the military context." J. C. R. Licklider, “Memorandum for Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network,” Advanced Research Projects Agency, April 23, 1963, Edward A. Feigenbaum Papers collection, Stanford University

"So, late on that October night in 1969, Kline, sitting at the UCLA computer lab, placed a phone call to Duvall at Stanford." Guy Raz, “‘Lo’ And Behold: A Communication Revolution,” All Things Considered, NPR, October 29, 2009

"The key breakthrough in the new computer technology was made at a little known unit of the Defense Department—the Advanced Research Projects Agency, ARPA. ARPA scientists created something new in computer communications with this device, it’s known as the IMP, the interface message processor. Different computers communicate in different computer languages. Before the IMP it was enormously difficult, in many cases impossible, to link the various computers. The IMP, in effect, translates all computer messages into a common language. That makes it very very easy to tie them into a network. The government is now using this new technology in a secret computer network that gives the White House, the CIA, and the Defense Department access to FBI and Treasury Department computer files on 5 million Americans. The network, and it is referred to as “the network,” is now in operation.… This means that from computer terminals now in place at the White House, the CIA, or the Pentagon, an official can push a button and get whatever information there might be on you in the FBI’s vast computer files. Those files include records from local police agencies which are hooked to the FBI by computer." Transcripts of Ford Rowan’s June 1975 NBC broadcasts were read into the Congressional Record . “Surveillance Technology,” Joint Hearings before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights of the Comm. on the Judiciary and the Special Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Commerce of the Comm. on Commerce, US Senate , 94th Cong., 1st sess. (June 23, September 9 and 10, 1975) Page 5

"The men who ran the domestic war room kept records not unlike those maintained by their counterparts in the computerized war rooms in Saigon" Army Surveillance of Civilians: A Documentary Analysis,”Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, Comm. on the Judiciary, US Senate , 92nd Cong., 2nd sess. (1972) Page 93

"Army intelligence was not just reconnoitering cities for bivouac sites, approach routes and Black Panther arsenals. It was collecting, disseminating, and storing amounts of data on the private and personal affairs of law-abiding citizens. Comments about the financial affairs, sex lives, and psychiatric histories of persons unaffiliated with the armed forces appear throughout the various records systems" Army Surveillance of Civilians: A Documentary Analysis,”Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, Comm. on the Judiciary, US Senate , 92nd Cong., 2nd sess. (1972) Page 96

"Demonstrators and rioters were not regarded as American citizens with possibly legitimate grievances, but as ‘dissident forces’ deployed against the established order. Given this conception of dissent, it is not surprising that army intelligence would collect information on the political and private lives of the dissenters. The military doctrines governing counterintelligence, counterinsurgency, and civil affairs operations demanded it" Army Surveillance of Civilians: A Documentary Analysis,” Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, Comm. on the Judiciary, US Senate , 92nd Cong., 2nd sess. (1972) Page V

"Many of the records undoubtedly have been destroyed; many others undoubtedly have been hidden away.… On two subsequent occasions it was learned that the Intelligence Command had failed to carry out orders to destroy its computerized files on civilians unaffiliated with the armed forces.… The order to destroy the mug books was issued on February 18, 1970, but as of August 26, 1970, less than half had been reported destroyed.… " Army Surveillance of Civilians: A Documentary Analysis,” Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, Comm. on the Judiciary, US Senate , 92nd Cong., 2nd sess. (1972) Page VI, 42,8 ( not a natural quote)

"The secret computer network was made possible by dramatic breakthroughs in the technique of hooking different makes and models of computers together so they can talk to one another and share information. It’s a whole new technology that not many people know about. If you pay taxes, or use a credit card, if you drive a car, or have ever served in the military, if you’ve ever been arrested, or even investigated by a police agency, if you’ve had major medical expenses or contributed to a national political party, there is information on you somewhere in some computer. Congress has always been afraid that computers, if all linked together, could turn the government into “big brother” with the computers making it dangerously easy to keep tabs on everyone." Surveillance Technology,” Joint Hearings before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights of the Comm. on the Judiciary and the Special Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Commerce of the Comm. on Commerce, US Senate , 94th Cong., 1st sess. (June 23, September 9 and 10, 1975). Page 5

"According to confidential sources, much of the material that was computerized has been copied and transferred, and much of it has been shared with other agencies where it has been integrated into other intelligence files.… In January 1972, at least part of the computerized Army domestic surveillance files were stored in the NSA’s Harvest computer at Fort Meade, Maryland. Through the use of a defense department computer network, the materials were transmitted and copied in Massachusetts at MIT, and were stored at the Army’s Natick Research Center." Surveillance Technology,” Joint Hearings before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights of the Comm. on the Judiciary and the Special Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Commerce of the Comm. on Commerce, US Senate , 94th Cong., 1st sess. (June 23, September 9 and 10, 1975). Page 10

"Nobel Prize-winning physicist William B. Shockley--whose breakthrough work on the electronic transistor was overshadowed by his inflammatory views that blacks are genetically inferior to whites" La Times August 14th 1989 (Not in book but in reference to William Shockley's Eugenicist Beliefs)

"My research leads me inescapably to the opinion that the major cause of the American Negro's intellectual and social deficits is hereditary and racially genetic in origin and, thus, not remediable to a major degree by practical improvements in the environment." Firing Line with William Shockley, min 52 (Not in book but in reference to William Shockley's Eugenicist Beliefs)

"Larry’s refusal to engage the privacy discussion with the public always frustrated me. I remained convinced we could start with basic information and build an information center that would be clear and forthright about the tradeoffs users made when they entered their queries on Google or any other search engine..Those who truly cared would see we were being transparent. Even if they didn’t like our policies on data collection or retention, they would know what they were. If they went elsewhere to search, they would be taking a chance that our competitors’ practices were far worse than ours,” Douglas Edwards I'm Feeling Lucky, The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 of Page 345

"No. 4417749 conducted hundreds of searches over a three-month period on topics ranging from “numb fingers” to “60 single men” to “dog that urinates on everything.” And search by search, click by click, the identity of AOL user No. 4417749 became easier to discern. There are queries for “landscapers in Lilburn, Ga,” several people with the last name Arnold and “homes sold in shadow lake subdivision gwinnett county georgia.” It did not take much investigating to follow that data trail to Thelma Arnold, a 62-year-old widow who lives in Lilburn, Ga., frequently researches her friends’ medical ailments and loves her three dogs" Michael Barbaro and Tom Zeller Jr., “A Face Is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749,” New York Times , August 9, 2006

Jeffrey Rosen, “The Year in Ideas; Total Information Awareness,” New York Times , December 15, 2002

"Allowing the extraction of this content from e-mail messages is likely to have profound consequences for privacy. First, if companies can view private messages to pitch advertising, it is a matter of time before law enforcement will seek access to detect criminal conspiracies. All too often in Washington, one hears policy wonks asking, ‘if credit card companies can analyze your data to sell your cereal, why can’t the FBI mine your data for terrorism" Testimony of Chris Jay Hoofnagle, Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center West Coast Office, Privacy Risks of E-mail Scanning,” California Senate Judiciary Committee, March 15, 2005

Jamiles Lartey, “Predictive Policing Practices Labeled as ‘Flawed’ by Civil Rights Coalition,” Guardian , August 31, 2016

The CIA as Venture Capitalist,” Washington Post , September 29, 1999, Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Pandora Thinks It Knows If You Are a Republican,” Wall Street Journal , February 13, 2014

"The program, involving a tool called Greyball, uses data collected from the Uber app and other techniques to identify and circumvent officials who were trying to clamp down on the ride-hailing service. Uber used these methods to evade the authorities in cities like Boston, Paris and Las Vegas, and in countries like Australia, China and South Korea." How Uber Deceives the Authorities Worldwide,” New York Times , March 3, 2017

"At the time, Uber had just started its ride-hailing service in Portland without seeking permission from the city, which later declared the service illegal. To build a case against the company, officers like Mr. England posed as riders, opening the Uber app to hail a car and watching as miniature vehicles on the screen made their way toward the potential fares. But unknown to Mr. England and other authorities, some of the digital cars they saw in the app did not represent actual vehicles. And the Uber drivers they were able to hail also quickly canceled. That was because Uber had tagged Mr. England and his colleagues — essentially Greyballing them as city officials — based on data collected from the app and in other ways. The company then served up a fake version of the app, populated with ghost cars, to evade capture" How Uber Deceives the Authorities Worldwide,” New York Times , March 3, 2017

Derek Thompson, “Google’s CEO: The Laws Are Written by Lobbyists,” The Atlantic , October 1, 2010.

Google’s former CEO, said in a moment of candour in 2010. “Because we know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less guess what you’re thinking about.” He later added: “One day we had a conversation where we figured we could just try to predict the stock market. And then we decided it was illegal. So we stopped doing that.” Google’s Earth: how the tech giant is helping the state spy on us, The Guardian 20th of December 2018

"now that In-Q-Tel is six years into its venture history, it has seen more of its companies get acquired, while only 10 of its investments have gone under - a pretty good rate for a VC firm. Digital mapping company Keyhole Corp., for example, was bought by Google in October, 2004." Meet The CIA's Venture Capitalist

Posted on May 09, 2005, Bloomberg Businessweek

"In-Q-Tel, a private nonprofit venture funded by the Central Intelligence Agency, today announced a strategic investment in Keyhole Corp., a pioneer of interactive 3D earth visualization. The investment, made in February 2003, was In-Q-Tel’s first engagement with a company on behalf of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). Immediately demonstrating the value of Keyhole’s technology to the national security community, NIMA used the technology to support United States troops in Iraq. “Within two weeks of In-Q-Tel’s engagement with Keyhole, we implemented the technology to support our mission within the Pentagon,” IN-Q-TEL ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC INVESTMENT IN KEYHOLE JUNE 2003

Google, seeking to diversify, looks to Uncle Sam, March 13, 2008 By John Letzing and MarketWatch

"The CIA bought one of our Google search appliances for their intranet… “I told our sales rep to give them the okay if they promised not to tell anyone. I didn’t want it spooking privacy advocates,” Douglas Edwards I'm Feeling Lucky, The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 of Page 382

The search engine giant showed off its ambition yesterday to expand its business with the federal government, kicking off a two-day sales meeting that attracted nearly 200 federal contractors, engineers and uniformed military members eager to learn more about its technology offerings.

"Google has ramped up its sales force in the Washington area in the past year to adapt its technology products to the needs of the military, civilian agencies and the intelligence community. Already, agencies use enhanced versions of Google's 3-D mapping product, Google Earth, to display information for the military on the ground in Iraq and to track airplanes that fight forest fires across the country" Google Makes Its Pitch to Expand Federal Business By Sara Kehaulani Goo and

Alec Klein February 28, 2007

"We're really in the beginning stages," said Rob Painter, director of the Google Earth federal effort. "Coming on the scene to the federal space, in many ways, it's brand new." Google Makes Its Pitch to Expand Federal Business By Sara Kehaulani Goo and Alec Klein February 28, 2007

"Yesterday, Google's partner, Lockheed Martin, demonstrated a Google Earth product that it helped design for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's work in Iraq. These included displays of key regions of the country and outlined Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, as well as U.S. and Iraqi military bases in the city." Google Makes Its Pitch to Expand Federal Business By Sara Kehaulani Goo and Alec Klein February 28, 2007

Frank Konkel, “The Details About the CIA’s Deal with Amazon,” The Atlantic , July 17, 2014

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin partners with Boeing and Lockheed Martin to reduce dependence on Russian rockets By Adi Robertson on September 17, 2014

Andy Greenberg, “How a ‘Deviant’ Philosopher Built Palantir, a CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut,” Forbes , August 14, 2013

Darpa Turns Oculus into a Weapon for Cyberwar,” Wired , May 23, 2014, John Markoff, “Google Adds to Its Menagerie of Robots,” New York Times , December 14, 2013; Alex Hern, “Alphabet Sells Off ‘BigDog’ Robot Maker Boston Dynamics to Softbank,” Guardian , June 9, 2017

Google Ideas Develops Citizen Engagement Pilot Project for Somalia,” Google Open Source (blog), June 11, 2012

“Please keep close hold, but my team is planning to launch a tool on Sunday that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from… which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition" Email from Jared Cohen, “Syria,” July 25, 2012, WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton Email Archive

Google Planned to Help Syria Rebels to Bring Down Assad Regime, Leaked Hillary Clinton Emails Claim,” The Independent , March 22, 2016

"Google is getting [White House] and State Dept. support & air cover. In reality, they are doing things the CIA cannot do,” wrote Fred Burton, a Stratfor executive, Newsweek

Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, and Laura Poitras, “Edward Snowden: The Whistleblower behind the NSA Surveillance Revelations,” Guardian , June 11, 2013

Lee Fang, “The CIA Is Investing in Firms That Mine Your Tweets and Instagram Photos,” The Intercept, April 14, 2016

NSA Infiltrates Links to Yahoo, Google Data Centers Worldwide, Snowden Documents Say,” Washington Post, October 20, 2013

NSA Slides Explain the PRISM Data-Collection Program,” Washington Post , June 6, 2013,

"The engineering problems are so immense, in systems of such complexity and frequent change, that the FBI and NSA would be hard pressed to build in back doors without active help from each company.” Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras, “U.S., British Intelligence Mining Data from Nine U.S. Internet Companies in Broad Secret Program,” Washington Post , June 7, 2013

"Microsoft was the first to join in 2007. Yahoo! came online a year later, and Facebook and Google plugged in to PRISM in 2009. Skype and AOL both joined in 2011. Apple, the laggard of the bunch, joined the surveillance system in 2012" NSA Prism Program Slides,” Guardian , November 1, 2013

"General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, called Baker’s comment “absolutely correct,” and raised him one, asserting, “We kill people based on metadata.”

Dave Cole, “We Kill People Based on Metadata,” New York Review of Books , May 10, 2014


Onion Routing - Funded by DARPA and the office of Naval Research from the US Government

"I contract for the United States Government to build anonymity technology for them and deploy it" Free Privacy Enhancing Technologies." Panel, The 3rd Wizards of OS conference. Berlin, June 11, 2004 (Video exists but was in German)

"The State Department and two federal agencies - the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the National Science Foundation - are major contributors." Privacy software, criminal use Unintended consequence of Walpole firm’s technology March 08, 2012, By Jenifer B. McKim, Boston Globe Staff

"I think it sucks that we take Department of Defense money sometimes,” Appelbaum said in December 2014. “And sometimes I think it’s good when people have the ability to feed themselves and have the ability to have a home and a family. Now, I don’t have those things, really. I mean, I can feed myself. But I don’t have a home or a family in the same way, say, the family people inside of Tor do. And they need to be paid. It is the case that is true. And it raises questions. I personally would never take CIA money, and I don’t think nobody should. I don’t think the CIA should exist." Dingledine, Appelbaum, and Poitras, “State of the Onion.” ( havnt checked video yet)

1997: In addition to ONR funding, robustness aspects of Onion Routing are funded by DARPA under High Confidence Networks Program" Onion Routing: Brief Selected History July 6, 2017

"Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 16:57:39 -0400

From: Michael Reed <reed[at]>

To: tor-talk[at]

Subject: Re: [tor-talk] Iran cracks down on web dissident technology

On 03/22/2011 12:08 PM, Watson Ladd wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 11:23 AM, Joe Btfsplk<joebtfsplk[at]> wrote:

>> Why would any govt create something their enemies can easily use against them, then continue funding it once they know it helps the enemy, if a govt has absolutely no control over it? It's that simple. It would seem a very bad idea. Stop looking at it from a conspiracy standpoint & consider it as a common sense question. Because it helps the government as well. An anonymity network that only the US government uses is fairly useless. One that everyone uses is much more useful, and if your enemies use it as well that's very good, because then they can't cut off access without undoing their own work.

BINGO, we have a winner! The original *QUESTION* posed that led to the

invention of Onion Routing was, "Can we build a system that allows for bi-directional communications over the Internet where the source and destination cannot be determined by a mid-point?" The *PURPOSE* was for

DoD / Intelligence usage (open source intelligence gathering, covering of forward deployed assets, whatever). Not helping dissidents in repressive countries. Not assisting criminals in covering their

electronic tracks. Not helping bit-torrent users avoid MPAA/RIAA prosecution. Not giving a 10 year old a way to bypass an anti-porn

filter. Of course, we knew those would be other unavoidable uses for the technology, but that was immaterial to the problem at hand we were

trying to solve (and if those uses were going to give us more cover traffic to better hide what we wanted to use the network for, all the

better...I once told a flag officer that much to his chagrin). I should know, I was the recipient of that question from David, and Paul was

brought into the mix a few days later after I had sketched out a basic (flawed) design for the original Onion Routing.

The short answer to your question of "Why would the government do this?" is because it is in the best interests of some parts of the government to have this capability... Now enough of the conspiracy theories...


Paul Syverson, email message sent to [tor-talk], “Iran cracks down on web dissident technology,” Tor Project, March 22, 2011

Revealed: US Spy Operation That Manipulates Social Media,” Guardian , March 17, 2011

We also need to think about a strategy for how to spin this move in terms of Tor's overall direction. I would guess that we don't want to loudly declare war on China, since this only harms our goals? But we also don't want to hide the existence of funding from IBB, since "they're getting paid off by the feds and they didn't tell anyone" sounds like a bad Slashdot title for a security project. Is it sufficient just to always Talk about Iran, or is that not subtle enough?

>Roger - we will do any spin you want to do to help preserve the independence of TOR. We can't (nor should we) hide it for the reasons you have outlined below, but we also don't want to shout if from the rafters, either " Ken Berman, email message sent to Roger Dingledine, “Tor + IBB: moving forward,” February 24, 2006

Radio Free Asia - CIA front that was taken over by Broadcasting Board Of Governors

"Other previous employers include the MIT network security team, a summer internship at the National Security Agency" Roger Dingledine, curriculum vitae, accessed March 8, 2008,

Over the Net and Around the Law? U.S. Computer Users Gain Access to Voice of America Broadcasts,” Washington Post , January 14, 1995)

"The long-term impact of funding and arming this paramilitary force was to unleash a deadly sectarian militia that terrorised the Sunni community and helped germinate a civil war that claimed tens of thousands of lives. At the height of that sectarian conflict, 3,000 bodies a month were strewn on the streets of Iraq." Mona Mahmood, Maggie O’Kane, Chavala Madlena, and Teresa Smith, “Revealed: Pentagon’s Link to Iraqi Torture Centres,” Guardian , March 6, 2013

Scott Shane and Andrew W. Lehren, “Leaked Cables Offer Raw Look at U.S. Diplomacy,” New York Times , November 28, 2010

"Some Egyptian youth leaders attended a 2008 technology meeting in New York, where they were taught to use social networking and mobile technologies to promote democracy. Among those sponsoring the meeting were Facebook, Google, MTV, Columbia Law School and the State Department...We learned how to organize and build coalitions,” said Bashem Fathy, a founder of the youth movement that ultimately drove the Egyptian uprisings. Mr. Fathy, who attended training with Freedom House, said, “This certainly helped during the revolution." Ron Nixon, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” New York Times , April 14, 2011

"The money spent on these programs was minute compared with efforts led by the Pentagon. But as American officials and others look back at the uprisings of the Arab Spring, they are seeing that the United States’ democracy-building campaigns played a bigger role in fomenting protests than was previously known, with key leaders of the movements having been trained by the Americans in campaigning, organizing through new media tools and monitoring elections." This certainly helped during the revolution." Ron Nixon, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” New York Times , April 14, 2011

"The cables, in particular, show how leaders in the Middle East and North Africa viewed these groups with deep suspicion, and tried to weaken them. Today the work of these groups is among the reasons that governments in turmoil claim that Western meddling was behind the uprisings, with some officials noting that leaders like Ms. Qadhi were trained and financed by the United States." This certainly helped during the revolution." Ron Nixon, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” New York Times , April 14, 2011

Announcement on Alliance of Youth Movements Summit, December 3–5: Summit Brings Youth Groups, Tech Experts Together to Promote Freedom,” US Department of State press release,, November 18, 2008 (This effort was launched by Alec Ross and his State Department colleague Jared Cohen, who would later head up Google’s JigSaw think tank)

Unverified Source

"We are proud that we may assist in such a task, a task that provides our nation’s Physician with the material he needs for his examinations. Our Physician can then determine whether the calculated values are in harmony with the health of our people. It also means that if such is not the case, our Physician can take corrective procedures to correct the sick circumstances.… Hail to our German people and der Fuhrer" Letter, J.C. Milner to H. Rottke, March 15,1939, p. 1, IBM Files.

"Until the military–social science complex is eliminated, social scientists will aid the enslavement, rather than the liberation, of mankind" Project Cam Exposed , pamphlet 1, 1969, MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections, Cambridge Project.

"Vietnam is the most blatant example of the U.S. attempt to control underdeveloped countries for its own strategic and economic interests. This global policy, that prevents the economic and social developments of the third world, is imperialism. In serving these policies, the U.S. government has no qualms about setting up a project that ties together MIT, Harvard, Lincoln Labs, and the entire Cambridge research and development complex" Project Cambridge Demonstrate , flier at Harvard, 1969, MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections, Cambridge Project.

"This isn’t so much about getting good press about Tor as it is about preparing journalists so if they see bad press and consider spreading it further, they’ll stop and think.…" Andrew Lewman, email message sent to Kelly DeYoe and Roger Dingledine, “EPIC, BBC, Tor, and FOIA,” September 10, 2013, /citations/email-from-andrew-lewman-to-kelly-deyoe-and-roger-dingledine-epic-bbc-tor-and-foia-10-september-2013.pdf.


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