US develop exploitation methods for mobile devices while refuse UN treaty

Pierluigi Paganini December 21, 2012

Just one week ago a UN treaty was approved to update 24-year-old United Nations telecommunications rules. The agreement states that countries have the right to access international telecommunications services and control them to prevent cybercrimes such as spamming. The downside is that the UN treaty could open the doors to attitudes of censorship of governments that want to apply a strict control on internet.

The agreement was signed against the strong opposition of countries including the U.S. and U.K., whose governments have expressed great concern about Internet regulation and censorship.

The governments weren’t alone, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Norway, Serbia also refused to sign the treaty.

The countries that haven’t accepted the UN agreement will continue to be bound by the 1988 release of the communication rules according declaration of a spokeswoman for the International Telecommunication Union, Sarah Parkes.

“What is clear from the ITU meeting in Dubai is that many governments want to increase regulation and censorship of the Internet,” 

In opposition, groups of countries including China, Russia and many other Middle Eastern nations argued for some Internet measures to protect worldwide networks.

Companies such as giant Google declared in an official statement:

 “We stand with the countries who refuse to sign this treaty and also with the millions of voices who have joined us to support a free and open web.”

Why the UN treaty is so important?

The ITU meeting in Dubai is the demonstration that many governments are interested to increase monitoring and censorship of the Internet. But do not nourish false illusions, everything on internet is monitored, the treaty merely legitimizes control of internet..

Yet while governments discuss the controversial treaty, news from the United States arrives that is contradictory to the U.S. stand on the treaty.Even as the U.S. government refuses to sign the agreement in Dubai, because of the treaty’s inherent potential for inappropriate monitoring, DIA searches for…exploit mobile devices; the purposes are evident.

The governments issued on December 12th a solicitation (TES2013) from Defense Intelligence Agency titled “Technical Exploitation Support”,  The request is related to support for developing of  technology aimed at exploiting digital media and hardware, with specific references for exploitation of mobile devices.




The solicitation of course aimed to the definition of new exploit methods not generally available on the commercial market and look with great interest to the mobile sector.

US governments is trying to develop new capabilities to acquire information of interest from mobile devices, such as cell phones and tablets on account of their extraordinary rise in the market.

Mobile devices are a mine of information to spy on individuals, communications, social habits, movements, all is traceable and US want to do this.

Be aware, the Big Brother is watching you, the RFI in fact is much wider, covering also exploitation systems in Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, mobile devices used as new source of intelligence.

At this point, the oppositions manifested at Dubai by U.S. are very contradictory. Some might say that the US Government is concerned mainly for the conduct of others states, it is sure that in its territory the freedom of expression will never be violated, but is it really so?

Monitoring and control of internet are highly debated and contradictory topics, as said to a colleague few days ago, it is a basic inconsistency, censorship is a multi-billion dollar business in continued exponential rise and many Western companies operating there circumventing regulations and prohibitions.

I believe that control of communication channels is a critic question, I also understand the need to protect homeland security through intelligence operations but we cannot ignore the situation is different in every countries. In China, Syria, Iran and Russia today opponents of the governments are exposed to risk more serious … at stake there is their survival and probably an agreement such as the one just signed is also co-responsible.

Pierluigi Paganini

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