Ecoutes américaines: Beau comme la rencontre fortuite de l’insigne incompétence et de la plus totalitaire des capacités d’interception (Lamb horns and dragon voice – the most ineffectual drone president and an apparatus that aspires to monitor no less than the entirety of the human race’s electronic communications !)

https://i1.wp.com/www.thecommentator.com/system/articles/inner_pictures/000/002/072/original/big-brother-watching-obamacartoon.jpgPuis je vis monter de la terre une autre bête, qui avait deux cornes semblables à celles d’un agneau, et qui parlait comme un dragon. Elle exerçait toute l’autorité de la première bête en sa présence, et elle faisait que la terre et ses habitants adoraient la première bête, dont la blessure mortelle avait été guérie. Elle opérait de grands prodiges, même jusqu’à faire descendre du feu du ciel sur la terre, à la vue des hommes.Et elle séduisait les habitants de la terre par les prodiges qu’il lui était donné d’opérer en présence de la bête, disant aux habitants de la terre de faire une image à la bête qui avait la blessure de l’épée et qui vivait. Et il lui fut donné d’animer l’image de la bête, afin que l’image de la bête parlât, et qu’elle fît que tous ceux qui n’adoreraient pas l’image de la bête fussent tués. Et elle fit que tous, petits et grands, riches et pauvres, libres et esclaves, reçussent une marque sur leur main droite ou sur leur front, et que personne ne pût acheter ni vendre, sans avoir la marque, le nom de la bête ou le nombre de son nom.  Apocalypse 13: 11-17
Beau comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d’une machine à coudre et d’un parapluie! Lautréamont
L’Iran devrait probablement atteindre une capacité nucléaire indétectable à la mi-2014 et peut-être même avant. Dennis Ross
C’est l‘importance des écoutes qui nous a choqué, mais soyons honnêtes, nous espionnons aussi. Tout le monde écoute tout le monde. La différence, c’est qu’on n’a pas les moyens des Etats-Unis, ce qui nous rend jaloux.  Bernard Kouchner
Pour ce qui est de l’espionnage par des moyens technologiques, les écoutes précisément ou les interceptions de flux internet, 2001 n’a pas vraiment changé les choses. 2001 a juste donné aux Etats-Unis un motif nouveau pour habiller leurs pratiques d’interception. Ce nouveau motif, c’est la guerre contre le terrorisme. Mais sur le plan des pratiques, depuis les années 1950, en pleine guerre froide, les Etats-Unis ont en permanence intercepté des communications, y compris celles de leurs partenaires et celles de leurs alliés. (…)  La NSA, d’un point de vue très pratique, en matière d’interception en dehors des Etats-Unis, a deux moyens. D’une part, elle se sert dans les grands serveurs des fournisseurs d’accès à internet, c’est une première façon d’aller directement puiser à la source. Ou alors, elle a un accès, je dirais plus pratique encore, qui est de se brancher sur les câbles eux-mêmes, et non pas sur les fermes (serveurs de données) dans lesquelles sont contenues toutes les données. Ensuite, comme d’autres agences, comme l’agence britannique et d’autres agences, toutes ces données ne sont pas exploitées par l’intelligence humaine mais sont exploitées grâce à des algorithmes, par des capacités informatiques, qui essaient de cibler des mots-clés. Alors, c’est tout l’enjeu du débat aujourd’hui. Est-ce que, comme le disent les Etats-Unis dans une défense mezzo voce, ils ne cherchent dans ces données que ce qui a trait à la lutte contre le terrorisme et à la sécurité des Etats-Unis? Ou est-ce que, sans le dire, ils utilisent aussi ces interceptions pour repérer les mots-clés touchant à des pratiques commerciales, à des brevets, à des litiges juridiques ? Ce que l’on peut dire, étant donné ce que l’on sait aujourd’hui du passé, c’est que la capacité d’interception de la NSA a servi, bien sûr, la sécurité des Etats-Unis mais elle a aussi servi les Etats-Unis dans la guerre économique mondiale qui est devenue une réalité plus forte après la fin de la guerre froide. (…) C’est un jeu de dupes, mais comme les relations entre les Etats sont un jeu de dupes. (…) en même temps il faut bien regarder ce qui est en cause, de la part de la NSA c’est quand même à l’égard de ses grands partenaires commerciaux et politiques, le Brésil, la France ou l’Allemagne. Et là, le jeu de dupes, qui est en partie dévoilé, peut avoir des incidences sur ce qui est la base de la relation entre des alliés et des partenaires : cela s’appelle la confiance. Sébastien Laurent
Of course, Brazil, France, Germany, and Mexico do exactly the same thing. They want their leaders to gain a decision advantage in the give and take between countries. They want to know what U.S. policymakers will do before the Americans do it. And in the case of Brazil and France, they aggressively spy on the United States, on U.S. citizens and politicians, in order to collect that information. The difference lies in the scale of intelligence collection: The U.S. has the most effective, most distributed, most sophisticated intelligence community in the West. It is Goliath. And other countries, rightly in their mind, are envious. Marc Ambider
Before his disclosures, most experts already assumed that the United States conducted cyberattacks against China, bugged European institutions, and monitored global Internet communications. Even his most explosive revelation — that the United States and the United Kingdom have compromised key communications software and encryption systems designed to protect online privacy and security — merely confirmed what knowledgeable observers have long suspected. … The deeper threat that leakers such as Manning and Snowden pose is more subtle than a direct assault on U.S. national security: they undermine Washington’s ability to act hypocritically and get away with it. Their danger lies not in the new information that they reveal but in the documented confirmation they provide of what the United States is actually doing and why. … « Hypocrisy is central to Washington’s soft power—its ability to get other countries to accept the legitimacy of its actions—yet few Americans appreciate its role, …The reason the United States has until now suffered few consequences for such hypocrisy is that other states have a strong interest in turning a blind eye. Given how much they benefit from the global public goods Washington provides, they have little interest in calling the hegemon on its bad behavior. Public criticism risks pushing the U.S. government toward self-interested positions that would undermine the larger world order. Moreover, the United States can punish those who point out the inconsistency in its actions by downgrading trade relations or through other forms of direct retaliation. Allies thus usually air their concerns in private. Foreign Affairs
Hypocrisy is crucial because the world order functions through a set of American-built institutions, such as the UN and the World Trade Organisation, which depend on America’s commitment to their ideals to hold legitimacy. However, America, like other countries, is in practice often unable to pursue its national interests while adhering to these ideals. Because America is more important to the global order than other countries, its need to practise hypocrisy is greater. And, in general, allies have been willing to abet such hypocrisy … The Economist

Pour ceux qui n’avaient pas encore compris qu’à l’instar de la politique de Clausewitz, l’économie est devenue la continuation de la guerre par d’autres moyens …

Et à l’heure ou, pour donner le change à leurs opinions publiques, nos dirigeants et médias font mine de découvrir le secret de polichinelle des écoutes américaines …

Pendant que derrière son bluff nucléaire, Téhéran pourrait sous peu passer le point de non-retour concernant son insistante promesse de rayer Israel de la carte …

Comment ne pas s’émerveiller, derrière le jeu de dupes officiel, de l’incroyable combinaison qui aurait ravi Lautréamont lui-même ?

A savoir mis à part le droit de vie ou de mort via ses drones sur tout ce que le monde peut compter de terroristes …

Celle du président américain, dument confirmé par Forbes, probablement le plus incompétent depuis Carter …

Et d’un appareillage qui, entre les interceptions téléphoniques, satellitaires et électroniques, prétend surveiller rien moins que la totalité des communications électroniques de la race humaine ?

Is Obama Still President?

His cadences soar on, through scandal after fiasco after disaster.­

Victor Davis Hanson

National review

October 29, 2013

We are currently learning whether the United States really needs a president. Barack Obama has become a mere figurehead, who gives speeches few listen to any more, issues threats that scare fewer, and makes promises that almost no one believes he will keep. Yet America continues on, despite the fact that the foreign and domestic policies of Barack Obama are unraveling, in a manner unusual even for star-crossed presidential second terms.

Abroad, American policy in the Middle East is leaderless and in shambles after the Arab Spring — we’ve had the Syrian fiasco and bloodbath, leading from behind in Libya all the way to Benghazi, and the non-coup, non-junta in Egypt. This administration has managed to unite existential Shiite and Sunni enemies in a shared dislike of the United States. While Iran follows the Putin script from Syria, Israel seems ready to preempt its nuclear program, and Obama still mumbles empty “game changers” and “red line” threats of years past.

We have gone from reset with Russia to Putin as the playmaker of the Middle East. The Persian Gulf sheikhdoms are now mostly anti-American. The leaders of Germany and the people of France resent having their private communications tapped by Barack Obama — the constitutional lawyer and champion of universal human rights. Angela Merkel long ago grasped that President Obama would rather fly across the Atlantic to lobby for a Chicago Olympic Games — or tap her phone — than sit through a 20th-anniversary commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are beginning to see that the U.S. is more a neutral than a friend, as Obama negotiates with Putin about reducing the nuclear umbrella that protects America’s key non-nuclear allies. Perhaps they will soon make the necessary adjustments. China, Brazil, and India care little that Barack Obama still insists he is not George W. Bush, or that he seems to be trying to do to America what they seek to undo in their own countries.

The world’s leaders do not any longer seem much impressed by the president’s cat-like walk down the steps of Air Force One, or the soaring cadences that rechannel hope-and=change themes onto the world scene. They acknowledge that their own publics may like the American president, and especially his equivocation about the traditional role of American power in the world. But otherwise, for the next three years, the world is in a holding pattern, wondering whether there is a president of the United States to reckon with or a mere teleprompted functionary. Certainly, the Obama Nobel Peace Prize is now the stuff of comedy.

At home, the signature Affordable Care Act is proving its sternest critics prescient. The mess can best be summed up by Republicans’ being demonized for trying to delay or defund Obamacare — after the president himself chose not to implement elements of his own law — followed immediately by congressional Democrats’ seeking to parrot the Republicans. So are the Democrats followers of Ted Cruz or Barack Obama? Is Obama himself following Ted Cruz?

The problem is not just that all the president’s serial assurances about Obamacare proved untrue — premiums and deductibles will go up, many will lose their coverage and their doctors, new taxes will be needed, care will be curtailed, signups are nearly impossible, and businesses will be less, not more, competitive — but that no one should ever have believed they could possibly be true unless in our daily lives we usually get more and better stuff at lower cost.

More gun control is dead. Comprehensive immigration legislation depends on Republicans’ trusting a president who for two weeks smeared his House opponents as hostage-takers and house-breakers. Moreover, just as no one really read the complete text of the Obamacare legislation, so too no one quite knows what is in the immigration bill. There are few assurances that the border will be first secured under an administration with a record of nullifying “settled law” — or that those who have been convicted of crimes or have been long-time recipients of state or federal assistance will not be eligible for eventual citizenship. If the employer mandate was jettisoned, why would not border security be dropped once a comprehensive immigration bill passed? Or for that matter, if it is not passed, will the president just issue a blanket amnesty anyway?

In the age of Obama, we just ran up a $700 billion annual deficit and called it restraint, as if success were to be defined as not adding another $1 trillion each year to the national debt. The strange thing is that after the end of the Iraq War and the winding down in Afghanistan, forced sequestration, new taxes on high earners, and a supposedly recovering and revenue-producing economy, we are still running up near-record deficits. Stranger still, Obama is bragging that the deficit has been cut by billions — as if the 400-pound heart patient can be content that he lost 50 pounds in record time and so trimmed down to a manageable 350 pounds.

The Federal Reserve is pretty well stuck with near-zero interest rates. Even a slight rise would make servicing the huge debt nearly unmanageable. Yet continued record low interest, along with Obamacare, is strangling the economy. Millions of older Americans are learning that a mid-level government employee draws more in pension compensation than a private retiree receives in interest on 40 years’ worth of life savings.

“Millions of green jobs,” “cash for clunkers,” and “stimulus” are all now recognized as cruel jokes. Oddly, the more scandals come to light, the more immune the virtual president becomes. After the politicization of the IRS, the snooping on AP reporters, the Benghazi mess, the NSA eavesdropping, Fast and Furious, the multibillion-dollar overpayment in income-tax credits by the IRS, the Lisa Jackson fake e-mail identities, and the Pigford payments, the public has become numb — as if it to say, “Of course the Obama administration is not truthful. So what else is new?”

Three considerations are keeping the U.S. afloat without an active president. First, many working Americans have tuned the president out and simply go on about their business despite rather than because of this administration. If gas and oil leases have been curtailed on federal lands, there is record production on private land. Farmers are producing huge harvests and receiving historically high prices. Wall Street welcomes in capital that can find no return elsewhere. American universities’ science departments and professional schools still rate among the world’s best. There is as yet no French or Chinese Silicon Valley. In other words, after five years of stagnation, half the public more or less ignores the Obama administration and plods on.

Second, the other half of Americans gladly accept that Obama is an iconic rather than a serious president. Given his emblematic status as the nation’s first African-American president and his efforts to craft a vast coalition of those with supposed grievances against the majority, he will always have a strong base of supporters. With huge increases in federal redistributive support programs, and about half the population not paying federal income taxes, Obama is seen as the protector of the noble deserving, who should receive more from a government to which the ignoble undeserving must give far more. And if it is a question of adding another million or so people to the food-stamp or disability rolls, or ensuring that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon or that China does not bully Japan, the former wins every time.

Finally, the media accept that Obama represents a rare confluence of forces that promotes a progressive agenda. His youth, his charisma, his background, his exotic nomenclature, and his “cool” all have allowed a traditionally unpopular leftist ideology to enter the mainstream. Why endanger all that with a focus on Benghazi or the disaster of Obamacare? We have had, in the course of our history, plenty of Grants, McKinleys, Hardings, Nixons, and Clintons, but never quite an administration of scandal so exempt from media scrutiny.

As far as his image goes, it does not really matter to what degree Obama actually “fundamentally transforms America.” For the media, that he seeks to do so, and that he drives conservatives crazy trying, is seen as enough reason to surrender their autonomy and become ancillary to the effort. The media believe that once he is out of office, they can regain their credibility by going after the next president with renewed vigor as recompense.

In other words, the presidency has become a virtual office. Almost half the people and most of the media do not mind, and those who do just plod onward.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His latest book is The Savior Generals, published this spring by Bloomsbury Books.

Voir aussi:

The NSA and the EU

Who do I wiretap if I want to wiretap Europe?

M.S.

The Economist

Oct 25th 2013

HENRY KISSINGER never actually asked who he should call when he wanted to call Europe; in fact, Gideon Rachman pointed out a few years ago, he probably didn’t even want there to be such a person, since he generally thought European leaders would be more tractable to American diplomacy if they remained divided. So he may well have been pleased to see, as Charlemagne observes, that European leaders’ reactions to recent spying revelations have been as fractured and tentative as they often were during his own era at the top. Edward Snowden’s revelations of the breadth of NSA spying have certainly damaged America’s reputation among its allies, and they may yet force Barack Obama to finally push back against his intelligence agencies on an issue. But the uproar in Europe seems softer than might have been predicted.

The most interesting explanation of how Mr Snowden’s revelations are likely to affect American foreign policy is the contention by Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore, in an article in Foreign Affairs, that they reduce America’s space for hypocrisy. « Hypocrisy is central to Washington’s soft power—its ability to get other countries to accept the legitimacy of its actions—yet few Americans appreciate its role, » they write. Hypocrisy is crucial because the world order functions through a set of American-built institutions, such as the UN and the World Trade Organisation, which depend on America’s commitment to their ideals to hold legitimacy. However, America, like other countries, is in practice often unable to pursue its national interests while adhering to these ideals. Because America is more important to the global order than other countries, its need to practise hypocrisy is greater. And, in general, allies have been willing to abet such hypocrisy:

The reason the United States has until now suffered few consequences for such hypocrisy is that other states have a strong interest in turning a blind eye. Given how much they benefit from the global public goods Washington provides, they have little interest in calling the hegemon on its bad behavior. Public criticism risks pushing the U.S. government toward self-interested positions that would undermine the larger world order. Moreover, the United States can punish those who point out the inconsistency in its actions by downgrading trade relations or through other forms of direct retaliation. Allies thus usually air their concerns in private.

The problem with Mr Snowden’s revelations is that they bring such hypocrisy into the open, which puts democratic pressure on allies to criticise it.

This, at least, is the theory. In fact, there has been a curiously gleeful tone to much of the European public’s reception of America’s spying on their leaders. Coverage in Le Monde has been divided between editorials demanding that « the work of security agencies be delimited by effective parliamentary or judicial procedures of control », and breathless accounts of communications between French and American security forces over whether the Americans were behind the cyberattacks on the French president’s office in 2012. Mark Ambinder cites a radio interview with Bernard Kouchner, the former French foreign minister: « Let’s be honest, we eavesdrop too. Everyone is listening to everyone else… [The difference is that] we don’t have the same means as the United States—which makes us jealous. »

Reactions in the Netherlands have been similarly ambiguous. The most aggressive and well-informed Dutch political response on issues of digital freedom tends to come from the left-liberal D66 party. Yesterday on Dutch TV, Sophie in ‘t Veld, who in addition to leading the D66 delegation at the European Parliament has one of the coolest names in international politics, took a sharp line against NSA surveillance and demanded a full explanation from America of whom it is spying on and why. At the same time, she joked in a self-deprecating fashion about how much leverage a Dutch European Parliament member could hope to have over the global superpower, shaking her fist and declaiming with a mock grin: « Ms in ‘t Veld is warning America for the last time! » In the laughs she got from the audience, one could hear a bit of resigned satisfaction, as though they enjoyed confirming the secondary global rank that makes it ill-advised for the Dutch to get too worked up about issues over which they are unlikely to exercise much control. The exchange put me in mind of the great European-American conflict of the post-Kissinger era, over the deployment of short-range nuclear missiles, an issue that served as a mobilising touchstone for the European left for years without any real need to ever affect policy in any noticeable way.

Dutch reactions to the NSA scandal may be atypical for Europe, because the Dutch generally have a higher tolerance for government surveillance than many other countries. And none of this is to say that anyone in Europe is defending NSA wiretapping, or that the revelations have done anything but harm to the public image of America and of Barack Obama personally. It’s just that there is a certain ambiguity in the European public reaction, and for that matter in the American one. In America too, one can often sense an emotional « double-feeling », as the Dutch would call it, between the public’s dread of the government’s all-embracing surveillance capabilities, and the public’s vicarious awe at the perspective afforded by an apparatus that aspires to monitor the entirety of the human race’s electronic communications. Perhaps, to update Walter Benjamin, mankind’s self-alienation has reached such a degree that we can experience our own wiretapping as an aesthetic pleasure of the first order.

Voir egalement:

How to negotiate with Iran

A deal struck for its own sake on Tehran’s nuclear program would be worse than no deal at all.

Dennis Ross, Eric Edelman and Michael Makovsky

Los Angeles Times

October 29, 2013

This month in Geneva, at the first negotiations over its nuclear program since the election of President Hassan Rouhani, Iran took an unprecedented step: It negotiated. For the first time, Tehran presented an actual vision of the endgame for the talks with six world powers, and how to get there. However, contrary to expectations, it offered no concessions, leaving serious questions about Iranian purposes. With another round of talks scheduled for next week, U.S. negotiators would do well to follow principles that signify the core interests at stake.

FOR THE RECORD:

Diplomacy: In an Oct. 29 Op-Ed article regarding Iran, the affiliation for Dennis Ross, one of the authors, was incomplete. It is the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The most pressing national security threat facing the United States remains preventing a nuclear-capable Iran. The preferred way to achieve that objective is through a diplomatic agreement. But diplomacy can only be that — a means to an end.

As Secretary of State John F. Kerry has said, a « bad deal is worse than no deal. » A deal struck for its own sake would still allow for a nuclear Iran; undermine the legitimacy of any subsequent U.S. attempts or, much more likely, Israeli attempts to arrest Iran’s progress by military action; discredit and compromise U.S. credibility; and weaken, if not destroy, the decades-old international nonproliferation regime.

Therefore, the United States should only pursue an agreement within certain parameters, to ensure the deal actually furthers the interests of the U.S. and its allies. As we explain in a new JINSA Gemunder Center report, there are six such principles that should guide the negotiations with Iran.

First, Iran must resolve outstanding international concerns. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly complained that Iran has not been forthcoming about its nuclear activities. Indeed, the IAEA in 2011 expressed its « deep and increasing concern about the unresolved issues regarding the Iranian nuclear program, including those which need to be clarified to exclude the existence of possible military dimensions. » Iran must quickly address all outstanding IAEA concerns as part of any deal.

Second, Iran must adhere to international legal requirements. The IAEA’s repeated condemnations of Iran have spurred the U.N. Security Council to pass six resolutions requiring Tehran to « suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities » and « to implement without delay all transparency measures as the IAEA may request in support of its ongoing investigations. »

Iran has repeatedly disputed the legality of these resolutions, claiming the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or NPT, grants it a right to enrich uranium. But no such right exists. Iran’s defiance and distortion of international legal demands threatens to unravel the nonproliferation regime. To preserve it, negotiators must reassert the Security Council’s authority and the NPT’s true purpose.

Third, deny Iran nuclear weapons capability. The main concern about Iran’s nuclear program is that it is on the verge of producing enough weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear device. An acceptable deal must not just freeze but tangibly roll back its ability to do so. This will require limits on size and enrichment level of its uranium stockpile, number and type of operating and installed centrifuges, design of enrichment facilities and possible plutonium production at the Arak heavy-water reactor.

Fourth, impose a strict inspections regime. Just because Iran agrees to a deal does not mean it will stick to it. It has tried to build each of its current enrichment facilities covertly. To prevent it from attempting to do so again, negotiators should require Iran to agree to more rigorous monitoring of its nuclear program.

Fifth, negotiate from a position of strength. Too often, Iran has used negotiations to extract concessions, undermine international resolve and play for time. In the few instances it has compromised, it has been because of the threat of force. The success of these talks will hinge on Iran understanding that there will be very real and damaging consequences if negotiations fail.

This will require at least these U.S. actions: Intensify sanctions and incentivize other countries to do the same, issue more forceful and credible statements that all options are on the table, initiate new military deployments and make clear the support for Israeli military action if conducted.

Finally, do not waste time. Iran will likely attain an undetectable nuclear capability by mid-2014, and perhaps even earlier, leaving scant time to both negotiate and verifiably implement a deal. It appears that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif may have offered a timeline at Geneva for wrapping up negotiations. But given Iranian nuclear progress over the last 18 months and earlier unexplained activities, negotiators ought not accept a schedule that stretches beyond the point when it becomes impossible to prevent a nuclear Iran by other means. Implementing and making known a strict deadline for talks can dissuade Iran from using diplomacy as a cover while sprinting for the bomb, and reassure Israel so it does not feel compelled to act alone.

Negotiators should hew to these principles to avoid mistaking rhetoric for action, and must walk away from any agreement that violates them.

Dennis Ross is counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and was a senior Middle East advisor to President Obama from 2009 to 2011. Eric Edelman was undersecretary of Defense for policy in 2005-09. Michael Makovsky is chief executive of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, or JINSA, and served in the Office of Secretary of Defense in 2002-06. They are members of JINSA’s Gemunder Center Iran Task Force.

Voir encore:

«L’espionnage entre Etats: un jeu de dupes qui, dévoilé, peut avoir des incidences»

Chantal Lorho

RFI

2013-10-24

La NSA, la National Security Agency en anglais, est au coeur de nombreuses polémiques ces derniers mois, de Edward Snowden à l’espionnage supposé de pays de l’Union européenne ou de ses dirigeants, comme Angela Merkel… Comment travaille cette fameuse agence de renseignements américains ? Sébastien Laurent, professeur à l’université de Bordeaux et à Sciences Po, spécialiste des questions de renseignements et de sécurité, propose son analyse.

RFI: Est-ce qu’on peut rappeler comment est née cette fameuse NSA ?

Sébastien Laurent : La NSA, c’est un peu une vieille dame. Elle est née il y a un peu plus de 60 ans et ça a été la réunion, aux Etats-Unis, de toutes les composantes de l’administration américaine qui procédaient à des interceptions téléphoniques puis plus tard, bien plus tard, des interceptions satellitaires, et aujourd’hui des interceptions sur les câbles du réseau internet. Donc aujourd’hui, c’est certes une vieille dame, mais c’est une vieille dame qui se tient toujours à la page, qui actualise en permanence ses compétences techniques, qui sait coopérer avec d’autres pays qui sont parties prenantes de la coopération de la NSA. Et c’est surtout, on le sait aujourd’hui, la plus riche de toutes les agences de renseignements américaines.

Peut-on dire qu’il y a un avant et un après 11-Septembre dans la façon dont les Américains pratiquent l’espionnage ?

Pas vraiment. Pour ce qui est de l’espionnage par des moyens technologiques, les écoutes précisément ou les interceptions de flux internet, 2001 n’a pas vraiment changé les choses. 2001 a juste donné aux Etats-Unis un motif nouveau pour habiller leurs pratiques d’interception. Ce nouveau motif, c’est la guerre contre le terrorisme. Mais sur le plan des pratiques, depuis les années 1950, en pleine guerre froide, les Etats-Unis ont en permanence intercepté des communications, y compris celles de leurs partenaires et celles de leurs alliés.

Très concrètement, comment travaille la NSA, qui surveille-t-elle, quels sont les mots-clés qu’elle utilise pour intercepter telle ou telle communication ?

On pouvait jusqu’alors faire des suppositions, mais maintenant on a les documents publiés par Edward Snowden, et le fait qu’il soit pourchassé par les autorités américaines permet de donner du crédit aux documents que Snowden a diffusé dans différents supports de presse. La NSA, d’un point de vue très pratique, en matière d’interception en dehors des Etats-Unis, a deux moyens. D’une part, elle se sert dans les grands serveurs des fournisseurs d’accès à internet, c’est une première façon d’aller directement puiser à la source. Ou alors, elle a un accès, je dirais plus pratique encore, qui est de se brancher sur les câbles eux-mêmes, et non pas sur les fermes (serveurs de données) dans lesquelles sont contenues toutes les données. Ensuite, comme d’autres agences, comme l’agence britannique et d’autres agences, toutes ces données ne sont pas exploitées par l’intelligence humaine mais sont exploitées grâce à des algorithmes, par des capacités informatiques, qui essaient de cibler des mots-clés. Alors, c’est tout l’enjeu du débat aujourd’hui. Est-ce que, comme le disent les Etats-Unis dans une défense mezzo voce, ils ne cherchent dans ces données que ce qui a trait à la lutte contre le terrorisme et à la sécurité des Etats-Unis? Ou est-ce que, sans le dire, ils utilisent aussi ces interceptions pour repérer les mots-clés touchant à des pratiques commerciales, à des brevets, à des litiges juridiques ? Ce que l’on peut dire, étant donné ce que l’on sait aujourd’hui du passé, c’est que la capacité d’interception de la NSA a servi, bien sûr, la sécurité des Etats-Unis mais elle a aussi servi les Etats-Unis dans la guerre économique mondiale qui est devenue une réalité plus forte après la fin de la guerre froide. Donc la défense qui consiste à dire « la NSA assure la sécurité du monde libre comme au temps de la guerre froide », c’est un argument qui ne tient absolument pas la route.

D’où ce chiffre astronomique qu’on a évoqué à propos de la France. 70 millions de données interceptés par la NSA du 10 décembre 2012 au 8 janvier 2013. C’est ce que vous appelez la « méthode du chalut », on ratisse le plus large possible ?

Exactement, cette comparaison maritime est tout à fait adaptée. C’est du chalutage, on lance les filets au loin, et ensuite on tire les filets vers le navire, en l’occurrence la NSA, et on essaie de trier. Mais il est assez probable que dans l’interception pratiquée « au chalut », on recueille effectivement des éléments qui soient utiles à la sécurité des Etats-Unis. Il est tout aussi probable qu’ensuite d’autres données qui puissent être exploitées commercialement ou juridiquement, ou en termes d’ingénierie, soient aussi prises en compte. La NSA n’est pas un service de renseignement mais un service d’interception. Ensuite, la NSA fournit la « production » – les interceptions – à différentes agences américaines, notamment la CIA mais pas seulement. Donc c’est vraiment une énorme machine d’interception technique qui, en fait, ne procède pas à l’utilisation du renseignement mais qui utilise toute sa production pour la diffuser à différentes agences américaines.

Le Brésil, le Mexique, la France et aujourd’hui l’Allemagne, tous victimes présumées de la NSA, dénoncent publiquement les pratiques américaines. Mais quelqu’un comme Bernard Kouchner, l’ancien chef de la diplomatie française, affirme que nous faisons la même chose, « Nous espionnons, nous écoutons, mais avec moins de moyens ». Est-ce que tout cela n’est pas, selon vous, un jeu de dupes ?

C’est un jeu de dupes, mais comme les relations entre les Etats sont un jeu de dupes. Quand vous regardez la norme internationale qui est le droit international, depuis que les pratiques d’espionnage existent, les Etats ont signé entre eux des traités pour faciliter certaines choses et pour interdire d’autres choses. Du point de vue du droit international, l’espionnage n’est pas interdit. Donc il est licite. Et les Etats se sont, bien sûr, dès la fin du XIXe siècle, bien gardés de s’interdire mutuellement la pratique de l’espionnage à l’extérieur de leur territoire. Donc effectivement, on peut dire que c’est un jeu de dupes, en même temps il faut bien regarder ce qui est en cause, de la part de la NSA c’est quand même à l’égard de ses grands partenaires commerciaux et politiques, le Brésil, la France ou l’Allemagne. Et là, le jeu de dupes, qui est en partie dévoilé, peut avoir des incidences sur ce qui est la base de la relation entre des alliés et des partenaires : cela s’appelle la confiance.

Voir enfin:

Poutine supplante Obama comme la personne la plus puissante du monde

Le Vif

Source: Belga

30 octobre 2013

Le président russe Vladimir Poutine a évincé son homologue américain Barack Obama de la première place du classement Forbes 2013 des personnes les plus puissantes au monde, publié mercredi par le magazine américain.

Le président Obama figure à la deuxième place de cette liste, suivi du président du parti communiste chinois Xi Jinping, et du pape François, qui y fait son apparition pour la première fois.

« Poutine a solidifié son contrôle sur la Russie, et tous ceux qui ont regardé le jeu d’échecs autour de la Syrie ont une idée claire du glissement de pouvoir vers Poutine sur la scène internationale », écrit Forbes pour expliquer sa première place.

La première femme à y figurer est la chancelière allemande Angela Merkel, à la 5e place. Le président français François Hollande, dont Forbes souligne qu’il est au plus bas dans les sondages de popularité, passe de la 14e à la 18e place.

Le pouvoir des 72 personnes – dirigeants politiques, chefs d’entreprise ou philanthropes – qui figurent sur cette liste annuelle consultable sur le site du magazine (www.forbes.com) a été déterminé à partir de quatre critères: le nombre de personnes sur lesquelles elles ont du pouvoir, les ressources financières qu’elles contrôlent, l’étendue de leur influence et comment elles exercent leur pouvoir pour changer le monde.

On y trouve le cofondateur de Microsoft Bill Gates à la 6e place, Ben Bernanke, le président sortant de la réserve fédérale américaine à la 7e, le roi Abdallah d’Arabie saoudite à la 8e, le Premier ministre britannique David Cameron à la 11e.

Les autres Européens de la liste sont notamment l’Italien Mario Draghi, président de la Banque centrale européenne (9e), le président du groupe Volkswagen Martin Winterkorn qui fait son entrée à la 49e place, et Bernard Arnault, le patron du groupe français de luxe LVMH (54e).

10 commentaires pour Ecoutes américaines: Beau comme la rencontre fortuite de l’insigne incompétence et de la plus totalitaire des capacités d’interception (Lamb horns and dragon voice – the most ineffectual drone president and an apparatus that aspires to monitor no less than the entirety of the human race’s electronic communications !)

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