Saudi Arabia is among the countries where such surveillance software has been covertly installed, according to The Times which cited NSA documents, computer experts and U.S. officials in its report.
The Times reported that the technology, used by the agency since at least 2008, relies on radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted covertly into the computers.
The NSA calls the effort an "active defense" and has used the technology to monitor units of the
Among the most frequent targets of the NSA program, code-named Quantum, has been the
"NSA's activities are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements,"
"We do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give intelligence we collect to — U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line."
Parts of the program have been disclosed in documents leaked by
A Dutch newspaper published the map showing where
The Times said that it withheld some of those details, at the request of U.S. intelligence officials, when it reported in summer 2012 on American cyber attacks on
Embracing Silicon Valley's critique of the NSA, the panel has recommended banning, except in extreme cases, the NSA practice of exploiting flaws in common software to aid in American surveillance and cyber attacks.
It also called for an end to government efforts to weaken publicly available encryption systems, and said the government should never develop secret ways into computer systems to exploit them, which sometimes include software implants.
This aritcle was first published at The
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