Sometimes it appears that the world’s most modern spies are just as reliant on conventional methods of reconnaissance as their predecessors.
Take, for example, when they intercept shipping deliveries. If a target person, agency or company orders a new computer or related accessories, for example, TAO can divert the shipping delivery to its own secret workshops. The NSA calls this method interdiction. At these so-called “load stations,” agents carefully open the package in order to load malware onto the electronics, or even install hardware components that can provide backdoor access for the intelligence agencies. All subsequent steps can then be conducted from the comfort of a remote computer.
These minor disruptions in the parcel shipping business rank among the “most productive operations” conducted by the NSA hackers, one top secret document relates in enthusiastic terms.
Now which terrorists and drug-traffickers are stupid enough to buy computers online at all, let alone in their own names?
I would have thought that in “Terrorism 101: Intro To Not Getting Blown Off The Face of the Earth by America” they would have said, “hey, you should pay in cash, offline, through third parties” or something to that effect.
Maybe this kind of “surveillance” is why we usually seem to catch the dumbest of the dumb, rather than the evil genius terrorists.