US Military Bought Mass Surveillance Tool That Captures 90% of Internet Traffic
The “Augury” platform includes highly sensitive network data that Team Cymru, a private company, is selling to the military. “It’s everything. There’s nothing else to capture except the smell of electricity,” one cybersecurity expert said.
Multiple branches of the U.S. military have bought access to a powerful internet monitoring tool that claims to cover over 90 percent of the world’s internet traffic, and which in some cases provides access to people’s email data, browsing history, and other information such as their sensitive internet cookies, according to contracting data and other documents reviewed by Motherboard.
“The network data includes data from over 550 collection points worldwide, to include collection points in Europe, the Middle East, North/South America, Africa and Asia, and is updated with at least 100 billion new records each day,” a description of the Augury platform in a U.S. government procurement record reviewed by Motherboard reads. It adds that Augury provides access to “petabytes” of current and historical data.
The U.S. Navy, Army, Cyber Command, and the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency have collectively paid at least $3.5 million to access Augury. This allows the military to track internet usage using an incredible amount of sensitive information. Motherboard has extensively covered how U.S. agencies gain access to data that in some cases would require a warrant or other legal mechanism by simply purchasing data that is available commercially from private companies.