America’s top cyberespionage organization is spearheading a shadowy and controversial program developing technology to protect the U.S. power grid from cyberattack. The $91 million program, Perfect Citizen, includes placing sensors to detect illegitimate cyberactivity but which could also potentially be used to spy on U.S. citizens.
Perfect Citizen was first revealed in 2010 by the Wall Street Journal. But new details emerged last month in documents released by the NSA to the Electronic Privacy Information Center.About half the the 188-pages were redacted to protect classified information but showed that the NSA had hired Massachusetts defense contractor Raytheon to develop the technology.
Raytheon directed all comments on the program to the NSA.(One Hand of the Military/industrial/Surveillance complex washes the other…plausible Deniability)
Perfect Citizen has been in development since 2009 with only a year left before it is schedule for completion.
Perfect Citizen’s ‘Statement of Work’ document states: ‘Sensitive Control Systems (SCS) perform data collection and control of large-scale distributed utilities or provide automation of infrastructure processes. But Internet privacy advocates questions whether Perfect Citizen violates privately owned corporate computer networks deemed ‘critical infrastructure’ from digital spying.
Many of the networks that the NSA would wish to place Perfect Citizen equipment on are privately owned, however, and some could also potentially carry information offering scope for “mission creep” outside an infrastructure-security context. For instance, full access to power company systems might allow the NSA to work out whether anyone was at home at a given address. Transport and telecoms information would also make for a potential bonanza for intrusive monitoring.
The NSA has no authorization to intercept U.S. citizen communications unless specifically authorized by a special court, according to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. However the organization has been outed for monitoring those exact communications without court approval, notably by the New York Times in 2005 when that paper reported that the NSA was conducting wiretaps without approval.
Original Article Here