Leaked NSA document reveals attempts to spy on Rogers and RBC

Rogers logo

A leaked document has revealed that the U.S.’s National Security Agency has been attempting to map the communications traffic of at least two major Canadian corporations, Rogers and RBC.

The Globe and Mail has obtained a copy of an NSA document that includes a list of 15 corporations believed to be the subjects of monitoring attempts by the NSA. The document, which was obtained as part of Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing scheme, is one page of a 40-page presentation called “Private Networks: Analysis, Contextualization and Setting the Vision.” The Globe and Mail reports that Rogers and RBC appear on a partial list of companies included in the presentation, in a drop-down menu of an alphabetized list that starts at ‘R.’ It’s possible the complete list contains other Canadian companies.

According to the Globe, the document describes the NSA’s act of organizing captured telecommunications traffic into ‘realms,’ continually updated lists of everything the NSA knows about how a corporation routes communications on the internet as well as any known device on the corporation’s existing networks. The aforementioned drop down menu appears on a page titled ’Realms in Analyst Tools’ and names “RoyalBankOfCanada” and “RogersWireless.ca.”

The Globe says it has compared the document with others released by Snowden and believes this could represent a preliminary effort from the U.S. to “identify, study and, if deemed necessary, ‘exploit'” the internal communication networks of the companies listed. According to the Globe, previous leaks have shown the NSA “indiscriminately” captures telecommunications data from Internet routes and the document in question seems to using that data to map individual networks.

Though the U.S. and Canada have an agreement in which both countries agree not to spy on the communications of each others citizens or entities, the Globe points to another leaked document on economic-espionage campaign strategy should U.S. companies start to fall behind the competition. For its part, an NSA spokesperson said the agency never collects intelligence “to provide competitive advantage” to American companies. The spokesperson refused to comment on the alleged mapping of Rogers and RBC communication traffic. Neither Rogers nor RBC are aware of any surveillance of their networks.

[source]The Globe and Mail[/source]