Author Topic: The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in SF  (Read 613 times)

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Online Pandora

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The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in SF
« on: July 24, 2018, 11:04:55 AM »
Overflights, mapping fiber-optic networks, “strange activities.” Moscow’s West Coast spies were busy.

... San Francisco, it was clear, was now embroiled in the increasingly feverish diplomatic confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers.

... But why the focus on San Francisco? Why not close one of Russia’s other three consulates, in New York, Seattle, or Houston? And why now?

The answer, I discovered, appears to revolve around an intensive, sustained, and mystifying pattern of espionage emanating from the San Francisco consulate. According to multiple former intelligence officials, while these “strange activities” were not limited to San Francisco or its environs, they originated far more frequently from the San Francisco consulate than any other Russian diplomatic facility in the United States, including the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. As one former intelligence source put it, suspected Russian spies were “doing peculiar things in places they shouldn’t be.” Russian officials in Washington failed to respond to multiple attempts via email and phone for comment.

... Over time, multiple former intelligence officials told me, the FBI concluded that Russia was engaged in a massive, long-running, and continuous data-collection operation: a mission to comprehensively locate all of America’s underground communications nodes, and to map out and catalogue the points in the fiber-optic network where data were being transferred. They were “obviously trying to determine how sophisticated our intelligence network is,” said one former official, and these activities “helped them put the dots together.”

Sometimes, multiple former U.S. intelligence officials told me, Russian operatives appeared to be actively attempting to penetrate communications infrastructure — especially where undersea cables came ashore on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. They were “pretty sure” said a former intelligence official that, on at least one occasion on land, a Russian operative successfully broke into a data closet (a telecommunications and hardware storage center) as part of an attempt to penetrate one of these systems.

But what was “really unnerving,” said the former senior counterintelligence executive, was the Russians’ focus on communication nodes near military bases. According to multiple sources, U.S. officials eventually concluded that Moscow’s ultimate goal was to have the capacity to sever communications, paralyzing the U.S. military’s command and control systems, in case of a confrontation between the two powers. “If they can shut down our grid, and we go blind,” noted a former intelligence official, “they are closer to leveling the playing field,” because the United States is widely considered to possess superior command and control capabilities. When I described this purported effort to map out the fiber-optic network to Hall, the former senior CIA official, he seemed unfazed. “In the context of the Russians trying to conduct hybrid warfare in the United States, using cyber-types of tools,” he said, “none of what you described would surprise me.”

So, Trump's decision to close the embassy -- that embassy -- was not petty and arbitrary.

It's a lengthy piece, but interesting.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 11:10:17 AM by Pandora »
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Offline patentlymn

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Re: The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in SF
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2018, 10:04:48 PM »

They spy on us and we spy on them.
if you want a good read try Blind Mans Bluff. US subs managed to wrap a cuff around a soviet undersea cable inside soviet waters and periodically return to retrieve the tapes.

Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story Of American Submarine Espionage
by Sherry Sontag et al.
When the law becomes a ruse, lawlessness becomes legitimate. -unknown

Offline richb

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Re: The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in SF
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2018, 02:51:46 PM »
Frankly,  it should have been shut down decades ago........

Offline Libertas

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Re: The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in SF
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2018, 03:00:58 PM »
It cut off another avenue for democrat bundling...hence the twisted panties.
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