Security Affairs has reported that the author, Tim Shorrock revealed the US spy system ThinThread was tried on the unsuspecting population of New Zealand from 2000 to 2001. This program was centered on advanced methods for wiretapping and intelligence analysis.
They also stated, that the program had been discontinued after the September 11, 2001 attacks when Director of NSA Gen. Michael V. Hayden promoted a new system known as Trailblazer Project.
The Government Communications Security Bureau is the intelligence service of New Zealand and is known for the collaboration with US intelligence. The agency has also been suspected on numerous occasions for illegal public massive surveillance.
Mr Shorrock revealed that ThinThread operated in three distinct phases:
- First phase: ThinThread intercepts all call conversation, email and internet traffic on a network and automatically focus analysis on specific targets using specific patterns of information.
- Second phase: ThinThread automatically anonymize the collected data so the identities stayed hidden “until there was sufficient evidence to obtain a warrant”.
- Third phase: ThinThread uses the raw data “to create graphs showing relationships and patterns that could tell analysts which targets they should look at and which calls should be heard.