Intelligence agencies attempt to map internet

15 Sep 2014

The US National Security Agency (NSA) and UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intelligence agencies are attempting to map the entire internet in a project known as Treasure Map.

In what would seemingly prove an impossible task, the two organisations are attempting to create a map, down to the router level, that will in real-time allow them to track a person down to their smallest internet-connected device.

According to the German newspaper Der Spiegel, the policy has become apparent after a slideshow presentation aimed for the staff of these intelligence agencies was found in the leaked documents released by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden.

The menacing logo used for Treasure Map. Image via Der Spiegel video.

The digital map would be entirely interactive and allow access to three additional intelligence agencies: Canada Australia and New Zealand that would not only allow them to observe the flow of data online, but also orchestrate attacks on area or individuals with relative ease which the presentation describes as ‘computer attack/exploit planning’.

The German newspaper, with the help of a Cologne-based telecoms company were able to find that one German business called Stellar was one of the focuses of surveillance from a GCHQ base in Cornwall which also included login details for the company’s server for GCHQ staff to use to observe them.

Obviously never intended for public viewing, the logo for the Treasure Map programme consists of a skull with glowing red eyes imposed on a compass.

Treasure map image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic