The NSA does, indeed, have a cryptanalytic capability that was developed a decade ago by Karsten Nohl & co. And they consider it “top secret.” (Specifically, TOP SECRET//COMINT REL — this is a step below top secret compartmented.)
Specifically, they can decrypt A5/1 GSM cell phone transmissions. Probably in real time. Probably like the ones German chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone used as the main security feature… assuming that later report wasn’t a “Pizza Hut ploy*” and they were actually breaking AES.
Notably the documents in question do not mention A5/3 GSM.
* There was a neat story a while back about Hezbollah unmasking American spies in Lebanon by using cell phone metadata, which they got from the towers and processed through their own Big Data infrastructure. They were able to identify “burners” from calling patterns and target them for physical surveillance.
Shortly after it came out, the media revised the story to be “the spies were caught because they kept meeting at the Beirut Pizza Hut.”
Presumably American intelligence wanted to look dumb, rather than let the other guys look smart.
China lands on the moon: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2013/12140619-change-3-has-successfully-landed.html
Deciphering the Omidyar thing: Looks like there’s a plausible case the “Omidyar paid off Greenwald” claim was, in fact, NSA disinformation. http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rties9
America’s leaders have given the NSA police state a public and official stamp of approval. What was it, just under a year ago that I predicted the US would slide into, well, a police state? http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/white-house-to-preserve-controversial-policy-on-nsa-cyber-command-leadership/2013/12/13/4bb56a48-6403-11e3-a373-0f9f2d1c2b61_story.html?p=1
(too much to quote)