H/T Mike Bishop-
10 June 2014
DEA/NSA SANDKEY Voice Intercepts
Enclosed are three images that are the heart of the NSA SANDKEY program. SANDKEY is a joint DEA/NSA program that intercepts and exploits unencrypted VHF voice communications of narco-traffickers at sea.
SANDKEY targets those communications of and between maritime vessels operating in the Caribbean and southwest waters. It may intercept communications between the mother ship and go-fast boats or between the mother ship and shore. Primarily it extracts intelligence based on voice communications and through Radio Direction Finding, vectors law enforcement asserts to the mother ship. For example, a Panama Express-South (PANEX-S) team will, through an informant, know a certain boat’s departure, SANDKEY will be tipped-off to monitor the traffic and a US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) will conduct the interdiction. SANDKEY, over it’s long-life, has detected and identified the major drug trafficking corridors in the southwest and Caribbean through direction finding and analysis.
SANDKEY is a traditional Direction Finding program and provides NSA a sense of pride in this regard.
SANDKEY is considered a great program and largely responsible for the reduced narco-trafficking by boat. The program is administered by the SANDKEY committee, which includes NSA and DEA, USCG, law enforcement, and the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) which is highly involved. EPIC receives little scrutiny but is a major intelligence player in the central and south Americas and often provides cover for CIA operations. A South American government official may not want to talk to the CIA but the DEA is usually welcomed. Given their area knowledge, expertise and language proficiency, the DEA conducts “CIA-like” clandestine and covert activities throughout Mexico, central and south Americas and is seen as a force multiplier by the US Government in that regard, freeing the CIA for other activities. There was extensive DEA/CIA collaboration when reducing the FARC problem.
The FCC, beloved of ham radio operators, is a major player in SANDKEY. The expertise the FCC has in traditional Radio Direction Finding with its CONUS collection antennas, ostensibly for enforcement of Title 47, provides such accurate geo-location that some Naval commanders on the Joint Task Forces would only interdict if the FCC provides geo-location data (the “cut”). This information is provided so American guerillas will practice appropriate OPSEC/EMSEC in the troubles to come.
This disclosure also manifests from the DEA subversion of the US Constitution through the Hemisphere/DICE fiasco. You’re not allowed to have intelligence programs anymore.
The irony of the program is the voice intercepts are translated and gisted by immigrant Hispanics, military veterans included, from those countries. It’s a nice job for them.