While you’re here… help us stay here.
Are you enjoying open access to policy and research published by a broad range of organisations? Please donate today so that we can continue to provide this service.
The recent expansion of FORNSAT/COMSAT (foreign satellite/communications satellite) interception by the UKUSA or Five Eyes (FVEY) partners has involved the installation over the past eight years of multiple advanced quasi-parabolic multi-beam antennas, known as Torus, each of which can intercept up to 35 satellite communications beams. Material released by Edward Snowden identifies a ‘New Collection Posture’, known as ‘Collect-it-all’, an increasingly comprehensive approach to SIGINT collection from communications satellites by the NSA and its partners. There are about 232 antennas available at identified current Five Eyes FORNSAT/COMSAT sites, about 100 more antennas than in 2000. We conclude that development work at the observed Five Eyes FORNSAT/ COMSAT sites since 2000 has more than doubled coverage, and that adding Torus has more than trebled potential coverage of global commercial satellites. The report also discusses Torus antennas operating in Russia and Ukraine, and other U.S. Torus antennas.