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David Guyatt
06-07-2013, 08:24 AM
He said reports about Prism contained "numerous inaccuracies". While admitting the government collected communications from internet firms, he said the policy only targets "non-US persons".

Only targets non-US persons. Right. I’ll remember that the next time I buy some faery dust.



7 June 2013 Last updated at 03:49 ETShare this page

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[URL="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22809541"]US spy chief Clapper defends Prism and phone surveillance (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22809541#)COMMENTS (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22809541#dna-comments)
http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/68031000/jpg/_68031948_017774405-1.jpgMr Clapper said there were "numerous inaccuracies" in the report on internet servers being tapped
Continue reading the main story (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22809541#story_continues_1)Related Stories

What can you learn from people's phone records? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22808004)
Why for the NSA every call matters (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-22804547)
US confirms phone records collection (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22793851)

US spy chief James Clapper has strongly defended government surveillance programmes after revelations of phone records being collected and internet servers being tapped.
He said disclosure of a secret court document on phone record collection threatened "irreversible harm".
Revelations of an alleged programme to tap into servers of nine internet firms were "reprehensible", he said.
Internet firms deny giving government agents access to their servers.
The director of US national intelligence issued a strong-worded statement late on Thursday, after the UK's Guardian newspaper (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order)said a secret court order had required phone company Verizon to hand over its records to the National Security Agency (NSA) on an "ongoing daily basis".
That report was followed by revelations in both the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html)and Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data?guni=Network%20front:network-front%20main-2%20Special%20trail:Network%20front%20-%20special%20trail:Position1) that US agencies tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms to track people in a programme known as Prism.
Continue reading the main story (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22809541#story_continues_2)What the NSA found out

The numbers of both people on the phone call
How long the call lasts
The time that the call is placed


What can you learn from people's phone records? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22808004)

The reports about Prism will raise fresh questions about how far the US government should encroach on citizens' privacy in the interests of national security.
The NSA confirmed that it had been secretly collecting millions of phone records. But Mr Clapper said the "unauthorized disclosure... threatens potentially long-lasting and irreversible harm to our ability to identify and respond to the many threats facing our nation".
The article omitted "key information" about the use of the records "to prevent terrorist attacks and the numerous safeguards that protect privacy and civil liberties".
He said reports about Prism contained "numerous inaccuracies". While admitting the government collected communications from internet firms, he said the policy only targets "non-US persons".
'Variety of threats'Prism was reportedly developed in 2007 out of a programme of domestic surveillance without warrants that was set up by President George W Bush after the 9/11 attacks.
Continue reading the main story (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22809541#story_continues_3)“Start Quote
If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don't participate in it”
Microsoft statement
Prism reportedly does not collect user data, but is able to pull out material that matches a set of search terms.
Mr Clapper said the communications-collection programme was "designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-US persons located outside the United States".
"It cannot be used to intentionally target any US citizen, any other US person, or anyone located within the United States," he added.
Mr Clapper said the programme, under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, was recently reauthorised by Congress after hearings and debate.
"Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats," he added.
Continue reading the main story (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22809541#story_continues_4)I may have been wiretappedIn 2006 I was a plaintiff in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the government over a domestic spying programme. Other plaintiffs include the late Christopher Hitchens, and James Bamford, the author of a book, The Shadow Factory, about the NSA.
The lawsuit stated that NSA officials may have eavesdropped on us illegally - and that the warrantless wiretapping programme should come to a halt. In 2007 an appeals court said that we could not prove that our calls had been monitored. As a result it did not have standing. The suit was dismissed.
-Tara McKelvey

Read more (http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/07a0253p-06.pdf)

But while US citizens were not intended to be the targets of surveillance, the Washington Post says large quantities of content from Americans are nevertheless screened in order to track or learn more about the target.
The data gathered through Prism has grown to become a major contributor to the president's daily briefing and accounts for almost one in seven intelligence reports, it adds.
The Washington Post named the nine companies participating in the programme as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple.
Microsoft said in a statement to the BBC that it only turned over customer data when given a legally binding order, and only complied with orders for specific accounts.
"If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don't participate in it," Microsoft said.
Meanwhile, Yahoo, Apple and Facebook said they did not give the government direct access to their servers.
In a statement, Google said: "Google does not have a 'back door' for the government to access private user data."
On Wednesday, it emerged that the NSA was collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans, after the Guardian published a secret order for the Verizon phone company to hand over its records.
A senior congressman, House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, told reporters that collecting Americans' phone records was legal, authorised by Congress and had not been abused by the Obama administration.
He also said it had prevented a "significant" attack on the US "within the past few years", but declined to offer more information.
The order requires Verizon - one of the largest phone companies in the US - to disclose to the NSA the metadata of all calls it processes, both domestic and international, in which at least one party is in the US.
Such metadata includes telephone numbers, calling card numbers, the serial numbers of phones used and the time and duration of calls. It does not include the content of a call or the callers' addresses or financial information.

Peter Lemkin
06-07-2013, 08:43 AM
Big brother orders you to submit!

Jim Hackett II
06-07-2013, 09:42 AM
The sheeple allow this by silence.
Does no American Citizen remember that one of the impeachment counts against RMNixion was domestic spying?

Was this made legal by law? No. By policy and complicity by silence of the Sheeple.

The US InJustice Department is also complicit by silence, and the Supreme Corrupted Court too.

The only freedom of the five left is the "freedom to do what we tell you. Go back to Sleep AmeriKKKa".

I gotta let this out, 'cuse.


FUCK YOU Verizon and Comcast and AT&T
and all the other corporate "governors" of Lucre Rule.

Kiss my still free thinking A**!

I cheated, I read and still read the American organic documents and once swore an oath to protect and defend the primary document, the Constitution.
Silly me, I pay no attention to the opinions of "courts". The Documents are clear enough to not require "interpretation" by lawyers.
That is where the BS started, the juxtaposition of money and lawyers and "interpretation".
Go figure.
Send lawyers, guns and money, I heard somewhere.....can't recall where nor who said it.

Keith Millea
06-07-2013, 03:55 PM
Send lawyers, guns and money, I heard somewhere.....can't recall where nor who said it.

Warren Zevon:Lawyers,Guns,and Money



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=PjVbypiUOHA

Lyrics:

Well, I went home with the waitress
The way I always do
How was I to know
She was with the Russians, too

I was gambling in Havana
I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns and money
Dad, get me out of this

I'm the innocent bystander
Somehow I got stuck
Between the rock and the hard place
And I'm down on my luck
And I'm down on my luck
And I'm down on my luck

Now I'm hiding in Honduras
I'm a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns and money
The shit has hit the fan

Send lawyers, guns and money...

Lauren Johnson
06-07-2013, 04:34 PM
This is how Verizon, et. al. can say they are not directly letting the USG have access to their data:



I don’t see anyone out there with this theory, and TPM is my favorite news source, so here goes: “PRISM” is the government’s name for a program that uses technology from Palantir. Palantir is a Silicon Valley start-up that’s now valued at well over $1B, that focuses on data analysis for the government. Here’s how Palantir describes themselves:
“We build software that allows organizations to make sense of massive amounts of disparate data.

We solve the technical problems, so they can solve the human ones. Combating terrorism. Prosecuting crimes. Fighting fraud. Eliminating waste. From Silicon Valley to your doorstep, we deploy our data fusion platforms against the hardest problems we can find, wherever we are needed most.” http://www.palantir.com/what-we-do/

(http://www.palantir.com/what-we-do/) They’re generally not public about who their clients are, but their first client was famously the CIA, who is also an early investor.

With my theory in mind, re-read the denials from the tech companies (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324798904578529912280347482.html?m od=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories) in the WSJ (emphasis mine):
Apple: “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers…”
Google: “… does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data…”
Facebook: “… not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers…”
Yahoo: “We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network…”

These denials could all still be technically true if the government is accessing the data through a government contractor, such as Palantir, rather than having direct access.
I just did a quick Google search of “Palantir PRISM” to see if anyone else had this theory, and the top results were these pages:

https://docs.palantir.com/metropolisdev/prism-overview.html
https://docs.palantir.com/metropolisdev/prism-examples.html

Apparently, Palantir has a software package called “Prism”: “Prism is a software component that lets you quickly integrate external databases into Palantir.” That sounds like exactly the tool you’d want if you were trying to find patterns in data from multiple companies.

So the obvious follow-up questions are of the “am I right?” variety, but if I am, here’s what I really want to know: which Palantir clients have access to this data? Just CIA & NSA? FBI? What about municipalities, such as the NYC police department? What about the governments of other countries?

What do you think?

FWIW, I know a guy who works at Palantir. I asked him what he/they did once, and he was more secretive than my friends at Apple.

PS, please don’t use my name if you decide to publish any of this — it’s a small town/industry. Let them Prism me instead.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/06/is_this_who_runs_prism.php?ref=fpblg



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUX0hxlrVXc&feature=player_embedded

Apparently Palantir is a CIA start up.

Jan Klimkowski
06-07-2013, 06:17 PM
Guys and gals - you need to get with the message: disclosure of these activities is a gross breach of national security and aids and abets the Bad Guys.

Get with the message.

The fascist message.

The Clap Clap Clapper fascist message.

:unclesam: :unclesam: :unclesam:

Note that Clap Clap Clapper did not even bother to apologise for using these illegal techniques against non-US citizens.




Clapper admits secret NSA surveillance program to access user data

Obama's director of national intelligence attacks program's disclosure as 'reprehensible' and says it threatens security

Dan Roberts and Spencer Ackerman in Washington and Tania Branigan in Beijing
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/clapper-secret-nsa-surveillance-prism), Friday 7 June 2013 16.03 BST
Jump to comments (222)

Obama's expansion of Bush regime's surveillance weakens his attempt to confront Xi Jinping over cyber-attacks. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

The US has admitted using a secret system to mine the systems of the biggest technology companies to spy on millions of people's online activity, overshadowing attempts by Barack Obama to force China to abandon its cyber-espionage program.

As concern mounted over the sweeping nature of US surveillance, the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, confirmed revelations by the Guardian that the National Security Agency uses companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple to obtain information that includes the content of emails and online files.

Coupled with the acknowledgement that authorities had undertaken a seven-year program to monitor the telephone calls of potentially millions of people in the US, it has become clear that the Obama administration has embraced and expanded the surveillance regime began under President Bush.

Clapper insisted that the internet surveillance program, known as Prism and disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post on Thursday, only covered communications with foreigners and did not target US citizens. "Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats," Clapper said.

He acknowledged that Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was being used to "facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information".

A secret 41-slide PowerPoint presentation obtained by the Guardian says that the information can be collected "directly from the servers" through the Prism system. The technology companies denied that direct access to servers was possible in this way, but they admitted complying with legal orders to turn over information.

Clapper attacked the disclosure as "reprehensible" for risking "important protections for the security of Americans".

More immediately, the admission places the US in an embarrassing position when it confronts Chinese leaders over their alleged use of cyber-espionage during a long-awaited summit in California on Friday.

Experts on US relations in Beijing said the revelations were bound to "weaken the US government's moral position" although they drew distinctions between the two approaches and expected the issue would still be raised. "Obviously the news breaking on the eve of the Sunnylands summit puts Obama in a much weaker position," added Linda Jakobson, east Asia program director at the Lowy Institute.

To push back against the growing scandal, Clapper also declassified aspects of a highly secretive acquisition of all Verizon's phone records first disclosed by the Guardian. Clapper took the extraordinary step late Thursday night to argue that the program operates "within the constraints of law" and "appropriately protect[s] privacy and civil liberties".

"The collection is broad in scope because more narrow collection would limit our ability to screen for and identify terrorism-related communications," Clapper said. Yet Clapper defended the broad, ongoing intelligence collection effort by saying that "only a small fraction" of the phone records – such as phone numbers and call – are ever scrutinized by intelligence analysts for connections to terrorism. Such scrutiny occurs according to "strict restrictions" overseen by the Justice Department and the special, secretive US surveillance court, he continued.
A slide from the Prism programme The document claims 'collection directly from the servers' of major US service providers.

Clapper reiterated that the content of phone calls is off-limits under the National Security Agency "metadata" collection program – while avoiding reference to the Prism system that sweeps up such content from nine participating internet companies. Clapper also repeatedly pointed out that some, but not all, members of Congress "have been fully and repeatedly briefed" on the program.

The secret document obtained by the Guardian shows that the Prism system facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information. The NSA access was enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under Obama in December 2012. The law allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US.

The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims "collection directly from the servers" of major US service providers.

Technology companies appeared not to be aware of how the NSA characterises the system. Apple said it had "never heard" of Prism. An Apple spokesman said: "We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers and any agency requesting customer data must get a court order."

A Google spokesman also said it did not provide officials with direct access. "Google cares deeply about the security of our users' data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government 'back door' into our systems, but Google does not have a 'back door' for the government to access private user data."

Legislators, particularly those serving on committees that oversee US intelligence, also confirmed the existence of the spy efforts, saying they have been in effect for at least six years – and jumped to their defence.

"These activities have led to the successful detection and disruption of at least one terrorist plot on American soil, possibly saving American lives," said the leadership of the House intelligence panel, Represenatives. Mike Rogers, a Republican, and Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat, in a joint statement.

But senator Ron Wyden, who for at least two years has warned about secret government interpretations of the Patriot Act authorising much larger surveillance efforts than the Obama administration has described, suggested the spying has not disrupted any such plots. "Based on several years of oversight, I believe that its value and effectiveness remain unclear," said Wyden, a Democratic member of the Senate intelligence committee.

Jan Klimkowski
06-07-2013, 07:25 PM
And the British spooks are committing the very same crimes, using PRISM.



In a statement to the Guardian, GCHQ, insisted it "takes its obligations under the law very seriously".

And then completely ignores those legal obligations......



UK gathering secret intelligence via covert NSA operation

Exclusive: UK security agency GCHQ gaining information from world's biggest internet firms through US-run Prism programme

Nick Hopkins
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jun/07/uk-gathering-secret-intelligence-nsa-prism), Friday 7 June 2013 14.27 BST

Documents show GCHQ (above) has had access to the NSA's Prism programme since at least June 2010. Photograph: David Goddard/Getty Images

The UK's electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence from the world's biggest internet companies through a covertly run operation set up by America's top spy agency, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

The documents show that GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, has had access to the system since at least June 2010, and generated 197 intelligence reports from it last year.

The US-run programme, called Prism, would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside the UK.

The use of Prism raises ethical and legal issues about such direct access to potentially millions of internet users, as well as questions about which British ministers knew of the programme.

In a statement to the Guardian, GCHQ, insisted it "takes its obligations under the law very seriously".

The details of GCHQ's use of Prism are set out in documents prepared for senior analysts working at America's National Security Agency, the biggest eavesdropping organisation in the world.

Dated April this year, the papers describe the remarkable scope of a previously undisclosed "snooping" operation which gave the NSA and the FBI easy access to the systems of nine of the world's biggest internet companies. The group includes Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and Skype.

The documents, which appear in the form of a 41-page PowerPoint presentation, suggest the firms co-operated with the Prism programme. Technology companies denied knowledge of Prism, with Google insisting it "does not have a back door for the government to access private user data". But the companies acknowledged that they complied with legal orders.

The existence of Prism, though, is not in doubt.

Thanks to changes to US surveillance law introduced under President George W Bush and renewed under Barack Obama in December 2012, Prism was established in December 2007 to provide in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information about foreigners overseas.

The law allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US.

The documents make clear the NSA has been able to obtain unilaterally both stored communications as well as real-time collection of raw data for the last six years, without the knowledge of users, who would assume their correspondence was private.

The NSA describes Prism as "one of the most valuable, unique and productive accesses" of intelligence, and boasts the service has been made available to spy organisations from other countries, including GCHQ.

It says the British agency generated 197 intelligence reports from Prism in the year to May 2012 – marking a 137% increase in the number of reports generated from the year before. Intelligence reports from GCHQ are normally passed to MI5 and MI6.

The documents underline that "special programmes for GCHQ exist for focused Prism processing", suggesting the agency has been able to receive material from a bespoke part of the programme to suit British interests.

Unless GCHQ has stopped using Prism, the agency has accessed information from the programme for at least three years. It is not mentioned in the latest report from the Interception of Communications Commissioner Office, which scrutinises the way the UK's three security agencies use the laws covering the interception and retention of data.

Asked to comment on its use of Prism, GCHQ said it "takes its obligations under the law very seriously. Our work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence services commissioners and the intelligence and security committee".

The agency refused to be drawn on how long it had been using Prism, how many intelligence reports it had gleaned from it, or which ministers knew it was being used.

A GCHQ spokesperson added: "We do not comment on intelligence matters."

The existence and use of Prism reflects concern within the intelligence community about access it has to material held by internet service providers.

Many of the web giants are based in the US and are beyond the jurisdiction of British laws. Very often, the UK agencies have to go through a formal legal process to request information from service providers.

Because the UK has a mutual legal assistance treaty with America, GCHQ can make an application through the US department of justice, which will make the approach on its behalf.

Though the process is used extensively – almost 3,000 requests were made to Google alone last year – it is time consuming. Prism would appear to give GCHQ a chance to bypass the procedure.

In its statement about Prism, Google said it "cares deeply about the security of our users' data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government 'back door' into our systems, but Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data".

Several senior tech executives insisted they had no knowledge of Prism or of any similar scheme. They said they would never have been involved in such a programme.

"If they are doing this, they are doing it without our knowledge," one said. An Apple spokesman said it had "never heard" of Prism.

In a statement confirming the existence of Prism, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence in the US, said: "Information collected under this programme is among the most important and valuable intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats."

A senior US administration official said: "The programme is subject to oversight by the foreign intelligence surveillance court, the executive branch, and Congress. It involves extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-US persons outside the US are targeted, and that minimise the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about US persons."

Peter Lemkin
06-07-2013, 07:49 PM
Top-Secret NSA Internet Spying Program ‘PRISM’ Uncovered
PRISM spy program harvests Internet information
The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/apple) and other US internet (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/internet) giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/NSA-secret-internet-spy-program-prism-us-974xn-dhs-homeland-security.jpg (http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?attachment_id=14105)Top secret PRISM program claims direct access to servers of firms including Google, Facebook and Apple

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.
The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims “collection directly from the servers” of major US service providers.
Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program.
In a statement, Google said: “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data.”
Several senior tech executives insisted that they had no knowledge of PRISM or of any similar scheme. They said they would never have been involved in such a program. “If they are doing this, they are doing it without our knowledge,” one said.
An Apple spokesman said it had “never heard” of PRISM. The NSA access was enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under Obama in December 2012.
The program facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information. The law allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US.
It also opens the possibility of communications made entirely within the US being collected without warrants.
Disclosure of the PRISM program follows a leak to the Guardian on Wednesday of a top-secret court order compelling telecoms (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/telecoms) provider Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of US customers.

“It’s shocking enough just that the NSA is asking companies to do this,” he said. “The NSA is part of the military. The military has been granted unprecedented access to civilian communications. ”This is unprecedented militarisation of domestic communications infrastructure. That’s profoundly troubling to anyone who is concerned about that separation.”
The participation of the internet companies in PRISM will add to the debate, ignited by the Verizon revelation, about the scale of surveillance by the intelligence services. Unlike the collection of those call records, this surveillance can include the content of communications and not just the metadata.
Some of the world’s largest internet brands are claimed to be part of the information-sharing program since its introduction in 2007
Microsoft (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/microsoft) – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan “Your privacy (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/privacy) is our priority” – was the first, with collection beginning in December 2007.
It was followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online.
Collectively, the companies cover the vast majority of online email, search, video and communications networks.

Magda Hassan
06-07-2013, 10:41 PM
Revelations of an alleged programme to tap into servers of nine internet firms were "reprehensible", he said.
....
The director of US national intelligence issued a strong-worded statement late on Thursday, after the UK's Guardian newspaper (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order)said a secret court order had required phone company Verizon to hand over its records to the National Security Agency (NSA) on an "ongoing daily basis".


Oh, so it is the revelation of the massive government spy programme that Orwell could only dream of that is reprehensible not the daily and ongoing massive Orwellian spying programme itself.

Magda Hassan
06-07-2013, 11:43 PM
Anonymous Releases NSA Docs Related to Global Spy Network
- Common Dreams staff

Amid the explosive back-to-back revelations made by the Guardian and Washington Post regarding a pair of National Security Agency surveillence programs this week, the hacktivist group Anonymous on Friday released what they claim are additional NSA documents that both deepen and expand on those earlier revelations.
In a statement (http://pastebin.com/MPpT7xaf) that accompanied the release of the thirteen documents—and addressed to "the citizens of the world"—Anonymous said the information they contain proves "the NSA is spying on you, and not just Americans."
The group claims that the global intelligence apparatus discussed within some of the documents shows that government agencies "are spying on the citizens of over 35 different countries" and that this is being "done in cooperation with private businesses, and intelligence partners" across the globe.
That statement seems like a specifc reference to what one of the documents details as the Department of Defense's Global Information Grid (or GIG), designed to " enable the secure, agile, robust, dependable, interoperable data sharing environment for the Department where warfighter, business, and intelligence users share knowledge on a global network that facilitates information superiority, accelerates decision-making, effective operations, and Net-Centric transformation."
"Your privacy and freedoms are slowly being taken from you, in closed door meetings, in laws buried in bills, and by people who are supposed to be protecting you." - Anonymous
"We bring this to you," the Anonymous statement explained, "so that you know just how little rights you have. Your privacy and freedoms are slowly being taken from you, in closed door meetings, in laws buried in bills, and by people who are supposed to be protecting you."
Though some of the documents contained in the dump appear to be from the public domain, it is unclear how all of them may have been obtained.
As U.S. News & World Report details, the documents "total thousands of pages, but among them include reports on the "Information Sharing Environment," "Suspicious Activity Reporting," a list of names from the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (an intelligence research group) spy list, reports on the Department of Defense's "Information Enterprise" and a discussion about the government's "Net Centric Environment."
The thirteen documents were posted in a list and included as a digital index, reproduced below:

2010 EA Conf_RA Track Presentation_20100506.ppt (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/2010%20EA%20Conf_RA%20Track%20Presentation_2010050 6.ppt)
3170_01.pdf (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/3170_01.pdf)
514401Doddirectoritenetworks.pdf (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/514401Doddirectoritenetworks.pdf)
6212_01.pdf (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/6212_01.pdf)
800001pDirectoriteDodinfoenterprise.pdf (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/800001pDirectoriteDodinfoenterprise.pdf)
DT-12-COI-Glossary.pdf (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/DT-12-COI-Glossary.pdf)
DoDAF-DM2_CMP_v1-0_FINAL_2011-10-03r1.docx (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/DoDAF-DM2_CMP_v1-0_FINAL_2011-10-03r1.docx)
DoD_NetOps_Strategic_Vision.pdf (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/DoD_NetOps_Strategic_Vision.pdf)
EATransitionStrategy.pdf (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/EATransitionStrategy.pdf)
NSI_EE.pdf (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/NSI_EE.pdf)
insa-spies.pdf (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/insa-spies.pdf)
netcentric_jfc-1.pdf (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/netcentric_jfc-1.pdf)
security_clearance.pdf (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/security_clearance.pdf)
But, as Gizmodo writer Chris Mills warns:

Hit up the documents for further details; just be warned that although this might look like the plot of a B-list movie starring Aston Kutcher, the docs themselves are incredibly dry and full of more acronyms than whatever presentation you should be working on.
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/06/07-3

Peter Lemkin
06-08-2013, 04:23 AM
Revelations of an alleged programme to tap into servers of nine internet firms were "reprehensible", he said.
....
The director of US national intelligence issued a strong-worded statement late on Thursday, after the UK's Guardian newspaper (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order)said a secret court order had required phone company Verizon to hand over its records to the National Security Agency (NSA) on an "ongoing daily basis".


Oh, so it is the revelation of the massive government spy programme that Orwell could only dream of that is reprehensible not the daily and ongoing massive Orwellian spying programme itself.

Would be funny, were it not some of the last nails in America's coffin as a Democratic State under Rule of Law with Rights and Freedoms. Stalin or Hitler and their ilk would have given anything for a system like this....and would have also punished only the disclosure of it. If this doesn't start riots, I give up on my countrypersons and they get what they didn't fight against. While most of us here on this Forum have long known that exactly this was going on, now the government admits it and the reaction......underwhelming IMHO.

Peter Lemkin
06-08-2013, 05:00 AM
Obama Asks Military to Draw Up Plans for Offensive Overseas Cyber-StrikesGlenn Greenwald – who broke the phone (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order) and internet (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data) spying stories this week – has a new exposé … this time on offensive cyber-warfare (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/obama-china-targets-cyber-overseas):
Barack Obama (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/barack-obama) has ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks, a top secret presidential directive obtained by the Guardian reveals.
***
An intelligence source with extensive knowledge of the National Security Agency’s systems told the Guardian … “We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world.”
***
The full classified directive repeatedly emphasizes that all cyber-operations must be conducted in accordance with US law and only as a complement to diplomatic and military options. But it also makes clear how both offensive and defensive cyber operations are central to US strategy.
Under the heading “Policy Reviews and Preparation”, a section marked “TS/NF” – top secret/no foreign – states: “The secretary of defense, the DNI [Director of National Intelligence], and the director of the CIA … shall prepare for approval by the president through the National Security Advisor a plan that identifies potential systems, processes and infrastructure against which the United States should establish and maintain OCEO capabilities…” The deadline for the plan is six months after the approval of the directive.
The directive provides that any cyber-operations “intended or likely to produce cyber effects within the United States” require the approval of the president, except in the case of an “emergency cyber action”. When such an emergency arises, several departments, including the department of defense, are authorized to conduct such domestic operations without presidential approval.
Obama further authorized the use of offensive cyber attacks in foreign nations without their government’s consent whenever “US national interests and equities” require such nonconsensual attacks. It expressly reserves the right to use cyber tactics as part of what it calls “anticipatory action taken against imminent threats”.
The directive makes multiple references to the use of offensive cyber attacks by the US military.
Greenwald and others have long reported that the Obama administration claims the right to bejudge, jury and executioner (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/02/the-white-house-is-judge-jury-and-executioner-of-both-drone-and-cyber-attacks.html) in both drone assassinations and offensive cyber attacks.Greenwald also reports that the head of the cyber command is the NSA boss … the same guyresponsible for much of the spying we’ve been hearing about:
In January, the Pentagon announced a major expansion of its Cyber Command Unit, under the command of General Keith Alexander, who is also the director of the NSA. That unit is responsible for executing both offensive and defensive cyber operations.
(There are other overlaps and interconnections (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/10/the-same-secret-government-agency-which-spies-on-all-americans-also-decides-who-gets-assassinated-by-drones.html) between spying and warfare as well.)The War Comes HomeOffensive cyber operations are not only occurring overseas …The Department of Defense has long waged cyber-war against Americans by censoring and manipulating social media (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/government-power-being-used-to-stifle-dissent-not-to-keep-us-safe.html) and other websites. More proof here (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/pentagon-seeks-to-manipulate-social-media-for-propaganda-purposes.html) and here (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/02/you-know-those-obnoxious-posters-who-almost-seem-like-alter-egos-of-the-same-person-they-actually-might-be.html).This is not entirely surprising, given that:

Programs which the government claims are aimed at foreign entities have long been used against American citizens living in the United States (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2008/05/programs-which-the-government-claims-are-aimed-at-foreign-enemies-are-being-used-against-american-citizens-within-the-united-states.html)


The “war on terror” has come home. If the government claims the power to assassinate and indefinitely detain American citizens living on U.S. soil (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/03/attorney-general-holder-prez-can-assassinate-americans-on-u-s-soil.html) … it’ s not going to hesitate in targeting them for propaganda and cyber-warfare


The government has long sought to spread propaganda through mainstream media (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/mainstream-media-presstitutes-for-the-rich-and-powerful.html), video games (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/01/government-pushes-propaganda-through-video-games.html), movies, television (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/01/the-cia-and-other-government-agencies-dominate-hollywood-movies-and-television.html), and every other popular medium. Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein says the CIA bought and paid for many successful journalists (http://carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php). See also this (http://papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/23/the-cia-and-the-culture-war/index.html?hp) New York Times piece, this essay (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/how-the-spooks-took-over-the-news-780672.html) by the Independent, this speech (http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2007/07/the-invisible-government/) by one of the premier writers on journalism, and this (http://www.answers.com/topic/operation-mockingbird) and this roundup (http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/MOCK/mockingbird.html). And the CIA is investing in technology which lets them cut out the middle man altogether … by having a computer write news stories (http://allthingsd.com/20130605/the-c-i-a-invests-in-narrative-science-and-its-automated-writers/)


On the other hand, real reporters who criticize those in power are being harassed, targeted and smeared (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/the-bigger-story-behind-the-ap-spying-scandal.html)


Government agencies are scouring the Web for any critical comments about them (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/government-power-being-used-to-stifle-dissent-not-to-keep-us-safe.html), actively manipulating social media (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/pentagon-seeks-to-manipulate-social-media-for-propaganda-purposes.html) for propaganda purposes, and to help the too big to fail businesses compete against smaller businesses (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/09/the-national-security-apparatus-has-been-hijacked-to-serve-the-needs-of-big-business.html) (and here (http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/06/wall-streets-secret-spy-center-run-for-the-1-by-nypd/)), and to promote viewpoints which havenothing to do with keeping us safe (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-dhs-defends-globalism-not-america)

Magda Hassan
06-08-2013, 05:12 AM
Revelations of an alleged programme to tap into servers of nine internet firms were "reprehensible", he said.
....
The director of US national intelligence issued a strong-worded statement late on Thursday, after the UK's Guardian newspaper (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order)said a secret court order had required phone company Verizon to hand over its records to the National Security Agency (NSA) on an "ongoing daily basis".


Oh, so it is the revelation of the massive government spy programme that Orwell could only dream of that is reprehensible not the daily and ongoing massive Orwellian spying programme itself.

Would be funny, were it not some of the last nails in America's coffin as a Democratic State under Rule of Law with Rights and Freedoms. Stalin or Hitler and their ilk would have given anything for a system like this....and would have also punished only the disclosure of it. If this doesn't start riots, I give up on my countrypersons and they get what they didn't fight against. While most of us here on this Forum have long known that exactly this was going on, now the government admits it and the reaction......underwhelming IMHO.
Puts the Stasi to shame. Where are all those people who used to write about them? Why are't they doing it now?

Peter Lemkin
06-08-2013, 06:53 AM
Oh, so it is the revelation of the massive government spy programme that Orwell could only dream of that is reprehensible not the daily and ongoing massive Orwellian spying programme itself.

Would be funny, were it not some of the last nails in America's coffin as a Democratic State under Rule of Law with Rights and Freedoms. Stalin or Hitler and their ilk would have given anything for a system like this....and would have also punished only the disclosure of it. If this doesn't start riots, I give up on my countrypersons and they get what they didn't fight against. While most of us here on this Forum have long known that exactly this was going on, now the government admits it and the reaction......underwhelming IMHO.
Puts the Stasi to shame. Where are all those people who used to write about them? Why are't they doing it now?

911 changed everything [along with the PRE-written and ready to go unPatriot Act]! The greatest false-flag op and psyop ever! So many 'buy' the Big Lies of the need for a 'war on terror' and all the 'sacrifices' needed to achieve 'victory - [i.e. no more freedoms, democracy, privacy, rights, rule of law, civil authority....et al.] - they have caved in to the FASCISM and the LIES. I begin to loose hope for my beloved Country...as the Sheeple don't even bleat, let alone rebel!

Peter Lemkin
06-08-2013, 08:40 AM
Facebook and Google insist they did not know of Prism surveillance program

Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg sharply deny knowledge of Prism until Thursday even as Obama confirms program's existence
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Film/Pix/pictures/2011/3/28/1301326934498/Mark-Zuckerberg-of-Facebo-007.jpgMark Zuckerberg called the press reports about the existence of Prism 'outrageous'. Photograph: Robert Galbraith/Reuters

America's tech giants continued to deny any knowledge of a giant government surveillance programme called Prism, even as presidentBarack Obama (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/barack-obama) confirmed the scheme's existence Friday.
With their credibility about privacy (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/privacy) issues in sharp focus, all the technology companies said to be involved in the program issued remarkably similar statements.
All said they did not allow the government "direct access" to their systems, all said they had never heard of the Prism program, and all called for greater transparency.
In a blogpost titled 'What the…?' (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/what.html) Google co-founder Larry Page and chief legal officer David Drummond said the "level of secrecy" around US surveillance procedures was undermining "freedoms we all cherish."
"First, we have not joined any program that would give the US government – or any other government – direct access to our servers. Indeed, the US government does not have direct access or a 'back door' to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called Prism until yesterday," they wrote.
"Second, we provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don't follow the correct process."
The Google executives said they were also "very surprised" to learn of the government order made to obtain data from Verizon, first disclosed by the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order). "Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users' internet (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/internet) activity on such a scale is completely false," they wrote.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, described the press reports about Prism as "outrageous". He insisted that the Facebook was not part of any program to give the US government direct access to its servers.
He said: "Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. And if we did, we would fight it aggressively. We hadn't even heard of Prism before yesterday."
Zuckerberg also called for greater transparency. "We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It's the only way to protect everyone's civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term."
Yahoo (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/yahoo) said: "We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network."
The leaked National Security Agency (NSA) document obtained by the Guardian claims Prism operates with the "assistance of communications providers in the US".
The document names AOL (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/aol), Apple (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/apple), Facebook, Google, Microsoft (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/microsoft), PalTalk and Yahoo and gives dates when they "joined" the scheme, aimed at intercepting data from people outside the US.'' The presentation talks of "legally compelled collection" of data.
All the companies involved have now denied knowledge of the scheme to the Guardian.
In one slide, the presentation identifies two types of data collection: Upstream and Prism. Upstream involves the collection of communications on "fibre cables and infrastructure as data flows past." Prism involves: "Collection directly from the servers of these US service providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple."
Obama confirmed the existence of the scheme Friday and said Congress was "fully apprised" of the situation and that it was being conducted legally with a "whole range of safeguards involved".
But despite Obama's acknowledgment, senior figures said they remained puzzled and surprised by the news. Speaking off the record one said their company regularly complied with subpoenas for information but had never allowed "collection directly" from their servers.
Some speculated that the wording of the document was incorrect or that the author had over-hyped the scheme.
Security experts and civil liberty figures were less convinced. "I was assuming that these tech companies were just lying," said security guru Bruce Schneier. "That's the most obvious explanation."
"Could it possibly be that there's a department within these companies that hides this from the executives? Maybe," he said. "I don't know, we don't know. This points to the problem here. There's so much freaking secrecy that we don't know enough to even know what is going on."
He said he was not surprised by the news. "There are no surprises here. We all knew what was going on and now they have finally admitted it."
"The NSA would not have done this surreptitiously, they want the tech companies on their side," said Jameel Jaffer, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). "I can't make sense of their statements at all."
He said it was clear that tech companies in general were more than happy to co-operate with the US authorities and said he was puzzled why there seemed to be such a gap between the two sides' story.
Ali Reza Manouchehri, CEO and co-founder of MetroStar Systems, an IT consultant that works closely with government agencies, said: "There are situations that come up where they have to communicate with the security agencies. At the end of the day they are working in the interest of national security."
"I can't comment on what's going on inside the company. It's hard for me to believe that Google doesn't know," he said. "It is either transparent or it is surreptitious. It is hard for me to believe that at this level, at this volume it is surreptitious." He said if the companies really did not know then "we have some serious issues."
The news has sparked widespread concern in the US. Nearly 20,000 people have signed a petition at Progressive Change Campaign Committee (http://act.boldprogressives.org/survey/phone_spying/?source=inf) calling on Congress to hold investigations.

Phil Dragoo
06-08-2013, 08:58 AM
4830

Jim Hackett II
06-08-2013, 09:08 AM
Send lawyers, guns and money, I heard somewhere.....can't recall where nor who said it.

Warren Zevon:Lawyers,Guns,and Money



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=PjVbypiUOHA

Lyrics:

Well, I went home with the waitress
The way I always do
How was I to know
She was with the Russians, too

I was gambling in Havana
I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns and money
Dad, get me out of this

I'm the innocent bystander
Somehow I got stuck
Between the rock and the hard place
And I'm down on my luck
And I'm down on my luck
And I'm down on my luck

Now I'm hiding in Honduras
I'm a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns and money
The shit has hit the fan

Send lawyers, guns and money...


They are busted.
At first James Bamford said in Puzzle Palace a spy shop for domestic ideas MAY NOT be a good idea in a Democratic Republic.
Each of his "expose" books has put forth a stronger version of questioning the existence of the NSA deployed against American Citizens
not guilty of anything.
So the spook approved version is released. And we are supposed to presume the NSA and etc. are now restrained by policy.
MSM still only repeating "You have the freedom to do as we tell you. You are free to do as we tell you. Go back to sleep AmeriKKKa."
There is never ever a point in asking a corrupt Spook anything, They will only lie to you. You will get NO straight answers.

I ain't buying it for a second.

Thanks again
Jim

Magda Hassan
06-08-2013, 09:57 AM
This is how Verizon, et. al. can say they are not directly letting the USG have access to their data:

I don’t see anyone out there with this theory, and TPM is my favorite news source, so here goes: “PRISM” is the government’s name for a program that uses technology from Palantir. Palantir is a Silicon Valley start-up that’s now valued at well over $1B, that focuses on data analysis for the government.
With my theory in mind, re-read the denials from the tech companies (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324798904578529912280347482.html?m od=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories) in the WSJ (emphasis mine):
Apple: “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers…”
Google: “… does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data…”
Facebook: “… not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers…”
Yahoo: “We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network…”

These denials could all still be technically true if the government is accessing the data through a government contractor, such as Palantir, rather than having direct access.
I just did a quick Google search of “Palantir PRISM” to see if anyone else had this theory, and the top results were these pages:

https://docs.palantir.com/metropolisdev/prism-overview.html
https://docs.palantir.com/metropolisdev/prism-examples.html

Apparently, Palantir has a software package called “Prism”: “Prism is a software component that lets you quickly integrate external databases into Palantir.” That sounds like exactly the tool you’d want if you were trying to find patterns in data from multiple companies.

So the obvious follow-up questions are of the “am I right?” variety, but if I am, here’s what I really want to know: which Palantir clients have access to this data? Just CIA & NSA? FBI? What about municipalities, such as the NYC police department? What about the governments of other countries?

What do you think?

FWIW, I know a guy who works at Palantir. I asked him what he/they did once, and he was more secretive than my friends at Apple.

PS, please don’t use my name if you decide to publish any of this — it’s a small town/industry. Let them Prism me instead.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/06/is_this_who_runs_prism.php?ref=fpblg




Apparently Palantir is a CIA start up.[/QUOTE]
Yep. Sure is.
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/06/palantir-prism-nsa/66013/

A (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/06/palantir-prism-nsa/66013/)nd then Palantir can deny they have a relationship with the NSA because they will have a relationship with some NSA cut out or front company.

Magda Hassan
06-08-2013, 10:27 AM
Washington Is Trapped in Its Own Prism of Data-Mining Self-Defense

ELSPETH REEVE (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/authors/elspeth-reeve/)

JUN 7, 2013
The defenses of the National Security Agency's program to collect and store records of every phone call and every email have not been very impressive. The NSA defenders point to a secret court that rarely says no. They point out congressional oversight, even though it's clear intelligence agencies have misled Congress (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/07/james-clappers-tip-for-avoiding-lies-dont-do-talking-points/). And some even dismiss the information being collected on Americans as unimportant, it seems because they do not know what "metadata" is. With the revelation of domestic surveillance on a scale that's hard for the human brain to conceive of — a Library of Congress's worth of data every six hours — you'd expect something more stirring than Trust us and Who cares about metadata anyway?
On Wednesday night, The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order) reported a secret court order to give the NSA metadata on every Verizon call made over three months. Subsequent reporting and statements (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/nsa-phone-records-reactions-washington/65973/)from senators (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/eric-holder-senate-appropriations-committee-hearing/65975/) revealed that it's a regular, quarterly thing to collect the data from several major telecom companies. Further, the NSA's PRISM program, The Guardian also revealed (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data) on Thursday night, allows the government to grab emails, chats, what you've searched for, and what files you've shared, thanks to the apparent cooperation (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/washington-post-nsa-backtrack-denials/65998/) of Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, Apple, and possibly more (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/06/prism-companies-start-denying-knowledge-nsa-program-collecting-their-users-data/65996/), anddefinitely abroad (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/nsa-prism-british-gchq/66009/). A career intelligence officerrevealed a PowerPoint (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/06/nsa-prism-program/65994/) about PRISM to The Washington Post's Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras (http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_print.html)because of concerns about privacy. The officer said, "They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type."
And what is the response to that panopticon (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/06/five-best-friday-columns/66004/) from the government and the NSA surveillance program's supporters? It is ridiculous. This ridiculous:
It's just metadata — no eavesdropping!
At a press briefing ostensibly about his health-care program and its success on Friday afternoon, President Obama defended the specificity of the NSA program (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/obama-nsa-response/66015/) that has become "the most prolific contributor" to his daily intelligence briefings. Don't worry, the president said, "No one is listening to your phone calls," and the NSA is not looking at names or their content. But metadata reveals the phone numbers, and the time, length, and location of calls. "The program does not allow the Government to listen in on anyone's phone calls," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) wrote in his two-page response (http://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/USODNI/2013/06/06/file_attachments/216667/Business%2BRecords%2BStatement.pdf) to The Guardianarticle on Thursday night, which President Obama largely echoed on Friday. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein assured reporters (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/06/transcript-dianne-feinstein-saxby-chambliss-explain-defend-nsa-phone-records-program/) on Thursday, "As you know, this is just metadata. There is no content involved. In other words, no content of a communication." The Wall Street Journal's editorial board (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324299104578529373994191586.html?m od=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop) is sure there's nothing to be worried about. "We bow to no one in our desire to limit government power, but data-mining is less intrusive on individuals than routine airport security," the Journalsays, in an editorial titled "Thank You for Data-Mining." Yes, it can be embarrassing to know that when you go through the body scanner at the airport, one person will be able to see the fat deposits you're sensitive about. But it is not more intrusive than collecting metadata on all your calls and your emails.
The metadata is more revealing than the content, mathematician and former Sun Microsystems engineer Susan Landau explained to The New Yorker's Jane Mayer (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/06/verizon-nsa-metadata-surveillance-problem.html). "If you can track that, you know exactly what is happening—you don’t need the content," Landau says. Take this example: "You can see a call to a gynecologist, and then a call to an oncologist, and then a call to close family members." Geolocation can reveal a reporter's sources, or an extra-marital affair, or when political leaders are meeting.
A 'robust legal regime' acts as a check on this power.
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/static/img/upload/2013/06/07/prism-slide-big.jpg
"There is a robust legal regime in place governing all activities conducted pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which ensures that those activities comply with the Constitution and laws and appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties," Clapper writes. "This renewal is carried out by the FISA Court under the business records section of the Patriot Act. Therefore, it is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress..." Feinstein said (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/06/transcript-dianne-feinstein-saxby-chambliss-explain-defend-nsa-phone-records-program/).
President Obama insisted that there are multiple levels of oversight — "This program is fully overseen not just by Congress, but by the FISA court," he said Friday — but Clapper has a different definition of robust than many people. "This is a court that meets in secret, allows only the government to appear before it, and publishes almost none of its opinions," Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, explained to the Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_print.html). The Guardian's Spencer Ackerman (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/us-tech-nsa-data-clapper) notes, "critics have pointed out that the Fisa Court has almost never, in its 35-year history, rejected a US surveillance request." And there's reason to doubt the FISA court is rigorously scrutinizing each government request. Wired's Kevin Poulsen (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/nsa-numbers/) points out that the Verizon Business Services court order posted by The Guardian "demands cell phone data, like customers' IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) number and another identifier that reveals the make and model of the phone." But Verizon Business Services isn't a mobile carrier — it is a landline business. It's obvious, Poulsen writes, that the FISA court "uses the same catchall boilerplate order over and over again, just changing the company name and the date. The court that’s supposed to be protecting Americans from abusive domestic surveillance is not only failing in that duty, it’s also lazy."
As for congressional oversight, Bruce Schneier explains at The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/06/what-we-dont-know-about-spying-on-citizens-scarier-than-what-we-know/276607/), "We know that the NSA has many domestic-surveillance and data-mining programs with codenames like (http://publicintelligence.net/binney-nsa-declaration/) Trailblazer (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/05/new-yorker-on-thomas-drake/), Stellar Wind (http://www.activistpost.com/2012/09/stellar-wind-secret-nsa-domestic-spying.html), and (http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/dead_drop/surveillance-state/ragtime-codename-of-nsas-secret-domestic-intelligence-program-revealed-in-new-book.php#)Ragtime (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/02/28/deep_state_book_uncovers_details_on_ragtime_domest ic_surveillance_program.html) — deliberately using different codenames for similar programs to stymie oversight and conceal what's really going on." And Poulsen (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/nsa-numbers/) argues that the NSA has been able to trick Congress by manipulating numbers, too. Each year, the Justice Department is required to give Congress a tally of how many times it requested classified wiretaps and "business records" under the Patriot Act. The Obama administration only went to the FISA court 200 times to request Americans' "business records" in 2012, Poulsen notes. In 2011, it was 205 times; in 2010, it was 96 times; in 2009, it was 21 times. But the Verizon court order — demanding metadata on all phone calls for three months — counts as one request. President Obama's reassurances Friday on Congressional oversight don't even make sense (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/obama-nsa-response/66015/).
"The Department's testimony left the Committee with the impression that the Administration was using the business records provision sparingly and for specific materials," Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner wrote on Thursday (http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2013/06/patriot.pdf). When a reporter asked Sen. Feinstein if the program was limited to Verizon or other companies got similar court orders, she replied (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/06/transcript-dianne-feinstein-saxby-chambliss-explain-defend-nsa-phone-records-program/), "We cannot answer that. Fortunately, I don’t know."
It won't affect you!
"The court only allows the data to be queried when there is a reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts, that the particular basis for the query is associated with a foreign terrorist organization," Clapper says. The Obama administration told The Washington Post, "extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. are targeted, and that minimize the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about U.S. persons." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said (http://www.mediaite.com/tv/lindsey-graham-glad-nsa-gathering-phone-records-i-know-im-not-talking-to-terrorists/) on Fox and Friends on Thursday, "I don't think you're talking to the terrorists. I know you're not. I know I'm not. So we don't have anything to worry about."
The PRISM program is only supposed to go after foreigners. "This does not apply to U.S. citizens and it does not apply to people in the United States," Obama said at his Obamacare press conference Friday. But The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html?hpid=z1) reports:

Analysts who use the system from a Web portal at Fort Meade, Md., key in 'selectors,' or search terms, that are designed to produce at least 51 percent confidence in a target’s 'foreignness.' That is not a very stringent test. Training materials obtained by The Post instruct new analysts to make quarterly reports of any accidental collection of U.S. content, but add that 'it's nothing to worry about.'
Foreign or foreignish, no big deal. The NSA looks at everyone in their terror suspects' contact list, and at everyone in their contact lists' contact lists. That's how a good deal of "incidental" American data can be swept up in a search, the Post reports. And we have plenty of reason to be skeptical that the government won't use this trove of Americans' communications, even though it has it, and the Brits, too (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/nsa-prism-british-gchq/66009/). There ispublic record (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/nsa-spying-verizon-analysis/65963/) of the NSA abusing its surveillance power, when, under the Bush administration, warranetless wiretapping was allowed on calls in which at least one person was overseas. NSA analysts told ABC News in 2008 they had a good time listening to soldiers' phone sex.
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/nsa-prism-defense-analysis/66006/

Jan Klimkowski
06-08-2013, 01:43 PM
More change you can't believe in...



US government invokes special privilege to stop scrutiny of data mining

Officials use little-known 'military and state secrets privilege' as civil liberties lawyers try to hold administration to account

Ed Pilkington
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/us-government-special-privilege-scrutiny-data), Friday 7 June 2013 20.57 BST
Jump to comments (101)

Attorney general Eric Holder
The use of the privilege has been personally approved by Eric Holder, the attorney general, and others. Photograph: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The Obama administration is invoking an obscure legal privilege to avoid judicial scrutiny of its secret collection of the communications of potentially millions of Americans.

Civil liberties lawyers trying to hold the administration to account through the courts for its surveillance of phone calls and emails of American citizens have been repeatedly stymied by the government's recourse to the "military and state secrets privilege". The precedent, rarely used but devastating in its legal impact, allows the government to claim that it cannot be submitted to judicial oversight because to do so it would have to compromise national security.

The government has cited the privilege in two active lawsuits being heard by a federal court in the northern district of California – Virginia v Barack Obama et al, and Carolyn Jewel v the National Security Agency. In both cases, the Obama administration has called for the cases to be dismissed on the grounds that the government's secret activities must remain secret.

The claim comes amid a billowing furore over US surveillance on the mass communications of Americans following disclosures by the Guardian of a massive NSA monitoring programme of Verizon phone records and internet communications.

The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has written in court filings that "after careful and actual personal consideration of the matter, based upon my own knowledge and information obtained in the course of my official duties, I have determined that the disclosure of certain information would cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States. Thus, as to this information, I formally assert the state secrets privilege."

The use of the privilege has been personally approved by President Obama and several of the administration's most senior officials: in addition to Clapper, they include the director of the NSA Keith Alexander and Eric Holder, the attorney general. "The attorney general has personally reviewed and approved the government's privilege assertion in these cases," legal documents state.

In comments on Friday about the surveillance controversy, Obama insisted that the secret programmes were subjected "not only to congressional oversight but judicial oversight". He said federal judges were "looking over our shoulders".

But civil liberties lawyers say that the use of the privilege to shut down legal challenges was making a mockery of such "judicial oversight". Though classified information was shown to judges in camera, the citing of the precedent in the name of national security cowed judges into submission.

"The administration is saying that even if they are violating the constitution or committing a federal crime no court can stop them because it would compromise national security. That's a very dangerous argument," said Ilann Maazel, a lawyer with the New York-based Emery Celli firm who acts as lead counsel in the Shubert case.

"This has been legally frustrating and personally upsetting," Maazel added. "We have asked the government time after time what is the limit to the state secrets privilege, whether there's anything the government can't do and keep it secret, and every time the answer is: no."

Virginia Shubert, a housing expert from Brooklyn who is the first named plaintiff in the case, said she joined it because she considered the vast monitoring of telecommunications and emails in the wake of 9/11 to be an erosion of her rights. She called the use of the state secret privilege in blocking the action "absurd. When the government faces allegations that it has violated the constitution, it cannot hide behind state secrets to avoid accountability."

The Shubert lawsuit, first lodged with the courts in May 2006, alleges that the US government has operated a massive dragnet of private citizens' communications across the country. Drawing on the testimony of several whistleblowers, the suit accuses the Bush and then Obama administration of having broken the fourth amendment of the US constitution that guards against unwarranted searches and seizures by intercepting "en masse the communications of millions of ordinary Americans".

In the course of protracted legal argument the government has invoked the military and state secrets privilege no fewer than three times. The privilege was originally laid down in 1953 in a case in which the widows of Air Force personnel involved in a secret test run of a B-29 bomber that crashed sued to see a copy of the accident investigation report and were rebuffed under a claim of privilege that disclosure of the document would "expose military matters … in the interest of national security".

In court motions, the Obama administration has set out the information that it claims is exempt from legal scrutiny under the privilege, including "information that may tend to confirm or deny whether the plaintiffs have been subject to any alleged NSA intelligence activity" and "any information concerning NSA intelligence activities, sources, or methods that may relate to or be necessary to adjudicate plaintiffs' allegations."

The government goes further and says that the state secrets privilege also covers "allegations that the NSA, with the assistance of telecommunications carriers such as AT&T and Verizon, indiscriminately intercepts the content of communications and also collects the communication records of millions of Americans."

The second case, Jewel versus National Security Agency, was lodged in 2008 following the disclosures of an AT&T whistleblower, Mark Klein. He revealed in 2006 that the telecoms firm had set up a secret NSA room within its San Francisco office in which all phone calls from the region were passing through a splitter cabinet that sent a copy to the NSA.

Mark Rumold, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation working on Jewel, said that this week's disclosures by the Guardian would make it increasingly difficult for the administration to claim the state secrets privilege.

"The Guardian's disclosures may fundamentally alter the government's approach as they are going to have a tough time convincing a judge that this stuff is secret," he said.

Jan Klimkowski
06-08-2013, 08:16 PM
Hmmmm.....

Obama & the spooks are getting PARANOID!!!!

They think it's a CONSPIRACY!!!!



Shoot The PRISM-Gate Messenger: Obama To Launch Criminal Probe Into NSA Leaks

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/07/2013 21:29 -0400

Zero Hedge (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-07/shoot-prism-gate-messenger-obama-launch-criminal-probe-nsa-leaks)

Suddenly embroiled in too many scandals to even list, and humiliated by a publicly-exposed (because everyone knew about the NSA superspy ambitions before, but with one major difference: it was a conspiracy theory.... now it is a conspiracy fact) surveillance scandal that makes Tricky Dick look like an amateur, earlier today, as expected, Obama came out and publicly declared "I am not a hacker" and mumbled something about "security", "privacy" and "inconvenience." He went on to explain how the government "welcomes the debate" of all three in the aftermath of the public disclosure that every form of electronic communication is intercepted and stored by the US government (now that said interception is no longer secret, of course) but more importantly how it is only the government, which is naturally here to help, that should be the ultimate arbiter in deciding what is best for all.

Yet the PRISM-gate scandal which is sure to only get worse with time as Americans slowly realize they are living in a Orwellian police state, meant Obama would have to do more to appease a public so furious even the NYT issued a scathing editorial lamenting the obliteration of Obama's credibility. Sure enough, the president did. Reuters reports that the first course of action by the US government will be to... shoot the messenger.

Reuters reports that "President Barack Obama's administration is likely to open a criminal investigation into the leaking of highly classified documents that revealed the secret surveillance of Americans' telephone and email traffic, U.S. officials said on Friday."

And how did Reuters learn this: from "law enforcement and security officials who were not authorized to speak publicly."

The mimetic absurdity of the narrative is just too surreal to even contemplate for more than a minute before bursting out in laughter: the administration's plans to launch criminal charges against those who "leaked" its Nixonian espionage masterplan involving every US (and world) citizen using the Internet, revealed by another group of sources leaking in secret. Pure poetry.

Of course, this was inevitable - once you start down the path of a totalitarian surveillance superstate, you don't stop until all dissent is crushed: either peacefully through submission to debt serfdom, or, well, not so peacefully.

It was unclear on Friday whether a complaint had been submitted by the publicity-shy National Security Agency, which was most directly involved in the collection of trillions of telephone and email communications.

However, one U.S. official with knowledge of the situation said that given the extent and sensitivity of the recent leaks, federal law may compel officials to open an investigation.


A criminal probe would represent another turn in the Obama administration's battle against national security leaks. This effort has been under scrutiny lately because of a Justice Department investigation that has involved searches of the phone records of Associated Press journalists and a Fox News reporter.

But what's worst, is that it may all turn very personal against the same journalists who dared to divulge the NSA's spy-op:

Journalists involved in The Guardian and Washington Post articles have reported in depth on WikiLeaks, the website known for publishing secret U.S. government documents.

The Post report on the PRISM program was co-written by Laura Poitras, a filmmaker who has been working on a documentary on WikiLeaks, with the cooperation of its founder Julian Assange, and who last year made a short film about Bill Binney, a former NSA employee who became a whistleblowing critic of the agency.

Last year, the web magazine Salon published a lengthy article by the author of the Guardian report, Glenn Greenwald, accusing U.S. authorities of harassing Poitras when she left and re-entered the United States. Greenwald also has written frequently about Assange.


The Guardian and Post stories appeared in the same week that U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning went on trial in Maryland accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

In an email to Reuters on Friday, Poitras rejected the notion that the trial had any impact on the timing of her story.

"I am fully aware we are living in a political climate where national security reporting is being targeted by the government, however, I don't think fear should stop us from reporting these stories," Poitras wrote.


"To suggest that the timing of the NSA PRISM story is linked in any way to other events or stories I'm following is simply wrong. Like any journalist, I have many contacts and follow multiple stories."


Kris Coratti, a Washington Post spokeswoman, said the timing of the paper's publication of Poitras' story had nothing to do with Manning's trial and that Assange had played no role in arranging or encouraging the story.


Greenwald did not respond to emailed requests for comment. The Guardian's editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, declined to comment.

Needless to say, once political retribution for publicizing the nuances of the police state becomes a personal affair targeting the very journalists whose task is to provide much needed information, the first amendment is basically finished.

Alas, on the path to tyranny the loss of rights and privileges, let alone the occasional amendment written on a very old parchment and which nobody follows or cares about, is inevitable.

And it is up to the citizens of such a tyrannical government to reclaim their nation. Which they will... Just as soon as The Bachelorette/Big Brother (no pun intended)/X Factor is over and the next disability check clears.

Peter Lemkin
06-08-2013, 08:35 PM
Boundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data

Revealed: The NSA's powerful tool for cataloguing data – including figures on US collection

• Boundless Informant: mission outlined in four slides (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/08/nsa-boundless-informant-data-mining-slides)
• Read the NSA's frequently asked questions documen (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/08/boundless-informant-nsa-full-text)t




Glenn Greenwald (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/glenn-greenwald) and Ewen MacAskill (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/ewenmacaskill)
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/), Saturday 8 June 2013 20.10 BST

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/6/8/1370716131074/boundless-heatmap-008.jpghttp://static.guim.co.uk/static/75497e1d14729b6c288f00be9e7f7a3386c78dec/common/images/magnifying-glass-mask.png (http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/6/8/1370715185657/boundless-heatmap-large-001.jpg)The color scheme ranges from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance). Note the '2007' date in the image relates to the document from which the interactive map derives its top secret classification, not to the map itself.

The National Security Agency has developed a powerful tool for recording and analysing where its intelligence comes from, raising questions about its repeated assurances to Congress that it cannot keep track of all the surveillance it performs on American communications.
The Guardian has acquired top-secret documents about the NSA (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/nsa)datamining tool, called Boundless Informant (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/boundless-informant), that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.
The focus of the internal NSA tool is on counting and categorizing the records of communications, known as metadata, rather than the content of an email or instant message.
The Boundless Informant documents show the agency collecting almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in March 2013. One document says it is designed to give NSA officials answers to questions like, "What type of coverage do we have on country X" in "near real-time by asking the SIGINT [signals intelligence] infrastructure."
An NSA factsheet about the program, acquired by the Guardian, says: "The tool allows users to select a country on a map and view the metadata volume and select details about the collections against that country."
Under the heading "Sample use cases", the factsheet also states the tool shows information including: "How many records (and what type) are collected against a particular country."
A snapshot of the Boundless Informant data, contained in a top secret NSA "global heat map" seen by the Guardian, shows that in March 2013 the agency collected 97bn pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide.
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/6/8/1370715124496/boundless-heatmap-001.jpgThe heat map reveals how much data is being collected from around the world. Note the '2007' date in the image relates to the document from which the interactive map derives its top secret classification, not to the map itself.Iran was the country where the largest amount of intelligence was gathered, with more than 14bn reports in that period, followed by 13.5bn from Pakistan. Jordan, one of America's closest Arab allies, came third with 12.7bn, Egypt fourth with 7.6bn and India fifth with 6.3bn.
The heatmap gives each nation a color code based on how extensively it is subjected to NSA surveillance. The color scheme ranges from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance).
The disclosure of the internal Boundless Informant system comes amid a struggle between the NSA and its overseers in the Senate over whether it can track the intelligence it collects on American communications. The NSA's position is that it is not technologically feasible to do so.
At a hearing of the Senate intelligence committee In March this year (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/jun/07/privacy-wyden-clapper-nsa-video), Democratic senator Ron Wyden asked James Clapper, the director of national intelligence: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
"No sir," replied Clapper.
Judith Emmel, an NSA spokeswoman, told the Guardian in a response to the latest disclosures: "NSA has consistently reported – including to Congress – that we do not have the ability to determine with certainty the identity or location of all communicants within a given communication. That remains the case."
Other documents seen by the Guardian further demonstrate that the NSA does in fact break down its surveillance intercepts which could allow the agency to determine how many of them are from the US. The level of detail includes individual IP addresses.
IP address is not a perfect proxy for someone's physical location but it is rather close, said Chris Soghoian, the principal technologist with the Speech Privacy (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/privacy) and Technology Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. "If you don't take steps to hide it, the IP address provided by yourinternet (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/internet) provider will certainly tell you what country, state and, typically, city you are in," Soghoian said.
That approximation has implications for the ongoing oversight battle between the intelligence agencies and Congress.
On Friday, in his first public response (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/obama-nsa-revelations-chinese-summit) to the Guardian's disclosures this week on NSA surveillance, Barack Obama said that that congressional oversight was the American peoples' best guarantee that they were not being spied on.
"These are the folks you all vote for as your representatives in Congress and they are being fully briefed on these programs," he said. Obama also insisted that any surveillance was "very narrowly circumscribed".
Senators have expressed their frustration at the NSA's refusal to supply statistics. In a letter to NSA director General Keith Alexander (http://www.wyden.senate.gov/download/wyden-and-udall-letter-to-gen-alexander-on-his-statements-about-fisa-implementation) in October last year, senator Wyden and his Democratic colleague on the Senate intelligence committee, Mark Udall, noted that "the intelligence community has stated repeatedly that it is not possible to provide even a rough estimate of how many American communications have been collected under the Fisa Amendments Act, and has even declined to estimate the scale of this collection."
At a congressional hearing in March last year (http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/03/20/nsa-chief-denies-wireds-domestic-spying-story-fourteen-times-in-congressional-hearing/), Alexander denied point-blank that the agency had the figures on how many Americans had their electronic communications collected or reviewed. Asked if he had the capability to get them, Alexander said: "No. No. We do not have the technical insights in the United States (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/usa)." He added that "nor do we do have the equipment in the United States to actually collect that kind of information".
Soon after, the NSA, through the inspector general of the overall US intelligence community, told the senators that making such a determination would jeopardize US intelligence operations – and might itself violate Americans' privacy.
"All that senator Udall and I are asking for is a ballpark estimate of how many Americans have been monitored under this law, and it is disappointing that the inspectors general cannot provide it," Wyden toldWired magazine at the time (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/06/nsa-spied/).
The documents show that the team responsible for Boundless Informant assured its bosses that the tool is on track for upgrades.
The team will "accept user requests for additional functionality or enhancements," according to the FAQ acquired by the Guardian. "Users are also allowed to vote on which functionality or enhancements are most important to them (as well as add comments). The BOUNDLESSINFORMANT team will periodically review all requests and triage according to level of effort (Easy, Medium, Hard) and mission impact (High, Medium, Low)."
Emmel, the NSA spokeswoman, told the Guardian: "Current technology simply does not permit us to positively identify all of the persons or locations associated with a given communication (for example, it may be possible to say with certainty that a communication traversed a particular path within the internet. It is harder to know the ultimate source or destination, or more particularly the identity of the person represented by the TO:, FROM: or CC: field of an e-mail address or the abstraction of an IP address).
"Thus, we apply rigorous training and technological advancements to combine both our automated and manual (human) processes to characterize communications – ensuring protection of the privacy rights of the American people. This is not just our judgment, but that of the relevant inspectors general, who have also reported this."
She added: "The continued publication of these allegations about highly classified issues, and other information taken out of context, makes it impossible to conduct a reasonable discussion on the merits of these programs."

Lauren Johnson
06-08-2013, 10:15 PM
Why is this a scandal now? Big data surveillance has been going on for a decade if not longer. It was made public six or seven years ago. Sure. The easy answer is that Glenn Greenwald in the Gaurdian put out some articles. Is that all? Just an intrepid reporter, who by the way is and his courageous newspaper -- end of story? Are there magic hands making the story happen?

Peter Lemkin
06-09-2013, 05:30 AM
Why is this a scandal now? Big data surveillance has been going on for a decade if not longer. It was made public six or seven years ago. Sure. The easy answer is that Glenn Greenwald in the Gaurdian put out some articles. Is that all? Just an intrepid reporter, who by the way is and his courageous newspaper -- end of story? Are there magic hands making the story happen?

You knew, I knew, we on this Forum knew...but all too many Americans did not or were in denial. Now, it is pretty difficult to be in denial about both the fact and EXTENT of the electronic spying! As to why now it 'surfaces' I don't know, and such things as that usually come out months or years later - if at all. I really don't care. It could be some internecine warfare or a hidden whistleblower or an 'I don't care if you know - there is nothing you can do about it' attitude. I just want Americans and all World Citizens to rise up against it by any means at their disposal! [i.e. Sieze The Moment!] If anyone believes they don't do certain spying on Americans, or that they don't intercept and record for all time the entire content, I have a nice bridge in Manhattan to sell you, cheap.

Last night I was reading the Tor Wiki [not an easy read!] and their attempts to stay one step ahead of NSA and their ilk. It is not easy, and likely not possible, entirely. Very difficult if you use Windoz; a fighting chance if you use Linux [but, you have to be rather computer savvy - Tor is NOT easy to set up securely unless you greatly simplify you computer system or follow pages and pages of do's and don'ts]!!!

David Guyatt
06-09-2013, 06:04 AM
And the British spooks are committing the very same crimes, using PRISM.



In a statement to the Guardian, GCHQ, insisted it "takes its obligations under the law very seriously".

And then completely ignores those legal obligations......



UK gathering secret intelligence via covert NSA operation

Exclusive: UK security agency GCHQ gaining information from world's biggest internet firms through US-run Prism programme

Nick Hopkins
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jun/07/uk-gathering-secret-intelligence-nsa-prism), Friday 7 June 2013 14.27 BST

Documents show GCHQ (above) has had access to the NSA's Prism programme since at least June 2010. Photograph: David Goddard/Getty Images

The UK's electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence from the world's biggest internet companies through a covertly run operation set up by America's top spy agency, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

The documents show that GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, has had access to the system since at least June 2010, and generated 197 intelligence reports from it last year.

The US-run programme, called Prism, would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside the UK.

The use of Prism raises ethical and legal issues about such direct access to potentially millions of internet users, as well as questions about which British ministers knew of the programme.

In a statement to the Guardian, GCHQ, insisted it "takes its obligations under the law very seriously".

The details of GCHQ's use of Prism are set out in documents prepared for senior analysts working at America's National Security Agency, the biggest eavesdropping organisation in the world.

Dated April this year, the papers describe the remarkable scope of a previously undisclosed "snooping" operation which gave the NSA and the FBI easy access to the systems of nine of the world's biggest internet companies. The group includes Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and Skype.

The documents, which appear in the form of a 41-page PowerPoint presentation, suggest the firms co-operated with the Prism programme. Technology companies denied knowledge of Prism, with Google insisting it "does not have a back door for the government to access private user data". But the companies acknowledged that they complied with legal orders.

The existence of Prism, though, is not in doubt.

Thanks to changes to US surveillance law introduced under President George W Bush and renewed under Barack Obama in December 2012, Prism was established in December 2007 to provide in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information about foreigners overseas.

The law allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US.

The documents make clear the NSA has been able to obtain unilaterally both stored communications as well as real-time collection of raw data for the last six years, without the knowledge of users, who would assume their correspondence was private.

The NSA describes Prism as "one of the most valuable, unique and productive accesses" of intelligence, and boasts the service has been made available to spy organisations from other countries, including GCHQ.

It says the British agency generated 197 intelligence reports from Prism in the year to May 2012 – marking a 137% increase in the number of reports generated from the year before. Intelligence reports from GCHQ are normally passed to MI5 and MI6.

The documents underline that "special programmes for GCHQ exist for focused Prism processing", suggesting the agency has been able to receive material from a bespoke part of the programme to suit British interests.

Unless GCHQ has stopped using Prism, the agency has accessed information from the programme for at least three years. It is not mentioned in the latest report from the Interception of Communications Commissioner Office, which scrutinises the way the UK's three security agencies use the laws covering the interception and retention of data.

Asked to comment on its use of Prism, GCHQ said it "takes its obligations under the law very seriously. Our work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence services commissioners and the intelligence and security committee".

The agency refused to be drawn on how long it had been using Prism, how many intelligence reports it had gleaned from it, or which ministers knew it was being used.

A GCHQ spokesperson added: "We do not comment on intelligence matters."

The existence and use of Prism reflects concern within the intelligence community about access it has to material held by internet service providers.

Many of the web giants are based in the US and are beyond the jurisdiction of British laws. Very often, the UK agencies have to go through a formal legal process to request information from service providers.

Because the UK has a mutual legal assistance treaty with America, GCHQ can make an application through the US department of justice, which will make the approach on its behalf.

Though the process is used extensively – almost 3,000 requests were made to Google alone last year – it is time consuming. Prism would appear to give GCHQ a chance to bypass the procedure.

In its statement about Prism, Google said it "cares deeply about the security of our users' data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government 'back door' into our systems, but Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data".

Several senior tech executives insisted they had no knowledge of Prism or of any similar scheme. They said they would never have been involved in such a programme.

"If they are doing this, they are doing it without our knowledge," one said. An Apple spokesman said it had "never heard" of Prism.

In a statement confirming the existence of Prism, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence in the US, said: "Information collected under this programme is among the most important and valuable intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats."

A senior US administration official said: "The programme is subject to oversight by the foreign intelligence surveillance court, the executive branch, and Congress. It involves extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-US persons outside the US are targeted, and that minimise the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about US persons."


We Brits are getting a wee bit touchy about media coverage of this subject.

So we've banned further media reporting.

FRom Guido Fawkes:


D-Notice, June 7, 2013 (http://order-order.com/2013/06/08/d-notice-june-7-2013/)

Private and Confidential: Not for publication, broadcast or use on social media.
Defence Advisory Notice
There have been a number of articles recently in connection with some of the ways in which the UK Intelligence Services obtain information from foreign sources.
Although none of these recent articles has contravened any of the guidelines contained within the Defence Advisory Notice System, the intelligence services are concerned that further developments of this same theme may begin to jeopardize both national security and possibly UK personnel…

Magda Hassan
06-09-2013, 06:15 AM
4832

Magda Hassan
06-09-2013, 06:17 AM
D-Notice, June 7, 2013 (http://order-order.com/2013/06/08/d-notice-june-7-2013/)



Private and Confidential: Not for publication, broadcast or use on social media.
Defence Advisory Notice
There have been a number of articles recently in connection with some of the ways in which the UK Intelligence Services obtain information from foreign sources.
Although none of these recent articles has contravened any of the guidelines contained within the Defence Advisory Notice System, the intelligence services are concerned that further developments of this same theme may begin to jeopardize both national security and possibly UK personnel…




Well it is officially a cover if this is the case.
And what they're saying is that everything is a secret.

David Guyatt
06-09-2013, 06:29 AM
D-Notice, June 7, 2013 (http://order-order.com/2013/06/08/d-notice-june-7-2013/)



Private and Confidential: Not for publication, broadcast or use on social media.
Defence Advisory Notice
There have been a number of articles recently in connection with some of the ways in which the UK Intelligence Services obtain information from foreign sources.
Although none of these recent articles has contravened any of the guidelines contained within the Defence Advisory Notice System, the intelligence services are concerned that further developments of this same theme may begin to jeopardize both national security and possibly UK personnel…




Well it is officially a cover if this is the case.
And what they're saying is that everything is a secret.

Aye. If there is the slightest concern, Blighty goes straight for the big brother cosh every time. Always has done, always will.

Magda Hassan
06-09-2013, 08:12 AM
U.S. likely to open criminal probe into NSA leaks -officials

Sat Jun 8, 2013 5:53am IST

* Investigation may be required by law, official says
* Articles come in same week as start of WikiLeaks trial
By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama'sadministration is likely to open a criminal investigation intothe leaking of highly classified documents that revealed thesecret surveillance of Americans' telephone and email traffic,U.S. officials said on Friday.
The law enforcement and security officials, who were notauthorized to speak publicly, said the agencies that normallyconduct such investigations, including the FBI and JusticeDepartment, were expecting a probe into the leaks to a Britishand an American newspaper.
Such investigations typically begin after an agency thatbelieves its secrets have been leaked without authorizationfiles a complaint with the Justice Department.
It was unclear on Friday whether a complaint had beensubmitted by the publicity-shy National Security Agency, whichwas most directly involved in the collection of trillions oftelephone and email communications.
However, one U.S. official with knowledge of the situationsaid that given the extent and sensitivity of the recent leaks,federal law may compel officials to open an investigation.
A criminal probe would represent another turn in the Obamaadministration's battle against national security leaks. Thiseffort has been under scrutiny lately because of a JusticeDepartment investigation that has involved searches of the phonerecords of Associated Press journalists and a Fox News reporter.
Leaks to media outlets this week have revealed a governmentcampaign of domestic surveillance going far beyond anything thathad been acknowledged previously.
Late on Wednesday, Britain's Guardian newspaper publishedwhat U.S. officials later acknowledged was an order, approved bythe secretive U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,requiring a subsidiary of Verizon Communications to givethe NSA raw data showing phone calls made from numbers withinthe United States and from U.S. numbers to those overseas.
The data did not include the identities of people who madethe calls or the contents of the calls.
On Thursday, the Guardian and the Washington Post publishedslides from a secret NSA powerpoint presentation that describedhow the agency gathered masses of email data from prominentInternet firms, including Google, Facebook and Apple under aTop-Secret program called PRISM.
Some of the companies denied that the NSA and FBI had"direct access" to their central servers, as the Post reported.
On Friday, for example, Facebook founder and Chief ExecutiveMark Zuckerberg said his company "is not and has never been partof any program to give the U.S. or any other government directaccess to our servers."
"We have never received a blanket request or court orderfrom any government agency asking for information or metadata inbulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received," Zuckerbergsaid. "And if we did, we would fight it aggressively. We hadn'teven heard of PRISM" before Thursday, he said.
James Clapper, the director of U.S. national intelligence,condemned the leaks and asserted that the news articles aboutPRISM contained "numerous inaccuracies."
WIKILEAKS
Journalists involved in The Guardian and Washington Postarticles have reported in depth on WikiLeaks, the website knownfor publishing secret U.S. government documents.
The Post report on the PRISM program was co-written by LauraPoitras, a filmmaker who has been working on a documentary onWikiLeaks, with the cooperation of its founder Julian Assange,and who last year made a short film about Bill Binney, a formerNSA employee who became a whistleblowing critic of the agency.
Last year, the web magazine Salon published a lengthyarticle by the author of the Guardian report, Glenn Greenwald,accusing U.S. authorities of harassing Poitras when she left andre-entered the United States. Greenwald also has writtenfrequently about Assange.
The Guardian and Post stories appeared in the same week thatU.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning went on trial inMaryland accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classifieddocuments to WikiLeaks.
In an email to Reuters on Friday, Poitras rejected thenotion that the trial had any impact on the timing of her story.
"I am fully aware we are living in a political climate wherenational security reporting is being targeted by the government,however, I don't think fear should stop us from reporting thesestories," Poitras wrote.
"To suggest that the timing of the NSA PRISM story is linkedin any way to other events or stories I'm following is simplywrong. Like any journalist, I have many contacts and followmultiple stories."
Kris Coratti, a Washington Post spokeswoman, said the timingof the paper's publication of Poitras' story had nothing to dowith Manning's trial and that Assange had played no role inarranging or encouraging the story.
Greenwald did not respond to emailed requests for comment.The Guardian's editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, declined tocomment. (Editing by David Lindsey and David Brunnstrom)
http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/06/08/usa-security-leaks-idINL1N0EJ1SO20130608

Magda Hassan
06-09-2013, 08:16 AM
Gives me a sort of perverse pleasure to post a story on this subject from Russia Today.....

Assange on PRISM: US justice system in ‘calamitous’ collapse Get short URL (http://rt.com/news/assange-nsa-surveillance-program-401/)
Published time: June 08, 2013 10:25





WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has slammed a recently exposed NSA mass-surveillance scheme as a "calamitous collapse in the rule of law." Google, Facebook and other tech giants apparently involved have denied giving the NSA access to their servers.
Assange accused the US government of trying to "launder" its activities concerning the large-scale spying program PRISM. The system was made public (http://rt.com/usa/nsa-prism-classified-data-collection-348/) after a leaked classified National Security Agency (NSA) document was revealed earlier this week.

"The US administration has the phone records of everyone in the United States and is receiving them daily from carriers to the National Security Agency under secret agreements. That's what's come out," he said.

President Barack Obama earlier defended PRISM (http://rt.com/usa/obama-surveillance-nsa-monitoring-385/), saying it was a key part of the country’s counterterrorism efforts and that privacy was a necessary sacrifice for the sake of security. He also lashed out at the media, and those who leaked information on the massive spying program.



U.S. President Barack Obama (AFP Photo / Stephen Lam)

“If every step that we are taking to try to prevent a terrorist act is on the front page of the newspapers or any television, then presumably the people that are trying to do us harm are going to be able to get around our preventative measures,” Obama said.

Critics of the Obama Administration have accused it of an unprecedented crackdown on whistleblowers – more government officials are being prosecuted for leaks under Obama than all previous administrations combined. News of PRISM comes just after reports that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of AP reporters' telephone records (http://rt.com/usa/obama-scandal-proves-ap-260/) and tapped Fox News reporter James Rosen’s private email (http://rt.com/usa/holder-warrant-fox-rosen-764/).

"Over the last 10 years, the US justice system has suffered from a collapse, a calamitous collapse, in the rule of law,” Assange said.

The US tech giants apparently involved in PRISM have rushed to deny they participated in the program; their logos were visible on each the 41 PowerPoint slides of the leaked NSA document.


http://rt.com/files/news/1f/59/10/00/2.jpg
“Indeed, the US government does not have direct access or a 'back door' to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday,” Google CEO Larry Page and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said in a statement.

Google's remarks mirrored those by Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo. All have claimed they have no knowledge of whether the NSA had direct access to their servers, and that only upon legal orders do they provide the government with data on specific persons.

While activists debate the legality and ethics of online espionage and high-tech firms try to distance themselves from the revelations, a former NSA official believes PRISM is largely ineffective, as the amount of data it collects cannot be effectively digested by a surveillance system.

“In fact it adds more of a problem because what that means, quite simply, is that if you go into a larger database, you get more data back no matter what the query is. It’s like making a query with Google. If you go in with a Google query you can get tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands or even a million returns. Well, there’s no way you can go through that, all of that, to see what you’re really interested in. So what that does is make them less proficient at doing their jobs,” former NSA analyst William Binney told RT (http://rt.com/news/nsa-whistleblower-mass-surveillance-398/).
http://rt.com/news/assange-nsa-surveillance-program-401/

Peter Lemkin
06-09-2013, 08:55 AM
Government Built Spy-Access Into Most Popular Consumer Program Before 9/11In researching the stunning pervasiveness of spying by the government (it’smuch more wide spread (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/is-the-government-also-monitoring-the-content-of-our-phone-calls.html)than you’ve heard even now), we ran across the fact that the FBI wants software programmers to install a backdoor in all software. (http://www.wnd.com/2013/06/now-fbi-wants-back-door-to-all-software/)Digging a little further, we found a 1999 article by leading (http://www.heise.de/mediadaten/english.shtml) European computer publication Heise which noted that the NSA had already built a backdoor into all Windows software (http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/5/5263/1.html):
A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has revealed that special access codes prepared by the US National Security Agency have been secretly built into Windows. The NSA access system is built into every version of the Windows operating system now in use, except early releases of Windows 95 (and its predecessors). The discovery comes close on the heels of the revelations earlier this year that another US software giant, Lotus, had built an NSA “help information”trapdoor (http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/2/2898/1.html)into its Notes system, and that security functions on other software systems had been deliberately crippled.
The first discovery of the new NSA access system was made two years ago by British researcher Dr Nicko van Someren [an expert in computer security (https://2013.macworldiworld.com/connect/speakerDetail.ww?PERSON_ID=B71CE9F5FC22190FA2EF297 8E4C25EC9)]. But it was only a few weeks ago when a second researcher rediscovered the access system. With it, he found the evidence linking it to NSA.
***
Two weeks ago, a US security company came up with conclusive evidence that the second key belongs to NSA. Like Dr van Someren, Andrew Fernandez, chief scientist with Cryptonym of Morrisville, North Carolina, had been probing the presence and significance of the two keys. Then he checked the latest Service Pack release for Windows NT4, Service Pack 5 (http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/nts/downloads/recommended/sp5/allsp5.asp). He found that Microsoft’s developers had failed to remove or “strip” the debugging symbols used to test this software before they released it. Inside the code were the labels for the two keys. One was called “KEY”. The other was called “NSAKEY”.
Fernandes reported his re-discovery of the two CAPI keys, and their secret meaning, to “Advances in Cryptology, Crypto’99″ conference held in Santa Barbara. According to those present at the conference, Windows developers attending the conference did not deny that the “NSA” key was built into their software. But they refused to talk about what the key did, or why it had been put there without users’ knowledge.
A third key?!
But according to two witnesses attending the conference, even Microsoft’s top crypto programmers were astonished to learn that the version of ADVAPI.DLL shipping with Windows 2000 contains not two, but three keys. Brian LaMachia, head of CAPI development at Microsoft was “stunned” to learn of these discoveries, by outsiders. The latest discovery by Dr van Someren is based on advanced search methods which test and report on the “entropy” of programming code.
Within the Microsoft organisation, access to Windows source code is said to be highly compartmentalized, making it easy for modifications to be inserted without the knowledge of even the respective product managers.
Researchers are divided about whether the NSA key could be intended to let US government users of Windows run classified cryptosystems on their machines or whether it is intended to open up anyone’s and everyone’s Windows computer to intelligence gathering techniques deployed by NSA’s burgeoning corps of “information warriors”.
According to Fernandez of Cryptonym, the result of having the secret key inside your Windows operating system “is that it is tremendously easier for the NSA to load unauthorized security services on all copies of Microsoft Windows, and once these security services are loaded, they can effectively compromise your entire operating system“. The NSA key is contained inside all versions of Windows from Windows 95 OSR2 onwards.
***
“How is an IT manager to feel when they learn that in every copy of Windows sold, Microsoft has a ‘back door’ for NSA – making it orders of magnitude easier for the US government to access your computer?” he asked.
We have repeatedly pointed out that widespread spying on Americans began prior to 9/11 (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/08/u-s-government-planned-indefinite-detention-of-citizens-long-before-911.html).

Magda Hassan
06-09-2013, 10:10 AM
https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?6811-_NSAKEY&

https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?9925-STELLAR-WIND-Big-Brother-Made-Flesh&

https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?10458-Government-use-of-private-tech-companies-to-spy-on-citizens& (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?6811-_NSAKEY&)

Jan Klimkowski
06-09-2013, 08:24 PM
Whilst Obama and the spooks scream hysterically for a criminal investigation to protect national security, goddammit!!!!, the whistleblower identifies himself.

Edward Snowden has now made several brave and courageous decisions.



(Snowden) learned just how all-consuming the NSA's surveillance activities were, claiming "they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them".

We'll see if Volkland Security proceeds to render Snowden and bury him in known or unknown Gitmo Hell.



Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

• Q&A with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I do not expect to see home again'


Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras in Hong Kong
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance), Sunday 9 June 2013 21.17 BST
Jump to comments (779)

Link to video: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world's most secretive organisations – the NSA.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."

Despite his determination to be publicly unveiled, he repeatedly insisted that he wants to avoid the media spotlight. "I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing."

He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. "I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me."

Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. "I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in." He added: "My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."

He has had "a very comfortable life" that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. "I'm willing to sacrifice all of that because I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."
'I am not afraid, because this is the choice I've made'

Three weeks ago, Snowden made final preparations that resulted in last week's series of blockbuster news stories. At the NSA office in Hawaii where he was working, he copied the last set of documents he intended to disclose.

He then advised his NSA supervisor that he needed to be away from work for "a couple of weeks" in order to receive treatment for epilepsy, a condition he learned he suffers from after a series of seizures last year.

As he packed his bags, he told his girlfriend that he had to be away for a few weeks, though he said he was vague about the reason. "That is not an uncommon occurrence for someone who has spent the last decade working in the intelligence world."

On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent", and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.

In the three weeks since he arrived, he has been ensconced in a hotel room. "I've left the room maybe a total of three times during my entire stay," he said. It is a plush hotel and, what with eating meals in his room too, he has run up big bills.

He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.

Though that may sound like paranoia to some, Snowden has good reason for such fears. He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade. He knows that the biggest and most secretive surveillance organisation in America, the NSA, along with the most powerful government on the planet, is looking for him.

Since the disclosures began to emerge, he has watched television and monitored the internet, hearing all the threats and vows of prosecution emanating from Washington.

And he knows only too well the sophisticated technology available to them and how easy it will be for them to find him. The NSA police and other law enforcement officers have twice visited his home in Hawaii and already contacted his girlfriend, though he believes that may have been prompted by his absence from work, and not because of suspicions of any connection to the leaks.

"All my options are bad," he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.

"Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets," he said.

"We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be."

Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate, he fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him. "I am not afraid," he said calmly, "because this is the choice I've made."

He predicts the government will launch an investigation and "say I have broken the Espionage Act and helped our enemies, but that can be used against anyone who points out how massive and invasive the system has become".

The only time he became emotional during the many hours of interviews was when he pondered the impact his choices would have on his family, many of whom work for the US government. "The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won't be able to help any more. That's what keeps me up at night," he said, his eyes welling up with tears.
'You can't wait around for someone else to act'

Snowden did not always believe the US government posed a threat to his political values. He was brought up originally in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His family moved later to Maryland, near the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade.

By his own admission, he was not a stellar student. In order to get the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, he attended a community college in Maryland, studying computing, but never completed the coursework. (He later obtained his GED.)

In 2003, he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces. Invoking the same principles that he now cites to justify his leaks, he said: "I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression".

He recounted how his beliefs about the war's purpose were quickly dispelled. "Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone," he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.

After that, he got his first job in an NSA facility, working as a security guard for one of the agency's covert facilities at the University of Maryland. From there, he went to the CIA, where he worked on IT security. His understanding of the internet and his talent for computer programming enabled him to rise fairly quickly for someone who lacked even a high school diploma.

By 2007, the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents.

That access, along with the almost three years he spent around CIA officers, led him to begin seriously questioning the rightness of what he saw.

He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.

"Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world," he says. "I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good."

He said it was during his CIA stint in Geneva that he thought for the first time about exposing government secrets. But, at the time, he chose not to for two reasons.

First, he said: "Most of the secrets the CIA has are about people, not machines and systems, so I didn't feel comfortable with disclosures that I thought could endanger anyone". Secondly, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 gave him hope that there would be real reforms, rendering disclosures unnecessary.

He left the CIA in 2009 in order to take his first job working for a private contractor that assigned him to a functioning NSA facility, stationed on a military base in Japan. It was then, he said, that he "watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in", and as a result, "I got hardened."

The primary lesson from this experience was that "you can't wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act."

Over the next three years, he learned just how all-consuming the NSA's surveillance activities were, claiming "they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them".

He described how he once viewed the internet as "the most important invention in all of human history". As an adolescent, he spent days at a time "speaking to people with all sorts of views that I would never have encountered on my own".

But he believed that the value of the internet, along with basic privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance. "I don't see myself as a hero," he said, "because what I'm doing is self-interested: I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."

Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA's surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. "What they're doing" poses "an existential threat to democracy", he said.
A matter of principle

As strong as those beliefs are, there still remains the question: why did he do it? Giving up his freedom and a privileged lifestyle? "There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich."

For him, it is a matter of principle. "The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to," he said.

His allegiance to internet freedom is reflected in the stickers on his laptop: "I support Online Rights: Electronic Frontier Foundation," reads one. Another hails the online organisation offering anonymity, the Tor Project.

Asked by reporters to establish his authenticity to ensure he is not some fantasist, he laid bare, without hesitation, his personal details, from his social security number to his CIA ID and his expired diplomatic passport. There is no shiftiness. Ask him about anything in his personal life and he will answer.

He is quiet, smart, easy-going and self-effacing. A master on computers, he seemed happiest when talking about the technical side of surveillance, at a level of detail comprehensible probably only to fellow communication specialists. But he showed intense passion when talking about the value of privacy and how he felt it was being steadily eroded by the behaviour of the intelligence services.

His manner was calm and relaxed but he has been understandably twitchy since he went into hiding, waiting for the knock on the hotel door. A fire alarm goes off. "That has not happened before," he said, betraying anxiety wondering if was real, a test or a CIA ploy to get him out onto the street.

Strewn about the side of his bed are his suitcase, a plate with the remains of room-service breakfast, and a copy of Angler, the biography of former vice-president Dick Cheney.

Ever since last week's news stories began to appear in the Guardian, Snowden has vigilantly watched TV and read the internet to see the effects of his choices. He seemed satisfied that the debate he longed to provoke was finally taking place.

He lay, propped up against pillows, watching CNN's Wolf Blitzer ask a discussion panel about government intrusion if they had any idea who the leaker was. From 8,000 miles away, the leaker looked on impassively, not even indulging in a wry smile.

Snowden said that he admires both Ellsberg and Manning, but argues that there is one important distinction between himself and the army private, whose trial coincidentally began the week Snowden's leaks began to make news.

"I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest," he said. "There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn't turn over, because harming people isn't my goal. Transparency is."

He purposely chose, he said, to give the documents to journalists whose judgment he trusted about what should be public and what should remain concealed.

As for his future, he is vague. He hoped the publicity the leaks have generated will offer him some protection, making it "harder for them to get dirty".

He views his best hope as the possibility of asylum, with Iceland – with its reputation of a champion of internet freedom – at the top of his list. He knows that may prove a wish unfulfilled.

But after the intense political controversy he has already created with just the first week's haul of stories, "I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets."

Magda Hassan
06-09-2013, 11:29 PM
'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'
May a million Bradley Mannings and Edward Snowdens bloom.

Magda Hassan
06-10-2013, 02:57 AM
TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN Derived from: Pleadings in the above-captioned docket Declassify on: 12 April 2038 This Court having found that the Application of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for an Order requiring the production of tangible things from Verizon Business Network Services, Inc. on behalf of MCI Communication Services Inc., d/b/a Verizon Business Services (individually and collectively "Verizon") satisfies the requirements of 50 U.S.C. § 1861, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, the Custodian of Records shall produce to the National Security Agency (NSA) upon service of this Order, and continue production on an ongoing daily basis thereafter for the duration of this Order, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, an electronic copy of the following tangible things: all call detail records or "telephony metadata" created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.
http://www.legitgov.org/Verizon-Top-Secret-FISC-Order

Lauren Johnson
06-10-2013, 03:21 AM
'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'
May a million Bradley Mannings and Edward Snowdens bloom.



Further up this thread, I asked the question Why now? This has been around for years. Why this leak now?

Scott Creighton just calls the whole thing a psyop and calls Snowden a "manufactured hero":

Glenn Greenwald’s secret whistle-blower has exposed himself for reasons yet unknown. Well, I’ll tell you one of the reasons, they got sick of Greenwald doing all those interviews, now they got “their guy” front and center to take the spotlight off Glenn.
His name is Edward Snowden and by his own account he is a very high-paid employee of NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. He’s been with them for at least 4 years working at the NSA facility in Hawaii.
According to a Guardian article which revealed his name, the guy is now hiding out in Hong Kong, which he readily offers up himself, in a “nice” hotel, sitting in his room with some kind of blanket hood over his head and laptop.
http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/manufactured-heroe-the-nsa-whistleblower-exposed-as-career-nsa-cia-special-forces-trained-agent/#more-25587


His argument is not strong; lots of speculation. But it should be considered. My suspicions are that he is on to something.

Magda Hassan
06-10-2013, 03:36 AM
Ironic that Snowden's birth year is 1984. According to Wiki.

Magda Hassan
06-10-2013, 04:29 AM
Scott Creighton just calls the whole thing a psyop and calls Snowden a "manufactured hero":

Glenn Greenwald’s secret whistle-blower has exposed himself for reasons yet unknown. Well, I’ll tell you one of the reasons, they got sick of Greenwald doing all those interviews, now they got “their guy” front and center to take the spotlight off Glenn.
His name is Edward Snowden and by his own account he is a very high-paid employee of NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. He’s been with them for at least 4 years working at the NSA facility in Hawaii.
According to a Guardian article which revealed his name, the guy is now hiding out in Hong Kong, which he readily offers up himself, in a “nice” hotel, sitting in his room with some kind of blanket hood over his head and laptop.
http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/manufactured-heroe-the-nsa-whistleblower-exposed-as-career-nsa-cia-special-forces-trained-agent/#more-25587


His argument is not strong; lots of speculation. But it should be considered. My suspicions are that he is on to something.
No it is not strong at all. Extremely weak in fact. Yes, we all knew much of this in general but not the specifics. Not the paper trail. The hard evidence. I don't know where he thinks leaks are going to come from except from inside the beast. Others on the outside don't have access to them. And Scott Creighton also thinks those that go into the beast like Anonymous are suspect. And rightly so because the nature of Anonymous is any thing we want it to be and for sure it is used by the intel agencies but it is also used by anonymous principled ordinary humans. There are logical if risky reasons why Snowdon chose Hong Kong as a place to do the leaking. Extradition treaties for one. Protection for political refugees for another. More spacious than an embassy in London but still pretty cramped and any where in HK, even the farthest corner, will be just down the road from a CIA station because it is the size of a postage stamp. For that matter I would say almost any where in the world is down the road from a CIA station except for a few remote places. He is in the territory of a competitor to US dominance and that offers some protection and if he is allowed to stay, and I think he will, he can get some sort of work there to support himself. As for the timing right now well I am sure Snowdon has his reasons and it certainly would have been premature to do so in Switzerland and certainly not first day on the job when one hasn't even seen very much of any thing. The fact that there may be other things happening I don't see any particular link. Yes the shit is going to hit the fan economics wise but any one who has read their Marx would have been, and has been, saying that for more than 150 years. Not news at all. Just a matter of how and when and to what extent. Not if. Have plan B, C, D, and the rest of them ready. Until I see real evidence of why I should not I will support Edward Snowdon for his brave step in exposing the monstrous Owellian fascist wet dream human rights eating monster which is the NSA and MIC.

Peter Lemkin
06-10-2013, 05:38 AM
For now, I'll take Snowdon at his word for motive and actions. What is done to him [likely not going to be 'pretty'] will tell the tale. I can conceive of NO way that manufacturing this as a psyop and manufactured hero would in ANY way be a plus for the Government and those behind the Curtain. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.....

Peter Lemkin
06-10-2013, 06:28 AM
'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'
May a million Bradley Mannings and Edward Snowdens bloom.



Exactly! Manning, Elsberg, Snowden, and the others I could mention.....are the real heroes ...those who'd try [and will try] to silence, imprison or kill them - they are the villains! The Nuremberg Principles Live..for a few....that to carry out an illegal order is illegal and must be reported and/or resisted!

Phil Dragoo
06-10-2013, 06:48 AM
4834

It's been said patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels

For the Hollow Men, it is "National Security"

That Lone Gunman, why, that's a terrible thing--we could tell you, but we'd have to kill you. . . .

. . .for you see, we did the black deed and used him--

We demonized him, we demonized Bradley Manning, we shall demonize Edward Snowden, we have gagged Sybil Edmonds,

because you can't handle the truth: we surveil everybody all the time;

we don't need not steenkeeng warrant.

Enemy of the State (1998) prescient.

Did the Hollow Men build a million-square-foot data center in Utah to defend your constitutional rights, or to end them.

Magda Hassan
06-10-2013, 08:40 AM
I wonder if Edward Snowdon's revelations will go the same way as Mark Klein's earlier revelations on the same subject? Nowhere?

https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?1276-Obama-and-the-NSA-lawsuit.-More-of-the-same-but-worse.&
https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?2256-Massive-FBI-Data-Mining-Project-NSA-Facility&
https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?10044-The-NSA-Doesn-t-Spy-On-Citizens.-They-Hire-It-Out-To-The-Israelis.&

Peter Lemkin
06-10-2013, 02:45 PM
Icelandic MP offers Snowden asylum assistance







http://news.images.itv.com/image/file/216682/article_2643ec8f56aeaabb_1370847618_9j-4aaqsk.jpeg Icelandic politician Birgitta Jonsdottir Credit: örg Carstensen/DPA/Press Association ImagesIcelandic member of parliament and privacy rights campaigner Birgitta Jonsdottir has offered asylum assistance to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden (http://www.itv.com/news/topic/edward-snowden/).
In a statement with Smari McCarthy, executive director of Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (https://immi.is/), Jonsdottir said she felt duty bound to help and advise the 29-year-old:
"Whereas IMMI is based in Iceland, and has worked on protections of privacy, furtherance of government transparency, and the protection of whistleblowers, we feel it is our duty to offer to assist and advise Mr. Snowden to the greatest of our ability.
"We are already working on detailing the legal protocols required to apply for asylum, and will be seeking a meeting with the newly appointed interior minister of Iceland, [...] to discuss whether an asylum request can be processed in a swift manner, should such an application be made.”
It is not clear whether Snowden has made an asylum application to Iceland.

Jan Klimkowski
06-10-2013, 07:55 PM
Analysis of Briitsh Foreign Secretary William Hague's limited hangout, presumably agreed in advance with both British and Yankee spook agencies:



William Hague on spying scandal: what he said … and what he didn't say

Nick Hopkins analyses the foreign secretary's statement to the Commons on Britain's links with the secret NSA operation

Nick Hopkins
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/10/william-hague-spying-scandal-nsa-statement), Monday 10 June 2013 19.54 BST

William Hague said the UK had 'one of the strongest systems of checks and balances for intelligence'
William Hague said the UK had 'one of the strongest systems of checks and balances for secret intelligence in the world'. Photograph: Reuters

William Hague's statement to the House of Commons offered a straightforward and robust defence of GCHQ, the legal framework in which it operates, and the challenges the intelligence agencies face in their efforts to stop terrorist attacks.

But the foreign secretary did nothing to address the long-standing concerns of campaigners and academics over the regulatory system in which those agencies work; neither did he try to draw a distinction between the different types of data being gathered, or why the laws in this area are now deemed to be verging on irrelevant.

Refusing to be drawn on specifics, he also declined to comment on the leaked documents that showed GCHQ has had long-standing access to the Prism programme, set up by America's National Security Agency to garner information about "foreigners", including Britons.

Hague began with reference to the parliamentary intelligence and security committee, which will receive a preliminary report on GCHQ and the Prism programme on Tuesday. By coincidence, the ISC, which is chaired by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, is in Washington this week and will see officials from the NSA on Wednesday.

Below are extracts from Hague's statement to the Commons, followed by analyses of what they may mean and the issues they fail to address.

On the intelligence and security committee

"The ISC's work is one part of the strong framework of democratic accountability and oversight that governs the use of secret intelligence in the UK. At its heart are the Intelligence Services Act of 1994 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act [RIPA] of 2000.The acts require GCHQ and the other agencies to seek authorisation for their operations from a secretary of state."

The ISC has been criticised in the past for being toothless, and now has some beefed-up powers. But for a body that has only one general investigator, a former police officer, its task of overseeing MI5, MI6 and GCHQ is huge.

Critics say it has to know what it is looking for to make scrutiny effective. Professor Peter Sommer, a cyber-security expert, said: "I am not sure that ministers or the ISC would know what questions to ask."

Angela Patrick, the director of human rights policy at Justice, said relying on RIPA to keep the agencies accountable was extraordinary because it was so outdated. She also questioned why politicians were left to take such important decisions.

"Of around 3 million surveillance decisions made by public bodies since the RIPA came into force, less than 0.5% have ever been considered by a judge. Accountability for how the agencies handle our private information, even when gathered in the UK, lies predominantly with government."

On interception

"To intercept the content of any individual's communications in the UK requires a warrant signed personally by me, the home secretary, or by another secretary of state. This is no casual process. Every decision is based on extensive legal and policy advice. Warrants are legally required to be necessary, proportionate and carefully targeted, and we judge them on that basis."

The key word here is "content". MI5 and the police secured 2,300 warrants last year for information contained in the messages and emails of Britons. Those kind of interceptions require ministerial approval. But other kinds of simple data – the phone numbers, times and locations of phone calls – do not meet that ministerial threshold, and can be garnered with the approval of a more junior official. Last year law enforcement agencies requested information from telecoms companies on 500,000 occasions. That is a massive amount of raw data being held without extensive legal advice.

On independent commissioners

"All the authorisations the home secretary and I give are subject to independent review by an intelligence services commissioner and an interception of communications commissioner, both of whom report directly to the prime minister."

Like the ISC, the commissioners have limited members of staff, and a daunting task. The interception commissioner is understood to have just five analysts, though that could be doubled to 10. Even then, it is a very small complement for a body attempting to review half a million telecoms request as part of its remit. With so much to scrutinise, the commissioner has to rely on samples of documents and, like the ISC, he has to know what he is looking for.

The commissioner is also supposed to assess whether the requests from the agencies are made out of "necessity and proportionality". But the commissioner's report has not found any single violation in nine years. Which suggests, critics say, that the commissioner isn't looking very hard, or the agencies are completely spotless.

On accountability

"This combination of needing a warrant from one of the most senior members of the government, with such decisions reviewed by independent commissioners and implemented by agencies with strong legal and ethical frameworks, with the addition of parliamentary scrutiny by the ISC, provides one of the strongest systems of checks and balances and democratic accountability for secret intelligence anywhere in the world."

Critics would argue that the current system relies on trusting politicians rather than judges to make the right calls, an under-resourced parliamentary committee, and commissioners who don't have enough staff. And the laws themselves have failed to keep up with technological innovations.

Privacy International said: "Let's not forget: without the release of these classified documents, Mr Hague would not have had to make his statements before the Commons today, and it remains unlikely the news of this programme and the UK's involvement with Prism would have come to light. It should not take a whistleblower releasing classified information for the government to be forthright with its citizens about what data they collect and in what manner.

"If the government secretly interprets the law, and if the manner in which it is executed is secret, then the law is effectively secret. There are many questions that remain unanswered."

On GCHQ

"It has been suggested GCHQ uses our partnership with the United States to get around UK law, obtaining information that they cannot legally obtain in the UK. I wish to be absolutely clear that this accusation is baseless. Any data obtained by us from the US involving UK nationals is subject to proper UK statutory controls and safeguards."

This is the nub of the issue and the foreign secretary's statement seems to mask a much more complex picture. If a UK agency wanted to tap the phone of a Briton living in the UK, it would have to get ministerial approval through RIPA. But not all telecoms and internet companies are based in the UK – most of the giants have their headquarters in the US. This is where the UK's relationship with the NSA is critical. If the firm storing the required information is outside RIPA's authority, GCHQ could ask the NSA for help.

And if the NSA had any relevant intelligence, via Prism or any other programme, it could give it to GCHQ. Strictly speaking, GCHQ would still have needed a RIPA authorisation if it was requesting this material. But if the NSA was offering, the same principles don't appear to apply.

Matthew Ryder QC said: "It is not the breaking of laws that is most troubling in this area, but the absence of them. Foreigners storing their personal data on US servers have neither the protection that their own domestic laws would give them from their own governments, nor the protection that US citizens have from the US government. It is foreigners, potentially UK citizens in the UK, who are the targets of programmes like Prism.

"Once such data is in the hands of the US authorities, there is no clear legal framework that prevents it from being shared with UK authorities. The Security Service Act 1989 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994 place MI5, MI6 and GCHQ on a statutory basis, and permit those bodies to receive any information from foreign agencies in the 'proper discharge' of their statutory functions.

"Under that broad principle, UK agencies may receive and examine data from the US about UK citizens without having to comply with any of the legal requirements they would have to meet if the same agencies had tried to gather that information themselves."

Jim Hackett II
06-10-2013, 10:10 PM
I want more to be exposed to the disinfectant sunlight.
I want someone to answer to WeThePeople,
not the captive congress critters protected by the legends
to be spread by the BBC and MSNBC and all the MSM.
Fascism has gone quite far enough.

Magda Hassan
06-10-2013, 10:48 PM
Analysis of Briitsh Foreign Secretary William Hague's limited hangout, presumably agreed in advance with both British and Yankee spook agencies:



William Hague on spying scandal: what he said … and what he didn't say


William Hague's statement to the House of Commons offered a straightforward and robust defence of GCHQ, the legal framework in which it operates, and the challenges the intelligence agencies face in their efforts to stop terrorist attacks.

But the foreign secretary did nothing to address the long-standing concerns of campaigners and academics over the regulatory system in which those agencies work; neither did he try to draw a distinction between the different types of data being gathered, or why the laws in this area are now deemed to be verging on irrelevant.

Refusing to be drawn on specifics, he also declined to comment on the leaked documents that showed GCHQ has had long-standing access to the Prism programme, set up by America's National Security Agency to garner information about "foreigners", including Britons.

Hague began with reference to the parliamentary intelligence and security committee, which will receive a preliminary report on GCHQ and the Prism programme on Tuesday. By coincidence, the ISC, which is chaired by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, is in Washington this week and will see officials from the NSA on Wednesday.

Yeah, purely a coincidence....
What a lot of hot air Hague blows there. The real information is in what he doesn't say.

Magda Hassan
06-10-2013, 10:51 PM
Did You Know that NSA Spymasters Are Involved in the War on Drugs?
A lot of people don't realize that the NSA has a mandate to "stem the flow of narcotics into the country."



June 10, 2013 |



Yesterday I posted a little tid-bit (http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/rethinking-4th-amendment.html) about the NSA proposing some years back to "re-think the 4th Amendment" in a once secret (now de-classified) document. I was reading it over again this morning and happened upon this little tid-bit:






http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WYPo3GcoyCc/UbXxosGqkUI/AAAAAAAAMpw/WsFn2b6SYNM/s640/nsa.png (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WYPo3GcoyCc/UbXxosGqkUI/AAAAAAAAMpw/WsFn2b6SYNM/s1600/nsa.png)
So, for all those who worry about ham-stringing the government in its noble quest to protect us from the boogeyman, where exactly does this fit into the matrix of concerns? Are we all ok with the NSA doing secret surveillance of Americans' activities with a mandate to "stem the flow of narcotics into our country"?
Remember, this document was written long before any alleged terrorist plots (http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/03/12/eric-holder-suggests-scary-iran-plot-was-legal/#more-25599) featuring Mexican drug lords existed. This was about drug interdiction, period. That's not to say that in recent years the DEA and the National Security apparatus haven't pretty much merged under the umbrella of "narco-terrorism" (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Narco-terrorism). But the NSA has been involved in the drug war for a very long time.
Is everyone comfortable with that, knowing what we know about how much information they're collecting?
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/nsa-drug-war?akid=10553.132871.eXv-WG&rd=1&src=newsletter853089&t=17

Magda Hassan
06-10-2013, 11:17 PM
Daniel Ellsberg: Edward Snowden, Saving Us From the United Stasi of America
Snowden's whistleblowing gives us a chance to roll back what is tantamount to an 'executive coup' against the US constitution.



June 10, 2013 |


In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance?guni=Network%20front:network-front%20full-width-1%20bento-box:Bento%20box:Position1) – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_Papers). Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an "executive coup" against the US constitution.
Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.
The government claims it has a court warrant under Fisa – but that unconstitutionally sweeping warrant is from a secret court, shielded from effective oversight, almost totally deferential to executive requests. As Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency analyst, put it (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/obama-administration-nsa-verizon-records): "It is a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp."
For the president then to say that there is judicial oversight is nonsense – as is the alleged oversight function of the intelligence committees in Congress. Not for the first time – as with issues of torture, kidnapping, detention, assassination by drones and death squads –they have shown themselves to be thoroughly co-opted by the agencies they supposedly monitor. They are also black holes for information that the public needs to know.
The fact that congressional leaders were "briefed" on this and went along with it, without any open debate, hearings, staff analysis, or any real chance for effective dissent, only shows how broken the system of checks and balances is in this country.
Obviously, the United States (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/usa) is not now a police state. But given the extent of this invasion of people's privacy (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/privacy), we do have the full electronic and legislative infrastructure of such a state. If, for instance, there was now a war that led to a large-scale anti-war movement – like the one we had against the war in Vietnam – or, more likely, if we suffered one more attack on the scale of 9/11, I fear for our democracy. These powers are extremely dangerous.
There are legitimate reasons for secrecy, and specifically for secrecy about communications intelligence. That's why Bradley Mannning and I – both of whom had access to such intelligence with clearances higher than top-secret – chose not to disclose any information with that classification. And it is why Edward Snowden (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/edward-snowden) has committed himself to withhold publication of most of what he might have revealed.
But what is not legitimate is to use a secrecy system to hide programs that are blatantly unconstitutional in their breadth and potential abuse. Neither the president nor Congress as a whole may by themselves revoke the fourth amendment – and that's why what Snowden has revealed so far was secret from the American people.
In 1975, Senator Frank Church spoke of the National Security Agency in these terms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Committee):

"I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."
The dangerous prospect of which he warned was that America's intelligence gathering capability – which is today beyond any comparison with what existed in his pre-digital era – "at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left."
That has now happened. That is what Snowden has exposed, with official, secret documents. The NSA (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/nsa), FBI (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/fbi) and CIA (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/cia) have, with the new digital technology, surveillance (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/surveillance) powers over our own citizens that the Stasi – the secret police in the former "democratic republic" of East Germany – could scarcely have dreamed of. Snowden reveals that the so-called intelligence community has become the United Stasi of America.
So we have fallen into Senator Church's abyss. The questions now are whether he was right or wrong that there is no return from it, and whether that means that effective democracy will become impossible. A week ago, I would have found it hard to argue with pessimistic answers to those conclusions.
But with Edward Snowden having put his life on the line to get this information out, quite possibly inspiring others with similar knowledge, conscience and patriotism to show comparable civil courage – in the public, in Congress, in the executive branch itself – I see the unexpected possibility of a way up and out of the abyss.
Pressure by an informed public on Congress to form a select committee to investigate the revelations by Snowden and, I hope, others to come might lead us to bring NSA and the rest of the intelligence community under real supervision and restraint and restore the protections of the bill of rights.
Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA's surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans' and foreign citizens' privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we're trying to protect.
• Editor's note: this article was revised and updated at the author's behest, at 7.45am ET on 10 June
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/10/edward-snowden-united-stasi-america

Lauren Johnson
06-11-2013, 03:43 AM
I consider Scott Creighton to be an essential read and sometimes just flat wrong but always entertaining. He raises what are not much more than WAG's (Wild Ass Guesses) about Edward Snowden, which I once again confess to find at least intriguing. Now, Damien Thompson of The Telegraph, (oh ... isn't that a Murdoch rag?), is saying that Obama might not survive this latest scandal and that it is worse than Watergate:

"They could pay off the Triads," says Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower interviewed by the Guardian in his Hong Kong hideout (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-why). Meaning: the CIA could use a proxy to kill him for revealing that Barack Obama has presided over an unimaginable – to the ordinary citizen – expansion of the Federal government's powers of surveillance over anyone.

Libertarians and conspiracy theorists of both Left and Right will never forget this moment. Already we have Glenn Beck hailing Snowden on Twitter:

Courage finally. Real. Steady. Thoughtful. Transparent. Willing to accept the consequences. Inspire w/Malice toward none.#edwardsnowden


Snowden will be a Right-wing hero as well as a Left-libertarian one. Why? First, he thought carefully about what he should release, avoiding (he says) material that would harm innocent individuals. Second, he's formidably articulate. Quotes like the following are pure gold for opponents of Obama who've been accusing the President of allowing the Bush-era "surveillance state" to extend its tentacles even further:

NSA is focussed on getting intelligence wherever it can by any means possible… Increasingly we see that it's happening domestically. The NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone, it ingests them by default, it collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyses them and it measures them and its stores them for periods of time … While they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government or someone they suspect of terrorism, they're collecting your communications to do so. Any analyst at any time can target anyone…


I do not see how Obama can talk his way out of this one. Snowden is not Bradley Manning: he's not a disturbed disco bunny but a highly articulate network security specialist who has left behind a $200,000 salary and girlfriend in Hawaii for a life on the run. He's not a sleazy opportunist like Julian Assange, either. As he says: "I'm willing to sacrifice all of that because I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."

It will be very difficult for the Obama administration to portray Snowden as a traitor. For a start, I don't think US public opinion will allow it. Any explanations it offers will be drowned out by American citizens demanding to know: "So how much do you know about me and my family? How can I find out? How long have you been collecting this stuff? What are you going to do with it?"
Suddenly the worse-than-Watergate rhetoric doesn't seem overblown. And I do wonder: can a president who's presided over, and possibly encouraged, Chinese-style surveillance of The Land of the Free honestly expect to serve out his full term?
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100220938/edward-snowden-has-blown-the-whistle-on-this-presidency-you-have-to-wonder-will-obama-see-out-his-full-term/


As this thing plays out, keep in mind all the things that would point to an engineered leak designed to do any number of things, some of which we cannot yet imagine. But they would all be under the rubric of strategy of tension.

I am quite willing to be talked out of this. But at this time, this is my leading theory.

Peter Lemkin
06-11-2013, 04:38 AM
Lauren, I respectfully submit that I think you're on the wrong track. I can not see how this could be played into a strategy of tension or have been of benefit as a planned leak. The government is on the defensive now and sadly, my guess is that Snowden will soon find himself in a Bradley Manning 'moment' and situation.....life imprisonment or death sentence for treason. They might even dispense with a trial and all the nasty things that would drag into the open and just have him killed. He has just checked out of his hotel and 'disappeared' - no one knows if on his own or by opposition 'forces'. I sense him to be what he portrays himself to be....a whistleblower and one deeply in danger of his life and liberty for telling the truth.

Lauren Johnson
06-11-2013, 05:07 AM
Lauren, I respectfully submit that I think you're on the wrong track. I can not see how this could be played into a strategy of tension or have been of benefit as a planned leak. The government is on the defensive now and sadly, my guess is that Snowden will soon find himself in a Bradley Manning 'moment' and situation.....life imprisonment or death sentence for treason. They might even dispense with a trial and all the nasty things that would drag into the open and just have him killed. He has just checked out of his hotel and 'disappeared' - no one knows if on his own or by opposition 'forces'. I sense him to be what he portrays himself to be....a whistleblower and one deeply in danger of his life and liberty for telling the truth.

Peter, as much as I can be wrong -- I admit, it happened that one time -- this is just one a strategy of tension plays out.

This appealing young man is arranged to be the leaker and play the role of abused leaker against a cold, unfeeling govt who wants to have all power. This role is however not at all popular with the masses. He is screwing things up. He creates the fear that the government will not be able to spy on us thus making us safe from terrorists. The Extreme Left migh make it illegal for the govt to spy on us. The majority in effect embraces the spying fleeing into the arms, yet again, of a fascist government. The few who still care enough are further enraged pushing them closed to more protest actions -- which will be met with more severe actions -- making the terrified majority flee into the loving, caring arms of their fascist state once again.

In the meantime, Congress becomes united on this issue making future attempts to reign in the power of the state as over and done with. If Obama truly is a target in this (possible) charade, and he is brought down, the left is provoked even further to violence. Even the prospect that this is the case makes false flag left wing groups plausible with -- wait for it -- the majority fleeing into the loving, caring arms of their fascist state.

Of course, all of this is absurd since we knew this was all going on years ago and no one would ever have needed a leaker to reveal to us what we already knew.

The POTUS angle has so many possibilities. Even if he is just weakened, he is more vulnerable to being manipulated into doing the bidding of others.

Peter, once again, the guy might well be legit. But take the other side in your mind as a exercise and see what possibilities you come up with.

Edit: One more thing. This whole thing infuriates some factions of the right wing. More tension. Glenn Beck for example has millions who wait on his every word.

Peter Lemkin
06-11-2013, 07:01 AM
I have 'taken q look at the other side' [and see nothing there], and think you may have become overly involved/invested in wheels within wheels within wheels ad infinitum - trusting nothing and no one - in deed, word or motive. You are free to so speculate, but it seems to me to be going overboard and advocating paranoia in a world full to bursting of it, mostly for good reasons [additional not needed]. IMHO.

Again, I can't think of a viable scenario where this would benefit the hidden hands you seem to imagine. They would/could have more convenient means without giving up their treasured secrets. [OK, not secret to you and I and other cognoscenti; but hidden or unproven to the general population - and further even forcing their controlled media to discuss and investigate it!]. Sometimes one has to take a person's actions and intentions at face value [without demonstrable reason to question it!]. I think this is one of those occasions. My take and the general consensus I sense here and in the mainstream Deep Political investigative community. Why not consider your conjecture is posited by those who are trying to put the genie back in the bottle...then your conjecture starts to makes some sense! IMHO

More will become clear as we see how this plays out. I'll stick with my take until I see evidence to do otherwise. I think he's a genuine whistleblower and in deep trouble of being killed or imprisoned very soon. He gave up a large salary, wife and children, comfortable life and home and so far I take him at his word - seeing no reason not to. One can always invent deeper hidden scenarios - but the simplest construct that fits the facts usually turns out to most closely approximate the truth. The facts sometimes change; changing the best construct.

More alarming to me is the low viewer count on this thread....perhaps the biggest Deep Political whistleblower event in decades receiving a 'ho-hum' attitude from those who watch this Forum and elsewhere on the internet'.....very odd.

I also suspect that Glenn Greewald is now to be treated as Assange is....and is also soon to be in deep trouble.

Magda Hassan
06-11-2013, 08:43 AM
It could be many things. It might be a trojan horse into China or Iceland. It could most likely amount to nothing at all and just be buried and forgotten. Like so many outrageous government actions and inactions. It could be what it appears to be. Some one with a conscience who isn't going to be a willing cog or keep quiet about it any longer. It could be to make Obama look soft on security with all the whistle blowing breeches on his watch and usher in even more draconian Big Brother. Time will tell.

Peter Lemkin
06-11-2013, 09:04 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=5yB3n9fu-rM

EDWARD SNOWDEN: My name’s Ed Snowden. I am 29 years old. I work for Booz Allen Hamilton as an infrastructure analyst for NSA in Hawaii.


GLENN GREENWALD: What are some of the positions that you held previously within the intelligence community?


EDWARD SNOWDEN: I have been a systems engineer, systems administrator, a senior adviser for the Central Intelligence Agency, a solutions consultant and a telecommunications information systems officer.


GLENN GREENWALD: One of the things people are going to be most interested in, in trying to understand what—who you are and what you’re thinking, is there came some point in time when you crossed this line of thinking about being a whistleblower to making the choice to actually become a whistleblower. Walk people through that decision-making process.


EDWARD SNOWDEN: When your in positions of privileged access, like a systems administrator for these sort of the intelligence community agencies, you’re exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale than the average employee, and because of that, you see things that may be disturbing. But over the course of a normal person’s career, you’d only see one or two of these instances. When you see everything, you see them on a more frequent basis, and you recognize that some of these things are actually abuses. And when you talk to people about them in a place like this, where this is the normal state of business, people tend not to take them very seriously and, you know, move on from them. But over time that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up, and you feel compelled to talk about it. And the more you talk about it, the more you’re ignored, the more you’re told it’s not a problem, until eventually you realize that these things need to be determined by the public, not by somebody who was simply hired by the government.


GLENN GREENWALD: Talk a little bit about how the American surveillance state actually functions. Does it target the actions of Americans?


EDWARD SNOWDEN: NSA and the intelligence community, in general, is focused on getting intelligence wherever it can, by any means possible, that it believes, on the grounds of sort of a self-certification, that they serve the national interest. Originally, we saw that focus very narrowly tailored as foreign intelligence gathered overseas. Now, increasingly, we see that it’s happening domestically. And to do that, they—the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system, and it filters them, and it analyzes them, and it measures them, and it stores them for periods of time, simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they’re collecting your communications to do so. Any analyst at any time can target anyone, any selector anywhere. Where those communications will be picked up depends on the range of the sensor networks and the authorities that that analyst is empowered with. Not all analysts have the ability to target everything. But I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge, to even the president, if I had a personal email.


GLENN GREENWALD: One of the extraordinary parts about this episode is that usually whistleblowers do what they do anonymously and take steps to remain anonymous for as long as they can, which they hope, often, is forever. You, on the other hand, have this attitude of the opposite, which is to declare yourself openly as the person behind these disclosures. Why did you choose to do that?


EDWARD SNOWDEN: I think that the public is owed an explanation of the motivations behind the people who make these disclosures that are outside of the democratic model. When you are subverting the power of government, that that’s a fundamentally dangerous thing to democracy. And if you do that in secret consistently, you know, as the government does when it wants to benefit from a secret action that it took, it will kind of get its officials a mandate to go, "Hey, you know, tell the press about this thing and that thing, so the public is on our side." But they rarely, if ever, do that when an abuse occurs. That falls to individual citizens. But they’re typically maligned. You know, it becomes a thing of these people are against the country, they’re against the government. But I’m not. I’m no different from anybody else. I don’t have special skills. I’m just another guy who sits there, day to day, in the office, watches what happening—what’s happening, and goes, "This is something that’s not our place to decide. The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong." And I’m willing to go on the record to defend the authenticity of them and say, "I didn’t change these. I didn’t modify the story. This is the truth. This is what’s happening. You should decide whether we need to be doing this."


GLENN GREENWALD: Have you given thought to what it is that the U.S. government’s response to your conduct is in terms of what they might say about you, how they might try to depict to, what they might try to do to you?


EDWARD SNOWDEN: Yeah, I could be, you know, rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me or any of their third-party partners. You know, they work closely with a number of other nations. Or, you know, they could pay off the triads or, you know, any—any of their agents or assets. We’ve got a CIA station just up the road in the consulate here in Hong Kong, and I’m sure they’re going to be very busy for the next week. And that’s a fear I’ll live under for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be. You can’t come forward against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and be completely free from risk, because they’re such powerful adversaries that no one can meaningfully oppose them. If they want to get you, they’ll get you, in time.


But at the same time, you have to make a determination about what it is that’s important to you. And if living—living unfreely but comfortably is something you’re willing to accept—and I think many of us are; it’s the human nature—you can get up every day, you can go to work, you can collect your large paycheck for relatively little work against the public interest and go to sleep at night after watching your shows. But if you realize that that’s the world that you helped create and it’s going to get worse with the next generation and the next generation, who extend the capabilities of this sort of architecture of oppression, you realize that you might be willing to accept any risk, and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is, so long as the public gets to make their own decisions about how that’s applied.


GLENN GREENWALD: Why should people care about surveillance?


EDWARD SNOWDEN: Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently, by orders of magnitude, to where it’s getting to the point you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.


GLENN GREENWALD: We are currently sitting in a room in Hong Kong, which is where we are because you travel here. Talk a little bit about why it is that you came here. And specifically, there are going to be people who will speculate that what you really intend to do is to defect to the country that many see as the number one rival of the United States, which is China, and that what you’re really doing is essentially seeking to aid an enemy of the United States with which you intend to seek asylum. Can you talk a little bit about that?


EDWARD SNOWDEN: Sure. So there’s a couple assertions in those arguments that are sort of embedded in the questioning of the choice of Hong Kong. The first is that China is an enemy of the United States. It’s not. I mean, there are conflicts between the United States government and the Chinese PRC government. But the peoples, inherently, you know, we don’t care. We trade with each other freely. You know, we’re not at war. We’re not, you know, armed conflict, and we’re not trying to be. We’re the largest trading partners out there for each other.


Additionally, Hong Kong has a strong tradition of free speech. People think, "Oh, China, great firewall." Mainland China does have significant restrictions on free speech, but the Hong Kong—the people of Hong Kong have a long tradition of protesting in the streets, of making their views known. The Internet is not filtered here, no more so than any other Western government. And I believe that the Hong Kong government is actually independent in relation to a lot of other leading Western governments.


GLENN GREENWALD: If your motive had been to harm the United States and help its enemies, or if your motive had been personal material gain, were there things that you could have done with these documents to advance those goals that you didn’t end up doing?


EDWARD SNOWDEN: Absolutely. I mean, anybody in the positions of access with the technical capabilities that I had could, you know, suck out secrets, pass them on the open market to Russia. You know, they always have an open door, as we do. I had access to, you know, the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world, the locations of every station we have, what their missions are and so forth. If I had just wanted to harm the U.S., you know, that—you could shut down the surveillance system in an afternoon. But that’s not my intention. And I think, for anyone making that argument, they need to think, if they were in my position, and, you know, you live a privileged life—you’re living in Hawaii, in Paradise, and making a ton of money—what would it take to make you leave everything behind?


The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. People will see in the media all of these disclosures. They’ll know the length that the government is going to grant themselves powers, unilaterally, to create greater control over American society and global society, but they won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things, to force their representatives to actually take a stand in their interests. And the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse, until eventually there will be a time where policies will change, because the only thing that restricts the activities of the surveillance state are policy. Even our agreements with other sovereign governments, we consider that to be a stipulation of policy rather than a stipulation of law. And because of that, a new leader will be elected, they’ll flip the switch, say that because of the crisis, because of the dangers that we face in the world, you know, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it, and it’ll be turnkey tyranny.

AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about the National Security Agency, we’re joined by Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald from Hong Kong, where he’s broken a series of articles about the NSA over the past week based on information provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. He conducted the interview with Snowden that we just aired.
Since we last spoke to Glenn on Friday, he’s broken two more major stories about the NSA. On Friday, he exposed how President Obama ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for U.S. cyber-attacks. Then Greenwald revealed details about an NSA data-mining tool called Boundless Informant that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks. A top-secret NSA "global heat map" shows in March 2013 the agency collected 97 billion pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide. The NSA most frequently targeted Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt and India. The Boundless Informant documents also showed the agency collected more than three billion pieces of intelligence from U.S. computer networks over a 30-day period ending March 2013.
Glenn, welcome to Democracy Now! A lot has happened this weekend. Edward Snowden has come out. We’ve just aired the interview that you did with him. Talk about the significance of this series of exposés that you’re continuing from Hong Kong.
GLENN GREENWALD: The primary point that I think needs to be made from all of these stories, and particularly from the very courageous outing, self-outing, of Ed Snowden, is that there is this massive surveillance apparatus that is being gradually constructed in the United States that already has extremely invasive capabilities to monitor and store the communications and other forms of behavior not just of tens of millions Americans, but of hundreds of millions, probably billions of people, around the globe. And it’s one thing to say that we want the United States government to have these capabilities. It’s another thing to allow this to be assembled without any public knowledge, without any public debate, and with no real accountability. And what ultimately drove him forward—and what ultimately is driving our reporting and will continue to drive our reporting—is the need for a light to be shined on what this incredibly consequential world is all about and the impact that it’s having both on our country and our planet.
AMY GOODMAN: On Saturday, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper criticized the leaks.
JAMES CLAPPER: It is literally—not figuratively, literally—gut-wrenching to see this happen, because of the huge, grave damage it does to our intelligence capabilities. And, of course, for me, this is a key tool for preserving and protecting the nation’s safety and security. So, every one of us in the intelligence community, most particularly the great men and women of NSA, are very—are profoundly affected by this.

AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, your response?
GLENN GREENWALD: This is just the same playbook that U.S. government officials have been using for the last five decades whenever anything gets done that brings small amounts of transparency to the bad conduct that they do in the dark. They immediately accuse those who brought that transparency of jeopardizing national security. They try and scare the American public into believing that they’ve been placed at risk and that the only way they can stay safe is to trust the people in power to do whatever it is they want to do without any kinds of constraints, accountability or light of any kind. This has been going on since Daniel Ellsberg, who now is considered a hero, but back then was accused by the Clappers of the world of being a traitor who jeopardized national security and put the lives of men and women in American uniform in harm’s way.
The reality is that if you look at what it is that we disclosed, we disclosed things like the fact that the U.S.—the National Security Agency is collecting the telephone records of millions of Americans without regard to any wrongdoing, or that they’re tapping into the servers of the largest Internet companies that people around the world use to communicate with one another. It is inconceivable—there’s just no rational, sane argument that one can make that anything that we disclosed in any way alerts the terrorists, who all knew already for many years that the government is trying to monitor them, or in any way enabled attacks to be done on the United States. The only thing that we exposed is the wrongdoing of these political officials. And the only thing that has been damaged is their reputation and credibility. Top-secret designations are more often than not used to protect the political officials from having known what they’re—what they are doing in the eyes of the American people, not protecting national security. And that’s certainly the case of the stories that we published.
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, can you tell us more about Edward Snowden, why he came forward, what he risks, and why even you both are in Hong Kong, why he chose Hong Kong?
GLENN GREENWALD: It’s really one of the most remarkable experiences I’ve ever had, meeting him and having interviewed him for several months now, really, and for the last eight days in person here in Hong Kong. And I say that because he has undertaken actions that he knows are going to result in serious harm to his personal interest and to his well-being, whether that means that he will never see his home again, or he will spend many decades or the rest of his life in a cage or will be passed around from government to government. In the short term, he knows his life has been turned upside down, and he knew that when he did it. And there are all kinds of ways that he could have personally benefited from this information. If he had wanted to get rich, he could have sold it to all sorts of intelligence agencies. If he wanted to harm the United States, he could have dumped it indiscriminately on the Internet or passed it to U.S. enemies and uncovered all sorts of covert operations and covert agents. He chose to do none of that. He did something that doesn’t really benefit him at all. It just benefits the public. It benefits the rest of us, because we learn what our government is doing and how our world is being affected by it. And yet he did that knowing that he would be put into that situation, and he never betrayed, when he talked to us, any degree of fear about it. He was worried about what would happen. We was tense about getting—about seeing what was going to happen. But he never had any regret. He had made his choice, and he was very at peace with it, because he knew that it was the right thing.
As far as coming to Hong Kong, the main reason that he did that was because he has watched, over the past four years, as the U.S. government, under President Obama, has prosecuted whistleblowers more aggressively and more prolifically than any other prior administration in American history by far. And he has watched as the trial of Bradley Manning, that is now underway, takes place in extreme amounts of secrecy, very little transparency, hardcore fundamental abridgments of due process. And he knew that if he stayed in the United States, he was going to be subjected to exactly that treatment, and so he came to a place where he believed that the political values that prevailed were ones that he found amenable, that there’s lots of robust free speech and political dissent. But also he believed that he was coming to a place where the government would not instantly succumb to the demands of the American government when it came to what was done to him, but instead would assert its own interest and principles of law, and he felt like this was the ideal place for that.
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the significance of who he worked for, Booz Allen Hamilton, that he had worked at the Central Intelligence Agency and then for several contractors that work within the National Security Agency.
GLENN GREENWALD: Right. So he was never actually directly employed, as you say, by the NSA. He was directly employed by the CIA, where he was stationed with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland, for roughly two-and-a-half years in this 2007, 2008, 2009 time frame. Both prior to that and then after that, he was employed by a multitude of private contractors, including Booz Allen and the Dell corporation, where he would be essentially tasked to the NSA. So, even though he wasn’t working directly for the NSA—technically that wasn’t his employer—he went into the office of the NSA every day. He took orders and got instructions from supervisors of the NSA.
What this really shows is this incredibly interlinked world between private corporations and our most powerful and secretive intelligence agencies. It’s all been privatized, or the great bulk of it has been privatized. There’s immense amounts of profit made on it. And it’s all the more reason to be concerned when these extreme surveillance capabilities are vested in these agencies, because it isn’t just the public government officials who control it, but also these private agencies that play a very substantial role in how it operates.
And Booz Allen, in particular, is one of the largest and most significant defense contractors. One of the primary officials of it is General Michael McConnell, who was the director of national intelligence under George Bush. And it’s the kind of prototypical defense contractor where, when there’s a Republican administration, Booz Allen executives go and fill the security positions, and those of—the prior officials go and fill the executive slots at Booz Allen, and then it reverses when a Democrat comes into play. It’s one of the most significant and most influential defense contractors in the world. And the fact that he worked for them, I think, is going to create a lot of problems for them.
AMY GOODMAN: And McConnell’s tie to Total Information Awareness? I mean, 10 years ago, the country was up in arms about the possibility that Americans would be spied on, and so it was killed, supposedly, TIA, Total Information Awareness. And McConnell’s link to that?
GLENN GREENWALD: Right. And what’s fascinating about that was that that took place in late 2002, 2003, when it was revealed that the Pentagon was planning this Total Information Awareness program. It was actually being run by John Poindexter, who was the former national security adviser to President Reagan who resigned in disgrace and almost went to prison over the Iran-Contra scandal. And what was amazing about that was that there was great public uproar, as you say, even in the early stages after 9/11, when the public, the media, the Congress were extremely subservient to whatever the government wanted to do, but that was just a bridge too far, even then. And yet, with these revelations, the ones that we published thus far and the ones that we’ll continue to be publishing in the future, what they really illustrate is exactly what you said, which is that they don’t call it Total Information Awareness anymore. That was a little bit too honest of a term. That was probably the main reason why it created such uproar, because it was just too—too nakedly clear what it was intending to accomplish. But what the NSA is doing, not just domestically, but globally, is creating a Total Information Awareness system. The last story that we published, as you said, was a program, a mining—data-mining program called Boundless Informant, Boundless Informant. That is what the NSA is about, is eroding all vestiges of privacy in the world and ensuring that they have full and unfettered monitoring ability to all forms of human behavior. And this is ultimately why he came forward, because he said, in good conscience, he couldn’t allow that to be done in secrecy. If the public wants that to happen, so be it, but we need—they need to be informed that it’s happening and then have a public debate about it.
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, I want to go back to what Edward Snowden said.
EDWARD SNOWDEN: Any analyst at any time can target anyone, any selector anywhere. Where those communications will be picked up depends on the range of the sensor networks and the authorities that that analyst is empowered with. Not all analysts have the ability to target everything. But I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge, to even the president, if I had a personal email.

AMY GOODMAN: OK, Edward Snowden is a 29-year-old contractor with Booz Allen. He was working in Hawaii, and he said he could wiretap any of these people. Explain how that is possible, Glenn Greenwald, just to make this very clear, in plain language, for people all over this country and around the world.
GLENN GREENWALD: The NSA sucks up into its systems billions and billions of communication activities every week—billions and billions. In fact, the data-mining documents that we published reflected it sucks up 90 billion in a 30-day period, including three billion in the United States. The Washington Post three years ago told us that every single day the NSA collects and stores 1.7 billion emails and telephone calls by and among Americans. Their argument is that we may suck it up, we may store it, we may monitor it, but the law says we can’t actually listen to it or read it if it’s by and between Americans without first going to a FISA court. And what Edward Snowden is telling you is that, although that might be the law, the monitors, the systems at NSA allow full and unfettered access at any time to any one of these analysts to go and listen to whatever it is they want, to read whatever emails they want, to monitor in real time whatever online chats are taking place. And because there’s no oversight, because there’s really no accountability or transparency, there is no check on this abuse. And we know for certain—we should have learned the lesson 35 years ago when the Church Committee documented it, that when human beings are able to spy on other human beings in the dark, abuse, rampant abuse, is inevitable. That was supposed to be why we don’t have spying abilities without accountability any longer. But as Mr. Snowden is documenting to us, that’s exactly what we have, and that’s why it’s so menacing.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to go to break, then come back to Glenn Greenwald, who’s in Hong Kong right now as he continues to—this series of explosive revelations about what the National Security Agency is doing. But before we go to break, we understand that Edward Snowden has checked out of the hotel he’s been in for the last weeks. Glenn, do you know where he is?
GLENN GREENWALD: I do, although I’m not going to share that with anybody.

AMY GOODMAN: There is a great irony in Snowden revealing his identity from Hong Kong, President Obama at the time wrapping up a two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in California. The outgoing national security adviser, Tom Donilon, said Obama confronted Xi on U.S. allegations of China-based cyberpiracy, Glenn.
GLENN GREENWALD: Right. Well, that was one of the main reasons why we published the article is because the Obama administration has spent three years now running around the world warning about the dangers of cyber-attacks and cyberwarfare coming from other nations like China, like Iran, like other places, and what is unbelievably clear is that it is the United States itself that is far and away the most prolific and the most aggressive perpetrator of exactly those cyber-attacks that President Obama claims to find so alarming. And as you say, we published the story on the eve of his conference with the president of China, in which the top agenda item, because of the United States’ insistence, was their complaints about Chinese cyber-attacks and hacking. And it just shows the rancid, fundamental hypocrisy of the statements the United States makes, not just to the world, but to its own people about these crucial matters.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to bring William Binney into the conversation, as well. William Binney, you quit after almost 40 years at the NSA, deeply involved in developing the whole surveillance mechanism, and yet you quit over it, as well. Your response to these series of revelations?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, it’s certainly an extension of what I’ve been trying to say, that we were on a slippery slope to a totalitarian state. And that was simply based on the idea that the government was collecting so much information about all the citizens inside the country, that it gave them so much power. They could target people in the—for example, use it, use the knowledge to collectively assemble all of the people participating in the tea party, target them, and do—they could even do active attack on them with, going across the network, taking material out of their computers. So it was a very dangerous situation, in my mind. And still is.
AMY GOODMAN: William Binney, when you quit over a decade ago, would you ever think it would get to this point, or were we at this point a decade ago, as well?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Actually, it started about then. I mean, certainly 2003 was important because of all of the Naris devices they were putting and other equipment that would allow them to take whatever was on the optical fiber network inside the United States. They deployed those and started collecting all that material, so that became—that was content coming in. Emails, voice over IP, all of that kind of material was coming in and being stored. And then, before that, starting right after 9/11, they started pulling in all of the call records, which, by the way, some of the numbers everybody is talking about are pretty low. They’re just too low. The call records that I estimated would have been on the order of three billion a day.
Now, it doesn’t mean that they’re transcribing what’s being said on the phone calls; they’re just recording the fact that they occurred. They’re using a target list, I’m sure, to target people who are—who they want to record and transcribe. And that list is provided to the switch networks, and whenever the switches detect them, they route those audios—that audio to recorders, and then it gets recorded, stored and put in a priority list. Then the transcribers go through that and transcribe it.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to return to remarks made over the weekend by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. In an interview with NBC, he said the leaks would aid enemies of the United States.
JAMES CLAPPER: While we’re having this debate, discussion and all this media explosion, which of course supports transparency, which is a great thing in this country, but that same transparency has a double-edged sword, in that our adversaries, whether nation state adversaries or nefarious groups, benefit from that same transparency. So, as we speak, they are going to school and learning how we do this. And so, that’s why it potentially has—can render great damage to our intelligence capabilities.

AMY GOODMAN: William Binney, can you respond to the director of national intelligence, James Clapper? And then I want to ask Glenn to do the same.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Sure. In my mind, that’s a red herring. I mean, it’s just a false issue. The point was, the terrorists have already known that we’ve been doing this for years, so there’s no surprise there. They’re not going to change the way they operate just because it comes out in the U.S. press. I mean, the point is, they already knew it, and they were operating the way they would operate anyway. So, the point is that they’re—we’re not—the government here is not trying to protect it from the terrorists; it’s trying to protect it, that knowledge of that program, from the citizens of the United States. That’s where I see it.
AMY GOODMAN: And, Glenn Greenwald, I mean, this, of course, is the debate that’s going on in all of the networks right now, is that you’re compromising national security by publishing what Edward Snowden has given to you, and of course that Edward Snowden is not a whistleblower, but a threat to national security, they are saying. If you could also comment, Glenn, after you respond to that, on the fact that Edward Snowden did not want everything released that he had access to, that he was careful, for example, not to release the location of CIA stations and other information?
GLENN GREENWALD: The claim that the director is making is so ludicrous that I’m surprised he can get it out with a straight face. It really ought to insult the—it does insult the intelligence of every single person to whom he’s directing it. The idea that there are any terrorists in the world who pose any real threat who aren’t aware or who weren’t aware until our articles appeared last week that the United States government tries to monitor their communications and listen in on their telephone calls and read their emails, any terrorist who is unaware of the fact that the U.S. government was doing that is a terrorist who is incapable of even writing their own name, let alone detonating a bomb inside the United States. Exactly as Mr. Binney said, their only concern is—this has nothing to do with terrorism. They’re not trying to keep any of this from the terrorists; they’re trying to keep it from the American people. And that’s the point.
And as far as the documents are concerned, he had access to enormous sums of top-secret documents that would be incredibly harmful. He went through and turned over only a small portion of those documents to us, all of which he read very carefully. And I know that not only because he told me that, but also because the way we got the documents was in extremely detailed folders all divided by content, that you could have only organized them had you carefully read them. And when he gave them to us, he said, "Look, I’m not a journalist. I’m not a high-level government official. I am not saying that everything I gave you should be published. I don’t want it all to be published. I want you, as journalists, to go through it and decide what is in the public interest and what will not cause a lot of harm." He invited—in fact, urged—us to exercise exactly the kind of journalistic judgment that we have exercised. And so, had it been his intention to harm the United States, he could have just uploaded all these documents to the Internet or found the most damaging ones and caused them to be published. He did the opposite. The NSA and the rest of the country owe him a huge debt of gratitude for all of the work he has done to inform the American public without bringing about any harm to them.
AMY GOODMAN: To say the least, he understands the stakes right now. I mean, this is the first week of the Bradley Manning trial, who faces life in prison, possibly death, for releasing documents to WikiLeaks, on trial at Fort Meade—actually, the headquarters of NSA. Glenn Greenwald and William Binney, if you could give a final comment on this?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Who should go first?
AMY GOODMAN: Go ahead, Bill Binney.
GLENN GREENWALD: Well, this is why I find it so incredibly courageous—
AMY GOODMAN: No, Glenn.
GLENN GREENWALD: —to watch what he did, because he knows—sorry, because he knows exactly how the government treats whistleblowers, and yet he went forward and did it anyway. And what I really hope is that his courage is contagious, that people get inspired by his example, as I have been, and decide that they ought to demand that their rights not be abridged and that they have the full authority to stand up to the United States government without being afraid.
AMY GOODMAN: Will there be more exposés, Glenn Greenwald, that we can expect from you at The Guardian?
GLENN GREENWALD: Yes, there will definitely be more exposés that you can expect from me in The Guardian.
AMY GOODMAN: And, Bill Binney, very quickly, 10 seconds.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, I’m sure—I mean, it was a conscious decision that he made to do what he did, and of course the government is going to try to get him, and he knew that. So, he’s—he is doing his—
AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you both for being with us—
WILLIAM BINNEY: Yeah.

Magda Hassan
06-11-2013, 09:40 AM
US-centric but the principle applies in many western countries.

10 Things Americans Underestimate About Our Massive Surveillance State
The latest revelations are just the tip of the iceberg.
June 7, 2013 |
Americans may be upset about the latest revelations in the government’s ability to spy on citizens via their online lives, but no one should be surprised. We've underestimated and overlooked many key aspects of the government’s ability to track our lives for years.
The bottom line, which resonates most strongly among civil liberties advocates on the left and conservative libertarians on the right, is not just the loss of privacy but also the growing power of the state to target and oppress people who it judges to be critics and enemies. That list doesn’t just include foreign terrorists of the al-Qaeda mold, or even the Chinese government that has stolen (http://www.darkreading.com/attacks-breaches/china-hacked-rsa-us-official-says/232700515) the most advanced U.S. weapon plans; it also includes domestic whistleblowers, protesters and journalists—all of whom have been targeted (http://www.alternet.org/surveillance-nsa) by the Obama administration Justice Department.

Let’s go through 10 points about these latest revelations of domestic spying to better understand what Americans have underestimated and overlooked about electronic eavesdropping.

1. Underestimated: The National Security Agency’s abilities. The last time Americans focused on domestic spying as they have this week was a half-dozen years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_warrantless_surveillance_controversy) when the media broke the story that the Bush administration had placed data interceptors on key junction points on AT&T’s telephone network to try to trace calls by al-Qaeda. What Americans have underestimated is that as the Internet has grown and more data pathways have been developed—such as WiFi streams used in smart phones and other platforms—so has the NSA’s electronic dragnet (http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html?wpisrc=al_comboNP).

2. Overlooked: The expanding NSA dragnet. This week’s revelations started with the UK Guardian publishing (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order) a copy of a secret federal intelligence court order that Verizon turns its customer’s “metadata” to the NSA. That was followed by the Washington Post’s scoop (http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html?wpisrc=al_comboNP)—from a whistleblower—of a new (to the public) federal domestic spying effort in which the biggest Internet companies were also told to turn over metadata, including Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others.

Even these latest scoops are not (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/us/nsa-verizon-calls.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&hp&pagewanted=print) the whole picture. Other phone providers like Sprint (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/12/surveillance-shocker-sprint-received-8-million-law) have told their customers they will share information with the government if asked. The NSA installed tracking devices on Google’s servers after the company realized it had been hacked (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130522/03160923172/chinese-hacks-google-database-surveillance-targets-highlight-how-dumb-technology-backdoors-are.shtml) by China four years ago in an effort to see what the FBI knew about China's spies in America. Americans have overlooked that as the Internet has grown, so has the NSA’s ability to track and trace everyone’s online lives.

3. Underestimated: The erosion of constitutional rights. For two centuries, the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment barred the government from unreasonable search and seizure by police authorities. Kirk Wiebe, a former NSA intelligence analyst, told (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=189270802) NPR on Thursday that collecting vast reams of electronic data was changing the "innocent-until-proven-guilty" foundation of constitutional law.

“Now, unfortunately, people like the former director of NSA, Michael Hayden, and others have recast the Fourth Amendment from one that is based on probable cause in presenting evidence for subsequent invasion of privacy to one of reasonable suspicion,” Wiebe said. “That phrase has not been defined except by some managers controlling this information about you and me.”

4. Overlooked: How the NSA is getting away with this. If you really want to know how the NSA has been able to get away with this—and how the Obama administration has been able to say it has been doing nothing that has not been approved by Congress—you have to look at the reality that high-ranking lawyers inside the government have been exploiting legal loopholes to let NSA do what it wants.

This is no different than what election lawyers do when they want to get around campaign finance laws. Congress passes laws. The administration drafts regulations to carry out those laws. And lawyers—in and outside of government—find ways to get around what they don’t like in those laws. This article (http://balkin.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-nifty-legal-dance.html) on the Balkinization (http://balkin.blogspot.com/) legal blog explains exactly how that path unfolded from the Patriot Act, to the FBI, to the NSA. It includes the astounding legal construction that the data dumps are not data “collection” because they’re electronic, not on paper—until they are processed.

“So the NSA gets to obtain information in a more intrusive way than it might otherwise be allowed,” wrote Rachel Levinson-Waldman, counsel at the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School for the blog.

5. Underestimated: Loss of privacy. Americans need to realize that every electronic transaction can be traced and seen by the government—period. There’s no e-mail, smart phone app, or even visit to a porn website that’s not traceable. This is much bigger than posting an unflattering picture on Facebook that will not disappear and be discovered by a potential co-worker or employer. Unless people want to live without electricity in the woods, modern life has evolved to the point where expectations of privacy are a myth, not a reality anymore.

6. Overlooked: The surveillance state transcends political party. Another dimension of the loss of privacy is that the surveillance state keeps growing regardless of who holds power in Congress or the White House. On Thursday, the libertarian Republican senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and the socialist Independent senator, Bernard Sanders of Vermont, both decried (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/06/nsa-surveillance-pits-liberty-against-security/2398987/) the “assault on the Constitution. But the top Democratic and Republican senators on the Intelligence Committee said the NSA activities were “protecting America” and there was nothing new going on—this is business as usual. It’s as if Congress and the intelligence establishment created a genie that will never be put back into a bottle.

7. Underestimated: Corporate America doesn’t like this either. One of the most curious aspects of these disclosures about NSA eavesdropping is that the corporations involved are not exactly fans of it. That is not to say that they would not want to be using similar data-mining and customer profiling technology to sell more products, but they worry that it is a public relations nightmare for them to be caught turning over customer information.

The Wall Street Journal on Friday quoted (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324069104578529244291792214.html?m od=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories) Denny Strigl, who retired as Verizon's president in 2009, saying, “You've got Verizon between a rock and a hard place here… If people are going to make an issue of this, the issue is with the government—not with the corporate citizen who complies with the law.”

8. Overlooked: It’s easier for businesses to comply than to say no. Americans’ sympathies for corporate executives like the ex-Verizon president should only go so far, because let’s face it—people at the highest echelons of corporate power have more access and influence than ordinary Americans into Washington’s halls of power and they are not saying "No, this goes too far." Instead, Friday’s papers were filled with comments from Apple, Google, Facebook, Verizon and others all saying they value their customers but they follow the law as required. That’s not really corporate citizenship, that’s caving in.

9. Underestimated: The power that government is accumulating. People do not realize how powerful the government is until they become its target. The most chilling aspect of the interview (http://www.alternet.org/surveillance-nsa) NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake gave on Democracy Now! was how his life came undone once the federal government decided he was its enemy—because he believed the press and public needed to know that earlier NSA electronic surveillance violated the Constitution. The power of the state—whether local police videotaping protesters or the Justice Department going after journalists and whistleblowers—is staggering. The United States in 2013 is not Nazi Germany in the 1930s, but what is true about both countries in both eras is that the populace was far too compliant as the state accumulated power and selectively undermined civil liberties.

10. Overlooked: A smarter way to respect civil liberties and fight foreign enemies. Some of the press reports on the latest NSA election dragnet suggest that Americans face a choice between losing their privacy rights and protecting national security. That seems like a false choice. Where the White House, Congress and corporate America’s leadership has utterly failed is explaining what the real threats are and what needs to be done—including safeguarding the rights that Americans value. On Friday, President Obama said (http://m.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/07/statement-president) the media reports of the surveillance were “hype” and nobody was reading private e-mails, saying the government's efforts were limited, balancing privacy and security concerns. In short, he said "trust us."
Obama's comments were not reassuring, because they lacked details about what's going on. The NSA’s electronic dragnet was created after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Is al-Qaeda a big threat anymore? Or is the bigger threat how the Chinese government hacked (http://www.darkreading.com/attacks-breaches/china-hacked-rsa-us-official-says/232700515) into the security systems that supposedly protected US weapons systems and stole all the blueprints to the most advanced technology? Americans hear all about the continuing threat of al-Qaeda and very little about the much bigger Chinese intelligence coup.
What’s missing is a much smarter public discussion that respects Americans’ intelligence and rights, including elected public representatives telling permanent government agencies that "no means no." And, though it’s unlikely to happen, corporate America drawing a line on domestic spying for the government.



http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/surveillance-nsa?paging=off

David Guyatt
06-11-2013, 10:01 AM
I can see how, on the face of Snowden's professional past, suspicions of his motives arise.

But the same can be said of my background too. And, in fact, has been said - once in the distant past anyway.

The problem with this sort of subject matter is that it does create a thought process that necessarily looks at alternative interpretations, often with good cause too. Often not so. But it does behove us to consider all options and then engage a good dose of critical thinking and discrimination.

As a community we just cannot get it right all the time, as we are on the outside looking in, and simply weighing up clues.

Where's Sherlock Holmes when you need him?

David Guyatt
06-11-2013, 10:29 AM
The Daily Bellylaugh's take on PRISM and Snowden: you can't do anything about it, just bend over and accept it - and Snowden is a conspiracy theorists to boot. Ignore him then, okay.

Got to love the Bellylaugh's Deputy Editor attempt to strangle liberty and freedom with shocking bollocks reasoning and toady appreciation of dem powers that be.

Where do these people come from? Do they build them on a conveyor line and insert the locked pre-programmed brain at the last minute?


Benedict Brogan (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/benedictbrogan/)Benedict Brogan is the Daily Telegraph's Deputy Editor. His blog brings you news, gossip, analysis, occasional insight into politics, and more. You can email him at benedict.brogan@telegraph.co.uk. Sign up to Brogan's Briefing, Westminster's must-read morning email, by clicking here (http://pages.email.telegraph.co.uk/PoliticsSignUpPage/).


http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/files/2011/04/Benedict-Brogan_140.jpg (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/benedictbrogan/)



Why shouldn’t governments and spies make sense of all this data?
By Benedict Brogan (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/benedictbrogan/) Politics (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/category/politics/) Last updated: June 10th, 2013
329 Comments (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/benedictbrogan/100221096/why-shouldnt-governments-and-spies-make-sense-of-all-this-data/#disqus_thread) Comment on this article (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/benedictbrogan/100221096/why-shouldnt-governments-and-spies-make-sense-of-all-this-data/#dPostComment)

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/files/2013/06/cyber-crime-comput_2575623b-460x288.jpg (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/benedictbrogan/100221096/why-shouldnt-governments-and-spies-make-sense-of-all-this-data/cyber-crime-comput_2575623b/)The digital revolution is a boon in many ways, but it’s also a thicket bad guys can hide in

From Tuesday's Daily Telegraph
It might reassure you to know, as you wonder what dark forces are snooping on your Ocado order, that we have long since passed the point of no return. The amount of digital data produced worldwide doubles every two years or so, and already far exceeds human ability to make any sense of it. There is far more information about us out there than governments, let alone spy agencies, know what to do with. In the age of Big Data, we provide it willingly every time we swipe our travel pass or click to agree a website’s terms without bothering to read them.
Politicians delude themselves that privacy can still be protected. They talk about state intrusion into our lives as if grey men with earphones were hiding in the loft listening to our bedtime conversations while large spools of reel-to-reel tapes turned silently in the background. When Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google, asked a Hay festival audience recently what it thought of swallowing a pill that would beam information about our bodies to computers by Wi-Fi, there were nervous mutterings. “Too late,” he said, “it’s already being licensed.” We have not kept up with reality.
The excitement generated by the claims of Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old American computer spy, has exposed how little we understand about the revolution in digital information going on around us. It has also thrown up how ill-suited our politics is to the challenge posed by a transformation that is both beneficial and overwhelming. The supply of information grows exponentially, and astonishing uses for it are being developed every day, most of which improve lives. At a very basic level, the danger is less that we will be oppressed and more that we – and states – will succumb to info overload. Whatever some politicians might say, it is no longer credible to talk of preventing the collection of data. What the latest revelations underscore, rather, is the question of what should be done with it.
But the debate prompted by Mr Snowden’s revelations has also illustrated how acute the political challenge is on the Right. Traditional conservative beliefs in institutions of the state are being tested by an anti-state populism that – paradoxically – thrives on the internet and values the power of the individual over manifestations of the collective will as traditionally embodied in governments, their agencies, and their elected representatives.
Mr Snowden leaked details of apparent American programmes to monitor internet data. A close reading of his manifesto, with his talk of a “federation of secret law” ruling the world, CIA hit-squads, surveillance nets on the verge of activation and his right to act against a duly constituted, democratically elected government, suggests he has spent too much time watching Hollywood DVDs on his laptop and studying conspiracy theory forums on the web. Whether he is naive, deluded or malicious, he has generated a drama that is more about the fantastical steps he took to put himself beyond America’s grasp than the content of the classified information he released. Much sport is being had over his choice of Hong Kong as a bolthole (“They have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent,” he says, suggesting he is not as familiar with the power of Google as he could be), and the US government’s habit of putting its secrets in the hands of quixotic young men.
But before we mock too much, and certainly before we give credence to Washington’s doom-laden complaints about the damage he has done, we should be thankful for the insight he has given us into the dilemma governments and spies face: if defending its citizens is a state’s first duty, and if information is power, then modern-day governments have to find ways of keeping an eye on the information available. A century ago, it meant a steaming kettle in the customs shed at Dover to open the odd letter from the Continent. Now it means supercomputers able to mine vast stockpiles of data, quickly, for clues that might prevent disaster.
If the amount available is more than we can handle, what next? The scientists at Cern, for example, who use the Large Hadron Collider to conduct super-clever experiments on the very beginnings of time, keep less then 1 per cent of the data they produce; the rest they just throw away in some giant electronic waste bin because they haven’t anywhere to put it. Consider too all the emails, tweets, Facebook updates, shared photographs, Tesco Clubcard points, CCTV footage, dental records, Google searches and every single piece of information entered into a computer anywhere, and you start to get a sense of the tera-haystack security agencies have to search these days to find the needle that might save a life somewhere. Big data is a boon, but it is also a thicket the bad guys can hide in.
Appreciating the mind-boggling volume of electronic bits zipping around the ether or stored in computer servers around the world is a necessary first step towards understanding why states are struggling to keep up with technological change. It’s the point the data scientists Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier made in a recent lecture on the benefits and challenges of Big Data: there’s so much of it that it’s useful, but also messy. In their view, those who fear a malicious Orwellian dystopia should think more of the film Brazil and its vision of pointless bureaucracies. Just as individuals must cope with a rising torrent of information pouring through their lives, so governments are pedalling furiously to avoid being overwhelmed by the digital revolution. Of course, as more of what we know and do is turned into electronic pulses, opportunities arise to harness all that knowledge. The process throws up unlikely successes. Take the spread of a recent flu epidemic: statisticians were able to study the patterns of particular Google searches – for example, “what are the symptoms of flu” – to work out a way of predicting its course. Business is just as clever: a hedge fund bought access to data on weekend traffic patterns around a particular retailer in order to work out whether its shares were worth investing in. Yesterday, three mobile phone providers agreed to pool data they hold about their users to target advertisements at them.
But the growth in data runs in parallel with the growth of individual power, with the internet as the magnifier. Where in the past we deferred to institutions as depositories of information, we are all now experts, campaigners empowered – as Mr Snowden declared – to act when we think we are right and the state is wrong.
Politicians, and a particular strand of libertarians on the Right, have revelled in the anarchic freedom and democratic power the internet provides. To them, it is a corrective to the might of the state and the self-interest of politicians. But if institutions, be they parliaments or spy agencies, cannot be entrusted to make sense of this ocean of data on our behalf, then who can? Why should Mr Snowden, or The Guardian, or David Davis, be a better judge?
The question concerns Conservatives before all others. William Hague was eloquent in the Commons yesterday about the legal rigour and proportionate judgments that rule how the Government handles our data. “This is not a casual process,” he said; threats against us are launched in secret, so the methods to combat them must be secret too. There is too much information out there for one unknown young man to be able to tell us what is right or wrong.

Magda Hassan
06-11-2013, 12:54 PM
http://schoolofprivacy.eu/post/52656355314/nsa-prism-documents-mirrors

Keith Millea
06-11-2013, 02:51 PM
I consider Scott Creighton to be an essential read and sometimes just flat wrong but always entertaining.

I find Scott Creighton flat wrong most of the time and certainly not an essential read....:spinwheels:

David Guyatt
06-11-2013, 03:19 PM
Zerohedge's (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-10/will-obama-see-out-his-full-term) Tyler Durden's take on it:


"Will Obama See Out His Full Term?"
http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/pictures/picture-5.jpg (http://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden)
Submitted by Tyler Durden (http://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden) on 06/10/2013 22:32 -0400


Barack Obama (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/9388)
default (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/7)
Glenn Beck (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/9304)
Hong Kong (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/10856)
None (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/118)
Obama Administration (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/11285)
Twitter (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/8993)
White House (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/223)


It seems the question on many people's minds, as scandal after scandal crashes on the shores of Obama's White House is best summed up by The Telegraph's Damian Thompson. (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100220938/edward-snowden-has-blown-the-whistle-on-this-presidency-you-have-to-wonder-will-obama-see-out-his-full-term/)Yet another non-US paper asks, will Obama last the duration of his second term in a surveillance context where what has been revealed is said to be worse than Watergate.

Via The Telegraph (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100220938/edward-snowden-has-blown-the-whistle-on-this-presidency-you-have-to-wonder-will-obama-see-out-his-full-term/),
"They could pay off the Triads," says Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower interviewed by the Guardian in his Hong Kong hideout (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-why). Meaning: the CIA could use a proxy to kill him for revealing that Barack Obama has presided over an unimaginable – to the ordinary citizen – expansion of the Federal government's powers of surveillance over anyone.
Libertarians and conspiracy theorists of both Left and Right will never forget this moment. Already we have Glenn Beck hailing Snowden on Twitter:





Courage finally. Real. Steady. Thoughtful. Transparent. Willing to accept the consequences. Inspire w/Malice toward none.#edwardsnowden
Snowden will be a Right-wing hero as well as a Left-libertarian one. Why? First, he thought carefully about what he should release, avoiding (he says) material that would harm innocent individuals. Second, he's formidably articulate. Quotes like the following are pure gold for opponents of Obama who've been accusing the President of allowing the Bush-era "surveillance state" to extend its tentacles even further:





NSA is focussed on getting intelligence wherever it can by any means possible... Increasingly we see that it's happening domestically. The NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone, it ingests them by default, it collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyses them and it measures them and its stores them for periods of time ... While they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government or someone they suspect of terrorism, they're collecting your communications to do so. Any analyst at any time can target anyone…
I do not see how Obama can talk his way out of this one. Snowden is not Bradley Manning: he's not a disturbed disco bunny but a highly articulate network security specialist who has left behind a $200,000 salary and girlfriend in Hawaii for a life on the run. He's not a sleazy opportunist like Julian Assange, either. As he says: "I'm willing to sacrifice all of that because I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."
It will be very difficult for the Obama administration to portray Snowden as a traitor. For a start, I don't think US public opinion will allow it. Any explanations it offers will be drowned out by American citizens demanding to know:





"So how much do you know about me and my family? How can I find out? How long have you been collecting this stuff? What are you going to do with it?"
Suddenly the worse-than-Watergate rhetoric doesn't seem overblown. And I do wonder: can a president who's presided over, and possibly encouraged, Chinese-style surveillance of The Land of the Free honestly expect to serve out his full term?

Peter Lemkin
06-11-2013, 04:17 PM
AARON MATÉ: The U.S. government has begun the process of charging Edward Snowden with disclosing classified information after he leaked a trove of secret documents outlining the NSA’s surveillance programs. The FBI has already questioned Snowden’s relatives and associates. Snowden is a 29-year-old computer technician who formerly worked for the CIA. He reportedly turned over thousands of documents to Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian newspaper, as well as to The Washington Post. Only a few have been published so far. His current whereabouts are unknown. Snowden flew from Hawaii to Hong Kong on May 20th. On Monday, he reportedly checked out of his Hong Kong hotel one day after The Guardian posted a video of him explaining his decision to leak the information.
AMY GOODMAN: Response to Edward Snowden’s actions has been mixed. On Capitol Hill, Senator Dianne Feinstein accused Snowden of committing treason. Meanwhile, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg called Snowden a hero, writing, quote, "In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material—and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago," he said. The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has also praised Edward Snowden.
JULIAN ASSANGE: Edward Snowden is a hero who has informed the public about one of the most serious, serious events of the decade, which is the creeping formulation of a mass surveillance state that has now coopted the courts, corrupted the courts in the United States, made them secret, made them produce orders which violate U.S. constitutional protections to nearly the entire population, and then, if that wasn’t enough, has embroiled U.S. high-tech companies like Google, Yahoo!, Skype, Facebook, etc., to extend that surveillance all across the world—the amount of collections from the United States alone revealed to be more than 2.4 billion in the month of March alone. And that is something that I and John Perry Barlow and many other journalists and civil libertarians have been campaigning on for a long time, so it’s very pleasing to see such clear and concrete proof presented to the public.

AMY GOODMAN: Julian Assange speaking on Sky News. Up until a few weeks ago, Edward Snowden worked as a systems administrator inside the NSA’s office in Hawaii. His employer was not the U.S. government, but a military contractor called Booz Allen Hamilton. Over the past decade, the U.S. intelligence community has relied increasingly on the technical expertise of private firms such as Booz Allen, SAIC, the Boeing subsidiary Narus and Northrop Grumman. Former NSA director Michael V. Hayden has described these firms as a, quote, "digital Blackwater." According to the journalist Tim Shorrock, about 70 percent of the national intelligence budget is spent on the private sector.
AARON MATÉ: The leaks by Edward Snowden have also raised questions over who has access to the nation’s biggest secrets. According to The Washington Post, authorities are unsure how a contract employee at a distant NSA satellite office was able to obtain a highly classified copy of an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. During his interview with The Guardian, Edward Snowden claimed he had the power to spy on anyone, including the president.
EDWARD SNOWDEN: Any analyst at any time can target anyone, any selector anywhere. Where those communications will be picked up depends on the range of the sensor networks and the authorities that that analyst is empowered with. Not all analysts have the ability to target everything. But I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge, to even the president, if I had a personal email.

AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about Edward Snowden and the privatized world of intelligence, we’re joined by Tim Shorrock, author of the book Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Outsourced Intelligence_. He has just written a piece for data/">Salon.com entitled "Meet the Contractors Analyzing Your Private Data: Private Companies Are Getting Rich Probing Your Personal Information for the Government. Call It Digital Blackwater." In fact, Tim Shorrock, explain who exactly called it "digital Blackwater."
TIM SHORROCK: Well, this was said by Michael V. Hayden, who used to be the director of the NSA and was the director of the NSA when President Bush began the warrantless surveillance program back in 2001 right after 9/11. He has moved on from intelligence, the intelligence agencies, to become an executive with Chertoff Group, which is a large consulting company in Washington that works very closely with intelligence agencies and corporations advising them on cybersecurity and advising them on just basically security issues. And so, you know, he has cashed himself in and is making lots of money himself in this industry.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to the former NSA and CIA director, General Michael Hayden, who, as you said, oversaw much of the privatization of the NSA from 1999 to 2005. This is him speaking in 2011.
MICHAEL HAYDEN: We may come to a point where defense is more actively and aggressively defined even for the—even for the private sector and what is permitted there is something we would never let the private sector do in physical space.


UNIDENTIFIED: That’s interesting.


MICHAEL HAYDEN: I mean, you look—well, I mean, let me really throw out a bumper sticker for you here: How about a digital Blackwater? OK? I mean, we have privatized certain defense activities, even in physical space. And now you’ve got a new domain in which we don’t have any paths trampled down in the forest in terms of what it is we expect the government or will allow the government to do. And in the past, in our history, when that has happened, private sector expands to fill the empty space. I’m not quite an advocate for that, but these are the kinds of things that are going to be put into play here very, very quickly.

AMY GOODMAN: That was the former head of the CIA and the NSA, General Michael Hayden. Tim Shorrock, talk about Booz Allen, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Edward Snowden and what this relationship is all about between Booz Allen and the NSA.
TIM SHORROCK: Well, the most astonishing thing I found in the articles in The Guardian and the revelation that he was from Booz Allen was that, in fact, Booz Allen Hamilton is involved at the—basically the darkest levels, the deepest levels of U.S. intelligence. If Mr. Snowden had access to these kinds of documents, such as these PRISM documents about surveillance on the Internet, as well as this FISA court order, that means practically anyone in Booz Allen who is in intelligence working for the NSA has access to the same kinds of documents. And American people should really know that now we have conclusive proof that these private-sector corporations are operating at the highest levels of intelligence and the military. I think that’s the bottom line here. It’s not curious—you know, the question is not why this low-level person at Booz Allen got these documents; the question is: Why is Booz Allen involved at this level of intelligence?
AARON MATÉ: Tim Shorrock, so, according to The New York Times, it’s gone so far that even the process of granting security clearances is often handled by contractors. So, can you talk about the duties that contractors are performing for the government on these intelligence matters?
TIM SHORROCK: Well, first of all, I want to comment on some of these stories in The New York Times and other newspapers. I mean, that’s an old story. Everyone knows that, you know, the security clearances is done by contractors. That’s been true for a decade or more. And, you know, Booz Allen has been around for years and years and years. The question is: Why haven’t these newspapers covered this? They cover intelligence as if there’s no private-sector involvement at all. And suddenly, they hear that Booz Allen is involved, and suddenly we have all these stream of articles about privatized intelligence. Well, welcome to the world of "digital Blackwater," as Hayden calls it.
And, you know, specifically on Booz Allen and what these companies do, I mean, you know, they—as I wrote in my book, Spies for Hire, they do everything from, you know, CIA intervention in other countries; JSOC, you know, when it does raids, contractors are involved in finding out where people they attack are and determining the mapping and all that and the imagery to make sure that pilots and drones can hit the right people—or the wrong people. And they’re involved in the Defense Intelligence Agency. They’re involved in all military agencies that do intelligence. They do everything. They do everything that the government does.
AMY GOODMAN: What’s wrong with that?
TIM SHORROCK: What’s wrong with that is that it’s a for-profit operation. Many times, you have—inside these agencies, you have contractors overseeing other contractors, contractors, you know, giving advice to the agency about how to set its policies, what kind of technology to buy. And, of course, they have relationships with all the companies that they work with or that they suggest to the leaders of U.S. intelligence.
And I think, you know, a terrible example of this is, you know, a few months ago, I wrote a cover story for The Nation magazine about the NSA whistleblowers that you’ve had on this show a few times—Tom Drake, Bill Binney and the other two—and, you know, they blew the whistle on a huge project called Trailblazer that was contracted out to SAIC that was a complete failure. And this project was designed, from the beginning, by Booz Allen, Northrop Grumman and a couple other corporations who advised the NSA about how to acquire this project, and then decided amongst themselves to give it to SAIC, and then SAIC promised the skies and never produced anything, and the project was finally canceled in 2005.
And it’s very ironic that Michael Hayden says he’s not sure about, you know, this privatization. I mean, he’s the one who set this whole privatization in place. He’s the one who did it. He’s the one who pulled the trigger on it. And he’s responsible for this vast privatization of NSA, which, I have to say, began before 9/11.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about Booz Allen Hamilton in terms of its other clients? Here it has this remarkable access to information. You know, as Edward Snowden said in his video statement (http://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/10/youre_being_watched_edward_snowden_emerges), which we ran yesterday on Democracy Now!, he could wiretap almost anyone, at his level, and that a lot of people could. The information that people like Snowden get, can Booz Allen then share this information with other corporate clients it has?
TIM SHORROCK: Well, I don’t know that for sure, because it’s very difficult to penetrate these companies, but I don’t think so. I think what they do is they operate just like the intelligence community does, like the—you know, the NSA shares the information with other agencies. Of course, the NSA collects, is the main collector for the government in terms of signals intelligence, what comes over the Internet and telephone and cellphones and all that, and they pass that on to other agencies that request it. It goes to the president of the United States. It goes—it goes to all the high levels of the State Department and other agencies that need to know what’s going on both around the world and inside the United States. And so, I doubt that they would pass it to other corporations, but they certainly have their hands in it.
And I think if Booz Allen Hamilton is doing this and has access to such high-level documents, then you know that these other companies do, too—SAIC, Northrop Grumman, all of the companies you named at the top of the show. They have the same kinds of access, and they do—they do very much the same kinds of work that Booz Allen does. And I think it’s—like I said before, it’s just about time we recognized that this is really, you know, Intelligence Inc. This is a—you know, 70 percent of it is a for-profit operation. It’s a joint venture between government agencies and the private sector, and the private sector makes money off of it. They make big profits from this.
AARON MATÉ: Tim, I’m wondering if you can talk about some more—about these companies, specifically Narus and Palantir.
TIM SHORROCK: Well, Narus is the company that basically makes the technology that allows agencies, as well as corporations and telecom companies, to intercept traffic coming in, telecom traffic coming in, you know, from the outside, from other countries, on fiber-optic cables. And they have this incredible capacity to process information. And, you know, a few year—right after—you know, when this story started blowing up in the—after The New York Times blew the story on surveillance, warrantless surveillance, you know, there was this whistleblower at AT&T, this technician, who found that Narus equipment had been attached to AT&T’s switching center in San Francisco, and they were using this equipment to divert the entire—the entire traffic, all the whole—the whole—everything that was coming in, they diverted that to a secret room, and that went right into the NSA’s servers.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Mark Klein.
TIM SHORROCK: And those—that’s what Narus—that’s what Narus technology does. And so, you know, that’s the key—
AMY GOODMAN: And Narus is owned by Boeing?
TIM SHORROCK: Boeing. It was bought by Boeing. It was actually—the company originated, actually, in Israel. You know, Israel has a very powerful equivalent to the National Security Agency. And it came out of—it came out of Israel, and then they brought their technology here, and they were very involved in the wiretapping right after—right after 9/11. And then Boeing bought them. And, of course, Boeing itself is a major intelligence contractor, through that company, and, you know, they used to—they own a company that used to transport a lot of these prisoners around that the CIA captured overseas.
AMY GOODMAN: And Palantir?
TIM SHORROCK: And you asked about—you asked about Palantir. It’s a Silicon Valley company that basically does data mining and mapping out relationships. I mean, all this—as I said in the Salon article yesterday, all this information and all this data that comes into the NSA has to be analyzed, and that’s what these companies they do that they hire. You know, they take—you know, NSA stores all this data. We know the story about this big Utah data center that’s just about to open. And they download it all there, and then they can go back to it. They can go back to it a day later, or they can go back to it months later or years later. And that’s one of the things that Mr. Snowden talked about in his interviews, was how they go back and analyze this data.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about The Guardian in its reports calling the NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who fed them information, "whistleblower." But the Associated Press says it would instead use terms like "source" or "leaker." In a memo sent to reporters, it said, quote, "A whistle-blower is a person who exposes wrongdoing. It’s not a person who simply asserts that what he has uncovered is illegal or immoral. Whether the actions exposed by Snowden and [Bradley] Manning constitute wrongdoing is hotly contested. ... Sometimes whether a person is a whistle-blower can be established only some time after the revelations, depending on what wrongdoing is confirmed or how public opinion eventually develops," unquote. What do you make of what the AP is saying? I mean, of course, they change their—their definitions over time. We just saw them drop the word "illegal" when it comes to describing people.
TIM SHORROCK: Well, I think it’s kind of semantics. I mean, you know, he has blown the whistle on some actions that the NSA is doing, some programs the NSA is doing, that may be unconstitutional. And I think, you know, that’s why Daniel Ellsberg has had so much praise for him. I mean, he’s showing the underside of the war on terror, the underside of the surveillance state. And I think, in that sense, he’s a real whistleblower. You know, perhaps the difference between him and, say, the NSA Four—Tom Drake and Bill Binney and the others—is that, you know, the NSA Four did not leak information. I mean, they reported it through the chain of command, or they tried to. And what’s unfortunate was, you know, they tried to do this, and then they were caught up in an investigation of who leaked to The New York Times about the NSA surveillance program, and they were persecuted and investigated, and Tom Drake was actually indicted under the Espionage Act and charged with being a spy. Those charges were ridiculous, and the case completely collapsed, but nevertheless, that’s what happened to them. So, Snowden maybe looked at that and decided, you know, he’s just—you know, why go through channels? I mean, I think if we had a system where people could actually expose wrongdoing and without fear of being persecuted, that he may not have broken the law. And I think we need to look very carefully at that, because we need to protect people like this who want to expose wrongdoing.
AARON MATÉ: Tim Shorrock, is it harder for Snowden, as a private contractor, to try to blow the whistle than it would have been had he been working directly for the government?
TIM SHORROCK: Well, perhaps so. I’m not sure what the difference in how they might prosecute somebody like this, but clearly, from what’s being said, you know, today and what was said yesterday, they’re going after him. In fact, I’ve heard they may charge him under the Espionage Act. So, that’s what they would do to a government official, as well, or an intelligence officer who leaked the same kind of thing. So, I don’t really think it’s that much different. And like I said at the top of the show, you know, what really—what really amazed me was the fact that Booz Allen Hamilton, as a corporation, is involved at this level of intelligence. It’s not that this guy was just a low-level employee. It’s that this company is involved, and you have the private sector at that level of NSA.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you think should be done differently? I mean, there’s two different issues here: One is the level of privatization of the military and intelligence, and the other is what Edward Snowden has actually revealed about what the U.S. government is doing with our information.
TIM SHORROCK: Well, what should we do about specifically what?
AMY GOODMAN: In terms of these private intelligence contractors and the access they have.
TIM SHORROCK: Well, you know, there’s been a process underway where the agencies are supposed to be doing, you know, inventories of the contractors and who they—what they do. And I think—you know, there was a report I saw recently from the inspector general of the Pentagon that looked at the Special Operations Command, which is—you know, Jeremy Scahill has been writing about it. It’s the most secretive part of the U.S. military, does these raids all over the world. And they looked at their contracts, and they found that a lot of JSOC and special operations contractors were doing inherently governmental work; in other words, they were doing things that, by law, should only be done by the government. And there was—at that level, there was very loose oversight.
And I think that we need to look, as a country, and the government certainly needs to do this, and Congress certainly needs to do this—you know, OK, it’s fine to buy technology from corporations, if they need it, but using corporations to fill your ranks, you know, to provide personnel—I mean, you go to these agencies, and it’s—you know, it’s not exactly like this, but it’s very much like a NASCAR race where they have logos, corporate logos, all over themselves. I mean, that’s what it’s like inside the NSA. You’ve got CSC over here. You’ve got Northrop Grumman over here, Lockheed Martin and so on.
Do we need to have the private sector doing all this analysis? I think that’s a very critical question to be asked. Do we want to have private corporations at the highest levels? And again, you know, if that’s something—that’s something that Congress, I believe, should really look at. And in the time that I’ve been covering this, as far as I recall, there’s only been one single hearing in Congress on this issue of intelligence contractors, and it was three years ago, and it was a pathetic hearing. They actually called me in for some advice, and they actually called Tom Drake in for advice, too. I didn’t know it at the time. And they—of course they didn’t use any of our suggestions. I—
AMY GOODMAN: The man they charged with espionage?
TIM SHORROCK: The man they—the man that was—had been charged earlier with espionage.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, the U.S. government had been charged with espionage, who, of course, ultimately—
TIM SHORROCK: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: —those charges were dropped—
TIM SHORROCK: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: —and has been called by many a whistleblower.
TIM SHORROCK: Right. He’s a true whistleblower. And—but the point—you know, I said, "You know, you ought to call in the chief executives of Booz Allen Hamilton and all these companies, so the American people can meet the secret leaders of the intelligence community." We know who Clapper is. We knew—you know, when Hayden was director, we knew who he was. But we don’t know these people running the corporations.
AMY GOODMAN: McConnell?
TIM SHORROCK: McConnell, Michael McConnell, used to be the director of national intelligence. Before that, he was NSA director. And, you know, in between, he was at Booz Allen Hamilton running their military intelligence programs. Now he’s back at Booz Allen Hamilton. So there’s this continuous flow of people in and out of the private sector back into government. It’s not even a revolving door; it’s just a spending door. But basically, what we have is an intelligence ruling class, public and private, that hold the secrets. And I think, you know, when Bill Binney talks about the Stasi, the East German police that listened to everybody, you know, look at, we have hundreds of thousands of contractors with security clearances. We have hundreds of thousands of federal workers in, you know, Homeland Security and intelligence. We have a massive number of people that are monitoring other Americans. I think it’s a very dangerous situation.

Lauren Johnson
06-11-2013, 04:22 PM
Creighton's LONG writeup on Snowden boiled down to a couple of key paragraphs:

What so few understand at least in the front part of their minds, is that this isn’t a reaction to 9/11, it’s simply the next stage of 9/11. You can’t fight this process without first addressing the core of their only remaining argument. Because at the core of the Twin Towers, you find a plan to see this transition laid out long long before any towers were hit and any buildings were demoed. It’s all part of a greater design and it doesn’t take much to see it, if you want to.


Why? Why Now?



Why? This is why… because in order to transition (there’s that word again) an open society into a closed one (see Naomi Wolf for an explanation) you can do it one of two ways: Shock and Awe as in Libya and Iraq and Syria and Vietnam… or you can gradually shift the public mind via “hearts and minds” operations and false flag events to accept it as a “rational debate on the right balance”
One of those methods breeds violent insurgencies like Afghanistan, the other creates subservient sheep willing to turn their backs on their fellow Americans while they are systematically rounded up.



He goes on to say the Snowden operation is to deflect us from and prepare us for the coming hard summer as sequestration kicks in. http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/manufactured-hero-edward-snowden-why-and-why-now/

Sequestration? Wait. Isn't that like old news or something.

The hard times are on their way he says. Austerity is designed to do that. But wait look over here. Pay lots of attention to what was, up until now at leas,t a relatively trivial leak, compared to the fact that it all came out years ago. Why is it that NOW it is front page news? Why now?

In what I call am calling thought experiment, IF the Snowden Hero Phenomenon is a creation of the The Magicians, it is meant to deflect, confuse, divide, infuriate, demoralize a population, lead to new more restrictive laws, all of which comes under the rubric, strategy of tension.


The “why now” part of the equation is easy. Austerity is about to land on this country like it has on so many over the past 6 decades and in order to maintain control, they have to manage the uprising. This summer is going to be hard. Gold prices are already tumbling, world markets are out of control, ours is only being propped up by massive infusion of trillions of dollars keeping the Wall Street masters in the loot for a little while longer, but they are quietly pulling out before the next Great Depression.
They need a reason to put this country on lock-down. They are setting up to disarm those out there who they are worried about and they already know who you are.

The transition that they have been writing about since 2000 is upon us, at least the final stage of it, and it isn’t going to be pretty.
Back in the day, like say Indonesia under Suharto a favorite dictator of ours and President Obama’s mother’s employer (actually it was USAID and the CIA) used to have to create lists of dissidents and left leaning rabble rousers the old fashioned way. He got the CIA to get USAID on the ground in the neighborhoods to make “micro loans” to folks, basically payouts to business minded folks who were paid to snitch on their leftist neighbors.

President Obama’s mother did that job for a number of years while his step father was actually a general working for Suharto.
USAID would then take the lists and give them to their friends at the CIA who would then help Suharto to round them up and either “reeducate” or kill them.

Neoliberal economics demands such actions because it is so undemocratic, so unfair and exploitative, they have to have death squads to handle problems before they become problems.
That’s how it used to word and it’s no coincidence that Obama, born to this kind of system, is now the president.
The lists are collected other ways now. They have honeypot groups which feed your info along the chain but they also have stuff like “metadata”

The end result will be the same. The list even has a name… Main Core. For a while it has been used as a kind of blacklist for jobs and such and in the end it will be used to cut your credit off when we finally devolve into their wet-dream, the cashless society.
But for now, the Main Core list will be used in another way:

“We know all this already,” I stated. He looked at me, giving me a look like I’ve never seen, and actually pushed his finger into my chest. “You don’t know jack,” he said, “this is bigger than you can imagine, bigger than anyone can imagine. This administration is collecting names of sources, whistle blowers and their families, names of media sources and everybody they talk to and have talked to, and they already have a huge list. If you’re not working for MSNBC or CNN, you’re probably on that list. If you are a website owner with a brisk readership and a conservative bent, you’re on that list. It’s a political dissident list, not an enemy threat list,” he stated.” shtf Plan (http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/main-core-a-list-of-millions-of-americans-that-will-be-subject-to-detention-during-a-national-crisis)


The author of the article mistakenly relates it to Marxism of course, it’s always about “the communist Obama” for these guys, but he’s not that far off base when he talks about the list targeting dissidents.

In a world were every effort is exerted to control what you think and how you see the world, what is the main threat? Terrorism? No. It’s dissent. Rational, reasonable, logical dissent. It’s a virus to those masters of the universe who would own the world and all of us in it.

That’s why this “metadata’ isn’t about listening to you talk to your Muslim friends as the “confide” spiritual leanings your way. That’s why it doesn’t make a hill of beans difference if you are poor, working class or middle class (in fact the middle class with more education is historically targeted first… notice the war on public education and the “alternative truth tellers” who support that as well? It’s not a coincidence).

If you suffer from the same virus WE ALL DO then you will be targeted until that virus is removed from you. That is why they monitor calls, emails, chats online, talks with friends in your living room, game discussions while playing with friends online…
… they want to know who will go along and who will not. That is what the metadata algorithms predict and that is why it’s so important for them to continue to collect it.

Jeffrey Orling
06-11-2013, 09:32 PM
'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'
May a million Bradley Mannings and Edward Snowdens bloom.



Further up this thread, I asked the question Why now? This has been around for years. Why this leak now?

Scott Creighton just calls the whole thing a psyop and calls Snowden a "manufactured hero":



His argument is not strong; lots of speculation. But it should be considered. My suspicions are that he is on to something.[/QUOTE]

If this is jerk who blogs as Willy Loman or Everyman.. he is complete loser and fraud... not to mention narcissist.

Adele Edisen
06-12-2013, 12:09 AM
http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/10/edward-snowden-profile-in-courage/

Auithor:Christopher H. Pyle teaches constitutional law and civil liberties at Mount Holyoke College. He is the author of "Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics and Getting Away with Torture" (book).
In 1970, he disclosed the U.S. military’s surveillance of civilian politics and worked as a consultant to three Congressional committees, including the Church Committee.

Adele

Peter Lemkin
06-12-2013, 04:44 AM
Julian Assange and Wikileaks revealed they had been in 'indirect communication' with Snowden.


Mr Snowden's case already echoes that of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who took refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London last summer after Swedish authorities issued an international warrant for his arrest amid allegations of sexual assault. He has been hiding there ever since.

Iceland's government of newly-elected conservative Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, may not be so generous this time around. While still untested, it is widely seen as closer to Washington than past administrations and less keen to foster the island country's cyber-haven image.

But Icelandic lawmaker Birgitta Jónsdóttir and International Modern Media Institute executive director Smari McCarthy released a statement on Sunday vowing to do all they could to help protect Mr Snowden, if he was able to make it to the shores of the tiny Nordic country.
'Whereas IMMI is based in Iceland, and has worked on protections of privacy, furtherance of government transparency, and the protection of whistleblowers, we feel it is our duty to offer to assist and advise Mr. Snowden to the greatest of our ability,' their statement reads, according to Forbes.com.

The pair added that they were already working on detailing the legal protocols required to apply for asylum and said they were seeking a meeting with the newly appointed interior minister Mrs Kristjánsdóttir as soon as possible to discuss whether an application for asylum, if made, can be processed as a priority.
In the Guardian interview, Mr Snowden suggested Iceland was his number one option.

He said his 'predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values, The nation that most encompasses this is Iceland. They stood up for people over internet freedom.'

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/06/10/article-2338534-1A3C2C7C000005DC-109_634x425.jpgEmpty and on the market: Edward Snowden's former home in Waipahu, Hawaii, which he fled last month for Hong Kong so he could leak details about the U.S. government's secret surveillance programs


ets: A neighbour said today that the garage at the home had boxes stacked floor to ceiling when Snowden was planning his escape

McCarthy told The Guardian that they have been following the story 'with morbid fascination' and Mr Snowden's mention of Iceland was their 'cue to take action.'
'We are working on the basis that if he were to arrive in Iceland we would have a plan in place and ready to go,' he said.

Mr Snowden needs to make his way to Icelandic soil or show up at one of its embassies in order to claim asylum. But if he managed that, he would have the Icelandic people's support, McCarthy said.
The government would have to weigh up enraging its major trading partner in its decision to claim or reject asylum to Mr Snowden.
'However, it would be rather embarrassing for the States if it cut ties with this small nation because it had complied with its human rights duties,' McCarthy said.
He would be free to live in Iceland while immigration authorities decide his case, which could take more than a year, according to Helga Vala Helgadottir, a lawyer specializing in asylum cases.
Iceland has an extradition treaty with the United States, but it is unclear whether it would cover any crimes that Snowden might be charged with.

Meanwhile, Ecuador is another possible ally. The country's embassy in London is currently harboring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
As the U.S. government hunts Mr Snowden, the American people are rallying for the outlaw, who is now on the run.

A petition (https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-edward-snowden/Dp03vGYD)has been registered with the White House demanding a pardon for the 'national hero' and has already garnered more than 27,000 signatures.

The petition, which calls for 'a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs' is aiming for 100,000 signatures by July, 9, 2013.
Another fan has set up a fundraising website for Mr Snowden whose bank accounts have been frozen. The Crowdtilt.com campaign is aiming to raise $15,000 for the whistleblower, in a bid to 'set a precedent by rewarding this type of extremely courageous behavior.' It currently stands at more than $7,300 with nine days to go.

Other supporters are holding placards for Mr Snowden today in New York's Union Square stating: 'Snowden is a hero. Stop the surveillance.'

Mr Snowden had been working at the NSA for the past four years as an employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton after working for the CIA as a technical assistant, specializing in computer security. His role allowed him access to classified material.
Since he revealed himself, Booz Allen, where Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was previously an executive, branded Mr Snowden's alleged actions 'shocking' and promised to conduct a full investigation into the matter.
In a statement, the firm said: 'Edward Snowden, 29, has been an employee of our firm for less than three months, assigned to a team in Hawaii.
'News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter.'
Shares of Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. fell on Monday, on the back of the revelation.
Shares fell 61 cents, or 3.4 per cent, to $17.39 in midday trading, a slight recovery from a 5 per cent drop earlier in the session.

About 23 per cent of the $6 billion company's revenue, or $1.3 billion, came from U.S. intelligence agencies last year. The company has said in SEC filings that security breaches could materially hurt results.

Mr Snowden said he had raised his concerns with his superiors, but had been ignored.
He said: 'I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong. I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions but I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.
'My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.
'What they're doing (poses) an existential threat to democracy,' he added.

WHY HONG KONG? EXTRADITION TREATY GIVES SNOWDEN CHANCE OF AVOIDING BEING SENT HOME

Edward Snowden's decision to flee to Hong Kong is a gamble, but its free speech laws mean he does have a slim chance of avoiding being swept back to America.
Hong Kong signed an extradition treaty with the United States in 1997, just before Britain handed it back to China.
In it both agreed to send fugitives back and forth in the majority of cases, but there were also political exemptions negotiated at the time.
Hong Kong has the 'right of refusal when surrender implicates the "defense, foreign affairs or essential public interest or policy'' of the People's Republic of China.'
China itself has no extradition treaty with America at all.
Hong Kong officials also have the right to say no to extradition if they believe that the attempt is 'politically motivated'. This means that they will protect free speech if a person is being arrested just for their political opinions.
The United States may have already approached Interpol or its consulate in Hong Kong to start proceedings. They will use the Espionage Act to gain warrants for his arrest.
Hong Kong's authorities can hold Mr Snowden for 60 days, following a U.S. request that includes probable cause, while Washington prepares a formal extradition request.

Peter Lemkin
06-12-2013, 05:05 AM
Its just a guess or hunch, but I'd bet that Snowden is already now in the embassy of either Iceland or Ecuador in Hong Kong. The Mail in London located his girlfriend and has nearly naked photos of her. She's a dancer trained in ballet, but working with an acrobatic's troop in Hawaii to make ends meet. They also tried to interview his parents who live in Pennsylvania. His step mother wouldn't say much of anything. As the reporters were leaving, two men who said they were FBI were approaching the same home...... My question is how is Snowden paying for anything now...he must have someone paying for him, as all of his bank accounts have been frozen. Stay tuned. :spy:

Magda Hassan
06-12-2013, 05:34 AM
I hope he had the forsight to close his bank accounts cash in any assets and has a reserve of cash handy or in trust with a trusted friend or family member or in an off shore haven. Hong Kong used to be relatively friendly in that way but I don't know if it still is since it changed back to China. He'll probably be able to write a book if nothing else. But he does have IT skills that are useful to others.

Peter Lemkin
06-12-2013, 06:34 AM
I hope he had the forsight to close his bank accounts cash in any assets and has a reserve of cash handy or in trust with a trusted friend or family member or in an off shore haven. Hong Kong used to be relatively friendly in that way but I don't know if it still is since it changed back to China. He'll probably be able to write a book if nothing else. But he does have IT skills that are useful to others.

If he's not very fleet of foot [i.e. already in some 'friendly' embassy requesting asylum] I fear he'll be writing that book from an American prison...if writing is allowed [it is NOT in a maximum security one, like Manning was held under! The American Gulag is very repressive - no reading, no writing and no pillows - sometimes no covers or clothes]. As for his IT and 'other' skills and knowledge, I did notice that Russia offered him asylum....:santa:. I'm pretty sure he won't take them up on that....it certainly wouldn't 'look' good!

Magda Hassan
06-12-2013, 06:51 AM
I did notice that Russia offered him asylum....:santa:. I'm pretty sure he won't take them up on that....it certainly wouldn't 'look' good!
It been a good place for some people I have known who needed asylum (not Oswald). There is a huge South American population there and Afghani. Any port in a storm.

Peter Lemkin
06-12-2013, 07:10 AM
I did notice that Russia offered him asylum....:santa:. I'm pretty sure he won't take them up on that....it certainly wouldn't 'look' good!
It been a good place for some people I have known who needed asylum (not Oswald). There is a huge South American population there and Afghani. Any port in a storm.

It might be good for him personally, but would be a propaganda coup of gargantuan proportions for the US National Security State who'd say he was, all along, a Russian spy....and most American's would buy it...and ignore the larger issues he has risked his life, IMO, to expose.

Magda Hassan
06-12-2013, 07:20 AM
I did notice that Russia offered him asylum....:santa:. I'm pretty sure he won't take them up on that....it certainly wouldn't 'look' good!
It been a good place for some people I have known who needed asylum (not Oswald). There is a huge South American population there and Afghani. Any port in a storm.

It might be good for him personally, but would be a propaganda coup of gargantuan proportions for the US National Security State who'd say he was, all along, a Russian spy....and most American's would buy it...and ignore the larger issues he has risked his life, IMO, to expose.
Yes true that. But nothing he does will be okay with 'them' from now on. But why hand it to them on a platter.

Peter Lemkin
06-12-2013, 07:47 AM
I did notice that Russia offered him asylum....:santa:. I'm pretty sure he won't take them up on that....it certainly wouldn't 'look' good!
It been a good place for some people I have known who needed asylum (not Oswald). There is a huge South American population there and Afghani. Any port in a storm.

It might be good for him personally, but would be a propaganda coup of gargantuan proportions for the US National Security State who'd say he was, all along, a Russian spy....and most American's would buy it...and ignore the larger issues he has risked his life, IMO, to expose.
Yes true that. But nothing he does will be okay with 'them' from now on. But why hand it to them on a platter.

No, nothing is going to go well for him in the future, unless somethings rather miraculous arises. I'm sure a drone with 'his name on it' and Seal Team 6 with instructions to terminate him with extreme prejudice are all in place, just waiting for the 'go ahead'...among other nasty options. And Obama told us he was all about open government and 'change'....HA!

Magda Hassan
06-12-2013, 08:08 AM
Sales of George Orwell’s ’1984’ up 6,000% since US surveillance scandal

The disclosure of the American authorities’ surveillance programmes has led to a spike in the novel that has become synonymous with government overreach.

SALES OF THE George Orwell classic ’1984’ have increased by 6,000 per cent in the days since it was revealed that US intelligence services have been conducting widespread surveillance programmes.
The classic 1949 novel tells the story of Winston Smith, a member of the government working for the fictional dictatorship known as Oceania. Dissatisfied with his work, he dreams of rebellion against totalitarianism and his masters in the Ministry of Truth.
The novel has become a byword for government oppressiveness, overreach and surveillance of people with the newly-disclosed PRISM surveillance scheme used by the US National Security Agency (NSA) being itself described as ‘Orwellian’.
Amazon’s ‘Movers and Shakers’ list (http://www.amazon.com/gp/movers-and-shakers/books/ref=zg_bsms_nav_0) has shown the novel jump from 7,636 to 123 in recent days. Penguin, which publishes the novel, told NBC News that it believes the jump in sales is linked to the NSA/PRISM scandal.
Business Insider has a good explainer (http://www.businessinsider.com/since-everyone-is-throwing-orwellian-around-heres-a-synopsis-of-1984-so-you-can-pretend-to-know-what-youre-talking-about-2013-6) of what ’1984’ is all about. The novel became a feature-length movie starring John Hurt which was made in, er, 1984
http://www.thejournal.ie/george-orwell-1984-sales-up-947435-Jun2013/?utm_source=twitter_self

Magda Hassan
06-12-2013, 08:16 AM
The Mozilla Blog (http://blog.mozilla.org/)News, notes and ramblings from the Mozilla projectMozilla (http://www.mozilla.org/)StopWatching.Us: Mozilla launches massive campaign on digital surveillanceAlex Fowlerhttp://0.gravatar.com/avatar/83a42be0e7206a80d7e958c4ed973133?s=24&d=http%3A%2F%2F0.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a 11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D24&r=G (http://blog.mozilla.org/blog/author/afowlermozilla-com/)0 (http://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2013/06/11/stopwatching-us-mozilla-launches-massive-campaign-on-digital-surveillance/#comments)

JUN (http://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2013/06/)112013 (http://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2013/)Last week, media reports emerged that the US government is requiring vast amounts of data from Internet and phone companies via top secret surveillance programs. The revelations, which confirm many of our worst fears, raise serious questions about individual privacy protections, checks on government power and court orders impacting some of the most popular Web services.
Today Mozilla is launching StopWatching.Us (http://stopwatching.us/) — a campaign sponsored by a broad coalition of organizations from across the political and technical spectrum calling on citizens and organizations from around the world to demand a full accounting of the extent to which our online data, communications and interactions are being monitored.
What’s at stake
Whenever we share information online, there’s an intuitive risk of exposure that someone we didn’t intend to share with might access it. That’s part of using an open, highly distributed, worldwide communications medium.
But there are various levels of exposure.

There’s using a service where you interact with friends, look for new employment opportunities or just play a game, where these activities are logged by the service.
There’s enabling geolocation on a mobile app so it can personalize your experience, thereby providing the app with data on your movements.
There’s the unintended consequence of over-sharing on a social network.
Then, there are more serious levels of exposure — like governments, law enforcement or intelligence agencies gaining access to our private data stored in the cloud, logs created by our Internet service providers and other companies who track things about us.
The first three are pretty well understood and users are able to take some steps to learn about these data practices through their experience using them or by referring to privacy policies and terms of service. Technology has also been getting better at providing additional controls and transparency. Mozilla, for instance, provides tools like Do Not Track (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/dnt/),Persona (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/persona/) and the Collusion (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/collusion/) Add-on for Firefox, among others.
However, exposures resulting from government-sponsored online surveillance are entirely separate from whether we choose to share information and what those sites say they will or will not do with our data. That’s because, at least in the US, these companies are required to respect a court order to share our information with the government, whether they like it or not. Mozilla hasn’t received any such order to date, but it could happen to us as we build new server-based services in the future.
There are a number of problems with this kind of electronic surveillance. First, the Internet is making it much easier to use these powers. There’s a lot more data to be had. The legal authority to conduct electronic surveillance has grown over the past few years, because the laws are written broadly. And, as users, we don’t have good ways of knowing whether the current system is being abused, because it’s all happening behind closed doors.
Get involved
When we look back at the public response to SOPA/PIPA, two Congressional anti-piracy bills, where Mozilla and other organizations asked the public to get involved, we were blown away by the response. Hundreds of thousands of people contacted their representatives with concerns over the potential impact to the Web. We saw the same thing with ACTA in the EU. We need to rekindle that energy more than ever so our elected officials take the necessary actions to illuminate how current surveillance policies are being implemented.
Mozilla believes in an Internet where we do not have to fear that everything we do is being tracked, monitored and logged by either companies or governments. And we believe in a government whose actions are visible, transparent and accountable.
What’s unique for Mozilla is that our only commitment is to Internet users who rely on an open Web where content, imagination, trust and innovation can thrive.

We’re taking a stand for users. We want every user to take a stand, as well. (http://stopwatching.us/)StopWatching.Us (http://stopwatching.us/)

Peter Lemkin
06-12-2013, 08:26 AM
Sales of George Orwell’s ’1984’ up 6,000% since US surveillance scandal

The disclosure of the American authorities’ surveillance programmes has led to a spike in the novel that has become synonymous with government overreach.

SALES OF THE George Orwell classic ’1984’ have increased by 6,000 per cent in the days since it was revealed that US intelligence services have been conducting widespread surveillance programmes.
The classic 1949 novel tells the story of Winston Smith, a member of the government working for the fictional dictatorship known as Oceania. Dissatisfied with his work, he dreams of rebellion against totalitarianism and his masters in the Ministry of Truth.
The novel has become a byword for government oppressiveness, overreach and surveillance of people with the newly-disclosed PRISM surveillance scheme used by the US National Security Agency (NSA) being itself described as ‘Orwellian’.
Amazon’s ‘Movers and Shakers’ list (http://www.amazon.com/gp/movers-and-shakers/books/ref=zg_bsms_nav_0) has shown the novel jump from 7,636 to 123 in recent days. Penguin, which publishes the novel, told NBC News that it believes the jump in sales is linked to the NSA/PRISM scandal.
Business Insider has a good explainer (http://www.businessinsider.com/since-everyone-is-throwing-orwellian-around-heres-a-synopsis-of-1984-so-you-can-pretend-to-know-what-youre-talking-about-2013-6) of what ’1984’ is all about. The novel became a feature-length movie starring John Hurt which was made in, er, 1984
http://www.thejournal.ie/george-orwell-1984-sales-up-947435-Jun2013/?utm_source=twitter_self



That's the first really good news I've heard in a long time......:read:

Adele Edisen
06-12-2013, 09:01 AM
Yahoo News
Lawsuits over government surveillance languish
By PAUL ELIAS | Associated Press


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Before there was Edward Snowden and the leak of explosive documents showing widespread government surveillance, there was Mark Klein — a telecommunications technician who alleged that AT&T was allowing U.S. spies to siphon vast amounts of customer data without warrants.

Klein's allegations and the news reports about them launched dozens of consumer lawsuits in early 2006 against the government and telecommunications companies. The lawsuits alleged invasion of privacy and targeted the very same provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that are at the center of the latest public outcry.

That was seven years ago, and the warrantless collection continues, perhaps on an even greater scale, underscoring just how difficult the recently outraged will have in pursuing any new lawsuits, like the one the American Civil Liberties Union filed against the government on Tuesday in New York federal court.

"I warned whoever I could," Klein said in telephone interview from his home in Alameda, a city across the bay from San Francisco. "I was angry then. I'm angrier now."

All the lawsuits prompted by Klein's disclosures were bundled up and shipped to a single San Francisco federal judge to handle. Nearly all the cases were tossed out when Congress in 2008 granted the telecommunications retroactive immunity from legal challenges, a law the U.S. Supreme Court upheld. Congress' action will make it difficult to sue the companies caught up in the latest disclosures.

The only lawsuit left from that bundle is one aimed directly at the government. And that case has been tied up in litigation over the U.S. Justice Department's insistence that airing the case in court would jeopardize national security.

"The United States government under both administrations has been stonewalling us in court," said Lee Tien, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which represents the consumers who filed that lawsuit. EFF has also filed a related lawsuit seeking the Justice Department's legal interpretation of the law that the government is apparently relying on to collect consumers' electronic data without a warrant.

James Clapper, director of national intelligence, personally urged U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White to throw out the remaining lawsuit. Clapper wrote the judge in September that the government risks "exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States" if forced to fight the lawsuit.

But on Friday, federal prosecutors asked the judge to delay making any decision until it can report back to the court on July 12 what the latest disclosures may mean to the lawsuit. Tien and other EFF lawyers are also assessing the newest disclosures to determine if they bolster their case.

Snowden, 29, a former CIA employee who most recently worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency, admitted leaking details of two secret government surveillance programs.

He revealed a top-secret court order issued April 25 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that granted a three-month renewal for the large-scale collection of American phone records. That program, the same one Klein tried to expose, allows the NSA to gather hundreds of millions of U.S. phone records to search for possible links to terrorists abroad.

Snowden also disclosed another program that allows the government to tap into nine U.S. Internet companies and gather all communications to detect suspicious behavior that begins overseas.

On Tuesday, Klein said that for a number of reasons, Snowden's disclosures sparked more public outrage than his own revelations did more than seven years ago.

For one thing, Klein said, Snowden had direct access to a secret court order and details of the program, while Klein pieced together the government's surveillance through internal AT&T documents and in discussions with colleagues who worked on the project.

"The government painted me as a nobody, a technician who was merely speculating," said Klein, who made his disclosures after he accepted a buyout and retired from AT&T in 2004. "Now we have an actual copy of a FISA court order. There it is in black and white. It's undisputable. They can't deny that."

Klein also said the allegations that the government was accessing social media sites such as Facebook may have gotten the attention of more — and younger — people who weren't bothered by his initial disclosures.

"Now, the government is intruding in places they go," said Klein, 68. "That probably got their attention."

Adele

Magda Hassan
06-12-2013, 09:04 AM
Operation 'troll the NSA' starts up online with plan to jam spy scanners by sending same 'terrorist' message over and over again

Plan to 'test' system by sending a message full of terrorism words to NSA
Website called 'Operation Troll The NSA' has been created
Words designed to pique interest include 'ricin,' 'bomb' and 'Manhattan'
By JILL REILLY (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Jill+Reilly)
PUBLISHED: 11:32 GMT, 11 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:49 GMT, 11 June 2013
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/06/11/article-0-1A41ABAA000005DC-544_306x327.jpgPlan: An operation to troll the NSA has started up online in a bid to jam the spy scanners

An operation to troll the NSA has started up online in a bid to jam the spy scanners.
The plan is to 'test' the system by sending a message full of terrorist buzz words to the agency Wednesday at 7pm EST.
The website was set up in response to the accusations at the U.S. government is collecting and looking at data from Internet companies like Google, Facebook and Apple through a secretive program codenamed PRISM.
Operation 'Troll The NSA' describes the plan stating: 'If millions of us, all at the exact same time, call or email someone with our keywords-of-terror-filled script, we can give our nation's impressive surveillance system the kind of test it deserves.

'They say they don’t read or listen to the contents of our messages. Why not test it out? It'll be fun.'
The creators of the website have written a seemingly innocent email about a bad job and travel plans addressed from a disgruntled employee to a friend.


http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/06/11/article-2339432-1A421E31000005DC-413_634x393.jpgOperation: The plan is to 'test' the system by sending a message full of terrorist buzz words to the agency Wednesday at 7pm EST.

But words designed to catch the scanner's interest litter the script, including famous American landmarks such as 'Manhattan,' 'Golden Gate Bridge', 'Brooklyn Bridge',' Verrazano Narrows Bridge' and 'Financial District.'
It also included words associated with terrorists such as 'death to millions of Americans,' 'strike at any second' and 'oppressive regime.'
They hope that the scanner will pick up the words and consequently get jammed from the overload.



Server: Words designed to catch the scanner's interest litter the script including famous American landmarks such as 'Manhattan,' 'Golden Gate Bridge', pictured and 'Financial District'

The stunt was set up by two BuzzFeed employees.

Chris Baker and Mike Lacher, creative directors at the news site, say they hope millions of people will take part.

'It would be amazing if we actually did screw with their systems a little bit,' said Baker.
'But the ultimate goal is that the site itself will get enough attention ... that NSA becomes aware of it on some level and gives them a moment to reflect on their duties,' he told the Daily Beast. (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/10/there-s-no-story-here-the-buzzfeed-staffers-behind-troll-the-nsa.html)
Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower who leaked the secret information about a classified U.S. government surveillance program is currently on the run in Hong Kong.

Snowden, 29, is a technology expert working for a private firm subcontracted to the US National Security Agency.

Last week he told the Guardian newspaper of a mammoth surveillance operation run by the NSA on telephone and Internet records around the world.

In the US he has been branded a traitor and there is pressure for his extradition from Hong Kong.

However, he has triggered a debate in many countries on whether state snooping goes too far.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2339432/Operation-troll-NSA-starts-online-plan-jam-spy-scanners-sending-terrorist-message-over-again.html#ixzz2VzWPbBgY

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2339432/Operation-troll-NSA-starts-online-plan-jam-spy-scanners-sending-terrorist-message-over-again.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2339432/Operation-troll-NSA-starts-online-plan-jam-spy-scanners-sending-terrorist-message-over-again.html)

Magda Hassan
06-12-2013, 09:08 AM
500,000 contractors can access NSA data hoards (http://www.salon.com/2013/06/11/500000_contractors_can_access_nsa_data_hoards/)Firms like Booz Allen have army of employees, but only Snowden spoke upBY NATASHA LENNARD (http://www.salon.com/writer/natasha_lennard/)
As Tim Shorrock pointed out (http://www.salon.com/2013/06/10/digital_blackwater_meet_the_contractors_who_analyz e_your_personal_data/) as long ago as 2007 (and reminded us in light of the NSA leaks) “about 70 percent of our national intelligence budgets being spent on the private sector.” The APreported (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/nsa-leak-contractors_n_3418876.html?1370919691)Tuesday that nearly 500,000 contractors — employees like whistleblower Edward Snowden — have access to the government’s top secret programs.

Of the 4.9 million people with clearance to access “confidential and secret” government information, 1.1 million, or 21 percent, work for outside contractors, according to a report from Clapper’s office. Of the 1.4 million who have the higher “top secret” access, 483,000, or 34 percent, work for contractors.
A number of writers like Shorrock have highlighted in the past week the vast government contracts and huge sums that play a formative part in expanding state surveillance. That point has been well made. What I want to stress here is simply that 500,000 employees is a lot of people — a lot of people with a lot of access. A lot of people, unlike Snowden, who have chosen to march in step.
For ideologues like David Brooks (whose depiction this week (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/11/opinion/brooks-the-solitary-leaker.html?_r=0) of Ed Snowden as a lonesome, fragile basement-dweller, lacking regard for the apparently necessary hierarchies of “family, neighborhood, religious group, state,” is as offensive as it is fatuous (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2339202/Lindsay-Mills-girlfriend-Edward-Snowden-Woman-NSA-leaker-left-member-acrobat-troupe.html)) all these thousands of employees do their jobs and, for Brooks, their patriotic duty by acting as “servants.” The more troubling aspect of the fact that 500,000 private employees have access to programs like the NSA’s PRISM and Blarney is that within those masses — the mid-level overseers of our top-down cyberpower nexus — only Snowden chose to step out of line and speak out as the surveillance state creeped.
http://www.salon.com/2013/06/11/500000_contractors_can_access_nsa_data_hoards/

David Guyatt
06-12-2013, 12:06 PM
Another insightful post from Tyler Durden at Zerohedge (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-11/guest-post-why-surveillance-state-must-be-erased)


Guest Post: Why The Surveillance State Must Be Erased
http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/pictures/picture-5.jpg (http://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden)
Submitted by Tyler Durden (http://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden) on 06/11/2013 21:18 -0400


Corruption (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/10021)
Google (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/12089)
Guest Post (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/238)
Obama Administration (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/11285)
PrISM (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/10603)
Reality (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/12218)
SPY (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/148)
Switzerland (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/9867)
White House (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/223)


Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog (http://www.alt-market.com/articles/1547-why-the-surveillance-state-must-be-erased),
In America today there is a great rushing storm, a swirling hurricane of clashing opinions and ideologies that defy coherent organization and classification. This social tempest has been triggered by certain revelations among the general public on issues which we in the Liberty Movement have long been aware. The fact that our government is bought and paid for by international corporate interests, the fact that our government has positioned itself to spy on ALL Americans without warrant and without probable cause, the fact that our government is instituting policy initiatives that target common citizens as enemy combatants, the fact that every one of our Constitutional rights is being deliberately torn away; these things are not news to us, but to many once ignorant people, they are a shock to the system.
Open corruption on the part of a criminal establishment has a funny way of politicizing everyone, even those people who go out of their way to avoid the bigger picture. In the end, no man or woman gets a pass. Whether you like it or not, one day soon, you will have to choose a side; freedom or tyranny. There is no middle ground. There is no Switzerland.
With all the rationalizations and counter-rationalizations flying around concerning the current avalanche of admissions and data leaks, it is easy to lose track of the root of the overall conflict. It’s as if we have been dropped into the heart of an Amazonian swamp, our feet encased in a thick sludge of social inaction as a dark cloud of mindless mosquito-people buzz about us, pecking hungrily at our veins with their warped and uneducated world views. The deafening chorus distracts us from what is truly important.
Here is the reality of our situation:
1) Both the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration supported FISA domestic surveillance legislation. FISA is the legal tool which the federal government now uses to justify the monitoring of journalists and recently exposed mass surveillance programs such as PRISM. Politicians from both the Republican and the Democratic parties have defended the use of FISA and PRISM. Both parties support the destruction of your 4th Amendment rights.
2) The Obama Administration openly admits to the monitoring of journalists phone and email records in an attempt to thwart whistleblowers that might actually bring the truth of what the government is doing into the light of day. Obama of course defends this position by claiming that “national security” is at stake.
3) Part of the motivation for surveillance measures against journalists has clearly been the Benghazi conspiracy, which is a thorn in the side of the establishment that refuses to go away. Like Watergate, or Iran-Contra, the White House has been caught with its pants down and instead of admitting its guilt, has decided to attack the messengers instead.
4) Another motivation was certainly the exposure of the ATF’s “Fast And Furious” program, which funneled U.S. firearms into the hands of Mexican drug cartels so that American firearms dealers and owners could be blamed for the escalation of deadly violence south of the border. Again, Obama and his handlers seek to use a suffocating surveillance grid in order to thwart whistleblowers and prevent federal crimes from being aired in public.
5) The use of the IRS as a weapon against the political enemies of the establishment (namely Tea Party groups) verifies that government surveillance without oversight can indeed lead to political profiling and unjustified punishment.
6) The PRISM scandal, leaked by former CIA operative and NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has given the general public a raw naked look at the reality of the FISA spy initiative. In the past, Liberty Movement champions have been derided as “paranoid” for pointing out that there were no limitations to FISA, and that the entire nation might one day be monitored and catalogued like animals in a great technological cage. Today, the public now knows that this concern is concrete and undeniable. EVERYONE is being watched. Reports now estimate that NSA hackers harvest over 2.1 million gigabytes of data on American citizens per hour.
7) Privacy rights have been so debased that the invasion of our electronic communications is the least of our worries. The Supreme Court has ruled in Maryland v. King that police now have the authority to extract DNA samples from any person placed under arrest, without a warrant, and without due process. This means that the second a law enforcement officer places you in cuffs, your genetic materials are no longer your property, even if the charges against you are erroneous, if charges are ever filed at all. The government admits to having at least 10 million people catalogued in their genetic database already.
8) Since 9/11, U.S. cities have added approximately 30 million new CCTV cameras on top of those already in operation. After the Boston Bombing, even more are expected to be installed. There are few places in most major cities where you are not being watched, and even smaller municipalities with miniscule crime rates are beginning to follow suit.
It would seem that our government has somehow overlooked the 4th Amendment of our Constitution, and statist rationalists would do well to study it before defending their actions. Let’s read it, shall we?
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Now let’s examine the arguments of the establishment in favor of the Surveillance State:
Argument #1 (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%231): Mass Surveillance Has Been Going On For A Long Time And Is Nothing New
Dianne Feinstein and Lindsey Graham, perhaps the most evil political duo since McCain and Lieberman, have both used the above talking point in order to rationalize the mass surveillance of FISA and PRISM. But let’s put this in perspective…
Feinstein and Graham are essentially saying that because the government has criminally trespassed on our privacy for years, we should not complain when we discover that the invasion was a bit more elaborate than we had originally suspected. They are saying that because we allowed them to get away with taking an inch, we might as well allow them to get away with taking a mile. This is the logical fallacy of incrementalism, and tyrants use it in their arguments all the time.
Despotism rarely establishes itself overnight. Rather, it slithers slowly into the midst of a society like a parasite, and carefully entrenches itself under our skin bit-by-bit so that we do not notice until it is buried so deep we fear removing it at all. A line must be drawn in the sand eventually. Past mistakes are not a license for future failures and future regrets, and anyone who claims otherwise is trying to take something away from you.
Argument #2 (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%232): If You’re Not Talking To Terrorists, Then You Have Nothing To Worry About
Another debate point from the bottom feeding Lindsey Graham. First off, our Constitutional rights are not predicated on whether or not we are guilty of “terrorism”. Even a so-called terrorist is supposed to be protected under the Bill of Rights. The law is very clear, and this is not a negotiable position. Every American, regardless of government suspicion, has a right to privacy, and is protected from unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause. Period. Graham’s argument perpetuates the fallacy that the word “terrorism” is somehow a magical password that allows the federal government to bypass Constitutional barriers. I’m sorry to tell Lindsey that he is greatly mistaken.
Secondly, the very foundation of a free society requires that every person be treated as INNOCENT until proven guilty. Mass surveillance twists this principle, so that all people are treated by the state as guilty until proven innocent. Such a system will inevitably generate a vast rift between the populace and the government because it designates the political elite as the “watchers” and the public as the “watched”. As history has shown us, the "watchers" always become the enslavers, and the "watched" always become the enslaved.
I’m not sure why so many people, including U.S. senators, do not seem to grasp this concept.
Argument #3 (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%233): We Must Trust That The Government Is Using The Surveillance Apparatus For Good
Barack Obama in defense of the leaked PRISM initiative and all encompassing NSA surveillance stated that Americans must simply “trust” that the federal system is using the data they have criminally harvested for the good of the country. That is to say, we should have “faith” in the White House.
I’m sorry, but the Constitution was written exactly because governments are run by men, NOT benevolent gods, and men are notorious for abusing power. The Constitution exists because NO government can be trusted to act in a principled manner. We do not have to “trust” them because tight constitutional restrictions are in place to ensure that they aren’t given enough slack to become dangerous. When those restrictions are diminished, we get programs like PRISM…
The checks and balances of due process and warrants are supposed to be absolutely public and transparent so that we can see, with our own eyes, that all is being handled justly and honorably. Mass surveillance in particular is an affront to the 4th Amendment because there is no conceivable way that warrants could ever be issued for the incredible volume of materials gathered, and therefore, there is no conceivable way that any legitimate judicial oversight is being enforced. Secret courts, secret charges, secret programs targeting entire subsections of the population, were expressly forbidden by the Founding Fathers as totalitarian in nature.
In February of this year, Obama boasted during a Google Plus “Fireside Chat” that his was “the most transparent administration in history”. The ability of politicians to lie with sociopathic expertise is well documented, hence, my lack of faith.
The government and the Obama White House in particular do not deserve our trust. Trust has to be earned…
Argument #4 (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%234): Surveillance Programs Are Essential To The Safety Of The Public
At this point I find that anyone who still uses the “safety” position to justify the trampling of our freedoms is a lost cause. Years ago, when the surveillance grid was being put into place through legal chicanery, the common skeptic would insist that such subversive laws had not yet hurt anyone, and that the concerns of the Liberty Movement were “overblown”. Today, it’s no longer about theory. Our cultural pain is real, people are being targeted, people are suffering, and it’s only going to get worse from here on. And, as we warned a long time ago, the concept of “collective safety” would be the primary persuasion technique used to lead America further into oblivion.
In a race to spin the leak of PRISM, lawmakers and establishment shills have come out in droves to suggest that the secret surveillance state has “stopped terrorist attacks” and “saved lives”. Of course, because all the details of the program are classified, we’ll never see any proof that such claims are true. What a conundrum. Frankly, I know enough about government sponsored terrorism to understand that even if PRISM thwarted an attack, our clandestine alphabet bureaucracy has created far more death and destruction than they have ever prevented.
In the end, I couldn’t care less if PRISM stopped a terrorist act. The point is irrelevant. Our civil liberties are not subject to the supposed success of an unconstitutional government action. The promise of safety does not nullify our rights, nor does it give government capital to do whatever it pleases.
Comfort Means Death
I believe the establishment has moved away from the denial of so many abuses because it hopes to convince us that this is the “new normal” of our society. They want us to embrace the surveillance state and become comfortable in its cradling arms. I do not plan to get “comfortable”. When political villains no longer fear the exposure of their villainy, it is time to start worrying.
There has been a lot of unrestrained conjecture on the motivations of the suddenly world-famous Edward Snowden. The fact is we still know very little about him, and for now I will reserve judgment; partially because I know that one day people like myself could be accused of “fomenting controlled opposition” or “working for the enemy”. Our culture has become so cynical that we refuse to believe that anyone does anything anymore out of a sense of principle.
Whatever Snowden’s original intentions, I find his admitted reasons inspiring. When asked why he forced the truth of PRISM into the mainstream, Snowden replied:
"I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things ... I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under…"
"I'm willing to sacrifice all of that [career and former life] because I can't in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."
"My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which was done in their name and that which is done against them…I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions. I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."
The surveillance machine is the key to control. When each person feels the eyes of the state constantly upon them, dissent and rebellion becomes unthinkable. At the very least, those of us who are aware of the great Orwellian shift before us must take an immovable stand.
The right to privacy is an inherent right of natural law. No individual or government system should be allowed legal precedence to invade my privacy, and all people have the right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty rather than guilty until proven innocent. As an individual, I do not owe the collective, or the government, a constant update on whether or not I am a "threat". In fact, I don't owe anyone anything.
If someone continues to treat me as an enemy and constantly tramples my natural right to privacy, I am going to fight them, and I am going to hurt them, perhaps mortally. This is what people who support surveillance society need to understand; there will be consequences for their trespasses against the natural rights of others.
There can be no negotiation. There can be no compromise. The surveillance state must be erased.

It is important to realise that domestic surveillance and control is a chronic problem of western democracies, not just America. Here in the UK we are the most surveilled nation in the world.

David Guyatt
06-12-2013, 12:11 PM
My apologies if I am overdoing Tyler Durden posts but the guys has some important insights to make imo.


27 Edward Snowden Quotes About U.S. Government Spying That Should Send A Chill Up Your Spine (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-11/27-edward-snowden-quotes-about-us-government-spying-should-send-chill-your-spine)
http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/pictures/picture-5.jpg (http://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden)
Submitted by Tyler Durden (http://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden) on 06/11/2013 18:18 -0400


China (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/139)
default (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/7)
Hong Kong (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/10856)
national security (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/11981)
None (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/118)
SPY (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/148)


Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog (http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/27-edward-snowden-quotes-about-u-s-government-spying-that-should-send-a-chill-up-your-spine),
Would you be willing to give up what Edward Snowden has given up? He has given up his high paying job, his home, his girlfriend, his family, his future and his freedom just to expose the monolithic spy machinery that the U.S. government has been secretly building to the world. He says that he does not want to live in a world where there isn't any privacy. He says that he does not want to live in a world where everything that he says and does is recorded. Thanks to Snowden, we now know that the U.S. government has been spying on us to a degree that most people would have never even dared to imagine.
Up until now, the general public has known very little about the U.S. government spy grid that knows almost everything about us. But making this information public is going to cost Edward Snowden everything. Essentially, his previous life is now totally over. And if the U.S. government gets their hands on him, he will be very fortunate if he only has to spend the next several decades rotting in some horrible prison somewhere.
There is a reason why government whistleblowers are so rare. And most Americans are so apathetic that they wouldn't even give up watching their favorite television show for a single evening to do something good for society. Most Americans never even try to make a difference because they do not believe that it will benefit them personally. Meanwhile, our society continues to fall apart all around us. Hopefully the great sacrifice that Edward Snowden has made will not be in vain. Hopefully people will carefully consider what he has tried to share with the world.
The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about U.S. government spying that should send a chill up your spine...
[/URL]#1 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/code-name-verax-snowden-in-exchanges-with-post-reporter-made-clear-he-knew-risks/2013/06/09/c9a25b54-d14c-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_print.html) "The majority of people in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate."
#2 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/code-name-verax-snowden-in-exchanges-with-post-reporter-made-clear-he-knew-risks/2013/06/09/c9a25b54-d14c-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_print.html) "...I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents."
#3 (http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/10/politics/nsa-leak/index.html?hpt=hp_t1) "The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to."
#4 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance) "...I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."
#5 (http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/10/politics/nsa-leak/index.html?hpt=hp_t1) "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything."
#6 (http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/10/politics/nsa-leak/index.html?hpt=hp_t1) "With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards."
#7 (http://www.naturalnews.com/040694_Edward_Snowden_Glenn_Greenwald_interview.ht ml) "Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere... I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President..."
#8 (http://www.naturalnews.com/040694_Edward_Snowden_Glenn_Greenwald_interview.ht ml) "To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that's the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so."
#9 (http://www.naturalnews.com/040694_Edward_Snowden_Glenn_Greenwald_interview.ht ml) "I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians."
#10 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance) "...they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them."
#11 (http://www.naturalnews.com/040694_Edward_Snowden_Glenn_Greenwald_interview.ht ml) "Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded. ...it's getting to the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life."
#12 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/intelligence-leaders-push-back-on-leakers-media/2013/06/09/fff80160-d122-11e2-a73e-826d299ff459_story.html) "Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest."
#13 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/intelligence-leaders-push-back-on-leakers-media/2013/06/09/fff80160-d122-11e2-a73e-826d299ff459_story.html) "Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state."
#14 (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/09/us-usa-security-identity-idUSBRE9580DW20130609) "I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."
#15 (http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/10/politics/nsa-leak/index.html?hpt=hp_t1) "I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."
#16 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance) "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong."
#17 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance) "I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act."
#18 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance) "There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich."
#19 (http://www.naturalnews.com/040694_Edward_Snowden_Glenn_Greenwald_interview.ht ml) "The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won't be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things... And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it's only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that... because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny."
#20 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance) "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."
#21 (http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/10/politics/nsa-leak/index.html?hpt=hp_t1) "You can't come up against the world's most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk."
#22 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance) "I know the media likes to personalize political debates, and I know the government will demonize me."
#23 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance) "We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be."
#24 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/code-name-verax-snowden-in-exchanges-with-post-reporter-made-clear-he-knew-risks/2013/06/09/c9a25b54-d14c-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_print.html) "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end."
#25 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/code-name-verax-snowden-in-exchanges-with-post-reporter-made-clear-he-knew-risks/2013/06/09/c9a25b54-d14c-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_print.html) "There’s no saving me."
#26 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance) "The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won't be able to help any more. That's what keeps me up at night."
[URL="http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%2327"]#27 (http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/10/politics/nsa-leak/index.html?hpt=hp_t1) "I do not expect to see home again."
Would you make the same choice that Edward Snowden made? Most Americans would not. One CNN reporter (http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/10/opinion/rushkoff-snowden-hero/index.html?hpt=hp_t4) says that he really admires Snowden because he has tried to get insiders to come forward with details about government spying for years, but none of them were ever willing to...





As a digital technology writer, I have had more than one former student and colleague tell me about digital switchers they have serviced through which calls and data are diverted to government servers or the big data algorithms they've written to be used on our e-mails by intelligence agencies. I always begged them to write about it or to let me do so while protecting their identities. They refused to come forward and believed my efforts to shield them would be futile. "I don't want to lose my security clearance. Or my freedom," one told me.
And if the U.S. government has anything to say about it, Snowden is most definitely going to pay for what he has done. In fact, according to the Daily Beast (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/10/inside-the-q-group-the-directorate-hunting-down-andrew-snowden.html), a directorate known as "the Q Group" is already hunting Snowden down...





The people who began chasing Snowden work for the Associate Directorate for Security and Counterintelligence, according to former U.S. intelligence officers who spoke on condition of anonymity. The directorate, sometimes known as “the Q Group,” is continuing to track Snowden now that he’s outed himself as The Guardian’s source, according to the intelligence officers.
If Snowden is not already under the protection of some foreign government (such as China), it will just be a matter of time before U.S. government agents get him.
And how will they treat him once they find him? Well, one reporter overheard a group of U.S. intelligence officials talking about how Edward Snowden should be "disappeared". The following is from a Daily Mail article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2338418/Steve-Clemons-leak-Intelligence-officials-overheard-joking-NSA-leaker-disappeared-handing-classified-documents-press.html?ito=feeds-newsxml) that was posted on Monday...





A group of intelligence officials were overheard yesterday discussing how the National Security Agency worker who leaked sensitive documents to a reporter last week should be 'disappeared.'
Foreign policy analyst and editor at large of The Atlantic, Steve Clemons, tweeted about the 'disturbing' conversation after listening in to four men who were sitting near him as he waited for a flight at Washington's Dulles airport.

'In Dulles UAL lounge listening to 4 US intel officials saying loudly leaker & reporter on #NSA (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23NSA)stuff should be disappeared recorded a bit,' he tweeted at 8:42 a.m. on Saturday.
According to Clemons, the men had been attending an event hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
As an American, I am deeply disturbed that the U.S. government is embarrassing itself in front of the rest of the world like this.
The fact that we are collecting trillions of pieces of information (http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/twenty-trillion-phone-calls-theyve-been-collecting-data-about-all-domestic-calls-since-october-2001_06102013) on people all over the planet is a massive embarrassment and the fact that our politicians are defending this practice now that it has been exposed is a massive embarrassment.
If the U.S. government continues to act like a Big Brother police state, then the rest of the world will eventually conclude that is exactly what we are. At that point we become the "bad guy" and we lose all credibility with the rest of the planet.

Peter Lemkin
06-12-2013, 03:41 PM
No, Dave, I find those quotes of Snowden very important, cogent and significant to all of us...the reason I have yet to be convinced he is other than he says he is. Seeing what his salary was, what his girlfriend looked like and his home, etc. he had nothing to gain and everything to loose.....UNLESS he was really committed to the political awareness and change his actions would bring - despite his likely ill-fate or even torture and death. A very brave guy until I'm shown evidence otherwise!

--------------------------------

LONDON, June 11 (UPI) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (http://www.upi.com/topic/Julian_Assange/) said he's had contact with Edward Snowden, who took responsibility for publicizing a U.S. government surveillance program.
Snowden leaked information on the National Security Agency's "Prism" cellphone and Internet monitoring program. He has been in hiding, reportedly in Hong Kong.
In an exclusive interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s "Lateline," Assange demanded the Australian government reveal any tie it may have to Prism and said Australians may have been targeted by it.
"We have had indirect communication with his people," Assange said of Snowden. "I don't think it's appropriate at this time that I go into further details."
Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, fighting extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning on sexual assault allegations. He has expressed concern about being extradited to the United States because of the millions of pages of sensitive, classified U.S. military and diplomatic documents posted on his whistle-blowing website.
Britain has denied claims its spy agencies were involved in Prism and Assange said Australia must reveal any involvement it may have, ABC reported Tuesday.
"We must ask the question, and the Australian government must answer the question: How many Australians have been intercepted?" Assange said.
He also wondered whether Australian and U.S. agencies pooled information about Australians and whether the Australian government is "involved in this warrantless interception program."


Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2013/06/11/WikiLeaks-Assange-says-he-had-indirect-contact-with-Snowden/UPI-23981370952001/#ixzz2W17Ur4C0

Lauren Johnson
06-12-2013, 04:09 PM
No, Dave, I find those quotes of Snowden very important, cogent and significant to all of us...the reason I have yet to be convinced he is other than he says he is. Seeing what his salary was, what his girlfriend looked like and his home, etc. he had nothing to gain and everything to loose.....UNLESS he was really committed to the political awareness and change his actions would bring - despite his likely ill-fate or even torture and death. A very brave guy until I'm shown evidence otherwise!



Once again, I want to believe what he says, but remain skeptical. Your argument that he has a lot to lose, ( like his pole-dancing girl friend), cannot be trumped by a number of things that we all know -- mind control, "persuasion," and ideology (of what we know nothing) just to name three. "Snowden" is a blank slate upon which many things have been and are being painted.

Jan Klimkowski
06-12-2013, 04:44 PM
Another asepct of this, which is hardly being discussed, is that private military contractors appear to have unfettered access to search for anything they want (subject to the fig leaf of a single "dodgy" connection at any stage in a person's history).

So, in addition to the ability of intelligence agencies to use illegally obtained information as leverage over a person, private military contractors also now have the ability to blackmail or blacklist anyone they like.

Peter Lemkin
06-12-2013, 04:47 PM
deleted

David Guyatt
06-12-2013, 04:47 PM
Another asepct of this, which is hardly being discussed, is that private military contractors appear to have unfettered access to search for anything they want (subject to the fig leaf of a single "dodgy" connection at any stage in a person's history).

So, in addition to the ability of intelligence agencies to use illegally obtained information as leverage over a person, private military contractors also now have the ability to blackmail or blacklist anyone they like.

A very good point Jan. Private spying is big business and blackmail will become a real earner under this scenario.

Edit =:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrRZVCg31fE

Jim Hackett II
06-12-2013, 04:50 PM
Everything is tracked, recorded or logged it seems.
It would be one of very few choices of integrity to reveal and revolt against totalitarianism.
My country: TO BE MADE RIGHT WHEN WRONG.
I can support Mr. Snowden as the "story" stands now.

Never my country 'right or wrong',
Never Cheney's "If you are not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about."
We have heard all that BS before.....
From Goebbels.
:hitler:

Jan Klimkowski
06-12-2013, 05:25 PM
Another asepct of this, which is hardly being discussed, is that private military contractors appear to have unfettered access to search for anything they want (subject to the fig leaf of a single "dodgy" connection at any stage in a person's history).

So, in addition to the ability of intelligence agencies to use illegally obtained information as leverage over a person, private military contractors also now have the ability to blackmail or blacklist anyone they like.

A very good point Jan. Private spying is big business and blackmail will become a real earner under this scenario.



And a very funny snatch of Python!

Adele Edisen
06-13-2013, 04:22 AM
Video: 3:33 minutes long

http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/06/07/whytv-russ-on-nsa-surveillance/

Adele

Peter Lemkin
06-13-2013, 04:37 AM
Video: 3:33 minutes long

http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/06/07/whytv-russ-on-nsa-surveillance/

Adele

Interesting you should mention that.....it seems as I write his website is undergoing a denial of service attack by some entity [maybe even the NSA or one of their 'contractors']! I was able to find a 3.5 minute interview with him on RT on the RT site, perhaps that was what you were pointing to.

Magda Hassan
06-13-2013, 04:52 AM
Another asepct of this, which is hardly being discussed, is that private military contractors appear to have unfettered access to search for anything they want (subject to the fig leaf of a single "dodgy" connection at any stage in a person's history).

So, in addition to the ability of intelligence agencies to use illegally obtained information as leverage over a person, private military contractors also now have the ability to blackmail or blacklist anyone they like.
Good point! And it is not being explored anywhere that I can see. As well as blackmail it can also be used for insider trading and other stock market type system gaming as welll as taking out competitors. Most of the intel corporations have other business interests like media holdings and aerospace.

Peter Lemkin
06-13-2013, 06:41 AM
Obama Asks Military to Draw Up Plans for Offensive Overseas Cyber-StrikesGlenn Greenwald – who broke the phone (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order) and internet (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data) spying stories this week – has a new exposé … this time on offensive cyber-warfare (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/obama-china-targets-cyber-overseas):
Barack Obama (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/barack-obama) has ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks, a top secret presidential directive obtained by the Guardian reveals.
***
An intelligence source with extensive knowledge of the National Security Agency’s systems told the Guardian … “We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world.”
***
The full classified directive repeatedly emphasizes that all cyber-operations must be conducted in accordance with US law and only as a complement to diplomatic and military options. But it also makes clear how both offensive and defensive cyber operations are central to US strategy.
Under the heading “Policy Reviews and Preparation”, a section marked “TS/NF” – top secret/no foreign – states: “The secretary of defense, the DNI [Director of National Intelligence], and the director of the CIA … shall prepare for approval by the president through the National Security Advisor a plan that identifies potential systems, processes and infrastructure against which the United States should establish and maintain OCEO capabilities…” The deadline for the plan is six months after the approval of the directive.
The directive provides that any cyber-operations “intended or likely to produce cyber effects within the United States” require the approval of the president, except in the case of an “emergency cyber action”. When such an emergency arises, several departments, including the department of defense, are authorized to conduct such domestic operations without presidential approval.
Obama further authorized the use of offensive cyber attacks in foreign nations without their government’s consent whenever “US national interests and equities” require such nonconsensual attacks. It expressly reserves the right to use cyber tactics as part of what it calls “anticipatory action taken against imminent threats”.
The directive makes multiple references to the use of offensive cyber attacks by the US military.
Greenwald and others have long reported that the Obama administration claims the right to bejudge, jury and executioner (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/02/the-white-house-is-judge-jury-and-executioner-of-both-drone-and-cyber-attacks.html) in both drone assassinations and offensive cyber attacks.Greenwald also reports that the head of the cyber command is the NSA boss … the same guyresponsible for much of the spying we’ve been hearing about:
In January, the Pentagon announced a major expansion of its Cyber Command Unit, under the command of General Keith Alexander, who is also the director of the NSA. That unit is responsible for executing both offensive and defensive cyber operations.
(There are other overlaps and interconnections (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/10/the-same-secret-government-agency-which-spies-on-all-americans-also-decides-who-gets-assassinated-by-drones.html) between spying and warfare as well.)The War Comes HomeOffensive cyber operations are not only occurring overseas …The Department of Defense has long waged cyber-war against Americans by censoring and manipulating social media (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/government-power-being-used-to-stifle-dissent-not-to-keep-us-safe.html) and other websites. More proof here (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/pentagon-seeks-to-manipulate-social-media-for-propaganda-purposes.html) and here (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/02/you-know-those-obnoxious-posters-who-almost-seem-like-alter-egos-of-the-same-person-they-actually-might-be.html).This is not entirely surprising, given that:

Programs which the government claims are aimed at foreign entities have long been used against American citizens living in the United States (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2008/05/programs-which-the-government-claims-are-aimed-at-foreign-enemies-are-being-used-against-american-citizens-within-the-united-states.html)


The “war on terror” has come home. If the government claims the power to assassinate and indefinitely detain American citizens living on U.S. soil (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/03/attorney-general-holder-prez-can-assassinate-americans-on-u-s-soil.html) … it’ s not going to hesitate in targeting them for propaganda and cyber-warfare


The government has long sought to spread propaganda through mainstream media (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/mainstream-media-presstitutes-for-the-rich-and-powerful.html), video games (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/01/government-pushes-propaganda-through-video-games.html), movies, television (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/01/the-cia-and-other-government-agencies-dominate-hollywood-movies-and-television.html), and every other popular medium. Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein says the CIA bought and paid for many successful journalists (http://carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php). See also this (http://papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/23/the-cia-and-the-culture-war/index.html?hp) New York Times piece, this essay (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/how-the-spooks-took-over-the-news-780672.html) by the Independent, this speech (http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2007/07/the-invisible-government/) by one of the premier writers on journalism, and this (http://www.answers.com/topic/operation-mockingbird) and this roundup (http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/MOCK/mockingbird.html). And the CIA is investing in technology which lets them cut out the middle man altogether … by having a computer write news stories (http://allthingsd.com/20130605/the-c-i-a-invests-in-narrative-science-and-its-automated-writers/)


On the other hand, real reporters who criticize those in power are being harassed, targeted and smeared (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/the-bigger-story-behind-the-ap-spying-scandal.html)


Government agencies are scouring the Web for any critical comments about them (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/government-power-being-used-to-stifle-dissent-not-to-keep-us-safe.html), actively manipulating social media (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/pentagon-seeks-to-manipulate-social-media-for-propaganda-purposes.html) for propaganda purposes, and to help the too big to fail businesses compete against smaller businesses (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/09/the-national-security-apparatus-has-been-hijacked-to-serve-the-needs-of-big-business.html) (and here (http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/06/wall-streets-secret-spy-center-run-for-the-1-by-nypd/)), and to promote viewpoints which havenothing to do with keeping us safe (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-dhs-defends-globalism-not-america)

Peter Lemkin
06-13-2013, 06:44 AM
Snowden' Second Interview To Hong Kong Paper: "I Am Not Here To Hide From Justice; I Am Here To Reveal Criminality"
http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/pictures/picture-5.jpg (http://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden)
Submitted by Tyler Durden (http://www.zerohedge.com/users/tyler-durden) on 06/12/2013 11:49 -0400



Following the dramatic self-revelatory interview/profiling of Edward Snowden by the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, the media world, and everyone else, has been abuzz about what other revelations the NSA whistleblower may bring to light. Moments ago, the South China Morning Post releases the much anticipated second interview with the 29 year old. While hardly earth-shattering, it does provide some additional insight into the mind of the administration's current persona most non grata.
From South China Morning Post (http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1259422/edward-snowden-let-hong-kong-people-decide-my-fate):





Snowden said last night that he had no doubts about his choice of Hong Kong.

“People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden said in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post.

“I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts, because I have faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law,” he added.

Snowden says he has committed no crimes in Hong Kong and has “been given no reason to doubt [Hong Kong’s legal] system”.

“My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate,” he said.

...

Beijing will seek to interfere in a likely extradition case.

The Hong Kong government has so far refused to comment on Snowden’s case. While many Hong Kong lawmakers, legal experts, activisits and members of the public have called on the city’s courts to protect Snowden’s rights, others such as Beijing loyalist lawmaker and former security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said he should leave.

Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai said he was surprised by Snowden’s choice, adding: “Snowden’s positive view of Hong Kong no longer matches the reality.”

Law said a possible reason for his choice could be Hong Kong’s role as the region’s news hub.

“Hong Kong remains a hub of the global media, not least because of its proximity to the economic boom in southern China and the ease of access to many other Asian cities. The publicity could complicate efforts by the United States to charge Snowden and have him deported,” he said.

Snowden said yesterday that he felt safe in the city.

“As long as I am assured a free and fair trial, and asked to appear, that seems reasonable,” he said.

He says he plans to stay in Hong Kong until he is “asked to leave”.

The United States has not yet filed an application for extradition.

Snowden could choose to fight any extradition attempt in court. Another option open to him is to seek refugee status from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Hong Kong.

...
Local activists plan to take to the streets on Saturday in support of Snowden. Groups including the Civil Human Rights Front and international human rights groups will march from Chater Gardens in Central to the US consulate on Garden Road, starting at 3pm.

The march is being organised by In-media, a website supporting freelance journalists.

“We call on Hong Kong to respect international legal standards and procedures relating to the protection of Snowden; we condemn the US government for violating our rights and privacy; and we call on the US not to prosecute Snowden,” the group said in a statement.

Peter Lemkin
06-13-2013, 07:03 AM
'I am not afraid, because this is the choice I've made'Three weeks ago, Snowden made final preparations that resulted in last week's series of blockbuster news stories. At the NSA office in Hawaii where he was working, he copied the last set of documents he intended to disclose.
He then advised his NSA supervisor that he needed to be away from work for "a couple of weeks" in order to receive treatment for epilepsy, a condition he learned he suffers from after a series of seizures last year.
As he packed his bags, he told his girlfriend that he had to be away for a few weeks, though he said he was vague about the reason. "That is not an uncommon occurrence for someone who has spent the last decade working in the intelligence world."
On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent", and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.
In the three weeks since he arrived, he has been ensconced in a hotel room. "I've left the room maybe a total of three times during my entire stay," he said. It is a plush hotel and, what with eating meals in his room too, he has run up big bills.
He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.
Though that may sound like paranoia to some, Snowden has good reason for such fears. He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade. He knows that the biggest and most secretive surveillance organisation in America, the NSA, along with the most powerful government on the planet, is looking for him.
Since the disclosures began to emerge, he has watched television and monitored the internet, hearing all the threats and vows of prosecution emanating from Washington.
And he knows only too well the sophisticated technology available to them and how easy it will be for them to find him. The NSA police and other law enforcement officers have twice visited his home in Hawaii and already contacted his girlfriend, though he believes that may have been prompted by his absence from work, and not because of suspicions of any connection to the leaks.
"All my options are bad," he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.
"Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets," he said.
"We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be."
Having watched the Obama administration (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/obama-administration) prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate, he fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him. "I am not afraid," he said calmly, "because this is the choice I've made."
He predicts the government will launch an investigation and "say I have broken the Espionage Act and helped our enemies, but that can be used against anyone who points out how massive and invasive the system has become".
The only time he became emotional during the many hours of interviews was when he pondered the impact his choices would have on his family, many of whom work for the US government. "The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won't be able to help any more. That's what keeps me up at night," he said, his eyes welling up with tears.
'You can't wait around for someone else to act'Snowden did not always believe the US government posed a threat to his political values. He was brought up originally in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His family moved later to Maryland, near the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade.
By his own admission, he was not a stellar student. In order to get the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, he attended a community college in Maryland, studying computing, but never completed the coursework. (He later obtained his GED.)
In 2003, he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces. Invoking the same principles that he now cites to justify his leaks, he said: "I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression".
He recounted how his beliefs about the war's purpose were quickly dispelled. "Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone," he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.
After that, he got his first job in an NSA facility, working as a security guard for one of the agency's covert facilities at the University of Maryland. From there, he went to the CIA, where he worked on IT security. His understanding of the internet and his talent for computer programming enabled him to rise fairly quickly for someone who lacked even a high school diploma.
By 2007, the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents.
That access, along with the almost three years he spent around CIA officers, led him to begin seriously questioning the rightness of what he saw.
He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.
"Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world," he says. "I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good."
He said it was during his CIA stint in Geneva that he thought for the first time about exposing government secrets. But, at the time, he chose not to for two reasons.
First, he said: "Most of the secrets the CIA has are about people, not machines and systems, so I didn't feel comfortable with disclosures that I thought could endanger anyone". Secondly, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 gave him hope that there would be real reforms, rendering disclosures unnecessary.
He left the CIA in 2009 in order to take his first job working for a private contractor that assigned him to a functioning NSA facility, stationed on a military base in Japan. It was then, he said, that he "watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in", and as a result, "I got hardened."
The primary lesson from this experience was that "you can't wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act."
Over the next three years, he learned just how all-consuming the NSA's surveillance activities were, claiming "they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them".
He described how he once viewed the internet as "the most important invention in all of human history". As an adolescent, he spent days at a time "speaking to people with all sorts of views that I would never have encountered on my own".
But he believed that the value of the internet, along with basic privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance. "I don't see myself as a hero," he said, "because what I'm doing is self-interested: I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."
Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA's surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. "What they're doing" poses "an existential threat to democracy", he said.
A matter of principleAs strong as those beliefs are, there still remains the question: why did he do it? Giving up his freedom and a privileged lifestyle? "There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich."
For him, it is a matter of principle. "The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to," he said.
His allegiance to internet freedom is reflected in the stickers on his laptop: "I support Online Rights: Electronic Frontier Foundation," reads one. Another hails the online organisation offering anonymity, the Tor Project.
Asked by reporters to establish his authenticity to ensure he is not some fantasist, he laid bare, without hesitation, his personal details, from his social security number to his CIA ID and his expired diplomatic passport. There is no shiftiness. Ask him about anything in his personal life and he will answer.
He is quiet, smart, easy-going and self-effacing. A master on computers, he seemed happiest when talking about the technical side of surveillance, at a level of detail comprehensible probably only to fellow communication specialists. But he showed intense passion when talking about the value of privacy and how he felt it was being steadily eroded by the behaviour of the intelligence services.
His manner was calm and relaxed but he has been understandably twitchy since he went into hiding, waiting for the knock on the hotel door. A fire alarm goes off. "That has not happened before," he said, betraying anxiety wondering if was real, a test or a CIA ploy to get him out onto the street.
Strewn about the side of his bed are his suitcase, a plate with the remains of room-service breakfast, and a copy of Angler, the biography of former vice-president Dick Cheney.
Ever since last week's news stories began to appear in the Guardian, Snowden has vigilantly watched TV and read the internet to see the effects of his choices. He seemed satisfied that the debate he longed to provoke was finally taking place.
He lay, propped up against pillows, watching CNN's Wolf Blitzer ask a discussion panel about government intrusion if they had any idea who the leaker was. From 8,000 miles away, the leaker looked on impassively, not even indulging in a wry smile.
Snowden said that he admires both Ellsberg and Manning, but argues that there is one important distinction between himself and the army private, whose trial coincidentally began the week Snowden's leaks began to make news.
"I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest," he said. "There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn't turn over, because harming people isn't my goal. Transparency is."
He purposely chose, he said, to give the documents to journalists whose judgment he trusted about what should be public and what should remain concealed.
As for his future, he is vague. He hoped the publicity the leaks have generated will offer him some protection, making it "harder for them to get dirty".
He views his best hope as the possibility of asylum, with Iceland – with its reputation of a champion of internet freedom – at the top of his list. He knows that may prove a wish unfulfilled.
But after the intense political controversy he has already created with just the first week's haul of stories, "I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets."

Jan Klimkowski
06-13-2013, 12:36 PM
Another asepct of this, which is hardly being discussed, is that private military contractors appear to have unfettered access to search for anything they want (subject to the fig leaf of a single "dodgy" connection at any stage in a person's history).

So, in addition to the ability of intelligence agencies to use illegally obtained information as leverage over a person, private military contractors also now have the ability to blackmail or blacklist anyone they like.

Good point! And it is not being explored anywhere that I can see. As well as blackmail it can also be used for insider trading and other stock market type system gaming as welll as taking out competitors. Most of the intel corporations have other business interests like media holdings and aerospace.

The military-multinational-intelligence complex and the false Church of Free Market Capitalism are now so dominant that it is assumed as an article of unquestionable faith that:

Public Service = bad, inefficient and wasteful

Private for Profit = good, efficient and lean

Of course in reality the Private for Profit model will lie, cheat and charge exorbitantly for every transaction in the cause of profit maximisation for shareholders and obscene bonuses for executives.

As Shock Therapy is being implemented in the so-called First World, the privatisation of state assets (eg the Greek public service broadcaster) and contracting out of state functions (eg intelligence analysis), continues apace.

The reality is that private companies now have essentially unfettered access to every aspect of our lives, and noone is even questioning this.

Peter Lemkin
06-13-2013, 06:08 PM
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The NSA and the Infrastructure of the Surveillance State
by ERIC DRAITSER
It has long been known that cyberspace is one of the main battlegrounds in the 21st century. However, last week’s shocking revelations about the NSA’s surveillance and data-gathering activities illustrate the extent to which US intelligence seeks “full-spectrum dominance” in cyberspace.
Although there have been myriad articles in recent days about the various aspects of the NSA surveillance story, none seem to focus on the fact that US intelligence effectively has access to all data transmitted, not just that on Verizon or Google servers. Essentially, the intelligence community – a convenient euphemism for that complex that includes private contractors and government agencies – acts much like a filter, sifting and straining all information through its various systems. However, it is important to realize that the system that the government has established is an all-encompassing one, including access to data in company servers in addition to access to the cable and fiber-optic infrastructure that actually transmits the data.
On the one hand, there is the PRISM system which, as the Washington Post reported (http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-06-06/news/39784046_1_prism-nsa-u-s-servers), allows “The National Security Agency and the FBI [to tap] directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, emails, documents, and connection logs.” Aside from being a blatant violation of the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution, Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and countless other international standards, the program has been vigorously defended by Obama Administration officials who, like their predecessors in the Bush Administration, invoke the always convenient “National Security” trump card to justify their illegal actions.
The PRISM system should be understood as a collusion between the NSA and major internet companies against the interests of ordinary Americans. Because the PRISM system is justified as being used solely to “target and track foreign targets,” somehow American citizens are supposed to feel at ease. It is important to note that PRISM makes use of obviously illegal tactics which “circumvent formal legal processes…to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos.” This is the crux of the PRISM aspect of this scandal: it is blatantly illegal.
If PRISM were the only system being used by the government agencies, then the story would not be nearly as frightening as it is. Instead, we must also examine the so-called BLARNEY system which “Gathers up metadata from choke points along the backbone of the internet as part of an ongoing collection program the leverages IC (intelligence community) and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.” This system allows the NSA (and likely other government agencies) to control the flow of all information transmitted via fiber-optic cables.
As the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote in its summary (https://www.eff.org/files/filenode/att/presskit/ATT_onepager.pdf) of the testimonies of former AT&T technician Mark Klein and former Senior Advisor for Internet Technology at the FCC Scott Marcus, “Using a device called a ‘splitter’ a complete copy of the internet traffic that AT&T receives…is diverted onto a separate fiber-optic cable which is connected to a room which is controlled by the NSA.” Therefore, unlike PRISM, which the government and its apologists attempt to justify as being used to target key individuals, BLARNEY has no such capacity. Rather, it is designed solely to collect data, all internet data, to be used and likely stored.
Naturally, the revelations about the BLARNEY system shed light on the possible motivations of the NSA for the construction of enormous data storage facilities such as the Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah. As reported in Wired (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/) magazine:

But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed… According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”
This facility, along with others that likely exist but remain secret, is an integral part of the surveillance state system. It is not enough to simply capture all the communications data, it must be stored and readily available. What the NSA primarily, and other agencies secondarily, are doing is developing a cyber-infrastructure that both incorporates, and is independent of, internet companies and service providers. While relying on corporations’ for access to data and networks, the NSA simultaneously has developed a parallel structure for information gathering and storage that is not only outside the control of private companies, it is outside the law.
Of course, there are many political and economic factors that play into this issue. The legal framework developed in the post-9/11 era including draconian legislation such as the PATRIOT Act, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and many others, laid the foundation for the systemic and systematic stripping away of civil liberties and human rights. The technical infrastructure has been steadily evolving since 9/11 as technology continues to improve, providing the intelligence agencies with ever more tools for surveillance and intelligence gathering. The continued, unrestrained neoliberal policy of privatization has created a complex network of companies, contractors, and subcontractors, usually working independently of each other, all in the service of the security state. Finally, the political landscape in the United States has so thoroughly devolved that elected officials are more concerned about stopping the whistleblowers and leakers, than about addressing America’s continued descent into a fascist police state.
Despite all of this, Americans continue to be told that this is the “sweet land of liberty”. We may be able to buy Nike sneakers and flat screen TVs, but that’s not liberty. We may be able to tweet with our iPhones and download our favorite movies, but that’s not liberty either. Rather, as George Orwell famously wrote, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” So yes, tell the people what they don’t want to hear. Just know this…someone will be listening.
Eric Draitser is the founder of StopImperialism.com (http://www.stopimperialism.com/). He is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City. You can reach him at ericdraitser@gmail.com.

Peter Lemkin
06-13-2013, 07:11 PM
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We want to go on to the National Security Agency director, General Keith Alexander, who testified before Congress Wednesday, a week after a trove of secret documents about his agency’s widespread surveillance program stunned the nation and sparked heated debate. During his testimony, Alexander denied claims he has personal wiretapping abilities at the agency and insisted phone data collection has helped prevent dozens of terrorist attacks. He refused to publicly answer questions about how the NSA had made the transition to collecting phone records of Americans. Alexander also said he hoped for greater transparency around the surveillance programs, but he argued some secrecy helps the agency’s mission. He was also asked about the impact of the NSA leaks. This was his response.

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: Great harm has already been done by opening this up. And the consequence, I believe, is our security is jeopardized. There is no doubt in my mind that we will lose capabilities as a result of this and that not only the United States, but those allies that we have helped, will no longer be as safe as they were two weeks ago. And so, I am really concerned about that. I’m also concerned that, as we go forward, we now know that some of this has been released. So what does it make sense to explain to the American people so they have confidence that their government is doing the right thing? Because I believe we are, and we have to show them that.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: The disclosure of the secret NSA surveillance program was based on information leaked by Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who most recently worked inside the NSA’s Hawaii office for the private firm Booz Allen Hamilton. In an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post, Snowden said, quote, "I’m neither traitor nor hero, I’m an American." He also said he intends to stay in Hong Kong until he’s asked to leave, and he intends to fight any extradition attempts by the U.S. government. Snowden also told the paper, quote, "People who think I made a mistake in picking [Hong Kong] as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality."
AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we’re joined by Christopher Pyle, who first exposed domestic spying in the 1970s here in the U.S. Pyle discovered the CIA was spying on millions of Americans engaged in lawful activity while he was in the Army and worked as an instructor. After he left, he wrote about the Army’s vast and growing spy operations. His article from 1971 began, quote, "For the past four years, the U.S. Army has been closely watching civilian political activity within the United States." Pyle’s story prompted Senate hearings, including Senator Frank Church’s Select Committee on Intelligence. These ultimately led to a series of laws aimed at curbing government abuse. Chris Pyle is the co-author of Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics, Getting Away with Torture and The Constitution Under Siege. He now teaches constitutional law and civil liberties at Mount Holyoke College and recently wrote a piece (http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/06/13-4) headlined, "Edward Snowden and the Real Issues." He joins us from Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Welcome to Democracy Now!, Professor Pyle. Talk about what you feel those real issues are. But before you do, explain what happened to you, how it was you revealed in the early ’70s what was going on in the military.
CHRISTOPHER PYLE: I received a briefing at the U.S. Army Intelligence Command that showed me the extent of the surveillance system. There were about 1,500 Army agents in plain clothes watching every demonstration in the United States of 20 people or more. There was also a records system in a giant warehouse on about six million people. I disclosed the existence of that surveillance and then recruited 125 of the Army’s counterintelligence agents to tell what they knew about the spying to Congress, the courts and the press. As a result of those disclosures and the congressional hearings, the entire U.S. Army Intelligence Command was abolished. This was before Watergate.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Professor Pyle, did you, at that time, suffer any repercussions from your willingness to step forward and reveal what was going on to Congress?
CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, two things happened. The Army created a 50-man unit in the Pentagon whose sole job was to discredit my disclosures. That effort failed: The disclosures were all quite accurate. I was also put on President Nixon’s enemies list, which resulted in a tax audit.
AMY GOODMAN: Christopher Pyle, let’s turn for a minute to the Church Committee’s special Senate investigation of government misconduct, which you played a key role in the mid-'70s, U.S. Senate committee chaired by Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho, who conducted a massive investigation of the CIA and FBI's misuse of power at home and abroad, the multi-year investigation examining domestic spying, the CIA’s attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, the FBI and CIA’s efforts to infiltrate and disrupt leftist organizations, and a lot more. This is Senator Frank Church speaking during one of the committee’s hearings.

SEN. FRANK CHURCH: You have seen today the dark side of those activities, where many Americans who were not even suspected of crime were not only spied upon, but they were harassed, they were discredited and, at times, endangered.
AMY GOODMAN: And this is another clip from the Church Committee Senate hearing. This is CIA Director William Colby testifying. He was asked if he found the work of the committee unwelcome.

WILLIAM COLBY: No, I do not. I’ve—as I’ve said to the chairman, I welcome the chance to try to describe to the American people what intelligence is really about today. It’s a—it is an opportunity to show how we Americans have modernized the whole concept of intelligence.
AMY GOODMAN: That was then-CIA Director William Colby. So, if you would, Chris Pyle, take this forward, from what came out of the Church Committee hearings, that started with your exposé from being a military whistleblower, to what you’re seeing today with Edward Snowden.
CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, what we’ve seen in the ensuing years has been a vast explosion in intelligence-gathering capabilities. But the most significant part of that is the fact that civilian corporations are now doing the government’s work. Seventy percent of the intelligence budget of the United States today goes to private contractors like Booz Allen, which employed Edward Snowden. This is a major change in the power of surveillance. It now goes not only to the government, but to private corporations.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, you seem—in a recent article, you seem to raise what you think are the real issues in these Snowden leaks. You mention, one, the inability of Congress to actually do legitimate oversight over intelligence. You say that the secrecy system is out of control. And you also say that the system is also profoundly corrupt because of all this use of private contractors who make huge amounts of money that no one can actually hold them accountable for. Could you talk about those issues?
CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Yes. The forerunner of the PRISM system that Snowden disclosed was called Trailblazer. It wasted $1 billion on private contracts. It replaced a much less expensive system called ThinThread, which had more privacy protections and had been developed inside the government. Now, the reason that private contractors get this business is because members of Congress intercede with them with government agencies. And we now have a situation where members of the Intelligence Committee and other committees of Congress intercede with the bureaucracy to get sweetheart contracts for companies that waste taxpayers’ money and also violate the Constitution and the privacy of citizens. This is a very serious situation, because it means that it’s much more difficult to get effective oversight from Congress.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go back to the Senate Appropriation Committee hearing with the NSA director, General Keith Alexander, defending the phone surveillance practices exposed by Edward Snowden.

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: I thought the great part about this program was that we brought Congress, the administration and the courts all together. We did that. That’s what our government stands for, under the same Constitution. We follow that Constitution. We swear an oath to it. So I am concerned, and I think we have to balance that. I will not—I would rather take a public beating and people think I’m hiding something than to jeopardize the security of this country.
AMY GOODMAN: Professor Pyle, could you respond?
CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, we all want to protect the security of the country. We all want to protect the Constitution. But when government agencies are totally unaccountable, we can’t do that. Members of Congress do not go to those briefings, even if they’re offered, because once you go to the briefing, then you can’t talk about what you’ve been told, because it’s classified. So the briefing system is designed to silence Congress, not to promote effective oversight.
Members of Congress don’t want to spend time on oversight. They’re too busy raising money. New members of the House of Representatives this winter were told by the Democratic Campaign Committee that they should spend between four and six hours a day dialing for dollars. They have no time to do the public’s business. They’re too busy begging for money. President Obama himself attended 220 fundraisers last year. Where does he get the time to be president when he’s spending so much time asking wealthy people for money to support his campaign?
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Chris Pyle, in Wednesday’s Senate hearing, Senator Dick Durbin asked NSA director, General Keith Alexander, why someone like Booz Allen employee Edward Snowden was in a position in which he had access to the classified information he leaked.

SEN. DICK DURBIN: He was a high school dropout. He was a community college dropout. He had a GED degree. He was injured in training for the U.S. Army and had to leave as a result of that. And he took a job as a security guard for the NSA in Maryland. Shortly thereafter, he took a job for the CIA in what is characterized as IT security in The Guardian piece that was published. At age 23, he was stationed in an undercover manner overseas for the CIA and was given clearance and access to a wide—a wide array of classified documents. At age 25, he went to work for a private contractor and most recently worked for Booz Allen, another private contractor working for our government. I’m trying to look at this résumé and background—it says he ended up earning somewhere between $122,000 and $200,000 a year. I’m trying to look at the résumé background for this individual who had access to this highly classified information at such a young age, with a limited educational and work experience, part of it as a security guard, and ask you if you’re troubled that he was given that kind of opportunity to be so close to important information that was critical to the security of our nation?

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: I do have concerns about that, over the process, Senator. I have grave concerns over that, the access that he had, the process that we did. And those are things that I have to look into and fix from my end, and that across the intel community, Director Clapper said we’re going to look across that, as well. I think those absolutely need to be looked at. I would point out that in the IT arena, in the cyber-arena, some of these folks have tremendous skills to operate networks. That was his job, for the most part, from the 2009-'10, was as an IT, a system administrator within those networks. He had great skills in that areas. But the rest of it, you've hit on—you’ve hit on the head. We do have to go back and look at these processes, the oversight in those—we have those—where they went wrong, and how we fix those.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was NSA director, General Keith Alexander, speaking before the Senate on Wednesday. Well, in 2012, General Alexander spoke at DEF CON, the annual hacker convention. During his speech, Alexander tried to court hackers to work at the National Security Agency. The third bullet on his PowerPoint presentation that he refers to is privacy and civil liberties must be protected.

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: I think the third bullet down is what we really want to do is innovate freedom, how we’re going to look at where we take this next. This is a great opportunity for not only our nation, but for the world. And, you know, one of the things that I’m really proud of saying is, when you look at Vint Cerf and the others, we’re the ones who helped develop, we’re the ones who built this Internet. And we ought to be the first ones to secure it. And I think you folks can help us do that.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was General Keith Alexander speaking in 2012 at DEF CON. For our radio listeners, I should note that he was in a black T-shirt and wearing jeans as he spoke to the hackers. Chris Pyle, your response?
CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, it’s true. NSA doesn’t want to hire people like you and me. We don’t know enough about the Internet. That said, it’s important to note that the vice chairman of Booz Allen happens to be Mike McConnell, who was former director of NSA and of national intelligence. There is a revolving door between high government positions and private corporations, and this revolving door allows these people to make a great deal more money upon leaving the government, and then being rented back to the government in a contractor capacity. And that’s part of the corruption of the system.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now, one of the things you’ve also said is that the top-secret designation is a way to—is more of a way for the government officials, the bureaucrats and the contractors not to be held accountable than it is to actually protect secrets that the government needs to protect. Could you expand on that?
CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, yes. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures, only binds the government, doesn’t bind corporations. That’s a serious problem. The reason we have privatization of prisons, in some ways, is for governments to escape liability. They put the liability on the private corporations that run the prisons, and they just charge their liabilities as an operating cost.
AMY GOODMAN: Chris Pyle, the attack on Edward Snowden—I mean, you’ve got the pundits. What Jeffrey Toobin, the legal pundit, quickly blogged: Snowden is "a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison." Thomas Friedman writes, "I don’t believe [that] Edward Snowden, the leaker of all this secret material, is some heroic whistle-blower." David Brooks says, "Though obviously terrifically bright, he could not successfully work his way through the institution of high school. Then he failed to navigate his way through community college." That’s the pundits. And then, of course, there’s the NSA. Can you talk about the attack on the whistleblower today and back when you were blowing the whistle?
CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, when I was blowing the whistle and they couldn’t get any dirt on me—I had led a very uninteresting life—they made up dirt and tried to peddle it on Capitol Hill in order to discredit me and prevent me from testifying before Senator Ervin’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights. Every bureaucracy hates dissenters. They must expel dissenters and discredit dissenters, because dissenters force them to reconsider what it is they’re doing, and no bureaucracy wants anybody to interrupt what they’re doing. And so, this is the natural, organic response of any bureaucracy or any establishment.
Now, I think it is inappropriate and quite irrelevant to analyze Ed Snowden’s motivations. It doesn’t matter much—except in court, to prove that he either did or did not intend to aid a foreign power or hurt the United States. But separate from that motivation, whether he’s a narcissist, like many people on television are, no, I don’t think that’s relevant at all. He’s neither a traitor nor a hero, and he says this himself. He’s just an ordinary American. He’s trying to start a debate in this nation over something that is critically important. He should be respected for that, taken at face value, and then we should move on to the big issues, including the corruption of our system that is done by massive secrecy and by massive amounts of money in politics.

Jan Klimkowski
06-13-2013, 07:37 PM
My emphasis in bold:


AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we’re joined by Christopher Pyle, who first exposed domestic spying in the 1970s here in the U.S. Pyle discovered the CIA was spying on millions of Americans engaged in lawful activity while he was in the Army and worked as an instructor. After he left, he wrote about the Army’s vast and growing spy operations. His article from 1971 began, quote, "For the past four years, the U.S. Army has been closely watching civilian political activity within the United States." Pyle’s story prompted Senate hearings, including Senator Frank Church’s Select Committee on Intelligence. These ultimately led to a series of laws aimed at curbing government abuse. Chris Pyle is the co-author of Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics, Getting Away with Torture and The Constitution Under Siege. He now teaches constitutional law and civil liberties at Mount Holyoke College and recently wrote a piece headlined, "Edward Snowden and the Real Issues." He joins us from Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Welcome to Democracy Now!, Professor Pyle. Talk about what you feel those real issues are. But before you do, explain what happened to you, how it was you revealed in the early ’70s what was going on in the military.
CHRISTOPHER PYLE: I received a briefing at the U.S. Army Intelligence Command that showed me the extent of the surveillance system. There were about 1,500 Army agents in plain clothes watching every demonstration in the United States of 20 people or more. There was also a records system in a giant warehouse on about six million people. I disclosed the existence of that surveillance and then recruited 125 of the Army’s counterintelligence agents to tell what they knew about the spying to Congress, the courts and the press. As a result of those disclosures and the congressional hearings, the entire U.S. Army Intelligence Command was abolished. This was before Watergate.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Professor Pyle, did you, at that time, suffer any repercussions from your willingness to step forward and reveal what was going on to Congress?
CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, two things happened. The Army created a 50-man unit in the Pentagon whose sole job was to discredit my disclosures. That effort failed: The disclosures were all quite accurate. I was also put on President Nixon’s enemies list, which resulted in a tax audit.

Presidential revenge.



CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, what we’ve seen in the ensuing years has been a vast explosion in intelligence-gathering capabilities. But the most significant part of that is the fact that civilian corporations are now doing the government’s work. Seventy percent of the intelligence budget of the United States today goes to private contractors like Booz Allen, which employed Edward Snowden. This is a major change in the power of surveillance. It now goes not only to the government, but to private corporations.

Private contractor abuse.



CHRISTOPHER PYLE: Well, it’s true. NSA doesn’t want to hire people like you and me. We don’t know enough about the Internet. That said, it’s important to note that the vice chairman of Booz Allen happens to be Mike McConnell, who was former director of NSA and of national intelligence. There is a revolving door between high government positions and private corporations, and this revolving door allows these people to make a great deal more money upon leaving the government, and then being rented back to the government in a contractor capacity. And that’s part of the corruption of the system.

The military-multinational-intelliigence complex.

Grotesque.

Peter Lemkin
06-14-2013, 06:14 PM
As the U.S. vows to take "all necessary steps" to pursue whistleblower Edward Snowden, James Bamford joins us to discuss the National Security Agency’s secret expansion of government surveillance and cyberwarfare. In his latest reporting for Wired magazine, Bamford profiles NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and connects the dots on PRISM, phone surveillance and the NSA’s massive spy center in Bluffdale, Utah. Says Bamford of Alexander: "Never before has anyone in America’s intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign or the depth of his secrecy." The author of "The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America," Bamford has covered the National Security Agency for the last three decades, after helping expose its existence in the 1980s.


Transcript This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: FBI Director Robert Mueller has vowed to take "all necessary steps" to hold whistleblower Edward Snowden responsible for exposing secret surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency. Speaking days after NSA contractor Snowden claimed responsibility for the leaks, Mueller confirmed to the House Judiciary Committee Thursday that the U.S. has launched a criminal investigation.

ROBERT MUELLER: As to the individual who has admitted making these disclosures, he is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. These disclosures have caused significant harm to our nation and to our safety. We are taking all necessary steps to hold the person responsible for these disclosures. As this matter is actively under investigation, we cannot comment publicly on the details of the investigation.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Meanwhile, the head of the NSA, General Keith Alexander, defended the surveillance programs Wednesday and claimed they had helped prevent dozens of potential terrorist events. Several lawmakers who support the programs pushed the NSA to declassify information about these intercepted plots. Other lawmakers were critical of the monitoring of U.S. citizens. This is Democratic Congressman John Conyers of Michigan.

REP. JOHN CONYERS: It’s my fear that we are on the verge of becoming a surveillance state, collecting billions of electronic records on law-abiding Americans every single day.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Snowden has pledged to fight any attempt to extradite him to the United States. In an interview at an undisclosed Hong Kong location published in the South China Morning Post on Wednesday, he said, quote, "All I can do is rely on my training and hope that world governments will refuse to be bullied by the United States into persecuting people seeking political refuge." The Associated Press reports the British government issued a travel alert to airlines around the world not to allow Snowden to fly to the United Kingdom.
AMY GOODMAN: For more, we go to Washington, D.C., where we’re joined by James Bamford, investigative reporter who has covered the National Security Agency for the last three decades, helped expose the NSA’s existence in the 1980s. His most recent book is The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. In his latest article (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/general-keith-alexander-cyberwar/all/) for Wired magazine, he profiles NSA Director Keith Alexander in "The Secret War." He also has a piece (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/nsa-prism-verizon-surveillance/) on "Connecting the Dots on PRISM, Phone Surveillance, and the NSA’s Massive Spy Center." Bamford writes of NDA—of NSA head, Alexander, quote, "Never before has anyone in America’s intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign, or the depth of his secrecy."
James Bamford, welcome back to Democracy Now! Tell us just who NSA chief Alexander is.
JAMES BAMFORD: Thanks, Amy. Good to be back.
Keith Alexander is a four-star general. And if you walk down Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, it’s very unlikely that even members of Congress wouldn’t even recognize who he is. His name is unfamiliar to most Americans. His face is unfamiliar to most people even in Washington. So, he’s a very mysterious person, but he’s the most powerful person that’s ever existed in the American intelligence community. First of all, he runs the largest intelligence agency and the most secret intelligence agency on Earth, probably, which is the NSA, in charge of enormous numbers of people that do just amazing electronic spying, as we could see in the revelations just in the last week.
In addition to that, he runs basically his own military. It’s the U.S. Cyber Command, which was just placed under his authority. The U.S. Cyber Command is an extremely powerful organization that’s already launched aggressive, what they call "kinetic attacks." Kinetic attacks means destructive attacks using cyber to actually destroy things. And they destroyed the centrifuges in the Iranian nuclear development plant using cyber. So, as is—as being commander of U.S. Cyber Command, he’s also got three branches of the military under him. He’s got the 2nd Army, the 24th Air Force and the 10th Navy Fleet. So you’ve got an enormously powerful person who’s enormously secret and who can do things without even members of Congress knowing about it.
AMY GOODMAN: He’s linked to Rumsfeld in his rise to power?
JAMES BAMFORD: Rumsfeld was the person who really gave him most of his stars. He came from almost nowhere. He was a West Point graduate, and he rose up through the ranks in the NSA’s secret world. But then, when the Bush administration came in, he really began rising high in the administration, going from one-star to three-star in a very short period of time, and now four stars.
AMY GOODMAN: Abu Ghraib?
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, one of the people that—one of the groups that he was in charge of when he was head of the Army’s Intelligence Command were the people in Abu Ghraib, the military intelligence people who were connected to a lot of the human rights abuses that went on there.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, some of the fears that have been expressed by some U.S. officials in terms of the Snowden revelations is that he has alluded to other information that he has, potentially about U.S. cyber-attacks abroad. Could you comment on that?
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, you know, the interesting thing here is that the administration, and particularly the NSA, has been coming out with all these charges against China going after our secrets, our information, and so forth. It’s caused the Congress to give enormous amounts of money to NSA, this money for defensive use against the Chinese and so forth. What never comes out is the U.S. offensive capability against the rest of the world. The U.S.—there’s nobody that can even compare to the U.S. We’ve got an enormous Cyber Command. They’re expanding NSA’s secret city by a third to accommodate 14 new buildings, 10 parking garages, a new enormous supercomputer center—all this for this new, very secret Cyber Command. And it’s dedicated largely to offensive, to creating wars, not preventing wars.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, there were some reports in the press in China, first commenting on the leaks of Snowden and saying that this could potentially change relationships between China and the United States because it’s now become clear that the United States is involved in cyber-espionage on a massive scale around the world.
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, the U.S. have been involved in that since the very beginning. That’s what NSA’s job is, is espionage. And it was at the forefront of the electronic eavesdropping era, and it’s at the forefront of the cyberwarfare era. I mean, the first thing you have to do when you’re doing cyberwarfare is discover how their systems work. And you do that by inserting viruses, different kinds of malware into their systems, and that’s what NSA’s job is. So, we’ve got an entire command now. Fourteen thousand more people are going to be working for General Alexander now in Cyber Command. So, this is a serious command. As I said, he’s got Army and Navy and Air Force under him. This is—this is the real thing.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, on Thursday, NSA director, General Keith Alexander, said the American people had been misinformed about the extent of the agency’s surveillance. This is what he said.

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: I would tell you, I’ve been working with this committee for the past several years. They are very good about asking all the questions and providing tremendous oversight, as does the court and the administration. This is not a program where we are out free-wheeling it. It is a well-overseen and a very focused program. What we owe you, the American people, is now how good is that, with some statistics. And I think when the American people hear that, they’re going to stop and say, "Wait, the information we’re getting is incorrect." So I would just tell the American people that, let’s take a step back, look at what’s going on, the oversight and compliance, and then let’s have this discussion.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was General Keith Alexander. Your response?
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, there’s one area that I agree with him, and that’s the information that the public is getting—that the public is getting is incorrect. But it’s incorrect because it’s coming from Keith Alexander and the administration. What’s incorrect is the fact that you had General Clapper up there denying in Congress that the U.S. was engaged in any of this kind of activity. General Alexander—well, I wrote about this. Basically, the same things that are coming out from Mr. Snowden, I wrote about in Wired last year in a cover story, where I interviewed Bill Binney and so forth, and they verbally told me basically the same thing. And very soon after, Keith Alexander came out denying all this, which is—gives me a lot of thought about what might have been going through Snowden’s mind, for example.
If he sees the other whistleblowers coming out, like Bill Binney, other people, Tom Drake and so forth, and they come out and say that the government is doing these things, and then the administration and NSA comes out and says, "That’s not true. We’re not doing them," and then the mainstream media sort of just follows in line—falls in line with the NSA position, you know, what could go through somebody’s mind is, well, the only way to actually get attention to this is show the real documents, show what really is going on. And you can’t deny, if you’re—deny it, if you’re actually looking at a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order that actually shows that all these telephone records are being collected, even local records, on a daily basis. So, that’s the problem, is this escalation. You try to tell the public what’s going on; the administration denies it. Well, what’s next? You’ve got to show the proof. You’ve got to show the documents.
AMY GOODMAN: Jim Bamford, explain the spy center that’s being built in Bluffdale, Utah.
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, it’s a mammoth—actually, the best way to think of it is NSA’s external hard drive. It’s a storage place for all that NSA gets from its surveillance, including the daily records of everybody’s telephone calls, which, again, we’ve just been hearing about in the news. But it’s not just that. It’s all this information that’s coming in from the Internet that the NSA picks out. It’s all their surveillance from all around the country, all around the world. And it all goes into this one place. It’s basically a huge data warehouse where all this information is placed. But it also serves as the cloud for NSA, the cloud being the central repository where every—where all the information is kept. And then, through these fiber-optic cables that go out from it, people at NSA headquarters, people at NSA listening posts in Georgia, Texas, all these places, are able to immediately go in. It’s just like, like I said, a hard drive. You go in, and you analyze all that information that’s in there. So if they’re collecting my telephone records today, who I’m calling, then tomorrow or tonight the NSA could go into those records in Bluffdale, Utah, and analyze them. So, that’s basically what it’s for. It’s this massive repository for all the information that NSA is collecting. And it’s a million square feet. It’s an enormous amount of space at a time when you can put a terabyte worth of data on just a blade on a Swiss Army knife, which can, like I said, hold a terabyte worth of data, and this is a million square feet, costing $2 billion.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, I wanted to ask you about—in 2012, at the annual DEF CON convention, the hacker convention, NSA director, General Keith Alexander, was asked whether the NSA keeps a file on every U.S. citizen. This was his response.

GEN. KEITH ALEXANDER: No, we don’t. Absolutely not. And anybody who would tell you that we’re keeping files or dossiers on the American people know that’s not true. And let me tell you why. First, under our agency, we have a responsibility. Our job is foreign intelligence. We get oversight by Congress, both intel committees and their congressional members and their staffs, so everything we do is auditable by them, by the FISA Court—so the judiciary branch of our government—and by the administration. And everything we do is accountable to them. And within the administration, it’s from the director of national intelligence, it’s from the Department of Justice, it’s from the Department of Defense. I feel like when I was a kid growing up—and some of you may feel like this, too. You know, you might get in a little trouble. You’re supervised a lot and maybe had to spend time in the hall. Well, that’s the way I feel today. We are overseen by everybody. And I will tell you that those who would want to weave the story that we have millions or hundreds of millions of dossiers on people is absolutely false.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: James Bamford, that was General Keith Alexander, again, at the DEF CON convention in 2012 in—as we mentioned yesterday, wearing jeans and a T-shirt, a black T-shirt. Your response, especially this whole thing that he raises about we’re just involved in foreign intelligence gathering?
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, it’s funny. I was there, too. I also spoke at the DEF CON conference there. But the comments that General Alexander made, I thought, were amazingly out of place, because here it is, we just discovered he has all these dossiers that he’s listing, that he’s got all these records on American people and all these links into American Internet. What he’s talking about in terms of oversight also is—is just nonsense. He talks about the courts. Well, the court he’s talking about is a top-secret court that nobody is even allowed to know where it exists, where its address is, let alone getting any information from it. And in the last—or, the last time that they overhauled the legislation, they weakened the court a great deal. So, I’m sure—was that the answer you were looking for? What was the question again?
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, basically, his emphasis on the foreign intelligence gathering, as well, the role of NSA.
JAMES BAMFORD: Right, right, right, yeah. Well, that’s always what they claim, is that, "Look, we’re not involved in the United States at all. We’re not involved in U.S. interception at all. We’re just involved in foreign communications." Well, you know, if you look at that Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order that was released, what it talks about is getting from Verizon not just overseas calls, it talks about local calls. These are calls that aren’t even going to be on your bill. I mean, these are local calls or, you know, somebody calling their grandmother next door. We’ve come down to that, where the government is trying to get access to even your local calls. And I don’t see any connection between that and what they say. What they claim is that we’re only doing international, we’re only doing foreign communications. Well, when you’re asking for local phone calls throughout the United States, everybody in the United States, on a daily basis, you know, where’s the truth in all these claims?
AMY GOODMAN: Republican Senator Rand Paul said on Thursday he plans to take legal action against the NSA’s nationwide surveillance of telephone records. He also argued the NSA’s monitoring is ineffective.

SEN. RAND PAUL: I believe we can have liberty and security. I believe that we are actually more secure when we narrow our focus and target specific suspects. Despite mining billions of American phone calls, we still had the Boston bombing. Perhaps we are overwhelming ourselves with data. Perhaps this unfocused approach distracted us from knowing that one of the Boston bombers had gone back to Chechnya. Perhaps targeting everyone distracts us from stopping people such as the underwear bomber, who we were tipped off about in advance.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Republican Senator Rand Paul. James Bamford, your response?
JAMES BAMFORD: Well, I’ve been saying the same thing. And the fact is that, you know, if you’re trying to find a needle in a haystack, the last thing you want to do is continually put more hay on that haystack. You want get people that are more—hire people that are more capable of finding the needle, rather than hiring people to—with a pitchfork to put more hay on the haystack. And that’s always what happens. Every time there’s an incident, they just say, "We need more information."
Not only that, this idea that they’re doing this totally covertly is just anti-democratic. The British—I just came back from about 10 days over in London. And before all this broke out over here, they were debating the same thing in England, because the government wanted access to all the metadata of the communications in the country, and they wanted to order the ISPs to store all the incoming and outgoing Internet data for a year, so the government can monitor it, go through the metadata and so forth. The difference, however, is, is that they decided to do that legally, through a bill through Parliament, where it was actually debated in Parliament and debated in the press. And people in the public were talking about it. And it was voted down. The public said that’s too much of an intrusion for the balance of—what they were saying, the balances in security. So, here you have a democratic system in England where they’re—they have a choice, and they vote against it. Here, they probably figure, "Well, if we bring this out to a vote, people will vote against it, so we’ll just impose it on them secretly." That’s not a democratic—that’s certainly not the democratic process.

Lauren Johnson
06-15-2013, 12:43 AM
What good is a panopticon unless knows they are in one?


by Naomi Wolf from her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/notes/naomi-wolf/my-creeping-concern-that-the-nsa-leaker-is-not-who-he-purports-to-be-/10151559239607949) (H/T David (http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/manufactured-hero-edward-snowden-language-is-a-tricky-thing-mr-snyder/#comment-65027))
I hate to do this but I feel obligated to share, as the story unfolds, my creeping concern that the NSA leaker is not who he purports to be, and that the motivations involved in the story may be more complex than they appear to be. This is in no way to detract from the great courage of Glenn Greenwald in reporting the story, and the gutsiness of the Guardian in showcasing this kind of reporting, which is a service to America that US media is not performing at all. It is just to raise some cautions as the story unfolds, and to raise some questions about how it is unfolding, based on my experience with high-level political messaging.

Some of Snowden’s emphases seem to serve an intelligence/police state objective, rather than to challenge them.

a) He is super-organized, for a whistleblower, in terms of what candidates, the White House, the State Dept. et al call ‘message discipline.’ He insisted on publishing a power point in the newspapers that ran his initial revelations. I gather that he arranged for a talented filmmaker to shoot the Greenwald interview. These two steps — which are evidence of great media training, really ‘PR 101″ — are virtually never done (to my great distress) by other whistleblowers, or by progressive activists involved in breaking news, or by real courageous people who are under stress and getting the word out. They are always done, though, by high-level political surrogates.

b) In the Greenwald video interview, I was concerned about the way Snowden conveys his message. He is not struggling for words, or thinking hard, as even bright, articulate whistleblowers under stress will do. Rather he appears to be transmitting whole paragraphs smoothly, without stumbling. To me this reads as someone who has learned his talking points — again the way that political campaigns train surrogates to transmit talking points.

c) He keeps saying things like, “If you are a journalist and they think you are the transmission point of this info, they will certainly kill you.” Or: “I fully expect to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.” He also keeps stressing what he will lose: his $200,000 salary, his girlfriend, his house in Hawaii. These are the kinds of messages that the police state would LIKE journalists to take away; a real whistleblower also does not put out potential legal penalties as options, and almost always by this point has a lawyer by his/her side who would PROHIBIT him/her from saying, ‘come get me under the Espionage Act.” Finally in my experience, real whistleblowers are completely focused on their act of public service and trying to manage the jeopardy to themselves and their loved ones; they don’t tend ever to call attention to their own self-sacrifice. That is why they are heroes, among other reasons. But a police state would like us all to think about everything we would lose by standing up against it.

d) It is actually in the Police State’s interest to let everyone know that everything you write or say everywhere is being surveilled, and that awful things happen to people who challenge this. Which is why I am not surprised that now he is on UK no-fly lists – I assume the end of this story is that we will all have a lesson in terrible things that happen to whistleblowers. That could be because he is a real guy who gets in trouble; but it would be as useful to the police state if he is a fake guy who gets in ‘trouble.’

e) In stories that intelligence services are advancing (I would call the prostitutes-with-the-secret-service such a story), there are great sexy or sex-related mediagenic visuals that keep being dropped in, to keep media focus on the issue. That very pretty pole-dancing Facebooking girlfriend who appeared for, well, no reason in the media coverage…and who keeps leaking commentary, so her picture can be recycled in the press…really, she happens to pole-dance? Dan Ellsberg’s wife was and is very beautiful and doubtless a good dancer but somehow she took a statelier role as his news story unfolded…

f) Snowden is in Hong Kong, which has close ties to the UK, which has done the US’s bidding with other famous leakers such as Assange. So really there are MANY other countries that he would be less likely to be handed over from…

g) Media reports said he had vanished at one point to ‘an undisclosed location’ or ‘a safe house.’ Come on. There is no such thing. Unless you are with the one organization that can still get off the surveillance grid, because that org created it.

h) I was at dinner last night to celebrate the brave and heroic Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Several of Assange’s also brave and talented legal team were there, and I remembered them from when I had met with Assange. These attorneys are present at every moment when Assange meets the press — when I met with him off the record last Fall in the Ecuadoran embassy, his counsel was present the whole time, listening and stepping in when necessary.

Seeing these diligent attentive free-speech attorneys for another whisleblower reinforced my growing anxiety: WHERE IS SNOWDEN’S LAWYER as the world’s media meet with him? A whistleblower talking to media has his/her counsel advising him/her at all times, if not actually being present at the interview, because anything he/she says can affect the legal danger the whistleblower may be in . It is very, very odd to me that a lawyer has not appeared, to my knowledge, to stand at Snowden’s side and keep him from further jeopardy in interviews.

Again I hate to cast any skepticism on what seems to be a great story of a brave spy coming in from the cold in the service of American freedom. And I would never raise such questions in public if I had not been told by a very senior official in the intelligence world that indeed, there are some news stories that they create and drive — even in America (where propagandizing Americans is now legal). But do consider that in Eastern Germany, for instance, it was the fear of a machine of surveillance that people believed watched them at all times — rather than the machine itself — that drove compliance and passivity. From the standpoint of the police state and its interests — why have a giant Big Brother apparatus spying on us at all times — unless we know about it?

Naomi
http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/naomi-wolf-my-creeping-concern-that-the-nsa-leaker-is-not-who-he-purports-to-be/

Magda Hassan
06-15-2013, 01:02 AM
Interesting and much more substantive than Scott's vague inuendo.

Tracy Riddle
06-15-2013, 01:54 AM
This is a fascinating article. I've never even heard of this guy before, which shows you just how secretive NSA is.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/general-keith-alexander-cyberwar/all/

This is the undisputed domain of General Keith Alexander, a man few even in Washington would likely recognize. Never before has anyone in America’s intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign, or the depth of his secrecy. A four-star Army general, his authority extends across three domains: He is director of the world’s largest intelligence service, the National Security Agency; chief of the Central Security Service; and commander of the US Cyber Command. As such, he has his own secret military, presiding over the Navy’s 10th Fleet, the 24th Air Force, and the Second Army.

Alexander runs the nation’s cyberwar efforts, an empire he has built over the past eight years by insisting that the US’s inherent vulnerability to digital attacks requires him to amass more and more authority over the data zipping around the globe. In his telling, the threat is so mind-bogglingly huge that the nation has little option but to eventually put the entire civilian Internet under his protection, requiring tweets and emails to pass through his filters, and putting the kill switch under the government’s forefinger. “What we see is an increasing level of activity on the networks,” he said at a recent security conference in Canada. “I am concerned that this is going to break a threshold where the private sector can no longer handle it and the government is going to have to step in.”

Magda Hassan
06-15-2013, 02:30 AM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - While working for U.S. intelligence agencies, Edward Snowden had another secret identity: an online commentator who anonymously railed against citizen surveillance and corporate greed.
Throughout the eight years that Snowden worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency contractors, he posted hundreds of messages on a public Internet forum under a pseudonym.
"I can't hope to change the way things are going by overtly complaining, writing letters, or blowing things up," Snowden wrote in 2003 in response to a discussion about corporate greed on the Ars Technica online forum.
"That's not the way a good person does things. I will, however, do what I can with the tools that are available to me."
New information discovered by Reuters about Snowden's employment record, online postings and education comes as U.S. lawmakers grill intelligence officials about how a 29-year-old high school dropout managed to gain access to such top secrets as the NSA's electronic surveillance programs.
According to sources briefed on the matter, Snowden was employed by an unidentified classified agency in Washington from 2005 to mid-2006, by the CIA from 2006 to 2009, when he primarily worked overseas, and by Dell Inc from 2009 to 2013, when he worked in the United States and Japanas an NSA contractor.
He was also a prolific commentator on technology forum Ars Technica, posting approximately 750 messages using the screen name "The True HOOHA" from late 2001 to 2012.
Most of the postings were not political in nature: he dispensed advice about government careers, polygraphs and the 2008 stock market crash. He claimed to own the same gun as James Bond and posted glamour photos of himself. He jokingly compared the video console Xbox Live to NSA surveillance.
One of his postings, however, dealt with the now familiar issue of corporate compliance with government eavesdropping programs. On February 4, 2010, while working for Dell, Snowden commented on a discussion about a major technology company that allegedly was giving the U.S. government access to its computer servers.
"It really concerns me how little this sort of corporate behavior bothers those outside of technology circles," Snowden wrote. "Society really seems to have developed an unquestioning obedience towards spooky types."
It is not clear if his former employers knew about his online persona. The CIA, NSA, Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton - which most recently employed Snowden - declined to comment.
One former national security official said the government should have scrubbed his record harder. But Stewart Baker, former general counsel for the NSA, said holding such views did not automatically disqualify someone for a sensitive government job.
"Maybe the government will have to look at that again but that's a difficult thing to decide," Baker said.
UNDER SCRUTINY
According to the sources, Snowden told employers he took computer classes at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, earned a certificate from the University of Maryland's campus in Tokyo, and expected in 2013 to earn a master's degree in computer security from the University of Liverpool in England.
A Johns Hopkins spokeswoman said she could not find a record of Snowden's attendance but he may have taken correspondence courses for which records are not kept. A Maryland official confirmed Snowden attended at least one summer class. A Liverpool spokeswoman said Snowden registered for an online master's degree in computer security in 2011, but did not complete it.
Born in 1983 in North Carolina, Snowden grew up in a Maryland suburb near the NSA headquarters. He left high school in 10th grade and later earned a G.E.D. At 18, he worked as a webmaster for Ryuhana Press, a start-up promoting Japanese anime artists.
Snowden began posting on Ars Technica on December 29, 2001. He sought technical help for his work at the anime site and a website company called Clockwork Chihuahua.
As early as 2002, Snowden wrote online of his desire to work in Japan: "It is pretty far-fetched, but I've always dreamed of being able to make it in Japan."
An avid gamer, he posted on the ethics of video game piracy in 2003: "I feel the mega corporation is promoting hyper-materialism and I don't like that. That means I want to punish the company in any way I can."
"Legality does not factor into this, getting away with it (OMG dispensing justice LOL!) in order to do it again does," Snowden added. "If my actions contribute to driving the corporation I view as "evil" into the ground, I'll sleep easier at night knowing I have (in my mind) done society a service."
On Ars Technica, Snowden gave more advice than he sought. To others hoping to land U.S. government jobs, he bemoaned high living costs and commuting hassles in Washington.
"My life is great except for the fact that while I'm making twice the average income, I could not afford a house in my zip code without robbing a bank," he wrote in 2006.
And he wrote of life: "We're all in this crazy boat together. Best of luck, comrade."
(Reporting by John Shiffman and Mark Hosenball in Washington, and Kristina Cooke in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Robin Respaut in New York; Editing by Marilyn W. Thompson, Tiffany Wu, Doina Chiacu)
http://news.yahoo.com/while-working-spies-snowden-secretly-prolific-online-015612830.html

Peter Lemkin
06-15-2013, 04:11 AM
From the article on Head of NSA, above
"and putting the kill switch under the government’s forefinger". Hey, folks, they are talking about shutting down the internet...or which parts of it or which of us they don't want using it!...and they apparently have that power now. Most of the large switching/routing nodes on the internet are either US or UK and Israeli owned and operated. A few are in Europe. Very few are elsewhere at the moment. Think you can build your own one? Good luck. We ARE talking about dark times ahead!:spy: I know some think there is enough redundancy in the Internet and enough of it outside the USA for this not to be possible. This is not my understanding, with the exception of little corners of it - but only the insider experts, like Snowden, know for sure. If they think they have a 'kill switch', they likely do. Some of the legislation passed or attempted to be passed lately on the Internet and its use would have or has given certain authorities in the US Executive [and private companies!] the permission to limit internet flow or shut it off, based on content and who's getting or sending it. Beware!:curtain: And if they really want to get nasty [oh, come on, these are honest men...HA!], much of internet traffic now travels at some point on a US owned satellite which, again, can be used to selectively or entirely shut down the internet. The military and corporations that work for it and the intelligence community all have their own 'internet' with their own satellites, etc. for it. See the quote by MM, below.....he died before the internet really took off, but somehow knew....

Lauren Johnson
06-15-2013, 03:41 PM
This blog post points out more oddities and speculates:


Friday, June 14, 2013 Snowden and the war between the CIA and the Pentagon (http://xymphora.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/snowden-and-war-between-cia-and-pentagon.html) "Did (http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/did-someone-help-ed-snowden-punch-a-hole-in-the-nsa/) someone help Ed Snowden punch a hole in the NSA?" by Jon Rappoport:

"Snowden worked for the CIA. He was pushed up the ranks quickly, from an IT position in the US to a posting in Geneva, under diplomatic cover, to run security on the CIA’s computer systems there.

Then, Snowden quit the CIA and eventually ended up at Booz Allen, a private contractor. He was assigned to NSA, where he stole the secrets and exposed the NSA.

The CIA and NSA have a long contentious relationship. The major issue is, who is king of US intelligence? We’re talking about an internal war.

Snowden could have been the CIA’s man at NSA, where certain CIA players helped him access files he wouldn’t have been able to tap otherwise."
"NSA (https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/nsa-leaker-are-there-serious-cracks-in-ed-snowdens-story/) leaker: are there serious cracks in Ed Snowden’s story?" by Jon Rappoport

"Did (http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/did-the-cia-give-the-nsa-documents-to-ed-snowden/) the CIA give the NSA documents to Ed Snowden?" by Jon Rappoport

The two big oddities in the Snowden story are his remarkable employment history and his remarkable access to high-level secrets for somebody who was a relatively low-level employee of an outside contractor. Snowden was recruited as a CIA asset at an early age, probably is still a CIA asset today, and could very easily have been manipulated by the CIA into a position where he could plausibly pose as a whistleblower against the NSA. This does not impugn his personal credibility or the credibility of his information, but answers some big mysteries about how he came to be the face of all the secrets.

Barry just replaced the #2 at the CIA with an outsider: "President Obama's pick for the CIA's second-in-command once held erotica (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2341008/Avril-Haines-President-Obamas-pick-CIAs-second-command-held-erotica-nights-Baltimore-bookstore.html) nights at her Baltimore bookstore" She replaces a career CIA guy who retired, in the words of John Brennan, "to (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/06/12/191061035/cia-deputy-director-michael-morell-retires) spend more time with his family and to pursue other professional opportunities". Standard firing words. A thirty-three year CIA veteran replaced by Barry with an erotica expert.

Ever since 9/11, the CIA has been losing power and influence to the Pentagon. Most recently, Barry is moving the current jewel of American might, the drone (http://rt.com/usa/obama-cia-pentagon-drones-585/) program, from the CIA to the Pentagon. The NSA is part of the Pentagon (something that is seldom mentioned). The way things are going, erotica may be all the CIA has left.

http://xymphora.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/snowden-and-war-between-cia-and-pentagon.html

Peter Lemkin
06-16-2013, 04:28 AM
Hong Kong protest backs ex-CIA whistleblower Snowdenhttp://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/68190000/jpg/_68190984_68190983.jpg

Supporters of Edward Snowden carried placards and chanted slogans

Continue reading the main story (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22920123#story_continues_1)Related Stories

Facebook reveals US data requests (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-22916329)
Could Hong Kong shelter Snowden? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22837599)
China media: Cyber-spying claims (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22884184)

Hundreds of people in Hong Kong have marched to the US consulate in support of ex-CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The protesters demanded that local authorities protect Mr Snowden, who is in hiding in Hong Kong.
Mr Snowden's leaks revealed that US agencies had systematically gathered vast amounts of phone and web data.
He also gave an interview to a local newspaper alleging that US intelligence had been hacking into Chinese computer networks.
Protesters and local politicians have demanded clarification from the US government on the allegations, the BBC's Jennifer Pak reports.
'Big Brother'"Hong Kong is one of the few places in China where internet freedom is still OK. Now the American government is hacking into us," one protester said. "That is a crime against human rights."
Another man brought a poster containing a picture of US President Barack Obama and the words "Big Brother is watching you".
Continue reading the main story (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22920123#story_continues_2)Who is Edward Snowden?http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/68092000/jpg/_68092167_68092166.jpg

Age 29, grew up in North Carolina
Joined army reserves in 2004, discharged four months later, says the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/10/edward-snowden-army-special-forces)
First job at National Security Agency was as security guard
Worked on IT security at the CIA
Left CIA in 2009 for contract work at NSA for various firms including Booz Allen
Called himself Verax, Latin for "speaking the truth", in exchanges with the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/code-name-verax-snowden-in-exchanges-with-post-reporter-made-clear-he-knew-risks/2013/06/09/c9a25b54-d14c-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_story.html)


Profile: Edward Snowden (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22837100)

Mr Snowden told the South China Morning Post (http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1259508/edward-snowden-us-government-has-been-hacking-hong-kong-and-china) this week that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had led more than 61,000 hacking operations worldwide, including many in Hong Kong and mainland China.
He said targets in Hong Kong included the Chinese University, public officials and businesses.
Mr Snowden left Hawaii for Hong Kong shortly before the highly sensitive leaks surfaced and has vowed to fight any attempt to extradite him to the US.
"I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality," Mr Snowden told the Post, which said the interview was carried out in a secret location in Hong Kong.
"My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate."
In a US Senate hearing earlier this week, NSA director Keith Alexander defended the internet and telephone data snooping programmes, saying they had disrupted dozens of terror plots.
Intelligence officials have insisted agents do not listen in on Americans' telephone conversations. And they maintain the internet communications surveillance programme, reportedly code-named Prism, targeted only non-Americans located outside of the US.
Although the information leaked by Mr Snowden has angered the US government, so far he has not been charged by the authorities, nor is he the subject of an extradition request.
Hong Kong's government says it does not comment on individual cases but will follow any request according to the law, our correspondent reports.
Analysts say any attempts to bring Mr Snowden to America may take months and could be blocked by Beijing.

Peter Lemkin
06-16-2013, 04:52 AM
My Creeping Concern that the NSA Leaker Edward Snowden is not who he Purports to be…By Naomi Wolf (http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/naomi-wolf)
Global Research, June 15, 2013
NaomiWolf.org (http://naomiwolf.org/)


Region: USA (http://www.globalresearch.ca/region/usa)
Theme: Intelligence (http://www.globalresearch.ca/theme/intelligence), Police State & Civil Rights (http://www.globalresearch.ca/theme/police-state-civil-rights)








http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/nsa6.jpg
I hate to do this but I feel obligated to share, as the story unfolds, my creeping concern that the NSA leaker is not who he purports to be, and that the motivations involved in the story may be more complex than they appear to be.

This is in no way to detract from the great courage of Glenn Greenwald in reporting the story, and the gutsiness of the Guardian in showcasing this kind of reporting, which is a service to America that US media is not performing at all.

It is just to raise some cautions as the story unfolds, and to raise some questions about how it is unfolding, based on my experience with high-level political messaging.
http://www.sott.net/image/image/s7/142417/medium/ff.jpg (http://www.sott.net/image/image/s7/142417/full/ff.jpg)
Some of Snowden’s emphases seem to serve an intelligence/police state objective, rather than to challenge them.
a) He is super-organized, for a whistleblower, in terms of what candidates, the White House, the State Dept. et al call ‘message discipline.’ He insisted on publishing a power point in the newspapers that ran his initial revelations. I gather that he arranged for a talented filmmaker to shoot the Greenwald interview. These two steps – which are evidence of great media training, really ‘PR 101′ – are virtually never done (to my great distress) by other whistleblowers, or by progressive activists involved in breaking news, or by real courageous people who are under stress and getting the word out. They are always done, though, by high-level political surrogates.
b) In the Greenwald video interview, I was concerned about the way Snowden conveys his message. He is not struggling for words, or thinking hard, as even bright, articulate whistleblowers under stress will do. Rather he appears to be transmitting whole paragraphs smoothly, without stumbling. To me this reads as someone who has learned his talking points – again the way that political campaigns train surrogates to transmit talking points.
c) He keeps saying things like, “If you are a journalist and they think you are the transmission point of this info, they will certainly kill you.” Or: “I fully expect to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.” He also keeps stressing what he will lose: his $200,000 salary, his girlfriend, his house in Hawaii. These are the kinds of messages that the police state would LIKE journalists to take away; a real whistleblower also does not put out potential legal penalties as options, and almost always by this point has a lawyer by his/her side who would PROHIBIT him/her from saying, ‘come get me under the Espionage Act.” Finally in my experience, real whistleblowers are completely focused on their act of public service and trying to manage the jeopardy to themselves and their loved ones; they don’t tend ever to call attention to their own self-sacrifice. That is why they are heroes, among other reasons. But a police state would like us all to think about everything we would lose by standing up against it.
d) It is actually in the Police State’s interest to let everyone know that everything you write or say everywhere is being surveilled, and that awful things happen to people who challenge this. Which is why I am not surprised that now he is on UK no-fly lists – I assume the end of this story is that we will all have a lesson in terrible things that happen to whistleblowers. That could be because he is a real guy who gets in trouble; but it would be as useful to the police state if he is a fake guy who gets in ‘trouble.’
e) In stories that intelligence services are advancing (I would call the prostitutes-with-the-secret-service such a story), there are great sexy or sex-related mediagenic visuals that keep being dropped in, to keep media focus on the issue. That very pretty pole-dancing Facebooking girlfriend who appeared for, well, no reason in the media coverage…and who keeps leaking commentary, so her picture can be recycled in the press…really, she happens to pole-dance? Dan Ellsberg’s wife was and is very beautiful and doubtless a good dancer but somehow she took a statelier role as his news story unfolded…
f) Snowden is in Hong Kong, which has close ties to the UK, which has done the US’s bidding with other famous leakers such as Assange. So really there are MANY other countries that he would be less likely to be handed over from…
g) Media reports said he had vanished at one point to ‘an undisclosed location’ or ‘a safe house.’ Come on. There is no such thing. Unless you are with the one organization that can still get off the surveillance grid, because that org created it.
h) I was at dinner last night to celebrate the brave and heroic Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Several of Assange’s also brave and talented legal team were there, and I remembered them from when I had met with Assange. These attorneys are present at every moment when Assange meets the press – when I met with him off the record last Fall in the Ecuadoran embassy, his counsel was present the whole time, listening and stepping in when necessary.
Seeing these diligent attentive free-speech attorneys for another whisleblower reinforced my growing anxiety: WHERE IS SNOWDEN’S LAWYER as the world’s media meet with him? A whistleblower talking to media has his/her counsel advising him/her at all times, if not actually being present at the interview, because anything he/she says can affect the legal danger the whistleblower may be in . It is very, very odd to me that a lawyer has not appeared, to my knowledge, to stand at Snowden’s side and keep him from further jeopardy in interviews.
Again I hate to cast any skepticism on what seems to be a great story of a brave spy coming in from the cold in the service of American freedom. And I would never raise such questions in public if I had not been told by a very senior official in the intelligence world that indeed, there are some news stories that they create and drive – even in America (where propagandizing Americans is now legal). But do consider that in Eastern Germany, for instance, it was the fear of a machine of surveillance that people believed watched them at all times – rather than the machine itself – that drove compliance and passivity. From the standpoint of the police state and its interests –why have a giant Big Brother apparatus spying on us at all times – unless we know about it?

Magda Hassan
06-16-2013, 05:02 AM
Lauren posted the same or a similar article further above. Much more to go on than Scott Creighton's original article. Still room for doubt though. Time will tell.

Peter Lemkin
06-16-2013, 10:44 AM
One strange thing - no matter which way one 'comes down' on Snowden, is the very SLOW [apparent] response of the USG against him - in any measurable way other than verbal condemnations. As Wolf points out, his lack of a lawyer anywhere in sight..or even a close friend when he meets seems odd. However, Assange used the wording 'We've been in contact with HIS PEOPLE'...whatever that exactly means, it seems to imply he is not there alone...but could have been an evasive device on Assange's part for obvious reasons. Of course, his ultimate fate will likely tell the 'tale'...and in many ways help to determine the fate of many of us....

Magda Hassan
06-16-2013, 11:24 AM
I think Geoffrey Robinson has stepped in to the picture. He is also one of Assange's lawyers.

Peter Lemkin
06-16-2013, 01:28 PM
I think Geoffrey Robinson has stepped in to the picture. He is also one of Assange's lawyers.

I can find no reference to that...which means nothing about it being either true or not. It is both strange, interesting and unconfirmed that Assange/Wikileaks had any contact with Snowden yet. One would think, however, that no matter who he is and how brave or 'covered' he is, he'd like the assistance and advice of a lawyer these days...if only to witness his being subject to rendition, extradition, or killed.

I think we can all agree he [Snowden] is nowhere in middle ground...he is either a hero modern historical proportions or a very clever bit of psyop by the same old-same old psyop Group! Interestingly, in both the US and UK he seems to have about 40% thinking he doesn't deserve any extreme punishment and about 30% thinking he should be from imprisoned for life to hung....that leaves another 30% who don't know what the **** to think about him or modern life, these days...... all this with the caveat that one can so design a pole to get the answers skewed the way one wants.

Keith Millea
06-17-2013, 08:35 PM
June 17, 2013 http://www.counterpunch.org/images/printer.gif (http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/17/is-naomi-wolf-working-for-the-nsa/print)

Just Wondering

Is Naomi Wolf working for the NSA?

by DAVE LINDORFF

I hate to do this, but I feel obligated to share, as the story unfolds, my creeping concern that the writer Naomi Wolf is not whom she purports to be, and that her motive in writing an article on her public Facebook page speculating about whether National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden might actually be still working for the NSA, could be to support the government’s effort to destroy him.


After all, with Snowden under vicious attack by both the government and the corporate media, being wrongly accused of treason, or portrayed as a drop-out slacker, a narcissist, a loser hoping to gain fame and even a “cross-dressing” weirdo, what defender of liberty would pile on with publication of a work of absolutely fact-free speculation as to whether he might also be a kind of “double agent” put out there by the NSA in order to discourage real potential whistleblowers from even considering leaking information about government spying on Americans.


Because that is exactly what Wolf has done on her website (http://www.facebook.com/notes/naomi-wolf/my-creeping-concern-that-the-nsa-leaker-is-not-who-he-purports-to-be-/10151559239607949) (the first clause at the opening of this article is a direct quote from the lead in Wolf’s Facebook piece, but with her name substituted for Snowden’s).


What basis does she offer for her wild-eyed speculation that Snowden is perhaps “not who he purports to be”?


Well, first of all she notes darkly that US spy agencies “create false identities, build fake companies, influence real media with fake stories, create distractions or demonizations in the local news that advance US policies, bug (technologically) and harass the opposition, disrupt and infiltrate the meetings and communications of factions that the US does not wish to see in power.” This, she says, touting her own now rather dated 2007 book The End of America, is “something you can’t not see if you spend time around people who are senior in both the political establishment and the intelligence and state department establishments. You also can’t avoid seeing it if you interview principled defectors from those systems, as I have done…”


Then, after having assuring us of how well-connected she is, she raises what she calls “red flags” about Snowden:
“I was concerned about the way Snowden conveys his message. He is not struggling for words, or thinking hard, as even bright, articulate whistleblowers under stress will do.

Rather he appears to be transmitting whole paragraphs smoothly, without stumbling. To me this reads as someone who has learned his talking points — again the way that political campaigns train surrogates to transmit talking points.”


“He keeps saying things like, ‘If you are a journalist and they think you are the transmission point of this info, they will certainly kill you.’ Or: ‘I fully expect to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.’ He also keeps stressing what he will lose: his $200,000 salary, his girlfriend, his house in Hawaii. These are the kinds of messages that the police state would LIKE journalists to take away.” In case we miss the point, she adds, implying rather strongly that she is concluding Snowden is a fake, “A real whistleblower also does not put out potential legal penalties as options, and almost always by this point has a lawyer by his/her side who would PROHIBIT him/her from saying, ‘come get me under the Espionage Act.’

Finally in my experience, real whistleblowers are completely focused on their act of public service and trying to manage the jeopardy to themselves and their loved ones; they don’t tend ever to call attention to their own self-sacrifice.”


“It is actually in the Police State’s interest to let everyone know that everything you write or say everywhere is being surveilled, and that awful things happen to people who challenge this. Which is why I am not surprised that now he is on UK no-fly lists – I assume the end of this story is that we will all have a lesson in terrible things that happen to whistleblowers.” She adds, in a further indictment of Snowden, “That could be because he is a real guy who gets in trouble; but it would be as useful to the police state if he is a fake guy who gets in ‘trouble.’”


She says he talks about the beautiful “pole-dancer” girlfriend he abandoned (actually he did that for her safety, Naomi), implying his repetition process might be so that the media have a justification to keep showing her sexy photo (as though our prurient media needs a justification to do such a thing).

The media keep saying he is in a “safe house” in Hong Kong, which according to Wolf cannot exist in the former British colony, now a part of China, “Unless you are with the one organization that can still get off the surveillance grid, because that org created it.”


He’s not surrounded by an army of attorneys the way Wikileaks’ Julian Assange was when he traveled (and by the way, I recall that for a long time, after Wikileaks ran the Bradley Manning documents, including the horrific “Collateral Damage” war crime video, there were conspiracy theorists out there claiming baselessly that he was actually probably a Mossad asset — this on the basis that he had not been sufficiently leaking damaging information about Israel’s actions against Palestinians).


That’s it, folks! All sheer wild speculation about Snowden, with not even one shred of actual evidence against him to suggest he’s anything but what he says he is: a young man who was hired to do some really dirty work spying on Americans en masse, who decided that what was happening was the creation of a totalitarian system, and who had the courage of, instead of walking away from it, putting his life in jeopardy by publicly blowing the whistle.


I have nothing against trying to uncover conspiracies, particularly those orchestrated by a government like our own which we know has manufactured from whole cloth faked evidence to justify a war in Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, even to the point of torturing captives to get them to make up tales that would justify that fake evidence. But when someone with Wolf’s reputation on the left sinks to this level of baseless and libelous accusations against a brave person who is under attack by that government, it cannot be allowed to pass.


Of course, I don’t really think that Wolf is acting as an agent for the government (I could only speculate about that, and I won’t). And if she were just thinking these idle thoughts, and maybe raising them in a playful discussion at home with a few friends over dinner, I would see nothing wrong in the exercise. But as a highly media-savvy public person, she’s publishing them intentionally where they will be widely circulated: on her publicly accessible Facebook page. I have to conclude she has allowed her instinct for self-promotion and grandstanding in this case to let her do something truly treacherous and unconscionable: baselessly defaming and attacking the credibility of a brave whistleblower who is under official under attack.


As a long-time investigative reporter, I also dispute Wolf’s self-serving claim that her own experience in dealing with whistleblowers shows them to be uniformly disorganized and inarticulate. In my experience, some are very disorganized and hard to follow because of their focus on the trees in their personal forest, but some whistleblowers are intensely organized and know exactly what they want to tell you as a journalist. They are also apt, organized or not, contrary to what Wolf says, to highlight the danger they are in, and that they may be putting the reporter in. Sometimes this may be simply to make sure you are interested and recognize the seriousness of what they have to say, and sometimes it is out of genuine fear for themselves and concern for the journalist’s safety, and perhaps also to make sure you fully understand what you’re getting into and that you will not cave and reveal their identity the moment you are put under pressure yourself.


Wolf, who always makes a point of mentioning she’s a Yale grad and a Rhodes Scholar who studied at Oxford, should take care in assuming that someone with only a high school diploma speaking in whole sentences or paragraphs is probably reciting “talking points” from a script. Her assumption reeks of class-based stereotyping. I have met car mechanics, who besides working miracles on my old cars, can speak in multiple paragraphs about politics, often with more wisdom and insight than most of the ivy-league pundits on the tube.


As for Wolf’s claim of there being “no safe houses” in Hong Kong, I just have to laugh. Having lived in Hong Kong for five years, I can assure her that there are myriad urban warrens all over Hong Kong where one could hide for decades undetected, as well as vast stretches of tropical wilderness in the New Territories where people can become lost for days, even with professional rescue teams looking for them. Wolf should stick to things she has actual knowledge about, instead of trashing good people on the basis of ignorant speculation and pretend savvy.


Unless and until someone comes up with a single hard fact seriously suggesting that Snowden is a fake, this kind of fantasizing should halt. Wolf should apologize for her self-aggrandizing tripe and make a generous donation from her book sales to the Snowden defense fund — unless of course she has evidence that the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is an NSA or CIA front group.


DAVE LINDORFF is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening! (http://www.thiscantbehappening.net), an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (http://www.easycartsecure.com/CounterPunch/CounterPunch_Books.html) (AK Press).

David Guyatt
06-18-2013, 10:05 AM
I am not convinced that Naomi Woolf is a fifth column spook - although for good order's sake I can't write the idea off completely.

My main thoughts on this whole affair is that people do look at these big events differently from each other. Most of us can see things two different ways, the cynical and the ultra-ultra cynical. Sadly, the intensely duplicitous world we now live in has made us far more paranoid than hitherto, and everything is open to several different interpretations.

The Swowden revelations seems to me to have triggered this syndrome more than most.

I suspect we're all going to have to get used to this Janus face sort of thinking from now on.

Peter Lemkin
06-18-2013, 10:20 AM
I am not convinced that Naomi Woolf is a fifth column spook - although for good order's sake I can't write the idea off completely.

My main thoughts on this whole affair is that people do look at these big events differently from each other. Most of us can see things two different ways, the cynical and the ultra-ultra cynical. Sadly, the intensely duplicitous world we now live in has made us far more paranoid than hitherto, and everything is open to several different interpretations.

The Swowden revelations seems to me to have triggered this syndrome more than most.

I suspect we're all going to have to get used to this Janus face sort of thinking from now on.

No, I don't think it likely to remotely likely either David......she brought up some good points and questions; the article condemning hers did, as well.....we are left with an information vacuum and conundrum/mystery for now.
-----------------------------------------
Edward Snowden: the truth about US surveillance will emergeIn a live chat with Guardian readers, NSA whistleblower says US leaders cannot 'cover this up by jailing or murdering me'


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Ewen MacAskill (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/ewenmacaskill) in New York
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian), Monday 17 June 2013 07.27 BST
Jump to comments (1209) (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-us-fair-trial#start-of-comments)
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/6/17/1371472787871/7e09e1da-faf8-4418-a807-80883d7d55ee-460x276.jpegSnowden emphatically denied speculation that he had cut a deal with the Chinese government. Photograph: the Guardian

The NSA (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/nsa) whistleblower Edward Snowden (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/edward-snowden) has warned that the truth about the extent of surveillance carried out by US authorities (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/the-nsa-files) would emerge, even if he was eventually silenced.
In a live Q&A with Guardian readers (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower) from a secret location in Hong Kong (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/hong-kong), Snowden hinted at more disclosures to come and that their publication could not be prevented by his arrest or – more chillingly – his death.
Answering a *question about whether he had more secret material, the 29-year-old former National Security Agency contractor wrote: "All I can say right now is the US government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or *murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped."
Snowden, who is hiding in a safe house in Hong Kong, where he remains free despite admitting to the biggest leak of US secrets in a generation, spent nearly two hours taking questions on the Guardian website. His discussed issues ranging from why he picked a Chinese-controlled territory as his hideout (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower#block-51bf1112e4b0239b85d8c67f)to his specific concerns about the Obama administration (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower#block-51bf29fce4b06af5d62331a4). He also clarified questions about his salary atBooz Allen Hamilton (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower#block-51bf2937e4b03725b2ebf321) and the the extent of access (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower#block-51bf2e06e4b03725b2ebf323) he had as a contractor for the NSA.
With opinion in the US divided between those who see him as a traitor and those who view him as a hero, Snowden said he fled the country because he did not believe he had a chance of a fair trial.
"The US government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it," he said.
Snowden, whose leaked documents opened a debate about the balance between intrusive government surveillance versus security, does not regard himself as having committed a crime but instead as the person exposing alleged criminality on the part of the Obama administration (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/obama-administration).
In the Q&A session, Snowden said he had initially been encouraged by the public response. "Unfortunately, the mainstream media now seems far more interested in what I said when I was 17 or what my girlfriend looks like rather than, say, the largest program of suspicionless surveillance in human history," he said.
Snowden emphatically denied speculation that he had cut a deal with the Chinese government, giving them classified documents in exchange for providing him with an eventual safe haven. In the most colourful quote of the interview, he said: "Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn't I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now."
He claimed that he had not revealed documents about US operations about legitimate military targets. Snowden said he had focused instead on operations that targeted civilian infrastructure: universities, hospitals and private businesses. "These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target … Congress hasn't declared war on the countries – the majority of them are our allies – but without asking for public permission, NSA is running network operations against them that affect millions of innocent people."
Snowden, who spent a decade working with various defence contractors on secondment to the CIA (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/cia) and the NSA as a communications specialist, reiterated that he had delayed going public because of his hope that Barack Obama's election would mark a sea change but he had ended up disillusioned.
"Unfortunately, shortly after assuming power, he closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantánamo, where men still sit without charge," he said.
During interviews in Hong Kong, Snowden expressed a desire once he had gone underground to speak directly to the public through a Q&A.
His choice of Hong Kong has left many puzzled, especially as he could have opted to fly direct to Iceland, which he said was his preferred asylum option and whose legislators have emerged as strong supporters of online freedom and whistleblowing.
Explaining his reasoning, Snowden said it had been risky for him to leave the US, as NSA employees have to declare foreign travel 30 days in advance. "Iceland could be pushed harder, quicker, before the public could have a chance to make their feelings known, and I would not put that past the current US administration," he said.
Snowden said he had chosen Hong Kong as a based because it provided a "cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained".
Addressing the backlash against him in the US, Snowden said much of it was predictable. He said: "It's important to bear in mind I'm being called a traitor by men like former vice president Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American."
Snowden also clarified a point about his salary, which he had put in an earlier interview at $200,000. His last employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, said he made $122,000 a year. Snowden, who held a number of posts in recent years, said $200,000 was a "salary high" and that he had taken a pay cut to work at Booz Allen.

Keith Millea
06-18-2013, 06:29 PM
Dave Lindorff wasn't serious about calling Naomi an NSA agent.He only substituted her name for Snowdens name in the first paragraph to give Naomi a little pinch of her own reality.How does that feel Naomi?

And,I can still remember during the height of OWS,Naomi coming out of a high class dinner party,wearing some nice $1,000 evening dress,and proceeding to get herself arrested.Great publicity,but you have to admit,rich dinner parties are not of the 99%.

Maybe it was just the martini's..........

Peter Lemkin
06-18-2013, 07:26 PM
AARON MATÉ: We turn now to the latest news in the NSA surveillance scandal. On Monday, both President Obama and whistleblower Edward Snowden gave extensive interviews on the surveillance programs Snowden exposed and Obama is now being forced to defend. Speaking to Charlie Rose on PBS, Obama drew a line between his surveillance efforts and those of the Bush administration. He also reaffirmed his insistence that no Americans’ phone calls or emails are being directly monitored without court orders.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: What I can say unequivocally is that if you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls, and the NSA cannot target your emails.


CHARLIE ROSE: And have not.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And have not. They cannot and have not, by law and by rule, and—unless they—and usually it wouldn’t be "they," it would be the FBI—go to a court and obtain a warrant and seek probable cause, the same way it’s always been, the same way, when we were growing up and were watching movies, you know, you want to go set up a wiretap, you’ve got to go to a judge, show probable cause.

AARON MATÉ: Obama’s comments came as new poll numbers showed his approval rating has dipped 8 percent since the NSA disclosures emerged nearly two weeks ago. The drop was even higher among young voters, whose support for Obama fell 17 points. In his interview with PBS, President Obama was also asked about the potential extradition of whistleblower Edward Snowden. Obama referred questions to federal prosecutors but said Snowden faces "criminal investigation—and possible extradition."
AMY GOODMAN: Well, after going public as the source behind the NSA disclosures just over a week ago, Edward Snowden remerged on Monday after several days of quiet. In an online chat (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower) with the British newspaper The Guardian, Snowden rejected what he called "smear" efforts to paint him as a spy for China, saying he’s had no contact with the Chinese government. He also defended his leaking of classified NSA documents, saying he deliberately chose not to reveal, quote, "any US operations against legitimate military targets," unquote. He added, "I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals and private businesses because it is dangerous. These nakedly, aggressive criminal acts are wrong no matter the target," he wrote.
Snowden indicated he remains in Hong Kong after arriving there last month, but wouldn’t confirm his exact location. He also stood by his controversial assertion that he has—as an NSA contractor, had the capability "to wiretap anyone" in the U.S. with a personal email address. In comments suggesting he may be concerned his life is in danger, Snowden said more leaks are on the way, no matter what happens to him. He said, quote, "All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped," he wrote.
In the latest of Snowden’s disclosures, The Guardian of London reported on Sunday the U.S. and Britain spied on foreign diplomats at two international summits in London during 2009. Britain’s NSA counterpart, the GCHQ, established fake Internet cafés to spy on foreign delegates’ computer use, and the NSA shared information on the phone calls of Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev. The revelation came just as the G8 summit opened in Ireland, with President Obama in attendance and Britain again playing host.
All this comes as the Obama administration appears to be stepping up its effort to defend the surveillance program Snowen exposed. Before Obama’s interview with PBS Monday, the National Security Agency disclosed it investigated less than 300 phone records seized in the broad collection of metadata last year. The agency also said the monitoring has foiled terror plots in the U.S. and 20 other countries, and vowed to release details this week. The head of the National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, is appearing before the House Intelligence Committee today in a rare public hearing.
For more, we’re going to Glenn Greenwald, the columnist for The Guardian of London who broke the NSA surveillance story earlier this month and a number of others since, including Snowden coming forward as the NSA whistleblower. He’s back home in Brazil after returning from Hong Kong, where Edward Snowden is believed to remain. On Monday, Glenn Greenwald moderated Snowden’s online chat with The Guardian.
Well, welcome back to Democracy Now!, Glenn. A lot has been happening. To say the least, you have been very busy. Talk about first—you moderated the discussion yesterday. What most surprised you, or, I should say, what do you feel was most important about what Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, wrote yesterday and was asked?
GLENN GREENWALD: I think the key thing is that he continuously emphasizes that the caricature being made of him, that he’s some kind of a spy or setting out to destroy the United States, is completely inconsistent with his behavior. He could have released all sorts of extremely damaging, even crippling, documents, if that had been his intention. He could have sold those documents to foreign adversaries, if he wanted to enrich himself. None of those things were what he did. He instead very carefully vetted the documents that he turned over to us, and some to The Washington Post, and urged us that we then conduct our own review to make sure that the documents that end up being published are ones that are truly in the public interest. And I think what you see here is a person who was very disturbed by this massive surveillance apparatus built in the United States that spies not only on American citizens, but the world, with very little checks, very little oversight. And he’s making clear that his intention is to inform his fellow citizens, even at the expense of his own liberty or even life. And I think that comes through very clearly.
AARON MATÉ: Well, Glenn, during his Guardian online chat, Snowden was asked to respond to the recent comments of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Speaking on Fox News, Cheney called Snowden a traitor who may be a Chinese spy.
CHRIS WALLACE: What do you think of Edward Snowden?


DICK CHENEY: I think he’s a traitor. I think he has committed crimes, in effect, by violating agreements, given the position he had. He was a contractor employee, but he obviously had been granted top-secret clearance. And I think it’s one of the worst occasions, in my memory, of somebody with access to classified information doing enormous damage to the national security interest of the United States. I’m deeply suspicious, obviously, because he went to China. That’s not a place where you’d ordinarily want to go if you’re interested in freedom and liberty and so forth. So it raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did this.

AARON MATÉ: Asked for his response, Edward Snowden told the Guardian readers, quote, "This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering [the Iraq War] that has killed over 4,400 [Americans] and maimed nearly 32,000 [Americans], as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American." Glenn, what is your assessment of the criticism of Edward Snowden from both the right, as personified by Cheney, but also from liberals, from supporters of President Obama?
GLENN GREENWALD: It’s interesting, because the criticism completely converges. In fact, I recall very well during the Bush years of 2006, 2007, when their NSA scandal was really raging, that exactly the same arguments were being made about those of us who were writing about these programs and those who had leaked them and the journalists who had published them, that they were traitors, that they were endangering national security, that they were engaged in all sorts of attempts to harm the United States. And it’s amazing because back then you heard from Democrats, none of whom was saying that, and yet now, under a Democratic president, of course, many of them are mimicking exactly those same beliefs. I mean, give Cheney at least some minimal credit that he’s being consistent, horribly—consistently horrible, but at least consistent, in contrast to these Democrats who, under Bush, were very ardent critics of the surveillance state, of secrecy, of the idea that journalists are criminals or leakers are criminals, who now have completely done a 180 reversal now that it’s a Democrat in office. And I can tell you that, by far, the most vehement and vicious attacks on our reporting and the stories that we’ve been writing come not from Republicans, but from Democratic partisans, both in politics and in the media.
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn, right now the G8 summit is taking place. Can you talk about the latest release from Ed Snowden about the U.S. and British governments using Internet cafés, phone taps, etc., to spy on G8—G-20 delegates during the 2009 summit?
GLENN GREENWALD: Sure. I didn’t actually participate in that story, but the reason it was significant is not because it shows that the United States and Britain are spying, say, on the Russian president, which I think everybody expects and probably a lot of people want. The significance is twofold. One is that they are spying very aggressively on their own allies, under the guise of inviting them to an economic summit. But I think the much bigger part of the story is it shows just how sophisticated and deceitful the eavesdropping capabilities are of Western governments, and specifically of their intelligence and surveillance agencies.
And so, this is what I think is really the critical aspect of all of these stories, which is, there are these extremely invasive capabilities being assembled by these governments that allow all kinds of deceitful spying, obviously ones that even trick the Russian government in the efforts to protect themselves from spying, and we ought to have as part of our debate an understanding of what these capabilities are, so that we can have a real discussion about the kind of limits that should be imposed on them. So, that’s always what happens is, when these spying agencies create these capabilities, in the first instance, they direct them at other governments, they direct them at hostile countries, but they always end up creeping further and further toward domestic surveillance. And we ought to know what these capabilities are, so that we can anticipate them and plan for them and talk about ways to limit them and prevent abuse.
AARON MATÉ: Well, Glenn, I’ve read some criticism of Snowden and your reporting, drawing a distinction between exposing domestic surveillance and then blowing the whistle on foreign espionage, saying that they’re separate, and that, in fact, talking about programs like this one that was uncovered in Britain, spying on foreign leaders, distracts from the issue of domestic spying.
GLENN GREENWALD: So, I think there’s a continuum here. You know, the journalistic inquiry is: Is there a significant public interest, and does it outweigh whatever harm you might cause? And so, on the continuum of what’s in the public interest, I think that at the very top end of that spectrum, in terms of public interest, is when a government engages in massive surveillance on its own citizens without suspicion or evidence of wrongdoing, which is what most of our stories have focused on. I think after that comes when the governments of the United States and its allies are spying on citizens of the world without suspicion. There is a huge loss to privacy, Internet freedom, liberty, when the NSA spies on innocent people who aren’t Americans, who live in other countries, as well.
And then, I think at the far end of that continuum, on the other spectrum, is when governments spy on other governments. So I agree that the public interest there is less than it is when the NSA spies domestically, but it’s not nonexistent. As I said, we need to know what these capabilities are, so that we can act before they start being applied domestically. But the vast bulk of our stories have been and will continue to be stories about how the NSA directs its surveillance at Americans and citizens around the world indiscriminately, without any evidence of wrongdoing, what Mr. Snowden yesterday called the largest, suspicionless surveillance program ever created in human history.
AMY GOODMAN: So, let’s go to what President Obama said in the Charlie Rose interview, when he said he could say unequivocally that we’re not listening to your phone calls. The NSA—it says—"The NSA cannot listen to your phone calls," Obama said. The NSA cannot target your emails, and have not, unless they get a subpoena. Can you talk about that?
GLENN GREENWALD: I’m staggered by how deceitful and misleading that claim is from President Obama. It’s actually worse than just misleading and deceitful; it’s just outright false. And this is the story that we’re working on to publish next, which is an inside look at what the FISA court really does in terms of what it is called oversight, but is really an empty fig leaf, when it monitors the NSA.
Under the 2008 FISA law, which replaced the 30-year FISA law enacted in 1978, the principal change is that the United States no longer needs an individual warrant when it listens in on the telephone calls or reads the emails of American citizens when they communicate with people outside of the United States. It is true that when American citizens talk to other Americans on U.S. soil, exclusively domestic communications, the NSA legally is required to get an individualized warrant from the FISA court before they can listen to the content of those communications. But when an American citizen is talking to somebody outside of the United States who’s not a U.S. citizen, and the target of those communications is the person outside of the United States, that is now completely legal for the NSA to eavesdrop on that call or read the email without going and getting a warrant. That is the whole point of that 2008 law. Remember, the Bush administration in 2005 got caught eavesdropping on the conversations of American citizens, the international conversations of American citizens, without a warrant. And what that 2008 law did is legalize that Bush program by eliminating the warrant requirement.
And so, every six months, the NSA goes to the FISA court, and they say, "Here are the procedures that we use for determining who is and is not a U.S. citizen, who is and is not on U.S. soil." The FISA court stamps the—an approval stamp on those guidelines, and the NSA is then empowered to go around collecting whatever calls and whatever emails they want. They can force the telecoms and the Internet providers to give them whatever content they want, which often includes American citizens talking to these foreign targets, without any kind of a search warrant. So when President Obama says nobody is listening to your calls or reading your emails without first getting a search warrant, that is absolutely false. It is true that the NSA can’t deliberately target—deliberately target U.S. citizens for that kind of surveillance, but it is also the case that they are frequently engaging in surveillance of exactly that kind of invasive technique involving U.S. persons.
Let me just say one last thing. This is why—just go to Google and read about this—Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, two Democrats on the Intelligence Committee, have been repeatedly asking the NSA, "How many Americans’ telephone calls and emails are you intercepting without warrants under this program?" And the NSA continuously tells them, "I’m sorry, we can’t provide you with even a rough estimate. We don’t have the technical capabilities to do that. It would take too much time and distract away from our core mission for us to assemble those statistics." So this idea that President Obama is promoting, that the NSA never listens to Americans’ calls or reads their emails without warrants, is utterly false.
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn, we have to break for just 30 seconds, but we want to come back and play another clip for you of President Obama speaking on Charlie Rose on PBS on Monday night. Glenn Greenwald, of course, is the award-winning journalist who has broken the NSA leaks story on Edward Snowden, who has come forward as the whistleblower who released a tremendous amount of information about the NSA and his role as a consultant working in an NSA office in Hawaii as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. This is Democracy Now! We’ll be back with Glenn Greenwald in just 30 seconds.
[break]
AMY GOODMAN: Our guest is Glenn Greenwald. He is back in Brazil from Hong Kong, where he broke these major stories on the National Security Agency and what it is doing with our email, our phone calls and much more. Aaron?
AARON MATÉ: Well, Glenn, I want to go back to Obama’s interview with Charlie Rose on Monday night. Obama dismissed fears the NSA’s bulk collection of metadata could potentially be abused.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The very fact that there’s all this data, in bulk, it has the enormous potential for abuse, because, they’ll say, you know, you can—when you start looking at metadata, even if you don’t know the names, you can match it up. If there’s a call to an oncologist, and it’s a call to a lawyer, and you can pair that up and figure out maybe this person is dying and they’re writing their will, and you can yield all this information. All of that is true—except for the fact that for the government under the program right now to do that, it would be illegal. We would not be allowed to do that.

AARON MATÉ: Glenn, so that’s Obama saying that we have this trove, but it’s not accessed, basically, unless there’s probable cause. Your response?
GLENN GREENWALD: OK, first of all, the fact that there are legal constraints in place, as we’ve seen repeatedly throughout history, is completely meaningless if there’s no meaningful and robust oversight. And there is nobody that looks over the NSA’s shoulder and finds out whose metadata they are linking to the actual identity of the person, whose metadata they’re investigating and putting together dossiers. It is completely within the discretion of the NSA, checked only by other executive branch agencies, to determine that.
Secondly, there is nothing easier in the world than linking these telephone numbers to any individual. Anybody could do that with very little effort. The American government, the NSA collects these massive databases that contains all sorts of information about people that enables a picture to be put together that is very invasive. So, whether or not there are rules that the NSA has adopted internally that say you can only do this if you have reasonable belief that the person has engaged in wrongdoing is completely independent of the fact that the—as Obama himself says, there is massive potential for abuse inside an agency that is incredibly secretive and that has very few checks and mechanisms for limitations on that abuse. And that, I think, is the key point.
And this is—you know, we have had more debate in the last nine or 10 days over what the NSA is, what it does, than we have had in the last 10 years, and that’s ultimately really what our journalism is intended to achieve, is to drag all of this out into the spotlight and make us understand what the NSA’s capabilities are, what kinds of potential for abuse there is, and what the checks on that abuse are, or the lack thereof.
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, I wanted to get your response to Republican Congressmember Peter King of New York. Speaking to CNN last week, he called for your prosecution over the reporting you’ve done on Edward Snowden’s revelations.
REP. PETER KING: Actually, if they—if they willingly knew that this was classified information, I think actions should be taken, especially on something of this magnitude. I know that the whole issue of leaks has been gone into over the last month, but I think something on this magnitude, there is an obligation, both moral but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security. As a practical matter, I—I guess there have been, in the past several years, a number of reporters who have been prosecuted under it, so I—the answer is yes to your question.

AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, your response?
GLENN GREENWALD: Well, first of all, I would defy anybody to go and look at anything that we reported and identify a single piece of information that even conceivably has harmed national security. The idea that we have somehow tipped off the terrorists to the fact that the U.S. government is monitoring their telephone calls and emails is completely idiotic. Any terrorist who’s alive has known for many, many years that the U.S. government is eagerly attempting to do that. The only things that we’ve revealed are things to the American people that they didn’t know about how their communications, not the communication of the terrorists, are being monitored.
Secondly, there’s this thing in the United States. It’s called the Constitution. And the First Amendment to it guarantees the right of freedom of the press. And what freedom of the press means, if it means anything, is the right to, as a journalist or even just as a citizen engaged in journalism, go in and investigate what your government is doing in the dark, and then use the mechanisms of the press to inform your fellow citizens about what it is that they’re doing. That is the heart and soul of investigative journalism. So if you take Peter King at his word, that any time national security secrets are revealed, it would mean that any investigative journalist, by definition, is a felon and ought to be prosecuted and criminalized.
There was a column in The Washington Post by Marc Thiessen, who is the primary apologist and defender of the Bush’s—of the Bush administration’s torture regime—he was a Bush speech writer—also essentially saying that I committed felonies, and The Washington Post did, as well. It’s incredible how menacing that is. If you’re looking for threats to America’s national security, you should look to the people who are calling for prosecutions in this case, not to the people, like Edward Snowden or myself, who are exposing it.
AMY GOODMAN: But, Glenn, are you afraid? Are you afraid for your safety, well, your privacy, etc.?
GLENN GREENWALD: Well, I think if you look at what the U.S. government has been doing over the last five or six years, it would be irrational to just dismiss the concern that they may prosecute journalists. They’ve embraced theories that do criminalize journalism. They convened a grand jury in the WikiLeaks case, even though WikiLeaks did nothing more than report government secrets. They didn’t steal them. They didn’t play any role in obtaining them. They embraced a theory that James Rosen, the Washington bureau chief of Fox News, was a co-conspirator in felonies by talking to his source. So, of course there’s a concern that these kind—that this kind of legal jeopardy will become real, but it’s not a fear that will deter me in any way from continuing to report very, very aggressively on these stories.
AMY GOODMAN: Bradley Manning is being tried at Fort Meade. That’s the headquarters of the National Security Agency. Can you talk about the significance of that and how they’re related, Glenn?
GLENN GREENWALD: Sure. I mean, I think the—you know, the critical context for everything that has happened here, from Snowden’s leaks to his decision to leave the United States and go to Hong Kong, the context of it is this incredibly vicious and unparalleled war on whistleblowers that the Obama administration has been waging. And, of course, that war on whistleblowers is as vividly apparent in the case of Bradley Manning as it is anywhere else. Here is somebody who didn’t release any top-secret information. It was all secret and classified. There is zero evidence that any national security harm came from it. There’s certainly no evidence that he intended any national security harm. He, too, could have sold that information or given it to a foreign government that was hostile to the United States. He didn’t do that. His intent clearly was to blow the whistle. And yet he’s almost certain to be in prison for the next two decades, probably, if the U.S. government has its way, for the rest of his life, at the age of 25. He was, as the U.N. found, subjected to very abusive detention practices. And so, when you say that Ed Snowden shouldn’t have left the United States or anything like that, the context is that the U.S. government has proven that whistleblowers will be severely and harshly treated as a way of deterring and intimidating people from engaging in further disclosures.
AARON MATÉ: Glenn, the NSA has promised to come out this week with details on the plots that it says have been foiled by surveillance. Your assessment of what you’ve heard so far? We’ve heard talk of phone records being used to foil the subway bombing plot in 2009. And also, your assessment of the news that the NSA is saying that 300 phone records were searched last year?
GLENN GREENWALD: So, this is the playbook that the U.S. government has been using for I don’t know how many decades to delegitimize any disclosure, going back to the Pentagon Papers, when they accused Daniel Ellsberg of helping the communists in Vietnam and jeopardizing and putting at risk the—
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn, we have 10 seconds.
GLENN GREENWALD: —the lives of American servicemembers. So, it’s completely irrational. I think any of those claims should be very rigorously scrutinized, because they don’t stand up to scrutiny.
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn, do you have more pieces coming out?
GLENN GREENWALD: Yes, we do, including in the next couple days.

Lauren Johnson
06-18-2013, 09:23 PM
from Webster Tarbley h/t willyloman


The operations of secret intelligence agencies aiming at the manipulation of public opinion generally involve a combination of cynical deception with the pathetic gullibility of the targeted populations.


There is ample reason to believe that the case of Edward Joseph Snowden fits into this pattern. We are likely dealing here with a limited hangout operation, in which carefully selected and falsified documents and other materials are deliberately revealed by an insider who pretends to be a fugitive rebelling against the excesses of some oppressive or dangerous government agency.

But the revelations turn out to have been prepared with a view to shaping the public consciousness in a way which is advantageous to the intelligence agency involved. At the same time, gullible young people can be duped into supporting a personality cult of the leaker, more commonly referred to as a “whistleblower.” A further variation on the theme can be the attempt of the sponsoring intelligence agency to introduce their chosen conduit, now posing as a defector, into the intelligence apparatus of a targeted foreign government. In this case, the leaker or whistleblower attains the status of a triple agent.

Any attempt to educate public opinion about the dynamics of limited hangout operations inevitably collides with the residue left in the minds of millions by recent successful examples of this technique. It will be hard for many to understand Snowden, precisely because they will insist on seeing him as the latest courageous example in a line of development which includes Daniel Ellsberg and Julian Assange, both still viewed by large swaths of naïve opinion as authentic challengers of oppressive government.

This is because the landmark limited hangout operation at the beginning of the current post-Cold War era was that of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon papers, which laid the groundwork for the CIA’s Watergate attack on the Nixon administration, and more broadly, on the office of the presidency itself. More recently, we have had the case of Assange and Wikileaks. Using these two cases primarily, we can develop a simple typology of the limited hangout operation which can be of significant value to those striving to avoid the role of useful idiots amidst the current cascade of whistleblowers and limited hangout artists.

In this analysis, we should also recall that limited hangouts have been around for a very long time. In 1620 Fra Paolo Sarpi, the dominant figure of the Venetian intelligence establishment of his time, advised the Venetian senate that the best way to defeat anti-Venetian propaganda was indirectly. He recommended the method of saying something good about a person or institution while pretending to say something bad. An example might be criticizing a bloody dictator for beating his dog - the real dimensions of his crimes are thus totally underplayed.

Limited hangout artists are instant media darlings

The most obvious characteristic of the limited hangout operative is that he or she immediately becomes the darling of the controlled corporate media. In the case of Daniel Ellsberg, his doctored set of Pentagon papers were published by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and eventually by a consortium totaling seventeen corporate newspapers. These press organs successfully argued the case for publication all the way to the United States Supreme Court, where they prevailed against the Nixon administration.

Needless to say, surviving critics of the Warren Commission, and more recent veterans of the 9/11 truth movement, and know very well that this is emphatically not the treatment reserved for messengers whose revelations are genuinely unwelcome to the Wall Street centered US ruling class. These latter are more likely to be slandered, vilified and dragged through the mud, or, even more likely, passed over in complete silence and blacked out. In extreme cases, they can be kidnapped, renditioned or liquidated.

Cass Sunstein present at the creation of Wikileaks

As for Assange and Wikileaks, the autumn 2010 document dump was farmed out in advance to five of the most prestigious press organs in the world, including the New York Times, the London Guardian, El Pais of Madrid, Der Spiegel of Hamburg, and Le Monde of Paris. This was the Assange media cartel, made up of papers previously specialized in discrediting 9/11 critics and doubters. But even before the document dumps had begun, Wikileaks had received a preemptive endorsement from none other than the notorious totalitarian Cass Sunstein, later an official of the Obama White House, and today married to Samantha Power, the author of the military coup that overthrew Mubarak and currently Obama’s pick for US ambassador to the United Nations. Sunstein is infamous for his thesis that government agencies should conduct covert operations using pseudo-independent agents of influence for the “cognitive infiltration of extremist groups” - meaning of those who reject in the establishment view of history and reality. Sunstein’s article entitled “Brave New WikiWorld” was published in the Washington Post of February 24, 2007, and touted the capabilities of Wikileaks for the destabilization of China. Perhaps the point of Ed Snowden’s presence in Hong Kong is to begin re-targeting these capabilities back towards the original anti-Chinese plan.
Snowden has already become a media celebrity of the first magnitude. His career was launched by the US left liberal Glenn Greenwald, now writing for the London Guardian, which expresses the viewpoints of the left wing of the British intelligence community. Thus, the current scandal is very much Made in England, and may benefit from inputs from the British GCHQ of Cheltenham, the Siamese twin of the NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland. During the days of his media debut, it was not uncommon to see a controlled press organ like CNN dedicating one third of every broadcast hour of air time to the birth, life, and miracles of Ed Snowden.
Another suspicious and tell-tale endorsement for Snowden comes from the former State Department public diplomacy asset Norman Solomon. Interviewed on RT, Solomon warmly embraced the Snowden Project and assured his viewers that the NSA material dished up by the Hong Kong defector used reliable and authentic. Solomon was notorious ten years ago as a determined enemy of 9/11 truth, acting as a border guard in favor of the Bush administration/neocon theory of terrorism.

Limited hangouts contain little that is new

Another important feature of the limited hangout operation if that the revelations often contain nothing new, but rather repackage old wine in new bottles. In the case of Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers, very little was revealed which was not already well known to a reader of Le Monde or the dispatches of Agence France Presse. Only those whose understanding of world affairs had been filtered through the Associated Press, CBS News, the New York Times, and the Washington Post found any of Ellsberg’s material a surprise.

Of course, there was method in Ellsberg’s madness. The Pentagon papers allegedly derived from an internal review of the decision-making processes leading to the Vietnam War, conducted after 1967-68 under the supervision of Morton Halperin and Leslie Gelb. Ellsberg, then a young RAND Corporation analyst and militant warmonger, was associated with this work. Upon examination, we find that the Pentagon papers tend to cover up such CIA crimes as the mass murder mandated under Operation Phoenix, and the massive CIA drug running associated with the proprietary airline Air America. Rather, when atrocities are in question, the US Army generally receives the blame. Politicians in general, and President John F. Kennedy in particular, are portrayed in a sinister light - one might say demonized. No insights whatever into the Kennedy assassination are offered. This was a smelly concoction, and it was not altogether excluded that the radicalized elements of the Vietnam era might have carried the day in denouncing the entire package as a rather obvious fabrication. But a clique around Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn loudly intervened to praise the quality of the exposé and to lionize Ellsberg personally as a new culture hero for the Silent Generation. From that moment on, the careers of Chomsky and Zinn soared. Pentagon papers skeptics, like the satirical comedian Mort Sahl, a supporter of the Jim Garrison investigation in New Orleans and a critic of the Warren Commission, faced the marginalization of their careers.

Notice also that the careers of Morton Halperin and Leslie Gelb positively thrived after they entrusted the Pentagon papers to Ellsberg, who revealed them. Ellsberg was put on trial in 1973, but all charges were dismissed after several months because of prosecutorial misconduct. Assange lived like a lord for many months in the palatial country house of an admirer in the East of England, and is now holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He spent about 10 days in jail in December 2010.
Assange first won credibility for Wikileaks with some chum in the form of a shocking film showing a massacre perpetrated by US forces in Iraq with the aid of drones. The massacre itself and the number of victims were already well known, so Assange was adding only the graphic emotional impact of witnessing the atrocity firsthand.
Limited hangouts reveal nothing about big issues like JFK, 9/11

Over the past century, there are certain large-scale covert operations which cast a long historical shadow, determining to some extent the framework in which subsequent events occur. These include the Sarajevo assassinations of 1914, the assassination of Rasputin in late 1916, Mussolini’s 1922 march on Rome, Hitler’s seizure of power in 1933, the assassination of French Foreign Minister Barthou in 1934, the assassination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, in 1963 Kennedy assassination, and 9/11. A common feature of the limited hangout operations is that they offer almost no insights into these landmark events.

In the Pentagon Papers, the Kennedy assassination is virtually a nonexistent event about which we learn nothing. As already noted, the principal supporters of Ellsberg were figures like Chomsky, whose hostility to JFK and profound disinterest in critiques of the Warren Commission were well-known. As for Assange, he rejects any further clarification of 9/11. In July 2010, Assange told Matthew Bell of the Belfast Telegraph: “I’m constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud.” This is on top of Cass Sunstein’s demand for active covert measures to suppress and disrupt inquiries into operations like 9/11. Snowden’s key backers Glenn Greenwald and Norman Solomon have both compiled impressive records of evasion on 9/11 truth, with Greenwald specializing in the blowback theory.

The Damascus road conversions of limited hangout figures

Daniel Ellsberg started his career as a nuclear strategist of the Dr. Strangelove type working for the RAND Corporation. He worked in the Pentagon as an aide to US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. He then went to Vietnam, where he served as a State Department civilian assistant to CIA General Edward Lansdale. In 1967, he was back at RAND to begin the preparation of what would come to be known as the Pentagon papers. Ellsberg has claimed that his Damascus Road conversion from warmonger to peace angel occurred when he heard a speech from a prison-bound draft resister at Haverford College in August 1969. After a mental breakdown, Ellsberg began taking his classified documents to the office of Senator Edward Kennedy and ultimately to the New York Times. Persons who believe this fantastic story may be suffering from terminal gullibility.

In the case of Assange, it is harder to identify such a moment of conversion. Assange spent his childhood in the coils of MK Ultra, a complex of Anglo-American covert operations designed to investigate and implement mind control through the use of psychopharmaca and other means. Assange was a denizen of the Ann Hamilton-Byrne cult, in which little children that were subjected to aversive therapy involving LSD and other heavy-duty drugs. Assange spent his formative years as a wandering nomad with his mother incognito because of her involvement in a custody dispute. The deracinated Assange lived in 50 different towns and attended 37 different schools. By the age of 16, the young nihilist was active as a computer hacker using the screen name “Mendax,” meaning quite simply “The Liar.” (Assange’s clone Snowden uses the more marketable codename of “Verax,” the truth teller.) Some of Assange’s first targets were Nortel and US Air Force offices in the Pentagon. Assange’s chief mentor became John Young of Cryptome, who in 2007 denounced Wikileaks as a CIA front.

Snowden’s story, as widely reported, goes like this: he dropped out of high school and also dropped out of a community college, but reportedly was nevertheless later able to command a salary of between $120,000 and $200,000 per year; he claims this is because he is a computer wizard. He enlisted in the US Army in May 2004, and allegedly hoped to join the special forces and contribute to the fight for freedom in Iraq. He then worked as a low-level security guard for the National Security Agency, and then went on to computer security at the CIA, including a posting under diplomatic cover in Switzerland. He moved on to work as a private contractor for the NSA at a US military base in Japan. His last official job was for the NSA at the Kunia Regional SIGINT Operations Center in Hawaii. In May 2013, he is alleged to have been granted medical leave from the NSA in Hawaii to get treatment for epilepsy. He fled to Hong Kong, and made his revelations with the help of Greenwald and a documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. Snowden voted for the nominally anti-war, ultra-austerity “libertarian” presidential candidate Ron Paul, and gave several hundred dollars to Paul’s campaign.

Snowden, like Ellsberg, thus started off as a warmonger but later became more concerned with the excesses of the Leviathan state. Like Assange, he was psychologically predisposed to the world of computers and cybernetics. The Damascus Road shift from militarist to civil libertarian remains unexplained and highly suspicious.

Snowden is also remarkable for the precision of his timing. His first revelations, open secrets though they were, came on June 5, precisely today when the rebel fortress of Qusayr was liberated by the Syrian army and Hezbollah. At this point, the British and French governments were screaming at Obama that it was high time to attack Syria. The appearance of Snowden’s somewhat faded material in the London Guardian was the trigger for a firestorm of criticism against the Obama regime by the feckless US left liberals, who were thus unwittingly greasing the skids for a US slide into a general war in the Middle East. More recently, Snowden came forward with allegations that the US and the British had eavesdropped on participants in the meeting of the G-20 nations held in Britain four years ago. This obviously put Obama on the defensive just as Cameron and Hollande were twisting his arm to start the Syrian adventure. By attacking the British GCHQ at Cheltenham, Britain’s equivalent to the NSA, perhaps Snowden was also seeking to obfuscate the obvious British sponsorship of his revelations.

Stories about Anglo Americans spying on high profile guests are as old as the hills, and have included a British frogman who attempted an underwater investigation of the Soviet cruiser that brought party leader N. S. Khrushchev for a visit in the 1950s. Snowden has also accused the NSA of hacking targets in China -- again, surely no surprise to experienced observers, but guaranteed to increase Sino-American tensions. As time passes, Snowden may emerge as more and more of a provocateur between Washington and Beijing.

Limited hangouts prepare large covert operations

Although, as we have seen, limited hangouts rarely illuminate the landmark covert operations which attempt to define an age, limited hangouts themselves do represent the preparation for future covert operations.

In the case of the Pentagon papers, this and other leaks during the Indo-Pakistani Tilt crisis were cited by Henry Kissinger in his demand that President Richard Nixon take countermeasures to restore the integrity of state secrets. Nixon foolishly authorized the creation of a White House anti-leak operation known as the Plumbers. The intelligence community made sure that the Plumbers operation was staffed by their own provocateurs, people who never were loyal to Nixon but rather took their orders from Langley. Here we find the already infamous CIA agent Howard Hunt, the CIA communications expert James McCord, and the FBI operative G. Gordon Liddy. These provocateurs took special pains to get arrested during an otherwise pointless break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the summer of 1972. Nixon could easily have disavowed the Plumbers and thrown this gaggle of agent provocateurs to the wolves, but he instead launched a cover up. Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, equipped with a top secret security clearance from the Office of Naval Intelligence, then began publicizing the story. The rest is history, and the lasting heritage has been a permanent weakening of the office of the presidency and the strengthening of the worst oligarchical tendencies.

Assange’s Wikileaks document dump triggered numerous destabilizations and coups d’état across the globe. Not one US, British, or Israeli covert operation or politician was seriously damaged by this material. The list of those impacted instead bears a striking resemblance to the CIA enemies’ list: the largest group of targets were Arab leaders slated for immediate ouster in the wave of “Arab Spring.” Here we find Ben Ali of Tunisia, Qaddafi of Libya, Mubarak of Egypt, Saleh of Yemen, and Assad of Syria. The US wanted to replace Maliki with Allawi as prime minister of Iraq, so the former was targeted, as was the increasingly independent Karzai of Afghanistan. Perennial targets of the CIA included Rodriguez Kirchner of Argentina, Berlusconi of Italy, and Putin of Russia. Berlusconi soon fell victim to a coup organized through the European Central Bank, while his friend Putin was able to stave off a feeble attempt at color revolution in early 2012. Mildly satiric jabs at figures like Merkel of Germany and Sarkozy of France were included primarily as camouflage.

Assange thus had a hand in preparing one of the largest destabilization campaigns mounted by Anglo-American intelligence since 1968, or perhaps even 1848.

If the Snowden operation can help coerce the vacillating and reluctant Obama to attack Syria, our new autistic hero may claim credit for starting a general war in the Middle East, and perhaps even more. If Snowden can further poison relations between United States and China, the world historical significance of his provocations will be doubly assured. But none of this can occur unless he finds vast legions of eager dupes ready to fall for his act. We hope he won’t.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/18/309609/how-to-identify-cia-limited-hangout-op/

Lauren Johnson
06-19-2013, 05:14 PM
Absent a some specific document or confession on the part of Snowden or retraction by Greenwald and/or the Gaurdian, proving that Snowden is or is not a manufactured leaker is not going to happen. The analysis by skeptics takes the form of asking why "that dog won't hunt." Scott Creighton's original pieces were like Yosemite Sam (cartoon character) blasting away with his shotgun. Naomi Wolf made a better case, once again around oddities, and only just less weak. Webster Tarpley provides outstanding context for what to look for arranged leak and says Snowden fits the pattern. All of this is like cosmologists providing evidence for how they think a black hole's environment will behave.

Creighton's blog post today is outstanding. It is actually a tightly reasoned piece -- no Yosemite Sam shotgun patterns. Snowden's leak provides the context for the government to "have that conversation" about the balance between security and privacy. CISPA will be the result.

It is well worth the read. Is it case closed? Hardly. Admittedly, his analysis is still looking for the signature of the black hole, so to speak. But he just might have found it.

http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/the-missing-motive-of-the-snowden-psyop-cispa-yes-cispa/

Kara Dellacioppa
06-20-2013, 05:16 PM
Thank you for posting on this Lauren. This is a great interview that expands on his earlier article on the Snowden leak......

http://tarpley.net/2013/06/18/the-glenn-greenwalded-snowden-limited-hangout-psyop-for-war-with-syria-begins-to-crumble/

Peter Lemkin
06-20-2013, 07:39 PM
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is openly accusing the nation’s chief intelligence officer of lying to lawmakers in statements earlier this year. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told a Senate hearing in March that the National Security Agency does not "wittingly" amass the personal data of millions of Americans. Speaking to CNN, Paul said Clapper lied outright.

Sen. Rand Paul: "What I’m saying is that the director of national intelligence, in March, did directly lie to Congress, which is against the law. He said that they were not collecting any data on American citizens, and it turns out they’re collecting billions of data on phone calls every day. So it was a lie. What I’m saying is that by lying to Congress, which is against the law, he severely damaged the credibility of the entire intelligence committee — community."
After the recent NSA revelations emerged, Clapper said his answer was the "least untruthful" response he could provide at the time.:)

Magda Hassan
06-21-2013, 06:10 AM
WikiLeaks plane 'ready' to bring Snowden to IcelandAFP | Jun 21, 2013, 07.13 AM IST












REYKJAVIK: A chartered private jet is ready to bring US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Edward-Snowden) to Iceland from Hong Kong, a businessman connected to whistleblowing website WikiLeaks (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Wikileaks) said on late Thursday.

"Everything is ready on our side and the plane could take off tomorrow," Icelandic businessman Olafur Sigurvinsson, head of WikiLeaks partner firm DataCell, told Channel2 television.

"We have really done all we can do. We have a plane and all the logistics in place. Now we are only awaiting a response from the (Icelandic) government," added the boss of Datacell, which handles donations to WikiLeaks.

The private jet belongs to a Chinese firm and has been chartered at a cost of more than $240,000 thanks to individual contributions received by Datacell, he said.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Julian-Assange) said on Wednesday he had been in contact with representatives of Snowden to discuss his possible bid for asylum in Iceland following his disclosure of US surveillance programmes.

Former US government contractor Snowden, who turns 30 on Friday, fled to Hong Kong on May 20. The United States has yet to file any formal extradition request after his bombshell leak of the National Security Agency programmes.

Iceland has said it held informal talks with an intermediary of Snowden over the possibility of seeking political asylum, but that he must present himself on Icelandic soil.

Snowden has expressed an interest in taking refuge in Iceland, saying it is a country that stands up for internet freedoms.

However, observers say Iceland's new centre-right coalition may be less willing to anger the United States than its leftist predecessor.

Interior Minister Hanna Kristjansdottir said Tuesday that the government did not feel bound by a 2010 resolution by parliament seeking to make the country a safe haven for journalists and whistleblowers from around the globe.

"The resolution is not a part of the laws that apply to asylum seekers," she told public broadcaster RUV.

Sigurvinsson said it was unlikely that Snowden would travel to Iceland without receiving a green light from the government in Reykjavik.

"It would be stupid to come here only to be extradited to the United States. In that case he'd be better off where he is," the businessman said.

Snowden has gone to ground in Hong Kong, surfacing to conduct media interviews from undisclosed locations.

Assange this week marked a year in refuge at the Ecuadoran embassy in London. Sweden wants to put him on trial for rape, but the WikiLeaks founder says the prosecution is politically motivated.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/WikiLeaks-plane-ready-to-bring-Snowden-to-Iceland/articleshow/20693314.cms

David Guyatt
06-21-2013, 08:31 AM
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is openly accusing the nation’s chief intelligence officer of lying to lawmakers in statements earlier this year. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told a Senate hearing in March that the National Security Agency does not "wittingly" amass the personal data of millions of Americans. Speaking to CNN, Paul said Clapper lied outright.
Sen. Rand Paul: "What I’m saying is that the director of national intelligence, in March, did directly lie to Congress, which is against the law. He said that they were not collecting any data on American citizens, and it turns out they’re collecting billions of data on phone calls every day. So it was a lie. What I’m saying is that by lying to Congress, which is against the law, he severely damaged the credibility of the entire intelligence committee — community."

After the recent NSA revelations emerged, Clapper said his answer was the "least untruthful" response he could provide at the time.:)

"Least untruthful". Hhmm.

Judge: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Clapper: I almost do, your Honour.

Judge: That's almost good enough for me. But not quite. Will you tell the whole truth?

Clapper: Let me reply this way your Honour. I'll endeavour to answer in the least untruthful way.

Judge: Oh, okay.

Anyway, I have a question. If he lied to Congress and this is a criminal offence, are we going to see him being arrested and charged? I mean it is an offence, openly admitted.

Nah.

Peter Lemkin
06-21-2013, 05:26 PM
The top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant Fisa court submissions show broad scope of procedures governing NSA's surveillance of Americans' communication

• Document one: procedures used by NSA to target non-US persons (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/20/exhibit-a-procedures-nsa-document)
• Document two: procedures used by NSA to minimise data collected from US persons (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/20/exhibit-b-nsa-procedures-document)







Glenn Greenwald (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/glenn-greenwald) and James Ball (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/jamesball)

guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/), Thursday 20 June 2013 23.59 BST

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/About/General/2013/2/25/1361783555359/Computer-keyboard-008.jpg The documents show that discretion as to who is actually targeted lies directly with the NSA's analysts. Photograph: Martin Rogers/Workbook Stock/Getty

Top secret documents submitted to the court that oversees surveillance (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/surveillance) by US intelligence agencies show the judges have signed off on broad orders which allow the NSA (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/nsa) to make use of information "inadvertently" collected from domestic US communications without a warrant.
The Guardian is publishing in full two documents submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (known as the Fisa court (http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/fisa-court)), signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and stamped 29 July 2009. They detail the procedures the NSA is required to follow to target "non-US persons" under its foreign intelligence powers and what the agency does to minimize data collected on US citizens and residents in the course of that surveillance.
The documents show that even under authorities governing the collection of foreign intelligence from foreign targets, US communications can still be collected, retained and used.
The procedures cover only part of the NSA's surveillance of domestic US communications. The bulk collection of domestic call records, as first revealed by the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data) earlier this month, takes place under rolling court orders issued on the basis of a legal interpretation of a different authority, section 215 of the Patriot Act.
The Fisa court's oversight role (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/19/fisa-court-oversight-process-secrecy) has been referenced (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/obama-defends-checks-nsa-surveillance) many times by Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials as they have sought to reassure the public about surveillance, but the procedures approved by the court have never before been publicly disclosed.
The top secret documents published today detail the circumstances in which data collected on US persons under the foreign intelligence authority must be destroyed, extensive steps analysts must take to try to check targets are outside the US, and reveals how US call records are used to help remove US citizens and residents from data collection.
However, alongside those provisions, the Fisa court-approved policies allow the NSA to:
• Keep data that could potentially contain details of US persons for up to five years;
• Retain and make use of "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications if they contain usable intelligence, information on criminal activity, threat of harm to people or property, are encrypted, or are believed to contain any information relevant to cybersecurity;
• Preserve "foreign intelligence information" contained within attorney-client communications;
• Access the content of communications gathered from "U.S. based machine[s]" or phone numbers in order to establish if targets are located in the US, for the purposes of ceasing further surveillance.
The broad scope of the court orders, and the nature of the procedures set out in the documents, appear to clash with assurances from President Obama and senior intelligence officials that the NSA could not access Americans' call or email information without warrants.
The documents also show that discretion as to who is actually targeted under the NSA's foreign surveillance powers lies directly with its own analysts, without recourse to courts or superiors – though a percentage of targeting decisions are reviewed by internal audit teams on a regular basis.
Since the Guardian first revealed the extent of the NSA's collection of US communications, there have been repeated calls for the legal basis of the programs to be released. On Thursday, two US congressmen introduced a bill (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/20/house-obama-declassify-fisa-court) compelling the Obama administration (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/obama-administration) to declassify the secret legal justifications for NSA surveillance.
The disclosure bill, sponsored by Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, and Todd Rokita, an Indiana Republican, is a complement to one proposed in the Senate last week. It would "increase the transparency of the Fisa Court and the state of the law in this area," Schiff told the Guardian. "It would give the public a better understanding of the safeguards, as well as the scope of these programs."
Section 702 of the Fisa Amendments Act (FAA), which was renewed for five years last December, is the authority under which the NSA is allowed to collect large-scale data, including foreign communications and also communications between the US and other countries, provided the target is overseas.
FAA warrants are issued by the Fisa court for up to 12 months at a time, and authorise the collection of bulk information – some of which can include communications of US citizens, or people inside the US. To intentionally target either of those groups requires an individual warrant.
One-paragraph orderOne such warrant (http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/interactive/2013/jun/21/fisa-court-warrant-full-document) seen by the Guardian shows that they do not contain detailed legal rulings or explanation. Instead, the one-paragraph order (http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/interactive/2013/jun/21/fisa-court-warrant-full-document), signed by a Fisa court judge in 2010, declares that the procedures submitted by the attorney general on behalf of the NSA are consistent with US law and the fourth amendment.
Those procedures state that the "NSA determines whether a person is a non-United States person reasonably believed to be outside the United States in light of the totality of the circumstances based on the information available with respect to that person, including information concerning the communications facility or facilities used by that person".
It includes information that the NSA analyst uses to make this determination – including IP addresses, statements made by the potential target, and other information in the NSA databases, which can include public information and data collected by other agencies.
Where the NSA has no specific information on a person's location, analysts are free to presume they are overseas, the document continues.
"In the absence of specific information regarding whether a target is a United States person," it states "a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States or whose location is not known will be presumed to be a non-United States person unless such person can be positively identified as a United States person."
If it later appears that a target is in fact located in the US, analysts are permitted to look at the content of messages, or listen to phone calls, to establish if this is indeed the case.
Referring to steps taken to prevent intentional collection of telephone content of those inside the US, the document states: "NSA analysts may analyze content for indications that a foreign target has entered or intends to enter the United States. Such content analysis will be conducted according to analytic and intelligence requirements and priorities."
Details set out in the "minimization procedures", regularly referred to in House and Senate hearings (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/12/senate-nsa-director-keith-alexander), as well as public statements in recent weeks, also raise questions as to the extent of monitoring of US citizens and residents.
NSA minimization procedures signed by Holder in 2009 set out that once a target is confirmed to be within the US, interception must stop immediately. However, these circumstances do not apply to large-scale data where the NSA claims it is unable to filter US communications from non-US ones.
The NSA is empowered to retain data for up to five years and the policy states "communications which may be retained include electronic communications acquired because of limitations on the NSA's ability to filter communications".
Even if upon examination a communication is found to be domestic – entirely within the US – the NSA can appeal to its director to keep what it has found if it contains "significant foreign intelligence information", "evidence of a crime", "technical data base information" (such as encrypted communications), or "information pertaining to a threat of serious harm to life or property".
Domestic communications containing none of the above must be destroyed. Communications in which one party was outside the US, but the other is a US-person, are permitted for retention under FAA rules.
The minimization procedure adds that these can be disseminated to other agencies or friendly governments if the US person is anonymised, or including the US person's identity under certain criteria.
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/6/20/1371738529781/holder-nsa-legislation-010.jpg Holder's 'minimization procedure' says once a target is confirmed to be in the US, interception of communication must stop. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images A separate section of the same document notes that as soon as any intercepted communications are determined to have been between someone under US criminal indictment and their attorney, surveillance must stop. However, the material collected can be retained, if it is useful, though in a segregated database:
"The relevant portion of the communication containing that conversation will be segregated and the National Security Division of the Department of Justice will be notified so that appropriate procedures may be established to protect such communications from review or use in any criminal prosecution, while preserving foreign intelligence information contained therein," the document states.
In practice, much of the decision-making appears to lie with NSA analysts, rather than the Fisa court or senior officials.
A transcript of a 2008 briefing on FAA from the NSA's general counsel sets out how much discretion NSA analysts possess when it comes to the specifics of targeting, and making decisions on who they believe is a non-US person. Referring to a situation where there has been a suggestion a target is within the US.
"Once again, the standard here is a reasonable belief that your target is outside the United States. What does that mean when you get information that might lead you to believe the contrary? It means you can't ignore it. You can't turn a blind eye to somebody saying: 'Hey, I think so and so is in the United States.' You can't ignore that. Does it mean you have to completely turn off collection the minute you hear that? No, it means you have to do some sort of investigation: 'Is that guy right? Is my target here?" he says.
"But, if everything else you have says 'no' (he talked yesterday, I saw him on TV yesterday, even, depending on the target, he was in Baghdad) you can still continue targeting but you have to keep that in mind. You can't put it aside. You have to investigate it and, once again, with that new information in mind, what is your reasonable belief about your target's location?"
The broad nature of the court's oversight role, and the discretion given to NSA analysts, sheds light on responses from the administration and internet companies to the Guardian's disclosure of the PRISM (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/prism) program. They have stated that the content of online communications is turned over to the NSA only pursuant to a court order. But except when a US citizen is specifically targeted, the court orders used by the NSA to obtain that information as part of Prism are these general FAA orders, not individualized warrants specific to any individual.
Once armed with these general orders, the NSA is empowered to compel telephone and internet companies to turn over to it the communications of any individual identified by the NSA. The Fisa court plays no role in the selection of those individuals, nor does it monitor who is selected by the NSA.
The NSA's ability to collect and retain the communications of people in the US, even without a warrant, has fuelled congressional demands for an estimate of how many Americans have been caught up in surveillance.
Two US senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall – both members of the Senate intelligence committee – have been seeking this information since 2011, but senior White House and intelligence officials have repeatedly insisted that the agency is unable to gather such statistics.

Peter Lemkin
06-21-2013, 05:33 PM
Obama’s crackdown views leaks as aiding enemies of U.S.
http://media.mcclatchydc.com/smedia/2013/06/21/06/36/OVULF.WiPh2.91.jpg
Danny Dougherty/McClatchy Washington Bureau


(http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=300&winname=addthis&pub=mianalytics&source=tbx-300&lng=en-US&s=linkedin&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mcclatchydc.com%2F2013%2F06%2 F20%2F194513%2Fobamas-crackdown-views-leaks-as.html%23.UcRohJwsa8G%3Fstorylink%3Daddthis&title=Obama%E2%80%99s%20crackdown%20views%20leaks% 20as%20aiding%20enemies%20of%20U.S.%20%7C%20McClat chy&ate=AT-mianalytics/-/-/51c48e7bd488c07c/2&frommenu=1&uid=51c48e7be99f6b30&ct=1&uct=1&rsi=51c468849c2c6bc1&gen=3&pre=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politisite.com%2F2013%2F06%2F 21%2Fobamas-insider-threat-program-keeps-federal-workers-quiet%2F&tt=0&captcha_provider=nucaptcha)

WASHINGTON — Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.By Marisa Taylor and Jonathan S. Landay | McClatchy Washington BureauPresident Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.
Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material. They also show how millions of federal employees and contractors must watch for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers and could face penalties, including criminal charges, for failing to report them. Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.
“Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States,” says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy.
The Obama administration is expected to hasten the program’s implementation as the government grapples with the fallout from the leaks of top secret documents by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who revealed the agency’s secret telephone data collection program. The case is only the latest in a series of what the government condemns as betrayals by “trusted insiders” who have harmed national security.
“Leaks related to national security can put people at risk,” Obama said on May 16 in defending criminal investigations into leaks. “They can put men and women in uniform that I’ve sent into the battlefield at risk. They can put some of our intelligence officers, who are in various, dangerous situations that are easily compromised, at risk. . . . So I make no apologies, and I don’t think the American people would expect me as commander in chief not to be concerned about information that might compromise their missions or might get them killed.”
As part of the initiative, Obama ordered greater protection for whistleblowers who use the proper internal channels to report official waste, fraud and abuse, but that’s hardly comforting to some national security experts and current and former U.S. officials. They worry that the Insider Threat Program won’t just discourage whistleblowing but will have other grave consequences for the public’s right to know and national security.
The program could make it easier for the government to stifle the flow of unclassified and potentially vital information to the public, while creating toxic work environments poisoned by unfounded suspicions and spurious investigations of loyal Americans, according to these current and former officials and experts. Some non-intelligence agencies already are urging employees to watch their co-workers for “indicators” that include stress, divorce and financial problems.
“It was just a matter of time before the Department of Agriculture or the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) started implementing, ‘Hey, let’s get people to snitch on their friends.’ The only thing they haven’t done here is reward it,” said Kel McClanahan, a Washington lawyer who specializes in national security law. “I’m waiting for the time when you turn in a friend and you get a $50 reward.”
The Defense Department anti-leak strategy obtained by McClatchy spells out a zero-tolerance policy. Security managers, it says, “must” reprimand or revoke the security clearances – a career-killing penalty – of workers who commit a single severe infraction or multiple lesser breaches “as an unavoidable negative personnel action.”
Employees must turn themselves and others in for failing to report breaches. “Penalize clearly identifiable failures to report security infractions and violations, including any lack of self-reporting,” the strategic plan says.
The Obama administration already was pursuing an unprecedented number of leak prosecutions, and some in Congress – long one of the most prolific spillers of secrets – favor tightening restrictions on reporters’ access to federal agencies, making many U.S. officials reluctant to even disclose unclassified matters to the public.
The policy, which partly relies on behavior profiles, also could discourage creative thinking and fuel conformist “group think” of the kind that was blamed for the CIA’s erroneous assessment that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction, a judgment that underpinned the 2003 U.S. invasion.
“The real danger is that you get a bland common denominator working in the government,” warned Ilana Greenstein, a former CIA case officer who says she quit the agency after being falsely accused of being a security risk. “You don’t get people speaking up when there’s wrongdoing. You don’t get people who look at things in a different way and who are willing to stand up for things. What you get are people who toe the party line, and that’s really dangerous for national security.”
Obama launched the Insider Threat Program in October 2011 after Army Pfc. Bradley Manning downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from a classified computer network and sent them to WikiLeaks, the anti-government secrecy group. It also followed the 2009 killing of 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, by Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, an attack that federal authorities failed to prevent even though they were monitoring his emails to an al Qaida-linked Islamic cleric.
An internal review launched after Manning’s leaks found “wide disparities” in the abilities of U.S. intelligence agencies to detect security risks and determined that all needed improved defenses.
Obama’s executive order formalizes broad practices that the intelligence agencies have followed for years to detect security threats and extends them to agencies that aren’t involved in national security policy but can access classified networks. Across the government, new policies are being developed.
There are, however, signs of problems with the program. Even though it severely restricts the use of removable storage devices on classified networks, Snowden, the former NSA contractor who revealed the agency’s telephone data collection operations, used a thumb drive to acquire the documents he leaked to two newspapers.
“Nothing that’s been done in the past two years stopped Snowden, and so that fact alone casts a shadow over this whole endeavor,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the non-profit Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy. “Whatever they’ve done is apparently inadequate.”
U.S. history is replete with cases in which federal agencies missed signs that trusted officials and military officers were stealing secrets. The CIA, for example, failed for some time to uncover Aldrich Ames, a senior officer who was one of the most prolific Soviet spies in U.S. history, despite polygraphs, drunkenness, and sudden and unexplained wealth.
Stopping a spy or a leaker has become even more difficult as the government continues to accumulate information in vast computer databases and has increased the number of people granted access to classified material to nearly 5 million.
Administration officials say the program could help ensure that agencies catch a wide array of threats, especially if employees are properly trained in recognizing behavior that identifies potential security risks.
“If this is done correctly, an organization can get to a person who is having personal issues or problems that if not addressed by a variety of social means may lead that individual to violence, theft or espionage before it even gets to that point,” said a senior Pentagon official, who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly.
Manning, for instance, reportedly was reprimanded for posting YouTube messages describing the interior of a classified intelligence facility where he worked. He also exhibited behavior that could have forewarned his superiors that he posed a security risk, officials said.
Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst sentenced in 1987 to life in prison for spying for Israel, wasn’t investigated even though he’d failed polygraph tests and lied to his supervisors. He was caught only after a co-worker saw him leave a top-secret facility with classified documents.
“If the folks who are watching within an organization for that insider threat – the lawyers, security officials and psychologists – can figure out that an individual is having money problems or decreased work performance and that person may be starting to come into the window of being an insider threat, superiors can then approach them and try to remove that stress before they become a threat to the organization,” the Pentagon official said.
The program, however, gives agencies such wide latitude in crafting their responses to insider threats that someone deemed a risk in one agency could be characterized as harmless in another. Even inside an agency, one manager’s disgruntled employee might become another’s threat to national security.
Obama in November approved “minimum standards” giving departments and agencies considerable leeway in developing their insider threat programs, leading to a potential hodgepodge of interpretations. He instructed them to not only root out leakers but people who might be prone to “violent acts against the government or the nation” and “potential espionage.”
The Pentagon established its own sweeping definition of an insider threat as an employee with a clearance who “wittingly or unwittingly” harms “national security interests” through “unauthorized disclosure, data modification, espionage, terrorism, or kinetic actions resulting in loss or degradation of resources or capabilities.”
“An argument can be made that the rape of military personnel represents an insider threat. Nobody has a model of what this insider threat stuff is supposed to look like,” said the senior Pentagon official, explaining that inside the Defense Department “there are a lot of chiefs with their own agendas but no leadership.”
The Department of Education, meanwhile, informs employees that co-workers going through “certain life experiences . . . might turn a trusted user into an insider threat.” Those experiences, the department says in a computer training manual, include “stress, divorce, financial problems” or “frustrations with co-workers or the organization.”
An online tutorial titled “Treason 101” teaches Department of Agriculture and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employees to recognize the psychological profile of spies.
A Defense Security Service online pamphlet lists a wide range of “reportable” suspicious behaviors, including working outside of normal duty hours. While conceding that not every behavior “represents a spy in our midst,” the pamphlet adds that “every situation needs to be examined to determine whether our nation’s secrets are at risk.”
The Defense Department, traditionally a leading source of media leaks, is still setting up its program, but it has taken numerous steps. They include creating a unit that reviews news reports every day for leaks of classified defense information and implementing new training courses to teach employees how to recognize security risks, including “high-risk” and “disruptive” behaviors among co-workers, according to Defense Department documents reviewed by McClatchy.
“It’s about people’s profiles, their approach to work, how they interact with management. Are they cheery? Are they looking at Salon.com or The Onion during their lunch break? This is about ‘The Stepford Wives,’” said a second senior Pentagon official, referring to online publications and a 1975 movie about robotically docile housewives. The official said he wanted to remain anonymous to avoid being punished for criticizing the program.
The emphasis on certain behaviors reminded Greenstein of her employee orientation with the CIA, when she was told to be suspicious of unhappy co-workers.
“If someone was having a bad day, the message was watch out for them,” she said.
Some federal agencies also are using the effort to protect a broader range of information. The Army orders its personnel to report unauthorized disclosures of unclassified information, including details concerning military facilities, activities and personnel.
The Peace Corps, which is in the midst of implementing its program, “takes very seriously the obligation to protect sensitive information,” said an email from a Peace Corps official who insisted on anonymity but gave no reason for doing so.
Granting wide discretion is dangerous, some experts and officials warned, when federal agencies are already prone to overreach in their efforts to control information flow.
The Bush administration allegedly tried to silence two former government climate change experts from speaking publicly on the dangers of global warming. More recently, the FDA justified the monitoring of the personal email of its scientists and doctors as a way to detect leaks of unclassified information.
But R. Scott Oswald, a Washington attorney of the Employment Law Group, called the Obama administration “a friend to whistleblowers,” saying it draws a distinction between legitimate whistleblowers who use internal systems to complain of wrongdoing vs. leakers, who illegally make classified information public.
There are numerous cases, however, of government workers who say they’ve been forced to go public because they’ve suffered retaliation after trying to complain about waste, fraud and abuse through internal channels or to Congress. Thomas Drake, a former senior NSA official, was indicted in 2010 under the Espionage Act after he disclosed millions of dollars in waste to a journalist. He’d tried for years to alert his superiors and Congress. The administration eventually dropped the charges against him.
The Pentagon, meanwhile, declined to answer how its insider threat program would accommodate a leak to the news media like the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam that showed how successive administrations had misled the public and Congress on the war.
“The danger is that supervisors and managers will use the profiles for ‘Disgruntled Employees’ and ‘Insider Threats’ to go after legitimate whistleblowers,” said the second Pentagon official. “The executive order says you can’t offend the whistleblower laws. But all of the whistleblower laws are about retaliation. That doesn’t mean you can’t profile them before they’re retaliated against.”
Greenstein said she become the target of scrutiny from security officials after she began raising allegations of mismanagement in the CIA’s operations in Baghdad. But she never leaked her complaints, which included an allegation that her security chief deleted details about safety risks from cables. Instead, she relied on the agency’s internal process to make the allegations.
The CIA, however, tried to get the Justice Department to open a criminal case after Greenstein mentioned during a polygraph test that she was writing a book, which is permitted inside the agency as long as it goes through pre-publication review. The CIA then demanded to see her personal computers. When she got them back months later, all that she’d written had been deleted, Greenstein said.
“They clearly perceived me as an insider threat,” said Greenstein, who has since rewritten the book and has received CIA permission to publish portions of it. “By saying ‘I have a problem with this place and I want to make it better,’ I was instantly turned into a security threat,” she said. The CIA declined to comment.



Email: mtaylor@mcclatchydc.com, jlanday@mcclatchydc.com
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leaks-as.html#.UcRohJwsa8G#storylink=cpy

David Guyatt
06-21-2013, 05:48 PM
Meanwhile, insiders conti nue to sell classified weapons, materiel and information for personal gain, and because they are well placed, do so with apparent immunity from prosecution.

One rule for them, another for the rest of the citizenry.

The world has turned upside down - and now we look upwards to see if our shoe laces are tied properly.

Magda Hassan
06-21-2013, 11:44 PM
U.S. charges Edward Snowden with espionage in leaks about NSA surveillance programs


By Peter Finn (http://www.washingtonpost.com/peter-finn/2011/03/02/ABVwvmP_page.html) and Sari Horwitz (http://www.washingtonpost.com/sari-horwitz/2011/03/02/ABR0vmP_page.html), E-mail the writers (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/finnp0e6d01a8-29a2-4b70-b4ee-a7b055e94eadwashpost.com;horwitzs0e6d01a8-29a2-4b70-b4ee-a7b055e94eadwashpost.com?subject=Reader feedback for 'U.S. charges Edward Snowden with espionage in leaks about NSA surveillance programs')
Federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant, according to U.S. officials.
Snowden was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the case.





The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a jurisdiction where Snowden’s former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered and a district with a long track record of prosecuting cases with national security implications.
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
Snowden flew to Hong Kong last month after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii with a collection of highly classified documents that he acquired while working at the agency as a systems analyst.
The documents, some of which have been published in The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper, detailed some of the most-secret surveillance operations undertaken by the United States and the United Kingdom (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/guardian-leaked-documents-expose-massive-uk-spying-operation-involving-200-fiber-optic-cables/2013/06/21/98206990-daa2-11e2-b418-9dfa095e125d_story.html?hpid=z3), as well as classified legal memos and court orders underpinning the programs (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/new-documents-reveal-parameters-of-nsas-secret-surveillance-programs/2013/06/20/54248600-d9f7-11e2-a9f2-42ee3912ae0e_story.html) in the United States.
The 29-year-old intelligence analyst (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/tracking-edward-snowden-from-a-maryland-classroom-to-a-hong-kong-hotel/2013/06/15/420aedd8-d44d-11e2-b05f-3ea3f0e7bb5a_story.html) revealed himself June 9 as the leaker in an interview with the Guardian and said he went to Hong Kong because it provided him the “cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained.”
Snowden subsequently disappeared from public view; it is thought that he is still in the Chinese territory. Hong Kong has its own legislative and legal systems but ultimately answers to Beijing, under the “one country, two systems” arrangement.
The leaks have sparked national and international debates about the secret powers of the NSA (http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-surveillance-architecture-includes-collection-of-revealing-internet-phone-metadata/2013/06/15/e9bf004a-d511-11e2-b05f-3ea3f0e7bb5a_story_3.html) to infringe on the privacy of Americans and foreigners. Officials from President Obama down have said they welcome the opportunity to explain the importance of the programs and the safeguards they say are built into them. Skeptics, including some in Congress, have said the NSA has assumed the power to soak up data about Americans that was never intended under the law.
There was never any doubt that the Justice Department would seek to prosecute Snowden for one of the most significant national security leaks in the country’s history. The Obama administration has shown a particular propensity to go after leakers and has launched more investigations that any previous administration. This White House is responsible for bringing six of the nine total indictments ever brought under the 1917 Espionage Act. Snowden will be the seventh individual when he is formally indicted.
Justice Department officials had already said that a criminal investigation of Snowden was underway and was being run out of the FBI’s Washington field office in conjunction with lawyers from the department’s National Security Division.


By filing a criminal complaint, prosecutors have a legal basis to make the request of the authorities in Hong Kong. Prosecutors now have 60 days to file an indictment, probably also under seal, and can then move to have Snowden extradited from Hong Kong for trial in the United States.
Snowden, however, can fight the extradition effort in the courts in Hong Kong. Any battle is likely to reach Hong Kong’s highest court and could last many months, lawyers in the United States and Hong Kong said.





The United States has an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, and U.S. officials said cooperation with the Chinese territory, which enjoys some autonomy from Beijing, has been good in previous cases.
The treaty, however, has an exception for political offenses, and espionage has traditionally been treated as a political offense. Snowden’s defense team in Hong Kong is likely to invoke part of the extradition treaty with the United States, which states that suspects will not be turned over to face criminal trial for offenses of a “political character.”
Snowden could also remain in Hong Kong if the Chinese government decides that it is not in the defense or foreign policy interests of the government in Beijing to have him sent back to the United States for trial.
Snowden could also apply for asylum in Hong Kong or attempt to reach another jurisdiction and seek asylum there before the authorities in Hong Kong act.
The anti-secrecy group Wikileaks has held some discussions with officials in Iceland about providing asylum to Snowden. A businessman in Iceland has offered to fly Snowden on a chartered jet to his country if he is granted asylum there.
The chief executive of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying, said last week that the city’s government would follow existing law if and when the U.S. government requested help.
“When the relevant mechanism is activated, the Hong Kong [Special Administrative Region] Government will handle the case of Mr. Snowden in accordance with the laws and established procedures of Hong Kong,” Leung said in a statement.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-charges-snowden-with-espionage/2013/06/21/507497d8-dab1-11e2-a016-92547bf094cc_story.html

Tracy Riddle
06-22-2013, 02:36 AM
Blackmail by Richard Raznikov

http://lookingglass.blog.co.uk/2013/06/20/blackmail-16146634/

But what the Snowden revelations brought to mind was Hoover and what he might’ve been able to do with this level of sophisticated surveillance. Then, yesterday, came a statement from Russell Tice, another former NSA employee, who told several on line radio journalists about what he personally saw in 2004.


“I had my hand literally on the paperwork,” he told Peter B. Collins. “They went after members of Congress, the Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence and armed services committees and the judicial committee, but they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms and they went after judges. They went after State Department officials… They went after U.S. international corporations, U.S. banking firms and financial firms. They went after NGOs (non-governmental organizations) like the Red Cross and people like that, that go overseas and do humanitarian work…


“Don’t tell me there’s no abuse because I had this stuff in my hands, I looked at it, and in some cases I was literally involved in the technology that was going after this stuff. When I said to (Keith) Olbermann, my thing is high tech, the other thing is the dragnet… the terrestrial dragnet. Well, my specialty is outer space, I deal with satellites, everything that goes in and out of space, I did my spying, that’s how I found out about this.”

Question: this creates the potential for massive blackmail…

“Absolutely. I was worried that the intelligence community now has sway over what is going on. I haven’t given you any names. This was in the summer of 2004. One of the papers I had in my hands was a bunch of numbers associated with a forty-something wanna-be Senator from Illinois, that’s who they went after…


“I can give you names of a bunch of different people they went after that I saw, the names and phone numbers of congress people and not only them, what looked like staff people, too, and not only their congressional offices, their home state offices. This thing is incredible what NSA’s done. They turned themselves into a rogue agency that has J. Edgar Hoover capabilities on a monstrous scale, on steroids.”


Tice had other names to offer besides Barack Obama, then a young candidate for U.S. Senate but already a rising star in the Democratic Party. The NSA, to Tice’s personal knowledge, was spying on Senators Diane Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, Orrin Hatch, and Dick Durbin. He says that the NSA is wiretapping everyone, that the captured material is stored in Utah, in the massive complex he says is already operational, contrary to what the government claims.

Jan Klimkowski
06-22-2013, 11:04 AM
“I had my hand literally on the paperwork,” he told Peter B. Collins. “They went after members of Congress, the Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence and armed services committees and the judicial committee, but they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms and they went after judges. They went after State Department officials… They went after U.S. international corporations, U.S. banking firms and financial firms. They went after NGOs (non-governmental organizations) like the Red Cross and people like that, that go overseas and do humanitarian work…

(snip)

Question: this creates the potential for massive blackmail…

“Absolutely. I was worried that the intelligence community now has sway over what is going on. I haven’t given you any names. This was in the summer of 2004. One of the papers I had in my hands was a bunch of numbers associated with a forty-something wanna-be Senator from Illinois, that’s who they went after…


Intelligence agencies have always used personal information for blackmail and leverage.

It's a key reason why our democracies are so undemocratic.

But Snowden was a private contractor directly employed by the multinational part of the military-multinational-intelligence complex.

It's not just the intelligence agencies who now have the dirt on our politicians and key policy formers. It's the private sector, driven entirely by the lust for profit and power. The private contractors have been given the keys to the castle.

The democratic model is totally, fatally, undermined.

David Guyatt
06-22-2013, 11:58 AM
Blackmail by Richard Raznikov

Tice had other names to offer besides Barack Obama, then a young candidate for U.S. Senate but already a rising star in the Democratic Party. The NSA, to Tice’s personal knowledge, was spying on Senators Diane Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, Orrin Hatch, and Dick Durbin. He says that the NSA is wiretapping everyone, that the captured material is stored in Utah, in the massive complex he says is already operational, contrary to what the government claims.


Obama, Hillary...

All owned by the intelligence community.

Dawn Meredith
06-22-2013, 02:39 PM
Thank you for posting on this Lauren. This is a great interview that expands on his earlier article on the Snowden leak......

http://tarpley.net/2013/06/18/the-glenn-greenwalded-snowden-limited-hangout-psyop-for-war-with-syria-begins-to-crumble/

Great analysis by Tarpley. I saw Naomi's piece too and though she raised good points.

Hawks suddenly becoming pro peace have always given me pause.

Dawn

Keith Millea
06-22-2013, 09:36 PM
Published on Friday, June 21, 2013 by Common Dreams (http://www.commondreams.org)

'Worse than NSA': UK Spy Agency Amasses 'World's Communication'


New Guardian exclusive reveals secret database of phone and internet records that dwarfs previous revelations

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

http://www.commondreams.org/sites/commondreams.org/files/imce-images/access-to-the-future-3-010.jpg(Image via The Guardian)

Always seemingly in lockstep with the United States, new reports reveal that the UK's spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), has gained covert access to the "world's communications" and has amassed an infinite database, which they freely share with their US counterpart, the NSA.


"It's not just a US problem. The UK has a huge dog in this fight," former NSA contractor Edward Snowden told the Guardian. "They [GCHQ] are worse than the US."


This information, revealed in a Guardian exclusive (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/21/gchq-cables-secret-world-communications-nsa) published Friday, was gleaned from documents leaked to the news outlet by Snowden earlier this month.


The documents reveal a five-year-old government surveillance system that dwarfs all others in its scale and capacity to collect metadata on "the world's communications."


The spy agency's programs, appropriately called Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms

Exploitation, tap transatlantic fiber-optic cables that "carry the world's phone calls and internet traffic" by attaching "intercept probes" where the cables meet British soil before "carrying data to western Europe from telephone exchanges and internet servers in North America."


The sheer scale of the program trumps any other that has yet to come to light. As the report notes, the GCHQ "produces larger amounts of metadata than NSA."


In the US, officials have downplayed the value and scope of information that can be gleaned from such mass swathes of data. However, as Jay Stanley and Ben Wizner of the ACLU explained (http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/06/07-5) following earlier revelations of the NSA spy program:
Even without intercepting the content of communications, the government can use metadata to learn our most intimate secrets – anything from whether we have a drinking problem to whether we’re gay or straight. The suggestion that metadata is “no big deal” – a view that, regrettably, is still reflected in the law – is entirely out of step with the reality of modern communications.


“The public doesn’t understand,” adds mathematician and former Sun Microsystems engineer Susan Landau. “It’s much more intrusive than content.”

The UK spy agency collects 600 million "telephone events" each day, and with over 200 tapped cables carrying information at a rate of 10 gigabits per second, they are capturing the equivalent of "all the information in all the books in the British Library 192 times every 24 hours."


Also, the amount of data they are able to collect is constantly growing, as more cables are tapped and storage capabilities continue to grow.


As the Guardian reports:
One key innovation has been GCHQ's ability to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days so that it can be sifted and analysed. That operation, codenamed Tempora, has been running for some 18 months.
GCHQ and the NSA are consequently able to access and process vast quantities of communications between entirely innocent people, as well as targeted suspects.
This includes recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user's access to websites – all of which is deemed legal, even though the warrant system was supposed to limit interception to a specified range of targets.


Not unlike the United States' rational for the allegedly legal NSA surveillance system, the GCHQ justifies these programs by applying old laws to new technology. Under the 2000 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), the tapping of "defined targets" must be authorized by a warrant signed by the home secretary or foreign secretary.

However, as the Guardian explains, the GCHQ has taken advantage of "an obscure clause" which allows the foreign secretary to sign a certificate for the interception of broad categories of material, as long as one end of the monitored communications is abroad.

In this case, they write, the "criteria at any one time are secret and are not subject to any public debate."

Beginning in May 2012, 300 analysts from GCHQ and 250 from the NSA began the process of sifting through this "flood of data," and a reported 850,000 NSA employees and US private contractors have access to the growing database.

Peter Lemkin
06-23-2013, 04:14 AM
GCHQ has taken advantage of "an obscure clause" which allows the foreign secretary to sign a certificate for the interception of broad categories of material, as long as one end of the monitored communications is abroad.

These intelligence creeps, worldwide, and their masters know how to skirt the law's intentions, bend the rules, and make whatever they want to do appear legit. GCHQ spys on US Citizens for the NSA and vice-versa; so both can claim they don't spy on their own citizens - and both have law-twisting 'rationales' for their universal collection of data. :spy:. Along with, of course, just plain telling a Big Lie about it.

Yes, the issue of blackmail is a very important one, and may be the ultimate power the 'intelligence' agencies hold over all others. Dame Hoover set the example - but technology has really made electronic blackmail all too easy. The real question is who really has power over the intelligence agencies? Or if anyone really does......:mexican: Which reminds me, the poor GCHQ bloke who wound up in a locked Northface Sportsbag in his own bathtub - what did they know he knew and shouldn't? Could it have been related to this general issue of the universal vacuuming/hoovering of electronic data? The fact that that 'investigation' died as unnatural a death as he did, makes me very suspicious of what it was all really about.

Magda Hassan
06-23-2013, 08:02 AM
Edward Snowden 'leaves Hong Kong on Moscow flight'

United States intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong on a flight bound for Moscow, reports say.
The South China Morning Post, quoting what it says are credible sources, said he was due to arrive in Moscow on Sunday evening.
It said Moscow would not be his final destination.
Snowden, an intelligence analyst, fled to Hong Kong in May after revealing details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by the US gencies.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-23019414

Peter Lemkin
06-23-2013, 08:21 AM
Edward Snowden 'leaves Hong Kong on Moscow flight'



United States intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong on a flight bound for Moscow, reports say.
The South China Morning Post, quoting what it says are credible sources, said he was due to arrive in Moscow on Sunday evening.
It said Moscow would not be his final destination.
Snowden, an intelligence analyst, fled to Hong Kong in May after revealing details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by the US gencies.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-23019414

Interesting chess move by Snowden, if true. Will be a relatively safe place for him, but a huge propaganda coup for the USA. [Russian sleeper spy, all along...blah, blah, blah....]
Vladimir Putin's spokesman says any appeal for asylum from whistleblower who fled US will be looked at 'according to facts'

Will be interesting to see if it is his final destination...or just a stop-over on the way to Iceland or...?

David Guyatt
06-23-2013, 08:25 AM
Edward Snowden 'leaves Hong Kong on Moscow flight'



United States intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong on a flight bound for Moscow, reports say.
The South China Morning Post, quoting what it says are credible sources, said he was due to arrive in Moscow on Sunday evening.
It said Moscow would not be his final destination.
Snowden, an intelligence analyst, fled to Hong Kong in May after revealing details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by the US gencies.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-23019414

Interesting chess move by Snowden, if true. Will be a relatively safe place for him, but a huge propaganda coup for the USA. [Russian sleeper spy, all along...blah, blah, blah....]
Vladimir Putin's spokesman says any appeal for asylum from whistleblower who fled US will be looked at 'according to facts'

When I heard the report, I wondered if Snowden had been told by the HK authorities that they would've been legally compelled to hand him over and suggested he go to Moscow (I don't think the Iceland idea has materialized yet, has it?).

Magda Hassan
06-23-2013, 08:26 AM
When I heard the report, I wondered if Snowden had been told by the HK authorities that they would've been legally compelled to hand him over and suggested he go to Moscow (I don't think the Iceland idea has materialized yet, has it?).
That's what I am assuming has happened too. At least it is warm there.

Peter Lemkin
06-23-2013, 08:42 AM
The Icelandic government recently changed from a rather progressive one to a somewhat regressive one. By US standards it is still quite progressive. While we don't know what has been said privately, publicly, Iceland said they couldn't make any decision until Snowden first physically came there and applied and went through the process...and Snowden said he'd like to go to Iceland, but wouldn't until they promised him asylum...so, publicly, it was a stand-off that couldn't be resolved. My guess is that Snowden also knows which countries the NSA can easily monitor people in and which not...and is choosing his locations accordingly.

Magda Hassan
06-23-2013, 08:56 AM
.... My guess is that Snowden also knows which countries the NSA can easily monitor people in and which not...and is choosing his locations accordingly.
Very likely I'd think.

David Guyatt
06-23-2013, 09:44 AM
When I heard the report, I wondered if Snowden had been told by the HK authorities that they would've been legally compelled to hand him over and suggested he go to Moscow (I don't think the Iceland idea has materialized yet, has it?).
That's what I am assuming has happened too. At least it is warm there.

Seems he's en route to another destination - not Russia - a "democratic" country aboard an Aeroflot plane, all arranged by Assange and Wikileaks.

Magda Hassan
06-23-2013, 09:57 AM
Cuba!?

Peter Lemkin
06-23-2013, 10:07 AM
.... My guess is that Snowden also knows which countries the NSA can easily monitor people in and which not...and is choosing his locations accordingly.
Very likely I'd think.

Al Jazeera is reporting that Snowden will be travelling on [perhaps after a few days in Moscow] to Cuba and/or Venezuela!

Jan Klimkowski
06-23-2013, 11:00 AM
Meanwhile, the Germans are calling the latest revelation about GCHQ spying "catastrophic".

Is this hot air?

Sour grapes because this intelligence was not being shared with Gehlen Org, sorry, German intelligence?

Or genuine fury which will lead to retaliatory measures?



GCHQ monitoring described as a 'catastrophe' by German politicians

Federal ministers demand clarification from UK government on extent of spying conducted on German citizens

Conal Urquhart and agencies
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/22/gchq-spying-catastrophe-german-politicans), Saturday 22 June 2013 18.03 BST

The German justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, said the accusations 'sound like a Hollywood nightmare'. Photograph: Ole Spata/Corbis

Britain's European partners have described reports of Britain's surveillance of international electronic communications as a catastrophe and will seek urgent clarification from London.

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German justice minister said the report in the Guardian read like the plot of a film.

"If these accusations are correct, this would be a catastrophe," Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said in a statement to Reuters. "The accusations against Great Britain sound like a Hollywood nightmare. The European institutions should seek straight away to clarify the situation."

Britain's Tempora project enables it to intercept and store immense volumes of British and international communications for 30 days.

With a few months to go before federal elections, the minister's comments are likely to please Germans who are highly sensitive to government monitoring, having lived through the Stasi secret police in communist East Germany and with lingering memories of the Gestapo under the Nazis.

"The accusations make it sound as if George Orwell's surveillance society has become reality in Great Britain," said Thomas Oppermann, floor leader of the opposition Social Democrats.

Orwell's novel 1984 envisioned a futuristic security state where "Big Brother" spied on the intimate details of people's lives.

"This is unbearable," Oppermann told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. "The government must clarify these accusations and act against a total surveillance of German citizens."

Magda Hassan
06-23-2013, 11:15 AM
On the Espionage Act charges against Edward Snowden Who is actually bringing 'injury to America': those who are secretly building a massive surveillance system or those who inform citizens that it's being done?





Glenn Greenwald (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/glenn-greenwald)

guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/), Saturday 22 June 2013 21.18 AEST

A new NSA data centre sits beyond a residential area in Bluffdale, Utah. It will be the largest of several interconnected data centres spread throughout the US. Photograph: George Frey/Getty Images

The US government has charged (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-charges-snowden-with-espionage/2013/06/21/507497d8-dab1-11e2-a016-92547bf094cc_story.html) Edward Snowden (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/edward-snowden) with three felonies, including two under the Espionage Act, the 1917 statute enacted to criminalize dissent against World War I. My priority at the moment is working on our next set of stories, so I just want to briefly note a few points about this.
Prior to Barack Obama's inauguration, there were a grand total of three prosecutions of leakers under the Espionage Act (including the prosecution of Dan Ellsberg by the Nixon DOJ). That's because the statute is so broad that even the US government has largely refrained from using it. But during the Obama presidency, there are now seven such prosecutions: more than double the number under all prior US presidents combined. How can anyone justify that?
For a politician who tried to convince Americans to elect him based on repeated pledges of unprecedented transparency and specific vows to protect (https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130620/18182823551/obama-administration-has-declared-war-leakers-claims-any-leak-is-aiding-enemy.shtml) "noble" and "patriotic" whistleblowers, is this unparalleled assault on those who enable investigative journalism remotely defensible? Recall that the New Yorker's Jane Mayer said recently (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113219/doj-seizure-ap-records-raises-question-chilling-effect-real) that this oppressive climate created by the Obama presidency has brought investigative journalism to a "standstill", while James Goodale, the General Counsel for the New York Times during its battles with the Nixon administration, wrote last month in that paper (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/05/21/obama-the-media-and-national-security/only-nixon-harmed-a-free-press-more) that "President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom." Read what Mayer and Goodale wrote and ask yourself: is the Obama administration's threat to the news-gathering process not a serious crisis at this point?
Few people - likely including Snowden himself - would contest that his actions constitute some sort of breach of the law. He made his choice based on basic theories of civil disobedience: that those who control the law have become corrupt, that the law in this case (by concealing the actions of government officials in building this massive spying apparatus in secret) is a tool of injustice, and that he felt compelled to act in violation of it in order to expose these official bad acts and enable debate and reform.
But that's a far cry from charging Snowden, who just turned 30 yesterday, with multiple felonies under the Espionage Act that will send him to prison for decades if not life upon conviction. In what conceivable sense are Snowden's actions "espionage"? He could have - but chose not - sold the information he had to a foreign intelligence service for vast sums of money, or covertly passed it to one of America's enemies, or worked at the direction of a foreign government. That is espionage. He did none of those things.
What he did instead was give up his life of career stability and economic prosperity, living with his long-time girlfriend in Hawaii, in order to inform his fellow citizens (both in America and around the world) of what the US government and its allies are doing to them and their privacy. He did that by very carefully selecting which documents he thought should be disclosed and concealed, then gave them to a newspaper with a team of editors and journalists and repeatedly insisted that journalistic judgments be exercised about which of those documents should be published in the public interest and which should be withheld.
That's what every single whistleblower and source for investigative journalism, in every case, does - by definition. In what conceivable sense does that merit felony charges under the Espionage Act?
The essence of that extremely broad, century-old law (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/11/edward-snowden-defence) is that one is guilty if one discloses classified information "with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation". Please read this rather good summary (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/22/us/snowden-espionage-act.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) in this morning's New York Times of the worldwide debate Snowden has enabled - how these disclosures have "set off a national debate over the proper limits of government surveillance" and "opened an unprecedented window on the details of surveillance by the NSA (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/nsa), including its compilation of logs of virtually all telephone calls in the United States and its collection of e-mails of foreigners from the major American Internet companies, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple and Skype" - and ask yourself: has Snowden actually does anything to bring "injury to the United States", or has he performed an immense public service?
The irony is obvious: the same people who are building a ubiquitous surveillance system to spy on everyone in the world, including their own citizens, are now accusing the person who exposed it of "espionage". It seems clear that the people who are actually bringing "injury to the United States" are those who are waging war on basic tenets of transparency and secretly constructing a mass and often illegal and unconstitutional surveillance apparatus (http://www.ibtimes.com/fisc-will-not-object-release-2011-court-opinion-confirmed-nsas-illegal-surveillance-1305023) aimed at American citizens - and those who are lying to the American people and its Congress about what they're doing (http://www.forbes.com/sites/seanlawson/2013/06/06/did-intelligence-officials-lie-to-congress-about-nsa-domestic-spying/) - rather than those who are devoted to informing the American people that this is being done.
The Obama administration leaks classified information continuously. They do it to glorify the President, or manipulate public opinion, or even to help produce a pre-election propaganda film about the Osama bin Laden raid. The Obama administration does not hate unauthorized leaks of classified information. They are more responsible for such leaks than anyone.
What they hate are leaks that embarrass them or expose their wrongdoing. Those are the only kinds of leaks that are prosecuted. It's a completely one-sided and manipulative abuse of secrecy laws. It's all designed to ensure that the only information we as citizens can learn is what they want us to learn because it makes them look good. The only leaks they're interested in severely punishing are those that undermine them politically. The "enemy" they're seeking to keep ignorant with selective and excessive leak prosecutions are not The Terrorists or The Chinese Communists. It's the American people.
The Terrorists already knew, and have long known, that the US government is doing everything possible to surveil their telephonic and internet communications. The Chinese have long known, and have repeatedly said, that the US is hacking into both their governmental and civilian systems (just as the Chinese are doing to the US). The Russians have long known that the US and UK try to intercept the conversations of their leaders just as the Russians do to the US and the UK.
They haven't learned anything from these disclosures that they didn't already well know. The people who have learned things they didn't already know are American citizens who have no connection to terrorism or foreign intelligence, as well as hundreds of millions of citizens around the world about whom the same is true. What they have learned is that the vast bulk of this surveillance apparatus is directed not (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/21/gchq-cables-secret-world-communications-nsa) at the Chinese or Russian governments or the Terrorists, but at them (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order).
And that is precisely why the US government is so furious and will bring its full weight to bear against these disclosures. What has been "harmed" is not the national security of the US but the ability of its political leaders to work against their own citizens and citizens around the world in the dark, with zero transparency or real accountability. If anything is a crime, it's that secret, unaccountable and deceitful behavior: not the shining of light on it.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/22/snowden-espionage-charges

David Guyatt
06-23-2013, 11:37 AM
For a politician who tried to convince Americans to elect him based on repeated pledges of unprecedented transparency and specific vows to protect (https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130620/18182823551/obama-administration-has-declared-war-leakers-claims-any-leak-is-aiding-enemy.shtml) "noble" and "patriotic" whistleblowers, is this unparalleled assault on those who enable investigative journalism remotely defensible? Recall that the New Yorker's Jane Mayer said recently (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113219/doj-seizure-ap-records-raises-question-chilling-effect-real) that this oppressive climate created by the Obama presidency has brought investigative journalism to a "standstill", while James Goodale, the General Counsel for the New York Times during its battles with the Nixon administration, wrote last month in that paper (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/05/21/obama-the-media-and-national-security/only-nixon-harmed-a-free-press-more) that "President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom." Read what Mayer and Goodale wrote and ask yourself: is the Obama administration's threat to the news-gathering process not a serious crisis at this point?

Let's say what this is. Blaming Obama is a deflection. Obama clearly is an obedient servant of Spookdom, not the other way around. The national intelligence community is the state these days, and different political candidates are selected by them who will do their bidding. This is as true in the UK as it is in the US.

Magda Hassan
06-23-2013, 01:01 PM
From Wikileaks.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for a democratic nation via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.
Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives at his final destination his request will be formally processed.
Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:
"The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange - for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest - is an assault against the people".

I'd say there has been a lot of meetings and enquiries and decisions already made behind the scenes by several people before he took off anywhere. And I'm pretty sure Hong Kong gave him the nod in advance. I even wonder if he is on the Aeroflot plane and not already in some other place.

Magda Hassan
06-23-2013, 01:24 PM
2.25pm BST (http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2013/jun/23/edward-snowden-leaves-hong-kong-moscow-live#block-51c6f74ee4b0d82bc78fd4db)

Vans belonging to Russian presidential administration waiting by Aeroflot jets pic.twitter.com/f2THVsAytq (http://t.co/f2THVsAytq)
— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) June 23, 2013 (https://twitter.com/MiriamElder/statuses/348792365537968130)Miriam Elder in Moscow, who is at Sheremetyevo airport, has tweeted this.

Magda Hassan
06-23-2013, 01:32 PM
Various tweets are citing Russia's Interfax news agency as saying Snowden was met on the airport tarmac by a Venezuelan diplomat, who took him away in a car.

Peter Lemkin
06-23-2013, 03:36 PM
Various tweets are citing Russia's Interfax news agency as saying Snowden was met on the airport tarmac by a Venezuelan diplomat, who took him away in a car.

Hugo Chavez is still on the job! The USA is going to be furious at Hong Kong, at Russia, at everyone.....Assange and Wikileaks are taking credit for facilitating all that happened....don't know.... Apparently, he will fly to Havana and then on to Ecuador, though. This is getting interesting!

Jan Klimkowski
06-23-2013, 05:48 PM
Lookee here - a damage limitation, sloping shoulders, exercise by elements of the secret world.

Maybe Gehlen Org have been on the phone.

Reporter Nick Davies is an excellent investigative journalist, with very good sources.



MI5 feared GCHQ went 'too far' over phone and internet monitoring

Amid leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, senior intelligence source reveals worries were voiced in 2008

Nick Davies
The Observer (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/23/mi5-feared-gchq-went-too-far), Saturday 22 June 2013 20.18 BST

GCHQ taps can intercept UK and US phone and internet traffic

Senior figures inside British intelligence have been alarmed by GCHQ's secret decision to tap into transatlantic cables in order to engage in the bulk interception of phone calls and internet traffic.

According to one source who has been directly involved in GCHQ operations, concerns were expressed when the project was being discussed internally in 2008: "We felt we were starting to overstep the mark with some of it. People from MI5 were complaining that they were going too far from a civil liberties perspective … We all had reservations about it, because we all thought: 'If this was used against us, we wouldn't stand a chance'."

The Guardian revealed on Friday that GCHQ has placed more than 200 probes on transatlantic cables and is processing 600m "telephone events" a day as well as up to 39m gigabytes of internet traffic. Using a programme codenamed Tempora, it can store and analyse voice recordings, the content of emails, entries on Facebook, the use of websites as well as the "metadata" which records who has contacted who. The programme is shared with GCHQ's American partner, the National Security Agency.

Interviews with the UK source and the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden raise questions about whether the programme:

■ Exploits existing law which was passed by parliament without any anticipation that it would be used for this purpose.

■ For the first time allows GCHQ to process bulk internal UK traffic which is routed overseas via these cables.

■ Allows the NSA to engage in bulk intercepts of internal US traffic which would be forbidden in its own territory.

■ Functions with no effective oversight.

The key law is the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, Ripa, which requires the home secretary or foreign secretary to sign warrants for the interception of the communications of defined targets. But the law also allows the foreign secretary to sign certificates that authorise GCHQ to trawl for broad categories of information on condition that one end of the communication is outside the UK.

According to the UK source: "Not so long ago, this was all about attaching crocodile clips to copper wires. And it was all about voice. Now, it's about the internet – massive scale – but still using the same law that was devised for crocodile clips. Ripa was primarily designed for voice, not for this level of interception. They are going round Ripa. The legislation doesn't exist for this. They are using old legislation and adapting it."

The source claimed that even the conventional warrant system has been distorted – whereas police used to ask for a warrant before intercepting a target's communications, they will now ask GCHQ to intercept the target's communications and then use that information to seek a warrant.

There is a particular concern that the programme allows GCHQ to break the boundary which stopped it engaging in the bulk interception of internal UK communications. The Ripa requirement that one end of a communication must be outside the UK was a significant restriction when it was applied to phone calls using satellites, but it is no longer effective in the world of fibre-optic cables. "The point is that this is an island," the source said. "Everything comes and goes – nearly everything – down fibre-optic cables. You make a mobile phone call, it goes to a mast and then down into a fibre-optic cable, under the ground and away. And even if the call is UK to UK, it's very likely – because of the way the system is structured – to go out of the UK and come back in through these fibre-optic channels."

Internet traffic is also liable to be routed internationally even if the message is exchanged between two people within the UK. "At one point, I was told that we were getting 85% of all UK domestic traffic – voice, internet, all of it – via these international cables."

Last year, the government was mired in difficulty when it tried to pass a communications bill that became known as the "snoopers' charter", and would have allowed the bulk interception and storage of UK voice calls and internet traffic. The source says this debate was treated with some scepticism inside the intelligence community – "We're sitting there, watching them debate the snoopers' charter, thinking: 'Well, GCHQ have been doing this for years'."

There are similar concerns about the role of the NSA. It could have chosen to attach probes to the North American end of the cables and documents shown to the Guardian by Edward Snowden suggest that key elements of the Tempora filtering process were designed by the NSA. Instead, the NSA agency has exported its computer programs and 250 of its analysts to operate the system from the UK.

Initial inquiries by the Guardian have failed to explain why this has happened, but US legislators are likely to want to check whether the NSA has sought to bypass legal or policy requirements which restrict its activity in the US. This will be particularly sensitive if it is confirmed that Tempora is also analysing internal US traffic.

The UK source challenges the official justification for the programme; that it is necessary for the fight against terrorism and serious crime: "This is not scoring very high against those targets, because they are wise to the monitoring of their communications. If the terrorists are wise to it, why are we increasing the capability?

"The answer is that you can't stop it. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more we develop communications technology, the more they develop technology to intercept it. There was MS Chat – easy. Then Yahoo chat – did that, too. Then Facebook. Then Skype. Then Twitter. They keep catching up. It is good for us, but it is bad for us."

It is clear from internal paperwork that GCHQ has created systems to restrain the use of this powerful tool and to ensure that its use complies not only with Ripa but also with the 1998 Human Rights Act, which requires essentially that the use of the data must be proportional to the crime or threat investigated. Defenders insist that the mass of data is heavily filtered by the programme so that only that relating to legitimate targets is analysed.

However, there are doubts about the effectiveness of this. First, according to the UK source, "written definitions for targeting and filtering are very elastic. They are wide open to interpretation." The target areas defined by the Ripa certificates are secret.

Second, there is further room for interpretation when human analysts become involved in using the filtered intelligence to produce what are known as "contact chains". "Here is target A. But who is A talking to? Now we're into B and C and D." If analysts believe it is proportional, they can look at all the traffic – content and metadata – relating to all of the target's contact." GCHQ audits a sample of its analysts' work – believed to be 5% every six months – but even the statistical results of these audits are also secret.

Beyond the detail of the operation of the programme, there is a larger, long-term anxiety, clearly expressed by the UK source: "If there was the wrong political change, it could be very dangerous. All you need is to have the wrong government in place. It is capable of abuse because there is no independent scrutiny."

Magda Hassan
06-23-2013, 09:55 PM
The NSA doesn't seem to get the irony when they accuse Snowden of breeching their trust and stealing secrets.

Magda Hassan
06-24-2013, 12:32 AM
All perfectly proper of course but it also reads a bureaucratic fuck you from the HK government to the US.
The HKSAR Government today (June 23) issued the following statement on Mr Edward Snowden:Mr Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel.
The US Government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR Government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden. Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government's request can meet the relevant legal conditions. As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.
The HKSAR Government has already informed the US Government of Mr Snowden's departure.
Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong.
Ends/Sunday, June 23, 2013

Magda Hassan
06-24-2013, 12:55 AM
Looks like it is Ecuardor. At least he will have more leg room and sunshine than Assange.


http://rt.com/files/news/1f/86/50/00/rtx10y2x.jpgTwo cars of the embassy of Ecuador in Moscow are parked outside the terminal where Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency, is believed to have landed in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, June 23, 2013. (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

Magda Hassan
06-24-2013, 01:47 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnMPQmIPibE#t=208

Magda Hassan
06-24-2013, 02:14 AM
Google handed over years of e-mails belonging to WikiLeaks chatroom adminGoogle informed two men that a US court order mandated secret searches in 2011.by Cyrus Farivar (http://arstechnica.com/author/cyrus-farivar/) - June 22 2013, 10:19pm AUSEST

Smári McCarthy, in his Twitter bio, describes himself as a "Information freedom activist. Executive Director of IMMI. Pirate."
SHARE Conference (https://secure.flickr.com/photos/shareconference/6975396112/)
On Friday, two Icelandic activists with previous connections to WikiLeaks announced that they received newly unsealed court orders from Google. Google sent the orders earlier in the week, revealing that the company searched and seized data from their Gmail accounts—likely as a result of a grand jury investigation into the rogue whistleblower group.
Google was forbidden under American law from disclosing these orders to the men until the court lifted this restriction in early May 2013. (A Google spokesperson referred Ars to its Transparency Report (https://www.google.com/transparencyreport/userdatarequests/faq/) for an explanation of its policies.)
On June 21, 2013, well-known Irish-Icelandic developer (http://www.smarimccarthy.is/about/) Smári McCarthy published his recently un-sealed court order (http://www.smarimccarthy.is/2013/06/the-dragnet-at-the-edge-of-forever/) dating back to July 14, 2011. Google sent him the order, which included McCarthy's Gmail account metadata, the night before. The government cited the Stored Communications Act (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stored_Communications_Act) (SCA)(specifically a 2703(d) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2703) order) as grounds to provide this order.
Meanwhile, Herbert Snorrason received a D-order dated from May 2011 for the metadata and a search warrant (http://anarchism.is/) (citing 2703(f) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2703) of the SCA) for “the contents of all e-mails associated with the account, including stored or preserved copies of e-mails sent to and from the account, draft e-mails, deleted e-mails…the source and destination addresses associated with each e-mail, the date and time at which each e-mail was sent, and the size and length of each e-mail.”
Snorrason, according to Wired (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/wikileaks-gmail/), helped “manage WikiLeaks’ secure chat room in 2010 but later left inprotest (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/09/wikileaks-revolt/) in September 2010." The northwestern Icelander confirmed to Ars that he served in this role for "approximately two months in 2010."
“Thankfully, neither of us use our Google accounts for anything remotely sensitive,” McCarthy wrote (http://www.smarimccarthy.is/2013/06/the-dragnet-at-the-edge-of-forever/) on his blog on Friday.
Under the federal statute that allows for the D-order, authorities can’t receive the contents of electronic communication but can find out where and to whom it was said. In contemporary cases from the last decade, law enforcement and judges have increasingly used this reasoning to acquire all kinds of metadata on digital communications that previously required a much higher legal threshold—a probable cause-driven warrant.
“We know the government gets warrants for e-mail access pretty frequently and it’s a good thing that they’re getting warrants and not [just] D-orders, which is something we wanted them to shift to for a long time,” said Hanni Fakhoury (https://www.eff.org/pt-br/about/staff/hanni-fakhoury), a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “To me, without seeing the affidavit, it looks like they got all e-mails. That’s a pretty broad request, notwithstanding that they got a warrant.”
“Do I have no rights, not being a US citizen?”Snorrason spoke with Ars and echoed McCarthy's position, speaking out against such judicial orders issued under seal.
“Really, I think the most important thing here is getting people to realize that this madness is going on,” Snorrason told Ars. “All my details, just because I talked to an 'undesirable?' Do I have no rights, not being a US citizen?”
Snorrason elaborated on this idea in a blog post (http://anarchism.is/):

That’s rather a lot of information. Particularly in light of the fact that I’m not allowed to know why they’re asking for this information. I assume it’s because I had a conversation or a few with a white-haired Australian guy, but there’s nothing in the documents to confirm this. Let’s reiterate this, because that’s the point I find the most remarkable in all of this: Because I talked to Julian Assange, all information held by Google relating to my user account with them can be handed over to US prosecutors—not just the contents of my conversations with Julian.

David Guyatt
06-24-2013, 06:34 AM
The NSA doesn't seem to get the irony when they accuse Snowden of breeching their trust and stealing secrets.

:pointlaugh::pointlaugh::phone::phone::phone::phon e::phone::phone:

Peter Lemkin
06-24-2013, 11:08 AM
Apparent ongoing mystery. Flight from Moscow to Havana that Snowden was supposed to be on [and reporters purchased every empty seat available!...just left w/o Snowden [unless he's in disguise or hidden in the bathroom....some sort of glitch or bait and switch underway?.....]

Magda Hassan
06-24-2013, 11:15 AM
Apparent ongoing mystery. Flight from Moscow to Havana that Snowden was supposed to be on [and reporters purchased every empty seat available!...just left w/o Snowden [unless he's in disguise or hidden in the bathroom....some sort of glitch or bait and switch underway?.....]
Poor journos. Might take them several days relaxing in the sunshine listening to some lovely music before they can wrangle a return air trip.

Magda Hassan
06-24-2013, 11:21 AM
6/23/13Snowden and Ecuador (http://incakolanews.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/snowden-and-ecuador.html)
With Edward Snowden now apparently en route to the sunny palm-shaded beaches of Guaya, some thoughts. Yes, we're about to get a ton of snark about press freedom in Ecuador. But more importantly...


1) We're about to find out just how sensitive the information Snowden is carrying might be. Because you can be darned sure that by now the U.S Government has a very good idea of exactly what Snowden knows, what he's downloaded etc and if it's really enough to bring down the whole edifice, he's not going to reach Ecuador. However, if the documents held by Edwards are less than State-threatening, he'll make it ok.


2) Therefore, if you happen to be reading this and have a plane ticket booked for the Moscow/Habana run in the next 24 hours, you may want to consider deferring that flight for a couple of days. Either that or checking that all your insurance papers are in good order. Don't forget to kiss the kids before you leave, either.


3) Assuming Wikileaks is behind the liaison, Assange isn't going to make it out of that Ecuador embassy, either. Whatever Snowden might say about non-dissemination of information to third parties (which may be true or may be false), be sure that the USA will assume that both Assange and the Rafael Correa government will be given copies of the contents of Snowden's hard drives.


4) Meanwhile, Rafael Correa has proven balls in the face of direct threats (recall the events of September 2011) so he's not going to be easily cowed. Again, the way in which the US engages with Ecuador once asylum is granted to Snowden (and it will be) will be a tell on the sensitivity of the documents, but in this case the more aggressive the US stance, the less they truly care about the docs that Snowden carries. Conversely, the quiet diplo route will indicate real nerves.


5) Suggested viewing is The Mouse That Roared, an entertaining movie made in 1959 (adapted from a novel, which I haven't read) and starring Peter Sellers.
http://incakolanews.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/snowden-and-ecuador.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+IncaKolaNews+%28inca+kola+news% 29

Magda Hassan
06-24-2013, 12:04 PM
Hanoi?

Peter Lemkin
06-24-2013, 01:58 PM
Hanoi? Someone's playing an interesting game of 'cat and mouse' against the media, and more importantly, against the US rendition teams. :popworm: Look at this media scrum!

http://www.trbimg.com/img-51c7cdf4/turbine/la-epa-russia-edward-snowden-jpg-20130623/600

David Guyatt
06-24-2013, 05:10 PM
Last rumoured to be in a hotel room at the airport in Moscow and, therefore, un-extriditable as he's not officially on Russian soil.

Peter Lemkin
06-24-2013, 05:18 PM
Last rumoured to be in a hotel room at the airport in Moscow and, therefore, un-extriditable as he's not officially on Russian soil.

It is only speculation, but there could be several reasons for the delay:
- the Russians are interested to know what the NSA knows about Russian communications and their own sigint~!
- the USA is putting heavy pressure on the Russians to hold him - though I do NOT think this will work!
- this is a trick to throw off the US and the reporters now hounding Snowden and part of a plan that we don't know about.
- the passport cancellation has temporarily caused a problem and they are working on temporary travel documents.
- some mix of the above.
:what:

Peter Lemkin
06-24-2013, 07:28 PM
So When Will Dick Cheney Be Charged With Espionage?

Posted on Jun 24, 2013


http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/AP_cheney_growl_300.jpg


AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta





By Juan Cole (http://www.truthdig.com/juan_cole/)
This piece first appeared on Juan Cole’s website, Informed Comment (http://www.juancole.com/2013/06/charged-espionage-snowdens.html).
The US government charged Edward Snowden with theft of government property and espionage on Friday.
Snowden hasn’t to our knowledge committed treason in any ordinary sense of the term. He hasn’t handed over government secrets to a foreign government.
His leaks are being considered a form of domestic spying. He is the 7th leaker to be so charged by the Obama administration. All previous presidents together only used the charge 3 times.
Charging leakers with espionage is outrageous, but it is par for the course with the Obama administration.


The same theory under which Edward Snowden is guilty of espionage could easily be applied to former vice president Dick Cheney.
Cheney led an effort in 2003 to discredit former acting ambassador in Iraq, Joseph Wilson IV, who had written an op ed for the New York Times detailing his own mission to discover if Iraq was getting uranium from Niger. (The answer? No.)
Cheney appears to have been very upset with Wilson, and tohave wished to punish him by having staffers contact journalists and inform them that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was secretly a CIA operative. While Cheney wasn’t the one whose phone call revealed this information, he set in train the events whereby it became well known. (Because Cheney’s staff had Plame’s information sitting around in plain sight, Armitage discovered it and then was responsible for the leak, but he only scooped Libby and Rove, who had been trying to get someone in the press to run with the Plame story.
What Cheney did in ordering his aides Scooter Libby and Karl Rove to release the information about Plame’s identity was no different from Snowden’s decision to contact the press.
And yet, Cheney mysteriously has not been charged with Espionage. Hmmm….

Peter Lemkin
06-24-2013, 09:39 PM
AMY GOODMAN: We begin today’s show with the international mystery surrounding Edward Snowden, the former U.S. intelligence contractor who leaked documents about the United States’ secret domestic and global surveillance programs. Snowden reportedly landed in Moscow Sunday after leaving Hong Kong, but his exact whereabouts are unknown. He was expected to fly from Moscow to Cuba today, but journalists aboard the flight said his seat was empty. It was believed Snowden’s final destination would be Ecuador, which has confirmed it was considering an asylum request for Snowden. He has not been seen publicly or photographed since his reported arrival in Moscow on Sunday afternoon from Hong Kong.
The developments come just days after the United States publicly revealed it had filed espionage charges against Snowden for theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person. The criminal complaint was dated June 14th but only came to light on Friday.
The United States has also revoked his passport. On Sunday, Snowden was allowed to fly out of Hong Kong even though Washington asked the Chinese territory to arrest him on espionage charges. In a statement, the Hong Kong government says documents submitted by the U.S. did not, quote, "fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law," and it had no legal basis to prevent him from leaving. In addition, the Hong Kong government said in a written statement that it wanted more information alleged hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by U.S. government agencies.
WikiLeaks is playing a central role in aiding Snowden’s travels. A WikiLeaks activist named Sarah Harrison reportedly accompanied Snowden on his flight from Hong Kong to Moscow. In an interview with The New York Times, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said, quote, "Mr. Snowden requested our expertise and assistance. We’ve been involved in very similar legal and diplomatic and geopolitical struggles to preserve the organization and its ability to publish."
Snowden, who turned 30 Friday, had anticipated risks for exposing the NSA’s surveillance program.

EDWARD SNOWDEN: You can’t come forward against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and be completely free from risk, because they’re such powerful adversaries that no one can meaningfully oppose them. If they want to get you, they’ll get you in time. But at the same time you have to make a determination about what it is that’s important to you. And if living—living unfreely but comfortably is something you’re willing to accept—and I think many of us are; it’s the human nature—you can get up every day, you can go to work, you can collect your large paycheck for relatively little work, against the public interest, and go to sleep at night after watching your shows. But if you realize that that’s the world that you helped create, and it’s going to get worse with the next generation and the next generation, who extend the capabilities of this sort of architecture of oppression, you realize that you might be willing to accept any risk, and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is, so long as the public gets to make their own decisions about how that’s applied.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Edward Snowden being interviewed by The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, filmed by Laura Poitras earlier this month in Hong Kong.
Since then, the former contractor has revealed a secret court order showing that the U.S. government had forced the telecom giant Verizon to hand over the phone records of millions of Americans. He also revealed the existence of a secret program called PRISM, which internal NSA documents claim gives the agency access to data held by Google, Facebook, Apple and other U.S. Internet giants.
For more, we go to Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke the story. He is a columnist and blogger for The Guardian, also a constitutional lawyer. His recent piece (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/22/snowden-espionage-charges) is called "On the Espionage Act Charges Against Edward Snowden."
First of all, Glenn Greenwald, well, welcome back to Democracy Now! Do you know where Edward Snowden is right now?
GLENN GREENWALD: No, I don’t. I know what news reports are indicating with regard to his whereabouts, and outside of a small circle of people who are traveling with him, it seems that nobody really knows at the moment where he is.
AMY GOODMAN: Where do we—where do you know he last was, where we last know where he was?
GLENN GREENWALD: I mean, I haven’t spoken with him personally since there were reports that he left Hong Kong, and so I can’t say with any firsthand knowledge that he’s been anywhere once he left Hong Kong. I only know what the news media is reporting on that, and there seemed to be confirmation that he was on a flight from Hong Kong to Moscow, that the plan was that he would land in Moscow, spend a night in—either in the airport or in an embassy of Venezuela or Ecuador, and then travel on to Havana on a flight this morning. And there are lots of reporters on that flight, all of whom are reporting that he doesn’t seem to be on that flight. And so, the question is, was there an alternative travel arrangement made for him to go to Ecuador or somewhere else, whether it be an alternative commercial flight or a private plane, or has he been detained by the Russian government, which said that it wouldn’t detain him, or has something else happened to him? I don’t think anybody knows at this point. I certainly don’t.
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, Ed Snowden turned 30 on Friday. Also, then, the charges against him were made known. Can you explain what he has been charged with by the United States?
GLENN GREENWALD: He’s been charged so far with three felony counts, one of which is essentially stealing property that doesn’t belong to him. The other two are the much more serious ones. They’re offenses under the Espionage Act of 1917 that has been amended several times since then, and the statute—the provisions of that law under which he’s been charged were amended most recently in 1950. And they essentially accuse him of releasing classified information that he knew or should have known was likely to harm the United States or result in benefit to its adversaries.
This is the statute that, until President Obama was inaugurated, had only been used a grand total of three times in all of American history to prosecute leakers, people who disclose classified information, as opposed to those who actually do espionage, which is passing secrets to an enemy of the United States or selling it. But for pure leakers, it’s almost never been used. There’s only been three cases before Obama, one of which was Daniel Ellsberg. Since President Obama’s inauguration, there have now been seven—he is now the seventh—leakers or whistleblower who has been prosecuted under the statute, so more than double the number of all previous presidents combined.
The charges, at the moment, each carry a penalty of 10 years in prison, so you’re talking about 30 years in prison. But he’s not even been indicted yet. The pattern of the Obama administration has been to add many more charges once there’s an indictment. And so, it’s almost certain that he will face life imprisonment if the United States ever apprehends him and is able to bring him to trial.
AMY GOODMAN: On Sunday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers said the United States should use every legal avenue to bring Edward Snowden back to face espionage charges. He was speaking to host David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press.

REP. MIKE ROGERS: So, if you think about what he says he wants and what his actions are, it defies logic. He has taken information that does not belong to him; it belongs to the people of the United States. He has jeopardized our national security. I disagree with the reporter. Clearly, the bad guys have already changed their way. Remember, these were counterterrorism programs, essentially. And we have seen that bad guys overseas, terrorists who are committing and plotting attacks on the United States and our allies, have changed the way they operate. We’ve already seen that. To say that that is not harmful to the national security of the United States or our safety is just dead wrong.

They should use every legal avenue we have to bring him back to the United States. And, listen, if he believes that he’s doing something good—and, by the way, he went outside all of the whistleblower avenues that were available to anyone in this government, including people who have classified information. We get two or three visits from whistleblowers every single week in the committee, and we investigate every one thoroughly. He didn’t choose that route. If he really believes he did something good, he should get on a plane, come back and face the consequences of his actions.

DAVID GREGORY: Is he gone? Do you think he’s gone, not to return?

REP. MIKE ROGERS: I don’t—I’m not sure I would say gone forever. I do think that we’ll continue with extradition activities wherever he ends up, and we could—should continue to find ways to return him to the United States and get the United States public’s information back.
AMY GOODMAN: House Intelligence Chair Mike Rogers. Your response to this, Glenn Greenwald?
GLENN GREENWALD: First of all, there’s this constant claim that’s made about how Democrats and Republicans are at each other’s throat and have radically different views of the world that are irreconcilable. Mike Rogers is one of the most right-wing members of the Republican House caucus when it comes to national security issues, and yet he sounds exactly the same as Dianne Feinstein, as every single Democrat in the Senate who is speaking about these issues. There’s absolutely no division, and there never is on these questions. The political class binds together every single time to declare to be an enemy anybody who brings transparency to what it is that they’re doing.
Secondly, the idea that he has harmed national security is truly laughable. If you go and look at what it is that we published, the only things that we published were reports that the U.S. government is spying, not on the terrorists or the Chinese government, but on American citizens indiscriminately—hundreds of millions, tens of millions, even hundreds of millions at a time. The terrorists have long known that the U.S. government is trying to listen in on their telephone calls and emails. We didn’t tell them anything they didn’t know. The only thing that wasn’t known was that the bulk of the spying apparatus is directed not at the terrorists, but at the American citizenry and at innocent people around the world. That’s the only thing that has been damaged, not the national security of the United States, but the reputation and credibility of American political officials like Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein and all the executive branch officials who have lied about this program to Congress and who have implemented it in secret.
And then the final issue is the idea that he could have used whistleblower channels. He would have ended up having to go to the very same members of Congress who think that not only are these programs good, but that they ought to remain secret. And you have two Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee—Ron Wyden and Mark Udall—who have been screaming for three years, saying there are secret things going on inside the NSA based on secret law of the Obama administration that is so warped and distorted that Americans would be stunned to learn what the government is doing to them in terms of the spying, and that even those members of the Intelligence Committee—Senators Udall and Wyden—either lacked the courage or were incapable of even disclosing to the American people what they had discovered that was so alarming to them. It took Edward Snowden to come forward the way he did and make us all, as citizens around the world, publicly aware of what the government is doing to us, so that we could have an open and informed debate about what is being done. Anyone who says that it should have been done in another way has the obligation to identify what this other way was that could have informed the people of this country and the world about what the NSA is doing.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break, then come back to this discussion. And I want to say, as we’re speaking, in Vietnam right now the foreign minister of Ecuador, Patiño, is holding a news conference. And he has—just reading a letter that Edward Snowden has written to the president of Ecuador, Correa, asking for political asylum. And in it, he is saying that it’s the U.S. government that’s intercepting freedom of speech; Congress and media is involved, as well. And he says, "And they’re accusing me of being a traitor. They want to imprison me or execute me for telling people this," he said. We’ll come back to this discussion with Glenn Greenwald. He’s the man, the journalist, who leaked the story of the NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden. They met in Hong Kong, where Edward Snowden had gone to release the information he had gotten as he was a contractor for Hamilton Booz Allen—Booz Allen Hamilton, sorry, when he was working for the—for Booz Allen Hamilton as a contractor for the NSA in Hawaii. This is Democracy Now! We’ll be back with Glenn Greenwald in a moment.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re speaking with Glenn Greenwald, the columnist for The Guardian newspaper. I’m Amy Goodman. As news emerged of Edward Snowden’s departure from Hong Kong, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, appeared on Face the Nation. She talked about what might have facilitated Edward Snowden’s departure.

[B]SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: I had actually thought that China would see this as an opportunity to improve relations and extradite him to the United States. China clearly had a role in this, in my view. I don’t think this was just Hong Kong without Chinese acquiescence. I think his choice of Moscow was interesting. I think what’s interesting is that he was taken off in a car, and his luggage in a separate car. I think it will be very interesting to see what Moscow does with him. Thirdly, he clearly was aided and abetted, possibly by the WikiLeaks organization. I heard a rumor that he was traveling with someone, and so this had to have been all preplanned. Now, what the destination is, no one really knows. But I think, from the point of view of our committee, something that concerns me more is that we get an understanding in this nation that what this is all about is the nation’s security.
AMY GOODMAN: Senator Feinstein also said she had seen no evidence of abuse by the National Security Agency, instead pointed a finger at China’s surveillance practices.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: I have seen no abuse by these agencies, nor has any claim ever been made, in any way, shape or form, that this was abused. You know, it’s interesting to me because, I mean, I’ve been going to China for 34 years now trying to increase relationships between our two countries. There is no question about China’s prowess in this arena. There is no question about their attempts to get into our national defense networks, as well as major private businesses.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Senator Feinstein on Face the Nation. Glenn Greenwald, your response to some of her points?
GLENN GREENWALD: Well, first of all, Dianne Feinstein is outright lying when she says that she doesn’t know of any instances of abuse at the National Security Agency. Leaving aside the fact that there have been several different reports by ABC News, by The New York Times, of the NSA abusing its eavesdropping powers over the last four years, there is a 2011 opinion, 80 pages long, from the FISA court, the secret court that oversees the NSA. And what it ruled, although the court—the opinion is top-secret and hasn’t been publicly released. What it ruled is that the way in which the NSA is spying on American citizens is in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, as well as in excess of the limitations imposed by the statute, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. In other words, what the NSA is doing is both unconstitutional and illegal. And so, although the public doesn’t have access to that opinion—shockingly, that in a democracy you could have a court rule the government has violated the law and the Constitution and keep it all a secret—Dianne Feinstein has access to that opinion. And so, when she says into the camera that there’s no evidence that she is aware of that the NSA has abused its spying powers, she’s simply lying, because she knows that the claim she’s making is false.
Secondly, the—as far as the outrage that she expressed, that Obama officials routinely express, over the fact that China is hacking into our military installations and the like, she’s right. They are doing that. But one of the things that these documents exposed—I mean, that Mr. Snowden exposed to China is that the United States is not only hacking into China’s military systems but also its civilian systems. And part of the reason why the Chinese government was unable to turn Snowden over to the U.S., even had they wanted to, was because public opinion in China and in Hong Kong was so enraged by that revelation—that their text messages are being directed into NSA repositories—that they simply couldn’t, consistent with public opinion, hand Snowden over to the United States.
AMY GOODMAN: What about this latest news, Glenn Greenwald, about the South China Morning Post revelations of Snowden, about how the U.S. hacked China’s mobile phone companies and two universities?
GLENN GREENWALD: Right. I mean, I think the reason why Snowden made those revelations is extremely obvious, which is that he was in Hong Kong and needed to protect himself from being turned over to the U.S., where he would spend the rest of his life in prison. And so he stepped forward to say that his government has been lying to the world when it pretends that only China, but not it, the U.S. government, hacks into civilian infrastructure. It was an act of self-preservation. It was also a way of exposing the deceit and hypocrisy of top-level political officials in the United States who have tricked their own public into believing that China, but not the United States, does these sorts of things.
AMY GOODMAN: Is this espionage?
GLENN GREENWALD: Espionage is when you work for and at the behest of a foreign government to steal secrets—there’s zero evidence he did that—or when you covertly pass secrets to an adversary government—he never did that—or when you sell secrets to another country, which he could have done for millions of dollars to enrich himself and yet never did. It is not espionage in any sense of the word. And, of course, the irony here is that the ones who are engaged in massive spying is the U.S. government. Mr. Snowden essentially refused to engage in spying, and now they’re accusing him of espionage.
AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Glenn, I want to play a clip of your interview when you were on Meet the Press with David Gregory yesterday.

DAVID GREGORY: To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?

GLENN GREENWALD: I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themself a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies. The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence, the idea that I’ve aided and abetted him in any way. The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about the fact that the Obama administration is trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the emails and phone records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory that you just embraced: being a co-conspirator with felony—in felonies for working with sources. If you want to embrace that theory, it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their resources, who receives classified information, is a criminal. And it’s precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States. It’s why The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer said investigative reporting has come to a "standstill"—her word—as a result of the theories that you just referenced.

DAVID GREGORY: Well, the question of who’s a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you are doing. And, of course, anybody who’s watching this understands I was asking a question. That question has been raised by lawmakers, as well. I’m not embracing anything. But, obviously, I take your point.
AMY GOODMAN: That is David Gregory, the host of Meet the Press. Glenn Greenwald, would you like to carry this conversation forward? Of course, it’s been raised over and over—Peter King, the congressman from New York, calling for you to be prosecuted.
GLENN GREENWALD: Right. And, actually, Andrew Ross Sorkin, the extremely Wall Street-friendly New York Times quote-unquote "reporter" who covers Wall Street, apparently went on CNBC this morning and essentially speculated or suggested that I ought to be arrested, as well. You know, it’s interesting, Amy. I don’t know of anybody who has a lower opinion of the Beltway media, generally, of David Gregory, specifically—for that matter, Andrew Ross Sorkin, specifically—than I do. And yet, it actually is even surprising to me to watch them openly do the dirty work of the U.S. government in essentially suggesting publicly that journalists who report on what the government is doing ought to be turned into criminals.
You know, one of the main criticisms that I’ve voiced about the Beltway media is that they’re not adversarial to the government at all, but actually that they are servants of the government, mouthpieces for it. Lots of other people have made that critique, including you, Amy. And I think it’s almost like Christmas, for those of us who believe that, to watch this gift being handed to us that so vividly proves it, that rather than defend what is supposed to be their right that they are supposed to safeguard, which is freedom of the press, they’re leading the chorus against other journalists on behalf of the government that they serve, demanding essentially and theorizing that we’re guilty of crimes for doing what journalists are supposed to do, which is shining a light on what political officials are doing in the dark.
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn, McClatchy had an interesting piece (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leaks-as.html), "Obama’s Crackdown Views Leaks as Aiding Enemies of [the] U.S." talking about President Obama’s unprecedented initiative known as the Insider Threat Program. Can you explain what that is?
GLENN GREENWALD: The Insider Threat Program is a program implemented by the Obama administration that is very consistent with their overall unprecedented attack on leakers and whistleblowers—that is even what The New York Times this morning called it, an unprecedented attack on leaks—in which government employees are encouraged—in fact, required—to report to authorities any other government employees that they even suspect might be thinking about leaking. And what makes it so pernicious is that it defines people who leak as being enemies of the state. So, if any government employee sees wrongdoing and brings that wrongdoing to light, then if that wrongdoing was conducted behind a wall of secrecy by having it be called classified or anything else, they are deemed by the U.S. government to be essentially enemies of the state. That’s the term that this program uses for them.
And this is the vital context for everything that is happening with Mr. Snowden, for WikiLeaks, for this entire story, which is that the reason why we need Ed Snowdens, the reason why he came forward in the way that he did and the reason why he felt he had to flee the United States is precisely because there are no people in the United States more persecuted at the moment than those who bring transparency to what the U.S. government is doing. They are treated as enemies of the state. They are called traitors, as John Kerry called Mr. Snowden today. And that’s the reason that investigative journalism is being so threatened by the policies of the Obama administration. I hope all of your viewers will go to Google and type "McClatchy, Obama and leaks" and read that McClatchy report (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leaks-as.html) on what the Obama administration is doing to wage a war on transparency like no other president has ever done.
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn, do you have more documents leaked by Edward Snowden that you’re going to be writing about, more exposés in the coming days?
GLENN GREENWALD: Definitely. And we’re going to take our time in reporting it. We’re going to make sure that everything we report is accurate and the picture is complete. But my only priority at the moment is going through these documents, vetting them and continuing to report on them. And there are lots of other stories coming.
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, I want to thank you for being with us, columnist and blogger for The Guardian, also a constitutional lawyer, speaking to us from his home in Brazil.

Magda Hassan
06-25-2013, 03:21 AM
Pirate Party Norway: - Snowden Passed Through Norway to Iceland
Organization Pirate Party Norway claims that spy accused Edward Snowden landed at Oslo Gardermon airport last night.

Photo : Zennie Abraham

The party leader Øystein Jakobsen would meet with Snowden when he landed on Sunday evening, according to the party’s twitter account.

- We have received information from our international umbrella party, the Pirate Parties International (PPI), that he will stop in Norway. The reason is that this is probably the quickest and easiest way to fly to Iceland, says Tale Østrådal from the Pirate Party to TV2 Norway
Øsrådal also said that Pirate Party in Iceland confirmed Snowden’s stay in the country. Iceland has become a haven for people like him, almost a "Pirate Island," says Østrådal.
The party leader Jakobsen, on the other hand, thanked the former agent. He has sacrificed his whole life for something he felt wrong. What he has done is exemplary. He has sacrificed a life of freedom to inform the public about a serious infringement, says Jakobsen to TV 2
According to Oslo Gardermoen Airport websites, a flight from Moscow arrived in Oslo at 19.25 on Sunday evening. But the press officer of the airport did not give any information aboout the details.
Also, police at the airport told TV 2 that they do not have any information about the case.
About Snowden
Edward Joseph Snowden is a former technical contractor and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), before leaking details of classified NSA mass surveillance programs to the press. Snowden shared classified material on a variety of top-secret NSA programs, including the interception of US telephone metadata and the PRISM surveillance program, primarily with Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, which published a series of exposés based on Snowden’s disclosures in June 2013. Snowden said the leaks were an effort "to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."
Snowden’s alleged leaks are said to rank among the most significant breaches in the history of the NSA. Matthew M. Aid, an intelligence historian in Washington, said disclosures linked to Snowden have "confirmed longstanding suspicions that NSA’s surveillance in this country is far more intrusive than we knew." On June 14, 2013, US federal prosecutors filed a sealed complaint, made public on June 21,[8][9] charging Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified intelligence with an unauthorized person; the latter two allegations are under the Espionage Act.
About Pirate Party Norway
Piratpartiet Norge (Norwegian for The Pirate Party of Norway) is a Norwegian political party which was founded on the 16. December 2012. The basic principles are "full transparency in the state management, privacy on the internet, as well as better use of IT and technology to make a better democracy." On December 17. 2012 they announced that the 5000 signatures required to take part in the next general election had been received. The party is a part of the Pirate Parties International.
http://www.tnp.no/norway/panorama/3802-pirate-party-norway-snowden-passed-through-norway-to-iceland

Magda Hassan
06-25-2013, 06:33 AM
Is PRISM just a not-so-secret web tool?


(Updated: June 24, 2013)

Since The Guardian first published (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data) about the PRISM data collection program on June 6, there have been new disclosures of top secret documents almost every day, resulting in some fierce protests against apparently illegal wiretapping by the NSA and GCHQ. However, it remains unclear what PRISM actually is or does, as The Guardian didn't provide any new details or disclosed more than 5 of the 41 presentation slides about the program.

This makes it hard to determine whether PRISM really is the illegal or at least embarrassing program which most people now think it is. Especially, because it could even be the hardly secret Planning tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization and Management (PRISM), which is a web-based tool to manage information requests widely used by the US military. Here we will take a closer look at this program and try to determine whether this could be the same as the PRISM revealed by The Guardian.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WQuosAw2R5k/UcZjwKTv5lI/AAAAAAAAAYI/K7sdnabueLo/PRISM_logo.png

Planning tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization and Management

The earliest document which mentions the Planning tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization and Management (PRISM) is a paper (pdf) (http://www.mitre.org/work/tech_papers/tech_papers_02/kane_isrplatforms/isrinformationservices.pdf) from July 2002, which was prepared by the MITRE Corporation Center for Integrated Intelligence Systems. The document describes the use of web browsers for military operations, the so-called "web-centric warfare", for which intelligence collection management programs were seen as the catalyst. These programs fuse battlefield intelligence information with the national data that they already possess, in order to provide a complete picture to their users.

PRISM was developed by SAIC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAIC_%28company%29) (formerly Science Applications International Corporation, a company that was also involved in the 2002 TRAILBLAZER (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailblazer_Project) program for analyzing network data). The program was originally prototyped and fielded for the US European Command, but is also being used in other military operation areas such as Iraq. Involved in the establishment of PRISM was Ron Baham. His LinkedIn profile says that he currently is senior vice president and operations manager at SAIC and that he worked on CMMA PRISM at JDISS from 2000 - 2004, so PRISM might be developed somewhere between 2000 and early 2002.

On its website (https://www2.saic.com/natsec/intelligence), SAIC says that the PRISM application allows theater users, in various functional roles and at different echelons, to synchronize Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) requirements with current military operations and priorities. The application was first developed for use on JWICS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JWICS), the highly secure intelligence community network, but is now also being used on SIPRNet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIPRNet), the secure internet used by the US military.



http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aKIwdHzpBxM/UbkjPyyl9pI/AAAAAAAAAWQ/hJWQkBFWDic/s1600/PRISM+input+tool.jpg (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aKIwdHzpBxM/UbkjPyyl9pI/AAAAAAAAAWQ/hJWQkBFWDic/s1600/PRISM+input+tool.jpg)
Screenshot of the PRISM Input Tool (EEI = Essential Elements of Intelligence)
source: GMTI Utility Analysis for Airborne Assets (pdf) (http://www.dodccrp.org/events/16th_iccrts_2011/presentations/001.pdf)



Other sources clarify that PRISM consists of a web-based interface which connects to PRISM servers, and that it's used by a variety of users, like intelligence collection managers at military headquarters, to request the intelligence information which is needed for operations. These requests are entered in the PRISM interface, which sends them to the PRISM server. From there the request goes to units which collect the raw data. These are processed into intelligence, which then becomes available through the PRISM server.

PRISM is able to manage and prioritize these intelligence collection requirements to ensure critical intelligence is timely available to the commander during crisis operations. The application integrates these requirements and, with other tools, generates the so called daily collection deck. PRISM also provides traceability throughout the so-called intelligence cycle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_cycle), from planning through exploitation to production.

The PRISM application made by SAIC is still widely used. It's mentioned in joint operations manuals from 2012 and in quite a number of job descriptions, like this one (http://www.meelieu.com/jobs/qat-doha-systems-administrator-qatar) from March 2013 for a systems administator in Doha, Qatar, which says that part of the job is providing on-site and off-site PRISM training and support. Also these US government spending data (http://usaspending.gov/search?form_fields=%7B%22contract_description%22%3 A%22PRISM%22%2C%22dept%22%3A[%229519%22%2C%229700%22]%7D) show that in 2011 a maintaince contract (worth $ 1.085.464,-) for PRISM support services was awarded to SAIC, with options for 2012 and 2013.


Are there two different PRISMs?

So now it looks like as if there are two different programs called PRISM: one is a web-based tool for requesting and managing intelligence information from a server that gets input from various intelligence sources. The other is the program from which The Guardian says it's a top secret electronic surveillance program that collects raw data from the servers of nine major US internet companies.

If the Guardian's claims are true, it's strange that two important intelligence programs apparently have the exact same name. For sure, this would not be very likely, if "PRISM" would be an acronym or a codeword in both cases. But if we assume one PRISM being an acronym and the other PRISM a codeword, it could be somewhat more likely.

As we know, the PRISM tool developed by SAIC is an acronym, just like the names of many other military and intelligence software tools are often lengthy acronyms (http://electrospaces.blogspot.nl/p/blog-page.html). This leaves the PRISM which was unveiled by The Guardian likely to be a codeword, or more correctly said, a nickname. NSA data collection methods, officially designated by an alphanumerical SIGAD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIGAD) like US-984, can have nicknames which may or may not be classified.

These are different from codenames, which are always classified and often assigned to the intelligence products from the various data collection methods. This can cause some confusion, as "PRISM" perfectly fits in the NSA tradition of using 5-letter codewords (http://electrospaces.blogspot.nl/p/nicknames-and-codewords-nicknames-are.html) for products of sensitive Signals Intelligence programs.


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hrIVvJr1f2E/UbKfnAHGgGI/AAAAAAAAAUA/jHm00Rqo4Rk/s320/WP+prism-slide-1.jpg (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hrIVvJr1f2E/UbKfnAHGgGI/AAAAAAAAAUA/jHm00Rqo4Rk/s1600/WP+prism-slide-1.jpg)

If PRISM had been a classified codename, it should also have been part of the classification line, and the marking should have read TOP SECRET // SI-PRISM // [...] instead of the current TOP SECRET // SI // [...]. This indicates that PRISM isn't a codeword for intelligence from a specific source, but more likely the nickname of a collection method.

This still leaves the question of why in 2007 an apparently new collection program got a nickname which is exactly the same as the already widely used computer application which is going to task this internet data collection method.


A less spectacular PRISM?

Allthough The Guardian presented PRISM as a method of directly collecting raw data from major internet companies, other sources say that PRISM might well be a much less spectacular internal computer program.

Initially, The Washington Post came with the same story (http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html) as The Guardian, but revised some of its claims by citing another classified report that describes PRISM as allowing "collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations." These words very much resemble the way the PRISM Planning Tool is described.

National security reporter Marc Ambinder describes (http://theweek.com/article/index/245360/solving-the-mystery-of-prism) PRISM as "a kick-ass GUI (Graphical User Interface) that allows an analyst to look at, collate, monitor, and cross-check different data types provided to the NSA from Internet companies located inside the United States" - which also sounds much more like the SAIC application, than like a data dragnet with free access to commercial company servers.

This view was also confirmed by a statement (pdf) (http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Facts%20on%20the%20Collection%20of%20Intelligence% 20Pursuant%20to%20Section%20702.pdf) of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, which says: "PRISM is not an undisclosed collection or data mining program. It is an internal government computer system used to facilitate the government’s [...] collection of foreign intelligence information from electronic communication service providers [...]".

With this statement, Clapper officially confirms the existance of a program called PRISM, and allthough his description could also fit that of the Planning tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization and Management, he didn't positively identified PRISM as such.

Finally, an anonymous former government official told CNet.com (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57588337-38/no-evidence-of-nsas-direct-access-to-tech-companies/) that The Guardian's reports are "incorrect and appear to be based on a misreading of a leaked Powerpoint document", making journalist Declan McCullagh go one step further by suggesting that PRISM might be actually the same as the web application named Planning Tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization, and Management.


PRISM as an all-source planning tool

Some sources, like a joint operations manual (http://books.google.nl/books?id=5cblwYmn16EC&lpg=SL252-PA16&ots=Za6eihMbee&dq=prism%20geospatial%20imagery&hl=nl&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false) and a number of job descriptions, seem to indicate that the PRISM planning tool is primarily used for geospational intelligence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEOINT) (GEOINT), which is analysed imagery of the earth as collected by spy planes and satellites.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VQlwIiz7zHQ/Ub0qCax2-bI/AAAAAAAAAX0/bYY1K2kcoto/s1600/GEOINT.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VQlwIiz7zHQ/Ub0qCax2-bI/AAAAAAAAAX0/bYY1K2kcoto/s1600/GEOINT.jpg)

However, more extensive research has shown that the Planning tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization and Management (PRISM) is not only used for geospatial intelligence, but for fusing intelligence from all sources. Besides GEOINT, sources prove that PRISM is also used for SIGINT (Signals Intelligence), IMINT (Imagery Intelligence) and HUMINT (Human Intelligence), probably through additional modules for each of these sources.

Even the 2006 Geospatial Intelligence Basic Doctrine (pdf) (http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/nga/doctrine.pdf) says PRISM is a "web-based application that provides users, at the theater level and below, with the ability to conduct Integrated Collection Management (ICM). Integrates all intelligence discipline assets with all theater requirements."
More specifically, the 2012 Joint and National Intelligence Support to Military Operations (http://www.scribd.com/doc/139396210/Joint-Publication-2-01-Joint-and-National-Intelligence-Support-to-Military-Operations-2012-uploaded-by-Richard-J-Campbell) manual describes that where applicable, requests for SIGINT support should be entered into approved systems such as PRISM, for approval by a military commander.

In a job description (http://www.corporategray.com/jobs/540495/public_profile) for an Intelligence Training Instructor from 2010 we see a distinction being made between PRISM-IMINT and PRISM-SIGINT, and a LinkedIn profile mentions (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/leonard-lott/21/184/710) the IMINT/SIGINT PRISM training in 2006 of someone who was administrator for PRISM, which is described as the system of record USCENTCOM uses for submitting, tracking, and researching theater ISR requirements. In a job description (http://www.najobbank.com/SIGINT-Collection-Management-Analyst-1044-1-92185.html) for a SIGINT Collection Management Analyst (by Snowden-employer Booz Allen Hamilton!) experience with PRISM is required too.

Also a module was added to PRISM for accessing information from HUMINT (Human Intelligence) sources. Testing of this module was done during the Empire Challenge 2008 exercise. In the daily reports of this exercise we can read (http://www.docstoc.com/docs/53046891/DailyReportsShared-DocumentsEC08-Daily-Report---28-July-%28Revision-1%29pdf) that for example the Defense Intelligence Agency's HUMINT team loaded "additional data into PRISM HUMINT module for operations on Tuesday morning". From a French report (http://zonedinteret.blogspot.nl/2009/01/empire-challenge-2008.html) about this exercise we learn that the PRISM HUMINT module was a new application, just like the Humint Online Tasking & Reporting (HOT-R) tool, which runs on SIPRNet.


Are both PRISMs one and the same?

If The Guardian's PRISM really is just a computer system for sending tasking instructions directly to equipment that collects raw data, it is hard to believe that it's different from the Planning tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization and Management (PRISM), which for many years is used to order and manage intelligence from all sources. This would also fit claims by which PRISM is most used in NSA reporting.

If this could be true, and there's only one PRISM program, what about the slides which were disclosed by The Guardian? First of all, as this newspaper is not willing (https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/343454484917280770) to publish all PRISM-slides, we cannot be sure about what this presentation is really about, but it's possible that it's not about a PRISM which is a nickname of the US-984XN collection method, but about how to gather material from that source by using the PRISM web tool.

More specific, we can think of a machine-to-machine interface between the PRISM system and dedicated data collection devices at remote locations, like a secure FTP server or an encrypted dropbox at sites of the internet companies. At the PRISM desktop interface this tasking may be done through a separate SIGINT module. As one of the slides says: "Complete list and details on PRISM web page: Go PRISMFAA" we can even imagine a module called "PRISM FAA" for requesting intelligence from intercepts of foreign communications under the conditions of the FISA Amendment Act (FAA) from 2008.

By publishing the PRISM slides The Guardian for the first time revealed evidence about the NSA collecting data from major internet companies. But as this apparently surprised the general public, the practice is hardly new. Spies and later intelligence agencies of all countries have always tried to intercept foreign communications and of course tried to do this with every new way of communication: first letters, later phonecalls and nowadays internet based social media.

Therefore, it may hardly come as a surprise that NSA also found ways to intercept those new means of communications too. And whether these interception and collection methods might have nicknames or not, it's very likely that access to their processed output was added to all the other intelligence sources which can be tasked by using the PRISM Planning Tool.

What looks more of a problem, is the fact that in the past, enemies were nation states, which could be targeted by focussing on diplomatic and military communications. Nowadays, with terrorism considered as the main enemy, almost every (foreign) citizen could be a potential adversary, which made intelligence agencies try to search all communications available.


Next time we will discuss more specific details of the Planning tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization and Management (PRISM), as this gives an interesting look at internal intelligence procedures.


Links

- TheWeek.com: Is the NSA PRISM leak much less than it seems? (http://theweek.com/article/index/245391/is-the-nsa-prism-leak-much-less-than-it-seems)
- CNet.com: What is the NSA's PRISM program? (FAQ) (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57588253-83/what-is-the-nsas-prism-program-faq/)
- CNet.com: No evidence of NSA's 'direct access' to tech companies (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57588337-38/no-evidence-of-nsas-direct-access-to-tech-companies/)
- VanityFair.com: PRISM Isn’t Data Mining and Other Falsehoods in the N.S.A. “Scandal” (http://www.vanityfair.com/online/eichenwald/2013/06/prism-isnt-data-mining-NSA-scandal)
- ExtremeTech.com: Making sense of the NSA Prism leak as the real details emerge (http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/157713-making-sense-of-the-nsa-prism-leak-as-the-real-details-emerge)
- Medium.com: The PRISM Details Matter (https://medium.com/prism-truth/82a1791c94d3)
- Reflets.info: #PRISM : let’s have a look at the big picture (http://reflets.info/prism-lets-have-a-look-at-the-big-picture/)

Peter Lemkin
06-25-2013, 09:54 AM
Hide and leak: Where is Edward Snowden?

June 25, 2013 | Filed under: Activism (http://www.trueactivist.com/category/news/activism/),Breaking News (http://www.trueactivist.com/category/breaking-news/),News (http://www.trueactivist.com/category/news/),Politics (http://www.trueactivist.com/category/news/news-politics/),Rights (http://www.trueactivist.com/category/news/rights/) | Posted by: True Activist (http://www.trueactivist.com/author/trueadmin777/)
http://cdn2.trueactivist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/a-banner-supporting-edward-snowden-is-displayed-in-hong-kongs-business-district-june-20-300x180.jpgWhen it comes to the whereabouts of Edward Snowden, there has been far more conjecture than concrete fact. While Washington would do anything to get its hands on the whistleblower, tracking down Snowden has turned into a full on cloak and dagger affair.
On Sunday Edward Snowden left Chinese territory two days after espionage charges were leveled against him, setting off an international game of cat and mouse which has the United States’ massive global intelligence apparatus trying to cut the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor off at the pass.
The White House for its part seemed to be certain that Snowden did in fact reach Moscow after taking off from Hong Kong on Sunday.
“We have known where he is and believe we know where he is now,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said during a Monday afternoon briefing. “It is our assumption that he is in Russia.”
“I’m not going to get into specifics, but it is our understanding that he is still in Russia,” Carney continued. “We have asked the Russians to look at all the options and expel Snowden to the US,” he said.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said on Monday that Snowden was in a “safe place.” Assange, who was unable to give further information as to Snowden’s whereabouts, claimed that Snowden had left Hong Kong on June 23 “bound for Ecuador via a safe pass through Russia and other states.”
Shortly after Snowden allegedly arrived in Moscow, the government of Ecuador announced it had received an asylum request from the fugitive whistleblower. Assange claimed Snowden, whose passport was reportedly revoked one day prior to his departure from Hong Kong, was further granted a refugee document of passage.
It has been reported that Snowden was snaking his way around the globe to avoid capture, with a complicated route which would have seen him fly from Moscow to Caracas via Havana, with the expectation that he would later travel on to the Ecuadorian capital Quito.
While the state-controlled Russian airline Aeroflot said that he had checked in for flight SU150 to Havana with two seats (17A and 17C) in his name on Monday, seemingly half the world’s press corps was on board, but Snowden was conspicuously absent.
The fact that he failed to board a Moscow-to-Havana flight on Monday following his hasty escape from Hong Kong one day prior begs the question: did the world’s most infamous whistleblower step foot on Russian soil at all?
Wikileaks and unnamed sources

The government of Hong Kong never specified Snowden’s destination, only stating that he had in fact left Chinese territory for “a third country” on Sunday. The Russian government has made no official comment regarding his alleged arrival either.
Although reporters noted the heavy presence of Russian security services at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov disavowed any knowledge of Snowden’s arrival in the Russian capital.
“I don’t [know if he's planning to stay in Moscow]. I heard about his potential arrival from the press. I know nothing,” Peskov told the Guardian on Sunday.
When RT contacted Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) regarding the matter, the agency declined to comment.
With no corroborating video footage, the only actual proof that Snowden arrived in Moscow on Sunday evening stem from three primary sources: WikiLeaks, the government of Ecuador and anonymous sources working within the airport.
Wikileaks, whose representative Sarah Harrison reportedly accompanied Snowden on the flight, regularly sent out tweets up until flight SU213 touched down in the Russian capital around 5:00 p.m. local time.
The anti-secrecy group said in a statement that the former CIA technician is on his way to Ecuador “via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.”
A source from within WikiLeaks, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to RT that the rogue NSA leaker was indeed on the flight, passing on the names of Ecuadorian officials who were slated to meet Snowden at the airport.
An unnamed Aeroflot official also told Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency that the former CIA technician was indeed on board Flight SU213 which landed in Moscow.
Smoke and mirrors?

Shortly after flight 213 landed, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino tweeted that “The Government of Ecuador had received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden.” Cars baring license plates for the Ecuadorian diplomatic mission were spotted at Moscow International Airport Sheremetyevo.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino reacts as he speaks at a news conference in Hanoi June 24, 2013. (Reuters / Kham)
Ecuador’s ambassador to Russia, Chavez Zavala, was also seen at the airport. Just moments before stepping into a hotel on the airport’s premises, he reportedly told journalists: “We’re waiting for [Sarah] Harrison. We’re going to talk to them.”
Although Snowden had reportedly taken a suite at the «V-Express» Capsule Hotel in Terminal E of the airport’s transit area, no visual confirmation of the former contractor has surfaced despite the myriad passengers and swarm of journalists staking out quite possibly the world’s most wanted man.
A source at Aeroflot told Interfax news agency that Snowden had checked into the hotel, noting that “he cannot leave the terminal as he has no Russian visa.” Harrison, he added, did have a Russian visa.
Another source told the agency of the unprecedented security measures which had been taken “to maintain Snowden’s security and to guarantee his safe departure.”
“Everything has been done to allow Snowden to spend the night peacefully at the airport’s capsule hotel and to fly quietly to Cuba,” the source continued.
However, on Monday evening a source at the hotel later told RT that Snowden had in fact never checked in or out of the facility.
It bears recalling that WikiLeaks, which did everything possible to draw attention to Snowden’s location between takeoff and landing, has a vested interest in concealing the whistleblower’s actual movements.
Ecuador has already shown its willingness to take big political risks by granting Assange diplomatic asylum at its London embassy, where the Wikileaks founder has remained holed up for over a year. With round the clock police surveillance and a diplomatic standoff with the UK government set to last for years, Quito might have decided on avoiding another diplomatic showdown by facilitating Snowden’s safe passage before he arrives in Ecuador.
Destination unknown

Once Snowden failed to show for his Havana-bound flight, RT’s Irina Galushko noted there were at least four flights leaving on Monday that could put Snowden on route to Ecuador.
A source familiar with the situation earlier told Interfax that Snowden might take the next flight to Latin America via Cuba.
“He’s probably got another ticket also via Cuba, as there are no direct flights [from Moscow] to Caracas or Quito.”
Like so much other information that has leaked out of Moscow’s international hub, nothing ever materialized. The same source later told Interfax that Snowden was probably already outside of the Russian Federation.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Indian counterpart in New Delhi, Secretary of State John Kerry said he had no knowledge of Snowden’s final destination, adding he would be deeply troubled if Moscow or China had prior notice of Snowden’s travel plans, Reuters reports.
More baffling to Washington is how Snowden ever left Hong Kong as his passport had been revoked one day prior. On the same day, the US asked Hong Kong to hand over Snowden under the terms of a 1998 extradition treaty with the Chinese territory.
However, The Hong Kong special administrative region [HKSAR] government said their decision not to block Snowden’s departure stemmed from the fact that “the documents provided by the US government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.”
“As the HKSAR government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong. The HKSAR government has already informed the US government of Mr Snowden’s departure,” the statement continued.
On Friday, federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Snowden for leaking a trove of documents regarding the NSA’s clandestine surveillance programs.
Snowden was charged with theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.” The last two charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act, which allow for the issuance of an international arrest warrant against him.
Russia, which has no extradition treaty with the US, said it would be under no obligation to hand over a US citizen. Foreign Minister. Sergey Lavrov has previously said Russia would be willing to consider an asylum request from Snowden.
However, an unnamed security official told RIA-Novosti news agency on Monday that no orders for Snowden’s arrest have been dispatched through Interpol to Russian law enforcement agencies.
Speaking from Hanoi on Monday, Patino said he did not know Snowden’s current whereabouts, or where the whistleblower planned to travel next.
The Ecuadorian FM, who read a letter in which Snowden likened himself to Bradley Manning, the US army private who is currently on trial for leaking classified information to Wikileaks, intimated that the former NSA contractor’s asylum request would be considered on human rights grounds.
Following news that Snowden’s passport had been revoked, State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said he “should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the United States.”
That Snowden could leave Hong Kong on an invalidated passport despite the charges leveled against him speaks volumes about the fallout from the United States sweeping surveillance activities.
And despite the massive troves of information the US government continues to cull both at home and abroad through PRISM and related surveillance programs, one critical fact remains elusive: where in the world is Edward Snowden?


Read more: http://www.trueactivist.com/hide-and-leak-where-is-edward-snowden/

- (http://www.trueactivist.com/hide-and-leak-where-is-edward-snowden/)-----------------------------------------

Snowden hoodwinks world on Cuba magical mystery tour
http://www.france24.com/en/files/imagecache/aef_ct_wire_image/images/afp/photo_1372145699999-1-0.jpg (http://www.france24.com/en/files/imagecache/aef_ct_wire_image_lightbox/images/afp/photo_1372145699999-1-0.jpg?1372152646)Aeroflot flight SU 150 to Havana, on the stand at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on June 24, 2013. US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was scheduled to occupy a seat to Cuba but never appeared.


AFP - Throughout the 12-hour Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Havana, the window seat 17A stood conspicuously empty, waiting for a passenger who never came.
This was the seat that according to Aeroflot's flight records fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was scheduled to occupy, supposedly on his way to claiming asylum in South America.
But like a twist from a Hollywood spy thriller, the main protagonist never showed up and the supporting cast -- dozens of journalists including AFP correspondents packed onto the aircraft -- were left chasing shadows.
In the end, the journalists had travelled to the other side of the world to find themselves none the wiser as to where on earth Edward Snowden was.
"I have a feeling that we are all participating in some grandiose spy conspiracy," said Olga Denisova, a journalist with Voice of Russia radio. "The fact that we have not seen him for two days means he is receiving some good support."
After arriving from Hong Kong on Sunday, Snowden and his legal assistant Sarah Harrison were checked in on Aeroflot SU 150 from Moscow to Havana for Monday, Aeroflot records seen by AFP showed.
Snowden was allocated 17 A and Harrison 17 C. But as boarding was completed and the last calls were made, the pair never showed up.
When the heavy doors of the Airbus 330 shut tight, several dozen journalists, who had bought the $2,000 round-trip tickets during a mad scramble to get onto Snowden's plane, realised they would be making the 12-hour journey to Cuba without him.
Passengers on the flight to Cuba boarded the plane amid extra security but most regular travellers seemed unaware of the espionage drama unfolding in front of them.
Snowden had been widely expected to be the last passenger to get on the plane. Several reporters watched the main entrance like hawks ignoring the pleas of the crew to take their seats and not to crowd the entryway.
"We are expecting seven more passengers," said the crew. Several minutes later the countdown went to three. Finally, all passengers were on board but Snowden was not among them.
Refusing to give up hope, some journalists speculated that Snowden might have boarded the aircraft through a different entrance directly from the tarmac, while others suggested he was hiding in the cockpit.
Takeoff was some 30 minutes behind schedule. Up in the air came the realisation that Snowden might have never intended to board that plane.
"I think he would have been a total fool if he took the flight. You can see for yourself the frenzy here," said flight attendant Yelena as she prepared to serve champagne to passengers in business class.
"I would do just the same."
Even without the passengers, the two empty seats in the 17th row drew curious stares. Camera clicks could occasionally be heard as reporters took their pictures.
But after the initial excitement, by the time the plane touched down in Havana at around 2300 GMT Monday, the flight felt like any other long haul route.
Mystery surrounded Snowden's whereabouts since he arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on Sunday.
As a transit passenger planning to travel to Latin America, he had been widely expected to spend the night at a hotel at the airport but hotel officials never confirmed his stay.
It was still unclear if Snowden had himself changed the scheduled travel plans or if higher forces -- like Russian special services -- could have been involved.
Arriving in Havana empty-handed, the reporters on the flight still said they had to be on that plane.
"I am starting to see the funny side of things," said Jussi Niemelainen, a Moscow correspondent for Helsingin Sanomat, a Finnish newspaper. "But sometimes you just have to follow your instincts."
"We've been fooled," said Anna Nemtsova, a Moscow correspondent for Newsweek and a contributor for NBC News television. "But I am sticking around for a couple of days to make sure he does not arrive by the next plane."

Peter Lemkin
06-25-2013, 04:00 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin says US whistleblower was still at Moscow airport, and was free to leave.
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2013 15:41


















Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the US whistleblower Edward Snowden was still in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, and was free to leave and should do so as soon as possible.

Putin told a news conference during a visit to Finland on Tuesday that he hoped the affair would not affect relations with Washington, which wants Russia to send the former National Security Agency contractor to the US, but indicated Moscow would not hand him over.

"We can only hand over foreign citizens to countries with which we have an appropriate international agreement on the extradition of criminals," Putin said, adding that Snowden has committed no crime in Russia.
He dismissed US accusations against Russia over the case as "rubbish," saying that Russian security agencies had not worked with Snowden.

The news comes a day after he was reported to have left Moscow for Havana, apparently en route to Ecuador.
Ricardo Patino, the foreign minister of Ecuador, where Snowden is seeking asylum to evade being arrested by the United States for leaking classified details about its spying programme, said on Tuesday that the country knew nothing about his whereabouts or what documents he might be using to travel.
Earlier reports suggested that Snowden took a flight out of Moscow on Monday, having arrived there from Hong Kong the previous day.
The United States has annulled Snowden's passport and wants him returned to face espionage charges for revealing details of two widespread surveillance programmes. Washington has strongly criticised China for allowing Snowden to leave Hong Kong.
Chinese rebuttal

China said on Tuesday, however, that the United States' accusations of Beijing facilitating Snowden's departure from Hong Kong were "groundless and unacceptable".
Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, told a regular briefing that all parties should accept that the Hong Kong government had handled Snowden's case in accordance with the law.

The White House said Hong Kong's decision was "a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant, and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the US-China relationship".
Meanwhile, Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblowing website Wikileaks, has described Snowden as "healthy and safe", but did not provide any details of his whereabouts. Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador in a separate case, and has been living in the country's London embassy for more than a year.
Snowden has been charged by the US of espionage and spying after he revealed to Western newspapers how the United States' National Security Agency spies on the internet and phone activities of billions of people.

Adele Edisen
06-26-2013, 03:47 AM
US Rulers Fear American People
By Finian Cunningham

he American rulers are jealously guarding their criminal behaviour and that is
why they are hunting down with a vengeance people like Snowden who are seen to
be exposing this criminality.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35419.htm [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001hkPcq4bua2hPtbX2jjdouhpxL_vc-unjh9xo_NP5fRkvItTHaTqQWuGCGERvzs8VJRk_7gIsjAvSEPL QmU4cUAgRURTx3p8V66D6kJAeq6_2arpfJhmz2XdQUexxfaIQd 0JvpPS0fcTiUNAL7r8KRxJTnnZK-Eh94tz8WuPlJto=]




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US Rulers Fear American People

By Finian Cunningham

June 25, 2013 "Information Clearing House - What the disclosures of former CIA contractor Edward Snowden show perhaps above all else is just how petrified the leaders of the United States have become - of ordinary citizens both in the US and around the world. When we say “leaders” we mean the ruling elite - the top one percent of the financial-corporate-military-industrial complex and its bought- and paid-for politicians.

The international manhunt by the US authorities for Snowden, which has accelerated with his flight to Moscow to evade extradition from Hong Kong, is indicative of the desperation in Washington’s elitist establishment to quash him and what he is revealing about their despotic rule.

Today, the US has evolved into a dystopia, not a democracy, where obscene wealth and privilege stand in the face of massive poverty and misery. One indicator of this abysmal inequality is the fact that the 400 richest Americans have more material wealth than 155 million of their fellow citizens combined. Another datum: some 50 million Americans - a sixth of the population - are surviving on food handouts. Unemployment, homelessness, suicide rates, prescription drug addiction, rampant gun crime all speak in different ways of social meltdown.

American society is collapsing from the sheer weight of its decrepit capitalist economy. The social system is unsustainable. It is like a distended rotten sack that is coming apart at the seams from inexorable burgeoning pressure. This is not unique to the US. All around the world, people are rebelling against the inequity of crony capitalism - there is only one form of capitalism - from Europe to the Arab Middle East, from Turkey to Brazil.

But the US is a phenomenal case in point of collapsing capitalist society. It’s hard to believe that not so long ago, within living memory; the US was regarded as the economic paradigm of the world. Now it more and more resembles a giant sprawling ghetto of unremitting poverty that is interspersed with a few gated rich communities, the latter populated by the top one percent of society.

This is the historical context for fully understanding the significance of gargantuan state surveillance by the elite against the citizenry, as revealed by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The American ruling class, as with their elite counterparts around the world, are figuratively sitting within their privileged niches and petrified by the mounting discontent “outside”. Through their criminal ransacking and rigging of wealth, the powers-that-be have through their own insatiable greed created a powerful potential enemy -virtually the entire population, both in the US and around the world.

In this highly unstable situation of elites and masses that bankrupt capitalism has furnished, “democracy” can no longer be tolerated by the rulers. That is why the rulers have embarked on massive information gathering, monitoring, spying and surveillance. It is all about maintaining “control” of a precarious and explosive disequilibrium.

One basic duty of any state is to protect its citizens from foreign enemies. Enemies are conventionally understood to be state militaries or non-state terrorist groups. But from Snowden’s revelations of US government surveillance of telecommunications, the vast bulk of America’s spying is on civilians. The phone calls, emails, cyber chats and photos of billions of people all around the world are vacuumed up and stored for analysis. Snowden disclosed in one instance how Chinese hospitals and universities - not military installations - were among the many international civilian targets for American government snooping.

US national security officials defend this global dragnet method as a necessary way to trawl for terrorists. Last week, the chief of the National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander told the American Senate that more than 50 terrorist plots against the US had been foiled by the NSA’s interception of civilian communications. The evidence for the alleged thwarted terrorist attacks cited by General Alexander was sketchy at best, so we are obliged to accept the NSA’s dubious word on its self-serving claims of success.

Even if we accept this claim on face value, an alleged terror threat numbering 50, gleaned from billions of communication files, is a negligible ratio, akin to a needle in a haystack. That means two things. First, the statistical terror threat against US citizens is likewise negligible to the point of being virtually non-existent. As Snowden himself pointed out, the chances of Americans dying from slipping in their bathtub are far great than from terrorism. The second thing is that the official pretext for global, industrial-scale infringement of privacy - that is, national security of its citizens - is grotesquely disproportionate, and therefore unjustifiable.

In the aftermath of these revelations, US President Barack Obama and his security officials are claiming that the infringements of individual privacy are minor. “No-one is listening to your phone calls,” said Obama. He also added that there must be a trade-off between national security and what he called “minor breaches” of civil liberties.

These assurances from Obama and US National Intelligence Director James Clapper, among others, are rejected by Snowden and other NSA whistleblowers, as well as by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is litigating against the American government over the recent revelations. Official claims of limited surveillance and breaches are also repudiated by various digital privacy advocates, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as by common knowledge of American constitutional rights.

Edward Snowden says that when he was working at the NSA, he had clearance to hack into anyone’s email “including the president’s”. That is far from “minor”.

Another former senior employee of the NSA, Thomas Drake, who was prosecuted under the US Espionage Act for similar whistleblowing in 2011, says that the American government and its secret agencies have systematically “subverted the constitution” by arrogating the power to tap into all and any communications that they desire. In a narrow sense, Obama may be right that “no-one is listening to your phone calls”. Not yet, at least, but the executive powers and technology are in place for this totalitarian system of eavesdropping to be switched on.

Drake writes, “The supposed oversight, combined with enabling legislation - the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court, the congressional committees - is all a kabuki dance, predicated on the national security claim that we need to find a threat. The reality is: they [the US government] just want it all, period.” He added: “They have this extraordinary system: in effect, a 24/7 panopticon on a vast scale that it is gazing at you with an all-seeing eye.”

It seems an incredible lack of judgment among some alternative commentators who have dismissed Snowden’s revelations as trivial. Worse still, some commentators have even insinuated that the former NSA analyst is a witting or unwitting player in an elaborate CIA hoax aimed at intimidating citizens from using mass communications.

Such views badly underestimate the extent of American government criminality towards its own sacrosanct constitution and the deeply corrupting implications that has for democracy.

Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Snowden story earlier this month, has said, “The people who have learned things they didn't already know are American citizens who have no connection to terrorism or foreign intelligence, as well as hundreds of millions of citizens around the world about whom the same is true. What they have learned is that the vast bulk of this surveillance apparatus is directed not at the Chinese or Russian governments or terrorists, but at them.”

Greenwald adds, “And that is precisely why the US government is so furious and will bring its full weight to bear against these disclosures. What has been ‘harmed’ is not the national security of the US but the ability of its political leaders to work against their own citizens and citizens around the world in the dark, with zero transparency or real accountability.”

Since the US Espionage Act was instituted nearly a century ago in 1917, there have been a total of 10 prosecutions against American government employees deemed to have broken the law and compromised national security through whistleblowing. One of those was former State Department staffer Daniel Ellsberg who released the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times in 1971, revealing the spurious legal grounds for the American genocidal war on Vietnam.

Seven out of the total 10 prosecutions against whistleblowers - 70 percent - have occurred under the Obama administrations. That figure alone tells of a growing anxiety within the American ruling class. That anxiety is related to their increasingly criminal secret powers and the ongoing subversion of democracy. The American rulers are jealously guarding their criminal behaviour and that is why they are hunting down with a vengeance people like Snowden who are seen to be exposing this criminality. It is something of an irony that this week Snowden had to flee to Russia (the former “evil empire” in the words of late American President Ronald Reagan) in order to avoid extradition to the US where he is charged with felonies under the Espionage Act.

Former NSA employee Thomas Drake says that when he was working as an analyst during the Cold War he was assigned to monitor the espionage activities of Stalinist East Germany and its secret Stasi police. Drake says that the Stasi had an obsession to “knowing everything” about its citizens and kept a huge archive of paper files. However, this voluminous archiving is a fraction of what is stored and accessible by American secret services owing to the internet and digital technology. Drake describes the American NSA as “a Stasi on steroids”.

In the 1970s, US Senator Frank Church led a groundbreaking investigation into illicit American government covert operations. Church warned then that if the secret powers of the NSA were to ever become deployed against the American public - as opposed to “foreign enemies” - then that country’s democracy would be finished. That is precisely the present abysmal outcome of secret US state powers.



There are two corollaries of the imploding capitalist system, for which the US still remains the lynchpin for historical reasons. The first is the increasing militarism of the US and its Western allies to compensate for this economic demise. This militarism has evolved over the past decade since the purported 9/11 terror attacks on the US in 2001 to become a condition of “permanent war”. The present US-led covert war in Syria and underway against Iran are part of a continuum of imperialist war-making that connects Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, as well as Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Mali. This state of permanent war is needed by the waning capitalist powers to try to assert control of natural resources, markets, finance and investment against perceived rivals, such as Russia and China.


The other corollary of the historic failure of capitalism, and in particular in the US, is the imperative to assert control over social meltdown and rebellion. That is why the growth in militarism abroad has gone hand-in-glove with the intensification of surveillance powers and repression against citizens at home. American, and Western, democracy is, for all intents and purposes, a dead corpse. Only criminal wars and repression of its citizens are keeping the moribund system on a life-support system.

As Thomas Drake noted, “Since the [US] government unchained itself from the constitution after 9/11, it has been eating our democracy alive from the inside out.”

The rulers of America are despotic elites who are living in fear and trepidation of their own people and of people power around the world rising in rebellion against the misrule of capitalism.

Finian Cunningham, is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is now based in East Africa where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring.He co-hosts a weekly current affairs programme, Sunday at 3pm GMT on Bandung Radio

Adele

Magda Hassan
06-26-2013, 07:07 AM
CIA WHISTLEBLOWER, Edward Snowden has distributed encrypted copies of thousands of NSA documents all over the world.

In an interview with The Daily Beast (http://www.news.com.au/technology/snowden-hides-encrypted-nsa-files-around-the-world-8216for-safety8217/story-e6frfro0-1226670283435) , reporter Glenn Greenwald - who first broke the story of the Snowden leaks - said the former CIA contractor took "extreme precautions to ensure different people around the world have these archives to ensure the stories will inevitably be published".
Greenwald said he will be given access to the full archives "if anything happens at all to Edward Snowden" meaning that the US intelligence community has a new challenge on their hands in trying to recover all the documents and examine the full extent of the breach.
Snowden recently fled Hong Kong - where he had been hiding for weeks - to Moscow after leaking documents that proved the NSA had been spying on internet users (http://www.news.com.au/technology/everything-you-need-to-know-about-us-security-leaks-and-prism/story-e6frfro0-1226661763657) by making it legal for tech giants like Google and Facebook to provide information to it without the need for a warrant.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin (http://www.news.com.au/technology/putin-snowden-in-moscow-airport-transit/story-e6frfro0-1226669883412) today said Snowden was currently in a transit zone at Moscow airport. The whistleblower has so far managed to evade authorities (http://www.news.com.au/world-news/north-america/fugitive-edward-snowden8217s-aeroflot-plane-seat-to-havana-empty/story-fnh81jut-1226669664334). The world awaits his next move.


Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/snowden-hides-encrypted-nsa-files-around-the-world-8216for-safety8217/story-e6frfro0-1226670283435#ixzz2XIuIqgy7

Magda Hassan
06-26-2013, 07:18 AM
Because it doesn't comform to reality....

NSA takes surveillance fact sheets off websiteBy ALEX BYERS (http://www.politico.com/reporters/AlexByers.html) | 6/25/13 8:37 PM EDT
Following a complaint from two senators, the National Security Agency has removed from its website two fact sheets designed to shed light on and defend a pair of surveillance programs. Users now trying to access the documents detailing surveillance under legal authorities known as Section 215 and Section 702 receive an error message when they try to load the fact sheets.
On Monday, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) wrote to the head of the spy agency alleging that one of the documents was misleading and inaccurate. The senators claimed, without elaborating, that a fact sheet “contains an inaccurate statement about how the section 702 authority has been interpreted by the U.S. government.”
NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander responded to the two lawmakers Tuesday, and while he didn't admit inaccuracy, he said the documents could have been clearer.
"After reviewing your letter, I agree that the fact sheet that the National Security Agency posted on its website on 18 June 2013 could have more precisely described the requirements for collection under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act," Alexander said in a letter of his own (posted here (http://images.politico.com/global/2013/06/25/nsawydenudallltr.html)).
Separately Tuesday, another NSA official said the removal of the fact sheets and letter from the senators were unrelated.
“Given the intense interest from the media, the public, and Congress, we believe the precision of the source document (the statute) is the best possible representation of applicable authorities,” NSA spokesperson Judith Emmel said in a statement.
The documents, still available here (http://www.scribd.com/doc/149791922/National-Security-Agency-Section-702-of-FISA-and-Section-215-of-PATRIOT-Act-Fact-Sheets), were published in the wake of revelations about the extent of the NSA’s surveillance programs. They sought to highlight the safeguards the NSA uses to make sure American communications aren’t caught up in its surveillance — or if they are, what the NSA does to remove identifying information about U.S. citizens. Wyden and Udall, both of whom sit on the Senate Intelligence Committee, have long called for more transparency on how the NSA protects Americans’ privacy -- but said the NSA's fact sheets gave the wrong impression.
“The Senator has received the letter and appreciates that the misleading fact sheet has been taken down," Wyden spokesman Tom Caiazza said.
The NSA procedures for targeting foreigners and minimizing American communications were further unveiled last Thursday when The Guardian and Washington Post posted detailed copies of the guidelines. Many privacy advocates were not satisfied with the procedures, arguing that they give the government too much leeway when determining if a potential target is foreign or American. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had no comment on the procedures after they were disclosed.


http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2013/06/nsa-takes-surveillance-fact-sheets-off-website-167073.html

Magda Hassan
06-26-2013, 07:54 AM
Thus far, The Guardian and The Washington Post have only published FISA documents that disclosed the wholesale collection of telephone metadata, but not the authorization to monitor the electronic communications of individuals. Greenwald declined to say whether or not he possessed FISA court warrants authorizing surveillance of a specific individual.For now, Greenwald said he is taking extra precautions against the prospect that he is a target of U.S. surveillance. He said he began using encrypted email when he began communicating with Snowden in February after Snowden sent him a YouTube video walking him through the procedure to encrypt his email.

“When I was in Hong Kong, I spoke to my partner in Rio via Skype and told him I would send an electronic encrypted copy of the documents,” Greenwald said. “I did not end up doing it. Two days later his laptop was stolen from our house and nothing else was taken. Nothing like that has happened before. I am not saying it’s connected to this, but obviously the possibility exists.”



When asked if Greenwald believed his computer was being monitored by the U.S. government. “I would be shocked if the U.S. government were not trying to access the information on my computer. I carry my computers and data with me everywhere I go.”
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/25/greenwald-snowden-s-files-are-out-there-if-anything-happens-to-him.html

Magda Hassan
06-26-2013, 08:24 AM
For the Australian's here. I expect much the same sort of conversations have been taking place in a number of Western nations during this time. Interestingly, tonight we are having a leadership challenge to the death. Most definitiely Kevin Rudd does not fit in to the plans of the NSA and their acolytes. Julia has been such a good little drone.
Snowden leaks may embarrass Canberra

DateJune 26, 2013 - 12:00PM
Philip Dorling


American intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden may expose top secret Australian intelligence gathering operations and embarrass Australia's relations with neighbouring Asian countries, Australian intelligence officials fear.

We 'don't spy on each other': ex-intelligence chief (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/snowden-leaks-may-embarrass-canberra-20130625-2ov4l.html?rand=1372211898336)
Former Labor Defence Minister John Faulkner has confirmed that the heads of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and Australia's signals intelligence agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, David Irvine and Ian McKenzie, have briefed the federal parliament's intelligence committee on the US PRISM internet surveillance program.

The Australian government would not comment yesterday on whether Mr Snowden's exposés of top secret US and British intelligence and surveillance programs have been the subject of diplomatic exchanges between Canberra and Washington. Foreign Minister Bob Carr's office would not say whether he has had any exchanges with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the subject.

However Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus’s office has confirmed that a high level interagency taskforce is monitoring events and coordinating the government’s response.

"Agencies have been meeting formally on this important issue and have been coordinated in their consideration of the matter and their briefing of Ministers," a spokesperson for Mr Dreyfus said.

Defence intelligence officials speaking on condition of anonymity have acknowledged there had been "intense exchanges" on Mr Snowden's disclosures through liaison channels between the US National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency and Australia’s intelligence agencies.

Australian officials said it was still unclear precisely what information Mr Snowden may have taken from the National Security Agency and his former employer, defence and intelligence consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.

Despite this officials said there was little doubt that the intelligence contractor had "very wide access, including access to much detail of communications intelligence cooperation between the US and Australia."

"Disclosure of highly sensitive collection operations and methodology will damage Australia's intelligence capabilities. It already has done so. But there’s also risk of serious complications in our relations with our neighbours," one official said.

"The US may be able to brush aside some of the diplomatic fallout from the Snowden leak, but that may not be the case for Australia. China, Malaysia, other countries may respond to us in ways that they would not to Washington."

Officials said that the Australian government’s response to any new disclosures was being developed through the National Security Adviser in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Dr Margot McCarthy, the Attorney-General’s Department, the Defence Signals Directorate and ASIO.

The Prime Minister's department previously convened a whole of government task force to deal with the consequences of WikiLeaks' release in late 2010 of thousands of US diplomatic cables leaked by US Army private Bradley Manning.

Defence intelligence officials said that Mr Snowden’s disclosures of US and allied signals intelligence programs "will have a much greater and more lasting impact than the Manning leaks."

On Sunday the Chair of the US Senate intelligence committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein accused Mr Snowden of treason and said that his disclosures through The Guardian and Washington Post newspapers had caused "irreversible and significant damage to our country and to our allies."

In the company of a WikiLeaks staffer Mr Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow in Sunday. The US government has charged him with espionage and has revoked his passport. He has sought political asylum from the government of Ecuador.

WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange said yesterday "We are aware of where Snowden is, he is safe and his spirits are high. We cannot reveal what country he is in at this time."

Senator Faulkner told the Australian Senate on Monday that Mr Snowden’s revelations "will heighten anxiety in this country about data retention."

Speaking on the tabling of the parliament’s intelligence committee's report on telecommunications and internet data retention, the former Defence Minister said it was essential that "any legislation to establish a mandatory data retention scheme in Australia contains the strongest safeguards to protect the privacy of our citizens."
"Our challenge will be to achieve the right balance between the safety and security of our citizens, and their personal rights and freedoms, including the right to privacy, if a proposal for a mandatory data retention scheme goes forward."



Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/snowden-leaks-may-embarrass-canberra-20130625-2ov4l.html#ixzz2XJCotaBF

Peter Lemkin
06-26-2013, 08:26 AM
Thus far, The Guardian and The Washington Post have only published FISA documents that disclosed the wholesale collection of telephone metadata, but not the authorization to monitor the electronic communications of individuals. Greenwald declined to say whether or not he possessed FISA court warrants authorizing surveillance of a specific individual.For now, Greenwald said he is taking extra precautions against the prospect that he is a target of U.S. surveillance. He said he began using encrypted email when he began communicating with Snowden in February after Snowden sent him a YouTube video walking him through the procedure to encrypt his email.

“When I was in Hong Kong, I spoke to my partner in Rio via Skype and told him I would send an electronic encrypted copy of the documents,” Greenwald said. “I did not end up doing it. Two days later his laptop was stolen from our house and nothing else was taken. Nothing like that has happened before. I am not saying it’s connected to this, but obviously the possibility exists.”



When asked if Greenwald believed his computer was being monitored by the U.S. government. “I would be shocked if the U.S. government were not trying to access the information on my computer. I carry my computers and data with me everywhere I go.”
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/25/greenwald-snowden-s-files-are-out-there-if-anything-happens-to-him.html

And in case you don't know, Greewald lives in Brazil!...long arm of the US-Intelligence!?

Peter Lemkin
06-26-2013, 08:30 AM
For the Australians here. I expect much the same sort of conversations have been taking place in a number of Western nations during this time. Interestingly, tonight we are having a leadership challenge to the death. Most definitiely Kevin Rudd does not fit in to the plans of the NSA and their acolytes. Julia has been such a good little drone.
Snowden leaks may embarrass Canberra

DateJune 26, 2013 - 12:00PM
Philip Dorling


American intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden may expose top secret Australian intelligence gathering operations and embarrass Australia's relations with neighbouring Asian countries, Australian intelligence officials fear.

We 'don't spy on each other': ex-intelligence chief (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/snowden-leaks-may-embarrass-canberra-20130625-2ov4l.html?rand=1372211898336)
Former Labor Defence Minister John Faulkner has confirmed that the heads of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and Australia's signals intelligence agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, David Irvine and Ian McKenzie, have briefed the federal parliament's intelligence committee on the US PRISM internet surveillance program.

The Australian government would not comment yesterday on whether Mr Snowden's exposés of top secret US and British intelligence and surveillance programs have been the subject of diplomatic exchanges between Canberra and Washington. Foreign Minister Bob Carr's office would not say whether he has had any exchanges with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the subject.

However Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus’s office has confirmed that a high level interagency taskforce is monitoring events and coordinating the government’s response.

"Agencies have been meeting formally on this important issue and have been coordinated in their consideration of the matter and their briefing of Ministers," a spokesperson for Mr Dreyfus said.

Defence intelligence officials speaking on condition of anonymity have acknowledged there had been "intense exchanges" on Mr Snowden's disclosures through liaison channels between the US National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency and Australia’s intelligence agencies.

Australian officials said it was still unclear precisely what information Mr Snowden may have taken from the National Security Agency and his former employer, defence and intelligence consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.

Despite this officials said there was little doubt that the intelligence contractor had "very wide access, including access to much detail of communications intelligence cooperation between the US and Australia."

"Disclosure of highly sensitive collection operations and methodology will damage Australia's intelligence capabilities. It already has done so. But there’s also risk of serious complications in our relations with our neighbours," one official said.

"The US may be able to brush aside some of the diplomatic fallout from the Snowden leak, but that may not be the case for Australia. China, Malaysia, other countries may respond to us in ways that they would not to Washington."

Officials said that the Australian government’s response to any new disclosures was being developed through the National Security Adviser in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Dr Margot McCarthy, the Attorney-General’s Department, the Defence Signals Directorate and ASIO.

The Prime Minister's department previously convened a whole of government task force to deal with the consequences of WikiLeaks' release in late 2010 of thousands of US diplomatic cables leaked by US Army private Bradley Manning.

Defence intelligence officials said that Mr Snowden’s disclosures of US and allied signals intelligence programs "will have a much greater and more lasting impact than the Manning leaks."

On Sunday the Chair of the US Senate intelligence committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein accused Mr Snowden of treason and said that his disclosures through The Guardian and Washington Post newspapers had caused "irreversible and significant damage to our country and to our allies."

In the company of a WikiLeaks staffer Mr Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow in Sunday. The US government has charged him with espionage and has revoked his passport. He has sought political asylum from the government of Ecuador.

WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange said yesterday "We are aware of where Snowden is, he is safe and his spirits are high. We cannot reveal what country he is in at this time."

Senator Faulkner told the Australian Senate on Monday that Mr Snowden’s revelations "will heighten anxiety in this country about data retention."

Speaking on the tabling of the parliament’s intelligence committee's report on telecommunications and internet data retention, the former Defence Minister said it was essential that "any legislation to establish a mandatory data retention scheme in Australia contains the strongest safeguards to protect the privacy of our citizens."
"Our challenge will be to achieve the right balance between the safety and security of our citizens, and their personal rights and freedoms, including the right to privacy, if a proposal for a mandatory data retention scheme goes forward."



Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/snowden-leaks-may-embarrass-canberra-20130625-2ov4l.html#ixzz2XJCotaBF

Maybe its time to bring up the issue of Pine Gap again...and the 'effect' it had on a former Oz PM. To my knowledge, Pine Gap is still fully functional, a major node in the worldwide electronic data collection, and a base on Oz territory that is manned by Americans and American troops! I hear that very few Ozzies ever get inside - and the public has little knowledge of what is going on there. I believe it is antipodal to the main downlink GCHQ uses and tied in with a system of spy satellites run by NSA and a few other US electronic spy agencies [oh, yes, we have several!]

Magda Hassan
06-26-2013, 09:38 AM
Maybe its time to bring up the issue of Pine Gap again...and the 'effect' it had on a former Oz PM. To my knowledge, Pine Gap is still fully functional, a major node in the worldwide electronic data collection, and a base on Oz territory that is manned by Americans and American troops! I hear that very few Ozzies ever get inside - and the public has little knowledge of what is going on there. I believe it is antipodal to the main downlink GCHQ uses and tied in with a system of spy satellites run by NSA and a few other US electronic spy agencies [oh, yes, we have several!]
Peter, I will have you know that Pine Gap is not a US base. It is a 'Joint Facility'. The Australians are allowed inside to make tea for the US personel there.

Lauren Johnson
06-26-2013, 03:57 PM
Peter, I will have you know that Pine Gap is not a US base. It is a 'Joint Facility'. The Australians are allowed inside to make tea for the US personell there.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmwqnqL3Hbg

Peter Lemkin
06-26-2013, 07:31 PM
Snowden seems to be a bug stuck in amber for the moment. There is no way to get a clear picture of what is going on....but much must be. He is still in limbo at the airport in Moscow - or so we are told - no sightings of him there at all. Maybe he will just appear somewhere, or maybe he is negotiating and waiting...or..... Strange. But, he was working in very strange 'territory'. I would imagine the denouement will be as surprising as all has been to date.

Magda Hassan
06-27-2013, 03:22 AM
The NSA Chief’s WikiLeaks Moment
Jason Ditz, June 23, 2013

“I really don’t know who WikiLeaks are, other than this Assange person.”
– NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander
If you read through the transcript (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/week-transcript-nsa-director-gen-keith-alexander/story?id=19457454&singlePage=true#.Uce2YFOkkpy) of NSA Director Keith Alexander’s appearance on ABC this morning, you’re mostly reading deliberately ambiguous nonsense and overt lies, with the uniting theme being things that, if taken at face value, would please a voting majority of Congress.
Except when Gen. Alexander was asked about whether he thought WikiLeaks was real journalism or not. This question has long fascinated the state-endorsed media in America, and there are two ways Alexander could’ve plausibly gone, either insisting WikiLeaks was, as Congressmen so often say, a villainous den of data-thieves, or he could’ve dodged the question by saying, quite correctly, that who is and isn’t a “real” journalist isn’t up to the NSA. Instead we get the above quote, which suggests Alexander has barely even heard the word “WikiLeaks,” other than it being the name of the evil gerbil on South Park or something.
He didn’t just plead ignorance, he pled shocking, implausible ignorance. The titular head of the largest planetary surveillance system in the history of mankind, the guy whose agency reads all our email, has data on every phone call, etc. has never even looked cursorily into WikiLeaks, a huge global clearinghouse of leaked classified information. That’s not the “least untruthful” kind of lie we come to expect from this administration, it’s not even a reasonable lie.
Then again, what if it’s the truth?
As unreasonable as it sounds, suppose Gen. Alexander is just shockingly bad at his job, and knows less about information gathering than your average high-schooler. Suppose the person sitting in this seat of unfathomable, uncheckable power at the dawn of the information age is just a grossly incompetent buffoon who, as is so often in government bureaucracies, failed upward until he found himself at the top.
That shred of hope is sure going to make me sleep a little better at night.
http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/06/23/the-nsa-chiefs-wikileaks-moment/

Peter Lemkin
06-27-2013, 10:57 AM
Edward Snowden

In the course of his professional life in the world of national security Edward Snowden must have gone through numerous probing interviews, lie detector examinations, and exceedingly detailed background checks, as well as filling out endless forms carefully designed to catch any kind of falsehood or inconsistency. The Washington Post (June 10) reported that “several officials said the CIA will now undoubtedly begin reviewing the process by which Snowden may have been hired, seeking to determine whether there were any missed signs that he might one day betray national secrets.”
Yes, there was a sign they missed – Edward Snowden had something inside him shaped like a conscience, just waiting for a cause.
It was the same with me. I went to work at the State Department, planning to become a Foreign Service Officer, with the best – the most patriotic – of intentions, going to do my best to slay the beast of the International Communist Conspiracy. But then the horror, on a daily basis, of what the United States was doing to the people of Vietnam was brought home to me in every form of media; it was making me sick at heart. My conscience had found its cause, and nothing that I could have been asked in a pre-employment interview would have alerted my interrogators of the possible danger I posed because I didn’t know of the danger myself. No questioning of my friends and relatives could have turned up the slightest hint of the radical anti-war activist I was to become. My friends and relatives were to be as surprised as I was to be. There was simply no way for the State Department security office to know that I should not be hired and given a Secret Clearance. 1 (http://williamblum.org/aer/read/118#fn-1-a)
So what is a poor National Security State to do? Well, they might consider behaving themselves. Stop doing all the terrible things that grieve people like me and Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning and so many others. Stop the bombings, the invasions, the endless wars, the torture, the sanctions, the overthrows, the support of dictatorships, the unmitigated support of Israel; stop all the things that make the United States so hated, that create all the anti-American terrorists, that compel the National Security State – in pure self defense – to spy on the entire world.
Eavesdropping on the planet

The above is the title of an essay that I wrote in 2000 that appeared as a chapter in my book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. Here are some excerpts that may help to put the current revelations surrounding Edward Snowden into perspective …
Can people in the 21st century imagine a greater invasion of privacy on all of earth, in all of history? If so, they merely have to wait for technology to catch up with their imagination.
Like a mammoth vacuum cleaner in the sky, the National Security Agency (NSA) sucks it all up: home phone, office phone, cellular phone, email, fax, telex … satellite transmissions, fiber-optic communications traffic, microwave links … voice, text, images … captured by satellites continuously orbiting the earth, then processed by high-powered computers … if it runs on electromagnetic energy, NSA is there, with high high tech. Twenty-four hours a day. Perhaps billions of messages sucked up each day. No one escapes. Not presidents, prime ministers, the UN Secretary-General, the pope, the Queen of England, embassies, transnational corporation CEOs, friend, foe, your Aunt Lena … if God has a phone, it’s being monitored … maybe your dog isn’t being tapped. The oceans will not protect you. American submarines have been attaching tapping pods to deep underwater cables for decades.
Under a system codenamed ECHELON, launched in the 1970s, the NSA and its junior partners in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada operate a network of massive, highly automated interception stations, covering the globe amongst them. Any of the partners can ask any of the others to intercept its own domestic communications. It can then truthfully say it does not spy on its own citizens.
Apart from specifically-targeted individuals and institutions, the ECHELON system works by indiscriminately intercepting huge quantities of communications and using computers to identify and extract messages of interest from the mass of unwanted ones. Every intercepted message – all the embassy cables, the business deals, the sex talk, the birthday greetings – is searched for keywords, which could be anything the searchers think might be of interest. All it takes to flag a communication is for one of the parties to use a couple or so of the key words in the ECHELON “dictionary” – “He lives in a lovely old white house on Bush Street, right near me. I can shoot over there in two minutes.” Within limitations, computers can “listen” to telephone calls and recognize when keywords are spoken. Those calls are extracted and recorded separately, to be listened to in full by humans. The list of specific targets at any given time is undoubtedly wide ranging, at one point including the likes of Amnesty International and Christian Aid.
ECHELON is carried out without official acknowledgment of its existence, let alone any democratic oversight or public or legislative debate as to whether it serves a decent purpose. The extensiveness of the ECHELON global network is a product of decades of intense Cold War activity. Yet with the end of the Cold War, its budget – far from being greatly reduced – was increased, and the network has grown in both power and reach; yet another piece of evidence that the Cold War was not a battle against something called “the international communist conspiracy”.
The European Parliament in the late 1990s began to wake up to this intrusion into the continent’s affairs. The parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee commissioned a report, which appeared in 1998 and recommended a variety of measures for dealing with the increasing power of the technologies of surveillance. It bluntly advised: “The European Parliament should reject proposals from the United States for making private messages via the global communications network accessible to US intelligence agencies.” The report denounced Britain’s role as a double-agent, spying on its own European partners.
Despite these concerns the US has continued to expand ECHELON surveillance in Europe, partly because of heightened interest in commercial espionage – to uncover industrial information that would provide American corporations with an advantage over foreign rivals.
German security experts discovered several years ago that ECHELON was engaged in heavy commercial spying in Europe. Victims included such German firms as the wind generator manufacturer Enercon. In 1998, Enercon developed what it thought was a secret invention, enabling it to generate electricity from wind power at a far cheaper rate than before. However, when the company tried to market its invention in the United States, it was confronted by its American rival, Kenetech, which announced that it had already patented a near-identical development. Kenetech then brought a court order against Enercon to ban the sale of its equipment in the US. In a rare public disclosure, an NSA employee, who refused to be named, agreed to appear in silhouette on German television to reveal how he had stolen Enercon’s secrets by tapping the telephone and computer link lines that ran between Enercon’s research laboratory and its production unit some 12 miles away. Detailed plans of the company’s invention were then passed on to Kenetech.
In 1994, Thomson S.A., located in Paris, and Airbus Industrie, based in Blagnac Cedex, France, also lost lucrative contracts, snatched away by American rivals aided by information covertly collected by NSA and CIA. The same agencies also eavesdropped on Japanese representatives during negotiations with the United States in 1995 over auto parts trade.
German industry has complained that it is in a particularly vulnerable position because the government forbids its security services from conducting similar industrial espionage. “German politicians still support the rather naive idea that political allies should not spy on each other’s businesses. The Americans and the British do not have such illusions,” said journalist Udo Ulfkotte, a specialist in European industrial espionage, in 1999.
That same year, Germany demanded that the United States recall three CIA operatives for their activities in Germany involving economic espionage. The news report stated that the Germans “have long been suspicious of the eavesdropping capabilities of the enormous U.S. radar and communications complex at Bad Aibling, near Munich”, which is in fact an NSA intercept station. “The Americans tell us it is used solely to monitor communications by potential enemies, but how can we be entirely sure that they are not picking up pieces of information that we think should remain completely secret?” asked a senior German official. Japanese officials most likely have been told a similar story by Washington about the more than a dozen signals intelligence bases which Japan has allowed to be located on its territory.
In their quest to gain access to more and more private information, the NSA, the FBI, and other components of the US national security establishment have been engaged for years in a campaign to require American telecommunications manufacturers and carriers to design their equipment and networks to optimize the authorities’ wiretapping ability. Some industry insiders say they believe that some US machines approved for export contain NSA “back doors” (also called “trap doors”).
The United States has been trying to persuade European Union countries as well to allow it “back-door” access to encryption programs, claiming that this was to serve the needs of law-enforcement agencies. However, a report released by the European Parliament in May 1999 asserted that Washington’s plans for controlling encryption software in Europe had nothing to do with law enforcement and everything to do with US industrial espionage. The NSA has also dispatched FBI agents on break-in missions to snatch code books from foreign facilities in the United States, and CIA officers to recruit foreign communications clerks abroad and buy their code secrets, according to veteran intelligence officials.
For decades, beginning in the 1950s, the Swiss company Crypto AG sold the world’s most sophisticated and secure encryption technology. The firm staked its reputation and the security concerns of its clients on its neutrality in the Cold War or any other war. The purchasing nations, some 120 of them – including prime US intelligence targets such as Iran, Iraq, Libya and Yugoslavia – confident that their communications were protected, sent messages from their capitals to their embassies, military missions, trade offices, and espionage dens around the world, via telex, radio, and fax. And all the while, because of a secret agreement between the company and NSA, these governments might as well have been hand delivering the messages to Washington, uncoded. For their Crypto AG machines had been rigged before being sold to them, so that when they used them the random encryption key could be automatically and clandestinely transmitted along with the enciphered message. NSA analysts could read the messages as easily as they could the morning newspaper.
In 1986, because of US public statements concerning the La Belle disco bombing in West Berlin, the Libyans began to suspect that something was rotten with Crypto AG’s machines and switched to another Swiss firm, Gretag Data Systems AG. But it appears that NSA had that base covered as well. In 1992, after a series of suspicious circumstances over the previous few years, Iran came to a conclusion similar to Libya’s, and arrested a Crypto AG employee who was in Iran on a business trip. He was eventually ransomed, but the incident became well known and the scam began to unravel in earnest.
In September 1999 it was revealed that NSA had arranged with Microsoft to insert special “keys” into Windows software, in all versions from 95-OSR2 onwards. An American computer scientist, Andrew Fernandez of Cryptonym in North Carolina, had disassembled parts of the Windows instruction code and found the smoking gun – Microsoft’s developers had failed to remove the debugging symbols used to test this software before they released it. Inside the code were the labels for two keys. One was called “KEY”. The other was called “NSAKEY”. Fernandez presented his finding at a conference at which some Windows developers were also in attendance. The developers did not deny that the NSA key was built into their software, but they refused to talk about what the key did, or why it had been put there without users’ knowledge. Fernandez says that NSA’s “back door” in the world’s most commonly used operating system makes it “orders of magnitude easier for the US government to access your computer.”
In February 2000, it was disclosed that the Strategic Affairs Delegation (DAS), the intelligence arm of the French Defense Ministry, had prepared a report in 1999 which also asserted that NSA had helped to install secret programs in Microsoft software. According to the DAS report, “it would seem that the creation of Microsoft was largely supported, not least financially, by the NSA, and that IBM was made to accept the [Microsoft] MS-DOS operating system by the same administration.” The report stated that there had been a “strong suspicion of a lack of security fed by insistent rumors about the existence of spy programs on Microsoft, and by the presence of NSA personnel in Bill Gates’ development teams.” The Pentagon, said the report, was Microsoft’s biggest client in the world.
Recent years have seen disclosures that in the countdown to their invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States had listened in on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UN weapons inspectors in Iraq, and all the members of the UN Security Council during a period when they were deliberating about what action to take in Iraq.
It’s as if the American national security establishment feels that it has an [I]inalienable right to listen in; as if there had been a constitutional amendment, applicable to the entire world, stating that “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the government to intercept the personal communications of anyone.” And the Fourth Amendment had been changed to read: “Persons shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, except in cases of national security, real or alleged.” 2 (http://williamblum.org/aer/read/118#fn-2-a)
The leading whistleblower of all time: Philip Agee

Before there was Edward Snowden, William Binney and Thomas Drake … before there was Bradley Manning, Sibel Edmonds and Jesselyn Radack … there was Philip Agee. What Agee revealed is still the most startling and important information about US foreign policy that any American government whistleblower has ever revealed.
Philip Agee spent 12 years (1957-69) as a CIA case officer, most of it in Latin America. His first book, Inside the Company: CIA Diary, published in 1974 – a pioneering work on the Agency’s methods and their devastating consequences – appeared in about 30 languages around the world and was a best seller in many countries; it included a 23-page appendix with the names of hundreds of undercover Agency operatives and organizations.
Under CIA manipulation, direction and, usually, their payroll, were past and present presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, and Costa Rica, “our minister of labor”, “our vice-president”, “my police”, journalists, labor leaders, student leaders, diplomats, and many others. If the Agency wished to disseminate anti-communist propaganda, cause dissension in leftist ranks, or have Communist embassy personnel expelled, it need only prepare some phoney documents, present them to the appropriate government ministers and journalists, and – presto! – instant scandal.
Agee’s goal in naming all these individuals, quite simply, was to make it as difficult as he could for the CIA to continue doing its dirty work.
A common Agency tactic was writing editorials and phoney news stories to be knowingly published by Latin American media with no indication of the CIA authorship or CIA payment to the media. The propaganda value of such a “news” item might be multiplied by being picked up by other CIA stations in Latin America who would disseminate it through a CIA-owned news agency or a CIA-owned radio station. Some of these stories made their way back to the United States to be read or heard by unknowing North Americans.
Wooing the working class came in for special treatment. Labor organizations by the dozen, sometimes hardly more than names on stationery, were created, altered, combined, liquidated, and new ones created again, in an almost frenzied attempt to find the right combination to compete with existing left-oriented unions and take national leadership away from them.
In 1975 these revelations were new and shocking; for many readers it was the first hint that American foreign policy was not quite what their high-school textbooks had told them nor what the New York Times had reported.
“As complete an account of spy work as is likely to be published anywhere, an authentic account of how an ordinary American or British ‘case officer’ operates … All of it … presented with deadly accuracy,” wrote Miles Copeland, a former CIA station chief, and ardent foe of Agee. (There’s no former CIA officer more hated by members of the intelligence establishment than Agee; no one’s even close; due in part to his traveling to Cuba and having long-term contact with Cuban intelligence.)
In contrast to Agee, WikiLeaks withheld the names of hundreds of informants from the nearly 400,000 Iraq war documents it released.
In 1969, Agee resigned from the CIA (and colleagues who “long ago ceased to believe in what they are doing”).
While on the run from the CIA as he was writing Inside the Company – at times literally running for his life – Agee was expelled from, or refused admittance to, Italy, Britain, France, West Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway. (West Germany eventually gave him asylum because his wife was a leading ballerina in the country.) Agee’s account of his period on the run can be found detailed in his book On the Run (1987). It’s an exciting read.

Adele Edisen
06-27-2013, 11:21 AM
Ron Paul on Edward Snowden

Ron Paul wonders out loud if NSA
whistle blower Michael Snowden is
next on the US government hit list.

Video: 4:41 minuets long

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/23683.html

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Peter Lemkin
06-27-2013, 03:05 PM
Snowden Coverage: If U.S. Mass Media Were State-Controlled, Would They Look Any Different? By Jeff Cohen (http://www.opednews.com/author/author1530.html)



6/26/13




[/URL]






The Edward Snowden leaks have revealed a U.S. corporate media system at war with independent journalism. Many of the same outlets -- especially TV news -- that missed the Wall Street meltdown and cheer-led the Iraq invasion have come to resemble state-controlled media outlets in their near-total identification with the government as it pursues the now 30-year-old whistleblower.

While an independent journalism system would be dissecting the impacts of NSA surveillance on privacy rights, and separating fact from fiction, U.S. news networks have obsessed on questions like: How much damage has Snowden caused? How can he be brought to justice?
Unfazed by polls showing that half of the American rabble -- I mean, public -- believe Snowden did a good thing by leaking documentation of NSA spying, TV news panels have usually excluded anyone who speaks for these millions of Americans. Although TV hosts and most panelists ar e not government officials, some have a penchant for speaking of the government with the pronoun "We."
After Snowden made it out of Hong Kong to Russia, New York Times journalist and CNBC talking head Andrew Ross Sorkin [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hvpXztqqzCc"]expressed his frustration (http://www.opednews.com/author/author1530.html): "We've screwed this up, to even let him get to Russia." By "we," he meant the U.S. government.
Last time I checked, Sorkin was working for the Times and CNBC, not the CIA or FBI.
When a huge swath of the country is on the side of the guy-on-the-run and not the government, it's much easier to see that there's nothing "objective" or "neutral" about journalists who so closely identify with the spy agencies or Justice Department or White House.
The standard exclusion of dissenting views -- panels often span from hawk ("he's a traitor who needs to be jailed") to dove ("he may have been well-intentioned but he needs to be jailed") -- offers yet another reason why young people, more libertarian in their views, have turned away from these outlets. Virtually no one speaks for them. While a TIME poll (http://swampland.time.com/2013/06/13/new-time-poll-support-for-the-leaker-and-his-prosecution/) found 53 percent of respondents saying Snowden did "a good thing," that was the sentiment of 70 percent of those age 18 to 34.

I teach college journalism classes about independent media. New developments like WikiLeaks and independent bloggers like Glenn Greenwald may scare the wits out of establishment media, but they sure don't scare young people or journalism students.
http://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadphotos/s_300_i_ytimg_com_1530_hqdefault_753.gif
by YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m59Tzh84Jys)


As media employees at elite outlets have grown cozier with their government and corporate sources (Sorkin is famously close with Wall Street CEOs (http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/05/24/sorkin-gets-the-scoop-direct-from-his-ceo-pal/)), they exhibit an almost instinctual antipathy toward those adversarial journalists who challenge powerful elites day after day.
Look at the reactions of some top mainstream journalists to Greenwald, who built up a big readership as a solo blogger before moving his blog to Salon and then the Guardian, where he broke the Snowden/NSA stories. I know several journalism professors who view Greenwald as one of the world's best journalists. He's known as accurate, thorough, well-documented and ethical.
It was Sorkin, the New York Times guy, who declared on CNBC (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130624/17584023601/journalist-andrew-ross-sorkin-suggests-us-should-arrest-glenn-greenwald-doing-journalism.shtml) that maybe Greenwald should be arrested: "I told you this in the green room -- I would arrest him [Snowden] and now I'd almost arrest Glenn Greenwald, who's the journalist who seems to be out there, almost, he wants to help him get to Ecuador."
If it's strange for a journalist to suggest another journalist's arrest, it was almost as strange when Sorkin wrote in a Times column that he went down to check out the Occupy Wall Street encampment "after getting a call (http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/10/04/nyt-biz-writer-checks-out-occupy-wall-street-based-on-ceos-worries/) from the chief executive of a major bank." Sorkin concluded: "As I wandered around the park, it was clear to me that most bankers probably don't have to worry about being in imminent personal danger. This didn't seem like a brutal group -- at least not yet."
Another mainstream media star is NBC's David Gregory (seen literally dancing with White House source Karl Rove (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdvHwtRdg_I) in 2007). Since he interviewed Greenwald on Sunday's "Meet the Press," there's been scrutiny of Gregory's factually-misleading question: "To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn't you be charged with a crime?" And of Greenwald's response: "I think it's pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies."
But I'm just as bothered by Gregory's retort -- "Well, the question of who's a journalist may be up to a debate with regards to what you're doing " -- and the ensuing discussion in mainstream outlets questioning Greenwald's bona fides as a journalist.
A Washington Post article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/on-nsa-disclosures-has-glenn-greenwald-become-something-other-than-a-reporter/2013/06/23/c6e65be4-dc47-11e2-9218-bc2ac7cd44e2_story.html) ("On NSA disclosures, has Glenn Greenwald become something other than a reporter?") questioned the blogger's credentials as a journalist because he's also an advocate: "Greenwald has appeared frequently on TV to plead Snowden's case as a whistleblower -- an advocacy role many mainstream journalists would be uncomfortable with."
The Post article spoke of "the line between journalism -- traditionally, the dispassionate reporting of facts -- and outright involvement in the news seems blurrier than ever." Libertarian journalist Matt Welch critiqued (http://reason.com/blog/2013/06/24/washington-post-puzzled-by-strange-new-c) the article as "historically illiterate."

The truth is that many of the greatest journalists in our country's history -- from Ida B. Wells to I.F. Stone (https://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/11/14-0) -- were accurate reporters of fact, but hardly dispassionate. And mainstream outlets have always had hybrid reporter/columnists offering both fact and advocacy; one of the most famous, David Broder, graced the pages of the Washington Post for years, including its front page.
Broder was a reporter, columnist and TV talking head -- yet no one questioned whether Broder was a genuine journalist. That's because, unlike Greenwald, the reporting and opinions of a David Broder were militantly pro-establishment, pro-bipartisan consensus.
And Broder's not alone as a hybrid reporter/columnist in the mainstream. Let's not forget the delightful pundit who wanted to "almost arrest" Greenwald. His official Times bio states: "Andrew Ross Sorkin is a columnist, chief mergers and acquisitions reporter, and editor of Dealbook for The New York Times."
The reason Glenn Greenwald's credentials as a journalist are being questioned by some mainstreamers is not that he blurs the line between journalist and advocate. It's because of the anti-establishment content of his journalism and advocacy.

Jan Klimkowski
06-27-2013, 08:08 PM
While an independent journalism system would be dissecting the impacts of NSA surveillance on privacy rights, and separating fact from fiction, U.S. news networks have obsessed on questions like: How much damage has Snowden caused? How can he be brought to justice?

I've often stated my judgement that the number of actual Mockingbirds in MSM is lower than is sometimes claimed.

I've yet to see a reliable source for the notorious alleged DCIA Colby claim that "The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media."

If Colby did say it, it was a lie.

And probably a psyop.

Here is my own experience of working in MSM.

There are key editors who are witting Mockingbirds, acting as gatekeepers, ensuring that stories which can damage national security are either toned down or pulled.

There are journalists who are witting Mockingbirds, in the direct pay and influence of intelligence organs, or publishing stories given to them by intelligence sources literally verbatim, without performing any journalistic due diligence.

There are journalists who are unwitting Mockingbirds, for instance through relying on a source who, unknown to the reporter, is an intelligence asset.

However, the Mockingbirds in key editorial and managerial positions can have a devastating impact in terms of setting and controlling the agenda. I suspect that in most American newsrooms it has been made clear that How much damage has Snowden caused? How can he be brought to justice? IS the angle, and promoting any other angle will not make it onto air or into print, and represents career suicide.

Here in the UK, several "security correspondents" have been commissioned to make programmes or write articles about "the huge number of terror plots that have been thwarted by Prism type techniques". These are not journalistic pieces. There is no sense that if the security correspondent found that actually Prism has prevented next to no terror attacks, then this would be reported in their piece. So we are forced to conclude that their pieces are actually propaganda.

In my experience, there are a high number of witting Mockingbirds amongst security correspondents.

Magda Hassan
06-27-2013, 09:55 PM
Now there's an novel idea! Are you reading this NSA? Give peace a chance.



So what is a poor National Security State to do? Well, they might consider behaving themselves. Stop doing all the terrible things that grieve people like me and Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning and so many others. Stop the bombings, the invasions, the endless wars, the torture, the sanctions, the overthrows, the support of dictatorships, the unmitigated support of Israel; stop all the things that make the United States so hated, that create all the anti-American terrorists, that compel the National Security State – in pure self defense – to spy on the entire world.

I know, fat chance.

Jan Klimkowski
06-28-2013, 06:41 PM
Pentagon censorship of mainstream British newspaper.

Must keep those teenage mutant ninja drone killer minds clear of anything resembling independent thought.....

Can you imagine the squeals of outrage from the spectrum of idiocy that extends from Cheney to Obama, an increasingly short but condensed spectrum, if China or Russia had banned access to the New York Times or Faux News?


US army blocks access to Guardian website to preserve 'network hygiene'

Military admits to filtering reports and content relating to government surveillance programs for thousands of personnel


Spencer Ackerman and Dan Roberts in Washington
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/28/us-army-blocks-guardian-website-access), Friday 28 June 2013 16.42 BST
Jump to comments (261)

The Pentagon insisted the Department of Defense was only seeking to restrict access to certain content. Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters

The US army has admitted to blocking access to parts of the Guardian website for thousands of defence personnel across the country.

A spokesman said the military was filtering out reports and content relating to government surveillance programs to preserve "network hygiene" and prevent any classified material appearing on unclassified parts of its computer systems.

The confirmation follows reports in the Monterey Herald that staff at the Presidio military base south of San Francisco had complained of not being able to access the Guardian's UK site at all, and had only partial access to the US site, following publication of leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Pentagon insisted the Department of Defense was not seeking to block the whole website, merely taking steps to restrict access to certain content.

But a spokesman for the Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command (Netcom) in Arizona confirmed that this was a widespread policy, likely to be affecting hundreds of defence facilities.

"In response to your question about access to the guardian.co.uk website, the army is filtering some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks," said Gordon Van Vleet, a Netcom public affairs officer.

"The Department of Defense routinely takes preventative 'network hygiene' measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information onto DoD unclassified networks."

The army stressed its actions were automatic and would not affect computers outside military facilities.

"The department does not determine what sites its personnel can choose to visit while on a DoD system, but instead relies on automated filters that restrict access based on content concerns or malware threats," said Van Vleet. "The DoD is also not going to block websites from the American public in general, and to do so would violate our highest-held principle of upholding and defending the constitution and respecting civil liberties and privacy."

Similar measures were taken by the army after the Guardian and other newspapers published leaked State Department cables obtained via WikiLeaks.

"We make every effort to balance the need to preserve information access with operational security, however there are strict policies and directives in place regarding protecting and handling classified information," added the Netcom spokesman.

"Until declassified by appropriate officials, classified information – including material released through an unauthorized disclosure – must be treated accordingly by DoD personnel. If a public website displays classified information, then filtering may be used to preserve 'network hygiene' for DoD unclassified networks."

A Defense Department spokesman at the Pentagon added: "The Guardian website is NOT being blocked by DoD. The Department of Defense routinely takes preventative measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information onto DoD unclassified networks."

Magda Hassan
06-29-2013, 01:03 AM
I thought I would just mention that the use of private corporations in the government intel business is not recent. Christopher Boyle of Snowman and the Falcon fame was working for TRW Inc when he learned while working there about the US destabilising the Whitlam government in Australia in the early to mid 1970's.

Magda Hassan
06-29-2013, 11:05 AM
'Network hygiene'? Who makes these names up? Sounds reminiscent of 'Racial Hygiene' too. Same intent.


US army blocks access to Guardian website to preserve 'network hygiene'

Military admits to filtering reports and content relating to government surveillance programs for thousands of personnel

Peter Lemkin
06-29-2013, 11:09 AM
'Network hygiene'? Who makes these names up? Sounds reminiscent of 'Racial Hygiene' too. Same intent.


US army blocks access to Guardian website to preserve 'network hygiene'

Military admits to filtering reports and content relating to government surveillance programs for thousands of personnel



Any Military Personnel found looking at the Guardian site will have their eyes 'waterboarded' with caustic water to cleanse the icky 'hygiene' :lol:

Jan Klimkowski
06-29-2013, 11:56 AM
'Network hygiene'? Who makes these names up? Sounds reminiscent of 'Racial Hygiene' too. Same intent.


US army blocks access to Guardian website to preserve 'network hygiene'

Military admits to filtering reports and content relating to government surveillance programs for thousands of personnel



The Department of Volkland Security entirely understands the nuances of language.....

Peter Lemkin
06-29-2013, 07:32 PM
Greenwald: Every Phone Call is Recorded and Stored-- A Globalized System Designed to Destroy Privacy, includes video By Rob Kall (http://www.opednews.com/rob)



http://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadnic/screen-shot-2013-06-29-at-9-33-38-am-png_2_20130629-648.png
Glenn Greenwald speaking to the audience via Skype, on 4 Huge Screens by Margo Rush




Glenn Greenwald, in a skyped in talk to the Socialism 2013 Conference (http://www.socialismconference.org/), told the audience, for the first time, according to him, about his experience going through the process of encountering, interacting with Ed Snowden, at first anonymously, then seeing his first evidence that Snowden was the real deal. "It made me dizzy," he described.

Greenwald, who has been a regular at the conference for several years, told the audience that a bombshell he would soon be releasing was that "NSA can redirect to its storage one billion cell phone calls every thing day. They are storing every call and have the capability to listen to them... It is a globalized system designed to destroy all privacy--- with no accountabliity and no safeguards."


He described the debate about his journalism is " being led by TV actors who play the role of journalists on TV. "

Glenn discussed how the US military's banning of access to the Guardian, the paper he publishes with, at all military bases, was better than receiving a Pulitzer or any other journalism award. He cited David Halberstam, saying, "David Halberstam viewed the measure of good journalism by how much you anger the people in power."

http://www.opednews.com/populum/cachedimages/s_500_opednews_com_0_screen-shot-2013-06-29-at-9-08-40-am-png_2_20130629-912.gif
Jeremy Scahill by Margo Rush



Greenwald was introduced by fellow investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, who spoke before Greenwald. Scahill said, "What Glenn Greenwald has done in the past few weeks, with his reporting is to shake the foundations of power. " and, also, in Scahill's own talk, he said, "there already was a coup in this country. It happened a long time ago. It was when corporations took control."

Glenn talked at length about Edward Snowden. Here are some of the quotes from his talk. (They're from notes so some may be paraphrased. Check the video below for the verbatim wording.)

There's more to life than material comfort or career stability or trying to live as long as you can. He judged his life based on his beliefs and the actions he took in the face of those beliefs.

Here's the video of Greenwald below. This is almost an hour and worth every second. He is scathing about the mainstream media. So was Scahill. More tomorrow-- I'm on my way back to the Socialism 2013 conference (http://www.socialismconference.org/). #s13 on twitter.

Jan Klimkowski
06-29-2013, 08:53 PM
No surprise here.

They're all in it together....

I sense more "Network Hygiene" coming along to stop ordinary folk reading the, ahem, truth about the military-multinational-intelligence complex.

They'll be particularly irritated at Madsen's claims being given prominence by The Observer, the Sunday sister paper of The Guardian.



Revealed: secret European deals to hand over private data to America

Germany 'among countries offering intelligence' according to new claims by former US defence analyst

Jamie Doward
The Observer (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/29/european-private-data-america), Saturday 29 June 2013 21.02 BST
Jump to comments (138)

Wayne Madsen, an NSA worker for 12 years, has revealed that six EU countries, in addition to the UK, colluded in data harvesting.

At least six European Union countries in addition to Britain have been colluding with the US over the mass harvesting of personal communications data, according to a former contractor to America's National Security Agency, who said the public should not be "kept in the dark".

Wayne Madsen, a former US navy lieutenant who first worked for the NSA in 1985 and over the next 12 years held several sensitive positions within the agency, names Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Italy as having secret deals with the US.

Madsen said the countries had "formal second and third party status" under signal intelligence (sigint) agreements that compels them to hand over data, including mobile phone and internet information to the NSA if requested.

Under international intelligence agreements, confirmed by declassified documents, nations are categorised by the US according to their trust level. The US is first party while the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand enjoy second party relationships. Germany and France have third party relationships.

In an interview published last night on the PrivacySurgeon.org blog, Madsen, who has been attacked for holding controversial views on espionage issues, said he had decided to speak out after becoming concerned about the "half story" told by EU politicians regarding the extent of the NSA's activities in Europe.

He said that under the agreements, which were drawn up after the second world war, the "NSA gets the lion's share" of the sigint "take". In return, the third parties to the NSA agreements received "highly sanitised intelligence".

Madsen said he was alarmed at the "sanctimonious outcry" of political leaders who were "feigning shock" about the spying operations while staying silent about their own arrangements with the US, and was particularly concerned that senior German politicians had accused the UK of spying when their country had a similar third-party deal with the NSA.

Although the level of co-operation provided by other European countries to the NSA is not on the same scale as that provided by the UK, the allegations are potentially embarrassing.

"I can't understand how Angela Merkel can keep a straight face, demanding assurances from [Barack] Obama and the UK while Germany has entered into those exact relationships," Madsen said.

The Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Ludford, a senior member of the European parliament's civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, said Madsen's allegations confirmed that the entire system for monitoring data interception was a mess, because the EU was unable to intervene in intelligence matters, which remained the exclusive concern of national governments.

"The intelligence agencies are exploiting these contradictions and no one is really holding them to account," Ludford said. "It's terribly undermining to liberal democracy."

Madsen's disclosures have prompted calls for European governments to come clean on their arrangements with the NSA. "There needs to be transparency as to whether or not it is legal for the US or any other security service to interrogate private material," said John Cooper QC, a leading international human rights lawyer. "The problem here is that none of these arrangements has been debated in any democratic arena. I agree with William Hague that sometimes things have to be done in secret, but you don't break the law in secret."

Madsen said all seven European countries and the US have access to the Tat 14 fibre-optic cable network running between Denmark and Germany, the Netherlands, France, the UK and the US, allowing them to intercept vast amounts of data, including phone calls, emails and records of users' access to websites.

He said the public needed to be made aware of the full scale of the communication-sharing arrangements between European countries and the US, which predate the internet and became of strategic importance during the cold war.

The covert relationship between the countries was first outlined in a 2001 report by the European parliament, but their explicit connection with the NSA was not publicised until Madsen decided to speak out.

The European parliament's report followed revelations that the NSA was conducting a global intelligence-gathering operation, known as Echelon, which appears to have established the framework for European member states to collaborate with the US.

"A lot of this information isn't secret, nor is it new," Madsen said. "It's just that governments have chosen to keep the public in the dark about it. The days when they could get away with a conspiracy of silence are over."

This month another former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, revealed to the Guardian previously undisclosed US programmes to monitor telephone and internet traffic. The NSA is alleged to have shared some of its data, gathered using a specialist tool called Prism, with Britain's GCHQ.

Magda Hassan
06-30-2013, 02:54 AM
Exposing the Dark Forces Behind the Snowden Smears

Who is planting anti-Snowden attacks with Buzzfeed, and why is the website playing along?

By Max Blumenthal

June 29, 2013 "Information Clearing House (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/) - "Alternet (http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/exposing-dark-forces-behind-snowden-smears?paging=off)" --- Since journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed the existence of the National Security Agency’s PRISM domestic surveillance program, he and his source, the whistleblower Edward Snowden, have come in for a series of ugly attacks. On June 26, the day that the New York Daily News published a straightforward smear piece (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/greenwald-reporter-broke-nsa-story-lawyer-sued-porn-biz-article-1.1383448) [3] on Greenwald, the website Buzzfeed rolled out a remarkably similar article, (http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/how-glenn-greenwald-became-glenn-greenwald) [4] a lengthy profile that focused on Greenwald’s personal life and supposed eccentricities.
Both outlets attempted to make hay out of Greenwald’s involvement over a decade ago on the business end of a porn distribution company, an arcane detail that had little, if any, bearing on the domestic spying scandal he sparked. The coordinated nature of the smears prompted Reuters media columnist Jack Shafer to ask if an opposition research firm (https://twitter.com/jackshafer/status/350058336105934848) [5] was behind them. “I wonder who commissioned the file,” he mused on Twitter.
A day before the Greenwald attacks appeared, Buzzfeed published an anonymously sourced story (http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/exclusive-documents-illuminate-ecuadors-spying-practices) [6] about the government of Ecuador, which had reportedly offered asylum to Snowden (Ecuador has just revoked a temporary travel document (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/28/edward-snowden-ecuador-julian-assange) [7] issued to Snowden). Written by Rosie Gray and Adrian Carasquillo, the article relied on documents marked as “secret” that were passed to Buzzfeed by sources described as “activists who wished to call attention to the [Ecuadorian] government’s spying practices in the context of its new international role” as the possible future sanctuary of Snowden.
Gray and Carasquillo reported that Ecuador’s intelligence service had attempted to procure surveillance technology from two Israeli firms. Without firm proof that the system was ever put into use, the authors claimed the documents “suggest a commitment to domestic surveillance that rivals the practices by the United States’ National Security Agency.” (Buzzfeed has never published a critical report on the $3 billion in aid the US provides to Israel each year, which is used to buy equipment explicitly designed for repressing, spying on and killing occupied Palestinians).
Buzzfeed’s Ecuador expose supported a theme increasingly advanced (http://www.vanityfair.com/online/eichenwald/2013/06/errors-edward-snowden-global-hypocrisy-tour) [8] by Snowden’s critics -- that the hero of civil libertarians and government transparency activists was, in fact, a self-interested hypocrite content to seek sanctuary from undemocratic regimes. Curiously, those who seized on the story had no problem with Buzzfeed’s reporters relying on leaked government documents marked as classified. For some Snowden detractors, the issue was apparently not his leaking, but which government his leaks embarrassed.
Questionable journalism ethics, evidence of smears
At first glance, Buzzfeed's Ecuador expose might have seemed like riveting material. Upon closer examination, however, the story turned out to be anything but the exclusive the website promoted it as. In fact, the news of Ecuador’s possible deal with Israeli surveillance firms was reported (http://alekboyd.blogspot.com/2013/06/edward-snowden-ecuador-rafael-correa-julian-assange-wikileaks.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AlekBoyd+%28Alek+Boyd%29) [9] hours before Buzzfeed’s piece appeared by Aleksander Boyd, a blogger and activist with close ties to right-wing elements in South America. “Rafael Correa's Ecuadorian regime spies on its citizens in a way strikingly similar to what Snowden accuses the U.S. of doing,” claimed Boyd.
Later in the day, Boyd contacted Buzzfeed’s Gray through Twitter, complimenting her piece before commenting, (https://twitter.com/alekboyd/status/349832582873088000) [10] “Evidently Ecuadorian source leaked same info to you guys, seems I jumped the gun before you…”

http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/large/public/screen_shot_2013-06-27_at_1.51.19_am.png

Since Boyd contacted Gray, who has not publicly responded, Buzzfeed has not credited him or altered its headline to acknowledge that its story was not an exclusive. Buzzfeed’s refusal to acknowledge Boyd was not only a testament to the kind of questionable practices (http://gawker.com/5922038/remix-everything-buzzfeed-and-the-plagiarism-problem) [11] that have plagued the outlet (http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/my-final-word-buzzfeed-and-emad-burnats-detention-lax) [12] since its inception, it helped obscure the story’s disturbing origins.
Boyd’s disclosure that a single source shopped opposition research to him and Buzzfeed at the same time confirmed the existence of a coordinated campaign orchestrated by elements exploiting the Snowden drama for political gain. Boyd’s remark that he “jumped the gun” suggests that the source intended for Buzzfeed to be the first to publish the story, and that he inadvertently embarrassed the site by running with it before them. There is also the possibility that Boyd was the source all along, and that his tweet to Gray was designed to establish deniability. Either way, the source seemed to be carefully managing the operation, wielding Snowden as a cudgel against the Ecuadorian government and timing the story for maximum impact.
Soliciting smears, dreaming of headless opponents
Who is Boyd, and how did he appear in the middle of the Snowden saga?
A London-based representative of Venezuela’s political opposition, Boyd solicits his services as an opposition researcher, informing potential clients through his official bio, (http://alekboyd.blogspot.com/) [13] “Alek can be contracted to do due diligence on individuals and companies in Venezuela and LatAm.”
As I reported for The Electronic Intifada (http://electronicintifada.net/content/oslo-freedom-forum-founders-ties-islamophobes-who-inspired-mass-killer-anders-breivik/12451) [14], Boyd has repeatedly promoted terrorism and assassination against members of the elected government of Venezuela. Back in 2004, Boyd wrote, “I wish I could decapitate in public plazas [Venezuelan politicians] Lina Ron and Diosdado Cabello. I wish I could torture for the rest of his remaining existence Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel … I wish I could fly over Caracas slums throwing the dead bodies of the criminals that have destroyed my country … Only barbaric practices will neutralize them, much the same way [Genghis] Khan did. I wish I was him.” A year later, he declared, “Re: advocating for violence yes I have mentioned in many occasions that in my view that is the only solution left for dealing with [Hugo] Chavez.”
In 2008, Boyd’s services were contracted by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), an NGO run by a veteran conservative activist named Thor Halvorssen. (http://electronicintifada.net/content/oslo-freedom-forum-founders-ties-islamophobes-who-inspired-mass-killer-anders-breivik/12451) [14] The son of a Venezuelan oligarch and former CIA asset who funneled money to the Nicaraguan Contras, Halvorssen founded HRF to publicize the human rights abuses of Hugo Chavez’s government. His first cousin, Leopoldo Lopez, the son of an oil industry executive, is one of the most visible leaders of the Venezuelan opposition, and as such, has received substantial financial support from the US. In 2002, Lopez was among the politicians who momentarily seized power from Chavez during a failed coup attempt. At the 2010 Oslo Freedom Forum, a yearly confab Halvorssen promotes as “the Davos of human rights,” Lopez was presented to an audience of foreign correspondents and diplomats as a “human rights leader.”
Boyd claimed (http://alekboyd.blogspot.com/2010/06/guadalupe-llori-and-justice-in-ecuador.html) [15] that during his year and a half working for Halvorssen, he successfully campaigned for the release of Guadelupe Llori, an Ecuadorian opposition politician jailed by Correa under charges of sabotage and terrorism for her role in leading a crippling oil workers’ strike. (After her release, Llori was junketed to Halvorssen’s Oslo Freedom Forum). During this time Boyd visited Llori in prison in Ecuador while meeting (http://jodca-venezuela.blogspot.com/2008/07/alek-boyd-visits-venezuela-interview.html) [16] opposition activists “to coordinate future projects,” as he told an interviewer. Whether this was how he made initial contact with the source that supplied him and Buzzfeed with the documents on Ecuador’s deal with the Israeli surveillance firms is unknown.
Boyd may have never met Buzzfeed’s Gray, however, each are well acquainted with Halvorssen. This May, Gray was among the select cadre of journalists flown to the Oslo Freedom Forum to provide positive PR for Halvorssen and his global operation. Gray returned with a fawning profile (http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/is-this-the-face-of-a-new-global-human-rights-movement) [17] of Halvorssen, portraying him as an iconoclastic activist whose “job of opposing strongmen is arguably more media-friendly than that of anyone doing human rights work today.”
In contrast to Buzzfeed’s profile of Greenwald, Gray cast Halvorssen’s eccentricities as charming quirks that bore little relevance to the larger story. And his intimate ties to the right-wing Venezuelan opposition and the oligarchic forces seeking to topple socialist-oriented governments in South America went unmentioned.
Right-wing corporate lobbyists target Correa
Ecuador’s Correa is among the most popular of the Latin American leaders to embrace Hugo Chavez’s socialist economic model. Having defiantly defaulted on $3.2 billion in foreign loans, he has been able to leverage his country’s oil wealth to drastically expand social programs, improving access to education and doubling spending on healthcare while lowering poverty rates by a remarkable five percent since he took office in 2007. Naturally, Correa’s rejection of neoliberal policies has earned him a fair share of enemies, especially among the elites who have traditionally governed Ecuador. In 2010, he resisted a coup attempt (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/oct/01/rafael-correa-ecuador-coup) [18] led by Lucio Gutierrez, a former president who earned the wrath of Ecuador’s poor by implementing crushing IMF-imposed austerity measures.
Correa’s opponents may have resorted to zero-sum politics, but his response has not always been judicious. He has, for example, advanced (http://www.hrw.org/americas/ecuador) [19] criminal libel laws as a means of punishing opposition media and has battled indigenous groups that protested his attempts to open their land up to wide-scale state mining operations. The Committee to Protect Journalists has accused (http://www.cpj.org/reports/2011/09/confrontation-repression-correa-ecuador.php) [20] Correa of leading Ecuador “into a new era of widespread repression.”
Of all the enemies Correa has earned, some of his fiercest reside not in Quito, but in the conservative think tanks of Washington. They include George W. Bush’s former Latin America handlers and a coterie of corporate-bankrolled right-wing radicals determined to unravel the South American socialist bloc.
Ezequiel Vazquez Ger, (http://www.americas-forum.com/opinion/ezequiel-vazquez-ger/) [21] an Argentina-born economist, is among the most aggressive of Correa’s antagonists. Vazquez Ger works for a DC-based lobbying firm run by Otto Reich, a Cuban exile who served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs under the second Bush administration. In 1987, Reich was singled out (http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2002/10/14/021014fa_fact1?currentPage=all) [22] during the US Comptroller General’s investigation of Iran-Contra for having “engaged in prohibited, covert propaganda activities” on behalf of the Nicaraguan Contras. He is also suspected (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2002/feb/08/britainand911.usa) [23] of helping the anti-Castro terrorist Orlando Bosch escape prosecution in Venezuela.
Reich contracted Vazquez Ger in 2011 to help him oversee a portfolio of corporate clients (http://www.ottoreich.com/www.ottoreichassociates.com/Samples_of_Work.html) [24] that included Lockheed Martin, Exxon Mobil, and Bacardi International, the rum company whose lawyers drafted much of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act tightening the US embargo of Cuba. Before he partnered with Reich, Vazquez Ger served as a Latin American fellow at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Atlas_Economic_Research_Foundation) [25] a corporate funded think tank that promotes climate change denialism and sweeping deregulation policies.
To compliment their lobbying operation, Vazquez Ger and Reich have churned out a steady stream (http://www.americas-forum.com/opinion/ezequiel-vazquez-ger/) [21] of op-eds for publications from Foreign Policy to Fox News to the Miami Herald, (http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/02/3377184/ecuadors-correa-a-continued-assault.html#.UYgWrGnNCys.twitter) [26] demonizing the socialist leaders of South America who have stifled the ambitions of multi-national corporations. During the past year, they homed in on Correa, assailing him for sheltering Assange while he cracked down on opposition media. In a June 2012 op-ed (http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Ecuador-trade-Assange-Correa/2012/06/22/id/443202#ixzz2XV3nUe3D) [27] for the right-wing Newsmax website, Reich and Vazquez Ger cited Assange as a key reason why the US should refuse to sign any further trade agreements with Ecuador. “Signing or renewing trade agreements with Ecuador will only allow Rafael Correa to continue undermining US foreign policy,” they wrote, “trading with our enemies, and destroying his country’s democracy.” (Following threats from Congress over its alleged offer to shelter Snowden, Ecuador’s government unilaterally rejected (http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/06/27/v-print/3473295/ecuador-rejects-us-trade-preferences.html) [28] US trade preferences).
When Buzzfeed published its expose on Ecuador, Vazquez Ger was overjoyed. A heavily trafficked US news site had recycled he and Reich’s attacks on Correa’s support for Assange, this time framing Ecuador’s president as a hypocrite for supposedly offering asylum to Snowden. At 7:28 PM on June 25 -- a full 27 minutes after the article appeared -- Vazquez Ger took to Twitter to promote (https://twitter.com/ezequielvazquez/status/349670392266358784) [29] the piece to his Spanish-language followers. Next, he personally thanked (https://twitter.com/ezequielvazquez/status/350080341056299008) [30] Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith “for unmasking [Correa’s] hypocrisy.”
The following day, at a press conference in Ecuador, Interior Minister Jose Serrano was asked to answer for the Buzzfeed report. Buzzfeed’s Gray quickly picked up Serrano’s defensive comments, quoting them (http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/ecuador-defends-domestic-surveillance) [31] in a follow-up story alongside a strident denunciation of Correa’s sheltering of Assange by Cléver Jiménez, a key opposition leader. Meanwhile, Alek Boyd projected the story of Ecuador’s surveillance deal into South American media, publishing it as an “exclusive” (http://www.semana.com/mundo/articulo/rafael-correa-tambien-espia-ciudadanos/348935-3) [32] in Semana, a leading Colombian daily.
Whoever planted the story with Buzzfeed appeared to have scored a major success, exploiting the Snowden drama to tarnish the image of Ecuador’s government. Though the identity of the source that triggered the operation may never be known, their agenda does not seem to be much of a mystery anymore.
Max Blumenthal is the author of Republican Gomorrah (Basic/Nation Books, 2009). Twitter at @MaxBlumenthal

Peter Lemkin
06-30-2013, 05:02 AM
"Network Hygiene" leads to Mental Hygiene; which necessitates Mind Control and Brain Washing.......We are WAY beyond '1984' now, Toto! :nono:

Peter Lemkin
07-02-2013, 05:06 AM
FISA Judge Who Approved Massive NSA Spying Identified? By Rob Kall (http://www.opednews.com/rob)



6/30/13













The Washington Post has a new article out,

Secret-court judges upset at portrayal of "collaboration' with government (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/secret-court-judges-upset-at-portrayal-of-collaboration-with-government/2013/06/29/ed73fb68-e01b-11e2-b94a-452948b95ca8_story.html).


And the article does report that the judge was annoyed that the idea of collaborating with the government was an inaccurate portrayal.


But it seems that the bigger story is that this judge is THE judge, who, all alone, decided that it was okay for the NSA and whoever else had access, to spy on ALL Americans. Her name is Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colleen_Kollar-Kotelly).


http://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadnic/screen-shot-2013-06-30-at-5-14-50-pm-png_2_20130630-0.png
Colleen Kollar-Kotelly by Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kotelly.jpg)


Here's the excerpt from the WaPo article that is most significant:
On July 14, 2004, the surveillance court for the first time approved the gathering of information by the NSA, which created the equivalent of a digital vault to hold Internet metadata. Kollar-Kotelly's order authorized the metadata program under a FISA provision known as the "pen register/trap and trace," or PRTT.
The ruling was a secret not just to the public and most of Congress, but to all of Kollar-Kotelly's surveillance court colleagues. Under orders from the president, none of the court's other 10 members could be told about the Internet metadata program, which was one prong of a larger and highly classified data-gathering effort known as the President's Surveillance Program, or PSP.
But the importance of her order -- which approved the collection based on a 1986 law typically used for phone records -- was hard to overstate. "The order essentially gave NSA the same authority to collect bulk Internet metadata that it had under the PSP," the inspector general's report said, with some minor caveats including reducing the number of people who could access the records.

On May 24, 2006, Kollar-Kotelly signed another order, this one authorizing the bulk collection of phone metadata from U.S. phone companies, under a FISA provision known as Section 215, or the "business records provision," of the USA Patriot Act. "


A 2006 Washingtonpost article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/08/AR2006020802511.html) also mentions Kollar-Kotelly, so the news is not a first time revelation of her tie to the authorization. The older article also refers to her predecessor, Royce C. Lamberth and suggests that they had serious concerns about the legality of the program, instituted when George W. Bush was president;
" Both judges expressed concern to senior officials that the president's program, if ever made public and challenged in court, ran a significant risk of being declared unconstitutional, according to sources familiar with their actions. Yet the judges believed they did not have the authority to rule on the president's power to order the eavesdropping, government sources said, and focused instead on protecting the integrity of the FISA process.
It was an odd position for the presiding judges of the FISA court, the secret panel created in 1978 in response to a public outcry over warrantless domestic spying by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. The court's appointees, chosen by then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, were generally veteran jurists with a pro-government bent, and their classified work is considered a powerful tool for catching spies and terrorists."


Perhaps this judge has been portrayed unfairly, as collaborating with the government. But more important, it seems to put a face-- THE face-- on the American who decided it was okay to spy on every other American.


Regardless of her raising of concerns, she went ahead and, with her unique power, as head of the secretive FISA Court, made an even more secret decision to approve the worse spying in the history of America. In spite of evidence of abuses, that the 2006 WaPo article reported, she went ahead and approved further, more egregious and aggressive spying. It looks like she never said no, when asked.


She should be called before congress and questioned. And she should be more worried about what she DID than what is said about her so far. There is no question that she did approve the horrific level of spying we now know the NSA engages in.


The question is, how did any protector of the citizens-- the duty of every elected and appointed government official, ever allow a single person to make such an important decision-- and who decided to keep it secret? Because they violated their oath and should be punished to the full extent of the law.

Magda Hassan
07-02-2013, 06:45 AM
It is good to see the Washington Post being 'courageous' as Sir Humphrey would say.

She looks very 'hygienic'.

Magda Hassan
07-02-2013, 02:17 PM
James Clapper is still lying to America (http://www.salon.com/2013/07/01/this_man_is_still_lying_to_america/)A smoking gun shows Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is a big liar -- and it's not the first timeBY DAVID SIROTA (http://www.salon.com/writer/david_sirota/)
TOPICS: JAMES CLAPPER (http://www.salon.com/topic/james_clapper), NSA (http://www.salon.com/topic/nsa), EDWARD SNOWDEN (http://www.salon.com/topic/edward_snowden), NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE COUNCIL (http://www.salon.com/topic/national_intelligence_council), PERJURY (http://www.salon.com/topic/perjury), LIES (http://www.salon.com/topic/lies),CONGRESS (http://www.salon.com/topic/congress), MEDIA CRITICISM (http://www.salon.com/topic/media_criticism), BARACK OBAMA (http://www.salon.com/topic/barack_obama), FOURTH AMENDMENT (http://www.salon.com/topic/fourth_amendment), EDITOR'S PICKS (http://www.salon.com/topic/editors_picks), POLITICS NEWS (http://www.salon.com/category/politics/)

James Clapper
(Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
“James Clapper Is Still Lying”: That would be a more honest headline for yesterday’s big Washington Post article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/misinformation-on-classified-nsa-programs-includes-statements-by-senior-us-officials/2013/06/30/7b5103a2-e028-11e2-b2d4-ea6d8f477a01_story.html) about the director of national intelligence’s letter to the U.S. Senate.
Clapper, you may recall, unequivocally said “no, sir” in response to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asking him: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper’s response was shown to be a lie by Snowden’s disclosures, as well as by reports from the Guardian (http://www.euronews.com/2013/07/01/greenwald-nsa-can-obtain-one-billion-cell-phone-calls-a-day-store-them-and-lis/), the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-surveillance-architecture-includes-collection-of-revealing-internet-phone-metadata/2013/06/15/e9bf004a-d511-11e2-b05f-3ea3f0e7bb5a_story.html), the Associated Press (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/secret-prism-success-even-bigger-data-seizure) and Bloomberg News (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-14/u-s-agencies-said-to-swap-data-with-thousands-of-firms.html)(among others). This is particularly significant, considering lying before Congress prevents the legislative branch from performing oversight and is therefore a felony.
Upon Snowden’s disclosures, Clapper initially explained his lie by insisting that his answer was carefully and deliberately calculated to be the “least untruthful” (http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/homeland-security/304995-james-clapper-four-strikes-and-youre-out) response to a question about classified information. Left unmentioned was the fact that he could have simply given the same truthful answer that Alberto Gonzales gave the committee in 2006 (http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/11/making-alberto-gonzales-look-good/?_r=0).
Now, though, Clapper is wholly changing his story, insisting that his answer wasn’t a deliberate, carefully calibrated “least most untruthful” response; it was instead just a spur-of-the-moment accident based on an innocent misunderstanding. Indeed, as the Post reports, “Clapper sent a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 21 saying that he had misunderstood the question he had been asked” and adding that “he thought Wyden was referring to NSA surveillance of e-mail traffic involving overseas targets, not the separate program in which the agency is authorized to collect records of Americans’ phone calls.” In his letter, Clapper says, “My response was clearly erroneous — for which I apologize,” and added that “mistakes will happen, and when I make one, I correct it.”
So Clapper first says it was a calculated move, and now he’s saying it was just an innocuous misunderstanding and an inadvertent error. With that, the public — and the Obama administration prosecutors who aggressively pursue perjurers (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/michael_mccann/04/16/roger.clemens.trial.preview/index.html) — are all supposed to now breathe a sigh of relief and chalk it all up to a forgivable screw-up. It’s all just an innocent mistake, right?
Wrong, because in this crime, as Clapper’s changing story suggests, there remains a smoking gun.
Notice this statement from Sen. Wyden (http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-statement-responding-to-director-clappers-statements-about-collection-on-americans) about Snowden’s disclosures — a statement, mind you, that the Post didn’t reference in its story yesterday (emphasis added):

“One of the most important responsibilities a Senator has is oversight of the intelligence community. This job cannot be done responsibly if Senators aren’t getting straight answers to direct questions. When NSA Director Alexander failed to clarify previous public statements about domestic surveillance, it was necessary to put the question to the Director of National Intelligence. So that he would be prepared to answer, I sent the question to Director Clapper’s office a day in advance. After the hearing was over my staff and I gave his office a chance to amend his answer.
So Clapper had a full day’s notice of the specific — and impossible to misunderstand — question Wyden asked, and is nonetheless now claiming that in the heat of the moment he spontaneously misunderstood the question. In other words, he’s not coming clean, as the Post story seems to imply. On the contrary, he’s lying about his deliberate lie, which should only make a perjury prosecution that much easier, for it shows intent.
The importance of such a perjury prosecution, of course, should not be lost on our constitutional law professor-turned-president.
Out of all people, he has to understand that equal protection under the law means treating Clapper (and Alexander, who also lied to Congress (http://hotair.com/archives/2013/06/07/video-did-the-nsa-director-lie-to-congress/)) exactly the same way his administration treated pitcher Roger Clemens (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/michael_mccann/04/16/roger.clemens.trial.preview/index.html). Otherwise, the message from the government would be that lying to Congress about baseball is more of a felony than lying to Congress about Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. Such a message would declare that when it comes to brazen law-breaking, as long as you are personally connected to the president, you get protection rather than the prosecution you deserve.
http://www.salon.com/2013/07/01/this_man_is_still_lying_to_america/

Magda Hassan
07-05-2013, 09:56 AM
NSA taught Snowden how to be a hacker.

Résumé Shows Snowden Honed Hacking Skills

By CHRISTOPHER DREW (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/christopher_drew/index.html) and SCOTT SHANE (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/scott_shane/index.html)

Published: July 4, 2013


In 2010, while working for a National Security Agency (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/national_security_agency/index.html?inline=nyt-org) contractor, Edward J. Snowden learned to be a hacker.





He took a course that trains security professionals to think like hackers and understand their techniques, all with the intent of turning out “certified ethical hackers” who can better defend their employers’ networks.
But the certification, listed on a résumé that Mr. Snowden later prepared, would also have given him some of the skills he needed to rummage undetected through N.S.A. computer systems and gather the highly classified surveillance documents that he leaked last month, security experts say.
Mr. Snowden’s résumé, which has not been made public and was described by people who have seen it, provides a new picture of how his skills and responsibilities expanded while he worked as an intelligence contractor. Although federal officials offered only a vague description of him as a “systems administrator,” the résumé suggests that he had transformed himself into the kind of cybersecurity expert the N.S.A. is desperate to recruit, making his decision to release the documents even more embarrassing to the agency.
“If he’s looking inside U.S. government networks for foreign intrusions, he might have very broad access,” said James A. Lewis, a computer security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The hacker got into the storeroom.”
In an age when terabytes of data can be stashed inside palm-size devices, the new details about Mr. Snowden’s training and assignments underscore the challenges that the N.S.A. faces in recruiting a new generation of free-spirited computer experts with diverse political views.
Mr. Snowden, who is now marooned at an airport in Moscow waiting to see if another country will grant him asylum, has said he leaked the documents to alert the public to the sweeping nature of the American government’s surveillance. He took a job as an “infrastructure analyst” with Booz Allen Hamilton (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/booz-allen-hamilton-holding-corporation/index.html?inline=nyt-org) in April at an N.S.A. facility in Hawaii, he has said, to gain access to lists of computers that the agency had hacked around the world.
Mr. Snowden prepared the résumé shortly before applying for that job, while he was working in Hawaii for the N.S.A. with Dell (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/dell_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the computer maker, which has intelligence contracts. Little has been reported about his four years with Dell, but his résumé, as described, says that he rose from supervising computer system upgrades for the spy agency in Tokyo to working as a “cyberstrategist” and an “expert in cyber counterintelligence” at several locations in the United States.
In what may have been his last job for Dell in Hawaii, he was responsible for the security of “Windows infrastructure” in the Pacific, he wrote, according to people who have seen his résumé. He had enough access there to start making contacts with journalists in January and February about disclosing delicate information. His work for Dell may also have enabled him to see that he would have even more access at Booz Allen.
Some intelligence experts say that the types of files he improperly downloaded at Booz Allen suggest that he had shifted to the offensive side of electronic spying or cyberwarfare (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/cyberwarfare/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier), in which the N.S.A. examines other nations’ computer systems to steal information or to prepare attacks. The N.S.A.’s director, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, has encouraged workers to try their skills both defensively and offensively, and moving to offense from defense is a common career pattern, officials say.
Whatever his role, Mr. Snowden’s ability to comb through the networks as a lone wolf — and walk out the door with the documents on thumb drives — shows how the agency’s internal security system has fallen short, former officials say.
“If Visa can call me and say, ‘Are you in Dakar, Senegal?’ when they see a purchase that doesn’t fit my history, then we ought to be able to detect something like this,” said Michael V. Hayden, a former director of the N.S.A. and the C.I.A. (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/central_intelligence_agency/index.html?inline=nyt-org) “That continuous monitoring does not seem to have been in place.”
But Michael Maloof, a software developer who supplied internal monitoring systems to private companies, said that with Mr. Snowden’s training in hacking, he “would have known to keep his probes low and slow, a little bit here, a little bit there, so there was nothing to detect.”
If alarms went off as he grabbed documents, Mr. Maloof said, Mr. Snowden might have been able to explain away the alerts by saying that he was merely testing the protections as part of his security job.
Mr. Snowden grew up in Baltimore’s southern suburbs, where many of his neighbors would have been tech-savvy N.S.A. employees working at the agency’s headquarters at Fort Meade. Conventional schooling did not agree with him, and he dropped out of high school and eventually sought technical training in a series of courses.


As early as 2003, when he was 20, he showed interest in the skills, prized by hackers, required to operate anonymously online. “I wouldn’t want God himself to know where I’ve been, you know?” he, or someone identified as him from his screen name and other details, wrote on a forum on the tech news site Ars Technica.


Three years later, about the time he joined the C.I.A., he had discovered the long list of jobs available to anyone with computer expertise who could pass a detailed “lifestyle” polygraph test and get a security clearance. “If you’re cleared, have a lifestyle, and have specialized I.T. skills, you can go anywhere in the world right now,” he wrote under the screen name TheTrueHOOHA.
By the next year, he was a C.I.A. technician posted in Geneva, operating under cover as a “diplomatic attaché,” as his résumé calls the job. His C.I.A. job appears to have been standard I.T. work, though in an exotic high-security setting.
He was “called upon repeatedly” for TDYs, he wrote, using government jargon for temporary duty, “including support of U.S. president.” That reference, government officials say, is probably related to assistance with computer security or other routine assignments during presidential trips to Europe.
Mr. Snowden said he got “six months of classified technical training,” and he claimed to have served as “technical adviser to 3rd countries across the region,” presumably meaning Europe.
Evidently still in Switzerland in early 2009, Mr. Snowden referred to the United States’ aggressive high-tech spying, but with a sarcastic edge.
“We love that technology,” he wrote in a chat later published by Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/06/exclusive-in-2009-ed-snowden-said-leakers-should-be-shot-then-he-became-one/). “Helps us spy on our citizens better.”
By 2010, he had switched agencies and moved to Japan to work for Dell as an N.S.A. contractor, and he led a project to modernize the backup computer infrastructure, he said on the résumé. That year also appears to have been pivotal in his shift toward more sophisticated cybersecurity.
He gained his certification as an “ethical hacker” by studying materials that have helped tens of thousands of government and corporate security workers around the world learn how hackers gain access to systems and cover their tracks.
The program, operated by a company called EC-Council, has a code of honor that requires ethical hackers to keep private any confidential information that they obtain in checking systems for vulnerabilities. Sanjay Bavisi, the company’s president, said he knew of only one person who had lost his certification for making information public.
For years, N.S.A. officials have visited hacker gatherings to promote the agency and recruit workers. General Alexander, the director, gave the keynote address a year ago at Defcon, a large hacker conference, in Las Vegas. But Mr. Snowden’s profile will now be carefully studied by intelligence officials for clues about how to hire skilled young hackers without endangering the agency’s secrets.
John R. Schindler, a former N.S.A. official who now teaches at the Naval War College, said that the background investigation for Mr. Snowden’s security clearance was clearly flawed. “For years, N.S.A. and now the Cyber Command have struggled with how to relate to the hacker community,” he added. “It’s obvious that some sort of arrangement to allow hackers to work for N.S.A. and the intelligence community in a systematic way is needed.”





http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/us/resume-shows-snowden-honed-hacking-skills.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0

Magda Hassan
07-05-2013, 12:57 PM
Meanwhile, the Germans are calling the latest revelation about GCHQ spying "catastrophic".

Is this hot air?

Sour grapes because this intelligence was not being shared with Gehlen Org, sorry, German intelligence?

Or genuine fury which will lead to retaliatory measures?



GCHQ monitoring described as a 'catastrophe' by German politicians

Federal ministers demand clarification from UK government on extent of spying conducted on German citizens

Conal Urquhart and agencies
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/22/gchq-spying-catastrophe-german-politicans), Saturday 22 June 2013 18.03 BST

The German justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, said the accusations 'sound like a Hollywood nightmare'. Photograph: Ole Spata/Corbis

Britain's European partners have described reports of Britain's surveillance of international electronic communications as a catastrophe and will seek urgent clarification from London.

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German justice minister said the report in the Guardian read like the plot of a film.

"If these accusations are correct, this would be a catastrophe," Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said in a statement to Reuters. "The accusations against Great Britain sound like a Hollywood nightmare. The European institutions should seek straight away to clarify the situation."

Britain's Tempora project enables it to intercept and store immense volumes of British and international communications for 30 days.

With a few months to go before federal elections, the minister's comments are likely to please Germans who are highly sensitive to government monitoring, having lived through the Stasi secret police in communist East Germany and with lingering memories of the Gestapo under the Nazis.

"The accusations make it sound as if George Orwell's surveillance society has become reality in Great Britain," said Thomas Oppermann, floor leader of the opposition Social Democrats.

Orwell's novel 1984 envisioned a futuristic security state where "Big Brother" spied on the intimate details of people's lives.

"This is unbearable," Oppermann told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. "The government must clarify these accusations and act against a total surveillance of German citizens."

German spy service plans 'more online surveillance'Jun 16, 2013
Germany's foreign intelligence service plans a major expansion of Internet surveillance despite deep unease over revelations of US online spying, Der Spiegel news weekly reported on Sunday.

Spiegel said that the BND planned a 100 million euro ($130 million) programme over the next five years to expand web monitoring with up to 100 new staff members on a "technical reconnaissance" team.
The report came ahead of a state visit to Berlin by US President Barack Obama (http://phys.org/tags/barack+obama/) during which the German government has pledged to take up the controversy over the US phone and Internet surveillance programmes.
Spiegel said the BND aimed to monitor international data traffic "as closely as possible", noting that it currently kept tabs on about five percent of emails, Internet calls and online chats while German law allowed up to 20 percent.
Unlike the US National Security Agency (http://phys.org/tags/national+security+agency/) (NSA), Germany's BND is not allowed to store the data but must filter it immediately.
"Of course our intelligence services (http://phys.org/tags/intelligence+services/) must have an Internet presence," Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Der Spiegel, without confirming the details of the report.
The state must ensure "that we balance the loss of control over communication by criminals with new legal and technological means," he added.
Under the so-called PRISM programme that was exposed this month, the NSA can issue directives to Internet firms (http://phys.org/tags/internet+firms/) such as Google and Facebook to gain access to emails, online chats, pictures, files and videos uploaded by foreign users.
Germany, where sensitivity over government surveillance (http://phys.org/tags/government+surveillance/) is particularly heightened due to widespread spying on citizens by communist East Germany's despised Stasi, said last week it was sending a list of questions to the Obama administration about the programme.
The European Union has also expressed disquiet over the scheme and warned of "grave adverse consequences" to the rights of European citizens (http://phys.org/tags/european+citizens/).

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-german-spy-online-surveillance.html#jCp

Magda Hassan
07-05-2013, 01:00 PM
And then there is France....


France 'runs vast electronic spying operation using NSA-style methods'

Intelligence agency has spied on French public's phone calls, emails and internet activity, says Le Monde newspaper

Angelique Chrisafis (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/angeliquechrisafis) in Paris
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/), Friday 5 July 2013 03.13 AEST

The French president, François Hollande, who said after claims of US spying on the EU that such practices must 'cease immediately'. Photograph: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

France runs a vast electronic surveillance (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/surveillance) operation, intercepting and stocking data from citizens' phone and internet (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/internet) activity, using similar methods to the US National Security Agency's Prism programme (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/prism?INTCMP=SRCH) exposed by Edward Snowden, Le Monde (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/le-monde) has reported.
An investigation by the French daily (http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2013/07/04/revelations-sur-le-big-brother-francais_3441973_3224.html) found that the DGSE, France's external intelligence agency, had spied on the French public's phone calls, emails and internet activity. The agency intercepted signals from computers and phones in France as well as between France and other countries, looking not so much at content but to create a map of "who is talking to whom", the paper said.
Le Monde said data from emails, text messages, phone records, accessing of Facebook and Twitter, and internet activity going through sites such as Google, Microsoft or Yahoo! was stocked for years on vast servers on three different floors in the basement of the DGSE headquarters.
The paper described the vast spying programme as secret, "outside any serious control" and illegal.
The metadata from phone and internet use was stocked in a "gigantic database" which could be consulted by six French intelligence and security agencies as well as the police.
The paper said Bernard Barbier, technical director of the DGSE, had previously described the system as "probably the biggest information centre in Europe (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/europe-news) after the English".
Referring to the system as a "French Big Brother", Le Monde said the French state was able to use the surveillance "to spy on anybody at any time". The paper wrote: "All of our communications are spied on."
Le Monde said that after Snowden's revelations about the NSA (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/nsa)'s Prismsurveillance programme prompted indignation in Europe, France "only weakly protested, for two excellent reasons: Paris already knew about it, and it was doing the same thing".
When revelations about the Prism programme harvesting citizens' data emerged, the French government did not immediately comment. But after fresh allegations about the US spying on the European Union and foreign embassies, including the French embassy in Washington (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/30/nsa-leaks-us-bugging-european-allies?INTCMP=SRCH), the president, François Hollande, said these practices must "cease immediately". France demanded the suspension of talks on the EU-US free trade pact until it had received full explanations about surveillance.
The foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said this week that France did not spy on the US embassy in Paris because "between partner countries" these "were not the sorts of things that should happen". Asked about the US spying, Fleur Pellerin, the junior minister for the digital economy, told BFMTV this week that she found the "generalised surveillance of citizens (http://www.bfmtv.com/video/bfmtv/international/fleur-pellerin-attendons-explications-americaines-porter-un-jugement-01-07-133820/)" was "particularly shocking".



The Guardian revealed last month that Britain's spy agency GCHQ hadsecretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world's phone calls and internet traffic (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/21/gchq-cables-secret-world-communications-nsa) and had started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it was sharing with its American partner, the NSA.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/04/france-electronic-spying-operation-nsa

Magda Hassan
07-06-2013, 12:21 AM
Venezuela has offered asylum to Snowden. As has Nicaragua. Thank you Ambassador Eacho.

Peter Lemkin
07-06-2013, 05:35 AM
Venezuela has offered asylum to Snowden. As has Nicaragua. Thank you Ambassador Eacho.

There is still a non-trivial matter of how to get him to either place, as the US has shown it will ask for planes to be forced to land for inspection and if Snowden is aboard, arrested...... all in contravention of international law. I think it will take a magician's trick to get him safely to someplace like Venezuela. Ditto Assange.....even if he wins a Parliamentary seat in Australia. The Empire has its enemies list and it plans to imprison, silence or kill those on it - by any means at its disposal - laws be damned.

Jan Klimkowski
07-07-2013, 07:50 PM
More on Gehlen Org, sorry Germany, and the NSA.

Somewhat oddly:


Der Spiegel said the interview was conducted while Snowden was living in Hawaii, via encrypted emails with US documentary maker Laura Poitras and hacker Jacob Appelbaum.

Which begs the question, why has Der Spiegel waited until now to publish details of the interview....



Edward Snowden tells Der Spiegel NSA is 'in bed with the Germans'

Interview carried out before NSA whistleblower fled to Hong Kong appears to contradict Merkel's public surprise at snooping

Reuters in Berlin (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/07/edward-snowden-spiegel-nsa-germans)
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 7 July 2013 17.22 BST
Jump to comments (55)

Angela Merkel
German opposition parties insist that somebody in Merkel's office must have known what was going on. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

America's National Security Agency works closely with Germany and other Western states on a "no questions asked"-basis, former NSA employee Edward Snowden said in comments that undermine Chancellor Angela Merkel's indignant talk of "Cold War" tactics.

"They are in bed with the Germans, just like with most other Western states," German magazine Der Spiegel quotes him as saying in an interview published on Sunday that was said to be carried out before he fled to Hong Kong in May and divulged details of extensive secret US surveillance.

"Other agencies don't ask us where we got the information from and we don't ask them. That way they can protect their top politicians from the backlash in case it emerges how massively people's privacy is abused worldwide," he said.

His comments about cooperation with governments overseas, which he said were led by the NSA's foreign affairs directorate, appear to contradict the German government's show of surprise at the scale of the US electronic snooping.

Germany has demanded explanations for Snowden's allegations of large-scale spying by the NSA, and by Britain via a programme codenamed 'Tempora', on their allies including Germany and other European Union states, as well as EU institutions and embassies.

Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed out during President Barack Obama's recent visit that Germany had avoided terrorist attacks thanks to information from allies. But she says there must be limits to the intrusion on privacy and wants this discussed next week in parallel with the start of EU-US free trade talks.

Berlin has alluded repeatedly to "Cold War" tactics – Merkel used the term again on Saturday at a political rally – and has said spying on friends is unacceptable. Her spokesman has said a transatlantic trade deal requires a level of "mutual trust".

The domestic intelligence chief has said he knew nothing of such widespread surveillance by the NSA. But German opposition parties – with an eye on September's federal election – insist that somebody in Merkel's office, where the German intelligence agencies are coordinated, must have known what was going on.

The government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Der Spiegel report, which follows a report last week in French daily Le Monde saying France also had an extensive surveillance programme.
Der Spiegel has reported that on an average day, the NSA monitored about 20 million German phone connections and 10 million internet data sets, rising to 60 million phone connections on busy days.

Germans are particularly sensitive about eavesdropping because of the intrusive surveillance in the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR) and during the Nazi era.

Snowden, a US citizen, fled in May a few weeks before the details he provided about the NSA were published and is believed to have been holed up in Moscow airport since June 23.

Bolivia offered asylum on Saturday to Snowden, joining leftist allies Venezuela and Nicaragua in defiance of Washington, which is demanding his arrest for divulging details of the secret US spy programs.

Der Spiegel said the interview was conducted while Snowden was living in Hawaii, via encrypted emails with US documentary maker Laura Poitras and hacker Jacob Appelbaum.

Snowden told them that America's closest allies sometimes went even further than the NSA in their zeal for gathering data.

The Tempora programme of Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping agency is known in the intelligence world as a "full take".

"It sucks up all information, no matter where it comes from and which laws are broken," Snowden said. "If you send a data packet and goes through Britain, we'll get it. If you download anything, and the server is in Britain, we'll get it."

If the NSA is ordered to target an individual, it virtually take over that person's data "so the target's computer no longer belongs to him, it more or less belongs to the U.S. government".

Magda Hassan
07-08-2013, 04:22 AM
Potential consequences for those who support surveillance like PRISM and haven't thought it out yet.
In These Times We Can’t Blindly Trust Government to Respect Freedom of AssociationPosted on July 7, 2013 (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/07/07/in-these-times-we-cant-blindly-trust-government-to-respect-freedom-of-association/) by emptywheel (http://www.emptywheel.net/author/emptywheel/)
One of my friends, who works in a strategic role at American Federation of Teachers, is Iranian-American. I asked him a few weeks ago whom he called in Iran; if I remember correctly (I’ve been asking a lot of Iranian-Americans whom they call in Iran) he said it was mostly his grandmother, who’s not a member of the Republican Guard or even close. Still, according to the statement (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/12/breaking-iran-is-a-terrorist-organization/) that Dianne Feinstein had confirmed by NSA Director Keith Alexander, calls “related to Iran” are fair game for queries of the dragnet database of all Americans’ phone metadata.
Chances are slim that my friend’s calls to his grandmother are among the 300 identifiers the NSA queried last year, unless (as is possible) they monitored all calls to Iran. But nothing in the program seems to prohibit it, particularly given the government’s absurdly broad definitions of “related to” for issues of surveillance and its bizarre adoption of a terrorist program to surveil another nation-state. And if someone chose to query on my friend’s calls to his grandmother, using the two-degrees-of-separation query they have used in the past would give the government — not always the best friend of teachers unions — a pretty interesting picture of whom the AFT was partnering with and what it had planned.
In other words, nothing in the law or the known minimization rules of the Business Records provision would seem to protect some of the AFT’s organizational secrets just because they happen to employ someone whose grandmother is in Iran. That’s not the only obvious way labor discussions might come under scrutiny; Colombian human rights organizers with tangential ties to FARC is just one other one.
When I read labor organizer Louis Nayman’s “defense of PRISM (http://inthesetimes.com/article/15221/in_defense_of_prism/),” it became clear he’s not aware of many details of the programs he defended. Just as an example, Nayman misstated this claim:

According to NSA officials, the surveillance in question has prevented at least 50 planned terror attacks against Americans, including bombings of the New York City subway system and the New York Stock Exchange. While such assertions from government officials are difficult to verify independently, the lack of attacks during the long stretch between 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings speaks for itself.
Keith Alexander didn’t say NSA’s use of Section 702 and Section 215 have thwarted 50 planned attacks against Americans; those 50 were in the US and overseas. He said only around 10 of those plots were in the United States. That works out to be less than 20% of the attacks thwarted (http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve/?File_id=adec6e10-68ed-4413-8934-3623edc62cef) in the US just between January 2009 and October 2012 (though these programs have existed for a much longer period of time, so the percentage must be even lower). And there are problems with three of the four cases publicly claimed by the government — from false positives (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/07/meet-3-patriot-act-false-positives-investigated-for-buying-beauty-supplies/) and more important tips (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/11/nyregion/using-a-would-be-subway-bomber-to-justify-sweeping-surveillance.html?ref=nyregion&_r=0) in the Najibullah Zazi case, missing details (http://www.propublica.org/article/defenders-of-nsa-surveillance-web-omit-most-of-mumbai-plotters-story) of the belated arrest (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/09/dianne-feinstein-we-need-to-collect-data-on-every-single-american-because-we-cant-control-our-informants/) of David Headley, to bogus claims (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/18/attorney-disputes-clients-involvement-in-foiled-nyse-terror-plot/) that Khalid Ouazzan ever planned to attack NYSE. The sole story that has stood up to scrutiny is some guys (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/22/somali-terrorist-support/1940571/) who tried to send less than $10,000 to al-Shabaab.
While that doesn’t mean the NSA surveillance programs played no role, it does mean that the government’s assertions of efficacy (at least as it pertains to terrorism (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/18/terrorist-hobgoblins-bite-the-intelligence-community-in-its-efficacy-ass/)) have proven to be overblown.
Yet from that, Nayman concludes these programs have “been effective in keeping us safe” (given Nayman’s conflation of US and overseas, I wonder how families of the 166 Indians Headley had a hand in killing feel about that) and defends giving the government legal access (whether they’ve used it or not) to — among other things — metadata identifying the strategic partners of labor unions with little question.
And details about the success of the program are not the only statements made by top National Security officials that have proven inaccurate or overblown. That’s why Nayman would be far better off relying on Mark Udall and Ron Wyden as sources for whether or not the government can read US person emails without probable cause than misstating what HBO Director David Simon has said (Simon said (http://davidsimon.com/we-are-shocked-shocked/) that entirely domestic communications require probable cause, which is generally but not always true). And not just because the Senators are actually read into these programs. After the Senators noted that Keith Alexander had “portray[ed] protections for Americans’ privacy as being significantly stronger than they actually are” — specifically as it relates to what the government can do with US person communications collected “incidentally” to a target — Alexander withdrew his claims (http://images.politico.com/global/2013/06/25/nsawydenudallltr.html).
Nayman says, “As people who believe in government, we cannot simply assume that officials are abusing their lawfully granted responsibility and authority to defend our people from violence and harm.” I would respond that neither should we simply assume they’re not abusing their authority, particularly given evidence those officials have repeatedly misled us in the past.
Nayman then admits, “We should do all we can to assure proper oversight any time a surveillance program of any size and scope is launched.” But a big part of the problem with these programs is that the government has either not implemented or refused such oversight. Some holes in the oversight of the program are:

NSA has not said whether queries of the metadata dragnet database are electronically recorded; both SWIFT (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/07/03/swift-big-brother-with-a-booz-assist-only-without-the-paperwork/) and a similar phone metadata program (http://www.thenation.com/article/174888/government-spying-why-you-cant-just-trust-us) queries have been either sometimes or always oral, making them impossible to audit
The FISC does not itself audit this metadata access and — given Dianne Feinstein’s uncertainty about what queries consist of — it appears neither do the Intelligence Committees; Adam Schiff recommended this practice but Keith Alexander was resistant
The government opposed mandated Inspector General reviews of the Section 215 use in the last PATRIOT Act renewal; while DOJ’s Inspector General is, on his predecessors own initiative, reviewing its use, he’s only now reviewing the program (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/29/on-the-refusal-to-exercise-oversight-over-vast-surveillance-programs-episode-117/) as it existed four years ago
DOJ and CIA’s Inspectors General have limited ability to review what FBI and CIA do with the unminimized data (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/26/the-fbi-and-cia-unminimized-collections-and-the-holes-in-article-iii-review-of-fisa-amendments-act/) they get form NSA’s Section 702 collection (though DOJ’s IG does have the authority to review what the NSA does)
The government refuses to count (http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/06/19/the-only-independent-reviewer-of-targeting-and-minimization-refuses-to-review-it/) (and doesn’t appear to document) what happens with the US person information “incidentally” collected under Section 702 that is subsequently searched or read
That’s just a partial list. And all that’s before you get to things we know the government does with this data, like keeping encrypted communications indefinitely (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/25/keith-alexanders-secret-lie-retention-and-distribution-of-domestic-hacking-and-encrypted-communications/), treating threats to property as threats to human life (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/26/fisa-amendments-act-minimization-preventing-serious-harm-to-corporate-persons/), and only respecting attorney-client privilege for indicted defendants (Note, the first two of these are some of the exceptions to Simon’s assertion that entirely domestic communications require probable cause).
How does someone looking to “level[] the playing field between concentrated privilege and the rest of us” defend a program that secretly treats corporate property as human life?
Ultimately, though, Nayman seems most worried about empowering the dwindling TeaParty movement.

So, let’s be very careful about doing the Tea Party’s dirty work by running to the defense of every leaker with the inclination and means to poke a stick in the government’s eye.
This displays another misunderstanding about who on the right really opposes these programs. While Rand Paul has — as he did earlier with the drone program — offered clown show legislation to play off worries about these programs, Justin Amash is the TeaParty figure most legitimately active in countering these programs (and he has been disempowered by his own party). Amash is joined in his efforts (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/07/02/transpartisan-arguments-the-government-wont-want-to-succeed/) by progressive stalwarts like Barbara Lee and Zoe Lofgren, along with a fascinating mix of others, including paleocons. In the Senate, Mike Lee has been the most effective quiet champion of efforts to bring more oversight to the program, but he has been joined (http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/06/28/omigod-james-clapper-has-our-gun-purchase-records/) by Lisa Murkowksi and Dean Heller. And often not Rand Paul.
Meanwhile, Nayman is joined in his position attacking Edward Snowden by TeaParty Caucus Chair Michele Bachmann (http://ncrenegade.com/editorial/michele-bachmann-attacks-edward-snowden-calls-him-a-traitor-at-nsa-hearing-61813/).
One of the biggest problems with blindly trusting the government on these programs is that they’ve secretly breached First Amendment Freedom of Association for some, including Iranian-Americans, those who encrypt their email, and those who might threaten corporate property. Without unfettered Freedom of Association, the power of labor unions and all others fighting for the rights of working men and women is at risk.
Nayman may be comfortable with that risk so long as we have a Democratic president (though teachers unions are one of the labor groups that should not be). But one President’s labor organizer may be the next President’s terrorist. And with this dragnet infrastructure in place, it will be far too late at that point to reverse this power grab.

- See more at: http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/07/07/in-these-times-we-cant-blindly-trust-government-to-respect-freedom-of-association/#sthash.5a00wldh.dpuf

Peter Lemkin
07-08-2013, 06:46 AM
The NSA can decrypt most encrypted messages - they have both the computer power for this [when they want to devote the computer time to it] and/or have secretly made deals with the companies that sell encryption for back-door keys. All encrypted messages they can't decrypt they keep until they can [more powerful computers in the future - as most encryption is based on mathematical manipulation of data packets by large prime numbers]. It hardly matters, as they keep ALL communications anyway, and then actually look at them when a person becomes a target, for whatever reason[s]. Sick 1984-ish stuff. Of course, even those in the NSA and other intelligence and military agencies [and all politicians, judges, et al.] also have their communications spied upon and recorded...which will lead to any number of internal power plays, blackmail, and purges. We are ruled by madmen, totally out of control, and rapidly moving into full-on fascist police state mode.

Magda Hassan
07-08-2013, 07:28 AM
Maybe its time to bring up the issue of Pine Gap again...and the 'effect' it had on a former Oz PM. To my knowledge, Pine Gap is still fully functional, a major node in the worldwide electronic data collection, and a base on Oz territory that is manned by Americans and American troops! I hear that very few Ozzies ever get inside - and the public has little knowledge of what is going on there. I believe it is antipodal to the main downlink GCHQ uses and tied in with a system of spy satellites run by NSA and a few other US electronic spy agencies [oh, yes, we have several!]

Snowden reveals Australia's links to US spy webDateJuly 8, 2013 - 4:38PM

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Philip Dorling





HMAS Harman is well connected. Photo: Andrew Meares
United States intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has provided his first disclosure of Australian involvement in US global surveillance, identifying four facilities in the country that contribute to a key American intelligence collection program.
Classified US National Security Agency maps leaked by Mr Snowden and published by US journalist Glenn Greenwald in the Brazilian O Globo newspaper reveal the locations of dozens of US and allied signals intelligence collection sites that contribute to interception of telecommunications and internet traffic worldwide.
The US Australian Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap near Alice Springs and three Australian Signals Directorate facilities: the Shoal Bay Receiving Station near Darwin, the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Facility at Geraldton and the naval communications station HMAS Harman outside Canberra are among contributors to the NSA's collection program codenamed X-Keyscore.



Pine Gap is part of the network.
The New Zealand Government Security Communications Bureau facility at Waihopai near Blenheim also contributes to the program.

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X-Keyscore reportedly processes all signals before they are shunted off to various "production lines" that deal with specific issues and the exploitation of different data types for analysis - variously code-named Nucleon (voice), Pinwale (video), Mainway (call records) and Marina (internet records). US intelligence expert William Arkin describes X-Keyscore as a “national Intelligence collection mission system”.
Worldwide web
The documents published by O Globo show that US and allied signals intelligence collection facilities are distributed worldwide, located at US and allied military and other facilities as well as US embassies and consulates.
Fairfax Media recently reported the construction of a new state-of-the-art data storage facility at HMAS Harman to support the Australian signals directorate and other Australian intelligence agencies.
In an interview published in the German Der Spiegel magazine on Sunday, Mr Snowden said the NSA operates broad secret intelligence partnerships with other western governments, some of which are now complaining about its programs.
Mr Snowden said that the other partners in the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance of the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand “sometimes go even further than the [National Security Agency] people themselves.”
He highlighted the British Government Communications Headquarters “Tempora” program as an example:
“Tempora is the first 'I save everything' approach ('full take') in the intelligence world. It sucks in all data, no matter what it is, and which rights are violated by it. ... Right now, the system is capable of saving three days' worth of traffic, but that will be optimised. Three days may perhaps not sound like a lot, but it's not just about connection metadata. 'Full take' means that the system saves everything. If you send a data packet and if makes its way through the UK, we will get it. If you download anything, and the server is in the UK, then we get it.”
Mr Snowden also argued that the “Five eyes” partnerships are organised so that authorities in each country can "insulate their political leaders from the backlash" when it became public "how grievously they're violating global privacy".
The Der Spiegel interview was conducted by US cryptography expert Jacob Appelbaum and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras via encrypted emails shortly before Mr Snowden revealed himself publicly as the source of leaks of highly classified information on US signals intelligence and surveillance programs.
Another US NSA whistle-blower William Binney also recently disclosed that Australia was involved in the trial of an earlier US-designed Internet traffic interception and analysis program codenamed "ThinThread".
Other countries involved in the trials were the UK, Australia and Germany a decade ago. ThinThread was not adopted but Australia has also been directly involved with later collection programs codenamed "Trailblazer", "Turbulence" and "Trafficthief".
Stranded
The US government has charged Mr Snowden with offences including espionage and revoked his passport.
He has been stranded at a Moscow airport for two weeks after leaving Hong Kong where the US Government has sought his extradition.
Three Latin American countries, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, have now offered Mr Snowden political asylum after European Governments last week denied their airspace to a plane carrying the Bolivian president Evo Morales home from a conference in Moscow after the US State Department alleged that the former US intelligence contractor was on board.
Russian officials have publicly urged Mr Snowden to take up Venezuela's asylum offer. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said on Sunday that his government had not yet been in contact with Mr Snowden.
Mr Jaua said he expected to consult on Monday with Russian officials. Mr Snowden is being assisted by the anti-secrecy organisation, WikiLeaks.



Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/world/snowden-reveals-australias-links-to-us-spy-web-20130708-2plyg.html#ixzz2YR9Rh3ZZ

Magda Hassan
07-08-2013, 08:00 AM
http://oglobo.globo.com/infograficos/volume-rastreamento-governo-americano/
T (http://oglobo.globo.com/infograficos/volume-rastreamento-governo-americano/)hese are the documents and maps published in the Portuguese media that the Australian media have had to use to find out what is happening in Australia...

Magda Hassan
07-08-2013, 09:56 AM
NSA Surveillance of Australia Exposed!

Yesterday journalist Glenn Greenwald posted an exclusive story in Brazil's O Globo newspaper, based on the revelations of the incredibly brave ex-NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, which included this page (http://oglobo.globo.com/infograficos/volume-rastreamento-governo-americano/) showing slides from NSA presentations.

The page includes four maps of special interest to Australians. The first shows the location of US bases that are part of the X-KEYSTORE program:


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KGSZ8yLdQTs/Udp8d4bGY1I/AAAAAAAACOM/UIf7C12AP1c/s320/keyscore.PNG (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KGSZ8yLdQTs/Udp8d4bGY1I/AAAAAAAACOM/UIf7C12AP1c/s1600/keyscore.PNG)
As Fairfax journalist Phillip Dorling notes in this must read article (http://www.theage.com.au/world/snowden-reveals-australias-links-to-us-spy-web-20130708-2plyg.html), the four bases in Australia include "the US Australian Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap near Alice Springs and three Australian Signals Directorate facilities: the Shoal Bay Receiving Station near Darwin, the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Facility at Geraldton and the naval communications station HMAS Harman outside Canberra."

NOTE: The NZ facility is at Waihopai near Blenheim.


The O Globo article also displays three maps which apparently show phone calls and messages gathered by the NSA's Fairview program over two days (4th & 5th March 2013). Countries with the most interceptions are shown in red, then orange, then yellow, with the least monitored nations shown in green.


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Wu8n5Ri6UsY/Udp95jU0PuI/AAAAAAAACOc/aXN7YTrc7jI/s1600/1.PNG (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Wu8n5Ri6UsY/Udp95jU0PuI/AAAAAAAACOc/aXN7YTrc7jI/s1600/1.PNG)

US surveillance of Australia (in red) is only matched by Brazil, Colombia and Japan (perhaps some smaller nations are less visible).

NOTE: The writing on these slides is hard to read, but the first word above looks like "Total" so perhaps this is the total over the two days?


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dIh2GBJj6q0/Udp-SgUwe8I/AAAAAAAACOk/wA_Ab4MzOV8/s1600/2.PNG (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dIh2GBJj6q0/Udp-SgUwe8I/AAAAAAAACOk/wA_Ab4MzOV8/s1600/2.PNG)


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-azVJxvLRyG8/Udp-a5d8RdI/AAAAAAAACOs/Yx0T39AENgE/s1600/3.PNG (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-azVJxvLRyG8/Udp-a5d8RdI/AAAAAAAACOs/Yx0T39AENgE/s1600/3.PNG)
The second and third maps show Australia in yellow, again amongst the most monitored nations on earth. Why is this so? Are we not a US ally? Why are we being massively surveilled?

NOTE: Of course the percentage of mobile phone-using people in Brazil, Japan and Australia is relatively high, but there are many others on this list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_mobile_phones_in_us e) who exceed our per capita rate.

Another map from the O Globo page is also worth noting. This slide is from a different NSA program called Boundless Informant, details of which were previously described here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/08/nsa-boundless-informant-global-datamining):


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-omK7rQpYdy8/UdqAhtN5QQI/AAAAAAAACO8/hvUiclsZb28/s320/4.PNG (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-omK7rQpYdy8/UdqAhtN5QQI/AAAAAAAACO8/hvUiclsZb28/s1600/4.PNG)

Boundless Informant measures US gathering of metadata. In this slide, US monitoring of Australia is still as high as the Soviet Union.

Curiously, the Guardian newspaper (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/08/nsa-boundless-informant-global-datamining) showed another image, where Australia appears in dark green. So if this is another daily snapshot, it does not tell us the overall level of metadata surveillance (selective editing perhaps?).


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wucVLGvJhFo/UdqCjFX5JHI/AAAAAAAACPM/X7Lu1nixgk8/s320/guardian.PNG (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wucVLGvJhFo/UdqCjFX5JHI/AAAAAAAACPM/X7Lu1nixgk8/s1600/guardian.PNG)

Australians, you should all be very, very angry about this.

Update 1:

Here is a map showing US bases in Australia:


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0vlEj1ctIpo/UdqEqp5LT8I/AAAAAAAACPc/KAWkFYhyvOo/s320/usmap.PNG (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0vlEj1ctIpo/UdqEqp5LT8I/AAAAAAAACPc/KAWkFYhyvOo/s1600/usmap.PNG)
Source: http://t.co/0GoWR2B3UR

And below is a map of global submarine cables, which carry phone and Internet traffic. Not that nearly all links from Asia to USA go via US allies (and NSA surveillance Client States) Australia and Japan.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-g9au0f5Rg_g/UdqFDkP11zI/AAAAAAAACPk/dbYiPvDTVWc/s320/submap.PNG (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-g9au0f5Rg_g/UdqFDkP11zI/AAAAAAAACPk/dbYiPvDTVWc/s1600/submap.PNG)
Source: http://t.co/tHRrLHzJ4U

Add this to the information gathering from Pine Gap and other satellite sites and it is clear that a huge proportion of the NSA's information on Asia comes via Australia. I don't think our neighbors are going to be very happy when they find out.

It's time we Australians told our government that enough is enough! The US Government is not only spying on all of us, but also using us to spy on the entire world!

A personal note: If you value this information, please support the WikiLeaks Party (http://wikileaksparty.org.au/) at the coming Australian election.

Magda Hassan
07-08-2013, 10:43 AM
More on Gehlen Org, sorry Germany, and the NSA.

Somewhat oddly:


Der Spiegel said the interview was conducted while Snowden was living in Hawaii, via encrypted emails with US documentary maker Laura Poitras and hacker Jacob Appelbaum.

Which begs the question, why has Der Spiegel waited until now to publish details of the interview....



Edward Snowden tells Der Spiegel NSA is 'in bed with the Germans'

Interview carried out before NSA whistleblower fled to Hong Kong appears to contradict Merkel's public surprise at snooping



The Der Spiegel interview also says that Stuxnet was made with the NSA and Israel.
http://cryptome.org/2013/07/snowden-spiegel-13-0707-en.htm


Question: Does the NSA cooperate with other states like Israel?
(http://cryptome.org/2013/07/snowden-spiegel-13-0707-en.htm)Snowden: Yes, all the time. The NSA has a large section for that, called the FAD - Foreign Affairs Directorate.
Question: Did the NSA help to write the Stuxnet program? (the malicious program used against the Iranian nuclear facilities -- ed.)
Snowden: The NSA and Israel wrote Stuxnet together.
(http://cryptome.org/2013/07/snowden-spiegel-13-0707-en.htm)

Jan Klimkowski
07-08-2013, 02:30 PM
Question: Did the NSA help to write the Stuxnet program? (the malicious program used against the Iranian nuclear facilities -- ed.)
Snowden: The NSA and Israel wrote Stuxnet together.

Aaaahhhhh. How sweet.

Just like writing a bed time story where everyone lived happily ever after......

I'm amazed PNAC and the neocons weren't openly claiming credit for Sutxnet.

Phil Dragoo
07-08-2013, 04:50 PM
the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance of the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

The sea powers of Guido Giacomo Preparata's Conjuring Hitler, 2005, whose facilitators such as Montagu Norman, director Bank of England (1922-1944), created the German nationalist phenomenon and its dictator to wrestle with the Bear of Stalin, sending in the Eagle to declare the World Island divided and safe.

The manipulation continues with ever-improving technology.

Blair-Orwell continually revised.

Oceania, why that very descriptor just screams Sea Powers, doesn't it.

The French have a saying for it.

But it's classified.

Magda Hassan
07-09-2013, 02:41 AM
Commercial in Confidence.
Intellectual Property.
Business as usual.

‘German government sells the privacy of German citizens to the US’

Published time: July 08, 2013 13:10

The recent NSA spying scandal showed the German government behaves towards US like a puppet regime, involving all major political parties just before the September elections, German journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter told RT.
RT: Let’s just discuss it now with the journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter who is joining us from Berlin. Mr. Ochsenreiter, to what extend do you think Germany may have cooperated with the NSA?
Manuel Ochsenreiter: Well, I think it’s a matter of fact that we know that the German authorities, the German mainstream politicians, the German government they all cooperate in a very intense way with US intelligence. I feel a little bit weird to use the term “cooperation” for this because when we look exactly on what is going on that they were spying on German citizens we have to say that the German government behaves towards the US government in this question more or less like a US puppet regime. No claim of sovereignty. No claim of independence. Of course, no claim of privacy, for the right to privacy of their own citizens. So, the German citizens are not at all protected by their own government. The German government sells the privacy of German citizens to the US government. And this is the really, really serious case, it’s a big scandal.
RT: Snowden claims top politicians were insulated in case of a scandal - yet now they seem to be outraged. What you are saying is that they might be doing this because of the public outrage. What's got them more angry then, if that’s the case that they did not know, or that they did not know about the scale of the operations that they would too be spied on?
MO: To be honest I believe that they are angry that it became public, that now all the facts are open and the citizens can see what’s going on because I wouldn’t believe any word right now of a government politician. By the way, I’m also not fond of opposition politicians in the German parliament. We have to know that the government before the Merkel government was built by the GPD opposition. And they cooperated as well with the Americans as the today’s government are doing this. And when we listen very well to the words of mainstream politicians in Germany we hear right now a lot of justifications of this. Yes, let us say cooperation as they call it. They say it’s for our security, they say that this is a partnership, that this is a friendship but, of course, it’s not. It’s pure spying. And we have to watch a little bit back in the past we had in the 1990s the ECHELON project. It was also USA spy project especially on Germany. And this spying project was especially for economic espionage. The German companies, the German economy was monitored by the US secret service. So, what we see here is that Germany is behaving more or less like, well, let me say like a state fully under control of the US without any independence. And the scandal’s not that US are doing that. Real scandal’s that the German politicians are not doing something against it…
‘German politicians should expel the US American military bases’

Angela Merkel (AFP Photo / DPA / Michael Kappeler / Germany out)

RT: Snowden did say that this went beyond agreements between the countries in terms of what they can share, what they can… in terms of sharing information. So, how is this affecting the politicians knowing that. They have been spied on far more than the agreement they had. So, yes, so, we say “yes” they did know about this. But to the extent that they have been spied on, I mean, this is going beyond spying on just their own citizens. It goes it is spying within politicians as well. How are they reacting to that? Is it going to create tension between the US and its allies now? Are they not seeing this? Are we just reading too much into something which is been happening anyway?
MO: We are knowing a very interesting time Germany because we have in September the elections. And I think the spying scandal is really really disturbing the elections campaigns of all the mainstream parties because they all are involved in the scandal. So, what they are doing now is that they all try to give the impression that on the one side they knew about so-called cooperation but that they are completely surprised about how far it went. And to be honest I wouldn’t believe any word because we had already the experience in the past about how far the US governments are going and how they treat their so-called allies or their so-called partners. So, if the German politicians… Let me finish with one sentence. If they are really so upset and so surprised as they act now then we have to see the consequences. And they are many consequences we could do with. For example, that the US ambassador is summoned to the Chancellor and is so criticized that there is diplomatic protest, that, for example, we make it to initiate that we have until today US barracks and US army troops on Germans soil. And we know that those military bases are also used for the NSA projects. So we invite the Americans to our country or our politicians invite them in our country to establish their military and intelligence bases there. So, if the German politicians want to do something it’s very easy to them just expel the US American military bases. Don’t make any more Germany do the military aircraft carried out in Europe of the US Americans. It would be easy but they will not do, because they believe in this partnership which is not a partnership.
RT: So, how does the spying on the EU leaders, and seat with the intelligence community cooperating. I mean, is that a sign that the US doesn’t trust its allies? Or it’s just keeping a close eye on its allies?
MO: I think this shows a lot about the attitude of the American government has towards the allies because we are never talking about the partnership we are talking about hegemonic politics. They want to be able to control a partnership or something else. Partnership is when two countries make an agreement with each other. But what we see here is that the US are gained the control and for control of those countries. I’m not sure that it will really bring mistrust in the EU bureaucracy because these people are used to that and I’m not sure if they are really upset about this because they know about this. But the interesting question is how long will the population be so tolerant to bear those problems. This is the interesting question.

RT: Just one more from you. In terms of destroying itself, I mean, we now have been focusing a lot on Snowden instead of what he’s actually been leaking. Do you think we are just kind of missing what politicians in the EU are trying to cover all of this up, by focusing on him rather then what actually Snowden keeps on releasing?
MO: Why? I don’t know. Perhaps, it might be interesting what Snowden has on his four laptops he took with him and I’m pretty much sure the information we got until now is not really 100% percent of what he has with him. I think you know he is in Moscow. Now, I think, the Russians are very interested in the content and the Germans again (I’m from Germany) my politicians, my government, they should be really interested in the content of the full-scale, of these espionage practices if they really want to know this. But I don’t see that right now. But I think in the near future we will get may be a lot of surprises how intense the spying is really.

http://rt.com/op-edge/german-government-sells-privacy-us-780/

Magda Hassan
07-11-2013, 10:20 AM
Okay for the Americans to spy on Germans but not for the Germans to spy on the Germans with Staasi apparently...Why do they need Merkel again? Why not just direct rule from Washington?

Merkel justifies NSA eavesdropping surveillance


Published time: July 11, 2013 09:56

Merkel has made her first detailed comment into the unraveling diplomatic scandal with the America’s National Security Agency (NSA) global telecommunication eavesdropping, including those of its European allies, Germany foremost among them.
Despite “justified questions” to the American intelligence community regarding eavesdropping on German networks, the US remains Berlin’s “most loyal ally”, announced Chancellor Angela Merkel in interview to Die Zeit weekly.
It emerged recently that Germany happens to be the most-snooped-on EU country by the American National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA’s real-time online surveillance PRISM program allows US intelligence agencies to intercept virtually any communications over the internet, phone calls and makes possible direct access to files stored on the servers of major internet companies.
Merkel declared that she herself has learnt about the US surveillance programs, such as the NSA’s PRISM spy program, "through the current reporting" in the media.
In early July spokesman Steffen Seibert announced on the behalf of Chancellor Merkel that "The monitoring of friends - this is unacceptable. It can't be tolerated," adding that Merkel had already delivered her concerns to the US. "We are no longer in the Cold War," Seibert added.
The German government subsequently summoned (http://rt.com/news/germany-summons-us-ambassador-leaks-476/) US Ambassador Philip Murphy to Berlin to explain the incendiary reports.

At the same time according to new revelations made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to Germany’s Spiegel magazine, the American NSA and Germany’s intelligence agencies are “in bed together.” (http://rt.com/news/snowden-nsa-cooperate-germany-755/)
Seibert told Reuters this week that German’s Federal Intelligence Agency’s (BND) cooperation with the NSA “took place within strict legal and judicial guidelines and is controlled by the competent parliamentary committee.”
‘Intelligence is essential for democracies’

Merkel stressed that intelligence “has always been and will in future be essential for the security of citizens” of democratic countries. “A country without intelligence work would be too vulnerable,” Merkel said.
At the same time, she observed that there must be a “balance between maximum freedom and what the state needs to give its citizens the greatest possible security.”
Merkel emphasized that German-American special relationship should not be endangered by the incident.
“America has been, and is, our most loyal ally over all the decades,” Merkel said, but pointed out that Washington should clear up the situation with the US allegedly bugging the embassies of the European countries and the EU facilities, noting that “the Cold War is over.”
Stasi and NSA are not comparable

In acknowledgment of the Germany’s contemporary history, Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, refused to make any parallels between the methods of work of DDR’s secret police Stasi and America’s NSA.
“For me, there is absolutely no comparison between the Stasi and the work of intelligence agencies in democratic states,” she was quoted as saying. “They are two completely different things and such comparisons only lead to a trivialization of what the Stasi did to [East Germany’s] people,” said Merkel.
Rhetoric shift

In the face of the national elections in September, Angela Merkel has come under fierce criticism in connection with the NSA spying scandal for not protesting unequivocally enough, while various German politicians demanded to stop spying immediately.

Germany’s center-left opposition insists on questioning country’s officials with a view to find out what exactly they knew about the American surveillance of German communications before the eavesdropping scandal emerged.

Earlier Germany’s Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich and Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger both declined any knowledge of the eavesdropping performed by the American US in German networks.
In the interview to Die Zeit Chancellor Merkel revealed that reports from German intelligence agencies are being delivered to her chief of staff, Ronald Pofalla who coordinates their work from the chancellery.
The head of the center-left opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel told Spiegel Online that “Ms. Merkel is now trying to shift political responsibility to her chief of staff."
“That's an old game: [pretending] not knowing anything at first, trying to play down the problem and then finally pointing the finger at a staff member. But it's not going to work because it's clear that the dimensions of this scandal are so great that no person other than the chancellor can ensure that basic rights are defended in Germany,” the SPD leader claimed.
Today battling terrorism is impossible “without the possibility of telecommunications monitoring,” Merkel told the weekly. "The work of intelligence agencies in democratic states was always vital to the safety of citizens and will remain so in the future.”
In the meantime, Friedrich is meeting US Attorney General Eric Holder and White House counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco in Washington on Friday for talks dedicated to the NSA scandal. Though Merkel's government is not likely to pedal the spying issue, Berlin surely expects explanation from Washington in regards of the ‘Snowdengate’ “for all the more-than-justified questions”, Merkel was quoted as telling Die Zeit.





http://rt.com/news/merkel-nsa-scandal-zeit-931/comments/page-1/

Jan Klimkowski
07-11-2013, 09:26 PM
Silicon Valley in cahoots with the NSA.

We had no choice, they bleat.

Well, I'm stunned, just stunned....

Not.




Revealed: how Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

• Secret files show scale of Silicon Valley co-operation on Prism
• Outlook.com encryption unlocked even before official launch
• Skype worked to enable Prism collection of video calls
• Company says it is legally compelled to comply


Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Laura Poitras, Spencer Ackerman and Dominic Rushe
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 11 July 2013 18.53 BST
Jump to comments (1129)

Skype worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video and audio conversations. Photograph: Patrick Sinkel/AP

Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

The documents show that:

• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;

• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;

• The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;

• Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;

• In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

• Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".

The latest NSA revelations further expose the tensions between Silicon Valley and the Obama administration. All the major tech firms are lobbying the government to allow them to disclose more fully the extent and nature of their co-operation with the NSA to meet their customers' privacy concerns. Privately, tech executives are at pains to distance themselves from claims of collaboration and teamwork given by the NSA documents, and insist the process is driven by legal compulsion.

In a statement, Microsoft said: "When we upgrade or update products we aren't absolved from the need to comply with existing or future lawful demands." The company reiterated its argument that it provides customer data "only in response to government demands and we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers".

In June, the Guardian revealed that the NSA claimed to have "direct access" through the Prism program to the systems of many major internet companies, including Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

Blanket orders from the secret surveillance court allow these communications to be collected without an individual warrant if the NSA operative has a 51% belief that the target is not a US citizen and is not on US soil at the time. Targeting US citizens does require an individual warrant, but the NSA is able to collect Americans' communications without a warrant if the target is a foreign national located overseas.

Since Prism's existence became public, Microsoft and the other companies listed on the NSA documents as providers have denied all knowledge of the program and insisted that the intelligence agencies do not have back doors into their systems.

Microsoft's latest marketing campaign, launched in April, emphasizes its commitment to privacy with the slogan: "Your privacy is our priority."

Similarly, Skype's privacy policy states: "Skype is committed to respecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal data, traffic data and communications content."

But internal NSA newsletters, marked top secret, suggest the co-operation between the intelligence community and the companies is deep and ongoing.

The latest documents come from the NSA's Special Source Operations (SSO) division, described by Snowden as the "crown jewel" of the agency. It is responsible for all programs aimed at US communications systems through corporate partnerships such as Prism.

The files show that the NSA became concerned about the interception of encrypted chats on Microsoft's Outlook.com portal from the moment the company began testing the service in July last year.

Within five months, the documents explain, Microsoft and the FBI had come up with a solution that allowed the NSA to circumvent encryption on Outlook.com chats

A newsletter entry dated 26 December 2012 states: "MS [Microsoft], working with the FBI, developed a surveillance capability to deal" with the issue. "These solutions were successfully tested and went live 12 Dec 2012."

Two months later, in February this year, Microsoft officially launched the Outlook.com portal.

Another newsletter entry stated that NSA already had pre-encryption access to Outlook email. "For Prism collection against Hotmail, Live, and Outlook.com emails will be unaffected because Prism collects this data prior to encryption."

Microsoft's co-operation was not limited to Outlook.com. An entry dated 8 April 2013 describes how the company worked "for many months" with the FBI – which acts as the liaison between the intelligence agencies and Silicon Valley on Prism – to allow Prism access without separate authorization to its cloud storage service SkyDrive.

The document describes how this access "means that analysts will no longer have to make a special request to SSO for this – a process step that many analysts may not have known about".

The NSA explained that "this new capability will result in a much more complete and timely collection response". It continued: "This success is the result of the FBI working for many months with Microsoft to get this tasking and collection solution established."

A separate entry identified another area for collaboration. "The FBI Data Intercept Technology Unit (DITU) team is working with Microsoft to understand an additional feature in Outlook.com which allows users to create email aliases, which may affect our tasking processes."

The NSA has devoted substantial efforts in the last two years to work with Microsoft to ensure increased access to Skype, which has an estimated 663 million global users.

One document boasts that Prism monitoring of Skype video production has roughly tripled since a new capability was added on 14 July 2012. "The audio portions of these sessions have been processed correctly all along, but without the accompanying video. Now, analysts will have the complete 'picture'," it says.

Eight months before being bought by Microsoft, Skype joined the Prism program in February 2011.

According to the NSA documents, work had begun on smoothly integrating Skype into Prism in November 2010, but it was not until 4 February 2011 that the company was served with a directive to comply signed by the attorney general.

The NSA was able to start tasking Skype communications the following day, and collection began on 6 February. "Feedback indicated that a collected Skype call was very clear and the metadata looked complete," the document stated, praising the co-operation between NSA teams and the FBI. "Collaborative teamwork was the key to the successful addition of another provider to the Prism system."

ACLU technology expert Chris Soghoian said the revelations would surprise many Skype users. "In the past, Skype made affirmative promises to users about their inability to perform wiretaps," he said. "It's hard to square Microsoft's secret collaboration with the NSA with its high-profile efforts to compete on privacy with Google."

The information the NSA collects from Prism is routinely shared with both the FBI and CIA. A 3 August 2012 newsletter describes how the NSA has recently expanded sharing with the other two agencies.

The NSA, the entry reveals, has even automated the sharing of aspects of Prism, using software that "enables our partners to see which selectors [search terms] the National Security Agency has tasked to Prism".

The document continues: "The FBI and CIA then can request a copy of Prism collection of any selector…" As a result, the author notes: "these two activities underscore the point that Prism is a team sport!"

In its statement to the Guardian, Microsoft said:

We have clear principles which guide the response across our entire company to government demands for customer information for both law enforcement and national security issues. First, we take our commitments to our customers and to compliance with applicable law very seriously, so we provide customer data only in response to legal processes.

Second, our compliance team examines all demands very closely, and we reject them if we believe they aren't valid. Third, we only ever comply with orders about specific accounts or identifiers, and we would not respond to the kind of blanket orders discussed in the press over the past few weeks, as the volumes documented in our most recent disclosure clearly illustrate.

Finally when we upgrade or update products legal obligations may in some circumstances require that we maintain the ability to provide information in response to a law enforcement or national security request. There are aspects of this debate that we wish we were able to discuss more freely. That's why we've argued for additional transparency that would help everyone understand and debate these important issues.

In a joint statement, Shawn Turner, spokesman for the director of National Intelligence, and Judith Emmel, spokeswoman for the NSA, said:

The articles describe court-ordered surveillance – and a US company's efforts to comply with these legally mandated requirements. The US operates its programs under a strict oversight regime, with careful monitoring by the courts, Congress and the Director of National Intelligence. Not all countries have equivalent oversight requirements to protect civil liberties and privacy.

They added: "In practice, US companies put energy, focus and commitment into consistently protecting the privacy of their customers around the world, while meeting their obligations under the laws of the US and other countries in which they operate."



• This article was amended on 11 July 2013 to reflect information from Microsoft that it did not make any changes to Skype to allow Prism collection on or around July 2012.

Magda Hassan
07-12-2013, 12:27 PM
Snowden seeks help | NSA revelations turn into delugePosted on July 12, 2013 (http://darkernet.in/snowden-seeks-help-nsa-revelations-turn-into-deluge/) by admin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=NIb0a6CUFMA (http://darkernet.in/author/admin/)

The US Government is piling on the pressure – i.e. making threats, as befits the greatest bully on the planet – to ensure no country offers NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum. Consequently Mr. Snowden has invited representatives of human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, to meet with him today at 5pm, Moscow time, in the main Transit Lounge at Sheremetyevo Airport, so that he can discuss how to move on.
In the invitation, in the form of a letter, Mr. Snowden stated, “The scale of threatening behaviour is without precedent: never before in history have states conspired to force to the ground a sovereign president’s plane to effect a search for a political refugee. This dangerous escalation represents a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America or my own personal security, but to the basic right shared by every living person to live free from persecution.”
For more on this, click here (http://m.guardiannews.com/world/2013/jul/12/edward-snowden-amnesty-international?CMP=twt_gu). A copy of Mr. Snowden’s letter is given below. We will provide updates once more is know..
Meanwhile, revelations about the surveillance systems organised by the NSA and its partners (governments and commercial internet businesses and communications firms) and which are targeting not just US citizens but people everywhere are turning into a deluge. Already there are legal challenges taking place in the USA, Britain, France and Germany (and elsewhere) and coders are frantically working on new ways for non-geeks to encrypt their internet communications. Below, are just some of the many stories (http://pressthink.org/2013/07/the-snowden-effect-definition-and-examples/)that have been published over the last 48 hours on the criminal activities of the NSA and its collaborators…
Or as Wikileaks tweeted…
P.S. To give all your data to the NSA, just click here (http://prism.andrevv.com/).
Microsoft collaboration with NSA
In a Guardian article, Revealed: how Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data?CMP=twt_gu), it was shown that Microsoft has been actively collaborating with the NSA for some years to allow the NSA to capture data. The key points are the article are… Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal; The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail; The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide; Microsoft also worked with the FBI’s Data Intercept Unit to “understand” potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases; In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism.
Lawsuits against NSA-managed surveillance
1. France
In another Guardian article, NSA surveillance: French human rights groups seek judicial investigation (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/nsa-surveillance-french-investigation), it was reported that the “France-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Human Rights League based the complaint on disclosures by the NSA leaker Edward Snowden which indicated that the US government amassed phone and internet usage data on people around the world for security reasons. Lawyers for the two groups said that such surveillance, if confirmed, would violate up to five French privacy laws, including illicit collection of personal data and the infringement of the right to a private life.” The article added, “The legal complaint against persons unknown aims to prompt a judicial investigation that would also look at the alleged role of tech companies including Facebook, Apple, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Skype in data-gathering by the NSA”.
2. Britain
In a Guardian article ‘NSA and GCHQ spy programmes face legal challenge’ (http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2013/jul/08/us-privacy-nsa-fbi-challenge), it is reported that papers filed on last Monday “call for an immediate suspension of Britain’s use of material from the Prism programme, which is run by America’s National Security Agency. They also demand a temporary injunction to the Tempora programme, which allows Britain’s spy centre GCHQ to harvest millions of emails, phone calls and Skype conversations from the undersea cables that carry internet traffic in and out of the country. Lawyers acting for the UK charity Privacy International say the programme is not necessary or proportionate. They say the laws being used to justify mass data trawling are being abused by intelligence officials and ministers, and need to be urgently reviewed. Privacy International has submitted a claim to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which is supposed to review all complaints about the conduct of Britain’s spy agencies. The organisation hopes for a public hearing and early rulings because of the seriousness of the situation.
NSA logging Google maps activities
Slate reports on an article in the Brazilian paper, O Globo, that reveals (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/07/11/xkeyscore_program_may_have_allowed_nsa_to_spy_on_g oogle_maps_searches.html)how a handful of new top-secret NSA PowerPoint slides, one of which revealed the existence of an NSA program called “XKEYSCORE,” which involves the mass storage of international Internet metadata—including information about emails, phone calls, log-ins, and other user activity—that can later be mined, or “queried,” by an NSA analyst from a computer. One of the slides suggests that the NSA can monitor a person’s Google Maps activity—and use this as a basis to follow up any activity deemed suspicious with further investigation. The slide notes: “My target uses Google maps to scope target locations—can I use this information to determine his email address? What about the Web searches—do any look suspicious?” It adds: “XKEYSCORE extracts and databases these events, including all web-based searches, which can be retrospectively queried.” To see how how IXMaps works, click here (http://www.ixmaps.ca/tour.php).
Profits made from snooping
In an article, ‘Verizon, AT&T get most bucks from feds for wiretaps’ (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57593273/verizon-at-t-get-most-bucks-from-feds-for-wiretaps/), CBS News reports on how much companies charge the NSA for each set of wiretaps and other surveillance measures. “AT&T, for example, imposes a $325 “activation fee” for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it. Smaller carriers Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge only about $250 per wiretap. But snoop on a Verizon customer? That costs the government $775 for the first month and $500 each month after that, according to industry disclosures made last year to Congressman Edward Markey. Meanwhile, email records like those amassed by the National Security Agency through a program revealed by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden probably were collected for free or very cheaply. Facebook says it doesn’t charge the government for access. And while Microsoft, Yahoo and Google won’t say how much they charge, the American Civil Liberties Union found that email records can be turned over for as little as $25.”
Smart phones/tablets incorporate NSA monitoring code
Zero Hedge reports (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-09/nsa-has-inserted-its-code-android-os-bugging-three-quarters-all-smartphones)that Google smart phones – as well as Sony’s Xperia Z, HTC’s One, and Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S4 – have NSA code embedded to monitor activity and that eventually “all new phones, tablets, televisions, cars, and other devices that rely on Android will include NSA code”.
NSA behind industrial espionage in South America
USA Today in an article, ‘U.S. spying eyes energy info in Latin America’, reports on O Globo revelations “indicating the U.S. effort is gathering information on energy in Mexico and oil in Venezuela. There was no information released about what information was obtained, nor any companies that were targeted. The report also said that Colombia, the strongest U.S. military ally in South America, along with Mexico and Brazil, were the countries where the U.S. program intercepted the biggest chunks of information on emails and telephone calls during the last five years. Similar activities took place in Argentina and Ecuador, among others…” Also, that “O Globo also reported that the documents it’s seen indicate the U.S. had data collection centers in 2002 for material intercepted from satellites in Bogota, Caracas, Mexico City and Panama City, along with Brasilia. There was no information published about the existence of these centers after 2002.”
Australia’s role in NSA data gathering
ZDNet, in an article, ‘Snowden leak reaffirms Australia’s four spy installations’ (http://www.zdnet.com/snowden-leak-reaffirms-australias-four-spy-installations-7000017799/), commented on O Globo revelations about Australia’s pivotal role, as one of the ’5 Eyes’ in the Echelon network, in gathering data for the NSA. “The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed that a number of slides allegedly leaked by Edward Snowden to Brazilian newspaper O Globo show Australia’s connection with US signals intelligence operations. The slides themselves indicate four signals intelligence collection points in Australia, and although they aren’t named, Fairfax has made the claim that these facilities are the Pine Gap, Northern Territory, US/Australian Joint Defence Facility; the Shoal Bay, NT, Receiving Station; the Geraldton, Western Australia, Australian Defence Satellite Communications Facility; and the Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, naval communications station HMAS Harman. These facilities have long been suspected of being used for signals interception and intelligence purposes, but the new document further builds confirmation of existing surveillance networks that have existed for years.” See alsofurther analysis (http://jaraparilla.blogspot.de/2013/07/nsa-surveillance-of-australia-exposed.html)on this by Jaraparilla. The Sydney Morning Herald also ran an article (http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/security-it/telstra-storing-data-on-behalf-of-us-government-20130712-hv0w4.html)on how the main Australian Telco, Telstra, has been cooperating, together with telecos from other countries in the region, in the capture of data for the USA for more than a decade.
http://darkernet.in/snowden-seeks-help-nsa-revelations-turn-into-deluge/

Tracy Riddle
07-12-2013, 01:43 PM
Ahh, the relatively low-tech early 70s. I bet the politicians miss it.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrRZVCg31fE

Kara Dellacioppa
07-13-2013, 02:17 AM
I would fast forward first half an hour.. .I could only find this on conspiracyscope blog was taken down at youtube...

Wayne Madsen is on at 1:25 for 15, i think its a great interview... Pinkney stuff on Travon Martin is before (its pretty interesting)

http://conspiracyscope.tumblr.com/

Magda Hassan
07-13-2013, 04:36 AM
Statement by Edward Snowden (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/edward-snowden) to human rights groups at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, posted by WikiLeaks: (http://wikileaks.org/Statement-by-Edward-Snowden-to.html)
Friday July 12, 15:00 UTC
Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone's communications at any time. That is the power to change people's fates.
It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.
I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.
That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.
Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/usa) of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president's plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.
Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/russia), Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.
I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela's President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.
This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.
If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.
Thank you.

Peter Lemkin
07-13-2013, 04:53 AM
Silicon Valley in cahoots with the NSA.

We had no choice, they bleat.

Well, I'm stunned, just stunned....

Not.




Revealed: how Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

• Secret files show scale of Silicon Valley co-operation on Prism
• Outlook.com encryption unlocked even before official launch
• Skype worked to enable Prism collection of video calls
• Company says it is legally compelled to comply




Spineless prostitutes who will do ANYTHING for money and keep silent - although many of them were tapped to become IT billionaires BECAUSE they were Intel Agencies/NSS approved! Those who 'wouldn't play ball', had their proprietary secrets given to others, etc.

Use Linux Ubuntu....it is everything that Microsuck is and better! And it is free and open source - and has every type of program MS does - in fact more! Only the conversion takes a little doing....I've done it.

Peter Lemkin
07-13-2013, 05:26 AM
Statement by Edward Snowden (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/edward-snowden) to human rights groups at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, posted by WikiLeaks: (http://wikileaks.org/Statement-by-Edward-Snowden-to.html)
Friday July 12, 15:00 UTC
Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone's communications at any time. That is the power to change people's fates.
It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.
I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.
That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.
Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/usa) of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president's plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.
Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/russia), Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.
I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela's President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.
This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.
If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.
Thank you.

Good statement. So, it was the no-fly listing that has made it impossible thus far, not the lifting of his passport! They want him trapped like Assange and Manning and many others. Obama is such a fake on transparency [which he campaigned on] - and all else. My, were the American People fooled by Obama! After they murdered JFK they won't even let anyone run [let alone win] who isn't a puppet of the Empire!

Magda Hassan
07-13-2013, 05:32 AM
You have to wonder what they have on Obama (and plenty of others) too. Not that he couldn't be a completely willing tool either.

Magda Hassan
07-13-2013, 06:21 AM
Silicon Valley in cahoots with the NSA.

We had no choice, they bleat.

Well, I'm stunned, just stunned....

Not.




Revealed: how Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

• Secret files show scale of Silicon Valley co-operation on Prism
• Outlook.com encryption unlocked even before official launch
• Skype worked to enable Prism collection of video calls
• Company says it is legally compelled to comply




Spineless prostitutes who will do ANYTHING for money and keep silent - although many of them were tapped to become IT billionaires BECAUSE they were Intel Agencies/NSS approved! Those who 'wouldn't play ball', had their proprietary secrets given to others, etc.

Use Linux Ubuntu....it is everything that Microsuck is and better! And it is free and open source - and has every type of program MS does - in fact more! Only the conversion takes a little doing....I've done it.

Not only co-operating with them but training them.

Report: Microsoft taught NSA how to crack encrypted emails
By Jennifer Martinez - 07/11/13 02:39 PM ET


Microsoft helped American intelligence officials gain easier access to their users' electronic communications, The Guardian reported (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data)on Thursday.

Documents leaked by former government contractor Edward Snowden show that Microsoft helped the National Security Agency (NSA) work around the encrypted code on its new Outlook portal after the spy agency expressed concern that it wouldn't be able to intercept Web chats, according to The Guardian.








Microsoft also gave the FBI easier access to its cloud storage service SkyDrive and let the NSA have access to email on Outlook and Hotmail before it was encrypted, according to the paper.

The video service Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, also allowed the NSA to cull video and audio conversations, the newspaper reported. The accusations are just the latest to surface about the NSA working with top tech companies to conduct surveillance. The Guardian and The Washington Post reported last month that Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other tech companies had allegedly given the NSA "direct access" to their servers that store user data.



Microsoft told The Guardian that it only hands over customer data "in response to government demands and we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers."

"When we upgrade or update products we aren't absolved from the need to comply with existing or future lawful demands," the company added.

The Guardian report runs counter to Microsoft's claims that it did not give the NSA access to its servers. All of the tech companies linked to the Prism surveillance program have denied prior knowledge about it and have attempted to distance themselves from it.

In addition to releasing figures on the number of government requests it receives for user data, Microsoft joined Google in filing a petition (http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/308151-microsoft-claims-right-to-publish-surveillance-data) with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to ask for permission to publish the aggregate number of national security requests they receive for user information. Google and Microsoft want to publish that figure separately from the number of criminal requests for user information they receive.

The aim is to quell users' concerns about how the companies handle and protect user data.




Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/310503-report-microsoft-gave-nsa-easier-access-to-encrypted-messages#ixzz2Yu772ds0

Tracy Riddle
07-14-2013, 01:28 AM
Don't know if this has been posted before.

The Complete Annotated History Of Spying (On Ourselves) by Tyler Durden

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-25/complete-annotated-history-spying-ourselves

(http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-25/complete-annotated-history-spying-ourselves)http://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/timeline (https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/timeline)




(http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-25/complete-annotated-history-spying-ourselves)

Peter Lemkin
07-14-2013, 03:48 AM
Don't know if this has been posted before.

The Complete Annotated History Of Spying (On Ourselves) by Tyler Durden

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-25/complete-annotated-history-spying-ourselves

(http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-25/complete-annotated-history-spying-ourselves)http://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/timeline (https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/timeline)




(http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-25/complete-annotated-history-spying-ourselves)

Interesting as it is depressing..... The fact it was put up by zerohedge [from the EFF] made me to thinking....they can listen in on who is about to buy/sell/hedge/etc. what stock or metal or commodity - so the all-pervasive-ear at NSA is the ultimate tool for insider trading and can make themselves or others rich - or ruin anyone they please, economically, [as well as other ways], at times. The opportunity for blackmail or even information if properly 'placed' could ruin someone's life or loves or job or ability to survive has always been there - and I'll bet my arm has been used thousands of times more than the interdiction of any real terrorists [not just watching our own ones]. And the 'beat' goes on...along with the murder/trial/entrapment of several who've tried to report on or stop this madness. :darthvader:

Peter Lemkin
07-15-2013, 10:18 AM
Snowden's Revelation Paves the Way for Federal Lawsuit Against NSA By Thom Hartmann (http://www.opednews.com/author/author1486.html)



The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed multiple lawsuits against the NSA for spying on Americans, but until now the government has convinced courts to block them.



http://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadnic/screen-shot-2013-07-13-at-2-25-48-pm-png_1486_20130713-695.png






You need to know this. Thanks to Edward Snowden, a federal court may finally hear the Electronic Frontier Foundation's case defending our Fourth Amendment rights. Long before the whistle-blower exposed top secret NSA documents, the EFF was fighting to protect our privacy.

The organization has filed multiple lawsuits against the NSA for spying on Americans, but until now the government has been able to convince the courts to block the EFF cases using legal technicalities like "standing" and "state secrets." But, those technical hurdles have been cleared since our nation found out about the NSA's massive surveillance programs.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White rejected the government's attempt to block the lawsuit using the so-called "state secrets" defense. Judge White dismissed other parts of the lawsuit, but allowed the Fourth Amendment claims to go forward. He ordered both parties to present more evidence on the constitutionality of government surveillance, and requested a briefing from officials explaining exactly how leaked NSA documents affected national security. The ruling was not a clear win for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but it removed one of the huge barriers the organization faced in its legal challenge.

Cindy Cohen, the EFF's legal director, said, "That is huge. That was the centerpiece of the government's defense."

When Edward Snowden revealed that Americans were, in fact, being spied on, the EFF and other privacy organizations cleared the first major hurdle, as they can now prove they have a right to challenge government surveillance in court. And, this recent ruling removed the NSA's second line of defense to a legal challenge. The only barrier now to a constitutional challenge is so-called "sovereign immunity" - which means these organizations can't sue the government unless the government allows them to do so. It is still a major hurdle, but the EFF isn't giving up without a fight. Stay tuned.

Jim Hackett II
07-15-2013, 10:22 AM
EFF hurrah!
They've been there before....

Peter Lemkin
07-15-2013, 04:23 PM
EFF hurrah!
They've been there before....

To be honest, I think in the current 'climate' it doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell....but it may wake some people up, IF it gets any coverage and is not crushed before it gets going [as has been done effectively each time before]! The Judiciary is like that under the Reich, IMHO [with a few exceptions at lower levels, usually]...the Judge knows and believes the Government MUST prevail...never mind the law...let alone justice. Power must be protected....and the more powerful, the more the protection. Any notion of equality, checks and balances, no one and no entity above the law, all equal under the law, etc. are all gone...long, long gone. Its power and money v. those that ain't got any.

Jim Hackett II
07-15-2013, 04:32 PM
I was applauding somebody suing as opposed to any less substantial reaction.

EFF and ACLU might be able to raise a "stink'.
Most folks just yawn.

Peter Lemkin
07-19-2013, 04:37 PM
Jimmy Carter Supports Snowden; Admits to Press: “America Has No Functioning Democracy”
July 18, 2013
Found this in one of Germany’s biggest newspapers; Spiegel. Of course we won’t hear about Carter’s comments in any American Press. To say “America has no functioning Democracy,” is quite the statement by a former President.
A direct link to that article, using google translate, can be found here.
Ex-President Carter: “The invasion of privacy has gone too far”
The Obama administration tried to placate Europe’s anger over spying programs. Not as ex-President Jimmy Carter: The Democrat attacked the U.S. intelligence sharp. The disclosure by whistleblowers Snowden was “useful.”
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was in the wake of the NSA Spähskandals criticized the American political system. “America has no functioning democracy,” Carter said Tuesday at a meeting of the “Atlantic Bridge” in Atlanta.
Previously, the Democrat had been very critical of the practices of U.S. intelligence. “I think the invasion of privacy has gone too far,” Carter told CNN. “And I think that is why the secrecy was excessive.”Overlooking the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said Carter, whose revelations were long “likely to be useful because they inform the public.”
Carter has repeatedly warned that the United States sharply declined due to excessive restriction of civil rights, their moral authority. Last year he wrote in an article in the “New York Times”, new U.S. laws “never before seen breach our privacy by the government” allowed the.
Carter was the 39th President of the United States, who ruled from 1977 until 1981. During his tenure, he tried to align U.S. foreign policy that is more about human rights – after his retirement from active politics for his humanitarian work, he received the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize .
In Atlanta, he also expressed his overall pessimistic about the global situation. There is currently no reason for him to be optimistic, Carter said, referring to the situation in Egypt, which had fallen into a military dictatorship. He also lamented the growing political divide in the United States, the excessive influence of money in U.S. election campaigns and the confusing American election rules. The ex-president whose “Carter Center” operates worldwide including election monitoring, announced skeptical whether the United States, the standard that applies when reviewing the Center of elections might be fulfilled.
As a bright spot, however, Carter called the triumph of modern technology that would have caused some of the countries of the Arab Spring of democratic progress. Exactly these developments but are endangered by the NSA Spähskandal as major U.S. Internet platforms such as Google or Facebook lose credibility worldwide.

Magda Hassan
07-20-2013, 09:34 AM
We wont even mention the irony of the US not extraditing Louis Posada to Venezuela for real crimes where he is to stand trial for terrorism charges and murder and bombing of a Cubana air plane. Nor that the US protects and refuses extradition of the former President of Bolivia Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada on charges of genocide.


An Open Letter to the Media on the 'Irony' of Snowden's Request for Asylum in Venezuela and Ecuador
by Latin America Experts

The supposed “irony” of whistle-blower Edward Snowden seeking asylum in countries such as Ecuador and Venezuela has become a media meme. Numerous articles, op-eds, reports and editorials in outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and MSNBC have hammered on this idea since the news first broke that Snowden was seeking asylum in Ecuador. It was a predictable retread (http://www.fair.org/blog/2013/06/25/washington-post-lets-punish-ecuador-again/) of the same meme (http://justice4assange.com/extraditing-assange.html#ECUADOR)last year when Julian Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and the Ecuadorian government deliberated his asylum request for months.

Of course, any such “ironies” would be irrelevant even if they were based on factual considerations. The media has never noted the “irony” of the many thousands of people who have taken refuge in the United States, which is currently torturing people in a secret prison at Guantanamo, and regularly kills civilians in drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and other countries. Nor has the press noted the “irony” of refugees who have fled here from terror that was actively funded and sponsored by the U.S. government, e.g. from Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, and other countries.
But in fact the “irony” that U.S. journalists mention is fantastically exaggerated. It is based on the notion that the governments of Venezuela under Chávez (and now Maduro) and Ecuador under Correa have clamped down on freedom of the press. Most consumers of the U.S. media unfortunately don’t know better, since they have not been to these countries and have not been able to see that the majority of media are overwhelmingly anti-government, and that it gets away with more than the U.S. media does here in criticizing the government. Imagine if Rupert Murdoch controlled most U.S media outlets, rather than the minority share that his News Corp actually owns – then you’d start to have some idea what the media landscape in Ecuador, Venezuela and most of Latin America looks like.
The fact is that most media outlets in Ecuador and Venezuela are privately-owned, and opposition in their orientation. Yes, the Venezuelan government’s communications authorities let the RCTV channel’s broadcast license expire in 2007. This was not a “shut down”; the channel was found to have violated numerous media regulations (http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/3882) regarding explicit content and others – the same kind of regulations to which media outlets are subject in the U.S. and many other countries. Even José Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights Watch – a fierce critic of Venezuela – has said (https://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/23/1405) that "lack of renewal of the contract [broadcast license], per se, is not a free speech issue." Also rarely mentioned in U.S. reporting on the RCTV case is that the channel and its owner actively and openly supported (http://articles.latimes.com/2007/may/30/opinion/oe-jones30) the short-lived coup d’etat against the democratically-elected government in 2002.
A July (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/venezuela-shows-that-it-cant-handle-the-truth/2013/07/10/084f5328-e987-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html) 10th piece from the Washington Post’s editorial board – which has never hid (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-606924.html) its deep hatred of Venezuela, Ecuador (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/26/AR2007012601552.html) and other left governments (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/13/AR2007121301630.html) in Latin America – describes another supposed grave instance of the Venezuelan government clamping down on press freedoms. The editorial, which was given greater publicity through Boing Boing and others, describes the case of journalist Nelson Bocaranda, who is credited with breaking the news of Chávez’s cancer in June 2011. The Post champions Bocaranda as a “courage[ous]” “teller of truth” and dismisses the Venezuelan government’s “charges” against him as “patently absurd.” In fact, Bocaranda has not been charged with anything; the Venezuelan government wants to know whether Bocaranda helped incite violence following the April 14 presidential elections, after which extreme sectors of the opposition attacked Cuban-run health clinics and homes and residences of governing party leaders, and in which some nine people were killed (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/08/us-venezuela-politics-idUSBRE94710I20130508) – mostly chavistas. The government cites a Tweet by Bocaranda in which he stated false information that ballot boxes were being hidden in a specific Cuban clinic in Gallo Verde, in Maracaibo state, and that the Cubans were refusing to let them be removed. Bocaranda later deleted the Tweet, but not before it was seen by hundreds of thousands (an image of it can be seen here (http://www.vtv.gob.ve/articulos/2013/04/16/twitter-de-nelson-bocaranda-desata-violencia-contra-cdi-y-medicos-cubanos-8986.html)). So while the Post dismisses the case against Bocaranda as “absurd,” the question remains: why did Bocaranda state such specific information, if he had no evidence to support it? Indeed, any such evidence would be second hand unless Bocaranda had seen the supposed “hidden” ballot boxes and the actions by the Cubans himself. The Venezuelan government’s summons for Bocaranda to explain himself is being characterized as a grave assault on press freedom, and perhaps it is an over-reaction – after all, many journalists report false information all the time. But wasn’t Bocaranda’s Tweet irresponsible, especially given the context of a volatile political situation?
In Ecuador, President Rafael Correa has been widely condemned in the U.S. media – in much reporting as well as commentary – for suing a prominent journalist, Emilio Palacio, for defamation. The defamatory content was, in fact, serious. It relates to a 2010 incident in which Correa was first assaulted and then later held captive by rebelling police in what many observers (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/10/1/ecuador_declares_state_of_emergency_as) deemed an attempt at a coup d’etat. Military forces ultimately rescued Correa. But in a February 2011 column referring to the episode, Palacio alleged (http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/cyclicalConsumerGoodsSector/idUKL2E8DR69P20120227) that Correa had committed “crimes against humanity,” and that he had ordered the military forces to fire on the hospital where he was being held at the time. So Correa sued Palacio for defamation and won. What some U.S. media outlets have failed to mention is that he subsequently pardoned (http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/cyclicalConsumerGoodsSector/idUKL2E8DR69P20120227)Palacio, and had made clear from the beginning that he would have dropped the lawsuit if Palacio ran a correction. In other words, all that Correa did was exercise his right as a citizen under the law to sue someone who had printed an outrageous lie about him. This is a right that most elected officials have in most countries, including the United States.
Former AP reporter Bart Jones has written (http://articles.latimes.com/2007/may/30/opinion/oe-jones30):

Would a network that aided and abetted a coup against the government be allowed to operate in the United States? The U.S. government probably would have shut down RCTV within five minutes after a failed coup attempt -- and thrown its owners in jail. Chavez's government allowed it to continue operating for five years, and then declined to renew its 20-year license to use the public airwaves.
Considering the massive extent of “national security” overreach following the 9/11 attacks, it is almost incomprehensible to imagine what a U.S. administration’s reaction to a coup attempt would be, but it certainly would not be as restrained as in Ecuador or Venezuela, where a fiercely critical press not only exists, but thrives.
Many commentators have cited Reporters Without Borders and other media watchdog groups’ criticisms of Ecuador’s proposed new “Organic Law of Communication.” In an example of true irony, such supposedly objective journalists have been more critical of Ecuador’s proposed media reforms than RSF itself has been, which noted that (http://en.rsf.org/ecuador-new-media-law-mix-of-good-14-06-2013,44795.html):

…we think that other provisions conform to international legal standards. They include restrictions on broadcasting hours for the protection of minors, the prohibition of racist and discriminatory content and the prohibition of deliberate calls for violence.
Finally, the provisions governing nationally-produced broadcasting content are broadly similar to those in force in most other countries.
Organizations such as RSF and Freedom House are supposed to be impartial arbiters of press freedom around the world and are rarely subject to scrutiny. Yet both (http://www.freedomhouse.org/content/freedom-house-annual-reports) have taken funding (http://en.rsf.org/income-and-expenditure-07-09-2009,34401.html) from the U.S. government and/or U.S.-government supported organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (which was set up to conduct activities “much of [which]” the “CIA used to fund covertly,” as the Washington Post reported at the time, and which also provided funding and training (http://web.archive.org/web/20130603172949/http:/southoftheborderdoc.com/2002-venezuela-coup/) to organizations involved in the afore-mentioned 2002 Venezuelan coup) and other “democracy promotion” groups. The NED has spent millions of dollars in Venezuela (http://ned.org/where-we-work/latin-america-and-caribbean/venezuela) and Ecuador (http://ned.org/where-we-work/latin-america-and-caribbean/ecuador) in recent years to support groups opposed to the governments there. This conflict of interest is never noted in the press, and RSF and Freedom House, when they are cited, are invariably presented as noble defenders of press freedom, for whom ulterior motives are apparently unimaginable.
The true irony in the cases of Snowden, Assange, Manning and others is that the U.S. government, while claiming to defend freedom of the press, speech and information, has launched an assault on the media that is unprecedented in U.S. history. The extreme lengths to which it has gone to apprehend (witness the forced downing of President Evo Morales’ plane in Austria) and punish (Bradley Manning (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hPjULxh7XTumdVF9KOdNbmSepIyw?docId=CNG.22aa4 5f7bb7fdcc8e785736d6900800e.ae1) being the most obvious example) whistle-blowers (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/obamas-whistleblowers-stuxnet-leaks-drones) is clear. Apparently less understood by some U.S. journalists is that it is part of an assault on these very freedoms that the U.S. government pretends to uphold. The U.S. government’s pursuit of Wikileaks – through grand jury (http://www.salon.com/2011/06/09/wikileaks_27/) and FBI (http://www.thenation.com/article/169209/fate-julian-assange) investigations, and open condemnation of Julian Assange as a “terrorist (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/19/assange-high-tech-terrorist-biden)” – is a blatant attack on the press. It seems too many journalists forget – or willingly overlook – that Wikileaks is a media organization, and that the leaks that have so infuriated the U.S. government, from the “Collateral Murder (http://www.collateralmurder.com/)” video to “Cablegate (http://wikileaks.org/cablegate.html)”, Wikileaks published in partnership with major media outlets including the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and others. Now, as Edward Snowden’s leaks are published in The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/series/glenn-greenwald-security-liberty) and other outlets, efforts have been launched to delegitimize journalist Glenn Greenwald, and some in the media (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/10/washington-post-walter-pincus-correction) have been all too willing (http://billmoyers.com/2013/06/26/david-gregory-glenn-greenwald-and-the-first-amendment/) to take part in attacking one of their own, simply for exposing government abuse – i.e. doing journalism.
There is a long history of partnership between traditional, corporate media outlets in the U.S. and those in Latin America. Due to a variety of reasons, including educational, class and often racial backgrounds, journalists throughout the hemisphere often tend to share certain biases. It is the journalist’s duty to be as objective as possible, however, and to let the media consumer decide where the truth lies. Likewise, eagerly going along with double standards that reinforce paradigms of “American exceptionalism” and that overlook the U.S.’ long, checkered human rights history and minimize the importance of over a century of U.S. intervention and interference in Latin America does a great injustice to journalism and the public. Likewise, media distortions of the state of democracy and press freedoms in countries that are routinely condemned by the U.S. government – such as Venezuela and Ecuador - contribute to a climate of demonization that enables U.S. aggression against those countries and damages relations between the people of the U.S. and our foreign neighbors.

Sincerely,
Thomas Adams, Visiting Professor, Tulane University
Marc Becker, Professor, Department of History, Truman State University
Julia Buxton, Venezuela specialist
Barry Carr, Honorary Research Associate, La Trobe University, Australia
George Ciccariello-Maher, Assistant Professor, Drexel University
Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History and Coordinator of Latin American Studies, Salem State University
Luis Duno-Gottberg, Associate Professor, Caribbean and Film Studies, Rice University
Steve Ellner, Professor, Universidad de Oriente, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela
Arturo Escobar, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Nicole Fabricant, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Towson University
Sujatha Fernandes, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York
John French, Professor, Department of History, Duke University
Lesley Gill, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University
Greg Grandin, Professor, Department of History, New York University
Daniel Hellinger, Professor, Department of Political Science, Webster University
Forrest Hylton, Lecturer, History and Literature, Harvard University
Chad Montrie, Professor, Department of History, UMASS-Lowell,
Deborah Poole, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University,
Margaret Power, Professor, Department of History, Illinois Institute of Technology
Adolph Reed, Jr., Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
Gerardo Renique, Associate Professor, Department of History, City College of the City University of New York
Suzana Sawyer, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California
T.M. Scruggs, Professor Emeritus, School of Music, University of Iowa

Steve Striffler, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of New Orleans
Miguel Tinker Salas, Professor, Department of History, Pomona College
Sinclair Thomson, Associate Professor, Department of History, New York University
Jeffery R. Webber, Lecturer, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary, University of London
Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Magda Hassan
07-22-2013, 09:02 AM
Germany intelligence cooperated with NSA as Merkel denied knowledge – reportGet short URL (http://rt.com/news/germany-nsa-usa-xkeyscore-378/)
Published time: July 21, 2013 10:56
Edited time: July 22, 2013 08:48

A man wears a mask of U.S. President Barack Obama during a protest in support of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, July 4, 2013.(Reuters / Thomas Peter)






Germany's foreign intelligence service, the BND, along with the domestic intelligence agency the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), used American National Security Agency’s (NSA) XKeyScore program, according to Spiegel which claims to have seen the US intelligence service’s secret documents.Der Spiegel magazine has revealed German intelligence operated one of NSA’s spying programs. Chancellor Angela Merkel had denied any previous knowledge of NSA’s tactics, adding that she first learned about them through the media.
The BfV office had the XKeyScore program, which was installed to “expand their ability to support NSA as we jointly prosecute CT (counterterrorism) targets.” And the BND office was tasked with showing the BfV how to operate the program, the secret documents said.
An internal NSA presentation from 2008 revealed that XKeyScore is able to expose any terms a person under surveillance has typed into a search engine and receive a “full intake” of all unfiltered data over a period of several days, including content of communications.
The program uses metadata – information about data connections – to access the targeted information.
The documents also disclosed that up to 500 million German data connections were accessed monthly by the NSA. The majority of the connections were collected through the XKeyScore program.
An aerial view of the construction site of the new Federal Intelligence Service (BND) headquarters in Chausseestrasse in the district of Mitte in Berlin.(Reuters / Robert Grahn)


Documents also reveal cooperation between the NSA and Germany recently strengthened, referencing BND head Gerhard Schindler’s “eagerness and desire”.
"The BND has been working to influence the German government to relax interpretation of the privacy laws to provide greater opportunities of intelligence sharing," Spiegel quotes the NSA as saying in January. And in 2012 Germany showed a “willingness to take risks and to pursue new opportunities for cooperation with the US.”
The document further stated that BND was NSA’s “most prolific partner” in information gathering in Afghanistan.
The magazine reports that the relationship between the two is close “on a personal level” and at the end of April, just before Edward Snowden’s first revelations about NSA spying programs, a 12-member high-level BND delegation was invited to the NSA to meet specialists on the subject of "data acquisition."
The BND, BfV and the NSA have refused to comment about their connection.
In the meantime, Chancellor Merkel spoke out strongly in favor of an international agreement to protect electronic data.
“We should be able, in the 21st century, to sign global agreements,” Merkel told the weekly Welt am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday. “If digital communication raises new questions worldwide, then we should take up the challenge. Germany is working for that.”
Angela Merkel is facing re-election on September 22 and has received pressure from critics to admit what she knew about the US online surveillance.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel.(AFP Photo / Johannes Eisele)


It emerged recently that Germany happens to be the most-snooped-on EU country by the American National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA’s real-time online surveillance PRISM program allows US intelligence agencies to intercept virtually any communications over the internet, phone calls and makes possible direct access to files stored on the servers of major internet companies.
In early July, US fugitive Edward Snowden accused Germany and the US of partnering in spy intelligence operations, revealing that cooperation (http://rt.com/news/snowden-nsa-cooperate-germany-755/) between the countries is closer than German indignation would indicate.
Chancellor Merkel declared that she learnt about the US surveillance programs, such as the NSA’s PRISM spy program, “through the current reporting” in the media.
Yet, Angela Merkel in interview to Die Zeit weekly stressed (http://rt.com/news/merkel-nsa-scandal-zeit-931/) that “America has been, and is, our most loyal ally over the decades,” but pointed out that Washington should clear up the situation with the US allegedly bugging the embassies of European countries and EU facilities, noting that “the Cold War is over.”
The German government subsequently summoned US Ambassador Philip Murphy to Berlin to explain the incendiary reports.
http://rt.com/news/germany-nsa-usa-xkeyscore-378/

Jan Klimkowski
07-22-2013, 05:53 PM
“We should be able, in the 21st century, to sign global agreements,” Merkel told the weekly Welt am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday. “If digital communication raises new questions worldwide, then we should take up the challenge. Germany is working for that.”

Fixed the quote:

“We should be able, in the 21st century, to sign global agreements enabling us to spy on the common Volk everywhere,” Merkel told the weekly Welt am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday. “If digital communication raises new snooping opportunities worldwide, then we should take up the challenge. Germany is working for that.”

Keith Millea
07-22-2013, 06:51 PM
Published on Monday, July 22, 2013 by Common Dreams (http://www.commondreams.org)

Germany and the NSA: Spying BFFs

NSA equipped Germany's domestic and foreign intelligence agencies with spy program that makes "almost total digital surveillance possible"

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

http://www.commondreams.org/sites/commondreams.org/files/imce-images/nsa_bnd_spiegel_0.jpgA demonstration against NSA surveillance at the U.S. Army’s Dagger Complex, thought to be an NSA listening station, near Griesheim, Germany. (Photo: Joachim S. Müller/cc/flickr)

Germany was a willing and eager partner to the NSA's vast surveillance, German news magazine Der Spiegel has reported (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/german-intelligence-worked-closely-with-nsa-on-data-surveillance-a-912355.html), countering claims by the German government that it was unaware of the NSA's spying programs.

The reporting by Spiegel is based on a "top secret" NSA document revealed to them by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

According to the document, Germany was the NSA's "most prolific partner" in Afghanistan.

Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND, sought to cultivate a relationship with the NSA, meeting with the agency's secretive Special Source Operations, and, the magazine reports,
cooperation between Berlin and Washington in the area of digital surveillance and defense has intensified considerably during the tenure of Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to one document, the Germans are determined to "strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation."


And the head of the BND, Gerhard Schindler, showed an "eagerness and desire" for the partnership, while German officials showed a "willingness to take risks and to pursue new opportunities for cooperation with the US."

Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the BfV, is also tied to a cozy relationship with the NSA, the magazine reports. Both the BfV and BND were equipped with the NSA's spy program XKeyScore to “expand their ability to support NSA as we jointly prosecute CT [counter-terrorism] targets.”

XKeyScore, Spiegel reports,
doesn't just track call connection records, but can also capture the contents of communication, at least in part.
In addition, the system makes it possible to retroactively view which key words targeted individuals enter into Internet search engines and which locations they search for on Google Maps.
The program, for which there are several expansions known as plug-ins, apparently has even more capabilities. For instance, "user activity" can be monitored practically in real time and "anomalous events" traced in Internet traffic. If this is true, it means that XKeyscore makes almost total digital surveillance possible.


The hope for the NSA was that the cross-Atlantic cooperation "could benefit both Germany and the US."

At a press conference on Friday, where she faced a barrage of questions on the NSA surveillance, Merkel said (http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-07-19/world/40664710_1_merkel-s-east-germany-peer-steinbrueck), “Germany is not a nation of surveillance. Germany is a nation of freedom.”

Repeat:“Germany is not a nation of surveillance. Germany is a nation of freedom.”

Except,Ms.Merkel,you just got caught lying your ass off.....:nono:

Jan Klimkowski
07-22-2013, 07:11 PM
As all DPF members know:


Gehlen Organization or Gehlen Org (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gehlen_Org) was an intelligence agency established in June 1946 by U.S. occupation authorities in the United States Zone of Germany, and consisted of former members of the 12th Department of the Army General Staff (Foreign Armies East, or FHO). It carries the name of Reinhard Gehlen.

Gehlen had all along been under the tutelage of US Army G-2 (intelligence), but he wished to establish and succeeded in establishing an association with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in 1947. In alliance with the CIA, the military orientation of the organization turned increasingly toward political, economic and technical espionage against the Eastern bloc and the moniker "Pullach" became synonymous with secret service intrigues.[1]

The Org was for many years the only eyes and ears of the CIA on the ground in the Soviet Bloc nations during the Cold War. The CIA kept close tabs on the Gehlen group: the Org supplied the manpower while the CIA supplied the material needs for clandestine operations, including funding, cars and airplanes.

(snip)

The Gehlen Org employed hundreds of ex-Nazis. Gehlen initially rejected hiring ex-SS personnel, but later as justification for their recruiting he insinuated that the East German State Security Service had been largely run by ex-SS personnel, i.e., it takes one to catch the other.[7]

(snip)

On April 1, 1956, the Gehlen Org was formally established as the Bundesnachrichtendienst (or Federal Intelligence Agency) of the Federal Republic of Germany, which exists to this day. Reinhard Gehlen stepped down as president in 1968 after reaching retirement age.



World War II was only twenty years earlier. Those in charge of the police, the schools, the government — they were the same people who'd been in charge under Nazism. The chancellor, Kurt Georg Kiesinger, had been a Nazi. People started discussing this only in the 60's. We were the first generation since the war, and we were asking our parents questions. Due to the Nazi past, everything bad was compared to the Third Reich. If you heard about police brutality, that was said to be just like the SS. The moment you see your own country as the continuation of a fascist state, you give yourself permission to do almost anything against it. You see your action as the resistance that your parents did not put up.
— Stefan Aust, author of Der Baader Meinhof Komplex[20]

Jan Klimkowski
07-26-2013, 03:44 PM
Another lie exposed.

Allegedly your mobile can be located even when it's turned off.


There’s No Hiding from the NSA

Submitted by Pivotfarm on 07/25/2013 14:13 -0400

Follow ZeroHedge (http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-07-25/there%E2%80%99s-no-hiding-nsa) in Real-Time on FinancialJuice

If you really do want to have every single trace of you lost, then you might like to think about living under ground for the rest of your life, or up a mountain in Outer Mongolia. The chances are that you will be found anyhow. It turns out that the National Security Agency of the US can actually locate your cell phone even when it has been turned off and is no longer emitting a signal.

It was previously believed by people that you could only locate the last emitted signal and if turned off, then that signal was lost. Your last known whereabouts could only be found. Now, it seems that that’s not true. In Back-to-the Future-Flash-Gordon style, the NSA has gone beyond the bounds of technology, pushed the boat all the way out and they can find us even when you power down your phone. Is there no peace for the wicked, honestly? An even less peace for the honest, wickedly!

Are our everyday lives so interesting that I have to be monitored by the NSA? Says quite a lot for their own existence, doesn’t it? Either they are just enjoying the voyeurism of listening into my conversations or eavesdropping on my texts when I write something like “hey, where are you?” or “Be home soon, honey”, or they really do have nothing else to do.

Are my texts that interesting to the NSA?

The NSA had developed what they call ‘The Find’ by 2004, in the wake of growing anxiety over 9/11 and terrorism. The device enabled the locating of people via their mobile phones even when they were turned off. Normally, the phone loses the connection to the grid and when turned off it’s impossible to locate it. By 2006 in addition, it was also stated that the FBI was able to infect mobile phones with spyware viruses that allowed them to be located when turned off.

We will all remember when journalists were asked by Edward Snowden to turn their phones off and then put them in the fridge. Very James Bond-007-treatment, don’t you think? But, Mr. Snowden, that wouldn’t have done very much apart from keep them in a cool place for storage. Blackberry was the target in the United Arab Emirates in 2009 of the fake update that was in fact a spyware virus. Are we sure that what we download from Apple or any other such phone producer is a bone fide update, these days? Are phone companies providing access today via downloads to our cell phones and mobile devices? Hardly needs very much of an answer, does it? Bit of a no-brainer these days really.

Targeting people that are the real security issues to our countries might well be acceptable: protecting the masses by eavesdropping on the dangerous few. But, the whole problem in this story is that just possibly we have all downloaded an update from our phone providers these past few years and months, or even days. Perhaps mass infection by spyware means that the minority that is a security issue have been ‘got’. But, it also means you and I have been well and truly ‘got’ too. Anyhow, I have probably unknowingly typed one of the 70, 000 keywords that launchesPrism onto my back and gets me monitored today in this article. Wonder who can get the list of them?

Magda Hassan
07-27-2013, 03:40 AM
Another lie exposed.

Allegedly your mobile can be located even when it's turned off.


Yes. I don't even know now if taking your battery and SIM card out will work. There was a recent murder case here in Melbourne. The woman was missing and they traced her phone movements and collected the CCTV footage from the route and matched it with a suspect. His mobile phone matched the same route at the same times. In this case it was good police work but we know they are doing this all the time.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/jill-meaghers-final-moments-on-a-fateful-path/story-fnat79vb-1226598588787

Peter Lemkin
07-27-2013, 04:47 AM
Another lie exposed.

Allegedly your mobile can be located even when it's turned off.


Yes. I don't even know now if taking your battery and SIM card out will work. There was a recent murder case here in Melbourne. The woman was missing and they traced her phone movements and collected the CCTV footage from the route and matched it with a suspect. His mobile phone matched the same route at the same times. In this case it was good police work but we know they are doing this all the time.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/jill-meaghers-final-moments-on-a-fateful-path/story-fnat79vb-1226598588787

A rare example of this being used to solve a crime, rather than create one by illegal spying. I do believe removing the battery and SIM card would prevent tracking/listening in. In order to get some response from a phone when the battery is removed they must supply some energy via a beam of some kind and frequency....thus, would not be used for general surveillance - but for specific surveillance, IMO....as this is very intensive targeting and hard work for people, not computers alone. Don't think they YET have such a general system set up for this via automated systems, with the exception of collection devices that are able to detect any mobile phone that passes by it - with or without a battery - [many of these are mounted now in cities along busy roads, in shopping areas, city centers, etc.] Big Brother welcomes you and watches your every move!:spy:

Albert Rossi
07-27-2013, 09:40 PM
You've all probably seen this, but I'll post it anyway.

4992

And, while I'm at it, another one from a couple of years ago.

4993

Malcolm Pryce
07-27-2013, 09:40 PM
Remove the battery? Ha those were the days! The iPhone battery is built in. The story has been going round for a long time now that the spooks can turn your phone's microphone on and listen in, even when the phone is switched off. If true, that's quite an astonishing development since every one in the developed world has a mobile phone and most people keep it close to hand, even on the bedside table. Just think, they can tune in and listen to people fuck all over the world. If it's technically possible you can guarantee they would do it, if only as a party trick to entertain new recruits.

Peter Lemkin
07-28-2013, 03:54 AM
Remove the battery? Ha those were the days! The iPhone battery is built in. The story has been going round for a long time now that the spooks can turn your phone's microphone on and listen in, even when the phone is switched off. If true, that's quite an astonishing development since every one in the developed world has a mobile phone and most people keep it close to hand, even on the bedside table. Just think, they can tune in and listen to people fuck all over the world. If it's technically possible you can guarantee they would do it, if only as a party trick to entertain new recruits.

That's for sure. They have long been able to listen to voice and the gps location even when you think you have the phone off! I'd not buy a phone one can't take the battery and SIM card out of, if you care about your privacy - especially if you ever plan to make an 'escape' from authorities [in which case you'll need another SIM card not registered to you* and never before used by you!....a whole bunch of them would be best; a new one every day and every few hours if on the 'run'. It seems that they've gotten the major companies to allow both back-door entry and now to build them where one can't remove the battery.....very clever, eh!?...or is that sinister. Elsewhere I mentioned that slightly over 20 years ago I met and interviewed a rouge NSA person who was quite low level - basically a computer tender on the night shift. He told me, among more substantive things, that to entertain themselves, and under the guise to their bosses of making sure the system was working, they would randomly plug into the stream of downloaded conversations - until they found a 'sexy' one, and then they'd tell their buddies how to locate it and listen in too. So, your guess is on the mark...and that was over 20 years ago. :pirate:

On a slightly different angle...but related....the NSA and like organizations can - besides making/storing illegal and immoral recordings of voice, photos, video, geospatial position, and other data - create out of thin air fake recordings, as I believe they did with many of the 'phone calls' from doomed planes on 9-11-01. And since we now have secret courts and secret trial 'evidence', what is to stop them from presenting faked accounts of who one called, where one was, and what one said and did....etc.

The future doesn't look very rosy unless we stop this monster that has been created - [U]and very quickly. This cancer is about to kill the host, which is already in 'intensive care' and dying.

*As it has been a long times since I lived in my own country and never bought a mobile phone there, I don't know if when one buys a SIM card it is registered as to who bought it. Here, it is not and one can go in and pay cash for a handful of them - even choose the numbers one likes of those available. Unlike in the US, from what I understand, you do not have to register with a company provider, but can just pay as one goes using prepaid cards. I keep an extra SIM card and unregistered mobile [with removable battery] handy, purchased in another part of the planet and not by me....just in case.

David Guyatt
07-28-2013, 06:33 AM
If they listened in to my conversations/texts they'd die of boredom.

Suits me.:phone:

I always figured the in-built battery in the iPhone was to ensure people keep buying new iPhones, rather than anything else. But I can see how it could have a multiple layer to it.

Peter Lemkin
07-29-2013, 01:09 PM
Bruce Fein & Associates, Inc.
722 12th Street, N.W., 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: 703-963-4968
bruce@thelichfieldgroup.comJuly 26, 2013
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution
Dear Mr. President:
You are acutely aware that the history of liberty is a history of civil disobedience to unjust laws or practices. As Edmund Burke sermonized, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Civil disobedience is not the first, but the last option. Henry David Thoreau wrote with profound restraint in Civil Disobedience: “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.”
Thoreau’s moral philosophy found expression during the Nuremburg trials in which “following orders” was rejected as a defense. Indeed, military law requires disobedience to clearly illegal orders.
A dark chapter in America’s World War II history would not have been written if the then United States Attorney General had resigned rather than participate in racist concentration camps imprisoning 120,000 Japanese American citizens and resident aliens.
Civil disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act and Jim Crow laws provoked the end of slavery and the modern civil rights revolution.
We submit that Edward J. Snowden’s disclosures of dragnet surveillance of Americans under § 215 of the Patriot Act, § 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments, or otherwise were sanctioned by Thoreau’s time-honored moral philosophy and justifications for civil disobedience. Since 2005, Mr. Snowden had been employed by the intelligence community. He found himself complicit in secret, indiscriminate spying on millions of innocent citizens contrary to the spirit if not the letter of the First and Fourth Amendments and the transparency indispensable to self-government. Members of Congress entrusted with oversight remained silent or Delphic. Mr. Snowden confronted a choice between civic duty and passivity. He may have recalled the injunction of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.” Mr. Snowden chose duty. Your administration vindictively responded with a criminal complaint alleging violations of the Espionage Act.
From the commencement of your administration, your secrecy of the National Security Agency’s Orwellian surveillance programs had frustrated a national conversation over their legality, necessity, or morality. That secrecy (combined with congressional nonfeasance) provoked Edward’s disclosures, which sparked a national conversation which you have belatedly and cynically embraced. Legislation has been introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate to curtail or terminate the NSA’s programs, and the American people are being educated to the public policy choices at hand. A commanding majority now voice concerns over the dragnet surveillance of Americans that Edward exposed and you concealed. It seems mystifying to us that you are prosecuting Edward for accomplishing what you have said urgently needed to be done!
The right to be left alone from government snooping–the most cherished right among civilized people—is the cornerstone of liberty. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson served as Chief Prosecutor at Nuremburg. He came to learn of the dynamics of the Third Reich that crushed a free society, and which have lessons for the United States today.
Writing in Brinegar v. United States, Justice Jackson elaborated:
The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing
the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
These, I protest, are not mere second-class rights but belong in the catalog of indispensable freedoms. Among deprivations of rights, none is so
effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart. Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the
first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government. And one need only briefly to have dwelt and worked among a people possessed of many admirable qualities but deprived of these rights to know that the human personality deteriorates and dignity and self-reliance
disappear where homes, persons and possessions are subject at any hour to unheralded search and seizure by the police.
We thus find your administration’s zeal to punish Mr. Snowden’s discharge of civic duty to protect democratic processes and to safeguard liberty to be unconscionable and indefensible.
We are also appalled at your administration’s scorn for due process, the rule of law, fairness, and the presumption of innocence as regards Edward.
On June 27, 2013, Mr. Fein wrote a letter to the Attorney General stating that Edward’s father was substantially convinced that he would return to the United States to confront the charges that have been lodged against him if three cornerstones of due process were guaranteed. The letter was not an ultimatum, but an invitation to discuss fair trial imperatives. The Attorney General has sneered at the overture with studied silence.
We thus suspect your administration wishes to avoid a trial because of constitutional doubts about application of the Espionage Act in these circumstances, and obligations to disclose to the public potentially embarrassing classified information under the Classified Information Procedures Act.
Your decision to force down a civilian airliner carrying Bolivian President Eva Morales in hopes of kidnapping Edward also does not inspire confidence that you are committed to providing him a fair trial. Neither does your refusal to remind the American people and prominent Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate like House Speaker John Boehner, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann,and Senator Dianne Feinstein that Edward enjoys a presumption of innocence. He should not be convicted before trial. Yet Speaker Boehner has denounced Edward as a “traitor.”
Ms. Pelosi has pontificated that Edward “did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents.” Ms. Bachmann has pronounced that, “This was not the act of a patriot; this was an act of a traitor.” And Ms. Feinstein has decreed that Edward was guilty of “treason,” which is defined in Article III of the Constitution as “levying war” against the United States, “or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”
You have let those quadruple affronts to due process pass unrebuked, while you have disparaged Edward as a “hacker” to cast aspersion on his motivations and talents. Have you forgotten the Supreme Court’s gospel in Berger v. United States that the interests of the government “in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done?”
We also find reprehensible your administration’s Espionage Act prosecution of Edward for disclosures indistinguishable from those which routinely find their way into the public domain via your high level appointees for partisan political advantage. Classified details of your predator drone protocols, for instance, were shared with the New York Times with impunity to bolster your national security credentials. Justice Jackson observed in Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. New York: “The framers of the Constitution knew, and we should not forget today, that there is no more effective practical guaranty against arbitrary and unreasonable government than to require that the principles of law which officials would impose upon a minority must be imposed generally.”
In light of the circumstances amplified above, we urge you to order the Attorney General to move to dismiss the outstanding criminal complaint against Edward, and to support legislation to remedy the NSA surveillance abuses he revealed. Such presidential directives would mark your finest constitutional and moral hour.
Sincerely,
Bruce Fein
Counsel for Lon Snowden
Lon Snowden

Peter Lemkin
07-29-2013, 01:23 PM
Today on "This Week," Glenn Greenwald - the reporter who broke the story about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs - claimed that those NSA programs allowed even low-level analysts to search the private emails and phone calls of Americans.
"The NSA has trillions of telephone calls and emails in their databases that they've collected over the last several years," Greenwald told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "And what these programs are, are very simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use, where all an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it does two things. It searches that database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you've entered, and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or that IP address do in the future."
Greenwald explained that while there are "legal constraints" on surveillance that require approval by the FISA court (http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/verizongate-scandal-obamas-phone-spying-distasteful-legal/story?id=19338669), these programs still allow analysts to search through data with little court approval or supervision.
"There are legal constraints for how you can spy on Americans," Greenwald said. "You can't target them without going to the FISA court. But these systems allow analysts to listen to whatever emails they want, whatever telephone calls, browsing histories, Microsoft Word documents."
"And it's all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst," he added.
But the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee told Stephanopoulos he would be shocked if such programs existed.
"It wouldn't just surprise me, it would shock me," Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia, said on "This Week" Sunday.
Chambliss said he recently spent time with NSA officials and was assured that the programs Greenwald describes have been exaggerated.
"I was back out at NSA just last week, spent a couple hours out there with high and low level NSA officials," Chambliss said. "And what I have been assured of is that there is no capability at NSA for anyone without a court order to listen to any telephone conversation or to monitor any e-mail."
Chambliss said that any monitoring of emails is purely "accidental."
"In fact, we don't monitor emails. That's what kind of assures me is that what the reporting is is not correct. Because no emails are monitored now," Chambliss said. "They used to be, but that stopped two or three years ago. So I feel confident that there may have been some abuse, but if it was it was pure accidental."
But Greenwald said the existence of these analyst search programs are in line with the claims of Edward Snowden, who first leaked details of the NSA's surveillance programs last month.
http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/oewAKDJQ64Q.DGw63YBiew--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTI0MA--/http://a.abcnews.com/images/Politics/ABC_glenn_greenwald_this_week_jt_130728_16x9_608.j pgGlenn Greenwald

"It's an incredibly powerful and invasive tool, exactly of the type that Mr. Snowden described," Greenwald said.
NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and House Intelligence leaders have previously downplayed (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/us-surveillance-syria-issue-defense-bill-19743283) Snowden's access to NSA data. Greenwald said the revelation of this search capability deserves a response from NSA officials.
"NSA officials are going to be testifying before the Senate on Wednesday, and I defy them to deny that these programs work exactly as I just said," Greenwald said.
Greenwald also called on lawmakers to push for more information about the NSA's surveillance programs.
"The real issue here is that what the NSA does is done in complete secrecy. Nobody really monitors who they are eavesdropping on," Greenwald said. "So the question of abuse is one that the Congress ought to be investigating much more aggressively."

Jan Klimkowski
07-29-2013, 06:28 PM
Bruce Fein & Associates, Inc.
722 12th Street, N.W., 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: 703-963-4968
bruce@thelichfieldgroup.comJuly 26, 2013
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution
Dear Mr. President:
You are acutely aware that the history of liberty is a history of civil disobedience to unjust laws or practices. As Edmund Burke sermonized, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Civil disobedience is not the first, but the last option. Henry David Thoreau wrote with profound restraint in Civil Disobedience: “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.”
Thoreau’s moral philosophy found expression during the Nuremburg trials in which “following orders” was rejected as a defense. Indeed, military law requires disobedience to clearly illegal orders.
A dark chapter in America’s World War II history would not have been written if the then United States Attorney General had resigned rather than participate in racist concentration camps imprisoning 120,000 Japanese American citizens and resident aliens.
Civil disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act and Jim Crow laws provoked the end of slavery and the modern civil rights revolution.
We submit that Edward J. Snowden’s disclosures of dragnet surveillance of Americans under § 215 of the Patriot Act, § 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments, or otherwise were sanctioned by Thoreau’s time-honored moral philosophy and justifications for civil disobedience. Since 2005, Mr. Snowden had been employed by the intelligence community. He found himself complicit in secret, indiscriminate spying on millions of innocent citizens contrary to the spirit if not the letter of the First and Fourth Amendments and the transparency indispensable to self-government. Members of Congress entrusted with oversight remained silent or Delphic. Mr. Snowden confronted a choice between civic duty and passivity. He may have recalled the injunction of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.” Mr. Snowden chose duty. Your administration vindictively responded with a criminal complaint alleging violations of the Espionage Act.

Great letter from Snowden's father.

And it's fallen on wilfully deaf ears.

Peter Lemkin
07-31-2013, 05:11 AM
Internet Fascism and the Surveillance State July 30th, 2013http://www.constantinereport.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/imagesCAU42WZJ.jpg?w=307&h=200&crop=1




” … The NSA presents its surveillance operations as being directed toward security issues. … However, secret NSA documents reveal that their surveillance is used to gather intelligence to achieve political goals for the US government. … The true purpose of the NSA is not to keep us safe. Its goal is to own the internet, to own our communications, to own our private thoughts — to own us. … “
Jul 15, 2013Ben O’Neill writes: What is the purpose of telecommunication and internet surveillance? The NSA presents its surveillance operations as being directed toward security issues, claiming that the programs are needed to counter terrorist attacks. Bald assertions of plots foiled are intended to bolster this claim. However, secret NSA documents reveal that their surveillance is used to gather intelligence to achieve political goals for the US government.
Agency documents show extensive surveillance of communications from allied governments, including the targeting of embassies and missions. Reports from an NSA whistleblower also allege that the agency has targeted and intercepted communications from a range of high-level political and judicial officials, anti-war groups, US banking firms and other major companies and non-government organizations. This suggests that the goal of surveillance is the further political empowerment of the NSA and the US government.
Ostensibly, the goal of the NSA surveillance is to prevent terrorist acts that would harm or kill people in the United States. But in reality, the primary goal is to enable greater control of that population (and others) by the US government. When questioned about this issue, NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake was unequivocal about the goal of the NSA: “to own the internet and find out what everybody is doing.”
“To own the internet” — Public-private partnerships in mass surveillanceThe internet is, by its very nature, a decentralized arrangement, created by the interaction of many private and government servers operating on telecommunications networks throughout the world. This has always been a major bugbear of advocates for government control, who have denigrated this decentralized arrangement as being “lawless.” Since it began to expand as a tool of mass communication for ordinary people, advocates for greater government power have fought a long battle to bring the internet “under control” — i.e., under their control.
The goal of government “ownership of the internet” entails accessing the facilities that route traffic through the network. This is gradually being done through government control of the network infrastructure and the gradual domination of the primary telecommunications and internet companies that provide the facilities for routing traffic through the network. Indeed, one noteworthy aspect of the mass surveillance system of the NSA is that it has allegedly involved extensive cooperation with many “private” firms operating under US law. This has allegedly included major security, telecommunications and internet companies, as well as producers of network software and hardware.
Examples of such “public-private partnerships” are set out in leaked documents of the NSA. An unnamed US telecommunications company is reported to provide the NSA with mass surveillance data on the communications of non-US people under its FAIRVIEW program. Several major computing and internet companies have also been explicitly named in top secret internal NSA material as being current providers for the agency under its PRISM program. Several of these companies have issued denials disavowing any participation in, or prior knowledge of the program, but this has been met with some scepticism. (Indeed, given that the NSA did not anticipate public release of its own internal training material, it is unlikely that the agency would have any cause to lie about the companies they work with in this material. This suggests that the material may be accurate.)
Many of these companies have supplied the NSA with data from their own customers, or created systems which allow the agency access to the information flowing through telecommunications networks. They have done so without disclosure to their own customers of the surveillance that has occurred, by using the blanket advisement that they “comply with lawful requests for information.” By virtue of being subject to the jurisdiction of US statutes, all of these companies have been legally prohibited from discussing any of their dealings with the NSA and they have been well placed for retaliatory action by the many regulatory agencies of the US government if they do not cooperate. In any case, it appears from present reports that many companies have been active partners of the agency, assisting the NSA with illegal surveillance activities by supplying data under programs with no legitimate legal basis.
This has been a common historical pattern in the rise of totalitarian States, which have often sought to incorporate large business concerns into their network of power. Indeed, the very notion of “public-private partnerships” in this sector readily brings to mind the worst aspects of fascist economic systems that have historically existed. The actions of US companies that have cooperated in the NSA’s mass surveillance operations calls into question the “private” status of these companies. In many ways these companies have acted as an extension of the US government, providing information illegally, in exchange for privileges and intelligence. According to media reports, “Such cooperation is an extremely delicate issue for the companies involved. Many have promised their customers data confidentiality in their terms and conditions. Furthermore, they are obliged to follow the laws of the countries in which they do business. As such, their cooperation deals with the NSA are top secret. Even in internal NSA documents, they are only referred to by the use of code names.”
We began this discussion by asking the purpose of telecommunication and internet surveillance. The answer lies in the uses to which those surveillance powers are being put, and will inevitably be put, as the capacity of the NSA expands. The true purpose of the NSA is not to keep us safe. Its goal is to own the internet, to own our communications, to own our private thoughts — to own us.
Ben O’Neill is a lecturer in statistics at the University of New South Wales (ADFA) in Canberra, Australia. He has formerly practiced as a lawyer and as a political adviser in Canberra. He is a Templeton Fellow at the Independent Institute, where he won first prize in the 2009 Sir John Templeton Fellowship essay contest. Send him mail (ben.oneill@hotmail.com).

Jeffrey Orling
07-31-2013, 09:14 AM
This makes sense....but I have to ask...how is this control manifest in ownership as alleged? One can see that information can be used for blackmail or similar abuses which end in legal problems for people or even worse. I suppose if you consider killing and torture fine using illl gotten data may be just another means to identify any person who would resist or be some sort of political threat to those in control... just another tool for the palace to keep them in control and the serfs in their places.

This all might have a chilling effect on free speech and communications... imtimidating people. That's not good at all. I'm wondering however if this is really not a tenebkle idea... as it becomes almost impossible to deal with millions and millions of discontents discovered via this surveillance in any other manner than to shut down the internet of engage in mass arrests and so forth. Is this spying only going to be used by them to route out what they think are the leaders? Intimidation does work... maybe that is the approach to force people to supine positions... make a few examples of what happens when you stand up or stand out and assume that people will act in their self preservation interest and zip it up and do as they are told?

I am thinking this is going to back fire for some reason. I don't see them turning off the www... abut I do see some nasty examples being made of people whenever they can. I don't see too many dissenters being silenced yet... bloggers and so forth. Their behavior toward those who expose criminality is telling. They are looking desperate with Assange and Snowdon and the treatment of those they get their hands on is chilling and probably less intimidating to then they had hoped for. I hope more come out of the woodwork...

Keith Millea
07-31-2013, 06:33 PM
Published on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 by Common Dreams (http://www.commondreams.org)

'Surprise' Obama Visit Bumps Critical Hearing on NSA Spying

Testimony of Greenwald, ACLU, and others canceled due to suspicious last-minute visit from Obama

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

A widely anticipated Wednesday hearing from critics of the NSA on the floor of the House has been suddenly pulled after Obama called a surprise meeting with House Democrats.

http://www.commondreams.org/sites/commondreams.org/files/imce-images/obama_clapper.jpgPresident Obama appears beside Director of National Intelligence James Clapper

Critics of the National Security Agency's secret spying program were slated for an unofficial congressional hearing Wednesday as a counter-weight to the "constant misleading information"—as Congressman Alan Grayson (D - Flor.) put it (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/26/nsa-surveillance-critics-testify-congress)—from the secret surveillance community.

Yet, the hearing was abruptly cancelled after President Obama's last-minute interest in meeting with House Democrats at the exact time of the scheduled hearing.

NSA critics suggest that Obama sought to derail the hearing, part of the increasingly desperate White House effort to contain growing public outrage at the spying. "Obama developed a sudden and newfound interest in House Democrats and scheduled a meeting with them for that same time," Greenwald told (http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/07/greenwald-nsa-surveillance-hearing-cancelled-169526.html) Politico Tuesday.

The hearing was set to feature a swath of NSA critics from the right and left—whose voices have been excluded from congressional debates dominated by NSA and national intelligence directors—including Greenwald who broke the NSA spying story, NSA whistleblower Kirk Wiebe, and officials from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Cato Institute.

"Rather than asking our Democratic colleagues to choose between speaking with the President of the United States, or attend a hearing on the immensely important topic of domestic surveillance, we reluctantly opted to push the hearing back," Grayson's press secretary Lauren Doney told Common Dreams Wednesday.

"I’m not in a position to speculate on the President’s motivation for meeting with the Democratic Caucus this week," Doney told Common Dreams, in response to questions about whether Obama may have intentionally created a time conflict. She claimed that the hearing will be rescheduled sometime in September after the Congressional recess but said there is currently no set date.

The hearing was to take place as a recent McClatchy-Marist poll (http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/07/25-12) shows people in the US are furious at NSA spying, days after a legislative attempt to curb the spying died (http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/07/24-10) before getting off the ground.

Jan Klimkowski
07-31-2013, 07:30 PM
TIs this spying only going to be used by them to route out what they think are the leaders? Intimidation does work... maybe that is the approach to force people to supine positions... make a few examples of what happens when you stand up or stand out and assume that people will act in their self preservation interest and zip it up and do as they are told?

I am thinking this is going to back fire for some reason. I don't see them turning off the www... abut I do see some nasty examples being made of people whenever they can. I don't see too many dissenters being silenced yet... bloggers and so forth. Their behavior toward those who expose criminality is telling. They are looking desperate with Assange and Snowdon and the treatment of those they get their hands on is chilling and probably less intimidating to then they had hoped for. I hope more come out of the woodwork...

There are only ever a few people with real cojones.

Capitalist change management theory is built around this world view.

A few years ago, I created a thread entitled Are you a Collaborator, a Resistor, an Anarchist? (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?7525-Are-you-a-Collaborator-a-Resistor-an-Anarchist&)

Here's my opening post:


I recently had cause to analyze change management theory, which is the "philosophy" (usually sold by consultants to management for hefty fees) of how to drive through change in an organisation.

This change will commonly result in job losses and, for the employees who survive, a regimen of more