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November 08 2013

US may split Cyber Command and NSA — RT USA

US may split Cyber Command and NSA — RT USA
http://rt.com/usa/alexander-retire-nsa-cybercom-438

The White House is reportedly considering a structural change that would task two separate officials with overseeing the United States National Security Agency and the US Cyber Command when the man currently in charge of both operations retires next year.

Dans les perspectives d’évolution, la Maison-Blanche envisagerait la séparation des fonctions de directeur de la NSA (agence civile) et de directeur du Cyber Command (militaire), fonctions actuellement occupées par le Général Keith Alexander.

En xyloglossie leucoékienne, ça donne

Adding to the AP, [a spokesperson] admitted that the White House is “ in consultation with appropriate agencies ” and “l ooking to ensure we are appropriately postured to address current and future security needs. "
Obviously we’re aware that some have proposed splitting the NSA and Cyber Command position, ” added [another spokesperson] reached for comment by the Washington Post.

L’actuel titulaire n’en pense, évidemment, pas beaucoup de bien. Il l’a dit à deux reprises (au moins)

[ at an event hosted by Politico in October] “ If you try to break them up, what you have is two teams not working together.

Our nation can’t afford, especially in this budget environment, to have one team try to rebuild what the other team does, ” Alexander said at the October event.

That same month, he told the Washington Post that “ You create more problems by trying to separate them and have two people fighting over who’s in charge than putting it all together.

Russia Today, quant à elle, n’est pas vraiment convaincue par les prestations du général dans ses fonctions…

As the recent revelations attributed to #NSA #contractor-turned-leaker Edward #Snowden have proved, however, the conduct of the nation’s highly secretive intelligence agency has escaped arguably much-needed scrutiny and oversight while being manned by Alexander during the last eight years.

October 05 2013

The TPP Is Not About « Free Trade » and Growth

The TPP Is Not About “Free Trade” and Growth
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/the-tpp-is-not-about-qfree-tradeq-and-growth

The Washington Post finds it impossible to write about trade agreements without calling them “free-trade” agreements. It used the term twice in an article on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Of course the TPP is not about free trade, in most cases the formal trade barriers between the countries negotiating the pact are relatively low. The main thrust of the negotiations is to impose a regulator structure in a wide range of areas — health, safety, environmental — which will override national and sub-national rules. This has little to do with trade and in some cases, such as the increased patent protection for prescription drugs being pushed as part of the deal (which is noted in the article), will actually involve increased barriers to trade.

#leurre

September 09 2013

Md. Rep. Chris Van Hollen speaks from 1988 Iraq gas experience in backing Syrian strike - The…

Md. Rep. Chris Van Hollen speaks from 1988 Iraq gas experience in backing Syrian strike - The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-rep-chris-van-hollen-speaks-from-1988-iraq-gas-experience-in-backing-syrian-strike/2013/09/07/1544cb92-174c-11e3-804b-d3a1a3a18f2c_story.html?hpid=z2

“I have always found it cruelly ironic that the United States and the world did nothing when Saddam Hussein actually used chemical weapons against his people, and then wrongly went to war more than 15 years later when Saddam Hussein did not even have any chemical weapons,” Van Hollen said.

Today, Van Hollen wants to make sure Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad doesn’t escape punishment as Saddam did in 1988. He is helping to lead the effort to round up congressional support to authorize President Obama to carry out air and missile strikes to deter Syria — and others — from using poison gas again.

(...)

Even Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler refrained from using chemical weapons on the battlefield.

“I’m well aware of the argument that this was a bloody civil war in which over 100,000 people have already been killed. Some people ask, ‘What’s the difference?’ ” Van Hollen said.

“But there is a reason that the international community for almost 90 years has banned the use of poison gas. That’s because it’s a weapon of mass destruction that kills indiscriminately,” he said.

He noted that last month’s gas attack killed more people at one time than any other assaults during the Syrian fighting.

(...)

“I strongly believe that if the United States and the international community had taken some action [in 1988], then it would have reined in Saddam Hussein early on, that the failure to act emboldened Saddam Hussein to take reckless action, including the invasion of Kuwait,” Van Hollen said.

#WMD #gas #ADM #Syrie #Irak #Saddam

September 05 2013

Dana Milbank : On Syria, who's got a secret ? - The Washington Post

Dana Milbank: On Syria, who’s got a secret? - The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-on-syria-whos-got-a-secret/2013/09/04/9cc5b360-15a8-11e3-a2ec-b47e45e6f8ef_story.html

Kerry said that the amount declassified is “unprecedented” and that what’s out there now is “sufficient.”

He may think so. But it’s not sufficient until the American public believes it.

August 30 2013

August 26 2013

Mapping where English is not the language at home - The Washington Post

Mapping where English is not the language at home - The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/national/us-language-map/?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

Mapping where English is not the language at home

By Dan Keating and Darla Cameron, Updated: Aug. 20, 2013

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/crlobr2jwzt9iw5/%C3%A9tats-unis-langues.png

More than a quarter of counties in the United States have at least one in 10 households where English is not the language spoken at home. Spanish is, by far, the most common language other than English spoken in the home, especially on the West Coast, in the Southwest, the Eastern urban corridor and other big cities. Native American languages are also common in the West, as is French around New Orleans and in some counties in the Northeast. German is a common language in some Midwestern and Western areas.

#états-unis #langues #language

August 20 2013

Erasing Palestine From the Map » CounterPunch : Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Erasing Palestine From the Map » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/20/erasing-palestine-from-the-map

A foreign affairs blogger [#Max_Fisher] for The Washington Post recently posted “40 Maps that explain the world.” Some of the maps are important (“Economic inequality around the world”), some are interesting (“Meet the world’s 26 remaining monarchies”), but others grossly distort the reality they purportedly represent. Chief among this latter category is “How far Hamas’s rockets can reach into Israel” .

http://www.counterpunch.org/wp-content/dropzone/2013/08/WashPostMap.jpg

... a map showing where and with what deadly ramifications Israel’s responses have taken place, such as this one (1) produced by the Alliance for Justice in the Middle East at Harvard University and the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, didn’t make the Post’s list.

Any attempt to cartographically represent the context within which Hamas’s rockets and Israel’s “response” may have been launched, such as this UN map (2), is also entirely missing from the Post’s compilation.

In addition to nearly erasing the Palestinian West Bank altogether, the Post’s map reveals nothing about the multiple ways in which the territory is occupied by Israel.  Maps of Israeli-only roads, checkpoints, the separation barrier, settlements, and the ethnically-based divisions of the West Bank (such as these from Btselem, the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (3), and The Applied Institute for Research – Jerusalem (4)) don’t, according to the Washington Post, help explain this part of the world as much as Gene’s map of Hamas’s rocket-firing potential.

The Washington Post’s map of choice sheds no light on the Palestinian villages within Israel that were ethnically cleansed and destroyed in 1948-1949.  References to these maps from the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) and Visualizing Palestine could have at least begun to cartographically resurrect these erased landscapes.

The Dangers of Distorted Cartography

In sum, The Washington Post’s map explains very little about this part of the world.  But what the map does reveal is The Washington Post’s myopic view of Israel and Palestine.  The ongoing colonization of Palestine by Israel is reduced and reversed, in this map’s representation, to a normal country that must fend off existential threats from its shadowy neighbors.  The effects of this distorted cartography are dangerous—erasing the geographies of Palestine is yet another step in the ongoing occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

#Robert_Ross is an Assistant Professor of Global Cultural Studies at Point Park University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

(1)
http://gazasiege.org/images/gazasiege_map_jan2009.jpg

(2)
http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_gaza_blockade_map_june_2012_english.pdf

(3)
http://www.icahd.org/sites/default/files/Map4_WB_Closures_2.jpg

(4) http://www.arij.org/images/stories/pictures/maps/Geopolitical%20map%20of%20the%20west%20bank%202009.jpg

#Palestine #Israël #manipulation #inversion #cartographie

August 16 2013

La NSA a commis"des milliers" d'infractions aux lois sur la vie privée - ÉTATS-UNIS - FRANCE 24

La NSA a commis"des milliers" d’infractions aux lois sur la vie privée - ÉTATS-UNIS - FRANCE 24
http://www.france24.com/fr/20130816-nsa-enfreint-milliers-fois-lois-vie-privee-snwoden-washington-pos

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-broke-privacy-rules-thousands-of-times-per-year-audit-finds/2013/08/15/3310e554-05ca-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html

Le Washington Post a révélé jeudi, que des « milliers » d’infractions avaient été commises par l’Agence nationale de la sécurité (#NSA) américaine, en s’appuyant des documents secrets livrés au journal par Edward #Snowden.

Des « milliers » d’infractions aux lois sur le respect de la #vie_privée ont été commises par l’Agence nationale de la sécurité (NSA), a rapporté jeudi 16 août le Washington Post sur son site internet. Des violations observés depuis que l’agence américaine du renseignement a été dotée de nouveaux pouvoirs, il y a cinq ans.

Ces infractions ont été révélées par une analyse d’un audit interne et d’autres documents secrets, qui ont été livrés au journal par l’ancien consultant américain du renseignement Edward Snowden.

L’un des documents cité par le Washington Post montre que la NSA avait ordonné à ses équipes de falsifier des rapports adressés au département de la Justice et au Bureau du directeur du Renseignement national, en remplaçant certains détails, selon l’article.

Selon le journal, la NSA a également caché la surveillance non intentionnelle de plusieurs Américains. Ainsi, en 2008, un « grand nombre » d’appels téléphoniques en provenance de Washington ont été surveillés après une erreur de programmation qui a interverti le préfixe de la zone de la capitale américaine (202) avec celui de l’Égypte (20). L’erreur n’avait pas été révélée à l’équipe de surveillance de la NSA, indique l’article du Post.

Selon la même source, l’audit sur la NSA, daté de mai 2012, a dénombré 2 776 incidents au cours des 12 mois précédents, concernant des « collectes, stockages, accès et communication de données protégées légalement, sans autorisation ».

La plupart de ces incidents n’étaient pas intentionnels, mais nombre d’entre eux sont dus à des défaillances, ou à la violation des procédures normales.

« Nous sommes une agence conduite par des humains et agissant dans un environnement complexe avec un grand nombre de régimes de régulation différents, c’est pourquoi nous nous retrouvons parfois du mauvais côté de la barrière », a déclaré un haut responsable de la NSA s’exprimant sous couvert de l’anonymat, en réponse aux questions du journal.

Latest Leak: NSA Abused Rules To Spy On Americans ’Thousands Of Times Each Year’ - http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130815/18185824196/latest-leak-nsa-abused-rules-to-spy-americans-thousands-times-each-year.sh

Even worse, this report only covers the NSA’s activities in the DC area. Other NSA locations are not covered.

Three government officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said the number would be substantially higher if it included other NSA operating units and regional collection centers.

White House Tried To Interfere With Washington Post’s Report, And To Change Quotes From NSA | Techdirt
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130816/01314924200/white-house-tried-to-interfere-with-washington-posts-report-to-change-quot

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-statements-to-the-post/2013/08/15/f40dd2c4-05d6-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html

Among the many, many incredible revelations from the Washington Post report on the abuses by the NSA is a tidbit about an interview that the Post was able to do with the NSA’s director of compliance, John DeLong, followed by the White House’s attempt to completely whitewash the interview and block his quotes from being used, despite being told otherwise initially:

The Obama administration referred all questions for this article to John DeLong, the NSA’s director of compliance, who answered questions freely in a 90-minute interview. DeLong and members of the NSA communications staff said he could be quoted “by name and title” on some of his answers after an unspecified internal review. The Post said it would not permit the editing of quotes. Two days later, White House and NSA spokesmen said that none of DeLong’s comments could be quoted on the record and sent instead a prepared statement in his name. The Post declines to accept the substitute language as quotations from DeLong.

Read that again. This is the same White House that has been saying that they want to be as transparent as possible and to rebuild trust. And yet, here they are trying to block the Post from using an interview — an interview they suggested in the first place — and then to replace it with a bland and bogus “statement.”

#surveillance #mensonges

August 09 2013

How The Washington Post's New Owner Aided the CIA, Blocked WikiLeaks & Decimated the Book Industry…

How The Washington Post’s New Owner Aided the CIA, Blocked WikiLeaks & Decimated the Book Industry | Democracy Now !
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/8/7/how_the_washington_posts_new_owner

I think one thing that’s missing is a discussion of the hallowed traditions, the hallowed journalistic traditions of The Washington Post. I mean, any media consumer who’s been looking at the bevy of articles in the last day and a half has heard about this—you know, “What’s going to happen to The Washington Post’s journalistic tradition—the paper of Watergate—or, the paper that exposed Watergate and published the Pentagon Papers?” I think any serious and very, you know, diligent news consumer is going to realize that the incidents like Watergate conspiracy and the Pentagon Papers, that was 40 years ago, and the hallowed tradition of The #Washington_Post that we’re worried Bezos is going to ruin—and, again, it may get worse, it may not; most likely it’ll continue—but that hallowed tradition, for 40 years, The Washington Post has really been a newspaper of the bipartisan consensus. And items like or invasions like Iraq could hardly have happened without the editorial pages headed by a sort of a hawk, Fred Hiatt, who’s still in power today, and Fred Hiatt’s editorial pages of The Washington Post has, in a five-month period before the Iraq invasion, more than two dozen editorials urging on that invasion. Skeptics of the invasion were mercilessly savaged in the editorial pages and the op-ed pages, but they weren’t allowed to speak for themselves. And so, when I hear people talk about The Washington Post under the Graham family, the paper of Watergate, it reminds me of people who would look at today’s Barack Obama and say he’s a community organizer embedded with the poor in Chicago. The Watergate Washington Post was decades ago. The Washington Post we should be thinking about in the last 10, 12 years has been a very important instrument of U.S. intervention, imperial foreign policy, at the hands of the editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

Ca fait donc bien longtemps que ce journal n’est plus un contrepouvoir ; autrement, #Jeff_Bezos appartient quand même un peu à la #silicon_army même s’il ne vient pas de la bay area.

August 07 2013

_Inside the system:_ Open letter to Jeff Bezos - The Washington Post

Inside the system: Open letter to Jeff Bezos - The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/open-letter-to-jeff-bezos/2013/08/06/9e7efa46-fea0-11e2-96a8-d3b921c0924a_story.html?hpid=z1

Un journaliste du WP espère que le libertaire Jeff Bezos respectera ses valeurs journalistiques féodales.
http://farm1.staticflickr.com/4/6242572_68240cc1ee_z_d.jpg?zz=1

Back in 1982, when I was an editor at Tropic, the Miami Herald’s Sunday magazine, the publisher asked us to run a story on our cover about the winners of The Silver Knight award, which was given out every year at a gala to the most promising high school seniors in the Miami area. The Silver Knights were a fine and noble enterprise, but the event was run and financed by Knight-Ridder, the corporate owners of The Miami Herald; Herald stories about the Silver Knight awards were inevitably uncritical, nakedly celebratory, and drenched in self-promotion. We at Tropic declined to run the story of the awards on the grounds that we were a small magazine trying to establish a feisty, pugnacious identity, and being a corporate suckup toady lickspittle didn’t fit in with our plans. The publisher glowered, muttered something about insubordination, and steered the story to another, less visible section of the paper. We went unpunished.

Wikipedia tells me that one of the Silver Knight winners that year was little Jeffrey Bezos of Miami Palmetto High School. Haha.

You and I briefly crossed paths as younger men, and I dissed you. I guess it’s clear who won that race.

Here’s the thing: We were right to decline that story, Jeff, but, more to the point, our publisher was wise to LET us decline. In the next 10 years, freed to robustly experiment with an outsize personality, Tropic would develop a fanatic following in Miami, and our writers and photographers would win two Pulitzers and be finalists for two more. That happened because the people above us trusted us, if grudgingly, and — more important — had our backs.

...

“Kick up, kiss down.” Aggravate your bosses, but make the people below you love and respect you. Katharine Graham and Don Graham were brilliant at this — they must have given their board of directors fits, because during the great years they chose aggressive journalism over pennypinching every time — and we loved them for it. It’s an irreplaceable advantage, loyalty drawn from affection and respect.

En temps de crise les sous-officiers du capitalisme espèrent sauver leur fortune en appellant à leur chefs de se comporter en bons seigneurs avec leurs vassaux.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Hommage2.jpg
Vassalité http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vassalit%C3%A9

Héritière du compagnonnage d’arme du haut Moyen Âge, la vassalité est la situation de dépendance d’un homme libre envers son seigneur par la cérémonie de l’hommage. Le système féodo-vassalique s’est développé à cause de l’affaiblissement de l’autorité publique après l’effondrement de l’empire carolingien (Xe - XIe siècle) : l’empereur, les rois et bientôt les princes territoriaux étaient incapables de faire régner l’ordre et d’imposer leur pouvoir aux seigneurs locaux. Un réseau de relations d’homme à homme s’impose donc, donnant des droits et des devoirs pour chacun d’entre eux, une pyramide sociale allant théoriquement du roi au grand seigneur (grand feudataire), seigneur, vassal et arrière-vassal (Vavasseur) mais dont l’effectivité dépend de l’autorité du supérieur.

Et hop, voilà l’essentiel de ce que pense le nouveau chef :
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/jeff-bezos-on-post-purchase/2013/08/05/e5b293de-fe0d-11e2-9711-3708310f6f4d_story.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_606w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2011/09/28/National-Economy/Images/AP071119020627.jpg

There will, of course, be change at The Post over the coming years. That’s essential and would have happened with or without new ownership. The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs. There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment. Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about – government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports – and working backwards from there.

Jeff Bezos par contre ne promet rien sauf la recherche constante de profitabilité. C’est une réponse digne d’un des plus riches libertaires du monde.

Jeff Bezos' plans for the Washington Post : How he could Amazon-ify the newspaper. - Slate Magazine

Jeff Bezos’ plans for the Washington Post: How he could Amazon-ify the newspaper. - Slate Magazine
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/08/jeff_bezos_plans_for_the_washington_post_how_he_could_amazon_ify_the_newspape

But wait! Is the Washington Post so universally interesting to merit such prominent placement? Well, maybe not. But parse Bezos’ words carefully:
“The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs…Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about—government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports—and working backwards from there.”
Bezos tips his hand here. The Post isn’t known for its coverage of restaurant openings or scout troops. Yet Bezos seems to think the Post might return to its previous experiments in hyperlocal news.
One way this would be possible is if the news is personalized. And this is where the new Post could combine elements of Amazon and Facebook.
Let us hypothesize. If you are a Kindle owner, chances are Amazon already knows far more about you than Facebook, because it knows what you buy. That’s the real information gold. Facebook has clumsily been trying to get at your purchase history for years with browser-spying gimmicks like Beacon. But Amazon doesn’t need to violate your privacy. It already knows all about you.

#washingtonpost #amazon

August 06 2013

Le patron d'Amazon rachète le « Washington Post »

Le patron d’Amazon rachète le "Washington Post"
http://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/article/2013/08/05/le-patron-d-amazon-rachete-le-washington-post_3457822_3236.html

Le groupe #Washington_Post a annoncé, lundi 5 août, la cession de ses activités d’édition, dont le quotidien portant son nom, au patron-fondateur du groupe de distribution en ligne #Amazon, #Jeff_Bezos, pour 250 millions de dollars. « L’acheteur est une entité qui appartient à M. Bezos en tant qu’individu, et pas Amazon Inc », précise le communiqué du groupe.

Et pas que le quotidien : http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/08/05/bezos_bought_a_bit_more_than_the_post.html

Quel #management va s’imposer dans ce groupe de #presse ? Des hypothèses là : #disruption
http://qz.com/112073/how-things-are-about-to-change-at-the-washington-post-now-that-jeff-bezos-is-in-
http://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/e-ink-mobius.jpg

Jeff le #libertarien se veut rassurant :
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/jeff-bezos-on-post-purchase/2013/08/05/e5b293de-fe0d-11e2-9711-3708310f6f4d_story.html

I won’t be leading The Washington Post day-to-day.

Je m’attendais pas à celle-là ce matin... http://seenthis.net/messages/162928

L’occasion de lire :

En Amazonie. Infiltré dans le « meilleur des mondes »
http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2013/08/RIMBERT/49581

En plus je viens de voir Le capital de Costa-Gavras (oui le truc avec Gad Elmaleh) où ça cause de #hft et de grands enfants qui jouent qui jouent jusqu’à ce que ça pète... alors je vous dis pas l’état dans lequel ça me met.

Quant à Gorge Profonde, on attend encore sa réaction.

C’est quand même marrant que le parangon du #journalisme d’#investigation soit racheté par un des maîtres des #bigdata marchandes. En ces temps de persécution des #whistleblowers. Vivement la fusion Publicis / Omnicom !

August 05 2013

July 17 2013

From Tom Paine to Glenn Greenwald, we need partisan journalism | Jack Shafer

From Tom Paine to Glenn Greenwald, we need partisan journalism | Jack Shafer
http://blogs.reuters.com/jackshafer/2013/07/16/from-tom-paine-to-glenn-greenwald-we-need-partisan-journalism

New York Times business journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin called for the arrest of Greenwald (he later apologized) and Meet the Press host David Gregory asked with a straight face if he shouldn’t “be charged with a crime.” NBC’s Chuck Todd and the Washington Post‘s Walter Pincus and Paul Farhi also asked if Greenwald hadn’t shape-shifted himself to some non-journalistic precinct with his work.

The reactions by Sorkin, Gregory, Todd, Pincus, Farhi, and others betray — dare I say it? — a sad devotion to the corporatist ideal of what journalism can be and — I don’t have any problem saying it — a painful lack of historical understanding of American journalism. You don’t have to be a scholar or a historian to appreciate the hundreds of flavors our journalism has come in over the centuries; just fan the pages of Christopher B. Daly’s book Covering America: A Narrative History of a Nation’s Journalism for yourself. American journalism began in earnest as a rebellion against the state, and just about the only people asking if its practitioners belonged in jail were those beholden to the British overlords. Or consider the pamphleteers, most notably Tom Paine, whose unsigned screed Common Sense “shook the world,” as Daly put it.

(...)

My paean to activist and partisan journalism does not include the output of the columnists and other hacks who arrange their copy to please their Democratic or Republican Party patrons. (You know who you are.) Nor do I favor the partisan journalists who insult reader intelligence by cherry-picking the evidence, debate-club style, to win the day for their comrades. (...) ask yourself: Where would we be without our partisan journalists?

July 16 2013

Snowden surveillance leaks open way for challenges to programs' constitutionality - The Washington…

Snowden surveillance leaks open way for challenges to programs’ constitutionality - The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/snowdens-surveillance-leaks-provide-openings-for-opponents-legal-challenges/2013/07/15/481c35b2-eb25-11e2-a301-ea5a8116d211_story.html

At least five cases have been filed in federal courts since the government’s widespread collection of telephone and Internet records was revealed last month. (...)

Such cases face formidable obstacles. The government tends to fiercely resist them on national security grounds, and the surveillance is so secret that it’s hard to prove who was targeted. Nearly all of the roughly 70 suits filed after the George W. Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping was disclosed in 2005 have been dismissed.

But the legal landscape may be shifting, lawyers say, because the revelations by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor and the principal source of the leaks, forced the government to acknowledge the programs and discuss them. That, they say, could help plaintiffs overcome government arguments that they lack the legal standing to sue or that cases should be thrown out because the programs are state secrets. A federal judge in California last week rejected the government’s argument that an earlier lawsuit over NSA surveillance should be dismissed on secrecy grounds.

“There is one critical difference from the Bush era. We now have indisputable physical evidence that the conduct being challenged is actually taking place,’’ said Stephen Vladeck, an expert on national security law at American University law school. He said Snowden’s disclosures make it “more likely” that cases will at least be allowed to go forward in court, leading to a years-long legal battle over surveillance and privacy.

(...)

... three lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality of the telephone records program: one by the American Civil Liberties Union in federal court in New York; another in federal court in Idaho by a nurse who is a Verizon Wireless customer; and the third in federal court in the District by Larry Klayman, founder of the conservative group Judicial Watch. Klayman also filed suit in D.C. federal court over the PRISM program.

Last week, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to vacate what it called the unlawful order to Verizon Business Network Services. “The records acquired by the NSA under this Order detail the daily activities, interactions, personal and business relationships, religious and political affiliations, and other intimate details of millions of Americans,’’ the petition said.

(...)

Even if they wind up being thrown out, the lawsuits could still serve a larger purpose for opponents of the programs by raising public awareness of the issues surrounding surveillance and possibly forcing the government to make changes or disclose more. Other suits, legal experts said, helped force changes to the detention program at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and brought pressure on the administration to publicly acknowledge its campaign of drone strikes.

“There is a broader function to these lawsuits than simply winning in court,” said Jules Lobel, a University of Pittsburgh law professor who wrote a book about using lawsuits to achieve political aims. “The government has to respond, and forcing them to go before a court might make them want to change aspects of the programs.

July 09 2013

Report : Web monitoring devices made by U.S. firm Blue_Coat detected in Iran, Sudan - The Washington…

Report: Web monitoring devices made by U.S. firm #Blue_Coat detected in #Iran, #Sudan - The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/report-web-monitoring-devices-made-by-us-firm-blue-coat-detected-in-iran-sudan/2013/07/08/09877ad6-e7cf-11e2-a301-ea5a8116d211_story.html

American-made devices used for Internet monitoring have been detected on government and commercial computer networks in Iran and Sudan, in apparent violation of U.S. sanctions that ban the sale of goods, services or technology to the autocratic states, according to new research.

#surveillance

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