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November 08 2013

BEN FRANKLIN WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE NSA

BEN FRANKLIN WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE NSA
http://ericmargolis.com/2013/11/ben-franklin-was-right-about-the-nsa

In 1975, I was invited to join the US Senate’s Church Committee that was formed after the Watergate scandals. Its goal was to investigate massive illegalities committed by the CIA, National Security Agency and FBI.

As a then staunch Republican, and having worked on President Nixon’s reelection campaign developing Mideast policy, I declined.

With the wisdom of hindsight, I should have joined the investigation.

Senator Frank Church warned: “ If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. “

The Church Committee revealed Washington’s role in the assassinations of foreign leaders, CIA collaboration with the Mafia, wide scale subversion around the globe, mail and phone intercepts, spying on Americans by the US Army and intelligence services, collusion with right-wing terrorist groups like Gladio, and much, much more.

Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA malfeasance have done much the same thing today. Both Church and Snowden were branded traitors by rightwing zealots and flag-wavers. Government security agencies were reined in for decades. But it’s now clear they are not only back to their old tricks, but are out of control.

October 20 2013

nsa Hacked Email Account of Mexican President - Slashdot

#nsa Hacked Email Account of Mexican President - Slashdot
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/10/20/1539210/nsa-hacked-email-account-of-mexican-president

"The National Security Agency (NSA ) of United States hacked into the Mexican president’s public email account and gained deep insight into policymaking and the political system. The news is likely to hurt ties between the US and Mexico. This operation, dubbed ’Flatliquid,’ is described in a document leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Meanwhile U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is urging the Supreme Court not to take up the first case it has received on controversial (...)

#mexique #prism

September 29 2013

Snowden Strikes Again : nsa Mapping Social Connections of US Citizens - Slashdot

Snowden Strikes Again: #nsa Mapping Social Connections of US Citizens - Slashdot
http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/09/29/0326239/snowden-strikes-again-nsa-mapping-social-connections-of-us-citizens

"The New York Times is reporting on yet another NSA revelation: for the last three years, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information. ’The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank (...)

#prism #surveillance #privacy

Reposted bywikileaksmr-absentia

N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens - NYTimes.com

N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens - NYTimes.com
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/us/nsa-examines-social-networks-of-us-citizens.html?hp

Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.

#snowden #nsa #surveillance #data

September 28 2013

N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens

N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/us/nsa-examines-social-networks-of-us-citizens.html?pagewanted=1

WASHINGTON — Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.

#NSA #surveillance

September 03 2013

Drug agents use vast phone calls database, eclipsing NSA's !

Drug agents use vast phone calls database, eclipsing NSA’s !
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/us/drug-agents-use-vast-phone-trove-eclipsing-nsas.html?pagewanted=all #NSA #surveillance #DEA #AT&T
The scale and longevity of a data storage program run by the government in partnership with AT&T was unmatched by other government programs, including the National Security Agency’s gathering of phone call logs

August 21 2013

New Details Show Broader NSA Surveillance Reach - WSJ.com

New Details Show Broader #NSA #Surveillance Reach - WSJ.com
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324108204579022874091732470.html

The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say.

The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.

July 26 2013

Feds put heat on Web firms for master encryption keys | Politics and Law - CNET News

Feds put heat on Web firms for master encryption keys | Politics and Law - CNET News
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57595202-38/feds-put-heat-on-web-firms-for-master-encryption-keys

The U.S. government has attempted to obtain the master encryption keys that Internet companies use to shield millions of users’ private Web communications from eavesdropping.
These demands for master encryption keys, which have not been disclosed previously, represent a technological escalation in the clandestine methods that the FBI and the National Security Agency employ when conducting electronic surveillance against Internet users.

commentaire de @reichenstein:

The Web revolution has come full circle. We started with the storm on the Bastille and now Napoleon crowned himself

#NSA #surveillance #ssl

July 18 2013

Jimmy Carter : NSA Intelligence Gathering Ruining Democracy

Jimmy Carter: NSA Intelligence Gathering Ruining Democracy
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/carter-nsa-spying-democracy/2013/07/18/id/515811

“America no longer has a functioning democracy,” former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday, condemning the United States’ intelligence programs and the collection of data from Americans and persons overseas.

Carter, speaking at an Atlanta event sponsored by The Atlantic Bridge, a private, non-profit group working to further German-U.S. relationships, said the Obama administration has been trying to placate Europe’s anger over spying programs, the German publication Der Spiegel reports.

However, National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden’s revelations are proving useful, said Carter, because “they inform the public.”

NSA Controversy: Jimmy Carter Says U.S. “Has No Functioning Democracy” http://www.ibtimes.com/nsa-controversy-jimmy-carter-says-us-has-no-functioning-democracy-1351389
http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/v2_article_large/public/2013/07/17/jimmy-carter.jpg

“America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy,” he said at an event in Atlanta on Tuesday sponsored by the Atlantik Bruecke, a private nonprofit association working to further the German-U.S. relationship. The association’s name is German for “Atlantic bridge.”

Carter’s remarks didn’t appear in the American mainstream press but were reported from Atlanta by the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, whose Washington correspondent Gregor Peter Schmitz said on Twitter he was present at the event. The story doesn’t appear in the English-language section of the Spiegel website and is only available in German.

The 39th U.S. president also said he was pessimistic about the current state of global affairs, wrote Der Spiegel, because there was “no reason for him to be optimistic at this time.” Among the developments that make him uneasy, Carter cited the “falling of Egypt under a military dictatorship.” As president, Carter managed to get then-Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin to sign the Camp David peace agreements in 1979.

Carter said a bright spot was “the triumph of modern technology,” which enabled the democratic uprisings of the Arab Spring; however, the NSA spying scandal, Carter said, according to Der Spiegel, endangers precisely those developments, “as major U.S. Internet platforms such as Google or Facebook lose credibility worldwide.”

Department of Homeland Security Uses Twitter for Monitoring Citizens - Washington Whispers…

Department of Homeland Security Uses Twitter for Monitoring Citizens - Washington Whispers (usnews.com)
http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2013/07/18/department-of-homeland-security-uses-twitter-for-monitoring-citizens

http://www.usnews.com/pubdbimages/image/52235/widemodern_DHStwitter_071813620x413.jpg

On the heels of revelations about National Security Agency spying, it turns out the Department of Homeland Security has its own way of keeping tabs on the American public via social media.

New documents show DHS’s National Operation Center has been using Twitter to monitor the public and 337 accounts of interest.

No tweets have been posted from the account, @DHSNOCMMC1, and it does not appear to accept follow requests. The Twitter accounts DHS follows remained private until Freedom of Information Act documents revealing the accounts were posted by government transparency group MuckRock Wednesday.

Among the accounts it follows are a mix of news organizations, police and fire departments, emergency management agencies and utility companies. The only individuals followed are District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

In 2012, the Daily Mail revealed a list of keywords being tracked by the DHS on social media, including ‘Mexico,’ “nuclear,” ‘flu,’ and ‘pork.’ Twitter applications TweetDeck and TweetGrid were used to monitor tweets according to the MuckRock documents. Over a six-month period the National Operations Center generated more than 9,300 ‘item-of-interest’ reports from its social media monitoring program, according to California Watch.

‘The Department of Homeland Security’s National Operations Center employs social media monitoring for situational awareness purposes only, within the clearly defined parameters articulated in our Privacy Impact Assessment, to ensure that critical information reaches appropriate decision-makers,’ said DHS spokesman Peter Boogaard in a statement emailed to Whispers.

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 06 2013

NSA recruitment drive goes horribly wrong | World news | guardian.co.uk

NSA recruitment drive goes horribly wrong | World news | guardian.co.uk
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/shortcuts/2013/jul/05/national-security-agency-recruitment-drive

On Tuesday, the National Security Agency called at the University of Wisconsin on a recruitment drive.

Attending the session was Madiha R Tahir, a journalist studying a language course at the university. She asked the squirming recruiters a few uncomfortable questions about the activities of NSA: which countries the agency considers to be “adversaries”, and if being a good liar is a qualification for getting a job at the NSA.

She has posted a recording of the session on Soundcloud, which you can hear above, and posted a rough transcript on her blog, The Mob and the Multitude. Here are some highlights.

The session begins ...

Tahir: “Do you consider Germany and the countries that the NSA has been spying upon to be adversaries, or are you, right now, not speaking the truth?”

Recruiter 1: “You can define adversary as 'enemy' and, clearly, Germany is not our enemy. But would we have foreign national interests from an intelligence perspective on what's going on across the globe? Yeah, we do.”

Tahir: “So by 'adversaries', you actually mean anybody and everybody. There is nobody, then, by your definition that is not an adversary. Is that correct?”

Recruiter 1: “That is not correct.”

Recruiter 2: “… for us, our business is apolitical, OK? We do not generate the intelligence requirements. They are levied on us ... We might use the word 'target'.”

Tahir: “I'm just surprised that for language analysts, you're incredibly imprecise with your language. And it just doesn't seem to be clear.”

Later ...

Tahir: “... this is a recruiting session and you are telling us things that aren't true. And we also know that the NSA took down brochures and factsheets after the Snowden revelations because those factsheets also had severe inaccuracies and untruths in them, right? So how are we supposed to believe what you're saying?”

Even later ...

Tahir: “I think the question here is do you actually think about the ramifications of the work that you do, which is deeply problematic, or do you just dress up in costumes and get drunk?” [A reference to an earlier comment the recruiter made about NSA employees working hard and going to the bar to do karaoke.]

Recruiter 2: “... reporting the info in the right context is so important because the consequences of bad political decisions by our policymakers is something we all suffer from.”

Unnamed female student: “And people suffer from the misinformation that you pass along so you should take responsibility as well.”

Later still ...

Male student: “General Alexander [head of the NSA] also lied in front of Congress.”

Recruiter 1: “I don't believe that he did.”

Male student: “Probably because access to the Guardian is restricted on the Department of Defence's computers. I am sure they don't encourage people like you to actually think about these things. Thank God for a man like Edward Snowden who your organisation is now part of a manhunt trying to track down, trying to put him in a little hole somewhere for the rest of his life. Thank God they exist.”

And finally ...

Recruiter 2: “This job isn't for everybody, you know ...”

Tahir: “So is this job for liars? Is this what you're saying? Because, clearly, you're not able to give us forthright answers. I mean, given the way the NSA has behaved, given the fact that we've been lied to as Americans, given the fact that factsheets have been pulled down because they clearly had untruths in them, given the fact that Clapper and Alexander lied to Congress – is that a qualification for being in the NSA? Do you have to be a good liar?”

Recruiter 1: I don't believe the NSA is telling complete lies. And I do believe that you know, I mean people can, you can read a lot of different things that are, um, portrayed as fact and that doesn't make them fact just because they're in newspapers."

Unnamed female student: “Or intelligence reports.”

Recruiter 1: “That's not really our purpose here today and I think if you're not interested in that ... there are people here who are probably interested in a language career.”

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