Posts Tagged ‘National Security Agency’

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Operation AURORAGOLD: How the NSA Hacks Cellphone Networks Worldwide

NSA has spied on hundreds of companies and organizations internationally, including in countries closely allied to the United States, in an effort to find security weaknesses in cellphone technology that it can exploit for surveillance.

NPR Headquarters

NPR IS LAUNDERING CIA TALKING POINTS TO MAKE YOU SCARED OF NSA REPORTING

Propagandastan is doing well these days. Don’t expect much from the powers that be, and you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

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Glenn Greenwald testified to the European Parliament.

 

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NSA infected 50,000 computer networks with malicious software

 

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ACLU Strongly Supports Sensenbrenner-Leahy Bill Reforming NSA Surveillance Authorities
USA Freedom Act Would Limit NSA Spying

October 29, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan reform bill to rein in the National Security Agency’s bulk collection, analysis, and storage of Americans’ electronic communications was introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives today. The American Civil Liberties Union strongly supports the bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), one of the original authors of the Patriot Act.

“The last five months have proven that the NSA cannot be trusted with the surveillance authorities they have been given by a secret court without the knowledge or approval of the American people,” said Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel at the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. “The only way to stop the NSA’s collect-it-all mentality is for Congress to pass legislation that prohibits the intelligence community from engaging in the dragnet surveillance of Americans’ communications. The legislation introduced today by Sen. Leahy and Rep. Sensenbrenner is a true reform bill that rejects the false and dangerous notion that privacy and our fundamental freedoms are incompatible with security.”

The bill, The USA FREEDOM Act, would enact the following core reforms to NSA surveillance authorities:

  • It would end the bulk collection of Americans’ records shared with third parties and put reasonable limits on Patriot Act powers targeted at people in the U.S. The new restrictions would apply not only to phone records collected under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, but national security letters and pen registers that have also been abused.
  • It would amend the 2008 FISA Amendments Act to require court orders before the government could use American information collected during foreign intelligence operations.
  • It would increase transparency by allowing communications providers to disclose the number of surveillance orders they receive, mandate the government publish how many people are subject to surveillance orders, and make public significant FISA Court opinions since July 2003.
  • It would create a public advocate that could advise the secret surveillance court in certain cases.

The bill pulls language together from the many House and Senate bills introduced over the last several months by members of both parties.

“The bulk collection of Americans’ phone records is an extraordinary and intrusive power government should not have,” said Richardson. “This legislation rightly shuts the program down and provides additional protections to ensure the government doesn’t engage in the bulk collection of any other records. Proposals described by the Intelligence Committees would only make the current situation worse by entrenching privacy-busting practices. Congress should focus on reforms like Sensenbrenner-Leahy.”

The bicameral legislation has attracted prominent, bipartisan support.

In the Senate, 16 bipartisan cosponsors include Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).

In the House, more than 70 bipartisan cosponsors include Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), Ami Bera (D-Calif.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), John Mica (R-Fla.), Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).

The ACLU has also filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ call records. Oral argument has been set for Nov. 1. For more on ACLU vs. Clapper: aclu.org/national-security/aclu-v-clapper-challenge-nsa-mass-phone-call-tracking

More information on the ACLU’s work rolling back NSA spying can be accessed at:
aclu.org/time-rein-surveillance-state-0

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NSA Chief: Reporters Must Be Stopped
NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts
Edward Snowden: Comic Books and Video Games Inspired, Motivated Whistleblowing
Why We Should Think About the Threat of Artificial Intelligence

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NSA Spying Did Not Result In a SINGLE Foiled Terrorist Plot

 

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Russ Baker: 1.4 million Americans have “Top Secret” clearance.  None allowed to discuss what they know about US crimes against the Constitution.  Sixty percent of “intelligence” is privatized.

 

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XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’

 

Apparently if you ever visited a foreign website or communicated with a foreigner, that’s enough for them to open up your life to low-level mercenary contractor “analysts” for spying.  Or if you communicated with someone else who visited a foreign website, or communicated with a foreigner — again, enough so-called “justification” for spying on your for the rest of your life.  This is the criminal surveillance state, and Edward Snowden’s revelations expose more and more of this criminal conspiracy.  This is treason against the American people, waging a cyber war against them, and a gross, deliberate assault on the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

 

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This needs to turn around.  Either you believe in the Constitutional Bill of Rights and a free society … or you don’t.

 


 

A letter from Edward Snowden’s father and his lawyer, Bruce Fein, to President Obama:

Bruce Fein & Associates, Inc.
722 12th Street, N.W., 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: 703-963-4968
bruce@thelichfieldgroup.com

July 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

Just seeing if you’re awake.

Edward Snowden speaks further with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB9L1PD7Cpo&feature=youtu.be

Interviewed in Der Spiegel:

Interviewer: Are German authorities or German politicians involved in the NSA surveillance system?

Snowden: Yes, of course. We’re 1 in bed together with the Germans the same as with most other Western countries. For example, we 2 tip them off when someone we want is flying through their airports (that we for example, have learned from the cell phone of a suspected hacker’s girlfriend in a totally unrelated third country — and they hand them over to us. They 3 don’t ask to justify how we know something, and vice versa, to insulate their political leaders from the backlash of knowing how grievously they’re violating global privacy.

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