Posts Tagged ‘#intelligence’

Glenn Greenwald speaks via Skype to the Socialism 2013 conference in Chicago regarding Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s mass surveillance program. Introductions by Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater and the filmmaker behind Dirty Wars, and Sherry Wolf, author of Sexuality and Socialism.

Additional Homework:
  • NYTimes: The Criminal NSA – “The two programs violate both the letter and the spirit of federal law. No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance. Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House — and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught.”
  • NYTimes: Margaret Sullivan: Who’s a Journalist? A Question With Many Facets and One Sure Answer – “In a New York magazine piece, Mr. Rich wrote: “Is David Gregory a journalist? As a thought experiment, name one piece of news he has broken, one beat he’s covered with distinction, and any memorable interviews he’s conducted that were not with John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Dick Durbin or Chuck Schumer.” And he derisively suggested that Mr. Gregory begin to host his network’s “Today” show, so that he can “speak truth to power by grilling Paula Deen.””
  • The Guardian: Thomas Drake: Snowden saw what I saw: surveillance criminally subverting the constitution – “It was made clear to me that the original intent of government was to gain access to all the information it could without regard for constitutional safeguards. “You don’t understand,” I was told. “We just need the data.”” (2001)
  • Business Insider: Latest Glenn Greenwald Scoop Vindicates One Of The Original NSA Whistleblowers, William Binney – “Binney says that ThinThread was built to track electronic activities — phone calls, emails, banking and travel records, social media, etc. — and map them to collect “all the attributes that any individual has” in every type of activity and build a real-time profile based on that data.”
  • The Guardian: Senators’ letter to US director of national intelligence James Clapper – Bipartisan group of 26 US senators complain that the Obama administration is relying on a ‘body of secret law’ to collect massive amounts of data on US citizens
  • Hullabaloo: Chris Hayes on the leak double standard – “Barbara Starr and David Gregory can spout all the classified information they choose without fear of being arrested. But then they only disseminate the classified info that makes the government look good so it’s just fine.”
  • The Guardian: Wayne Madsen: Revealed: secret European deals to hand over private data to America – “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.”
  • The Corbett Report/Sibel Edmonds’ Boiling Frogs Post: Compromised: How the National Security State Blackmails the Government – “The picture that is being painted by Tice and Edmond’s revelations is a grim one. It tells the tale of a government that is no longer “by and for the people” (to the extent that it ever was), but by and for a small intelligence establishment with the means to spy on and blackmail judges, lawyers, officials and even the President. Lest there be any doubt about the extent to which the FBI and the NSA collaborate and cover for each other in these operations, a telling moment was accidentally caught on microphone after NSA head General Keith Alexander’s testimony in front of a Congressional hearing. Alexander and the NSA was vigorously defended at the hearing by FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce, and after the meeting Alexander was overheard thanking Joyce for the FBI’s part in covering for the NSA operations.”

 

If NSA is storing 1.7 billion records per day, at that rate it would take over 10,000 days (27.4 years) to reach the 20 Trillion records allegedly stored. That means they’ve been storing our private records for decades while publicly denying the same. And they’re planning even bigger things…

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy. – via Wired


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DemocracyNow.org – National Security Agency whistleblower William Binney reveals he believes domestic surveillance has become more expansive under President Obama than President George W. Bush. He estimates the NSA has assembled 20 trillion “transactions” — phone calls, emails and other forms of data — from Americans. This likely includes copies of almost all of the emails sent and received from most people living in the United States. Binney talks about Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and challenges NSA Director Keith Alexander‘s assertion that the NSA is not intercepting information about U.S. citizens.


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March 15, 2012 C-SPAN


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From Thomas Drake to Bradley Manning, many whistleblowers have faced retaliation for revealing controversial government information. Last week the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises passed a bill that weakens the protection for whistleblowers. The bill involves the whistleblower to meet the company in question before going to a regulatory agency. Then the agency would inform the entity being suspected of wrong doing before any enforcement action is taken. Sibel Edmonds, editor of Boiling Frogs Post, gives us a firsthand perspective for the war against whistleblowers.


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The House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises passed a bill that severely dwindles protection for whistleblowers on Thursday. The bill necessitates the whistleblower to confront the enterprise in question before going to a regulatory agency and has the support of many lobbyists including the US Chamber of Commerce. Many critics believe the bill makes it easier for firms to retaliate against whistleblowers. Kathleen McClellan, attorney for the Government Accountability Project, joins us to explore how this bill could make whistleblower rights vanish completely.


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It’s been almost two years since Private First Class Bradley Manning was arrested. He is being accused of releasing classified documents to Wikileaks. As a whistleblower Manning was held for nine months without being charged for a crime and starting Friday evening Occupy the Truth will kick off in Berkeley. At the conference Bradley Manning’s case will be an important topic and activist Cindy Sheehan brings us the latest about Occupy the Truth.


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February 14, 2012 PBS News Hour


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democracynow.org – Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith are the co-authors of a new book about the U.S. role in the killing of Cuban revolutionary, Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Born in Argentina in 1928, Che rose to international prominence as one of the key leaders of the 1959 Cuban Revolution that overthrew U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista. After a period in the new Cuban government leadership, Che aimed to spark revolutionary activity internationally. On October 8, 1967, he was captured by Bolivian troops working with the CIA. He was executed one day later. In their book, “Who Killed Che?” Ratner and Smith draw on previously unpublished government documents to argue the CIA played a critical role in the killing. “The line of the [U.S.] government was that, ‘The Bolivians did it, we couldn’t do anything about it.’ That’s not true,” Smith said. “This whole operation was organized out of the White House by Walt Whitman Rostow and the CIA.” On Che’s significance, Ratner said, “Che became a symbol for revolutionary change. … He still remains that today. If you go to Tahrir Square or Occupy Wall Street, people are wearing Che T-shirts because they understand their obligation, their necessity is to take on the 1 percent. That is what Che was about. I think that is why he is such a hero for people in the streets today.”


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For several months anti-government rebels have been protesting the government led by Basgar al-Assad. In the past few days the violence in Syria has increased radically and over the weekend the Syria resolution proposed by the UN Security Council was vetoed by China and Russia. Many have criticized the two countries for the veto but many feel Syria will share the same fate as Libya if the resolution passes. Pepe Escobar, Asia Times correspondent, joins us to look at the bigger picture