Posts Tagged ‘#surveillance’

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.”
Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’

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 aimed at American citizens – and those who are lying to the American people and its Congress about what they’re doing – 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.

via Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

Photograph: Sergei Ivanov/AP

The Aeroflot Airbus A330 that was expected to carry Edward Snowden to Havana waits at the gate at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. Photograph: Sergei Ivanov/AP

For more than 24 hours the sprawling international airport on Moscow’s northern outskirts was the site of an intricate game of cat-and-mouse. The target: Edward Snowden, sought by an enraged US, which has charged him with leaking classified documents on US surveillance programmes and warned countries suspected of abetting his escape.

[…]

And, yet again, Snowden was nowhere to be found.

He was reportedly in Moscow for 21 hours but no photographs or video of him have emerged – no leaks from the Federal Security Service or police, who use the website Life News to broadcast the news they want the world to see.

Moscow has made its overtures to Snowden obvious, with Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, repeatedly saying the Kremlin would consider an asylum request from the American, as it would from any other. But the events come amid the worst Russian-US relations since the end of the cold war, with the Kremlin once again making anti-Americanism a central governing pillar. The sight of a US whistleblower, hounded by his own government, being welcomed on Russian soil would be nothing short of a coup.

via Miriam Elder, Guardian

Copyright © Steve Bell 2013

Copyright © Steve Bell 2013

Thom Hartman: Where’s Edward Snowden?

Daniel Ellsburg: “I think Sec. of State Kerry calling Snowden a traitor is disgusting.”

Sir Timothy Berners-Lee: Here’s Everything We Know About PRISM To Date

Cryptome.org: PRISM has been in use since about 2003 based on a resume of a user and likely indicates PRISM collection well before recent publication of PRISM access to Internet servers, beginning with Microsoft in 2007. Numerous similar spying tools and programs are described here. (Thank you, John Young)

President Obama’s Data Harvesting Program: NSA as Pollster, PRISM as MISO by John Stanton (.pdf)

Snowden’s Next Move, Larry King on Role of Journalism, US Government’s Blind Arrogance

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Here’s the thing, the real story is what Snowden revealed, not that he revealed it and not the ensuing manhunt. Our government violated the Constitution thousands of times, violated YOUR RIGHTS with malice aforethought, and lied to all of us about it for at least ten years. Now, what are we going to do about that?

 

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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Menwith Hill, the largest intelligence gathering and surveillance center outside the US, in the heart of the UK’s Yorkshire Dales, is surrounded by protesters demonstrating against America’s planned missile defense system. The local residents, often camping outside, have been joined by members of the global Occupy movement, supporting ongoing local efforts. To keep up with new types of warfare, billions of dollars has been invested in Menwith Hill over the last decade. It has enabled the base to remain a vital component of the global US surveillance network.


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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.

Data scraping has been a favorite tool of the FBI for quite some time. According to civil rights groups such as the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the bureau has routinely made large bulk purchases of consumer spending data and demographic information datamined from the Internet. These purchases are intended to get around provisions largely prohibiting the FBI from spying or intelligence-gathering on domestic targets without warrants or due suspicion. In 2007, it was revealed that the FBI even data mined Middle Eastern grocery store sales records; the FBI would not disclose if any arrests occurred due to their monitoring of ethnic food stores. The FBI also solicited bulk information from telephone companies. Apart from tracking down suspected terrorists, it’s believed the FBI mined bulk data in search of, among other crimes, credit card fraud and car theft.

The fact that the FBI is even searching for a social media monitoring dashboard, however, is puzzling. Most Americans are blissfully unaware of how nearly every activity on the Internet is monitored, analyzed, and repackaged for a host of companies whose market-driven spy apparatuses are scarier than anything the government has to offer. In the past 10 years, the market research and Internet marketing industries have commissioned plenty of sophisticated analysis software with Big Brother-ish capabilities. The puzzling coda is that market researchers and analysts, working for private corporations, snoop on Americans’ online activities far more effectively than the FBI themselves.

via FBI Spying On… FarmVille? | Fast Company.

So you want to launch an unmanned aerial vehicle in US airspace? The first step (besides shelling out for one) is to ask the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to fly it above 400 feet. So who’s been cleared for takeoff? Well, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports, that’s a secret. The Department of Transportation hasn’t responded to a FOIA request to release its domestic drone data. The FAA has said that as of last September, it had given the green light to 85 users, but it won’t say who they are or what exactly they’re doing.

The EFF is suing for the info, explaining that “As the government begins to make policy decisions about the use of these aircraft, the public needs to know more about how and why these drones are being used to surveil United States citizens.”

via Mother Jones