Tag Archive: National Security Agency


The Latest iPhone Is An Ode To Biometrics, Spying, And The Big Brother Control Grid

 

 

 

” The latest series of Apple’s iPhone will not only continue to cultivate numerous apps that track your location through GPS and transmit data directly back to corporations and government, but contain a fingerprint sensor that stores your fingerprint in order to purchase apps and unlock the phone for use.

And that’s really just the beginning. As millions will most likely continue through the Apple food chain and purchase this phone, the NSA and bloated federal government at large will be beyond ecstatic. Because after all, it’s a real dream come true for the Big Daddy government spy state. No longer will you actually need to be arrested to gather your fingerprints — we’re talking about millions nationwide willingly submitting their biometrics to a database that most certainly is accessible by Apple and big government.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Boyfriend Tracker’ App Raises Stir In Brazil

 

 

 

” Brazilians were outraged when they learned their country was a top target of the U.S. National Security Agency’s overseas spying operation, with data from billions of calls and emails swept up in Washington’s top secret surveillance program.

Yet when it comes to the cloak and dagger effort of catching philandering lovers, all high-tech weapons appear to be fair game – at least to the tens of thousands of Brazilians who downloaded “Boyfriend Tracker” to their smartphones before the stealthy software was removed from the Google Play app store last week, apparently in response to complaints about privacy abuses and its potential to be used for extortion or even stalking.

The app, called “Rastreador de Namorados” (Portuguese for Boyfriend Tracker), promises to act like a “private detective in your partner’s pocket.”

Functions include sending the person doing the tracking updates on their partner’s location and forwarding duplicates of text message traffic from the targeted phone. There is even a command that allows a user to force the target phone to silently call their own, like a pocket dial, so they can listen in on what the person is saying.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feinstein Defends Congress’ Intelligence Oversight Amid New Revelations

 

” Some secrets don’t faze Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She keeps plenty, after all, as the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

But the 15-member panel that the California Democrat has led since 2009 is scrambling to catch up with the latest public revelations about government spying.

It’s a potentially awkward position for the 80-year-old lawmaker, who has regularly defended secret surveillance programs that others have knocked, and who now must defend the quality of congressional oversight as well.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Change” Is Officially Dead: Obama Scrubs Web Of 2008 Campaign Promises Including Whistleblower Protection…

 

 

” Amid the Obama administration’s crackdown against whistleblowers, Change.gov, the 2008 website of the Obama transition team laying out the candidate’s promises, has disappeared from the internet.

The Sunlight Foundation notes that it last could be viewed on June 8, which was two days after the first revelations from Edward Snowden (who had then not yet revealed himself) about the NSA’s phone surveillance program. One of the promises Obama made on the website was on “whistleblower protections:” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report: US Tech Companies Lose Business Following PRISM Revelations

 

A protestor wearing a Guy Fawkes mask demonstrates against the PRISM program on June 29, 2013 in Hannover, Germany

 

” Tech companies alleged to be partnering with the U.S. government in a mass Internet surveillance program are losing business, AFP reports.

“The Cloud Security Alliance said 10 percent of its non-US members have cancelled a contract with a US-based cloud provider, and 56 percent said they were less likely to use an American company,” said the publication.

The survey was conducted online between June 25 and July 9.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oath Keepers Group Places Massive Pro-Snowden Ad Inside Pentagon Metro Station

 

oathkeepers snowden

 

 

 

 

 

” Last Thursday as I was rolling into the Pentagon Metro station I noticed from the train window a giant sign that read, “Snowden Honored His Oath. Honor Yours! Stop Big Brother!”

Turns out it was the Oath Keepers, “a coalition of current and former military, police, and other public officials [who] have pledged not to obey unconstitutional commands.” (For a fair and balanced take on the group,see Jesse Walker here.) The group released a statement claiming credit for the signs, of which there are supposedly three at Pentagon station:

Oath Keepers has placed three back-lit signs on the subway platform in the Washington Metro Pentagon Station, group founder Stewart Rhodes announced today.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Drone Strikes Guided From Outback

 

 

 

” Central Australia’s Pine Gap spy base played a key role in the United States’ controversial drone strikes involving the ”targeted killing” of al-Qaeda and Taliban chiefs, Fairfax Media can reveal.

Former personnel at the Australian-American base have described the facility’s success in locating and tracking al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders – and other insurgent activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan – as ”outstanding”.

A Fairfax Media investigation has now confirmed a primary function of the top-secret signals intelligence base near Alice Springs is to track the precise ”geolocation” of radio signals, including those of hand-held radios and mobile phones, in the eastern hemisphere, from the Middle East across Asia to China, North Korea and the Russian far east.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Part I Of A Two-Part Analysis Of Ethical And Legal Questions Pertaining To Whistleblowers Who Expose Government Wrongdoing

 

 

” Recent revelations about the extent and details of the massive NSA surveillance program have been made possible mostly by the actions of a single whistleblower, Edward Snowden, presently in hiding from the wrath of the US government, whose shameful and frightening secrets he has now made public knowledge. Despite repeated denials by its officials, it is now evident that the NSA runs a data-collection and spying network which collects masses of data on the private communications of non-US citizens, and some private communications on US citizens. It does so without requirement for any individual warrants for its targets, and without requirement for any probable cause with respect to any of the individuals whose communications are collected. Instead, the entire program operates under a broad procedure-based warrant system, whereby a special clandestine court hears submissions from the government in secret and then dutifully approves general procedures for mass surveillance, without any adversarial argument being raised by any other party. The warrants allow mass surveillance and storage of data at the discretion of NSA analysts, and these warrants are clearly at odds with the principle of eschewing unreasonable searches.[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowden Receives Asylum Offers

 

 

 

 

” The quest by NSA leaker Edward Snowden for a safe haven has taken a turn toward Latin America, with offers for asylum coming from the leftist presidents of Nicaragua and Venezuela.

But there were no immediate signs that efforts were under way to bring him to either nation after Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua made their offers during separate speeches in their home countries on Friday.

The offers came one day after leftist South American leaders gathered to denounce the rerouting of Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane over Europe amid reports that the fugitive American was aboard.

Snowden, who is being sought by the United States, has asked for asylum in more than 20 countries, including Nicaragua and Venezuela. Many another nations have turned him down.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Criminal N.S.A.

 

 

 

” THE twin revelations that telecom carriers have been secretly giving the National Security Agency information about Americans’ phone calls, and that the N.S.A. has been capturing e-mail and other private communications from Internet companies as part of a secret program called Prism, have not enraged most Americans. Lulled, perhaps, by the Obama administration’s claims that these “modest encroachments on privacy”were approved by Congress and by federal judges, public opinion quickly migrated from shock to “meh.”

It didn’t help that Congressional watchdogs — with a few exceptions, like Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky — have accepted the White House’s claims of legality. The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, have called the surveillance legal. So have liberal-leaning commentators like Hendrik Hertzberg and David Ignatius.

This view is wrong — and not only, or even mainly, because of the privacy issues raised by the American Civil Liberties Union and other critics. 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.

The administration has defended each of the two secret programs. Let’s examine them in turn.”

Read The Whole Thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surf Without Surveillance: Tor’s Karen Reilly

 

 

 

 

“People are under the impression that the Internet is sort of anonymous by default,” says Karen Reilly, development director of the Tor Project. “They don’t know how many digital trails they’re leaving behind.” 

“There’s a lot of everyday reasons why people would use Tor,” Reilly says. “You don’t necessarily have to be somebody who’s under a particular threat to want privacy.” Among the half million people who use Tor include victims of violence, people with medical conditions, people who don’t trust their Internet service provider, and those who object to government surveillance on principle.”

 

 

 

 

 

ACLU Sues Over NSA Phone Surveillance

 

 

” The #ACLU filed suit Tuesday against the National Security Agency, over revelations about an apparently extensive telephone surveillance program.

The 11-page suit filed in the Southern District of New York asks a federal judge to declare the so-called ‘mass call tracking” program a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments; the civil liberties group wants the program stopped, and its records destroyed.

The lawsuit states:

The practice is akin to snatching every American’s address book—with annotations detailing whom we spoke to, when we talked, for how long, and from where. It gives the government a comprehensive record of our associations and public movements, revealing a wealth of detail about our familial, political, professional, religious, and intimate associations.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Spy Agency Reported To Tap Fibre-Optic Cables

 

 

 

 

” New details of cable tapping has been reported by British daily, The Guardian. The report reveals that Britain’s spy agency the GCHQ has tapped fibre-optic cables that carry international phone and internet traffic. It is also sharing large amounts of personal information with the United States National Security Agency. The project has the codename “Tempora”. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phones Leave A Telltale Trail

 

” The NSA, through secret court orders served to U.S. telecommunications firms, scoops up metadata relating to almost all calls made into and within the U.S., which it can later query as part of a terror investigation. U.S. officials say that kind of work, in concert with other techniques, has helped thwart “dozens” of terrorist plots in the U.S. and overseas. Critics charge it represents an invasion of privacy.

The typical smartphone user can give off a total of nearly 100 pieces of highly technical data through calls, texts and other activities, according to research by Tracy Ann Kosa, a digital-privacy expert at the University of Ontario. This information includes the time that phones make contact with cellphone towers, the direction of the tower with respect to the phone and the signal strength at the time.

Ms. Kosa said much of the data is “insignificant on its own.” But “every little piece counts,” she said. “Think of it like footsteps—or calories.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daily Show Hits Washington Scandals Harder Than News Media

 

 

” The Daily Show’s John Oliver sat in for Jon Stewart, who is apparently pregnant and gone for the summer, and gave a lengthy monologue about the whistleblower stories that was simply hilarious.”

 

 

” It’s pretty sad when a “comedy” show hits a major news story harder than the mainstream media, including Fox News.”

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3 Reasons The ‘Nothing To Hide’ Crowd Should Be Worried About Government Surveillance

 

” Responding to a popular reaction to news of the National Security Agency’s massive data collection program, blogger Daniel Sieradski started a Twitter feed called “Nothing to Hide.” He has retweeted hundreds of people who have declared in one form or another that they are not concerned that the federal government may spy on them. They say they have done nothing wrong, so they have nothing to hide. If it helps the government fight terrorists, go ahead, take their civil liberties away.

In his blog, a frustrated Sieradski listed many of the abuses of power our federal government is known for; he is not happy with the “nothing to hide” crowd.

There are many, many reasons to be concerned about the rise of the surveillance state, even if you have nothing to hide. Or rather, even if you think you have nothing to hide. For those confronted by such simplistic arguments, here are a three counterarguments that perhaps might get these people thinking about what they’re actually giving up.

1. Every American Is Probably a Criminal, Really

That Americans think they have nothing to hide in the first place is a sign of how little attention they’re paying to the behavior of our Department of Justice. Many Americans have run afoul of federal laws without even knowing it. Tim Carney noted at the Washington Examiner:

Copy a song to your laptop from a friend’s Beyonce CD? You just violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Did you buy some clothes in Delaware because they were tax free? You’re probably evading taxes. Did you give your 20-year-old nephew a glass of wine at dinner? Illegal in many states.”

 

 

 

 

 

‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ Sales Spike Amid Surveillance Disclosures

 

 

 

 

” One of the hottest beach reads this summer is “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

The spate of disclosures about America’s surveillance apparatus appears to have spurred not only allusions to Orwell’s dystopian classic, but also a surge of book sales.

According to Amazon.com Inc. sales data posted earlier Tuesday, one edition of the 64-year-old book jumped more than 7,000% in its overall sale rankings since the beginning of the week. Ranked 13,074 on Monday, the title is now in the top 200.

Editions of  “Nineteen Eighty-Four” now occupy at least four out of the top 50 spots in Amazon’s “movers & shakers” list of big gainers over the last 24 hours.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former U.S. Prosecutor Sues Obama And NSA Over PRISM Scandal

 

 

” TorrentFreak just obtained a copy of a complaint submitted at a federal court in Columbia, targeting President Obama, the NSA, Eric Holder and Verizon who all played a role in the mass surveillance scheme.

The class action lawsuit was filed by Larry Klayman, a former US prosecutor under the Reagan administration, together with the parents of the killed Navy SEAL Team VI member Michael Strange.

The plaintiffs accuse the PRISM participants of violating their constitutional rights, reasonable expectation of privacy, free speech and association, right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, among other illegal and criminal acts. Both Klayman and the Navy Seal parents demand compensation for the damage they suffered.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S., British Intelligence Mining Data From Nine U.S. Internet Companies In Broad Secret Program

 

 

 

 

” The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”

London’s Guardian newspaper reported Friday that GCHQ, Britain’s equivalent of the NSA, also has been secretly gathering intelligence from the same internet companies through an operation set up by the NSA.

According to documents obtained by The Guardian, PRISM would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required in Britain to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside of the country.”

 

 

Despite the spate of corporate denials it would appear that they are all willing participants … shame .

 

 

In exchange for immunity from lawsuits, companies such as Yahoo and AOL are obliged to accept a “directive” from the attorney general and the director of national intelligence to open their servers to the FBI’s Data Intercept Technology Unit, which handles liaison to U.S. companies from the NSA. In 2008, Congress gave the Justice Department authority for a secret order from the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court to compel a reluctant company “to comply.”

In practice, there is room for a company to maneuver, delay or resist. When a clandestine intelligence program meets a highly regulated industry, said a lawyer with experience in bridging the gaps, neither side wants to risk a public fight. The engineering problems are so immense, in systems of such complexity and frequent change, that the FBI and NSA would be hard pressed to build in back doors without active help from each company.

 

The money quote …

 

As it is written, there is nothing to prohibit the intelligence community from searching through a pile of communications, which may have been incidentally or accidentally been collected without a warrant, to deliberately search for the phone calls or e-mails of specific Americans,” Udall said.

 

 

 

Related:

Google CEO Larry Page On PRISM: ‘What The…?’

Apple: ‘We Have Never Heard Of PRISM’

Dissecting Big Tech’s Denial of Involvement in NSA’s PRISM …

Google and Facebook Double Down on Prism Denials

PRISM’s NSA fallout: Apple, Google, Facebook issue denials …

Evolution Of The PRISM Denials: This May Be Why They Seem …

Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Paltalk, AOL issue …

Liberal England: PRISM: Should we believe the internet companies …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The PRISM Spin War Has Begun

 

 

 

” On the heels of media reports that the NSA has gained access to the servers of nine leading tech companies — enabling the spy agency to examine emails, video, photographs, and other digital communications — Google has issued a strongly worded statement denying that the company granted the government “direct access” to its servers. That statement goes so far as to say that the company hasn’t even heard of “a program called PRISM until yesterday.” 

At first glance, Google’s statement is difficult to believe. Senior intelligence officials have confirmed the program’s existence, and Google’s logo is prominently listed on internal NSA documents describing participating companies. But Google may be engaging in a far more subtle public relations strategy than outright denial.

Google’s statement hinges on three key points: that it did not provide the government with “direct access” to its servers, that it did not set up a “back door” for the NSA, and that it provides “user data to governments only in accordance with the law.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Big Data Turning Government Into ‘Big Brother’?

An aerial view of the NSA's Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah, Thursday, June 6, 2013. The government is secretly collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top-secret court order, according to the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Obama administration is defending the National Security Agency's need to collect such records, but critics are calling it a huge over-reach. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

An aerial view of the NSA's Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah, Thursday, June 6, 2013.

The revelations that the National Security Agency is perusing millions of U.S. customer phone records at Verizon Communications and snooping on the digital communications stored by nine major Internet services illustrate how aggressively personal data is being collected and analyzed.”

” Personal data being collected and analyzed” … aggressively  … If that doesn’t strike fear in your heart you must be a federal employee …

” Former NSA employee William Binney told The Associated Press that he estimates the agency collects records on 3 billion phone calls each day.”

   All in the name of “national security” of course . It’s for your own benefit , even if you are too obtuse to recognize that fact .

” PRISM gives the U.S. government access to email, documents, audio, video, photographs and other data belonging to foreigners on foreign soil who are under investigation, according to The Washington Post. The newspaper said it reviewed a confidential roster of companies and services participating in PRISM. The companies included AOL Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., Skype, YouTube and Paltalk.”

   The government would never do anything to squander the huge reserves of public trust with which it is embued , ask the Tea Partiers .

” In a sign of the NSA’s determination to vacuum up as much data as possible, the agency has built a data center in Bluffdale, Utah that is five times larger than the U.S. Capitol —all to sift through Big Data. The $2 billion center has fed perceptions that some factions of the U.S. government are determined to build a database of all phone calls, Internet searches and emails under the guise of national security. The Washington Post’s disclosure that both the NSA and FBI have the ability to burrow into computers of major Internet services will likely heighten fears that U.S. government’s Big Data is creating something akin to the ever-watchful Big Brother in George Orwell’s “1984” novel.” 

” The first step in saving our liberty is to realize how much we have already lost, how we lost it, and how we will continue to lose it unless fundamental political changes occur.”

– James Bovard




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The NSA Is Building The Country’s Biggest Spy Center 

 

Photo: Name Withheld; Digital Manipulation: Jesse Lenz

 

 

” 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.

But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.” “

 

 

   While this article is a couple months old we thought it more relevant than ever given recent revelations of the NSA demanding ALL Verizon phone records .

     We are in a battle for our privacy and the adversary is not international … no , the enemy is our own government . We are paying for the weapons of the destruction of liberty . Our fore-fathers would be appalled . The federal government makes King George look like a benevolent uncle in comparison .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report: NSA Asked Verizon For Records Of All Calls In The U.S.

 

 

 

”  A major scoop from Glenn Greenwald at the Guardian appears to prove that the National Security Agency has been demanding that Verizon produce calling records of all phone calls made in the United States.

The leaked legal order requires Verizon to produce, “on an ongoing daily basis,” records of calls “between the United States and abroad” as well as “wholly within the United States, including local calls.” The data sought by the NSA includes “originating and terminating telephone numbers,” and the time and duration of each call. The order does not request the contents of the calls.

The four-page order is dated April 25 and signed by Judge Roger Vinson, a judge of the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.”