risking his life to tell you about NSA surveillance [ot]


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Trad climber
Jul 15, 2013 - 11:56am PT

im worried the air force is going to fake their as#@&%es second coming and the liberal media will AGAIN, give their pundits the run of things
Credit: rSin

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jul 15, 2013 - 12:28pm PT
Snowden's NSA whistle blowing on PRISM and the government's secret domestic surveillance is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Once extracted and isolated as a deracinated fragment out of its larger continuum, the epic entirety of the domestic surveillance program PSISM is then easily explained, justified, and defended via simplistic government misinformation propaganda as an 'anti-terrorism' program by obscuring the broader and central context within which this spying exists. In order for this propaganda to succeed, the domestic spying's context and the discourse's public boarders must be rigorously policed. The mainstream media will be fully mobilized to police the parameters of this discussion in an attempt to redirect the public's focus away from the PRISM program and onto (its campaign of discrediting and/or destroying) whistle blowers like Snowden; to redirect the public's focus away from PRISM's raison d'être so as to protect and obscure the incestuous relationship of corporate/government/FBI/security contractors' control of the raison d'état while attacking journalists who lift the lid on this Pandora's box ... and all of this seasoned with a generous helping of all-purpose fear courtesy of the perpetual 'war on terror'.

Those that are gullible and naive enough to swallow the official propaganda regarding the secret and omnipresent spying operations of the greatest, richest, and most powerful empire the world has ever known, display a shocking and inexcusable ignorance and underestimation of Machiavelli. The topic: control.


Jul 15, 2013 - 12:29pm PT



Jul 15, 2013 - 10:23am PT
He doesn't.

It's a diversion disinfo tactic to confuse and keep you from the real truth .....

Bingo ding ding ding.

Trad climber
Jul 15, 2013 - 12:46pm PT
you think you could manage to work in what we were being denied the truth of in your paragraph???

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jul 15, 2013 - 01:51pm PT

'Some journalists are now understandably afraid to go near the Stratfor files. The broader implications of this go beyond Brown; one might think that what we are looking at is Cointelpro 2.0—an outsourced surveillance state—but in fact it’s worse. One can’t help but infer that the US Department of Justice has become just another security contractor, working alongside the HBGarys and Stratfors on behalf of corporate bidders, with no sense at all for the justness of their actions; they are working to protect corporations and private security contractors and give them license to engage in disinformation campaigns against ordinary citizens and their advocacy groups.

Read more: The Strange Case of Barrett Brown | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/article/174851/strange-case-barrett-brown#ixzz2Z8zxR2aO

Mountain climber
Jul 15, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
^^Lovegasoline, take a look at this story too, that someone posted way upthread -

Jailed Journalist Barrett Brown Faces 105 Years For Reporting on Hacked Private Intelligence Firms


PETER LUDLOW: Oh, yeah, yeah. I mean, one of the most crazy things in the whole thing was when Coca-Cola approached Stratfor, and they were concerned about PETA, you know, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. And why, I’m not entirely sure, but one of the people in Stratfor said, "Well, the FBI has a classified file on PETA. I’ll see if I can get it for you." Now, that little story sums up a lot of stuff that’s wrong about this. First of all, why are private—why is Coca-Cola going to a private intelligence company for this? Why is—why did the private intelligence company feel that they had immediate access to a classified file by the FBI? And why did the FBI have a classified file, to begin with? I mean—but, to me, the creepiest part of that very creepy little story is the fact that the guy at Stratfor felt that he had access to this classified file by the FBI. And the Barrett Brown case revealed something like this, as well. It’s almost like the FBI has become just another private security firm, that it’s become like a private cop for these companies, as it were. And, I mean, that’s part because of the revolving door. It’s part because they get pressed into service for companies that want inside information on activist organizations like PETA.

Trad climber
Sh#t Hole, Brooklyn, NY
Jul 15, 2013 - 02:53pm PT
Kunlun, yes I'd read that and much more.
Cointelpro 2.0 is in place.

If one suspends the official government agency propaganda regarding their own behavior, intentions, and complicity with respect to their domestic spying and their secret orders ...

.... combined with testimony by both government actors and whistle blowers, regarding both the ineffectiveness and non-involvement of the NSA domestic metadata in 'terrorism' events and prosecutions, then there's no way to reasonably arrive at the conclusion that the NSA's domestic spying is necessary to 'prevent terrorism' (official government version). This claim by any reasonable standard, is unsupported.


Snowden's whistle blowing has already been a resounding success.
Speaking personally, I most likely would not have inquired further and/or read deeper into this topic without Snowden's revelations. Snowden has inspired me to engage this discourse and for that I'm thankful.


Gym climber
Jul 15, 2013 - 03:35pm PT
Snowden Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Swedish professor nominates whistleblower for heroically revealing extent of U.S. government surveillance

A Swedish professor has nominated NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize for revealing the extent of the NSA's vast surveillance program "in a heroic effort at great personal cost."

In his letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Stefan Svallfors, a professor of sociology at Sweden's Umeå University, added that awarding the prize to Snowden would "also help to save the Nobel Peace Prize from the disrepute it incurred by the hasty and ill-conceived decision to award U.S. President Barack Obama the 2009 award."

"I did not seek to enrich myself," Snowden said. "I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety."

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jul 15, 2013 - 05:46pm PT
Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011 09:17 AM PDT
Bush and Blair found guilty of war crimes for Iraq attack
A tribunal in Malaysia applies the Nuremberg Principles to brand the two leaders as war criminals
By Glenn Greenwald

A tribunal in Malaysia, spearheaded by that nation’s former Prime Minister, yesterday found George Bush and Tony Blair guilty of “crimes against peace” and other war crimes for their 2003 aggressive attack on Iraq, as well as fabricating pretexts used to justify the attack. The seven-member Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal — which featured an American law professor as one of its chief prosecutors — has no formal enforcement power, but was modeled after a 1967 tribunal in Sweden and Denmark that found the U.S. guilty of a war of aggression in Vietnam, and, even more so, after the U.S.-led Nuremberg Tribunal held after World War II. Just as the U.S. steadfastly ignored the 1967 tribunal on Vietnam, Bush and Blair both ignored the summons sent to them and thus were tried in absentia.

The tribunal ruled that Bush and Blair’s name should be entered in a register of war criminals, urged that they be recognized as such under the Rome Statute, and will also petition the International Criminal Court to proceed with binding charges. Such efforts are likely to be futile, but one Malaysian lawyer explained the motives of the tribunal to The Associated Press: “For these people who have been immune from prosecution, we want to put them on trial in this forum to prove that they committed war crimes.” In other words, because their own nations refuse to hold them accountable and can use their power to prevent international bodies from doing so, the tribunal wanted at least formal legal recognition of these war crimes to be recorded and the evidence of their guilt assembled. That’s the same reason a separate panel of this tribunal will hold hearings later this year on charges of torture against Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others.


Glenn Greenwald (email: GGreenwald@salon.com) is a former Constitutional and civil rights litigator and is the author of three New York Times Bestselling books: two on the Bush administration's executive power and foreign policy abuses, and his latest book, With Liberty and Justice for Some, an indictment of America's two-tiered system of justice. Greenwald was named by The Atlantic as one of the 25 most influential political commentators in the nation. He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and is the winner of the 2010 Online Journalism Association Award for his investigative work on the arrest and oppressive detention of Bradley Manning.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jul 15, 2013 - 05:50pm PT
Here’s what I find striking about this. Virtually every Serious political and media elite in America, by definition, would scoff at this tribunal; few things are considered more fringe or ludicrous than the notion that George Bush and Tony Blair should be punished as war criminals just because they aggressively attacked another nation and caused the deaths of at least 150,000 innocent people and the displacement of millions more. But the only thing this Malaysian tribunal is doing is applying the clear principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal as enunciated by lead prosecutor and former U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson in his Opening and Closing Statements at Nuremberg:

The central crime in this pattern of crimes, the kingpin which holds them all together, is the plot for aggressive wars. The chief reason for international cognizance of these crimes lies in this fact. . . .

What makes this inquest significant is that these prisoners represent sinister influences that will lurk in the world long after their bodies have returned to dust. . . . . And let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment.

The “kingpin” crime of the German defendants was not genocide or ethnic cleansing, but rather “the plot for aggressive war,” and the only way that the Nuremberg Tribunal will “serve a useful purpose” is if it applies equally in the future to “aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment.” Who do you think history will (and should) look more favorably upon? Those in this Kuala Lumpur tribunal who objected to the heinous war crime that is the attack on Iraq and attempted to hold the responsible leaders accountable under the Nuremberg principles, or those in America and Britain who mocked those efforts (when they weren’t ignoring them) and demanded that they and their leaders be fully exempted from the principles they imposed and decreed as universal after World War II?

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jul 15, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan, who yesterday expressed angry bafflement over the fact that many liberals do not swoon for President Obama the way Jon Chait does, today noted that the U.S. under Obama imposes even less accountability for abuse of power and war crimes than does Bahrain:

Bahrain’s Sunni government promised “no immunity” for anyone suspected of abuses and said it would propose creating a permanent human rights watchdog commission. “All those who have broken the law or ignored lawful orders and instructions will be held accountable,” said a government statement, which says the report acknowledges that the “systematic practice of mistreatment” ended shortly after martial law was repealed on June 1.

As Andrew put it: “So a Middle East dictatorship has more democratic accountability for abuse of power, including torture, than the US under Obama.” Beyond things like this and the facts set forth in the last paragraph here, perhaps Andrew could use today’s post of his to help clear up the towering mystery he raised yesterday of liberal disenchantment with Obama. That American war criminals are being aggressively shielded from any and all accountability is not an ancillary matter but one of enduring historical significance.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jul 15, 2013 - 06:04pm PT

Edward Snowden, Moscow Press Conference, 12 July 2013. Sarah Harrison at left, unidentified translator at right.

Jul 15, 2013 - 06:13pm PT

"Edward Snowden, Moscow Press Conference, 12 July 2013."

Strong candidate for most irony in fewest words of any post on the thread

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jul 15, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
so have you ever wondered why it takes Windows so long to boot up and shut down??

and what about all those 'automatic updates"???

"So if you use Windows consider everything you have ever done on your computer online or offline already in the hands of the NSA. Remember those pictures you took? Even if they have never left your computer somebody has seen them and chances are they are in a database somewhere. Even if you erased them."

The significance here (and I heard about this a bit back too) is that the back door happens BEFORE encryption, which puts the lie to their claim they're only processing the meta-data and not the content. The meta-data can't be encrypted or the message would simply get lost and never get to its destination.

Snowden leak: Microsoft added Outlook.com backdoor for Feds
NSA praises Redmond for 'collaborative teamwork'
By Iain Thomson in San Francisco, 11th July 2013

Agentless Backup is Not a Myth

There are red faces in Redmond after Edward Snowden released a new batch of documents from the NSA's Special Source Operations (SSO) division covering Microsoft's involvement in allowing backdoor access to its software to the NSA and others.

Documents seen by The Guardian detail how the NSA became concerned when Microsoft started testing Outlook.com, and asked for access. In five months Microsoft and the FBI created a workaround that gives the NSA access to encrypted chats on Outlook.com. The system went live in December last year – two months before Outlook.com's commercial launch.

Those Outlook users not enabling encryption get their data slurped as a matter of course, the documents show. "For Prism collection against Hotmail, Live, and Outlook.com emails will be unaffected because Prism collects this data prior to encryption," an NSA newsletter states.

Microsoft's cloud storage service SkyDrive is also easy to access, thanks to Redmond's work with the NSA. The agency reported on April 8, 2013 that Microsoft has built PRISM access into Skydrive in such a way as to remove the need for NSA analysts to get special authorization for searches in Microsoft's cloud.

"Analysts will no longer have to make a special request to SSO for this – a process step that many analysts may not have known about," the leaked NSA document states. "This new capability will result in a much more complete and timely collection response. This success is the result of the FBI working for many months with Microsoft to get this tasking and collection solution established."

The documents also detail how Microsoft and Skype have also been working with the intelligence agencies to install monitoring taps. Work began on integrating Prism into Skype in November 2010, they state, three months before the company was issued with an official order to comply by the US Attorney General.

Data collection began on February 6, 2011, and the NSA document says the planned systems worked well, with full metadata collection enabled. It praised Microsoft for its help, saying "collaborative teamwork was the key to the successful addition of another provider to the Prism system."

Work to integrate Skype into Prism into Skype didn't stop there, however. In July 2012 an NSA newsletter states Microsoft installed an upgrade that tripled the amount of Skype videos that can be monitored by NSA analysts.

Mountain climber
Jul 15, 2013 - 06:27pm PT
Computer security expert Bruce Schneier has a link to an interesting story in his latest newsletter:


It’s not just metadata. The NSA is getting everything.

...So they’re storing the actual content of phone calls and emails in some NSA database somewhere. No big deal, and rest assured, they won’t look at it unless they really don’t like you. I guess that’s what Representative Loretta Sanchez meant when she said that Snowden’s leaks were just the "tip of the iceberg."

This shouldn’t come as a shock, but look at it for what it is: to date, the government has only acknowledged that they receive (not "collect") telephone records on millions of American citizens. They have not acknowledged that they also get the content from those phone calls. They’ve noted that the specific FISC order that Snowden leaked does not apply to content, but they’ve stopped short of denying that similar court orders exist that would apply to content. And really, they wish we’d stop asking them about it because it’s classified.

Need more evidence? In a recent interview about the Boston Marathon investigation, former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente shocked CNN’s Erin Burnett when he nonchalantly revealed that the government could listen in on past phone conversations between suspect Tsarnaev and his wife, or indeed any Americans. When CNN dragged him back in the next day for follow-up questioning, he stuck to his guns, adding that "all digital communications" are recorded and stored, and that "no digital communication is secure."


BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It's not a voice mail. It's just a conversation. There's no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER COUNTERTERRORISM AGENT, FBI: No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jul 15, 2013 - 06:28pm PT
In a statement, Microsoft said that it only complies with legal demands for customer information for law enforcement and national security purposes, and that the company isn't involved in giving "the kind of blanket orders discussed in the press over the past few weeks."

"When we upgrade or update products legal obligations may in some circumstances require that we maintain the ability to provide information in response to a law enforcement or national security request. There are aspects of this debate that we wish we were able to discuss more freely," it said.

Not that Microsoft hasn't been making a big thing about the privacy of its communications systems in the past. Its Gmail Man ad campaign lambasted Google for snooping in people's mail to match them with advertisers, and the tagline "Your email is your business" seems somewhat ironic these days. The advert is no longer on Microsoft's YouTube channel.

The leaked documents come from the NSA's Special Source Operations (SSO) division, which handles commercial company liaison for data collection by the agency. The documents show that, once collected by Prism, the NSA shares its data directly with the CIA and FBI via a custom application.

"The FBI and CIA then can request a copy of Prism collection of any selector..." the document says. "These two activities underscore the point that Prism is a team sport!"

In a joint statement, Shawn Turner, spokesman for the director of National Intelligence, and Judith Emmel, spokeswoman for the NSA, told The Guardian that the wiretapping referred to in the document was court-ordered and was subject to judicial oversight.

"Not all countries have equivalent oversight requirements to protect civil liberties and privacy," they said. "In practice, US companies put energy, focus and commitment into consistently protecting the privacy of their customers around the world, while meeting their obligations under the laws of the US and other countries in which they operate."

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jul 15, 2013 - 06:32pm PT
" The only reason to keep the interpretation of the law a secret is because it'll be a huge embarrassment and show widespread abuse."


DOJ Says Public Has No Right To Know About The Secret Laws The Feds Use To Spy On Us
from the what,-you-want-to-know-that-stuff? dept
So, we were just discussing the insanity of the FISA court (FISC) basically acting as a shadow Supreme Court, making broad rulings in total secrecy that have created a secret body of law that the public is not allowed to know about. Given increasing revelations about these shadow laws, the ACLU and other public interest groups are trying, yet again, to get access to some of these key rulings. All along, they've been extremely careful to note that they're not asking FISC to reveal specific foreign intelligence issues, operations or targets: merely the parts of the rulings that identify what the law is -- i.e., how it's being interpreted by the courts. Because that seems rather fundamental to a functioning democracy.

However, as you might expect, the Justice Department has now hit back with a new filing that says, flat out, the public has no right to know what the secret court is ruling on and how it's codifying secret laws. The argument is, basically, that because FISC rulings have almost always been secret, then it's perfectly reasonable that they're secret. In other words, it's perfectly legal for secret laws to remain secret, because they're secret. Later it also argues that actually revealing the law would be (oooooooh, scary!) dangerous.

Let's make this simple: yes, revealing specific details of various surveillance efforts and targets could create security issues, no doubt. But revealing how a United States' law is interpreted can never by itself create a national security issue. And that's all that's being asked of here. The DOJ is being incredibly dishonest and disingenuous in conflating the two issues, arguing that because the FISC deals with intelligence operations, that its rulings on the interpretation of the law must also be secret. But that's wrong. You can reveal the basic interpretation of the law without revealing the specific intelligence efforts and methods. The only reason to keep the interpretation of the law a secret is because it'll be a huge embarrassment and show widespread abuse.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 15, 2013 - 06:34pm PT
Good god man think of all the Covert ops (that's spy lingo for u noobs) have been compromised... At Microsoft!


Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jul 15, 2013 - 06:37pm PT

NSA Bosses Mantra: Who Cares What The Law Says, 'Collect It All'
from the law-enforcement's-job-isn't-supposed-to-be-easy dept
The Washington Post has a profile of NSA boss Keith Alexander in which they make it clear that his passion is to "collect it all" when it comes to data.

“Rather than look for a single needle in the haystack, his approach was, ‘Let’s collect the whole haystack,’ ” said one former senior U.S. intelligence official who tracked the plan’s implementation. “Collect it all, tag it, store it. . . . And whatever it is you want, you go searching for it.”

Others have certainly reported on this before, including long-time NSA watcher James Bamford, but more and more people are realizing how the NSA functions these days. Combine the "collect it all" mentality with the fact that Alexander is the head of both the NSA, which is supposed to do signal intelligence, and the US Cyber Command, which is supposed to handle cyber security, and you have a clear conflict of interests that can lead to some sticky situations.

“He is the only man in the land that can promote a problem by virtue of his intelligence hat and then promote a solution by virtue of his military hat,” said one former Pentagon official, voicing a concern that the lines governing the two authorities are not clearly demarcated and that Alexander can evade effective public oversight as a result. The former official spoke on the condition of anonymity to be able to talk freely.

Remember how we just had the talking points that the NSA used with the media concerning the Utah Bluffdale data center. In those talking points, the NSA played up the US Cyber Command aspects, and how they were "partnering" with tech companies for that purpose. They left out almost entirely the surveillance side of things. And that's the problem. The NSA under Alexander can hide under the claim that they're trying to "protect our networks" allowing them to avoid admitting that they're collecting everything and spying on everyone.

Furthermore, the moral panics and FUD that Alexander spews to make his job easier is really quite sickening:

“Everyone also understands,” he said, “that if we give up a capability that is critical to the defense of this nation, people will die.”

You can't have perfect security, and there are serious tradeoffs that Alexander doesn't seem to care about in collecting all data. There's little actual evidence that these activities have really prevented anything serious that couldn't have been prevented via more traditional means.

Furthermore, there's a key point in all of this that often gets ignored: the US Constitution was put in place, on purpose, with the idea that "making law enforcement's job easier" is not a valid excuse. The whole point of civil liberties is that we recognize that we give people more freedoms and that means law enforcement's job is harder. But we think that's a good thing, because we trust that on the whole, keeping the innocent from being spied upon and accused is much more important that stopping every possible crime or finding every criminal. But, General Alexander and others in the NSA appear to want to flip this concept on its head. And that's incredibly dangerous.


Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jul 15, 2013 - 06:40pm PT

Yet Another Constitutional Scholar Explains Why NSA Surveillance Is Unconstitutional
from the worth-reading dept
We're seeing more and more legal experts weighing in on why the NSA's surveillance program is unconstitutional. The latest, from Randy Barnett, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown, who has written an entire book on the subject, is a really detailed explanation for how the NSA's surveillance program is unconstitutional on multiple levels.

By banning unreasonable "seizures" of a person's "papers," the Fourth Amendment clearly protects what we today call "informational privacy." Rather than seizing the private papers of individual citizens, the NSA and CFPB programs instead seize the records of the private communications companies with which citizens do business under contractual "terms of service." These contracts do not authorize data-sharing with the government. Indeed, these private companies have insisted that they be compelled by statute and warrant to produce their records so as not to be accused of breaching their contracts and willingly betraying their customers' trust.

Barnett explains some of the history of the 4th Amendment, and how it was initially designed to allow juries of citizens to determine whether or not a search was reasonable, because the Founders of the country did not trust judges to "jealously guard the liberties of the people." However, over time that's consistently shifted, as law enforcement officials were made immune from civil suits and judges increasingly had power over whether or not such searches were reasonable. Further, he notes how hoovering up pretty much all metadata is quite similar to (I'd argue, in many ways much worse than) the "general warrants" issued by the Britsh crown, which colonial America was trying to get away from with things like the 4th Amendment.

However, he says this goes beyond just the 4th Amendment, but implicates the 5th Amendment as well:

Still worse, the way these programs have been approved violates the Fifth Amendment, which stipulates that no one may be deprived of property "without due process of law." Secret judicial proceedings adjudicating the rights of private parties, without any ability to participate or even read the legal opinions of the judges, is the antithesis of the due process of law.

He goes on to point out that the secrecy of these programs makes it all that much worse, and unconstitutional on a different level as well, where the government is supposed to serve the people, rather than the other way around:

The secrecy of these programs makes it impossible to hold elected officials and appointed bureaucrats accountable. Relying solely on internal governmental checks violates the fundamental constitutional principle that the sovereign people must be the ultimate external judge of their servants' conduct in office. Yet such judgment and control is impossible without the information that such secret programs conceal. Had it not been for recent leaks, the American public would have no idea of the existence of these programs, and we still cannot be certain of their scope.

It seems worth noting that many of these reasons are in addition to reasons that others have presented as well. And, yet, to date, we've seen no one in the government offer a serious rationale for why the programs are constitutional in any way, other than hand-waving at a single 1979 Supreme Court ruling about the "third party doctrine," which requires a real stretch to pretend that allowed the kind of dragnet surveillance happening today.

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