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


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Gym climber
Jun 19, 2013 - 01:33pm PT
Worth repeating, especially in the face of those who are saying Snowden is a traitor:

Seeing someone in the position of James Clapper - the Director of National Intelligence - baldly lying to the public without repercussion is the evidence of a subverted democracy.

Trad climber
vagabond movin on
Jun 19, 2013 - 01:41pm PT
Where Uncle Sam Ought to Be Snooping

Let’s place private corporations with government contracts under surveillance — to make sure no one is getting rich off our tax dollars.

By Sam Pizzigati

Only 23 percent of Americans, says a new Reuters poll, consider former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden a “traitor” for blowing the whistle on the federal government’s massive surveillance of the nation’s telecom system.

Booz Allen: leveraging the public purse for private gain.

Many Americans, the poll data suggest, clearly do find the idea of government agents snooping through their phone calls and emails a good bit unnerving.

But Americans have more on the surveillance front to worry about than overzealous government agents. Government personnel aren’t actually doing the snooping the 29-year-old Snowden revealed. NSA officials have contracted this snooping out — to private corporate contractors.

These surveillance contracts, in turn, are making contractor executives exceedingly rich. And none have profited personally more than the power suits who run Booz Allen Hamilton and the private equity Carlyle Group.

Whistle-blower Snowden did his snooping as a Booz Allen employee. Booz Allen, overall, has had tens of thousands of employees doing intelligence work for the federal government.

Booz Allen alumni also populate the highest echelons of America’s intelligence apparatus — and vice versa. The Obama administration’s top intelligence official, James Clapper, just happens to be a former Booz Allen exec. The George W. Bush intelligence chief, John McConnell, now serves as the Booz Allen vice chair.

All these revolving doors open up into enormously lucrative worlds. In their 2010 fiscal year, the top five Booz Allen execs together pocketed just under $20 million. They averaged 23 times what members of Congress take home.

In fiscal 2010, the top five Booz Allen execs took home just under $20 million.

But the real windfalls are flowing to top execs at the Carlyle Group, Booz Allen’s parent company since 2008. In 2011, Carlyle’s top three power suits shared a combined payday over $400 million.

More windfalls will be arriving soon. Carlyle paid $2.54 billion to buy up Booz Allen. Analysts are now expecting that Carlyle’s ultimate return on the acquisition will triple the private equity giant’s initial cash outlay.

What do all these mega millions have to do with the massive surveillance that Edward Snowden has so dramatically exposed? Washington power players, from the President on down, are insisting that this surveillance has one and only one purpose: keeping Americans safe from terrorism.

But who can put much faith in these earnest assurances when other motives — financial motives — so clearly seem at play?

Corporate execs at firms like Booz Allen and the Carlyle Group are making fortunes doing “systematic snooping” for the government. These execs have a vested self-interest in pumping up demand for their snooping services — and they’re indeed, the Washington Post reported last week, pumping away.

This past April, the Post notes, Booz Allen established a new 1,500-employee division “aimed at creating new products that clients (read: government agencies) don’t know they need yet.” This new division is developing “social media analytics” that can anticipate the latest “cyber threat.”

Private contractors like Booz Allen have a vested self-interest in pumping up demand for their snooping services.

In other words, this new unit will be figuring out how to get the federal government to pay up even more for investigating who we “like” on Facebook.

In one sense, none of this should surprise us. Corporate executives — particularly in the defense industry — have been enriching themselves off government contracts for years. Post-9/11 political dynamics have only turbocharged that process. America now sports, as Pulitzer Prize-winning analyst David Rohde observed last week, a “secrecy industrial complex.”

Do the Snowden revelations have the potential to upset Corporate America’s long-running government contracting gravy train? Maybe, but only if anger over the revelations translates into real changes that keep private corporate contractors from getting rich off tax dollars.

What might these changes entail? The Affordable Care Act enacted in 2010 — Obamacare — suggests one initial step. Under this new legislation, private health insurance companies can no longer deduct off their corporate income taxes any compensation over $500,000 that they pay their top executives.

A more potent antidote to contracting windfalls would be simply denying government contracts to corporations that overcompensate their top execs, a course of action U.S. senator Hugo Black from Alabama, later a noted Supreme Court justice, proposed back in the early years of the Great Depression.

How might this approach work today? The President of the United States makes about 25 times the compensation of the lowest-paid federal employee. We could apply that standard to federal contracting and deny our tax dollars to companies that pay their top execs over 25 times what any of their workers are making.

Protecting privacy in a dangerous world will never be easy. But we’ll never have even a shot at protecting privacy until we take the profit out of violating it. Ending windfalls for contractors would be the logical place to start.


Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jun 19, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
If we could have a national sales tax and do away with the IRS, and force all of its employees into finding private sector jobs, I am willing to put up with the NSA snooping on my e-mails.

If I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that snooping on everyone's e-mails and phone calls would prevent a single innocent person from dying in a terrorist attack, then I would be all right with it.

Mountain climber
Jun 19, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
Chicago gangsters are killing more innocents than islamic terrorists
in America this year. Drive by terrorism.

Gym climber
Jun 20, 2013 - 09:54am PT
Slightly OT, but has anybody seen the shitstorm that Democracy Now is breaking on Flight 800?

... Obama added: "If people can't trust the executive branch, but also don't trust Congress and don't trust federal judges ... then we're going to have some problems here."

Gosh sir, We the People have now learned that all three branches of government have furtively conspired for seven years to violate our privacy — so, no, we don't trust any of them. And, yes, that is a biiiiiiig problem.

© 2013 Jim Hightower

Social climber
So Cal
Jun 20, 2013 - 10:32am PT
has anybody seen the shitstorm that Democracy Now is breaking on Flight 800?

Broke on some of the ex military oriented and conservative blogs over the weekend.

It seems some of the retirees are now out from under the thumb and talking.

This broke over night too.

J man

Trad climber
morgan hill
Jun 20, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
American reporter feeling big brothers eye watching


It’s a fear. You don’t really cower under the desk.
But its a nagging fear, a trepidation.
Something that never goes away. Obama is watching you, monitoring
whatever you do.

If you make a mistake, you will pay for it. Eventually. Some day.
Your future is bleak.

Basically, you are being silenced. Everyone is. Purposefully or not, they are trying to shut you down and shut you up.

They say they’re not, but they are.
They say they don’t believe they are, but they are.
They have protective password mechanisms in place, but who has access? Someday your enemies will.

We have to rely on the beneficence of our overseers, but only a fool should rest easy.
How can we believe in anything? Everything is too big. We are just cogs in
the big wheel of the surveillence state.

And here’s the big problem: it’s only getting worse as every little
detail is being recorded into the searchable database.

So live in fear. There is a Bad Santa watching you. And he decides if
you've been bad or good.
J man

Trad climber
morgan hill
Jun 20, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
Credit: J man

Social climber
So Cal
Jun 20, 2013 - 07:06pm PT

Sport climber
Jun 20, 2013 - 11:20pm PT
The secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant

"The Fisa court's oversight role has been referenced many times by Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials as they have sought to reassure the public about surveillance, but the procedures approved by the court have never before been publicly disclosed.

The top secret documents published today detail the circumstances in which data collected on US persons under the foreign intelligence authority must be destroyed, extensive steps analysts must take to try to check targets are outside the US, and reveals how US call records are used to help remove US citizens and residents from data collection.

However, alongside those provisions, the Fisa court-approved policies allow the NSA to:

• Keep data that could potentially contain details of US persons for up to five years;

• Retain and make use of "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications if they contain usable intelligence, information on criminal activity, threat of harm to people or property, are encrypted, or are believed to contain any information relevant to cybersecurity;

• Preserve "foreign intelligence information" contained within attorney-client communications;

• Access the content of communications gathered from "U.S. based machine[s]" or phone numbers in order to establish if targets are located in the US, for the purposes of ceasing further surveillance.

The broad scope of the court orders, and the nature of the procedures set out in the documents, appear to clash with assurances from President Obama and senior intelligence officials that the NSA could not access Americans' call or email information without warrants."

The whole article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/20/fisa-court-nsa-without-warrant

Trad climber
Jun 20, 2013 - 11:49pm PT

using encription is "the same" as being under suspicion as far as their allowing themselves to think


Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Jun 21, 2013 - 12:10am PT
And Use of Tor and e-mail crypto could increase chances that NSA keeps your data/ this is why everyone should use GPG or similar to encrypt their email. At least make them pay (computer time) for accessing email communication.

My key is here: http://pangram.org/steve/pubkey.txt


Jun 21, 2013 - 06:43am PT
This is cool I'm just taking pictures of buttholes and lips encrypting them and letting NSA open them to discover my secret message.

Kissssssss my assssss


Sport climber
Jun 21, 2013 - 08:10am PT
"Asked about US surveillance programmes in an earlier interview with a Spanish technology news site, FayerWayer, Steve Wozniak said: "All these things about the constitution, that made us so good as people – they are kind of nothing.

"They are all dissolved with the Patriot Act. There are all these laws that just say 'we can secretly call anything terrorism and do anything we want, without the rights of courts to get in and say you are doing wrong things'. There's not even a free open court any more. Read the constitution. I don't know how this stuff happened. It's so clear what the constitution says."

He said he had been brought up to believe that "communist Russia was so bad because they followed their people, they snooped on them, they arrested them, they put them in secret prisons, they disappeared them – these kinds of things were part of Russia. We are getting more and more like that.""
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 21, 2013 - 08:12am PT
Yes and a majority of Americans SUPPORTED THE PATRIOT ACT including some on this board who now rail against this sort of intrusion.



Social climber
So Cal
Jun 21, 2013 - 08:13am PT
Just replace "national interest" with "regime interests" for most of the story and it reads correctly.


Why do the FDA, Dept. of Agriculture NOAA and the Peace Corps have to do with legitimate national security interests?
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jun 21, 2013 - 10:37am PT
Seeing someone in the position of James Clapper - the Director of National Intelligence - baldly lying to the public without repercussion is the evidence of a subverted democracy.

Not just lying to the public but lying to Congress, which is supposed to oversee them! Why doesn't he go to jail instead? How would we know he was lying without a whistleblower. Kill the messenger? Screw that~! Even Clinton got impeached for lying to congress about a MUCH smaller issue


Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jun 21, 2013 - 12:34pm PT

Funny, and shows the dude lying to congress



Sport climber
Jun 21, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
Insider Threat Program June 2013

whats this?
President 'Leak Plugger's unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider
Threat Program gives the NSA authority to increase monitoring of all
communications to hunt down leakers.

"Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies
of the United States,” says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department
oberfurher on strategy for the program.

Requires federal employees to snitch on co-workers. Failure to do so is
now a crime and if the cubical worker across the aisle from you leaks to
the media you could go to jail for not catching him and alerting the
department manager.

So best not to talk to anyone in the office so you have plausible
deniability of not knowing anything, just like the administration.

You have stepped thru the looking glass when it makes perfect sense to get
jail time for not being a mind reader. What school teaches that course btw? Got to sign up.

Hey, let’s get people to snitch on their coworkers.

The only thing they haven’t done here is reward it,” said Kel McClanahan,
a Washington lawyer who specializes in national security law.

I’m waiting for the time when you turn in your manager and
get a $500 reward and take over his job with a higher salary.


Trad climber
Jun 21, 2013 - 09:01pm PT
The neverending PR bullshit press show is beyond nauseating.

I don't control any well-armed sheeple thug shows, so I guess I'd better just lay low.

Did you hear about that guy from the sopranos?
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