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Thread: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    Ol Cass needs a better tailor and then an uppercut to the jaw. Sometimes a little street throwdown can remind a dickhead like Sunstein how fragile he really is.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    That could be said for a lot of folks in Washington.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    NRA backs ACLU spying lawsuit over gun registry fears

    FoxNews.com


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    FILE: Dec. 21, 2012: National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, speaks during a news conference in response to the Connecticut school shooting.AP


    The National Rifle Association on Wednesday filed an amicus brief in federal court supporting an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging a government phone-tracking program that collects the telephone records of millions of Americans.


    The brief argues that the National Security Agency's phone records collection program could "allow identification of NRA members, supporters, potential members, and other persons with whom the NRA communicates, potentially chilling their willingness to communicate with the NRA."


    The ACLU's lawsuit — which names as defendants the heads of national intelligence as well as the agencies they lead, including the National Security Agency, the FBI, the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice — argues the phone record collection program disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is unconstitutional.


    The suit, filed in federal court in New York in June, asks the court to halt the datamining effort and purge phone records collected under the program, claiming the government action violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution.


    The NRA argues in the brief that it would be "absurd" to think that Congress would take steps to prevent the creation of a national gun registry while simultaneously allowing the NSA to gather records that "could effectively create just such a registry."


    "If programs like those currently justified by the government’s interpretation are allowed to continue and grow unchecked, they could also—contrary to clear congressional intent—undo decades of legal protection for the privacy of Americans in general, and of gun owners in particular," the brief states.


    President Obama and Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA's director, have defended the program. Alexander explained at a computer systems analysts conference in August how how government methods used to collect telephone and email data helped foil 54 terror plots since 1993.


    The ACLU claims standing as a former customer of Verizon, adding that the government likely has much of its metadata stored in its databases.


    The suit also alleges the government's program exceeds the congressional authority provided by the Patriot Act and singles out a particular provision that has given the government more leeway in obtaining various records for intelligence investigations.


    Supporting briefs were also filed Wednesday by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a number of news organizations, including Fox Television Stations, Courthouse News Service, The McClatchy Company and The E.W. Scripps Company.


    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013...#ixzz2e1rituoV

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    Al Qaeda bomb anthrax airport New browser extensions let you hit the NSA where it hurts: in the data

    By Christopher Mims @mims 2 hours ago

    With Flagger, making yourself look like a target is the new hiding in plain sight.Jeff Lyon

    Flagger.io does just one thing: It adds a random selection of keywords, like “terrorist,” “pressure cooker,” “Al Qaeda,” etc. to the address of every website you visit. The idea is that, because the US National Security Agency (NSA) is gathering essentially all the internet traffic that passes through the US, the more noise it has to sort through—like the sort of faux-terroristic requests made by a web browser running Flagger.io—the harder the NSA’s job will be.
    +


    Jeff Lyon, one of the brothers who built Flagger.io, describes it as “a browser add-on to troll the NSA with red flags & free speech.”Jeff Lyon

    Lyon has also just released a second browser extension to help users thwart the NSA more directly: Turtl.it is an app for storing encrypted notes. Eventually, says Lyon, it will also be usable for file storage—like Google’s document-sharing service, Google Drive. Because it’s open-source, users can be (relatively more) assured that it hasn’t been tainted by the NSA’s efforts to weaken commercial cryptography.



    1


    Here’s how Lyon describes the operation of Turtl.it:
    +


    We’ve set up our service so that only you have the keys to your data and it gets encrypted before it leaves your computer. That way, even if the NSA wiretaps your Internet connection, even if an army of mercenaries storms our data-center and steals our hard drives, your data is unreadable to everyone, including us.
    +

    The reason this matters, of course, is that as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed, the NSA can demand that Google hand over any data it has on you. But if the agency demands the data from Turtl.it, what it gets—in theory at least—will be useless.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans


    Star Trek Inspired NSA 'Information Dominance Center' Unveiled

    September 17, 2013

    Rumors that National Security Agency director Gen. Keith Alexander commissioned an Information Dominance Center fashioned after the Starship Enterprise were recently reported by Foreign Policy.

    The building was reportedly created by a Hollywood set designer "to mimic the bridge of the Starship Enterprise from 'Star Trek,' complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a 'whoosh' sound when they slid open and closed."

    According to Foreign Poilcy, a retired officer was quoted saying that, "Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard."

    The Washington Post has since clarified that Alexander was not the one to commission the building as it was built before it took the job.





    Well, the Starfleet bridge inspired design is an efficient layout but I'm more concerned about how this "Information Dominance Center" will be used.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    We have something like that here. That's all I'll say about that.

    /chuckles

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    One NSA Crypto ‘Backdoor’ Outed In 2007, Not Understood At The Time

    Posted on September 24, 2013



    How a Crypto ‘Backdoor’ Pitted the Tech World Against the NSA | Threat Level | Wired.com.


    In August 2007, a young programmer in Microsoft’s Windows security group stood up to give a five-minute turbo talk at the annual Crypto conference in Santa Barbara.


    It was a Tuesday evening, part of the conference’s traditional rump session, when a hodge-podge of short talks are presented outside of the conference’s main lineup. To draw attendees away from the wine and beer that competed for their attention at that hour, presenters sometimes tried to sex up their talks with provocative titles like “Does Bob Go to Prison?” or “How to Steal Cars – A Practical Attack on KeeLoq” or “The Only Rump Session Talk With Pamela Anderson.”


    Dan Shumow and his Microsoft colleague Niels Ferguson titled theirs, provocatively, “On the Possibility of a Back Door in the NIST SP800-90 Dual Ec Prng.” It was a title only a crypto geek would love or get.


    The talk was only nine slides long (.pdf). But those nine slides were potentially dynamite. They laid out a case showing that a new encryption standard, given a stamp of approval by the U.S. government, possessed a glaring weakness that made an algorithm in it susceptible to cracking. But the weakness they described wasn’t just an average vulnerability, it had the kind of properties one would want if one were intentionally inserting a backdoor to make the algorithm susceptible to cracking by design.


    For such a dramatic presentation — by mathematicians’ standards — the reaction to it was surprisingly muted. “I think folks thought, ‘Well that’s interesting,’ and, ‘Wow, it looks like maybe there was a flaw in the design,’” says a senior Microsoft manager who was at the talk. “But there wasn’t a huge reaction.”


    Six years later, that’s all changed.


    Early this month the New York Times drew a connection between their talk and memos leaked by Edward Snowden, classified Top Secret, that apparently confirms that the weakness in the standard and so-called Dual_EC_DRBG algorithm was indeed a backdoor. The Times story implies that the backdoor was intentionally put there by the NSA as part of a $250-million, decade-long covert operation by the agency to weaken and undermine the integrity of a number of encryption systems used by millions of people around the world.


    The Times story has kindled a firestorm over the integrity of the byzantine process that produces security standards. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, which approved Dual_EC_DRBG and the standard, is now facing a crisis of confidence, having been forced to re-open the standard for public discussion, while security and crypto firms scramble to unravel how deeply the suspect algorithm infiltrated their code, if at all. On Thursday, corporate giant RSA Security publicly renounced Dual_EC_DRBG, while also conceding that its commercial suite of cryptographic libraries had been using the bad algorithm as its default algorithm for years.


    But beneath the flames, a surprising uncertainty is still smoldering over whether Dual_EC_DRBG really is backdoored. The Times, crypto experts note, hasn’t released the memos that purport to prove the existence of a backdoor, and the paper’s direct quotes from the classified documents don’t mention any backdoor in the algorithm or efforts by the NSA to weaken it or the standard. They only discuss efforts to push the standard through committees for approval.


    Jon Callas, the CTO of Silent Circle, whose company offers encrypted phone communication, delivered a different rump session talk at the Crypto conference in 2007 and saw the presentation by Shumow. He says he wasn’t alarmed by it at the time and still has doubts that what was exposed was actually a backdoor, in part because the algorithm is so badly done.


    “If [NSA] spent $250 million weakening the standard and this is the best that they could do, then we have nothing to fear from them,” he says. “Because this was really ham-fisted. When you put on your conspiratorial hat about what the NSA would be doing, you would expect something more devious, Machiavellian … and this thing is just laughably bad. This is Boris and Natasha sort of stuff.”

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    Well, looks like Snowden didn't do this stuff by himself. I thought he had help from the beginning.

    NSA Edward Snowden May Have Had a Patriot Helper, He Needs to Leave Town Now

    Posted on October 4, 2013



    Former NSA chief, House intel chair suggest Snowden had help | The Daily Caller.


    Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden may have had help, according to top members of the U.S. intelligence community.


    Former NSA Director Michael Hayden and House Intel Committee chairman Mike Rogers told audience members on Thursday during a Washington Post Live panel on cybersecurity that Snowden may not have acted alone in his quest to expose the West’s surveillance apparatus, PC World reports.


    Neither gentleman was certain, however, of whether Snowden received help from within or outside of the agency.


    “As someone who gets to see all of it, it raises concerns that there may have been help in… His search queries and in some of the security measures he circumvented,” said Rogers.


    Rogers said that Snowden’s leaks may be the most “most brilliant espionage operation conducted against the United States in the history of the world,” stating that it is a very dangerous time for the country.


    Hayden remarked to audience members that Snowden was not “suddenly offended by something he came across,” but was rather engaged in a “sustained, long-term campaign” to gain access to classified information.


    Reuters reported in August that Snowden began downloading NSA secrets in April 2012 while he was employed as a contractor at Dell in Japan.


    Snowden later took a job as a contractor at Booze Allen Hamilton in Hawaii to gain access to more secrets.


    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/04/fo...#ixzz2gknXnvGn

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    Delicious Irony: Media Resorts to Face-to-Face Contact to Avoid Obama’s Spying

    Posted 07/10/2013 by sfcmac in Bill of Rights, Communism/Socialism, Leftist moonbats, Politics, The Media. Leave a Comment
    Oh dear. The very media that helped foist this SCOAMF into office is now operating in the shadows so they can’t be tracked as easily.

    Many reporters covering national security and government policy in Washington these days are taking precautions to keep their sources from becoming casualties in the Obama administration’s war on leaks. They and their remaining government sources often avoid phone conversations and e-mail exchanges, arranging furtive one-on-one meetings instead.


    “We have to think more about when we use cellphones, when we use e-mail and when we need to meet sources in person,” said Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor of the Associated Press. “We need to be more and more aware that government can track our work without talking to our reporters, without letting us know.”


    These concerns, expressed by numerous journalists I interviewed, are well-founded. Relying on the 1917 Espionage Act, which was rarely invoked before President Obama took office, this administration has secretly used the phone and e-mail records of government officials and reporters to identify and prosecute government sources for national-security stories.


    ……Six government employees and two contractors, including fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden, have been prosecuted since 2009 under the Espionage Act for providing information to reporters.


    Many of the leakers could be characterized as whistleblowers rather than spies; they publicized actions for which the government should be held accountable. But the Obama administration has drawn a dubious distinction between whistleblowing that reveals bureaucratic waste or fraud, and leaks to the news media about unexamined secret government policies and activities; it punishes the latter as espionage.
    Actually, Obama draws no distinction between whistleblowers who reveal government waste and corruption and those who leak secret activities.
    ……“Reporters are interviewing sources through intermediaries now,” Washington Post national news editor Cameron Barr told me, “so the sources can truthfully answer on polygraphs that they didn’t talk to reporters.”


    A November presidential memorandum instructed all government departments and agencies to set up pervasive “Insider Threat Programs” to monitor employees with access to classified information and to prevent “unauthorized disclosure,” including to the media.


    At the same time, revelations in the documents Snowden provided about the NSA’s collection, storage and searches of phone, text and e-mail data have added to the fear surrounding contacts between reporters and sources.


    “People think they’re looking at reporters’ records,” Post national-security reporter Dana Priest told me. “I’m writing fewer things in e-mail. I’m even afraid to tell officials what I want to talk about because it’s all going into one giant computer.”


    Will Obama recognize that all this threatens his often-stated but unfulfilled goal of making government more transparent and accountable? None of the Washington news media veterans I talked to were optimistic.
    Note to the media hacks: You got exactly what you installed.
    Related articles


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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    Delicious Irony: Media Resorts to Face-to-Face Contact to Avoid Obama’s Spying

    Posted 07/10/2013 by sfcmac in Bill of Rights, Communism/Socialism, Leftist moonbats, Politics, The Media. Leave a Comment
    Oh dear. The very media that helped foist this SCOAMF into office is now operating in the shadows so they can’t be tracked as easily.

    Many reporters covering national security and government policy in Washington these days are taking precautions to keep their sources from becoming casualties in the Obama administration’s war on leaks. They and their remaining government sources often avoid phone conversations and e-mail exchanges, arranging furtive one-on-one meetings instead.


    “We have to think more about when we use cellphones, when we use e-mail and when we need to meet sources in person,” said Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor of the Associated Press. “We need to be more and more aware that government can track our work without talking to our reporters, without letting us know.”


    These concerns, expressed by numerous journalists I interviewed, are well-founded. Relying on the 1917 Espionage Act, which was rarely invoked before President Obama took office, this administration has secretly used the phone and e-mail records of government officials and reporters to identify and prosecute government sources for national-security stories.


    ……Six government employees and two contractors, including fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden, have been prosecuted since 2009 under the Espionage Act for providing information to reporters.


    Many of the leakers could be characterized as whistleblowers rather than spies; they publicized actions for which the government should be held accountable. But the Obama administration has drawn a dubious distinction between whistleblowing that reveals bureaucratic waste or fraud, and leaks to the news media about unexamined secret government policies and activities; it punishes the latter as espionage.
    Actually, Obama draws no distinction between whistleblowers who reveal government waste and corruption and those who leak secret activities.
    ……“Reporters are interviewing sources through intermediaries now,” Washington Post national news editor Cameron Barr told me, “so the sources can truthfully answer on polygraphs that they didn’t talk to reporters.”


    A November presidential memorandum instructed all government departments and agencies to set up pervasive “Insider Threat Programs” to monitor employees with access to classified information and to prevent “unauthorized disclosure,” including to the media.


    At the same time, revelations in the documents Snowden provided about the NSA’s collection, storage and searches of phone, text and e-mail data have added to the fear surrounding contacts between reporters and sources.


    “People think they’re looking at reporters’ records,” Post national-security reporter Dana Priest told me. “I’m writing fewer things in e-mail. I’m even afraid to tell officials what I want to talk about because it’s all going into one giant computer.”


    Will Obama recognize that all this threatens his often-stated but unfulfilled goal of making government more transparent and accountable? None of the Washington news media veterans I talked to were optimistic.
    Note to the media hacks: You got exactly what you installed.
    Related articles


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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    N.S.A. Said to Tap Google and Yahoo Abroad

    By CHARLIE SAVAGE, CLAIRE CAIN MILLER and NICOLE PERLROTH

    Published: October 30, 2013

    WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency and its British counterpart have apparently tapped the fiber-optic cables connecting Google’s and Yahoo’s overseas servers and are copying vast amounts of email and other information, according to accounts of documents leaked by the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden.





    WikiLeaks, via Associated Press

    Edward Snowden, the ex-N.S.A. analyst, leaked documents showing the United States and Britain were collecting data.


    News from the technology industry, including start-ups, the Internet, enterprise and gadgets.
    On Twitter: @nytimesbits.



    In partnership with the British agency known as Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, the N.S.A. has apparently taken advantage of the vast amounts of data stored in and traveling among global data centers, which run all modern online computing, according to a report Wednesday by The Washington Post. N.S.A. collection activities abroad face fewer legal restrictions and less oversight than its actions in the United States.


    Google and Yahoo said on Wednesday that they were unaware of government accessing of their data links. Sarah Meron, a Yahoo spokeswoman, said that the company had not cooperated with any government agency for such interception, and David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, expressed outrage.


    “We have long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping, which is why we have continued to extend encryption across more and more Google services and links,” Mr. Drummond said in a statement. “We do not provide any government, including the U.S. government, with access to our systems. We are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks, and it underscores the need for urgent reform.”


    In a statement, the N.S.A. did not directly address the claim that it had penetrated the companies’ overseas data links. But it emphasized that it was focused on “foreign” intelligence collection — not domestic — and pushed back against the notion that it was collecting abroad to “get around” legal limits imposed by domestic surveillance laws.

    It also said it was “not true” that it collects “vast quantities” of Americans’ data using that method.


    Companies like Google that operate Internet services — including email, online document and photo storage and search queries — send huge amounts of data through fiber-optic lines between their data centers around the world. Those data centers are kept highly secure using heat-sensitive cameras and biometric authentication, and companies believed the data flowing among centers was secure. But Google said last month that it began the process of encrypting this internal traffic before reports of N.S.A. spying leaked during the summer, and accelerated the effort since then. Google security executives were suspicious that outside parties, like governments, could tap into the cables, but did not have hard evidence that the spying was occurring, according to three people briefed on Google’s security efforts who spoke on condition of anonymity.


    The N.S.A. could physically install a device that clips on the cable and listens to electric signals, or insert a splitter in the cable through which data would travel, said Nicholas McKeown, an expert in computer networking and a professor at Stanford. Or, he said, someone with remote login access to the cable’s switch or router could also redirect data flowing through the cables.


    Level 3 is a company that provides these cables for Google, according to a person briefed on Google’s infrastructure who was not authorized to speak publicly.


    In a statement, Level 3 said: “We comply with the laws in each country where we operate. In general, governments that seek assistance in law enforcement or security investigations prohibit disclosure of the assistance provided.”


    In July, the company denied a German television report that it had cooperated with American intelligence agencies to spy on German citizens using its network. The New York Times reported in September that for at least three years, GCHQ had been working to gain access to traffic in and out of data centers operated by Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft’s Hotmail. The program, described as having been developed in close collaboration with the N.S.A., was said to have achieved “new access opportunities” into Google’s systems by 2012, according to GCHQ documents provided by Mr. Snowden. But it was not clear what that meant.


    The Post said that under a system code-named Muscular, GCHQ was storing data taken in from the interception in a rolling three- to five-day “buffer,” during which the two agencies decoded it and filtered out information they wanted to keep.


    It also reported that the N.S.A. was using about 100,000 “selectors” as its search term filters — more than twice as many, it said, as the agency has been using from its Prism program inside the United States. In that program, the agency collects emails, search queries and other online activity of foreigners abroad from Google, Yahoo and other companies through a court-approved process authorized by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.

    GCHQ documents obtained from Mr. Snowden by The Guardian newspaper and shared with The Times reveal an intense focus over several years by British spies on the development of Muscular and a closely related project code-named Incenser. The documents suggest that both programs are to a large extent driven by N.S.A. intelligence needs and are highly prized by the Americans.




    In November 2010, the British wrote that “Muscular/Incenser has significantly enhanced the amount of benefit that the N.S.A. derive from our special source accesses.” Those projects in some cases provide data that are unavailable from any other source, one document said, “highlighting the unique contribution we are now making to N.S.A., providing insights into some of their highest priority targets.”


    In its article, The Post described a January document as saying that the N.S.A.’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Md., was taking in more than 180 million records a month from the project. It also reported that briefing documents said collection from Yahoo and Google had produced important intelligence leads against hostile foreign governments.


    The Post published an N.S.A. slide labeled “Current efforts — Google” with a hand-drawn sketch showing that traffic flowed between Google’s data centers in “clear text,” because encryption was added only at the front-end server that interfaced with users’ computers and mobile devices. This notation included a smiley face.


    The Post also published speaker notes from a presentation about Muscular. It included a reference to a February proposal to stop collecting Yahoo email account archives flowing through what it describes as a “lucrative” access point on what is apparently a fiber-optic cable linking Yahoo’s overseas servers and its servers on United States soil.


    As The Post published its story, the director of the N.S.A., Gen. Keith B. Alexander, was being interviewed at a cybersecurity conference. He flatly denied a slightly garbled account of The Post story as “factually inaccurate,” but it was not clear that he understood that The Post was reporting infiltration of data links between overseas servers.


    “There’s no evidence that they are actually breaking into servers,” said Alex Stamos, a security consultant at Artemis Internet, a security firm based in San Francisco. “But they are right outside Google and Yahoo’s data centers taking data that those companies believed was protected.”

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    31 October 2013 Last updated at 10:14 ET

    Ex-NSA man Edward Snowden gets web job in Russia


    Edward Snowden is keeping a very low profile in Russia



    NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has found a new job, his lawyer says.


    The former US spy agency contractor will work for a major private website in Russia, where he was granted asylum after fleeing the United States.


    "Edward starts work in November," his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.


    Mr Snowden, 30, fled to Russia in June after leaking details of far-reaching US telephone espionage.


    Mr Kucherena would not disclose which site has employed Mr Snowden, citing security concerns.


    However, Mr Snowden had a very public job offer earlier this year from the head of VKontakte, a popular social networking site seen as a rival to Facebook.


    Pavel Durov, who founded VKontakte in 2006, invited Mr Snowden through a post on his own webpage to join the company's St Petersburg headquarters to work on data protection.


    Unknown location

    Little has been heard of Mr Snowden's private life in Russia, where he has lived since being granted temporary asylum in August.


    Leaks from the former intelligence analyst have rocked the US government, revealing an extensive programme of espionage that covered China, Russia and Western allies including Germany and Brazil. The US wants him extradited to face trial on criminal charges.



    Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena shows the document allowing Edward Snowden to remain in Russia


    Mr Snowden spent more than a month in a hotel at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport before being allowed into the country.


    It is unclear whether he remains in Moscow, though tabloid pictures of the former contractor occasionally surface.


    A Russian website, Life News, this week published a smartphone picture it said was purchased from a reader for 100,000 rubles (£1,943), purporting to show Mr Snowden taking a boat trip down the Moscow River through the city's centre. Mr Snowden was without his trademark glasses but wearing a red shirt and cream-coloured cap; the photo's background includes Moscow's landmark Christ the Saviour cathedral.


    Learning Russian

    In an accompanying interview, Mr Kucherena told Life News that Mr Snowden was learning to speak Russian and had visited the Kremlin and other museums and cities in the country.


    "He's already gone a pretty long way, in terms of Russian words, in terms of knowledge of our culture...


    "For the time being, given his interest in Russia, given the attitude of Russians towards him ... given the love for him, he's receiving a fair amount of correspondence, and I don't think he has any desire to leave for another country at the moment," Mr Kucherena said.


    The lawyer did not disclose where Mr Snowden is living but said he will work in information technology at "our country's largest website".


    Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview recently that Mr Snowden could "feel safe" in Russia, though he told the Associated Press news agency that he found him "a strange guy".


    VKontakte has itself come under pressure from the Russian government, as legislators try to gain more control over what is said online. Mr Durov's residence and VKontakte headquarters were both raided by police earlier this year, ostensibly in a traffic accident investigation.


    The site has nearly 80 million users, according to industry researcher Comscore, including about 47 million inside Russia, and is controversial for allowing users access to pirated music and video content.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    Really messy way to get a double agent into Russia, don't you think?

    LOL

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    You think Snowden is working for the US?
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    Yes, Putin Is The Most Powerful Person In The World — And He Has Been For Years

    Adam Taylor Oct. 30, 2013, 1:30 PM 6,051 18




    Getty Images





    Forbes released its annual list of the "most powerful" people in the world today, and for the first time ever, Vladimir Putin has taken the top spot. The Russian president takes the crown from U.S. President Barack Obama, who has been on top every time except 2010, when Chinese president Hu Jintao briefly took his place.


    Let's begin by saying this: The list is right, Putin is clearly the most powerful person in the world right now. However, the Forbes list shouldn't be a shock — it's correcting itself.
    The shift in Forbes' rankings seems to come from a perceived increase in Putin's use of his power on the world stage; offering a home to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, for example, or his hard line approach to Syria talks. While some, such as Ian Bremmer, have cast doubt on the true significance of these victories, it's hard to deny they're at least a PR coup.
    Even if we trust this factor, however, it seems to be a misunderstanding of how true power works — it's about ability or capacity, rather than actual use. When you consider that, it seems obvious that Putin has been the most powerful man for years, with far more power than his U.S. counterpart, where a complicated system of checks and balances on the executive branch of government limits Obama's true power. Look no further than the government shutdown and the recent debt ceiling controversy for evidence of that.
    The United States is clearly a far larger economy than Russia, with greater military strength, and more impact on world culture. However, Putin has much more control over Russia than Obama does over the U.S. — who else could have the richest man in his country jailed despite international condemnation, or be the subject of (not completely incredible) rumors of a $40-$80 billion personal nest egg?
    Meanwhile, China may be an autocratic state, and Xi Jinping (and predecessor Hu Jintao) may have the same title as Putin, but his power is severely limited by the nine-person Standing Committee of the Politburo, on which he is only first amongst equals. “[A Chinese president's] power is far less than the power of the U.S. president," Cheng Li, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution told Bloomberg last year: By deduction, that's far less than Putin.
    There have been serious challenges to Putin's power in recent years, but he has remained at the top of one of the world's most powerful countries for 14 years, outlasting many autocratic leaders from older generations (Qaddafi, Chavez, etc). It seems safe to assume that not only has Putin been the most powerful person for a number of years, but also that he will probably remain in that position for some time.




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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by Malsua View Post
    You think Snowden is working for the US?
    Not so much. I was just doing mental gyrations of "What If".

    LOL

    See, you have a guy who has worked for the CIA and NSA who is good with computers (or is reputed to be) who suddenly goes rogue.

    He gets all set up with the Russians and befriends them, gives them data they don't have - essentially buying his way "in".

    They teach him Russian. They set him up with a job. And undisclosed job at that:

    Mr Kucherena would not disclose which site has employed Mr Snowden, citing security concerns.
    He gets in good, does a "good job" but is exposed to Russian computer systems. KNows Russian. Knows what he can steal from them.

    He isn't the one who does the finding, the CIA finds him (on purpose) sets up dead drops (he already knows this shit) and goes from there.

    For real? Probably not, but it would be bloody hilarious wouldn't it?

    Me? I wouldn't trust a Russian who did that coming here with a job that exposes him to anything classified.

    IF you are going to go traitor on your OWN people, you will certainly do it to your NEW people. That's how we Americans who do that kind of work see it and to be honest, I don't think the Russians think any differently.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    11.01.13
    by wkchild

    Closed Senate committee passes bill that cements bulk NSA record collection

    Source: rt.com/usa November 01, 2013 00:33

    In a closed session, the US Senate Intelligence Committee approved legislation that codifies into law the NSA’s bulk collection of domestic telephone metadata.

    The bill, sponsored by committee chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), cements bulk phone metadata collection into the business records provision (Section 215) of the Patriot Act, strengthening NSA surveillance legality allowed under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

    “The NSA call-records program is legal and subject to extensive congressional and judicial oversight,” Feinstein said in a statement. “I believe it contributes to our national security. But more can and should be done to increase transparency and build public support for privacy protections in place.”

    The committee’s 11-4 vote for passage of the FISA Improvements Act runs counter to legislation introduced by the chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees this week. Among other attributes, that legislation – the USA FREEDOM Act – would “end bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, in light of the massive intrusion on Americans’ privacy and the lack of evidence of its effectiveness.”

    Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-OH), chair of the House Judiciary Committee and co-author of the Patriot Act 12 years ago, has previously said that after Congress amended in 2006 the Patriot Act to authorize broad, secret warrants for most any type of “tangible” records, both the Bush and Obama administrations have misinterpreted the law’s power to allow bulk collection of all phone call records in and out of the United States.

    Feinstein’s bill further authorizes such an interpretation into law, which would thwart current legal challenges to the program under those grounds. Though constitutional challenges could still be considered.

    The legislation demands for the first time that when the government queries the metadata database, it has to have “reasonable, articulable suspicion” of terrorism against the targets. The NSA claims it has followed that guideline thus far.

    Critics of Feinstein’s bill in and out of the Senate said it does not go far enough to protect Americans’ privacy and security rights.

    “The NSA’s ongoing, invasive surveillance of Americans’ private information does not respect our constitutional values and needs fundamental reform – not incidental changes,” Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), who voted against the bill in committee, said in a statement on Thursday. “Unfortunately, the bill passed by the Senate Intelligence Committee does not go far enough to address the NSA’s overreaching domestic surveillance programs.”

    An aspect of the bill expands the NSA’s power in another way, allowing the agency to continue targeting the cell phones of “roamers,” or foreigners who enter the United States, for up to 72 hours – a practice that requires a warrant. An internal NSA audit provided by classified documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden found the agency often ignored the requirement.

    “This says bulk collection of American records can continue. It especially ensures and approves bulk collection despite the fact that it’s under shaky legal footing,” Elizabeth Goitein, a director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, told Wired.

    In June, revelations made possible by Snowden showed that a classified court opinion required telecom giant Verizon to provide the NSA with, among other data, phone numbers of both parties involved in all calls made by millions of Americans.

    Feinstein’s bill would also require that the NSA director and inspector general be subject to Senate confirmation. In addition, it says that metadata can be kept for up to five years, and searches of data over three years old have to be approved by the US attorney general. The NSA must also supply the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approves surveillance warrants, with a record of searches.

    The bill also calls for the NSA to publicly release an annual report of the number of database inquiries made, as well as the number of times those searches led to an FBI investigation.

    Senate floor debate is the next step for Feinstein’s bill, though no date has been set. Sensenbrenner’s bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), has not received a hearing date in either legislative chamber.

    “The Feinstein bill is terrible and would make things worse. I think the Leahy-Sensenbrenner bill begins to address some of the problems” with the NSA, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, Jennifer Granick, told The Huffington Post.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans


    Dewhurst to Congress: Did NSA Spy on Gun Owners?

    November 12, 2013

    Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Tuesday called for a congressional investigation into whether the National Security Agency's domestic spying program has ever targeted gun owners, kept a list of firearms purchases or tracked gunshow visits.

    "Under the Obama Administration, a number of our constitutional rights have been threatened, most notably our right to bear arms," Dewhurst said in a letter to John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, the state's U.S. senators, and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, the Austin Republican who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee.

    Dewhurst said that information collected by the NSA, including call records, location data, purchase history and internet communications is "rife with the potential for abuse."

    "I believe to be illegal any effort by the Obama administration to build dossiers on law-abiding Americans, including what magazines they read, what gun shops they visit, how often they purchase ammunitions, and with what groups they affiliate," Dewhurst said.

    Since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began releasing internal agency documents in June, NSA survellience both at home and abroad have come under scrutiny. Under fierce criticism from across the political spectrum, the White House has ordered a review of the agency's intelligence collection. The Obama administration and many lawmakers have defended NSA programs as necessary in protecting U.S. security interests — and said its activities are closely monitored by Congress and the courts.

    In a recent Texas Tribune/University of Texas Poll, 81 percent of registered Texas voters said they believed the NSA was likely to violate people's privacy. It ranked ahead of all other federal government agencies, including the IRS, the CIA, and the FBI.

    Dewhurst, who is seeking re-election, faces state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, and Agriculture Comissioner Todd Staples in the 2014 GOP primary.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    'Nothing is beyond our reach,' National Reconnaissance Office's new logo claims

    FoxNews.com



    • The logo for the latest secret mission by the National Reconnaissance Office has raised a few eyebrows. (NRO)

    • In preparation for launch, the NROL-39 payload is transported and mated to its Atlas V booster at Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex-3. (ULA)


    The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office launched a new spy satellite Thursday evening on mission NROL-39 -- and the new logo and tagline are quite an eye opener.

    The new logo features a giant, world-dominating octopus, its sucker-covered tentacles encircling the planet while it looks on with determination, a steely glint in its enormous eye. The logo carries a five-word tagline: “Nothing is beyond our reach.”

    Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist and senior policy analyst with the ACLU, raised a quizzical eyebrow at the new slogan.

    “Advice to @ODNIgov: You may want to downplay the massive dragnet spying thing right now. This logo isn't helping,” he wrote.

    An agency spokeswoman told Forbes that there's a very good reason for the symbol: The octopus is intelligent, and therefore a good emblem for an intelligence agency.

    “NROL-39 is represented by the octopus, a versatile, adaptable, and highly intelligent creature. Emblematically, enemies of the United States can be reached no matter where they choose to hide,” said Karen Furgerson, a spokeswoman for the NRO. “‘Nothing is beyond our reach’ defines this mission and the value it brings to our nation and the warfighters it supports, who serve valiantly all over the globe, protecting our nation.”

    'You may want to downplay the massive dragnet spying thing right now. This logo isn't helping.'
    - Christopher Soghoian, senior policy analyst with the ACLU

    The NROL-39 mission was classified, as are nearly all missions and satellites launched by the secretive NRO. It was carried aloft by a United Launch Alliance rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 11:13 p.m. PST, according to NASAspaceflight.com.

    Because the launch trajectory matched that used by other launches, it was likely carrying a third satellite for the agency’s radar reconnaissance fleet, the site said.

    Along with its secretive payload, the rocket also carried the Government Experimental Multi-Satellite (GEMSat) payload, which contained 12 “nanosatellites” that will perform a variety of science missions.

    The NRO mission is to design, build, launch, and maintain America’s intelligence satellites.

    "Whether creating the latest innovations in satellite technology, contracting with the most cost-efficient industrial supplier, conducting rigorous launch schedules, or providing the highest-quality products to our customers, we never lose focus on who we are working to protect: our Nation and its citizens," its website says.

    That include those with eight arms.

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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

    LOL


    Aliens among us, folks. They are here.

    hahahahahaha

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